Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

JON'S JOURNAL: Mr Redshanks

In yesterday's edition of my semi-regular blatherings I told the gripping tale of our visit to Northam Burrows, and how we saw a flock of curlews. Much to my irritation, I was not able to video the curlews for On The Track (mainly because the video camera battery was flat, and like a bloody idiot I hadn't got around to checking or recharging it), so today I decided to return.

I also forgot to visit Boots yesterday to buy my weekly ration of diabetic shortbread (memo to self: if I regulalry praise Boots diabetic shortbread enough, do you think they well send me a free supply?) so, as Corinna had lots of things to do today, Graham and Prudence and I set off (with no less than three video cameras) and drove to Northam Burrows. We were late arriving, and - sod's law - we saw no curlews at all, although the shelducks we saw yesterday were still there.

What we did see were a number of earnest little waders pottering about the mudflaps, and on our return, after consulting this page we identified them as redshanks.

Do you agree?

We had what passes as a brisk walk for Prudence and me (which means that we ambled about for about half an hour) and then trotted back to the car. Apart from a verbal altercation between Prudence and a cheeky young terrier (who started it, honest), the walk passed without incident.

We drove to Bideford to buy the shortbread, and found - to my irritation - that Boots had closed ten minutes early, but there was a spectacular display of starlings flocking and doing aerobatics above Bideford Bridge, so we amused ourselves filming them for a while, and then went home.

And today's title? Check this out (and I guarantee that Syd will hate it):

BIG CAT NEWS: Sensible stuff from Gloucestershire, Sussex and South Devon

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.

There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

Learning to live in harmony with the countryside's feral big cats
This Is South Devon
The British big cat situation remains steeped in mystery despite the thousands of sightings reported and recorded by people from all walks of life, in all parts of the country. Reports of such animals go way back into history, some of which relate to ...

Today's posts start off with a real aberration; a newspaper which talks sense. This editorial in The Western Morning News is a plea for tolerance, rather than a call to have them all exterminated. Good on ya dude!

bigcatdetective: Mystery cat in West Sussex

Mystery cat in West Sussex. Never had a domestic cat in 9 months on the trail cam before at this farm and 1 week in a different part of the wood its picked up ...

I am not sure who 'Charlie' the Big Cat Detective is, but he seems to know his stuff. This is an interesting report about an unusual visitor to a trailcam in Sussex. And finally..

Online survey launched to root out Gloucestershire big cat

This is Gloucestershire

RESEARCHERS at the University of Gloucestershire say they are determined to get to the bottom of big cat sightings in the county. Rural research experts, the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), have launched an online survey to ...

A whole day without anyone saying something stupid! It must be a record.


Regular readers will know that I am a fan of the ever-wondrous John Allison, a web cartoonist with a Fortean bent whose work never ceases to amuse, and sometimes thrill. His latest story 'The Case of the Fire Inside' seems to feature one of those Celtic seal/girl werebeasts so beloved of our very own Glen Vaudrey

Do yourself a favour and check it out.

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mirror 8.11.62

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1874 the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was born.
Before the news today though I would like to draw peoples attention to this, the HM government petition to stop the health bill (100,000 or more signatures and it gets debated in parliament) :

If you are a UK citizen make sure you sign it because even if you agree with the government that the NHS should be 'part privitized' (if so shame on you) rather than just have the waste cut the current proposal is a complete hash and just will not work. Did you know Andrew Langsley was given a huge cash 'gift' from a provider of private health care insurance to help with his campaign before the last election? Well if not you do now (seriously, check his wikipedia page), now isn't that a bit suspicious?

And now the news:

BIGFOOT NEWS: Salt Fork State Park
Big boost for wildlife conservation: 23 new SOS pr...
CABS video shows Maltese shooting rare birds in Eg...
Rare creatures at risk if HS2 passes through Water...
Four Natural Extracts With Anti-Obesity Effects Te...
In Unalaska, rare birds brighten winter days
Dogs Understand Us Better Than Chimps Do
Mythical boom in jellyfish blooms
Goshen couple had good fortune in first sighting o...
Estrogen Turns Male Snakes into Same-Sex Charmers
Ocean Warming Causes Elephant Seals to Dive Deeper...
Black rhino relocation launches new rhino sanctuar...

Shackleton’s finest moment was his trip across frozen seas to save his stranded crew, an amazing feat of endurance and bravery:


We have heard from Lars Thomas this morning. There is no news. He made an appeal on Danish TV last night, and "today she is on the websites of the three biggest newspapers in Denmark, [...] and tomorrow her picture will be on the frontpage of our two biggest tabloids."

Jeanett Thomas (48) is still missing. We repeat what we posted yesterday:

Our old friend Lars Thomas has asked us to post this:

On Friday his wife Jeanett left home. She was only meant to be gone a few hours, but she has disappeared. There has been no contact from her.

Lars has contacted the police, but asks: "Please, if you know, or have heard anything, let me know".

Contact Lars: lars_thomas@msn.com
Or me: jon@eclipse.co.uk

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lars at this terrible time.

DALE DRINNON: The real "Children of Mu"/Three Cryptozoological mysteries

New on Frontiers of Anthropology, The Real "Children of Mu"


And on Frontiers of Zoology an examination of Three Cryptozoological Mysteries pointed out by a Blog Reader:



Six years ago today, at 6.30 in the morning, my father died aged 81. I was holding his hand. For much of our lives we disliked each other intensely but in the last year of his life we became friends, and I miss him dearly.