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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Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


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...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


As you are all aware I have signed us up to Easyfundraising enabling CFZ to raise much needed funds to help support the vital work it does.

Well I am pleased to report that currently we have raised £24.24. I would like to say a big thank you to those people that have shown their support by installing the toolbar which raises 50p per install and also to those who search regularly through the toolbar which raises 0.05p every time you search and click through the link. I would also like to point out that your toolbars need to be set to ‘easysearch’ this is done by selecting the small blue box next to the word easyfundraising and selecting es. This then ensures we get the money.

For anyone wishing to sign up please follow the link http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/cfz/ you have to go through a short registration process to enable them to track your earnings for us and that’s pretty much it and don’t forget to install the toolbar.

Many thanks for your continuing support
Emma Osborne

HAUNTED SKIES: Sun (The) 8.9.67.


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1947 Kenneth Arnold had the first widely reported UFO sighting.

And now the news:

Predictable video link number 17:



Once again it's the sabbath day,
you know what I mean OK?
just when you thought it can't get worse,
you're confronted with some Gonzo verse,
cos once a week I always try,
to pluck couplets from my mind's eye
and sometimes they can even make sense,
so forgive my weekly self-indulgence

I've just heard the title song
(from the new album which won't be long)
from the Marquis Michael Des Barres,
its one of the best from the year so far
now the release date's getting near,
you'll be reading lots about him here,
and I hope it won't put him in a rage
but I nicked this from his Facebook page

Jefferson Starship are one of those groups
who stimulate enthusiastic whoops
of joyous mirth and simple glee
from music journalists like me
veterans of the San Fransisco scene
I am sure you know just what I mean
and I have an exclusive extract
from the liner notes (and that's a fact)
of a four CD set that I know
is coming out soon through Gonzo,
of a gig they did (and played so well)
at a UFO gig in Roswell

Rick plays the keyboards with such ease,
producing gorgeous sounds that please,
I have a lot of his LPs
(damn, I think the cat has fleas
which is irrelevant ) but its my contention
cos its just come to my attention,
Rick's giving a speech at a trade convention,
on the 28th (that's his intention)

So if you happen to be near,
you'd better read about it here,
just click your mouse for heaven's sake man.
and read the news about Rick Wakeman

I used to know a girl called Polly,
who was into prog, she'd have loved Wally,
a band who split in '76
but now they're back with brand new tricks,
they're a damn grood band (literate and clever),
they seem to be around for ever
so here's an interview with Roy Webber (vox)
who likes to think outside the box

Roger Hodgson was in Supertramp
and now he's done a cool revamp
of one of his popular tracks
(I bet he is a great live act)
Now an uplifting video
with his song in it (What d'ya know?)
its a Coke advert, but I don't care
cos the message is righteous.. so there!

Its now become traditional,
in fact its uncondional
to have a sunday story about Liz,
one of my favourites in the music biz,
about Liz who? I hear you ask
soundly taking me to task,
I reply, "Her from Auburn" mate,
and by the way, her album's great...

Hawkwind's been around for years
producing spacerock for your ears
they recently released a new CD
and I must say it sounds good to me,
and I hope it will sound good to you,
which is why I'm posting this review,
and I wonder if you'll wonder how,
they've kept it up four decades now

So that's it for another week
of bad couplets from an ageing freak,
I hope you all will have a fun day,
the poems will be back next sunday.

Th-th-th-that's all folks...


MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Wildcats in Cheshire

I have recently uncovered a number of mystery-cat stories from Cheshire, which is the county I live in. Whilst looking through some newspaper cuttings in the Macclesfield Library I found this cutting, which shows a man sitting at a desk (his name is Brian Beeken; unfortunately I haven`t been able to track him down) sitting next to a display with a sign saying: `Wildboarclough Outdoor Education Centre`. The article came from the now defunct Wilmslow Advertiser of March 11th 1976. It appears to show, if you look closely in the top right-hand corner, two wild-cat skins of unknown provenance.

I was told by a local Womens Institute member of a black cat in a cage being released near Wildboarclough about 25 years ago. Also, only today (June 20th) I was told of a probable lynx hunting rabbits in Tegg`s Nose, a wild area of rocky outcrops and valleys just outside Macclesfield. This was also around 1987. The animal had the tufted ears of a lynx.

In the early 1990s a couple of large feral cats were reported in Bosley Woods near Macclesfield in E. Cheshire by an acquaintance. They were the size of foxes.

I contacted Carl Marshall because I wanted to know about ageing and wild cat skins and he told me: “Insects, such as moths and also damp are devastating to the preserved fur on a pelt - but in the absence of these, a dried out skin just hung up (even without a case) and left alone on a wall indoors could last a thousand years, maybe more as it is effectively mummified. But it must remain dry.

"Sunlight will bleach out colours and distort patterns, but it wont really effect the actual structure of the hairs themselves.” (1)

But this information, although interesting, didn`t answer my question as to where the skins had come from and when so I wrote to the Macclesfield Express asking readers if they knew of any stories of wild cats near Wildboarclough, and in mid-May my letter was published (see the accompanying image) and it won the star letter of the week, winning me £10, which I spent on a decent lunch, for once! But I received no news from that line of enquiry.

So I went to the County Archives in Chester. I found in a log called the “Game and Fishing Book” a mention of one cat shot on November 13th 1847 by a game keeper at Tabley, on the Leicester-Warren family estate. I also found a cutting from the Cheshire Observer dated November 18th 1882 concerning a meeting of the Neston and District Literary Society at which the Rev J. Towert gave a talk on “ Edward the Naturalist” who “once emerged bleeding and torn from a struggle with a wild cat, but delighted with the capture of a fine specimen, which only succumbed on receiving a large dose of chloroform.” Neston is in the far west of Cheshire on that part of the Wirral that lies within Cheshire.

T.A. Coward in his `Invertebrate Fauna of Cheshire and Liverpool Bay” vol 1 1910 includes a wild cat trapped some years before 1883 as mentioned by “the late J.F. Robinson “ (Manchester City News 3/11/1883) in Delamere Forest. (Although Coward doubted this was a bona fide wild cat.) The article said:


Is the Wild Cat still to be found in the northern counties? I ask this question merely to elicit information, because many domestic cats , being poachers from natural instinct, often become wild, especially in districts where game is abundant. These by game keepers are called wild cats. I nave seen many domestic animals nailed behind the barn-door, and denounced as veritable wild cats, whereas nothing could be more erroneous. The last true wild cat, and I believe the only one I have handled, I set up for the late Mr John Hayes. It was caught in a trap, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Oakmere [a village next to Delamere-R] It had a lean and lanky, as well as a powerful and ferocious appearance, with a coat not unlike a tabby cat. The tail was tufted at the end like a fox`s brush, with dark hairs, and was considerably shorter than the tame species. The latter tapers to a point. Still I would not found any specific character solely upon the tail, for these vary so much, as is well known, in crosses with the Manx cat…I doubt very much if the tame animal is identical with the wild cat, though I have heard this asserted frequently by those who never saw a wild cat. It may possibly still be in existence in some of the wild portions of the northern counties, but some intelligent gamekeepers declare it is now extinct in one of its last shelters, Delamere Forest JAMES F. ROBINSON. (2)

1. E-mail from Carl Marshall to Richard Muirhead April 27th 2012
2. Manchester City News November 3rd 1883