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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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: Somerset, Patcham, and Steeple Bumstead

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

New 'big cat' sighting reported on moorland near Glastonbury
This is Somerset
A central Somerset man has reported a sighting of a wild cat – the first since February this year. On Monday, artist Paul Branson had been painting near Rocks ...

So we start off in Somerset, with an interesting report, and an artist's impression of the creature to which I was unable to link. I stop short of nicking the pics unless I have to. Now over to Nick Redfern with the story of The Patcham Panther...

By Nick Redfern
Once again, there's a sighting of a mysterious, large cat in the UK. This one has been dubbed the “Patcham Panther.” As the Argus newspaper tells us: Greg and Sophie Horne contacted The Argus to tell how they spotted a big cat as they ...

But now over to Suffolk...

Haverhill Echo
“Most big cats live to 18 in captivity with private medical care. “I have never ... The Dangerous Wild Animals Acts 1976 outlawed people keeping big cats as pets.

The fact that there are reports of a big cat near a village called Steeple Bumstead makes me proud to be English. In fact, the fact that there is a village called Steeple Bumstead makes me proud to be English.

HAUNTED SKIES: Sun (The) 11.9.67.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1898 Joshua Slocum of Nova Scotia completed the first solo circumnavigation of the world. If I were him I'd have just gone as far as somewhere nice and warm docked the boat, sipped cocktails by the beach for a few weeks with a good book and then headed home saying “Ooh what a trip I've just had, what about those Australians? Nice chaps, did you know they have corks hanging from their hats? How would I know that if I hadn't just been there?” and everyone would be in awe of me for being so terribly brave. (well they didn't have GPS in those days, how are they going to prove me wrong?).

And now the news:

Predictable vaguely related video number 23:



Once again I am up surprisingly early. Corinna has an appointment in Barnstaple and everyone else (including Prudence the dog) is fast asleep. I have to admit, I quite like these times when I have the whole house to myself and can get on with stuff in a leisurely manner. So, what do we have today?

We have details of the contents of the Extended edition of Michael Des Barres forthcoming album 'Carnaby Street', and also a link to preorder. And whilst on the subject, yesterday I heard the album in its entirety for the first time. It is even better than I had expected, and you can expect a song-by-song breakdown in the next few days.

We have the legendary Chris Thompson (yes, him out of Manfred Mann's Earthband) being interviewed on Dutch radio. We even have a link from which you can download the MP3. Aren't we groovy? Answers on a postcard please...

You will have probably noticed that Rick Wakeman has a new Live CD out, (as well as the new - and rather swish - biography by Dan Wooding, designed by yours truly). The CD is garnering a fair degree of praise, like this review...

I am getting really rather fond of the music of neo-prog metallers (golly, I find these new genre distinctions confusing) Galahad. They are much more subtle, literate and well crafted than other such things that I have heard, and I am rapidly becoming quite a fan.

News of a major new release from pro-rockers GPS, featuring Asia guitarist John Payne. Gosh. This should be really good, and the two tracks I have heard so far definitely are.

More details of the forthcoming 4CD set from San Francisco psychedelic legends Jefferson Starship. I hope to be speaking to the band in the near future, and attempting to find out what makes them so damned groovy! I doubt whether I shall find out, however, because if it were possible to bottle a mojo like that, the world would be an entirely different place.

I really am a fan of Martin Stephenson. In this insightful article it is revealed how and why he sabotaged his own career at its creative peak. By the way, I have not forgotten about posting the second half of my song-by-song of California Star. I finally got around to writing it late last night, and I emailed it to Martin for his comments. I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

And that, boys and girls, is about it for today. See you on thursday...


Whilst the focus of the CFZ Mystery Cat study group is predominantly the search for proof of the British big cats, it would be unrealistic to forget that this is only part of a global mystery cat phenomenon.

Here are a selection of mystery cat stories from around the world.

Big cat sighting at Smythesdale?
Ballarat Courier
A SMYTHESDALE man has taken photos of what he believes is the footprint of a giant puma, after the reported mauling of a Shetland pony on his neighbour's ...

Big cats could roam Ballarat: expert
Ballarat Courier
MYTH or menace? For decades it has been rumoured that giant cats could exist in the wild around Ballarat.

Big cats in Ballarat, Australia: Why the idea endures | Doubtful ...
By idoubtit
Big cats could roam Ballarat: expert. History and anthropology lecturer Dr David Waldron has been researching stories about the existence of so-called pumas or.

David Waldron is, btw a CFZ associate, and one of the board of the Journal of Cryptozoology..

Wild Kingdom? Bear, Big Cat Sightings in Portage Co.
Cleveland News - Fox 8
SHALERSVILLE, Ohio -- Some wild visitors have people on edge in Portage County.The area is known for its serene farmland and, from time to time, a visitor of ...

KARL SHUKER: Goodbye to Lonesome George

It is rare indeed for the precise date of extinction of a species or subspecies to be known, but there are a few notable examples. 1 September 1914 marked the death of the world's last known passenger pigeon Ectopistes migratorius (in Cincinnati Zoo); 21 February 1918 saw the death of the last verified Carolina parakeet Conuropsis carolinensis (also, remarkably, in Cincinnati Zoo); and on 7 September 1936 the last confirmed specimen of the Tasmanian wolf Thylacinus cynocephalus died (in Hobart Zoo). Now, tragically, we can add another black day to that list - 24 June 2012, the day when Lonesome George, the world's only known surviving Pinta Island giant tortoise, died. He was approximately 100 years old, and, with ironic inevitability, he was alone when death finally releaased him from decades of isolation from any other member of his subspecies.

Read on...