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, September 04, 2012


This Sunday, 9th September, the Ryedale Aquarist Society will be holding their annual Open Show at the Old Malton Memorial Hall, North Yorkshire YO17 7HD.
The Show will consist of 40 Classes covering the full range of tropical freshwater and coldwater fish. YAAS rules and standards apply. Benching 10.00a.m. to 12.30p.m.
Auction of aquatic items. Booking of lots 10.30a.m. to 12.15p.m. Auction begins at 12.30p.m.
Fishkeepers with many years of experience in the aquarium hobby will be available to answer all of your questions.
For further details visit www.ryedaleaquaristsociety.co.uk

BIG CAT NEWS: The Essex Lion

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 by us in some way, 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

In Essex, where, only a week or so ago, one of the more farcical pieces of British mystery cat history took place. Two CFZ stalwarts have commented on the events:


Here is a link to the best picture I have so far found on this story:

The zoomed image shows a cat lying at the edge of a stubble field. Combine harvester operators normally work the machines with the cutter bar slightly off the ground (repairing sickle-bar cutters is difficult and expensive), leaving about six inches of stubble.

The "lion" pictured there is lying partly flat. Its hindquarters are entirely hidden by the stubble, only the front is visible. Therefore, lying down the hips must only project about six inches or less above the ground, meaning that it is way too small to be a lion, leopard or puma.

Apart from that the head is too short and too rounded for any big cat, oh and the Mirror newspaper has found a likely-looking local ginger tom-cat tame enough to pose for their cameraman. It might be this lion, then again the beast might be another, quite different domestic cat but one thing's for sure: the Essex "lion" is NOT a big cat.

Dan H.

The Essex Lion farce, according to Neil Arnold:

CRIPTOZOOLOGIA EN ESPAÑA: A decade without Jordi Magraner

News in Criptozoología en España :
A decade without Jordi Magraner. In 2002 Spanish zoologist was killed while searching for evidence of the existence of barmanu, the wild man of Pakistan.
All information in :


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 related stories from around the world.

Lynden 'cougar' sightings turn out to be house cat
HeraldNet (blog)
This time Foster says an officer was able to get within a few feet of the creature and report that it WAS a big cat -- a big domestic cat. The chief acknowledges that from a distance the animal did resemble a cougar. He says the original witness ...

Valley News Live
A big cat, Aaron says it was about 4 1/2 feet long, tan in color, and not shy. It was walking towards them. He told his girlfriend to walk slowly back to the house with her eyes on him. It's hard to play it cool when you see a cat that big though. "She ...

Possible cougar sighting in rural McCook pasture
McCook Daily Gazette
More movement, about 100 yards away, Madison said, and a "big, golden-colored cat" was walking toward the trees. Madison said, "Despite my better judgement, I moved us closer. Something spooked Spank, and he dumped me ... left me there. I watched ...

Large Feline Chills in the Shade Before Fleeing Sonoma County Back Yard
Since Friday afternoon, two people have reported that they saw a large cat in the area of Elphick Road and Bollinger lane in unincorporated Sebastopol according

Curiosity leads hunt for Yarra Ranges big cat
Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader
THE fate of the Yarra Ranges' mysterious big cat hangs in the balance as State Government researchers look into whether the stories are true. This follows numerous reports of big cat sightings and will fulfill a pre-election promise from Nationals ...

BIG CAT NEWS: Essex, Midlands, Croydon and Rutland

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 by us in some way, 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

And we start off in Essex, where, only a week or so ago, one of the more farcical pieces of British mystery cat history took place...

Lion cub? It's just our little school cat!
Southend Standard
POLICE were called to track down a big cat for the second time in a week – but it again turned out to be an ordinary pet. Officers were called to Thameside Junior and Infant school, in Manor Road, Grays, after builder Graham Bowers, 61, said he had ...

But the dust has not yet settled on the events of last week...

Roaming Relu: Essex Lion: a tweeting good tale
By Anne Liddon
Wild boar and exotic deer are occasional road casualties; as fellow Archers listeners will know, the Grundy family is currently eating its way through a large boar carcase. But no big cat has ever been killed by a car on our roads, no bodies ...

Essex lion: Spoof advert mocks Colchester Zoo
Daily Mail
The joke came after holidaymakers in Essex spotted a big cat on Sunday prompted a 20-hour manhunt including armed officers, two police helicopters using heat-seeking equipment and zoo workers scrambling to find the 'lion' in St Osyth, Essex over the ...

Spoof advert: Many funny images and memes have been posted online since the manhunt for the 'Essex lion' which turned out to be a domestic cat. The latest pokes fun at Colchester Zoo who sent out staff with tranquiliser guns looking for the 'wild animal'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2196348/Essex-lion-Spoof-advert-mocks-Colchester-Zoo.html#ixzz25XLNClkb

British Village Leads Police on a Wild Lion Chase, Literally
By AIM Newswire
Police in the country village of St. Osyth, located in the southeastern English county of Essex, concluded that they had not found any evidence of a wandering big cat as reported by locals. This past Sunday, about 40 officers were sent to the ...

Can you spot the "lion" in the picture?Can you spot the "lion" in the picture?

THE man who reported a lion sighting to police in Grays on Tuesday remains convinced what he saw was not a domestic cat. Graham Bowers, 61, was with five other men in Cherry Tree Close, when he made the call to police.

They all believe the cat they saw was a mountain lion or a cougar, and police, who Mr Bowers said arrived an hour after his call, did not catch a glimpse of it, and decided it must have been a large domestic cat after finding one in Thameside Junior School’s grounds.

It's a jungle out there... Essex lion just one of 829 big cats on the prowl
Police emergency call logs obtained by the Sunday Express in a Freedom of Information request reveal 829 big cat sightings reported to 20 police forces over the past decade, particularly in rural areas of Devon, Cornwall, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Dorset ...

The St Osyth big cat sighting: Getting your lions crossed
East Anglian Daily Times
Now, before I ignite the EADT letters page with howls of rude protest let me add that I'm not saying those who bear witness to seeing big cats roaming East Anglia are liars but until I see one with my own eyes I remain sceptical as to what was actually ...

Cat man: I'm convinced it was a lion
Thurrock Gazette
They all believe the cat they saw was a mountain lion or a cougar, and police, who Mr Bowers said arrived an hour after his call, did not catch a glimpse of it, and decided it must have been a large domestic cat after finding one in Thameside Junior ...

Ambush Predator: ”Words of advice were issued to the informant...”
By JuliaM
A police officer visited Thameside Junior and Infant school, in Manor Road, and informed bemused staff he was investigating a sighting of a big cat on the premises that morning. The sighting had been reported at 8am by builder Graham ...

However, according to Danny Bamping, one should look to the Midlands loike

West Midlands has lion's share of the UK's big cat sightings
Birmingham Mail
According to the latest figures from the British Big Cats Society, 71 wild cats have been seen in Staffordshire, 48 in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 33 in Shropshire and two in Warwickshire. There are numerous other unregistered incidents ...

Our old mate Neil Arnold has been in the news again..

Leopard spotted in Croydon, claims big cat expert
This is Croydon
Leading big cat expert Neil Arnold this week revealed to the Advertiser that he received regular reports of sightings of large black felines in green areas of the borough. ​ SPOTTED: A woman reported seeing a panther-like creature in the undergrowth ...

Skeptic News: Leopard spotted in Croydon? - The 21st Floor
By Skeptic News
Leading big cat expert Neil Arnold this week revealed to the Advertiser that he received regular reports of sightings of large black felines in green areas of the borough. And earlier this month – on the evening of August 19 – a dog trainer ...

And finally, to Rutland, where Corinna and I shall be very soon...

'Big black cat' seen by couple walking their dog in Wakerley Woods
Rutland Times
Kevin and Samantha Timms, of Ullswater Avenue, were out walking their dog in Wakerley Woods on Friday evening, when they say the cat walked across their path. Kevin, 38, said: “At first I thought it was a dog but then I noticed it prowling. “It was the ...


Melissa Bachman (Change.org)

NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – The National Geographic Channel has dropped a woman known as the “Hardcore Huntress” from an upcoming survival show after protests from people who objected to killing animals for sport.

A Change.org petition asking the network to remove Melissa Bachman from the series “Ultimate Survivor Alaska” resulted in more than 13,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. The network responded by dropping Bachman, a lifelong hunter from Minnesota who also produces and hosts wilderness programming and blogs as the “Hardcore Huntress.”

Nat Geo said in a statement: “The National Geographic Channel has carefully considered the public discussion of our series on surviving the wilds of Alaska currently in production and premiering sometime next year. Upon further reflection we plan to eliminate one of the survivalists from the ensemble cast, Melissa Bachman. Hunting is not the focus of the show, and we regret the misinformation that has clouded what we hope will be an exciting adventure series set in the incredible Alaskan landscape.”

Bachman could not be immediately reached for comment.

The petition’s author, Tim Martell of Ft. Myers, Fla., wrote: “When I was young, nothing was more exciting than hearing the magnificent sound of the trumpets of National Geographic blaring on the TV in the other room. … But lately, the famous sound of trumpets has transformed into the sound of bugles. Bugles that sound to mark the death of our precious wildlife that National Geographic once protected. Bugles that sound to mark …. a trophy hunt!”

He called Bachman a “heartless trophy hunter who has killed hundreds of animals without purpose” and urged National Geographic to “distance themselves from her.”





Today is shaping up to be a peculiarly strange one. On the minus side, I am still waiting for some money which should have arrived three weeks ago, but on the plus side, the ever-lovely Jess Heard will be in the office with me this afternoon doing arcane things to the Gonzo website. And this evening the other Jess (Taylor) will be here doing her own inimitable thing. I have to think of a way of delineating between them, otherwise this will get complicated.

I am probably just being nosy, but as far as the soap-opera which is the ever-changing lineup of Yes is concerned, I so want to find out what is going to happen next. Jon Davison seems to be completely entrenched, but everyone is dropping hints that a reunion with Jon Anderson is not out of the question. If it does happen, what will happen to Davison? Will he be discarded? Will there be a spin-off called Jon Davison's Yes? Will there be a band with two Jons? I can't wait to find out.

We have two more exclusive pictures of Auburn's Liz Lenten. And it doesn't end here, either, 'cos tomorrow we have some pictures from the band's recent sojourn in the United States. (I hope they behaved better than I have done on occasion in 'The Land of the Free'. I remember once being interviewed by a reporter from Fox News who, for some reason asked me who I thought was the greatest living American. He choked on his microphone when I looked him straight in the eyes, and deadpan, answered "Charles Manson". They have never interviewed me since..)

I have a very old fashioned view of rock and roll. Once upon a time it was widely believed that rock and roll could actually change the world; a gloriously Quixotic idea that somehow the rhythms, chords and harmonies produced by hirsute young men with guitars could positively effect the collective consciousness of our society.These days most people think that this idea is nonsense, and the concept of good vibes spread by uplifting music is about as popular as a belief in God, or membership of the Flat Earth Society. Well, I am NOT most people. And neither, I suspect, is Michael Des Barres.

Today, Thom the World Poet takes a pop at International Moneterism. As I have just bought myself an Emma Goldman T Shirt, and am wandering about the house vaguely muttering about Proudhon under my breath, this seems an eminently sensible thing to do.

Martin Stephenson recently appeared at a Scottish Festival. Herewith a review of said Festival. I was feeling quite loquatious earlier during today's Gonzo Daily, but words have all of a sudden dried up, and I cannot think of anything else to say about the posting except for a host of inane puns on the placename Troon. That would be beneath me.

I am getting increasingly fond of the music of Erik Norlander. He is one of the most delightfully lyrical musicians that I have ever encountered, and his compositional skills just continue to get better. Why this man isn't far more widely known, I have no idea.

The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow

DALE DRINNON: A definition of Cryptozoology

New on the Frontiers of Zoology:

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1666 the Great Fire of London was finally extinguished. Most of the old city had been burnt down and six people died but Samual Pepys' cheese survived intact.

And now the news:

Five New Species of Cuckoo Bees from the Cape Verd...
Drought scorches amphibians - via Herp Digest
New Amphibian Species on the Increase- A curious p...
Home alone: Rare baby seal makes splash on local b...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposes 4 local salamander...
Fukushima fish carrying 258 times the 'safe' level...
Monogamy and the Immune System: Differences in Sex...
Scientists discover ‘penis-headed’ fish in Vietnam...

Arthur Brown preforms his hit song “fire” before a bemused and frightened audience of children (seriously keep your eyes on the audience this is priceless) :


These two Australian stories from 1903 and 1935 are for Tania especially, being from Australia and all the rest who attended the recent Weird Weekend


A strange animal is causing excitement among the residents on the Latrobe River, near Moe, Australia according to the “Daily Mail”. The creature is described as being about 3 ft high, has black hair, a short neck, and long tail. It travels along pantingly, with its tongue out, almost touching the ground.

When first seen it was at a tub of milk at Cosgriff`s farmstead. Dogs were set upon it, when the animal, darting through the woodwork of the gate and tearing it off its hinges, made off to the river bank, and there disappeared. It has been seen repeatedly since, and several shots have been fired at it, but without effect. (1)

Now from the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton,Qld) of August 1st 1935:

Two from Victoria

“Remarkable Footprints”
Melbourne July 31st

Victoria appears to be in danger of being overrun with fearsome monsters unknown to science unless something is done about it. Hard on the heels of the reappearance of the Barwon Heads sea serpent near Queenscliff comes a report from Airey`s Inlet of the appearance of a sea monster, which appears to be a younger and smaller relative of the creature seen at Queenscliff.

J.Davis, of Aairey`s Hotel, who saw it lying on the fringe of the surf, said the body was about 10 or 12 ft. long and about 2 ½ or 3 ½ ft. in girth. The head was a light grey in colour, and it had a sparse coat of darker coloured hair. It had big eyes like those of the Queenscliff monster, but there were no stripes on the body. The head was round.


Now from Gippsland, the home of many weird monster in the past, comes the story of a large mystery animal which has been seen by several prospectors in the last few days lurking in the dense bracken undergrowth near Bulumwaal.

The animal is described by E.Curtis, a prospector, as being like a large dark brown grizzly bear, with a cumbersome gait. For some months prospectors and others have been puzzled by remarkable footprints, which have been seen on the sandy margin of creeks and in soft soil. These footprints were five inches wide and marks of a set of claws were clearly visible. At other times a heavy animal has been heard crashing through the undergrowth. (2)

1. The Star February 14th 1903
2. Morning Bulletin August 1st 1935