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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Saturday, September 08, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: Essex, 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

Starting off in woods on the Rutland/Leicestershire border where there have been several sightings. Interestingly, Corinna and I were there last November and I distinctly heard a leopard coughing. We were in woodland owned by a local animal sancturay, and it turned out that they had several leopards off show...

Big cat sighting: Oakham couple spot panther-like cat in woods
This is Leicestershire
ESSEX may have grabbed the lion's share of attention but Leicestershire is not without its own reports of big cat sightings. An Oakham soldier and his wife spotted what they believed to be a large cat prowling through the undergrowth at Wakerley woods ...

Couple report 'big cat' sighting in Wakerley Woods
Rutland Times
“It couldn't have been anything else other than a big cat. “It was less than 100 yards away and slightly worrying, but it didn't appear frightened by us and it just strolled off. “I told my wife who was a lot closer to it than me and she was a bit ...

The Essex big cat sightings continue, and meanwhile in St Osyth everyone still does their best to cash in on the furore of a few weeks ago.

Essex residents claimed to have seen a lion
This is Hull and East Riding
THE possible puma is not the first big cat sighting to be reported this summer. Officers spent almost 24 hours combing the countryside around Clacton-on-Sea after a group of residents claimed to have seen a lion in St Osyth, Essex. But after search ...

St Osyth cashes in on big cat scare as choc sales soar
Clacton and Frinton Gazette
Cops called off the hunt after finding no evidence of the mystery big cat. The Beast of St Osyth later turned out to be nothing bigger than a ginger tom called Teddy, owned by Leisure Glades Park resident Ginny Murphy, 51. Email · Print this page ...


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.

Big cat 'hunt' derided
Weekly Times Now
"Given that the minister is continuously espousing the virtues of the Coalition Government's fox and wild dog bounty, I think it is only fitting that a bounty be introduced for Victoria's big cats," he said. Mr Helper also said the Government's desktop ...

Big cat and cubs wander in to S.W. Calgary community
MetroNews Canada
Police say they were called in to the southwest community of Lakeview Wednesday morning for reports of a cougar and two cubs wandering the streets. Duty Insp. Paul Stacey said the call came in around 7:30 a.m. when a woman spotted the big cat in the ...

Does Malawi need a study on big wild cats or it's much ado about nothing?
The Maravi Post
“Where the big wild cats existed and continue to exist, they have made very big contribution to the tourist attraction in Malawi's national parks and wildlife reserves such as Kasungu, Liwonde, Lengwe Nyika National Parks, Vwaza, Majete and Nkhotakota ...

The United States really is having problems now as the puma population expands into areas where it has not been seen for decades. What do they do? And how do they cope? Badly, I am afraid, is often (but not always) the case

Wildlife officials prepare to smooth path for panther into Central Florida
But no other state that has prime panther habitat has wanted to take the big cats, and federal and state officials have shied away from trying to relocate any into another part of Florida because of the potential controversy. Now the Florida Fish and ...

Winnetka on lookout for a wayward cougar
Chicago Tribune
But after the most recent sighting of a large cat on the North Shore — this time in Winnetka — a wildlife control specialist on Wednesday installed cameras throughout the community in hopes of confirming its existence. Authorities also sifted the ...

Cougar took down horse, owners say
Joanne Stanley believes a large cat of some kind is responsible for spooking her horses in the early hours of Aug. 26 and that the animal is directly linked to her having to put down her long-time equine companion Lily. “It was 1 a.m. I was in bed and ...

Mountain Lion Possibly Spotted in San Anselmo
One officer, who thought they spotted the big cat near the property, said it looked more like a bobcat or a feral cat, Khalili said. There haven't been many mountain lion sightings reported to the police recently in the Ross Valley, but commenters on ...

The United States should really take a leaf out of India's book. India has a much better record in dealing with their big cats, even those which have attacked people..

Tiger strays into forest area on city outskirts
Times of India
The big cat has killed three cattle belonging to the people living around. Asked if this striped animal has forayed into the jungles on the outskirts of the city from the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary, the official said they were not sure about it. "We ...

Rahmankheraaa 'stray' tiger in search of 'home' in Dudhwa
Times of India
To the extent, it has been an "aloof" existence, so far, for the big cat, wildlife officials said added that the tiger was radio-collared before being released in the wild, as it had ventured out of the forest and strayed into the city. "In such a case ...

Watch, learn, save the tiger
Times of India
In his Kannada documentary, 'Hsuli Suva Daari' (Truth About Tiger), filmmaker Shekhar Dattatri talks about the big cats disappearing at an alarming rate. As per government estimates in 2011, there were less than 1,700 tigers left in the country. The 40 ...

Van Vihar awaits nod for tigress from Jaipur
Times of India
BHOPAL: Van Vihar National Park cum zoo authorities is waiting for green signal from the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to bring a tigress from Jaipur to revive big cat population in the sanctuary here. "Under animal exchange programme we have plan to ...


As some of you are aware, I am a musician in my own right, and as well as writing Gonzostuff each day have been making albums that very few people buy for thirty years now. If you are interested, some of them are on Spotify, Jon Downes Jon Downes and the Amphibians from Outer Space, but this post is not about me. For the last couple of my records I have used drum samples purchased from Dooley's Drums which is owned and run by Jim Dooley. This evening I had a heartbreaking email from him:

Hi everyone,

You may have noticed that I haven't uploaded any new beats lately. Unfortunately there is a sad reason to this. Two weeks ago I found out that my daughter has a large tumor growing on and around her liver. We are still waiting a final diagnosis and treatment plan. I hope to be able to get back to making drum loops soon; in fact they may help pass the time in the hospital.

If you would like to read more, you can do so at

Thank you for your understanding,

Jim Dooley

She is a talented young lady, and the latest news is that she has been diagnosed with epithelial hemangioendothelioma (EHE), which is - bizarrely - what my mother died of. I felt impelled to publicise her case as widely as I can.

Love and respect


DALE DRINNON: Bigfoot/Cedar and Willow

New on Frontiers of Zoology:

Very human-looking Bigfoot this time around
(Not to worry, the "Hunters" intend to photograph bigfoot if at all possible,
instead of shooting firearms)

New at Cedar and Willow
How a real-life story inspired a comic book title

HAUNTED SKIES: Sun (The) 1.3.68.


It's sunday afternoon because the editor overslept
because it was after 5am when into bed he crept
but he still lives up to his obligations, and sunday is the time
he puts his poet hat on his head and does this blog in rhyme

We start off with a story that means a lot to me
It has now't to do with Gonzo but its here as you can see
the drummer's daughter is unwell, and because I really feel
for her and for her family, I'm posting this appeal

This next story is groovy but it is off-topic too
its an extraordinarily obscure track from 1972
with a classic animation that is really very good
a witch by Oliver Postgate taken out of Pogle's Wood

We are all agog to hear this next new music, can you guess?
A collaboration between three blokes who used to be in Yes
Jon and Rick and Trevor are recording so it seems
a combination of these three is a prog fans wildest dreams

Michael Des Barres is a fine musician and songwriter can't you see?
his new album is 'Carnaby Street', its a bloody good LP
or it would have been in the old days but its now a compact disc
that should be in your collection, c'mon buy it, take the risk..

Mimi Page is a talented Lass, and her album is fantastic
and her work inspires other folk to do remixes quite drastic
she's got me into dubstep which was really no mean feat
so here's another cool remix, so your collection is complete

The doggerel I write each week is mere drivel I'll admit
when you compare it to the real stuff wot proper poet's writ
Thom the World Poet is one of the proper literary guys
but we post his poetry every day, so that's really no surprise

And finally one of my favourites in the music biz,
it's sunday so I'm honour bound to write about our Liz
what Auburn stuff are we posting now, gosh can't you guess
its pictures of Ms Lenten singing songs in the US

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

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1828 the author and philosopher Leo Tolsky was born. Tolsky is interesting in that everyone pretending to be clever and a bit pretentious claims to have read one of his books (usually “War and Peace” because it's very long and claiming to have read it will give them more “Psude Points” among their peers when talking about how they don't watch telly as it rots the brain when secretly they slope off to their bedrooms to watch TOWIE and Big Brother every night), of course for every 1000 people who claim to have read his works only 1 will have and everyone else probably just read a summery of the plot on wikipedia.

And now the news:

Trailer for the new Anna Karenina film, which you can watch and then claim to have read the book: