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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Thursday, October 04, 2012


A few weeks ago I found this amusing piece of folklore in a book in Matlock Local Studies Library called “ Eckington Memories 1938 to 1942” by Rev. Nugee

“ Renishaw was of course the family seat of the Sitwell Family, and had been theirs for a hundred years or more, though previous to their purchase of it, Renishaw had been a Royal Manor even from Norman days. There were many stories of the eccentric goings on there in previous generations, which may perhaps be exaggerated or completely apocryphal. There is the story of the tiger that escaped from a travelling menagerie and ran into the Renishaw woods. The then Sitwell, turned out his packs of hounds to scent it out and bring it to bay, which the hounds successfully did. Or again the story of the Zulu servant brought home by a former Sitwell and settled down with his master at Renishaw apparently happily. Then as the Sitwell`s often did the master went abroad for some months leaving the Zulu with the rest of the household behind. Before long the Zulu disappeared and no trace of him could be found. The farmers in the country round began to report the loss of sheep, here one and there another. Then one still day a column of smoke was seen rising from the innermost recesses of the woods, where no one was thought to be. Search was made and the Zulu was found, returned to his native simplicity, clothed in sheepskins and roasting a joint of mutton over his fire in front of his hut.” (1)

1. Rev Nugee   Eckington Memories 1938 to 1942  p. 1


If you are unaware of the connection between Barry White , the soul singer, and elephants, you are about to find out:

According to the Guardian of August 3rd 2012 , the headline being `Mystery of elephants` Barry White impression`:

 Elephants are the Barry Whites of the animal kingdom, research has shown. They produce their own version of the soul singer`s seductive base tones – only much, much deeper. An elephant`s infrasound rumble, often too low for the human ear, is used to keep herds together, and by males to find mates. It allows the animals to communicate over distances of up to six miles.

The low-pitched elephant calls, on a frequency range below 20Hz, may seem to have little in common with human singing, but researchers have confirmed that both are produced in the same way. Experts wondered why, as with a cat`s purr, elephant infrasound was generated by muscular twitching movements of the vocal chords. Instead, it transpires, the sounds are made by air being blown through the larynx, as human singers do. The German team carried out tests on a larynx removed from an African elephant at a Berlin zoo. (Press Association.) (1)   

1. The Guardian August 3rd 2012.



1. Haunted Skies Volume Six by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (-)
2=. Haunted Skies Volume One by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (2)

2=. Haunted Skies Volume Two by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (2)

4=. Haunted Skies Volume Five by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (2)
5=. Haunted Skies Volume Four by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (5)
5=. Quest for the Hexham Heads by Paul Screeton (7)
7=. Haunted Skies Volume Thee by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (4)

7=. The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia by Richard Freeman (-)
9When Bigfoot Attacks by Michael Newton (-)

10. Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo by Karl Shuker (-)


1When Bigfoot Attacks by Michael Newton (2)

2. The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia by Richard Freeman (4)
3. The Inhumanoids by Barton Nunnelly (-)
4. Monster! The A-Z of Zooform Phenomena by Neil Arnold (-)

5. Monsters of Texas by Nick Redfern and Ken Gerhard (-)
6=. Quest for the Hexham Heads by Paul Screeton (-)
6=. Man Monkey by Nick Redfern (-)
8=. Haunted Skies Volume Six by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (-)

8=. Sea Serpent Carcasses: Scotland by Glen Vaudrey (4)
8=. Big Bird by Ken Gerhard (-)

Last month's positions in this pinky colour, which I think is called cerise. Sales have picked up now theOlympics and the Jubilee are over, quite possibly due to all the hard work Emsy has put in on the Facebook Group. Thank you honey.

CRYPTOLINK: Loch Ness monster found - in Poole Park lake

IT’S been cold, wet, the economy is still in the doldrums, and winter is on its way – but a prankster has managed to put smiles on the faces of visitors to Poole Park.
Loch Ness monster found - in Poole Park lakeA note written on the back of a paper bag and pushed through the door of the Daily Echo’s Poole office alerted us to a new attraction.
It said: “There’s some sort of really big fish thing stuck in the model boating part of Poole Park Lake!”
And sure enough, when we investigated, the lake had acquired its own version of the Loch Ness monster, positioned just far enough out that it could not be removed without wading into the water.

KARL SHUKER: Two mysterious birds

Just because a species has been formally named and described doesn't mean to say that it is no longer mysterious. Both of the birds documented in this present ShukerNature blog post were scientifically recognised during the 1800s, yet remain as ornithologically controversial and generally obscure today as they were back then – but they have fascinated and tantalised me ever since childhood.

Read on...

10,000 Posts

This is our 10,000th post on this main blog, and I am rather proud of the fact. I am not going to get into some idiotic macho discussion about who is the most prolific blogger in the Fortean universe, because every blog has a different modus operandi, and this one - in particular - has posted many entries which are links to other entries.

So, as this blog is - IMHO - unique, then one cannot compare like with like, because there isn't anything else quite like this one. However, I would like to thank Corinna, Graham, Lizzy, Dale, Richard M, Richard F, Karl, Oll, Andrew and everyone else who contributes to this blog on a daily basis. Thank You my dears, and I think that one thing can be said in certainty. Thgis is the biggest and best CFZ-style bloggo in the known universe!


HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mail 24.7.69.


WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Today's Fortean bird news

After about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo, Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

  • Bird Jolt Flat Track™ Shocks Pigeons off of the Ro...
  • Birders go cuckoo for rare bird: Rare sighting of ...
  • Endangered hornbill saved from radar station
  • Malta needs wildlife police force say RSPB UK and ...
  • Wildlife suffers with late berries
  • Bird watchers flock to Alpine to take in raptor mi...
  • Get bird’s eye view of the world in new documentar...


    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. In September 2012, Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

    Here is the latest tranche of news...

  • SIGHTINGS: Black cat, Melton Mowbray, Leics
  • NEWSLINK: Tragic tiger incident
  • NEWSLINK: Encounter with a puma in Oregon
  • DALE DRINNON: Giant skeletons in Alaska/Bigfoot/Cedar and Willow/Benny's Blog

    Newly Up at Frontiers of Anthropology:


    It is cold, bright and feeling decidedly autumnal. Prudence is missing Corinna terribly. Every time there is the slightest noise out in the garden she rushed outside barking joyfully, only to return minutes later looking crestfallen.I have another five days of my bachelor existence to go, but Richard arrives this afternoon, and there is an awful lot to do. So I expect that it will pass pretty quickly.

    Let's start off today with a visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet, for a very peculiar, but rather intriguing poem about a man, a fish, a lion, and some French people. A healthy dose of surrealism is a great way to start the day. Ask Andre Breton.

    As you may or may not know, each day I post these notifications to about a dozen Facebook groups (which is quite possibly where you are reading this now). Yesterday I found this image on one of them, and it made me laugh, and any schoolboyish pranks featuring our own shared cultural heritage is bound to do. 21st Century Bogey-man.

    I also found this on Facebook - a nice slice of memorabilia from Jon Anderson's recent South American Tour, that I guess most of you have not seen. By the way, if anyone has nice bits of tour memorabilia like this, email me pics, and I will post them up..

    The guy who has made one of the best records of the year, on the world's most popular TV Drama. Michael Des Barres on NCIS of course - here's the trailer..

    Rob Ayling emailed me this last night. A picture of him with the Gongfolk at a secret location in London, together with a few words about why Gong still means so much to him. They still mean a lot to me as well dude..

    I really am fond of Helen McCookerybook's writing. I also like this picture of her tuning up at a recent Brighton show, so I have pinched bits from two different bits of her blog, and put them together in my own inimitable style. Forgive me, Helen. 

    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...
    The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The Editor is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat - puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    On this day in 2010 Norman Wisdom died. Wisdom was best known for his slapstick comedy films and the fact that he was a cult figure in Albania where his appearance in 1995 eclipsed that of inexplicably popular football star David Beckham.
    And now the news:
    Norman Wisdom saying “Mr Grimsdale”: