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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Friday, October 05, 2012

CFZ CANADA: A new bigfoot report

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is reporting that Maggie Cruikshank Qingalik, who is from Akulivik, Que., said her friend saw some kind of creature out in the wilderness.  It was a REALLY BIG something.

The two ladies were out berry picking and saw what they thought was someone else doing the same.  Then they realized the other “person” was about ten feet tall and covered in dark hair.  A Facebook photograph puts the footprint at about 40 centimeters.

Read on...


.....and we don't forget things like that, here at the CFZ

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Tell me about this Japanese turtle

I took this photo in Whitby Library towards the end of September 2012. It was in their Asian ethnographical cabinet. The plaque accompanying the drawing, in a Japanese natural history book,says,if you cannot read it:” Book of Natural History from Japan. Dated  Spring in the First Year of Genji (1864) Gift of H.P. Kendall in 1955   WHITM : ETH 63.”

I did a cursory Google research on this attractively coloured tortoise or turtle but so far have found no indication as to its identity. It could be nothing new to science at all, I just don`t know. Do you? - Dr Devo

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:
  • Weird Aliens! — Karl Shuker on weird and creepy critters in UFO encounters...
  • Hexham Heads: A Great Read — A tale of strange creatures, occult phenomena, Fortean events and supernatural strangeness...
From CFZ Canada:
  • 29 September Quebec Bigfoot Sighting — The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that Maggie Cruikshank Qingalik said her friend saw some kind of creature out in the wilderness...

Oll's Magical Mystery Tour: The Giants of Plymouth

I've been quite busy since I moved out of CFZ HQ almost a year ago, but this last week has been my busiest yet. It started with me getting engaged, continued with me registering my new business with the revenue, writing and planning out the route for my first event, a tour of the Strange History of Plymouth, and will culminate in me presenting the first of my tours at 4pm this Saturday ( 6th of October 2012).

The “Strange History of Plymouth Tour” is a fantastic fifty minute foray into Plymouth's paranormal past, that will leave at 2pm & 3pm from the Shrimp sculpture near the Mayflower Steps every Saturday from the 13th of October, with a special 'première' tour (with £1 off the normal price) at 4pm on the 6th of Oll's Magical Mystery Tour: The Giants of Plymouth

I've been quite busy since I moved out of CFZ HQ almost a year ago, but this last week has been my busiest yet. It started with me getting engaged, continued with me registering my new business with the revenue, writing and planning out the route for my first event, a tour of the Strange History of Plymouth, and will culminate in me presenting the first of my tours at 4pm this Saturday ( 6th of October. Normal price is only £6 and quite frankly you'd be mad to miss out. See my company's facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/BlackCatPlanning

Plymouth is not perhaps the first place you think of when it comes to strange and fortean events, but you would be surprised! In my tour alone there are Sea Monsters, witches, ghosts, unsolved mysteries, poltergiests and Giants. That is perhaps more high strangeness than you would encounter in any other UK city. But, hang on, did I just mention Giants? In Plymouth?

Up until the 18th century there were two large and ancient giants carved into the earth of Plymouth Hoe, similar to the Cerne Abbas giant or the Uffington White Horse, the larger of which was known as Gogmagot.

Gog and Magog are the names given to two giants found in Hebrew folklore. The giants appear in the books of Ezekiel and Revelations in the Bible as representatives of a powerful nation to the North of Israel that would oppose it.

The giant Gogmagot in English folklore is probably unrelated to the Giants of the Hebrew folklore as it is thought rather than being named after the pair of Hebrew Giants his name was a corruption of Gawr Maddoc which means Maddoc the great, when translated from Cornish or Welsh, so he was probably a well respected or strong local king.

The story of Gogmagot, was that when settling Britain the Trojan heroes Brutus and Corineus met with little resistance apart from a tribe of giants in the South West. One day while having dinner at their camp on the Hoe these giants attacked Brutus' party and led to a scene of carnage resulting in the deaths of many on each side. Gogmagot was the strongest of the giants and found himself facing off against Corineus himself. After a heated battle the giant was able to shatter three of Corineus' ribs. The battle looked won for Gogmagot but in a fit of rage the wounded Corineus ran towards the giant and lifted him aloft using a superhuman strength throwing his foe to the rocks below. Gogmagot's body shattered and tore on the jaged stones killing him and body was washed out to sea.

In commemoration of this event the people were said to have carved the figure of a giant into the thin layer of earth on the hoe, measuring 12 cubits in length.

The story of Brutus' founding of Britain was just a legend, but it is known that there was a huge carving of a giant on Plymouth Hoe called Gogmagot as far back as 1496 and were probably there a great deal longer as the original source notes it had been cleared of weeds by the people of Plymouth for many generations.

Although the original source doesn't explicitly mention a second smaller figure that is meant to represent Corineus there were definitely two figures carved on the Hoe by 1606.

One of the figures was, according to local legend, carved where the citadel stands now, but the location of the second figure has been lost to time and would have been covered over by landscaping between the 18th and 19th centuries.

When the foundations of the citadel were being built and the carved giant obliterated, it is said that the builders found a huge human jawbone buried under it. Maybe the giants had originally been carved as a monument to a great warrior or king from Devon and the legend was created by people who saw the carved pictures after the warrior or king himself was no longer remembered.

DOUG SHOOP: Autumn bees

I’m back in Minnesota and what a beautiful day it was today.

The severe drought is providing some wonderful dry and sunny days.

The bee’s were enjoying it as well.

D.R. Shoop


A while ago a company called Necomimi combined some sort of transcutaneous sensor with a few other things to create these apparently thought-controlled cat ears:


Now they've taken the same idea and linked it to a tail, plus a smart-phone geo-tagging system of some description:


Personally I can't watch either without laughing out loud; both look utterly silly, but a nice way to lighten an afternoon.

The thought also occurs that a certain Barry Tadcaster's act might be greatly improved were he to wear these whilst on stage...

Dan Holdsworth

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mail 25.11.69.

WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Today's Fortean bird news

In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that - whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot, or lake monsters - it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean Zoologist to be interested in. So, 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.

  • Why do some species go extinct, but not others?
  • Take a gander at wildlife spectacle
  • BTO cuckoo update
  • Record numbers of birds used Britain’s wetlands du...
  • Lead gunshot still killing many British birds desp...
  • Chilean birders use eBird for their Breeding Bird ...
  • Scientists find homolog of mammalian neocortex in ...
  • Rare, endangered bird spotted in Pasadena, San Gab...
  • Battelle to pay $96K for bird problems
  • Technology tracks rare birds


    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...

  • NEWSLINK: Mystery cat in Dorset
  • SIGHTING: Trailcam jaguar in Arizona
  • NEWSLINK: More on the Australian mystery cat news
  • SIGHTING: Illinois, cougar
  • NEWSLINK: Rare tiger
  • SIGHTING: West Lancashire
  • DALE DRINNON: Bigfoot issues/Cedar and Willow/Benny's blog

    New on the Frontiers of Zoology:


    Well, another working week has come and gone. Richard arrived here yesterday evening, and the two of us will be giving a lecture at Appledore Library tomorrow evening at about 7:30. Please come along if you feel like it. We also send all our good wishes and healing thoughts to Annie Haslam of Renaissance who has just had to cancel some dates of the new tour because of a back injury. In the meantime I am reading Neil Young's autobiography which is a complete shambles but oddly rivetting, and am still massively amused by the latest trailcam pictures of a big cat (probably a jaguar) in Arizona:

    Corinna is still in Staffordshire, but will be returning on tuesday with her mother and a breeding pair of Chinese spiny toads in tow! And today marks the second anniversary of Biggles going to the great kennel in the sky. Life, truly is a bit surreal at times...

    We start off with our daily visit to Thom the World Poet, who today is talking about Charles Bukowski.

    OK, the Magick Brothers tour came and went last month, and it could be argued that it is pretty much redundant to be posting the flyer for it now. However, the artwork and design of the flyer (which I actually found on Facebook for the first time yesterday) is so unutterably groovy (and we seem to be on a Gong jag here at the Gonzo Daily) that I really couldn't resist posting it...

    Michael Des Barres is getting more and more spot on with every day that passes. His commentaries upon the state of the rock and roll nation are unmissable - check him out on the subject of rock biographies...

    Yesterday I pinched a couple of pieces from the blog of the multi-talented Ms McCookerybook, about her recent John Peel memorial gig in Brighton. Then, as I was posting the notifications to all and sundry on Facebook I saw these pics from the same show, and being a thieving magpie I nicked them...

    Once again, I found this on Facebook whilst pootling about with the notifications yesterday. The vast majority of today's stuff has come through the medium of Facebook, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is true for lots of journalistic types in these degenerate days. However, at least I have the good grace to admit it.

    I was as shocked as anyone else when I read this letter from Annie on the Renaissance blog this morning. I only interviewed her a few weeks ago, and was captivated by her personality and sense of humour. I hope you feel better soon my dear, and I look forward to being able to post some more positive news very soon. 

    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 1969 the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus was shown.
    And now the news:
    A classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: