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 25, 2012

CFZ Watcher of the Skies


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.

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    New on Frontiers of Zoology:


    Dear readers, I recently came across the following story in  The Preston Illustrated Newspaper of July 4th 1874: (Cooraclare is in  west County Clare.)

    The Mysterious Wild Beast in Ireland  (I hadn`t found this whilst researching for my `Irish Snakes, Wild Cats and Other Mysterious Animals in BioFortean Notes volume 2)

    The unknown wild animal, called the dingo has again visited the neighbourhood  of the classic regions of Cooraclare. The recipient of his favours on this occasion was Mr John O`Brien, of Danganelly.  Mr O` Brien had left his sheep out for some time past, and the consequence is that four of them, one of which was half eaten, and sixteen wounded. Many strange surmises are rife among the farmers of this neighbourhood as to the probable nature of this animal. Some suppose it to be a wolf; some a brown bear; while some superstitious old women will tell you that it is neither one nor the other, but some condemned spirit who, for his blood-thirstiness in this life,has, as a punishment, been adjudged to continue it in the next. One thing is certain,however, that this mischievous  creature, no matter what it is, will not be forgotten by the  farmers of Kilmihill and Cooraclare for a few generations to come. His name has now become a “ household word”, and it is no uncommon thing at all to hear some of the folks in those localities to swear by “the skin of the dingo.” (1)

    According to In The Tracks of the West Clare Railway by Eddie and Edmund Lenihan   On April 21 a large beast was shot 1 mile south of Cooraclare at Gower. “Much to the disappointment of everyone , the dingo turned out  to be only  a mastiff…Some thought it a wolf, some a bear, others an evil or tormented spirit. Whatever it was, we are no wiser today, for just like Jack the Ripper, it vanished as mysteriously as it had come, leaving an enigma that cries out for a solution.” (2)

    The last wolf in Ireland was supposed to have been killed in Co. Carlow in 1786

    1. The Preston Illustrated Newspaper July 4th 1874
    2. E & E Lenihan  In The Tracks Of The West Clare Railway (2008) p. 216

    CRYPTOLINKS: Tales from the Vault - Origin of the Cadborosaurus legend

    The carcass of what could have been a young Cadborosaurus was cut from the stomach of a sperm whale in Naden Harbour in Esquimalt in 1937.

    The carcass of what could have been a young Cadborosaurus was cut from the stomach of a sperm whale in Naden Harbour in Esquimalt in 1937.

    Photograph by: Wikipedia , Times Colonist

    Hubert Evans was one of the most highly respected writers in British Columbia.
    Born in 1892, he lived most of his life at Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast. While mainly a novelist, he knew the wildlife well and wrote extensively on it. He was also known for his exceptional honesty and integrity. So when he told the writer Howard White he had seen a sea serpent, he was instantly believed.
    In an article in Raincoast Chronicles, White recounts Evans' story. One day in 1932, Evans and another man were working on a road. A neighbour came running up, urging them to come and see something.
    Read on...


    As a child in the late 1960s, I owned several of the animal editions in a series of tiny but fascinating books, each barely 3 inches long and containing just 32 pages, which were published by Bancroft and were aptly entitled 'Bancroft Tiddlers'. Sadly, most of mine are now long gone, having either fallen apart from over-enthusiastic use or been cut up for their pictures to paste in my numerous animal scrapbooks that I used to prepare with great zeal back in those far-distant days.

    Read on...


    It seems that someone attacked the CFZ website and inserted malicious script on it. The whole affair has now been sorted, but it does make one wonder what sort of person is responsible for such things. Is it just a random attack by an anonymous person, somewhat akin to graffiting a wall? Or is it a deliberate attack on us by someone who does not like me or the CFZ? I have no idea, and don't really care. I just hope that it doesn't happen again (but it probably will). Our new trainee Sherri joins the office this evening, and I hope that the lovely Jess H will be here later.
    I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. This week we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...
    I have not forgotten about editing the footage that I took in Southampton the other day, but I am completely snowed under with stuff at the moment. However, to keep your interest at a fever pitch here is some footage of Jefferson Starship in Paris last week..
    It is probably because I am a great fan of Robert Heinlein and his Future History series of stories, but I am very fond of daydreaming about 'what ifs', and imagining alternate universes where certain events in history didn't happen. One big 'what if' for followers of the eccentric mix of musical styles which can be found on the Gonzo Daily, is 'what if, Lemmy had not been busted on Hawkwind's 1975 US Tour... http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/10/link-lemmy-id-still-be-in-hawkwind-if.html
    There are many advantages to living out in the sticks in rural North Devon, but one of the disadvantages is that many of the tours that I would like to see don't come anywhere near here. One such tour is Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman - so I will have to be content with this live review that I found online...
    A link to an interesting interview with the ever lovely Annie Haslam. I hope that your back is getting better, my dear...
    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 1973 Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila, the only man to win gold in the Olympic games marathon barefoot, died.
    And now the news:

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  • Highlights of Bikila's awesome feet of endurance at the 1960s games: