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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

LINK: This clean enough, Ray? Staff at London Aquarium don scuba gear to scrub tanks

Most of us dread the idea of having to do a big spring clean. But when scrubbing and brushing is done in the company of fish, string rays and giant turtles, it doesn't seem so bad. Staff embarked on the Sea Life London Aquarium's annual deep clean, hopping into the tanks to scrub, scrape and wipe down the watery habitats.

You've missed a bit: Aquarist Ross Davey gets company from a sting ray as he cleans their pool
You've missed a bit: Aquarist Ross Davey gets company from a sting ray as he cleans their pool

Graham writes: When I saw this story, I reflected that it was all a bit different to my fish-tank cleaning activities at the CFZ. I see, from the photos, that these people use tooth-brushes, though - just as I do. But the tanks at the CFZ aren't big enough to require diving gear!   

Read on...


According to my stepdaughter Shoshannah, The Orange Cat now has a twitter account. @CatOfOrange. She says that it is important that he gets more followers than Lady GaGa. However, at the moment he only has 4 followers. I do not understand Twitter at all, and it makes very little sense to me, so I pass it over to you out in Gonzoland...

CRYPTOLINK: Loch Ness Monster Symposium April 2013

File:Hoaxed photo of the Loch Ness monster.jpgThis year marks the 80th anniversary of the first sighting of the modern age of the Loch Ness Monster and to mark this milestone a symposium is to be held in the city of Edinburgh on the 6th of April 2013. A variety of speakers have been lined up to talk on various aspects of this enduring story ending with a panel discussion on what the Loch Ness Monster is and is not. The speaker roster is below and the official website is here and if this is not yet up and running try the website of co-organise Gordon Rutter at this link.
Adrian Shine - The biology of Loch Ness and an overview of geography.
Roland Watson - The pre-1933 history of Loch Ness Monster and its folklore.
Paul Harrison - Loch Ness Monster History 1933-1971.
Tony Harmsworth - Loch Ness 1972 to present.
David Martin-Jones - Nessie on Film.
Charles Paxton - Statistical analysis of eyewitness reports.
Gordon Rutter - Photographic evidence of the Loch Ness monster.
Panel Discussion - Hypotheses for the Loch Ness monster: different explanations for the Loch Ness monster as both a non-monstrous and monstrous phenomena: (panel includes Adrian Shine, Paul Harrison, Steuart Campbell and Roland Watson).

The event will be sponsored by Kraken Rum and will be run under the umbrella of the Edinburgh International Science Festival which runs from the 23rd March to the 7th April. The venue will be The Counting House and further details of the event can be found again at the aforementioned websites.

Ticket purchase is essential to attend. To buy tickets, send a paypal transfer to co-organiser Charles Paxton (cgp2@st-andrews.ac.uk) for £20 – no physical tickets will be issued but the printed Paypal receipt on the day we be matched to the attendee list.

While we are on the subject of Loch Ness Monster symposiums, I would say this is the fourth event to bear that title.  The word "symposium" itself comes from the Greek word for a drinking party which seems appropriate considering the event is sponsored by a rum manufacturer and some form of alcohol will no doubt flow later. These ancient events would be held to debate, recite or celebrate events or works. I guess the drink lubricated the smooth running of the event and the "symposiarch" would decide on the strength of the drink served up depending on the type of event. Who will have that task in April is uncertain!

As far as Nessie is concerned the most famous symposium was the one that never happened in 1975. The word was out that Robert Rines and his team had got close up head, neck and body pictures of the creatures and various people from scientific and academic backgrounds were to be invited to a symposium in Edinburgh under the chairmanship of Sir Peter Scott and the sponsorship of the Royal Society to discuss these images.

DALE DRINNON: Bigfoot/Mongolian Death Worm/Benny's blogs

In the words of the Beatles song "I get by with a little help from my friends". Today there are some posts from Benny, some updates from Bigfoot Evidence and my first FOZ guest blog donated by Jeff Albertson:
New at Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd, Thelma Todd's Last Check:
And on Benny's other Blog, the "Forgotten" East Side Kid Mendie Koenig:
Best Wishes, Dale D.


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.

RSPB warn: "Don't feed the ducks bread (and chips ...


And so another day dawns. It is grey and wet, but still remarkably mild for the time of year. I voiced my concerns about the long term effects of this weather on the latest episode of OTT, and Lars Thomas wrote: "You are almost right about the mild winters and the wildflowers and butterflies. A lot of flowers - bulbs, seeds and so on - do need frosting in the ground to ensure a good crop of plants in spring. But the butterflies, or actually the eggs, larvae or pupae wintering in the ground, do not as such need a period of frost. They need their enemies, bacteria, fungi and parasites to get a good beating from the frost. In mild winters like this year, all the things that can kill a hibernating insect have perfect conditions to wreck havoc among them - and that's why a mild winter is usually followed by a poor insect or wildflower year". Thanks Lars.
I have just finished reading Pat Long's massively entertaining history of the NME, and am just starting an interesting book about the Rolling Stones 1967 drug bust. I have quite a backlog of books I have read but not reviewed so when I have cleared my desk, expect a slew of reviews and comment-essays.
Eric Burdon has a new album imminent. Gonzo has several Eric Burdon items on its roster. Coincidence? I think not
A previously unreleased song from Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Stills
Steve Howe has quite Asia. What is going to happen next? We have no idea.
The orange cat now has a twitter account courtesy of my slightly odd step-daughter. She wants the orange cat to get more followers than Lady GaGa, but as she has over 35,000,000 and the orange cat has 4, I think that this may be a slightly uphill struggle. But don't tell the orange cat, or Shoshannah, that I said that.
A new David Bowie single, and it is not going to get in the charts! Totally off-topic I know, but it's Bowie innit!
Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from Ginger Baker's Airforce
*  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 same team also do a
weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures 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 which he shares with various fish and batrachians. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1927 Fritz Lang's film Metropolis was released in Germany.
And now the news:
  • Chemical Modules That Mimic Predator-Prey and Othe...
  • Kenya hunts ivory poachers after elephant family k...
  • Glimmer of hope for Greece’s Loggerhead turtles
  • 'Rare' Indonesian dragons hatched by Cambridgeshir...
  • Britain’s only resident orca pod – No breeding for...
  • Vodka 'saved' elephants in Siberian freeze

  • Watch the remastered and restored version of Metropolis here, good film: