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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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The first thing that I saw when I opened my emails this morning was Loren's well reasoned announcement that it has been claimed that Melba Ketchum's long awaited paper describing the sequencing of the sasquatch genome was to be finally published this week in the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology.  The details are

The second thing I received was a bunch of venomous emails deriding Dr Ketchum from people that I have never heard of. I deleted them and got on with my morning activities.

However, events have trundled on, and now an online publication called Denovo claims to be publishing the paper. The Journal of Advanced Multidisciplanary Exploration in Zoology certainly seems to exist (despite claims on the internet) but their website is rudimentary and the links are dodgy. It seems to be published by a bunch called SCHOLASTICA (who sound somewhat like a Britpop band from twenty years ago) who claim to provide a service whereby you can...

"Manage and publish your existing journal, or lead the Open Access movement in your field by starting a new journal. Scholastica makes it easy to collaborate on a journal and publish scholarship at the click of a button. Scholastica puts control over scholarly publishing back into the hands of scholars."

Gosh. And Denovo? They appear to be a website which it is claimed is owned by Melba Ketchum. I tried to log in to their press room, but I have no press card, and apparently as I am not a journalist I am not trustworthy enough to have access. I used to do contract work for the News of the World so my honesty and probity should be above suspicion. So I wrote: 

To whom it may concern:
Whilst I do not have an accredited press card, I am the editor of the world's oldest cryptozoological journal, and the daily online magazine http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/ which gets hits of between 2-5,000 every day. I also present a monthly webTV show about cryptozoology, which has preoduced more than 60 episodes.
Would it be possible for me to have access to your press room?
Yours faithfully,
Jon Downes
(Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology)

I totally agree with Loren who writes that he looks forward to reading the entire paper. So do I. And, I would like to state publically that no-one would be happier than me if this paper does prove the existence of the elusive North American manbeast. However, the confusion surrounding the journal which is doing the publication, the fact that the original citation says that the paper was published last month, the fact one of the journals claimed for publishing the thing seems to be a website owned by the main author, and the other appears to be an open access POD operation which doesn't actually show the title in its catalogue does not do the credibility of the paper any favours.
I want to stress that I am not mud slinging. No-one knows better than me that the internet is a bloody bear pit, and that it is very easy to become the sacrificial victim of a self righteous mob. I have been in that position on several occasions, and it is not a pleasant place to be. I would urge everyone to sit back and wait for the paper to be published. The personal attacks on Dr Ketchum are completely out of order, and I think that those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.


Last week I was taking time off because of a medical condition. Its time for me to get back to regular blogging now.
New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
And Benny has a Valentine's Day theme at his blog for Thelma Todd:
(Benny says he might do a second one at his other blog tomorrow)


I know nothing about this at all except I found it on China`s equivalent of Google, baidu.com. When I clicked on it I was taken to a hairless civet cat!

JON: I believe it is a balding masked palm civet
What do you think?


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.


I seem to spend my whole time writing about the status of my computers and internet access. It is not just that the aetiology of it all is rather interesting, and that the progress of events is even more so, but that in only a few short years we have all become so completely reliant on computers that we are really up the proverbial gum, tree without them. Yesterday, the promised improvements from BT came to pass, and I went from .20mbps to over 160 (which is about half of what it should be, but still a massive improvement). Dave B-P did some other telephone stuff and prepared to leave, but by the time he went the clocked rate had plummetted to nearly zero, and it stayed there until about 10:00PM when it rose slightly. This morning it was over 100mbps which was somewhat encouraging, but it has been dropping slowly ever since. Like Dave says, it seems that whatever BP did to fix the line has come undone...
I watched this show by Peter Hammill the other night and had to share it with you

*  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:

* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?


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.

  • NEWSLINK: Illegal wildlife trade in big cats is th...
  • NEWSLINK: Most endangered big cat – amur leopard -...
  • NEWSLINK: Big Data and Analytics Helping to Protec...
  • NEWSLINK: Big cat eyes up lad for lunch
  • NEWSLINK: The big cat fights for space
  • NEWSLINK: Big cat import law must be enforced
  • OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    On this day in 1542 Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of King Henry VIII was executed at his behest. She is reputed to haunt Hampton Court Palace.
    And now the news:

  • German gets jail time for Galapagos iguana smuggli...
  • Giant Pandas May Be Threatened by Forest Reform
  • The Genes Behind Fido's Facial Features
  • Rounding Up the Rattlers-Georgia Hamlet's Rattlesn...
  • New fish discovered by scientists from University ...
  • Giant crocodile dies and a town mourns
  • Yet another Critically Endangered Red wolf killed ...
  • Who, What, Why: Are urban fox numbers rising?

  • The ghosts of Hampton Court Palace: