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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Monday, March 04, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: The American Government's Advice for Yeti Hunters, 1959

This Foreign Service memo treats a science-fictional subject—the existence of the Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman—with utmost bureaucratic seriousness. Titled “Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal—Relating to Yeti,” it was issued from the American Embassy in Kathmandu on November 30, 1959.
YetiMemoFinalThe memo came at the end of a decade of strenuous Yeti-hunting. This Outside Magazine timeline of Yeti hunts tells the story in compact form. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Everest, and reported seeing large tracks. In 1954, the Daily Mail (UK) funded a sixteen-week “Snowman Expedition” to Everest to look for clues. (The newspaper is still on the case today.) And in the late 1950s, American oil millionaire and cryptozoology enthusiast Tom Slick—whose colorful life, as Badass Digest points out, should definitely be made into a movie—bankrolled a number of Himalayan expeditions in search of the creature.
Did the U.S. government believe in the Yeti, as some cryptozoologists took the memo to mean? The memo stipulated three rules: Yeti hunters must pay the Nepalese government for a permit; hunters can photograph, but not kill, any Yeti that surfaces, and must turn any photographs or captured Yeti over to Nepali officials; and new findings need to be filtered through Nepalese channels before going public.
These regulations were actually first issued by the government of Nepal in 1957. The U.S. established diplomatic relations with Nepal in 1947, and the embassy had just opened in 1959, when the memo was written. The Yeti presence in a State Department document doesn’t prove that the U.S. believed in the Snowmen. Rather, by reprinting the Nepalese government’s regulations, the embassy could show Nepal that the U.S. respected its sovereignty, even in the matter of hypothetical hairy beasts.
Thanks to Mark Murphy of the National Archives.

RSPB: Together we can save our countryside


Our supporters help us make a difference

Male yellowhammer portrait
We've had a terrific response to our recent farmland appeal - it really shows how passionate people are about the countryside, and their support for wildlife-friendly farmers.
Changes to farming techniques over the last 40 years, driven by EU policy, have had a devastating impact on nature. Numbers of birds like turtle doves, lapwings and skylarks have declined by over 50 per cent since the 1970s.
But now, more and more farmers are asking for our help to help wildlife on their farms.

We're working together with farmers

Thanks to donations from our members and supporters, we'll be able to do more in 24 specially-targeted areas where we know that farmers will be able to have a real impact on their local wildlife. Working together, we can help bring nature back to the UK's countryside.
We've put together a short film which shows that there's already a lot to celebrate - I hope you enjoy watching it.
If you'd like to help, there's still time. All donations - however small - will be very gratefully received.
Nick Droy
Head of RSPB Conservation Management Advice
Help us help farmers

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:


The 2013 Yearbook will be available very soon. I finished work on most of it last night. I just need to do the contents page, and have Corinna do the last proofread and we are all systems go. It would have been available weeks ago if it had not been for our recent computer mishaps.

This volume is therefore dedicated with love and gratitude to Steve Jones and Terry Colvin who were generous enough to pay for the data recovery service. Thank you my friends.


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.

DALE DRINNON: Cedar & Willow/Benny's Blogs

New at Cedar and Willow:
New at Benny's Blog, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
I have more blog items ready and they shall be launched and announced on days following
Best Wishes, Dale D.


Today has mostly been rather nice so far. As regular readers will know, the Orange Cat is on an extended (and probably permanent) period of sick leave in Staffordshire with my step-daughter Shosh who is a vet, and therefore better equipped to deal with his senescence-related health problems than I. However, this house has usually had an orange cat in it. We had one called Peter Perkins who lived here from 1971 until 1988, and - of course - the most recent incumbent. So, imagine how I felt when Matt Osborne, looking slightly harassed but grinning from ear to ear, turned up this morning with a plastic cat basket containing a seven month old orange kitten. Although he has a kitten's face, he is as big as the other orange cat already, and looks set to be enormous!
It's a bit like The Pope. We have a new Orange Cat but the original one remains the Orange Cat Emeritus.

Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
This is really good: Can you imagine a band featuring Viv from The Young Ones and our very own Troy Donockley?
This is completely off topic, but is still mildly interesting (and I vaguely knew John Coghlan about 20 years ago). The classic line-up of Status Quo has reformed
Results of a poll choosing the 60 best bass players of all time

*  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?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1918 the first case of Spanish flu was recorded, the resulting epidemic would take more lives than the first World War had.
And now the news:

  • Snake Island To Be 'Bombed' With Poison Mice
  • TV stars pay tribute to Blandings pig actor The Em...
  • Crocs Dined on Young Dinos, Scientists Say
  • Is pair-trawling endangering Ireland’s seals?
  • The clearest sighting of a Yeti yet... or an elabo...
  • An endangered orphan Amur tiger cub saved from poa...
  • 500-Million-Year-Old Sea Creature With Limbs Under...
  • Fidgeting clownfish benefit anemones

  • Coughs and sneezes spreads diseases: