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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Sunday, March 17, 2013

ANDREW MAY: Bigfoot, Richard III and Outsider Science

Last month saw not one but two major news stories revolving around the subject of DNA analysis. In America, there was the long-awaited publication of the Bigfoot DNA results, first announced in a press release in November last year. 

In Britain, there was the just as eagerly anticipated announcement that the remains unearthed in Leicester last September are indeed those of King Richard III, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Read on...



Today`s Country Diary in The Guardian, March 14th 2013 carries an interesting account by Phil Gates of the feral macaws of the town of Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria:

“From the moment the nerve-jangling screeches – on a par with the sound of glass stoppers turning in the necks of bottles – were unleashed from the rooftops, it was obvious which of the shoppers in the street were local residents and which were first time visitors. The former went about their business without an upward glance; the latter stopped in their tracks,stared upwards, then reached for their cameras. Kirkby Stephen`s small flock of scarlet macaws has been a raucous feature of the town ever since the late John Strutt (1) began to provide a refuge for unwanted parrots on his farm at nearby Eden Place.As a dedicated animal lover and conservationist, Strutt managed his 900 acres using low-intensity farming methods for the benefit of birds, butterflies and wild flowers, and also indulged his passion for exotic birds, which he could never bear to see confined to an aviary.

Our first encounter with his feral macaws was on a footpath near his farm, where a few feathers left under the trees by a bird preening left us puzzling over who had been the owner of such exotic plumage, all the primary colours from a child`s paintbox. For the most part, the macaws stay close to home in the Eden valley, but they are regular visitors to Kirkby Stephen`s rooftops, where they have become local celebrities. There will be some who will point to the proliferation of troublesome, feral ring-necked parakeets in London and frown on the deliberate introduction of any non-native species, but this population has remained small, stable and local.

As we crossed the road to the bakery, a pair peered down at us from the parapet above, Technicolour adornments to grey roofs on a grey day. Then they flew low and fast above cars and lorries along Market Street, trailing long tail plumes and ear-piercing screeches – Amazonia on a bitterfly cold Cumbrian afternoon.” (2)

There is a You Tube video showing the macaws – see Ref 3.


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.

Ancient avocet returns home to RSPB Titchwell Mars...

DALE DRINNON: Peruvian long necked beast, Benny's Blogs, Cedar & Willow

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Cedar and Willow:
New at Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd:
(And please remember tht the actress Thelma is supposed to be the representation of the character Cedar at Cedar and Willow)


On Sundays as regulars all know
I set my poetic muse loose to go
and every week about this time
I do the Gonzo blogs in rhyme
Why? You might well ask my friend
why I mental effort should expend
on rhymes for the Gonzo office staff,
it's simple cos it makes me laugh
So first I'll take you down to Austin
to meet a man whose rhymes are bostin'
Thomas Woodruffe is his name
being the World Poet is his game
Regular readers will know this fact
although I have a lack of tact
Liz Lentens album is great, OK?
That's why its the Gonzo Track of the Day
Helen McCookerybook in Limerick Town
wearing her academic gown
lecturing on her personal picks
from the history of rock and roll chicks
Read this now (I think you'd better)
cos the new edition of our newsletter
edited by this Gonzo freak
has just gone out like it does each week
Rob Ayling sent me this, you know
it's something you must see, you know
Here's something that you must not miss
Jakko and that dude from Genesis
Here's something special from me to you
its a complimentary Belgian review
of Judy Dyble's new CD
which the other day was sent to me
And finally, c'mon guys can't you guess
It's an interview with Chris from Yes
about his current US tour
and other stuff that went before
*  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) and his new orange kitten 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

Happy St Patrick's day to all our Irish chums (and also to students who will no doubt be enjoying the opportunity for a piss up while wearing a 'zany' green plastic hat with a brewery’s logo on it).
And now the news:
  • Scottish basking shark tagging project to be exten...
  • Deadly poison threat to tigers
  • Rare black seal pup rescued in Scotland
  • Spiders, Not Birds, May Drive Evolution of Some Bu...
  • Sri Lankan Snake Study Reveals New Species, Rich B...
  • Bat Disease: More Accurate, Sensitive DNA Test All...
  • Bottlenose Dolphin Leaders More Likely to Lead Rel...
  • De-extinction - via D R Shoop

  • You can't get more Irish than this: