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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Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Yesterday was overshadowed by the death of Mary Shuker - the mother of our old friend Dr Karl Shuker. She was 92. I only met her on one occasion (despite having been friends with Karl for the past 20 years), but she was a delightful old lady, and I am sad that I will not be able to renew the acquaintanceship. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karl at this devastating time for him.

Corinna and I are going away in an hour or so, and will not be back until Wednesday or Thursday. We are going to visit the orange cat (who lives with Shosh and Gavin in Staffordshire) and then going to collect Mama for another protracted visit. Along the way we are intending to visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. 

In the meantime Graham is in charge. I will probably not have access to a computer this time, so don't expect answers to emails...

Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from Helen McCookerybook and Martin Stephenson
Once again we repair to Austin for our daily audience with Thom the World Poet
I agree with the author of this article who described Kevin Ayers' 'Lady Rachel' as "Prog Rock's greatest uneasy love song"
The latest episode of my monthly webTV show (and this month it features me singing an awful version of Led Zep's 'Immigrant Song'
An article based on Helen McCookerybook's academic research

*  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 a not very small orange kitten (who isn't) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. 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 cats?


Loch Ness

Tourism officials at Loch Ness made a shocking revelation today – the Loch Ness Monster is a creation of their marketing department.

"It all started back in the early years of the 20th century," says Nigel Pratt, Public Relations Manager for the Loch Ness Convention and Visitors Bureau. "You have to remember that Scotland was very poor back then. Tourists generally went to vacation hotspots like Blackpool. It was tough to compete. "Highlander" hadn't come out yet so nobody knew the first thing about Scotland. They didn't know their haggis from a hole in the ground."

Read on...


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.


    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: Mystery of Maharashtra's happy sugarcane...
  • NEWSLINK: Squirrels watch out... now LEOPARDS are ...
  • FEATURELINK: Big cat country: lesser known wildlif...
  • NEWSLINK: Study: Big Cats Living in Urbanized Area...
  • FEATURELINK: The little boy with the big cat: Hear...
  • FEATURELINK: Lion kills heron: A stork reminder of...
  • CFZ PEOPLE: Mary Shuker (1921-2013)

    "Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home."
                                                                                                                The Tibetan Book of the Dead

    CRYPTOZOOLOGY ONLINE: On The Track (Of Unknown Animals) Episode 67

    The latest episode of our monthly webTV show from the CFZ and CFZtv, bringing you news on our activities within cryptozoology and natural history as well as the latest cryptozoological, and monster hunting news from around the world. I can't believe that we have done this every month for five years now - 67 episodes. Golly!

    This episode brings you:

    Karl Shuker's mother
    A Viking invasion
    CFZ in winter/spring
    The South Park Mystery Cat
    Back to Huddisford
    Fremington birds
    - Spoonbill
    - Spotted Redshank
    Bullheads near Widecombe
    Jay's Grave
    Wheatear at Haytor
    Golden frogs of Bovey Tracey
    Cavemen of Lustleigh Cleave
    Medcroc (and a song)
    Spiny Mice
    Cichlid puzzles
    Almasty droppings?
    Unseasonal weather
    Corinna looks at out of place birds
    New and Rediscovered: Rediscovered rhino population
    New and Rediscovered: Rediscovered lizard
    New and Rediscovered: Rediscovered frog

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1962 the first Panda crossings became operational in the UK. They're not nearly as exciting as they sound as they involve no actual pandas, but they're quite interesting. Panda crossings were sort of half-way between a Zebra crossing (the ones with permanently flashing beacons and pedestrian right of way) and Pelican crossings (the ones with traffic lights, a button and red and green men) in that they operated like a zebra crossing with beacons but only after a button was pressed. Needless to say this was stupid, pointless and caused accidents so the Panda crossings only lasted until 1967 when they were replaced by Pelican crossings. Now that you know the differences between zebra, panda and pelican crossings you can impress your friends, co-workers and any members of the opposite sex (or same sex if that's your bag) that you are hoping to court or woo.