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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Thursday, April 04, 2013

CFZ PEOPLE: Mary Downes (1922-2002)

My mother would have been 81 today

If I were hanged on the highest hill,

Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,

Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine! 


I have today been looking at a story from 1928 on the death of a significant number of people from eating the meat of a cryptid tortoise-like animal found dead in the ancient kingdom of Travancore in south-west India in 1928. I`m aware (thanks to Chad Arment, see links 1 and 2.) that eating tortoise or turtle meat can kill, but this story involves a cryptid apparently:

Sunday Times ( Perth, W.Australia) 30th September 1928


Eighteen Persons Succumb

Through Eating Flesh of Giant Sea Animal

Calcutta Saturday Sept 29th

Eighteen deaths have occurred in a fishing village in Travancore as the result of four families eating the flesh of a sea animal resembling a giant tortoise, which was caught nibbling the nets spread on the shore. Half of the flesh was divided among the captors and the rest sold in the market. Twelve members of families died after a feast and many who bought the flesh in the market are seriously ill, while six died.

Experts examined the shell and declare it is not an ordinary tortoise , and the species is unknown. The local government has ordered an enquiry into the tragedy.(3)

(Could this be the highest death toll by a single cryptid – albeit a dead one? – R)

  1. http://www.nation.sc/index.php?art=22502
  1.  http://pacificfamilyhealth.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/turtle-meat-poisoning-in-papua-new-guinea-a-review-of-literature/
  1. Sunday Times Sept 30th 1928

DALE DRINNON: Loch Ness Monster, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology, Guest Blogger Scott Mardis:
New at Frontiers of Anthropology, Guest Blogger Jayasree:
New at Benny's Blog, The Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
A Cedar And Willow blog scheduled to come out today has been discarded and shall have to be done over again.


We arrived home at a horribly late hour last night, and it is very nice to be back. There is a whole pile of things facing us and so we will be busy for some days. What makes this even worse/better is that Max is coming down to see us tonight (so I suspect a little drink will be in order) and tomorrow my student Sheri comes down for her second placement. Add to that the fact that Mama is here as well, and you will see that we have a houseful.
Much to my chagrin I discover that the ever-wonderful Viv Albertine released her first solo album late last year and I missed it. It is bloody marvellous (think Doris Day meets Throbbing Gristle) and I will - no doubt - be writing about it in due course. I have also discovered a smashing new band called Trwbador who are from Wales and sound like an electro Incredible String Band. Something else I recommend highly. But enough of my yammering. On with the show...
Our daily visit to the world of Thom the World Poet
Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from Van Der Graaf Generator

*  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!


As you can see, the Orange Cat is doing very well in his new accommodation  living with my lovely stepdaughter Shosh. I was so busy playing with him and doing family stuff that I forgot to get anyone to photograph me with the Orange Cat on my knee for the blog. So you will have to be content with this picture of him and Shosh. Anyway, she is prettier than I am. However, the main point of this post is to tell you all that we are home, and  that we will be playing catch-up for a few days because there is a lot on our plates. However, I hope that everything will be back to normal by Monday...


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.

Strange birds spotted around city

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1932 the actor Anthony Perkins was born. Perkins is best remembered for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho.
  • One million UK dragonfly records!
  • Bearded seal on Shetland
  • World’s rarest big cat turns the corner as Amur le...
  • Gopher Tortoise Council’s Donna J. Heinrich Enviro...
  • World Championship Rattlesnake Races - via Herp Di...
  • New England cottontail needs intervention to avoid...
  • Mighty mouse attacks snake to save pal

  • If you've never seen Psycho first of all shame on you and second of all this vid contains spoilers of the “It was his sledge.”, “I am your father.” and “He was a ghost all along.” variety: