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, April 10, 2013



Sheri Myler, our student who is doing a series of placements with us over the next year or so is back for her second stint. Once again, I am putting her to work and she will be blogging each day about her time here...

I have known that working at the CFZ would bring unorthodox working hours since before my first trip down here, six months ago. It was stressed to me that arriving before ten would be futile as it would yield no response from the occupants who would all still be slumbering on.

With this in mind, I endeavour to arrive no earlier than half past ten, to play it a little safer than arriving at ten and this has always been met with a response from a waking person within. However, today, I arrived at my usual time, and was greeted only by the orange cat, who was also locked out. I rang the bell on either door to no avail, so I decided to sit in the garden and go on facebook, using their wifi until someone found me.

I was let in by eleven, whence we began a staff meeting, which lasted till around noon and included such topics as grounds and animal enclosure maintenance. The “M” section of Eberhart took almost all day to complete. Afterwards, there was another two hour lecture on various cryptozoological subjects as well as the more parapsychological subject of the neurological effects of, and potential for hallucinations caused by, environmental factors, such as electro-magnetic interference.

We then ventured catwards. It was a relatively short cat hunt as people were feeling tired and wanting an early night. It was also relatively unexciting, presumably because of the prolonged cold. The high points were the sightings of two moths and something that may have been a rabbit. 

DALE DRINNON: New Genus of Bat, Yeti, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


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: Raise a Glass to the Return of the World...
  • SIGHTINGS UK: More sightings of mysterious county ...
  • MYSTERY ANIMALS OF HK: Tiger hunt on hold as villa...
  • NEWSLINK: Paranormal investigators from Pembrokesh...
  • NEWSLINK: Forest officials rescue leopard cub from

  • CRYPTOLINK: The Meath Monster

    A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.

    The Loch Ness Monster, or ‘Nessie’ as she has become fondly known, is part of Scottish folklore and, whether she exists or has simply been a figment of many imaginations over a long number of years, there can be no denying that she has been very good to the economy of that country. 

    She is believed to have been ‘born’ in 1933 and such has been the wealth of publicity generated by the many alleged sightings that she has generated an enormous amount of revenue by attracting visitors from every part of the globe.

    ‘Nessie’ has attained the status of a classic phenomenon and her popularity has never been greater. Numerous features in magazines and newspapers have helped to enhance her reputation and fame and she has also been the subject of many documentaries and films as more and more people take the opportunity to cash in on her status. She is, without fear of contradiction, the best known cryptozoological creature in the world.

    So what’s all that got to do with Whitewood Lake? How can there possibly be a link between a world famous stretch of water that forms a link in the great Caledonian Canal in Scotland and little Whitewood Lake in the north of our own county where the vast majority of people believe large pike specimens are the biggest creatures to be found?

    Well there is - even if it’s probably not the strongest link of all time. For, in the minds of some, particularly back approximately a quarter of a century ago, Whitewood Lake had its own monster which captured the imaginations of many. And it wasn’t just the very young or those who had a habit of believing in fairies and such like with a few pints of lager on board who expected the creature to spring from the depths back in the summer of 1981.

    Even this writer has to admit that, as he stood with hundreds of others totally sober on the lake shore on a warm summer day over 25 years ago, he at least half expected something extraordinary to happen. It must have been a bit like waiting for a statue to move! But statues won’t bite you, even if they do move. However, there’s a good chance that a monster will!

    Read on...


    Today Casa Downes is a hive of activity. Sheri is typing away busily, young Matthew will be digging a hole for our new pond, and Jessica will be repainting the garden furniture. 

    Mother is busily chasing up washing up, and Graham and Corinna are doing whatever arcane things it is that they do. The busiest member of the household is Buttons/Leo who us rushing about the lawn pouncing on non-existent mice and terrorising the dog. Business as usual...
    Today's Gonzo Track of the Day is from Zenit, who really are a magnificent band
    Steve Howe and Jon Davison on the recent 'Cruise to the Edge'
    A new download single and a new video from Michael Des Barres

    *  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?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today