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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Saturday, April 20, 2013


Yes ladies and gentlemen,boys and girls, crypto-dames and crypto-dudes, today I explore the very vexing matter of varying vocal favourites amongst vegetation! It has come to my attention that plants actually have the cheek to DISLIKE Cliff!! As in Sir Cliff Richard.  Can you believe it? How could anything, animal,vegetable or mineral dislike the great Cliff or anyone else, like me, with the word `Richard` in his name?! (With the exception of Richard Nixon). Isn`t it amazing how all great people, such as me of course, Lord Richard Freeman of Sumatra ,etc, are graced with the name `Richard` ?

This story appeared in The Guardian today, Friday April 19th and is apparently supposed to be taken seriously, as it is almost 3 weeks since April Fool`s Day. How a plant could prefer devilish (right,enough said, I don`t wish to get the Big J, author of the N.Korean hit ` Koi Carp Style` in trouble with heavy metal fans) , I mean Black Sabbath, to the Mighty Cliff , that wholesome, pure, handsome young man I fail to understand, probably because I am now feeling very vengeful against all flora after I blasted Devo`s `Pink Pussycat` at my buddleia today and it withered. Of course the flaw in my argument is Cliff`s `Devil Woman`, I dare not play that to the next flower I come across – fearing the effects!

 Anyway… `Plants Love Heavy Metal, says BBC Garden Expert`

Garden guru Chris Beardshaw is recommending a new technique for bigger blooms – blast your plants with heavy metal music. The broadcaster and gardening expert reveals on Radio 4`s Gardeners` Question Time` today that a constant diet of Black Sabbath worked wonders on a greenhouse full of plants, but exposure to Sir Cliff Richard killed every plant in a horticultural experiment (surely not, what, even `The Young Ones` and `Summer Holiday`??! – R)   

The test came about because one of his horticultural students wanted to write a dissertation based on the effects of music on plants.

“ We set up four glasshouses with different sorts of music to see what happened to the plants. We had one that was silent – that was a control house – and one that was played Cliff Richard and one that was played Black Sabbath… they had the best flowers and the best resistance to pest and disease…those in the Cliff Richard house all died.” (1)

Quite what this means in the great scheme of things I don`t know. I vaguely recall my copy of a book called `The Secret Life Of Plants` saying that plants actually like classical music. Is it the volume or the lyrics that make a difference? And is playing any music at all really significant when that rose  or that tobacco for your loved one is going to end up with a very short life anyway?


WHOI scientists have tracked a lone whale with a distinctive 52-hertz frequency call every year over a 12-year span—and over thousands of kilometers—using the Navy's hydrophone network built to monitor submarines. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, WHOI)Now I am confused. The mystery of The Bloop was, I believe, laid to rest last year. However, along comes this story on Wildlife Extra. Is it the same putative mystery whale or something completely different  Like I said, I am confused, but. that is nothing new. Can any of you clarify this and put me out of my misery?

CRYPTOLINK: Largest fish ever caught in Arizona is a true freshwater 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.

  Several lakes around the world are thought to harbor monsters from Loch Ness to Lake Tahoe.
Now you can add Arizona's Bartlett Lake to that list, as one angler recently proved. Eddie Wilcoxson, 56, was sleeping on his pontoon boat at 2 a.m. when something truly gigantic began tugging on his 60-pound braided fishing line. After a 35-minute struggle, Wilcoxson finally caught sight of his Bartlett Lake monster: a behemoth flathead catfish.
"When it came close to the boat, I saw there was only one treble hook in the corner of his mouth," explained Wilcoxson, "so I backed off on the drag. If not, it would have ripped right out of his mouth."


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.

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    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.


    We are running a bit late today because my progress has been hampered by welcome telephone calls from Rob Ayling (who is back from his honeymoon), Tony "Doc" Shiels, who is as loveable as ever and some bloke trying to sell me double glazing.  I conducted an interview with René van Commenée about an hour ago, and it shall appear in these hallowed pages sooner rather than later. I also received a copy of Judge Smith's new album, and shall be talking to him about it, and his work with Mr Averell very soon. A chat with Judy Dyble is in the offing, as is a chat with Liz Lenten, so I have a busy week ahead. Yesterday I a managed to film two little egrets hunting for sand eels, so - on the whole - I am a happy bunny.
    Helen McCookerybook writes about the Limerick Riot Grrrl conference
    EXCLUSIVE: Part two of a two-part interview with Andy Thommen
    *  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