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 23, 2013


DALE DRINNON: Bigfoot, forgotten fish, more bigfoot, Benny's Blogs, Cedar & Willow

New at Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Cedar and Willow:
New at Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd:
Another vintage movie star magazine from the 1930s.
A long article on Oriental Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings is going to start on Frontiers of Anthropology probably tomorrow.
Best Wishes, Dale D.


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.

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    Whilst at the Zoological Society of London Archives last week I came across a book called `History and Mystery` published in 2011 by the Society for the History of Natural History (ed. Charles Nelson) which certainly lives up to its name.

    There are two stories in it that I want to cover here. Firstly, the earliest record by a very long way of a black squirrel in England ( web sites such as http://www.blacksquirrelproject.org/ will tell you it was 1912, and your hero, i.e. me will say 1894 from Thirlmere in the Lakes in my article in British Wildlife in 1998-1) but this squirrel, from 1527 was probably a genetic mutation from the red. The numbers in brackets refer to the issue numbers the stories in Annals and Magazine of Natural History come from  

    A black squirrel in England in 1527? { series 2, 47:5. 1993}

    Are there early records of the Continental sub-species of “black” (dark brown) squirrels being known in England? I have searched without success in the limited books available to me , since noticing that the animal in Holbein`s portrait “ A lady with a squirrel and a starling” (see below) is a “black” specimen, not the native “red” squirrel .There was some brouhaha in the newspapers early in 1992 when this superb painting was bought for the National Gallery from Lord Cholmondeley for £10 million, saved from export at the last minute by the National Arts Collection Fund and the negotiation of a public-spirited dealer. Art critics date the portrait to Holbein`s first visit to England in 1527, and presume the sitter belonged to Sir Thomas More`s circle; does her black squirrel suggest otherwise?        W.R. LeFanu. (2)

    Wolves in Scotland { series 2, 62:5. 1998}

    James Edmund Harting in his British mammals extinct within historic times ( 1880: 178) stated that the last wolf in Scotland was killed “ at a place between Fi-Giuthas and Pall-a-chrocain, and according to popular chronology no longer ago than in the year 1743”. Earlier on p. 175, Harting wrote that “ in Lochaber, the last in that part of the country [Harting`s italics] is said to have been killed by Sir Ewen Cameron in 1680, which Pennant misunderstood to have been the last of the species in Scotland. “ This sentence has the following footnote:

    “ In the Sale Catalogue of the “London Museum” which was disposed of by auction in April ,1818, there is the following entry: Lot 832, Wolf -  a noble animal in a large glass case. The last Wolf killed in Scotland by Sir E. Cameron.

    Very little taxidermy from the seventeenth century is extant and it would be very interesting to find this stuffed wolf. Does anyone have any information on its whereabouts?  David Mackenzie (3)

    1. R.Muirhead  Black Squirrels in Britain . British Wildlife vol 10 no. 2 December 1998 p. 102
    2. W.R. LeFanu A black squirrel in England in 1527? History and Mystery 2011 p. 54
    3. D.Mackenzie  Wolves in Scotland  Ibid p. 54


    There were a lot of things that I was going to do yesterday. However, I didn't do most of them. I think that the central intelligence behind the universe didn't approve of my threatening to have a double glazing salesman eaten alive by landcrabs, and set the laws of karma in motion. Because my new pond sprung a leak, and I spent large amounts of the day dealing with that and didn't do any of the things that I had intended to. So, I heartily promise, I will not threaten any telephone salespersons with crustacean-related demise today, and maybe my day will go more easily.
    Here are the blog postings for today:

    *  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?

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    Yesterday’s News Today

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