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, May 08, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: Lee Brickley of 'Paranormal Cannock Chase' goes "In Search Of The Wolf-Man"

Lee Brickley of 'Paranormal Cannock Chase' goes "In Search Of The Wolf-Man" -

One report I received came in from a gentleman who, on the morning in question, while walking his Labrador Retriever around the ancient Iron Age hill-fort at Castle Ring, heard the distinct sound of abnormal and unearthly howling coming from the surrounding damp and misty woodland. So loud was the noise, that his dog immediately began to draw back and cower in fear. Mr Chapman recalled that, upon glancing into the shadowy trees he saw two bright, fiendish yellow eyes glaring menacingly back at him. This was enough to seriously spook Mr C and, in his own words, he promptly “ran like the wind”.

RICHARD FREEMAN: Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)


I’ve always loved summer; I mean the real summers we used to get in the 70s. In those halcyon days the six week school holidays seemed to stretch on forever. One of the best things about them was that in the mornings the films of Ray Harryhausen were shown. It’s well known that 1970s Dr Who inspired me to become a cryptozoologist but Ray’s films were also part of the mix.

Somehow no amount of expensive CGI could capture the dynamic feel of the creatures animated by Ray’s stop motion animation. Others before him had used this technique but none did it as well as Ray. He made the method his own.

Who can forget such classics as Valley of Gwangi (dinosaurs vs gauchos in Mexico), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad or Jason and the Argonauts?

Ray’s movies fall mainly into two categories, fantasy and science fiction. Whether on the deck of the Argo or in a lunar city his world’s and creatures were always enthralling and believable. He excelled in the retelling of Greek and Middle Eastern legends, often taking huge liberties with the original stories but never the less making cinematic gold. I saw the recent remake of Clash of the Titans on a flight back from India (thank god I didn’t go to the pictures to see it). It lacked the charm and wonder of Ray’s original. People are still talking about this film 32 years after it was made. The remake had been forgotten within a week.

I had always wanted Ray to branch out into other mythologies such as Norse or Japanese. I would have loved to see him do Beowulf film. Sadly every single attempt to bring this story to the big screen has been dismal. I think Ray would have done it brilliantly.

Fortean subjects were tackled in Ray’s movies. A sea serpent runs amok in Beast from 2000 Fathoms, based on the short story Fog Horn by Ray’s old mate Ray Bradbury. Earth Vs the Flying Saucers is based on Donald Keyhoe’s book Flying Saucers from Outer Space. A more bestial alien in the form of a huge’ lizard-like predator terrorized Italy in 20 Million Miles to Earth. Surviving dinosaurs stalked through Valley of Gwangi and a giant octopus menaced San Francisco in It Came from Beneath the Sea.

Both Jon and I were lucky enough to meet Ray when he did a talk in Exeter. I asked him a question that had been bugging me for year. Was Gwangi and Allosaurus of a Tyrannosaurus rex? Ray told me he was a hybrid between the two!

Ray passed away yesterday at the age of 92 after a lifetime of achievement. I hope he is now downing some much deserved pints with Ray Bradbury in the hereafter.

Thanks Ray, thanks for all those hours of adventure. Thanks for the inspiration and the thrills. Thanks for the legacy you have left.

THE GONZO BLOG DOO-DAH MAN hops into Bideford

Graham's at the helm today... 

Jon and Corinna are out doing stuff around town and I've been dealing with a couple of problems with the roof. Hopefully, nothing a few dollops of tar hasn't put right, though, and it's ironic that I'd like it to rain later today, to give my handiwork a road-test - and the weather's actually brightening up and the sun's come out.

Oh, well.

The Green Violinist: Belgian progressive-rock outfit's debut release...

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Electro Gypsies and tangential debates on moustaches...

ALBUM REVIEW: the Savages - Silence Yourself

Another outing in the company of Thom the World Poet 

Hawkwind to support Australian Pink Floyd - not all fans like the idea of a long-established act supporting a tribute band...

Italian progressive rock Cristiano Roversi review

*  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: http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

* 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?


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 took the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

CRYPTOLINK: What can we learn from America’s snakehead woes?

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.
What can we learn from America’s snakehead woes?
Copyright © Brian Gratwicke, Creative Commons
The world is going to end, if you listen to the fever-pitched American journalists. Aquatic death almost certainly lurks in every pond and stream, in the form of the Northern snakeheads. We have much to fear, and our friends and families will surely all be eaten by this unstoppable menace, bearing down on us as Barbarian hordes bore down upon the Roman empire.
I kid you not. The way the stories have been handled, anyone would be terrified to walk within 50m of any pond or stream, for fear of some pseudo Loch Ness monster suddenly flopping out of a tangle of bamboo and ingesting their dog, collar and all.

Tragically, most tabloids reporting on the subject don’t even know what a snakehead is.
In some of the weakest pitches I’ve ever seen, I have come to suspect they genuinely believe it to be at best some lab-derived hybrid, at worst a menacing antediluvian hangover. The way they describe it, it comes across as some crude affiliation of snake and fish, and an animal that has all the worst elements of a Great white shark, cunningly blended with the venomous subtleties of a King cobra.

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)

File:Ray Harryhausen.jpg

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1945 German forces agreed to an unconditional surrender, ending the Second World War in Europe.

And now the news:

  • Will nets halt South Africa's shark attacks?
  • Sea Turtle found that pooped plastic for a month- ...
  • Snakes causing hissy fits for some at Sask. hospit...
  • Live Turtle Bot Maneuvered With Remote Control - v...
  • Peculiar Life History of Middle American Stenamma ...
  • Mammal and Bug Food Co-Op in the High Arctic

  • A classic scene from the hilarious film “Churchill: The Hollywood Years” :