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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Friday, June 07, 2013

The ‘bird DJ’

IN SYNC: A.J. Mithra. Photo: M. SrinathThe Limca Book of Records certifies A. J. Mithra as the country’s first zoomusicologist.

We are in the middle of another blazing and long-drawn summer, but A.J. Mithra foresaw this way back in December. Actually, the tree crickets told him about it. “In winter, cricket calls are generally slow. But last December, it was faster and more aggressive, and this indicated that an exceptionally hot summer was on the way,” he says.
Well, Chennai-based Mithra happens to be a ‘zoomusicologist’ — someone who understands Nature by studying animal and bird sounds. Recently, the Limca Book of Records certified him to be the country’s first zoomusicologist, and the first one in the country to use natural bird calls to compose music records. In any case, zoomusicologists are a rarity even in the West, with only about 20 to 30 of these specialists in the world.
A music teacher in a school, Mithra’s journey began with recording bird calls and setting them to albums. Incidentally, while western zoomusicologists use sophisticated bird call recorders, Mithra still painstakingly records Nature’s sounds on his humble voice recorder. Despite these limitations, Mithra’s albums sound incredibly good, prompting noted Australian zoomusicologist Hollis Taylor to dub him as ‘Bird DJ,’ and the famed Cornell Lab of Ornithology dedicated an entire webpage to his bird music.


The Team Badger Debate is in the House of Commons today Wednesday 5th June. Please sign the petition and write to your local MP and keep everything crossed. We have some wonderful Labour , Conservative , Green , Independent and Liberal MP's who will speak out for the truth. This vote is heavily whipped on the governments side so that MP's are NOT free to choose how they would vote . The NFU have also never polled their members on this and have refused our request to do so several times. We know that given a free vote like last time the MP's voted unanimously to stop the cull. Democracy at it best ?
The cull is unethical, unscientific and will not work. 5th June 2013
Brain May
A message from Brian
For all animal lovers, and seekers after decency in the human race, today is an important day.
In the scenario of Britain as it is, we who are fighting for 100,000 small and tragically abused creatures, are passionate, but lacking in armoury. Those who are determined to try to solve a problem by mass killings are strong, and rich, armed with big guns, and well-connected, all the way to the seat of ultimate power in the land. They hold all the trump cards. They are Goliath, and we are David. Which ever way things go today, ours is to accept, and know that there is a long-distance thread to this, which sooner or later leads to justice, and mercy.
David just might slay Goliath, or he might not, but, either way, this is a fight which, in years to come, will be remembered as part of the journey which made Britain a better, kinder place: for badgers, for cows, and for people.
5th June 2013


BeeWildflowers on grass verges are a food source for bees and butterflies. Plantlife said verges supported hundreds of species of flowering plants and should be cut twice a year. It said three-quarters of councils it surveyed cut them multiple times. It received many calls from people "distraught" about the issue, it added.

But the Local Government Association (LGA) said keeping verges shorter was safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Plantlife is calling on councils to better manage the almost 600,000 acres (240,000 hectares) of roadside verges across the country. The verges support up to 1,000 plant species - including the rare bastard balm and long-leaved helleborine which are among 33 wayside flowers faced with extinction.

Read on...


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.

China: ostrich on the loose in rush hour traffic –...

DALE DRINNON: Loch Ness Documents, Cedar and Willow, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New on Cedar and Willow:
Comic Books Continue the Pulp Traditions
New on Benny's Blog, Thee Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
Continuing reprints of the original Dick Tracy Newspaper comic strips.
Best Wishes, Dale D.


Yesterday turned out to be rather a nice one. I interviewed the legendary Mick Abrahams, founding guitarist of both Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig in the morning, and the equally legendary Judy Dyble (a lady for whom I have the utmost respect) in the afternoon. I have had a pre-release copy of her fantastic new album for weeks, and now you will be able to hear it too, as I have edited excerpts from each song into the podcast which will be avail;able on the Gonzo site sometime today.
The weather is glorious here, and I think I can truthfully say that this is the nicest summer weather we have had in years. Let's hope it lasts. I realise with a start that we are only ten weeks to the Weird Weekend, so I would seriously suggest that you buy your tickets now!
New books from the doyens of what was once the underground press
More on the badger cull, and Queen's guitarist Brian May. I make no apologies for covering this in such depth, but it is an important issue, and one that is n danger of being whitewashed over.
*  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 two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) 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 cat?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1940 the singer and actor (Mars Attacks) Tom Jones was born.
And now the news:
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  • Frogs Fading? Amphibian Census May Guide Recovery ...
  • National Wildlife Crime Unit launch new website
  • New DNA Test On Roo Poo Identifies Species
  • Brownies of Bangor
  • Safari is not a zoo - Elephant attacks car video
  • Family dog saves abandoned newborn baby and brings...
  • Far-Right Extremists Chased Through London by Wom

  • Tom Jones doing what he does best (it's not the acting) :