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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Monday, July 29, 2013


People always say that they they know where they were when they heard the news that Elvis had died, or when they heard of John Lennon's assassination. I will always remember where I was when I heard that Mick Farren had died - I was in Brighton, on my way to see him. I had telephoned both his home and mobile numbers, and when I got no reply I telephoned Graham, my oppo back in North Devon, to see if there was an email from Mick changing our appointment. He told me that he had received two or three unconfirmed reports that Mick had collapsed on stage last night. I asked him to try and find out some more details for me to see if there was anything I could do.

Half an hour later he telephoned me saying that Helga Colquhoun had emailed me confirming that Mick had died without regaining consciousness. It goes without saying that we are all completely devastated.

Because Gonzo recently became The Deviants record label, we received a considerable number of inquiries asking for news. As some of the initial reports implied that Mick was alive in hospital, I asked Graham to find out as much information as possible for me, which he did tactfully and kindly. I would like to thank him publically for all he did in regard to this difficult situation in my absence.

Bob Dylan once said about Johnny Cash "You could set your compass by [him], no matter where you were, he was always heading in the same direction, steady and true..." I would like to say the same thing about Mick Farren

I am not going to claim that Mick Farren and I were friends. I only met him once, and had about three enjoyable telephone conversations as well, but I like to think that he and I would soon have become friends. Because Mick was everything that I aspire to be. A massively principled man with the heart of a revolutionary, a childlike and wicked sense of humour, an immense talent and a social conscience second to none. His version of that much maligned term anarchism, and mine, were and are almost identical. Above all he was a kind, ethical and gentle man, whom - one would suspect much to his amusement - my late father would have described as very much a gentleman. I had great love and respect for him, and I hope that in the weeks, months and years to come, as part of Gonzo Multimedia we shall help bring his invaluable work, and inspirational legacy to new generations.

Rest in Peace Mick.

When I Am Dead, My Dearest
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
                                           ~Christina Rossetti


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.

DALE DRINNON: Giant otter, crocodrillum from bestiaries, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs


We got back late last night from our trip to Sussex and Kent. We filmed Judy Dyble and other performers at the Summer of Love Festival, but as you all know by now, we didn't have our meeting with Mick Farren. I have turned all of today's Gonzo blogs over to Mick, because although I have been writing about rock musicians for thirty plus years now, it is very seldom that I have written about, let alone become friendly with, someone who actually did manage to change the world just a little bit.
My personal tribute to a man for whom I had the utmost respect

*  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?


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 are 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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  • FEATURELINK: International Tiger day: Save the Gre...
  • FEATURELINK: Stevensville couple have big love for...
  • FEATURELINK: Save the big cat
  • FEATURELINK: Big cat chronicles
  • OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 2004 Professor Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of the molecular structure of DNA, died.
    And now the news:
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  • When you search for DNA on youtube you get a horrid song by a crap band called Little Mix who quite frankly sound like they've been gargling with hot chip fat, so I decided to cleanse my ears with a good song afterwards... Here is the good song: