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, August 06, 2013

Inventor creates flying ostrich

A Dutch inventor says he's created the world's first flying ostrich - by attaching propellors to a stuffed bird. Bart Jenson has spent the last 12 months working on his OstrichCopter, reports Metro. "I thought it was really funny to make fly a bird that can't. It's quite a challenge to get the thing flying," he said.
He previously made headlines when he turned his beloved dead cat Orville into a helicopter after it was tragically run over by a car. For his latest project, Mr Jenson got a dead ostrich from a farm and took it to a taxidermist to have it skinned and tanned. He and and his sidekick, technical engineer Arjen Beltman, then set about fitting it with engines and propellers. Their hard work paid off when they recently took the remote-controlled flying ostrich for a successful test flight.


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.

  • USA SIGHTINGS: 'Large and healthy' mountain lion s...
  • US SIGHTINGS: Kentuckians are seeing big cats in t...
  • CANADA SIGHTINGS: Big Cat on the Loose
  • NEWSLINK: Isolated Tigers Travel Surprising Lands ...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Why the British fall prey to tales o...
  • NEWSLINK: IFAW Gains Senate Support for the Big Ca...
  • NEWSLINK: Tampa's Big Cat Rescue opens 'vacation r...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: More 'big cat' sightings reported in...

    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: Megalodon, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

    New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


    Many apologies to Judge Smith. I was in the middle of a conversation with him about his new book when the call waiting beep came through and I had to exit the conversation in a horribly peremptory manner. The problem is, that since I went temporarily deaf a few months ago I have had a special disability phone in the office. It is brilliant, and I cannot thank Helen T. enough for getting it for me, but it doesn't do call waiting, so I have to resort to the old-fashioned way. On the plus side, I am listening to the New Riders of the Purple Sage, which is always guaranteed to cheer anyone up.
    We have now sold as many Weird Weekend tickets as we did lat year, but with a week to go. C'mon guys; buy some more and make an old anarchist very happy.
    Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
    Today's Track of the Day is from the New Riders of the Purple Sage

    *  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?


    Brandishing his binoculars, Karl Shuker goes twitching in pursuit of Stymphalian birds, forest ravens, and hermit ibises.

    Read on...

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1874 Charles Hoy Fort was born. It is from Fort's writings that everything 'Fortean' comes from. Fort wasn't the first person to document strange phenomena but he was the first person to collate large numbers of accounts of similar phenomena and treat it as more than a kooky news story or a harbinger of damnation and to drag it kicking and screaming into the eyes of the establishment. Fort's own philosophy was that laws, principles and dogma were all changeable given the right circumstances and that unnatural phenomena, which fell outside the areas of what science or religion viewed as possible, should not be conveniently forgotten because of this.

    A special appearance by Charles Fort (a.k.a Silas Hawkins in this instance) at the Weird Weekend: