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, August 30, 2013

RSPB launches its ever-popular Avocet Cruise season

Autumn and winter cruises on the Exe Estuary to see spectacle of nature

Wildlife enthusiasts can once again get up close to the Exe Estuary’s stunning birdlife as the RSPB launches its 32st season of Avocet Cruises.

Hopping aboard, visitors can expect to see some of the 40,000 birds that call the estuary home during the autumn and winter months.  Among the most anticipated sights are black-tailed godwits, brent geese and red-breasted mergansers, species coming from as far away as Siberia and Scandinavia.  There is also a chance of seeing other wildlife including grey seals.

Speaking for the RSPB in the West Country Tony Whitehead said; “These cruises have long been an excellent way for people to experience just how amazing the Exe is. I’ve long felt it is simply one of the best places for wildlife watching anywhere in the UK in the winter months.

“What could be better than watching huge flocks of Brent geese alight on the silvery silt banks of the river, or of course the remarkable spectacle of avocets flying low over the water’s edge, their white feathers gleaming in the cold winter light.”

The RSPB offers two sorts of cruises. One lasting three to four hours takes people from Starcross to the mouth of the estuary, up to Topsham then back to Starcross. The second lasts one to one and a half hours, starting and finishing in Topsham.

The first cruise will be held on Tuesday 3 September at 12:30pm departing from Starcross. Then after the winter cruises start on 3 November.

All profits from the Avocet Cruises go towards RSPB conservation projects. Early booking is advised, as the trips are extremely popular. To book tickets call the RSPB south west regional office on 01392 432691. For details, including times and departure points visit



The ISG’s work – most of which has already been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals – has reached two key conclusions. First, while badgers are clearly a source of  cattle TB, careful evaluation of our own and others’ data indicates that badger culling can  make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under  consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better. Second, weaknesses in  cattle testing regimes mean that cattle themselves contribute significantly to the persistence  and spread of disease in all areas where TB occurs, and in some parts of Britain are likely  to be the main source of infection. Scientific findings indicate that the rising incidence of  disease can be reversed, and geographical spread contained, by the rigid application of  cattle-based control measures alone.

Our Report provides advice on the need for Defra to develop disease control strategies, based  on scientific findings. Implementation of such strategies will require Defra to institute more  effective operational structures, and the farming and veterinary communities to accept the  scientific findings. If this can be achieved, the ISG is confident that the measures outlined  in this Report will greatly improve TB control in Britain.




CRYPTOLINK: Unidentified animal seen on trail cam

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 (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.

Submitted by Roger Williams
Special to the SWT

My beautiful pictureCan you help identify this animal from the picture shown here?
It is unclear if this is an unverified picture of a “Bigfoot.” It was recently discovered on a “trail cam” placed in the nearby mountains.
It was surprising, to say the least, when I discovered the image on the camera’s disc. What in the world can this be?
Carefully scrutinizing the image, it appears that the right arm shows fingers as the animal grasps the base of the tree stump. It also has elongated feet similar to a man’s appendages. Its fur is matted on the back but thin on the arms and legs. Unfortunately, the head and face are not shown by the image taken.

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Sioux Falls Police: No Bigfoot sighting in Sioux Falls

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 (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.
Sioux Falls Police have officially gone on record saying Bigfoot was not seen in Sioux Falls Thursday night.
Cpt. Greg VandeKamp addressed the matter at the daily police briefing Friday. A reporter asked VandeKamp if he could explain some of the recent claims of Bigfoot being spotted in downtown Sioux Falls.
Joseph Kucera sent two pictures to KSFY News from the Jazz concert in Downtown Sioux Falls Thursday night, and if you look closely you can see a strange looking creature. 

KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

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.


Last night after another productive afternoon and evening spent recording with my old friend Mike Davis, with whom I christened my new studio monitors, I sat down to eat a curry and watch a George Harrison documentary on YouTube. It was one of the most tacky and appallingly presented things that I have ever seen. The editing was execrable (one of the interviewees told essentially the same story twice) and most of the music wasn't even my Harrison or The Beatles. I am not sure about the laws of libel so I won't mention names, but look up 'George Harrison Documentary' on YouTube and you will see what I mean. PS: The Martin Scorcese 'Living in the Material World' was a masterpiece in comparison.
Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.

*  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 54 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