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, September 18, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: Beware of the sea monster! Book charts mythical creatures of medieval maps

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.

Sea serpent depicted on a map from 1572
One of the classic images of a sea monster on a map: a giant sea-serpent attacks a ship off the coast of Norway on Olaus Magnus’s Carta marina of 1539, this image from the 1572 edition. (Illustration: National Library of Sweden, shelfmark KoB 1 ab)
The iconic sea serpents, mermaids and other mythical creatures found on world maps from medieval and Renaissance times splash to life on the pages of a new book.
Chet Van Duzer's "Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps" (British Library, 2013) charts the evolution of the mythical creatures that adorned atlases from the 10th century through the 17th century. Cartographers used the beastly art to illustrate mysterious, unexplored regions of the globe and the possible dangers of seafaring.
Despite their wild appearance, many of these creatures were based on real animals.
"The creatures look purely fantastic. They all look like they were just made up," Van Duzer, a map historian at the Library of Congress, said here Thursday (Sept. 5) in a talk about his book. "But, in fact, a lot of them come from what were considered, at the time, scientific sources." [In Images: Ancient Maps and Sea Monsters]
Bizarre beasts
Sea monsters on maps run the gamut from menacing sea serpents to improbable lion-fish hybrids. Many cartographers simply copied these sea monsters from illustrated encyclopedias, Van Duzer told LiveScience. At other times, particularly a period in the 16th century, mapmakers took some poetic license with the animals (like terrestrial-aquatic hybrid animals).

CRYPTOLINK: Top Ten Alleged Bigfoot Shootings

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.

dead bigfootChuck’s Notes > Here I have put together from hours of research my Top Ten Bigfoot Shooting Reports. These are Amazing reports taken from as far back as a hundred years ago. I haven’t included the Justin Smeja bigfoot shooting not that I don’t believe but new evidence may be published soon that may give credence one way or another  and if so this list will be amended.
10. Sulphur River Bottom Shooting East Texas Shooting
I do remember that my grandmother said it stood absolute erect and walked slowly toward them, like a man, not slouching like an ape. All the time it was howling and shrieking and motioning angrily at them. Her father fired a shot at this thing and it turned and ran back into the woods.
9. Seven Devils NC Bigfoot Hunt 1885
It went over to the edge of the creek about 60 feet from her, where there was a big pile of leaves, sticks, dirt and debris washed up from when the creek had been up out of its banks.  She said it laid down in the edge of the debris on the side next to the creek and started covering himself up with leaves and sticks and stuff.  She said he covered himself up and completely hid himself.
About that time she heard some men coming down the side of the ridge from the direction the BF and the shots had come.  She decided then that she needed to get out of there before they got there, so she got up and sneaked away back to home.

Alligator The Length Of Car Caught In Mississippi River, 13-Foot Man Eater

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.

Dustin Bockman with record-setting Mississippi Alligator
Dustin Bockman with record-setting Mississippi Alligator
Forget the Lochness monster, there’s Alligators the size of cars swimming around in American Rivers.   Dustin Bockman, Ryan Bockman and Cole Landers were cruising the Mississippi during the state’s limited time, gator hunting season  when they came across something in the water that was massive.  From head to tail, it was near the length of a Nissan Versa.  It was not an automobile though.  Instead the trio of fellas stumbled across the heaviest alligator in the state’s history.
How long and heavy was this monstrous reptile?   It was 13-feet long .  The weight was equivalent to over 3 average sized men, 727 pounds.
As soon as the beast was hauled back to shore, the Mississippi alligator hunting program’s coordinator, Ricky Flint, was notified.    After further investigation and an official check, the gator became the biggest ever caught in the state.

CRYPTOLINK: No, The Dingo Didn't Eat Your Baby

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.
Dingoes have been unfairly blamed for the extinctions of the Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) and the Tasmanian devil, a new study has found.
The Australian dingo is commonly blamed for the demise of thylacines and devils on the mainland about 3,000 years ago but Aboriginal populations and a shift in climate were more likely responsible.
The researchers created mathematical models to replicate the dynamic interaction between the main potential drivers of extinction (dingoes, climate and humans), the long-term response of herbivore prey, and the viability of the thylacine and devil populations.
The models included interactions and competition between predators as well as the influence of climate on vegetation and prey populations.
"Perhaps because the public perception of dingoes as 'sheep-killers' is so firmly entrenched, it has been commonly assumed that dingoes killed off the thylacines and devils on mainland Australia," says researcher Dr Thomas Prowse from the University of Adelaide. "There was anecdotal evidence too: both thylacines and devils lasted for over 40,000 years following the arrival of humans in Australia; their mainland extinction about 3000 years ago was just after dingoes were introduced to Australia; and the fact that thylacines and devils persisted on Tasmania, which was never colonized by dingoes.


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.


The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday
I am out of action for the rest of today. Graham is running the shop. Please forgive me if I don't answer telephone calls or emails...
Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
Rick Wakeman to star at Queen's College Quartz Arts Festival
Genesis legend Steve Hackett at the 2013 Gramophone Awards
*  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: 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 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 is away, so for todayYesterday's News Today is done by Wally the Comedy Rhinoceros. He is a stand up comedian of some renown. Here is one of his rhino-related jokes.

Q: What do you know when you see three rhinos wearing matching pink sweatshirts?

A: They are all on the same team!

Ha Ha that was funny. Sidesplitting. Yes. Ha!

Now for the news...

  • Hunter: I killed a chupacabra
  • Meet Lola, the six-clawed lobster
  • Prehistoric crocs 'ran like dogs'
  • Herpes-infected monkeys terrorize Florida
  • British Columbia man thwarts cougar attack with sp...
  • 'The Yeti may be real' Sir David Attenborough clai...

  • And now for a happy tune that you can whistle while you work: