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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Saturday, December 21, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: Big shoes to fill ( By the The Discerning Man's Squatch )

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. 

Do we as humans have a need to believe in Bigfoot, a creature that is like us in many ways, but chooses to keep its distance from those things we don't even like about ourselves? 

In a lot of ways that is exactly what Bigfoot is. He is us in antithesis. We attribute to him features that are very human like. He walks upright, he is intelligent, he is a survivor. Unlike us,...
he is peaceful, does not fight wars, he does not destroy his environment and he does not have habits that have made us humans weak. He has not been affected by changes in technology and in fact may be exactly as he has always been despite a world that has transformed itself countless times at our hands over the millennia. A creature true to itself and the planet which it and we all call home.

There is much to be valued in a creature like this. It can show us what we have lost in ourselves that we once held very dear. He can give us hope of an unspoiled existence that can still be had. He can teach us to get along with each other for the benefit of everyone, and he can impart to us what it really is to be human and to not take our planet and resources for granted.
I think those who believe and those who want to, look up to Bigfoot as a role model of something we wish we had never lost… but despite our own urging continue to let slip away. We are no longer always a good Sheppard of all that we survey and we have forgotten our own connection to nature in a world that we are as much a part of as our own children are to us. 


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 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. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why, sometimes, you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology, but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 

  • UK SIGHTINGS: Mysterious big cats still grab the h...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Mystery over 'Palace Puma' big cat s...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Police Frenzy in England over Myster...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Possible wild cat nr Crowborough -...
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Mystery of cat sightings deepens
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Big Cats Gazetteer
  • VIDEO: Whiskas Big Cat, Little Cat - Official TV a...

  • NEWSLINK: Dentist extracts teeth from Paignton Zoo...

  • WHY IS THE GONZO BLOG DOO-DAH MAN? (Existentialist Saturday)

    The Gonzo Daily - Saturday
    And so the sun is starting his journey back to us. We sometimes forget how dependent we are upon King Sol. In 1999, for reasons I will not go into here, Uri Geller, Rob Ayling, Richard, Graham and I were on a cross-channel cruise to coincide with the solar eclipse. The ferry was to sail along the line of totality so that we on board could get the best possible view of what was, at least in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
    As the disc of the sun slowly disappeared I began to feel a very primal panic. I ceased to be an intelligent and reasonably cultured middle-aged writer and surprisingly quickly reverted to being a primal savage. I clutched my then girlfriend's hand and much to my surprise, I found that tears were rolling down my cheeks. I looked around, embarrassed. Even more to my surprise I realised that most of the people I could see were crying. This was just something so completely alien to any of our shared life experience. From our earliest days daytime meant the sun, even if it was hidden behind clouds, and for the first time in any of our lives - and there were about 1500 people on the ferry - the sun had disappeared. The rational part of my brain knew perfectly well that this was only an uncommon astronomical phenomenon. The sun (like it says in the song) had been "eclipsed by the moon" and I knew perfectly well that, in a few minutes, everything would be back to normal in the UK for the next seventy-four years. 
    However, emotionally I knew no such thing. I was like an ancient savage who believed that the celestial sphere had been devoured by the inexorable force of the daemonic serpent-dragon and in my heart of hearts I was convinced that the sun had gone for good, and that within the blink of a cosmic eye, I, together with all life on earth would shrivel and die away forever.
    The worst thing about this sunless world was the strange, colourless half-light. Everything was tinged with a murky and unpleasant shade of puce. It was as if the creator had finally tired of the antics of his unruly and ungrateful servants and vomited back all the collected prayers, hopes and fears of mankind throughout the ages all over the pantheon of his creation. The entire world was the colour of vomit, and for what seemed like a lifetime, although I was in the middle of a crowd of 1500 people together with my then lover and many of my closest friends, I felt utterly desolate in a world that God - or at least the oldest God known to mankind - had deserted.
    It was a feeling that I never want to experience again, and it is the reason why I always celebrate today - the day when the sun begins its slow inexorable return.

    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: www.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?

    DALE DRINNON: Mokele Mbembe, Naiataka

    I have posted notice at all of my blogs that unless Blogger fixes the problem, I shall be forced to discontinue the blogs. We shall see if Blogger takes any reaction from that. In the meantime I have released all the leftover bits and pieces that were being held back for whatever reason, so that I shall not lose whatever I have left in case I want to go back and finish them.

    At this point the ball is in Blogger's court and they have done nothing so far.


    ...granddaughter Amelia's reaction after reviewing Melba Ketchum's bigfoot paper and being informed that some people actually believe her.

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


    On this day in 1937 Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated feature film, premièred in the United States of America.
    And now the news:

  • History of American Urban Squirrel
  • ‘Digital gophers’ solve Mima mound mystery
  • Ancient reptiles gathered in common latrine – via ...
  • New Actors in the Arctic Ecosystem
  • Bonobos Stay Young Longer: Unlike Humans and Chimp...
  • Dog missing for 8 years finds its way home to Gibs...
  • Three New Andean Lizards Discovered

  • Genetic exploration of endangered Galapagos tortoi...

  • What a lot of people forget about Disney's Snow White is that it was properly scary; they blank out scenes like this and just remember the twee singing dwarfs: