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...

Saturday, February 01, 2014


From Jeff Leclrere, Zoologist performing amphibian and reptile surveys at MN DNR

Just attended commercial turtle harvest meetings in Muscatine and Des Moines, Iowa. If you care about wild turtle populations, your help is needed! - read on. The Iowa DNR has proposed closing the season on turtle harvest from January 1 - July 15. This will benefit IA turtle populations by completely eliminating harvest during the female's egg development and nesting seasons. Please consider sending a quick email (contact listed below) to SUPPORT the IDNR's recommendation to impose a season on turtle harvest. The email can be very brief and take just a couple seconds to compose. Simply state "I support the IDNR's recommendation to impose a season on commercial turtle harvest". Feel free to add a sentence or two more such as "I believe IA turtle populations cannot sustain continued harvest over time due to certain aspects of their life history" or something similar. Commercial turtle harvesters have, and will, definitely voice their opposition, so every person's email counts! Iowa residents AND non residents can comment. The comment period begins now and will end by Feb 23, 2014. Please send comments of support to: Martin.Konrad@dnr.iowa.gov Share this with others and thank you!


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. 


What has Corinna's column of fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

Well, everything actually!

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. 

Rare turtle usually found in Gulf of Mexico washes up on Woolacombe beach (Via Helen Taylor)

Kemp's ridley turtle
Kemp's ridley sea turtles are usually found in the Gulf of Mexico.

A rare turtle usually found in the Gulf of Mexico has washed up on a North Devon beach.
The small Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was found dead on Woolacombe Beach on Tuesday by a member of the public and was reported to the Marine Conservation Society.
The endangered turtle, measuring approximately 30cm in length, is not the first to wash up on UK waters this year.

Read on...


The Gonzo Daily - Saturday
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Yes, its Chinese New Year, but no, I am not being some stupid, middle-aged, pseudo-cosmic hippie flirting with Eastern culture in order to enhance his grooviness. OK, I am a stupid, middle-aged,hippie, but I have never pretended to be cosmic, and have an old fashioned attitude towards matters cosmic, in that they are not really the sort of thing that one discusses at the Dining Table. But I was brought up in Hong Kong, back when it was still the proudest jewel in the crown of an empire on which the sun never set, and furthermore I was largely brought up by my parents' Chinese servants. I spoke Cantonese before I spoke English, and I still dream in the language. I adored Ah-Tim, Ah-Tam and Ah-Ling who raised me, and not a day goes by that I don't think about them. They treated me like their own child, and I considered their daughter to be my own baby sister.
So part of me is essentially Colonial Chinese. Every Chinese New Year they would give me presents of 'lucky money' and Ah-Tim taught me that on this day I must put a little piece of my dinner on the fire as an offering to the House Gods. I have done that ever since. Especially at this time of year I feel horribly homesick for a land and a time that almost certainly does not exist any more. So I hope that you will indulge me.
Mn fuk lam mun

Rick Wakeman wants Olympic skaters for King Arthur on Ice revival
WHAT A BUNCH OF SWEETIES! The Pink Fairies return
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Pink Fairies - Uncle Harry's Last Freakout...

Issue 63 of the Gonzo Weekly is in the pipeline. It features the return of the Pink Fairies, an exclusive interview with Mark Murdock of 'Cymbalic Encounters' fame, another interview with the mighty Galahad, and an account of our adventures with Jefferson Starship, and more news, reviews, views, interviews and kangaroos (OK, no Macropoda but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's COMPLETELY FREE!!!
To make sure that you don't miss your copy of future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe

PS. If you are already a subscriber but think that you haven't been receiving your copies please check your spam filters. For some reason known only to the Gods of the internet, some e-mail programmes automatically count the magazine as 'spam' probably because it comes from a mass mailer. Either that or they are just jealous of our peerless content

*  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?


1. Sun nin fai lok – the ever important, “Happy New Year”.

2. Gung hei fat choi – “Congratulations on your prosperity”
3. Sun tai gin hong – “Wishing you good health”
4. Dai gat dai lei – “Great luck and prosperity”
5. Lung ma jing sung – “May you have the strength of a dragon and horse”
6. Mahn si sing yi – “May 10,000 things you do exceed your wishes”
7. Mahn si yuh yi – “May 10,000 things go according to your wishes”
8. Sum seung si sing – “May all your heart’s desires come true”
9. Gung ho sun hei – “Congratulations in the New Year”
10. Sun jeong lek gin – “May you be strong and healthy”
11. Mn fuk lam mun – “Having all good blessings in your house”
12. Chut yap ping on – “Be safe when entering and exiting“
13. Nin nin yau yue – “Every year have more than you need”
14. Faai goh jeung dai – “Grow tall and be strong”
15. Sang yi hing lung – “May your business grow and flourish”
16. Poon muhn boot muhn – “To be filled to the very top with money”
17. Siu hau seung hoi – “May you always laugh happily”
18. Yat bun mahn lei - “May you be successful in everything”
19. Choi yun gwong jun - “May lots of wealth come in”
20. Bou bou goh sing – “May you rise to the highest step by step”

Save Britain's Barn Owls

Save Britain's Barn Owls

Sign the petition
Barn owls, a majestic icon of the British countryside, are dying off in their thousands. A changing climate and habitat loss is part of the picture, but Britain's barn owls are also being killed by powerful rat poisons being used on farms across the country.

When owls eat poisoned rodents, they ingest toxins which can cause internal bleeding. Although not all die as a direct result, experts believe the poisons affect their ability to hunt and breed. 8 in 10 barn owls have been found to have these poisons in their bloodstreams, but there is a glimmer of hope for this beautiful predator -- the government is reviewing how such poisons are used.

Let's flood the minister responsible for the review with demands to impose stricter controls on these powerful poisons, restricting where and how they are used and throwing a lifeline to our owls. Sign here to stop barn owls dying, and help protect one of the best-loved symbols of Britain's wildlife.


The number of barn owls in Britain has catastrophically collapsed, partly due to extreme weather events like freezing winters, cold springs and wet summers. Since the roll-out of the poisons, the numbers of barn owls testing positive for toxins has risen dramatically.

There have been no scientific studies into the effects of non-lethal doses of these poisons on barn owls. But when humans are exposed to small doses of similar poisons, they cause burning fevers, vomiting and diarrhoea. Feeling unwell can be the difference between life and death for a predator that relies on hunting to survive.

These poisons are found on three quarters of Britain's farms, and are often laid permanently to prevent rodent infestations, rather than occasionally to end them. Join our call for Britain to bring in stronger regulation on the use and labelling of these deadly poisons to help save Britain's barn owls - before they disappear forever.


Avaaz's 32 million members around the world -- including more than 1 million in the UK -- have taken effective action before to help protect our environment. When Europe's bees faced poisoning by pesticides, more than 2.5 million of us came together to force a change in the law. Now we can help save one of Britain's best-loved birds of prey.

With hope and determination,

David Ramsden, Senior Conservation Officer, Barn Owl Trust, with Avaaz

Read more on Barn Owls and Rodenticides

PS: This petition was started on Avaaz's new Community Petitions Site. It's quick and easy to start a petition on any issue you care about, click here: http://avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?30311  

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today