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, February 07, 2014

PLAYLIST: Strange Fruit #56

Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds some new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks).  Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.  

The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.


Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: LS Bumble Bee
Klaatu: Sir Bosworth Rugglesby
The Fut: Have you Heard the Word
Ringo Starr: Early 1970
Echo and the Bunnymen: Ticket to Ride
US Radio Is Paul Dead
The Beatles (George Harrison): While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Galaxie 500: Isn’t it a Pity
Gravenhurst: Only a Northern Song
Ron Sexsmith:   Give me Love (Give me Peace on Earth)
George Harrison: Be Here Now
George Harrison: Ding Dong
The Webb Sisters: I Need You
Damon and Naomi:While my Guitar Gently Weeps
Alessi’s Ark: The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll)
Tanya Donnelly: Long Long Long
Ronnie Spector: Try Some, Buy Some

Ravi Shankar: Bangla Dhun 

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:

CRYPTOLINK: Thylacines Gain Support For Continued Existence

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. 

One of the more fascinating creatures (to me anyway) known to have recently existed, the Thylacine looks like the front end of a dog welded to the back end of a cat with a kangaroo pouch thrown in.
The thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus, Greek for “dog-headed pouched one”) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped back) or the Tasmanian wolf. Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae; specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene.
Zoologists hunting Tasmanian tiger declare ‘no doubt’ species still alive
Oliver Milman theguardian.com, Monday 11 November 2013
Team claims that it has ‘highly credible’ witnesses and has found animal faeces that could belong to the extinct thylacine.
t had been considered extinct for nearly 80 years, but the Tasmanian tiger has been declared alive and kicking by an intrepid group of British naturalists.
A team of investigators from the Centre for Fortean Zoology, which operates from a small farmhouse in north Devon, is currently in Tasmania hunting down clues to prove the thylacine, commonly known as the Tassie tiger, still exists.
The group claims to have gathered compelling evidence of the thylacine’s presence in remote parts of Tasmania’s north-west, despite the last known animal dying in Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936.
Richard Freeman, zoological director of the organisation, told Guardian Australia he has “no doubt” the species still roams isolated areas of Tasmania.
“The area is so damn remote, there are so many prey species and we have so many reliable witnesses who know the bush that I’d say there is a reasonable population of them left,” he said. “I’d say there are more of them around in the world than Javan rhinos.” The World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are just 35 Javan rhinos left.
From Wikipedia
The thylacine is likely to have become near-extinct in mainland Australia about 2,000 years ago, and possibly earlier in New Guinea.The absolute extinction is attributed to competition from indigenous humans and invasive dingoes.
Although the thylacine had been close to extinction on mainland Australia by the time of European settlement, and went extinct there some time in the nineteenth century, it survived into the 1930s on the island state of Tasmania. They were rarely sighted during this time but slowly began to be credited with numerous attacks on sheep. This led to the establishment of bounty schemes in an attempt to control their numbers. The Van Diemen’s Land Company introduced bounties on the thylacine from as early as 1830, and between 1888 and 1909 the Tasmanian government paid £1 per head for dead adult thylacines and ten shillings for pups. In all they paid out 2,184 bounties, but it is thought that many more thylacines were killed than were claimed for. Its extinction is popularly attributed to these relentless efforts by farmers and bounty hunters. However, it is likely that multiple factors led to its decline and eventual extinction, including competition with wild dogs introduced by European settlers, erosion of its habitat, the concurrent extinction of prey species, and a distemper-like disease that also affected many captive specimens at the time. Whatever the reason, the animal had become extremely rare in the wild by the late 1920s. Despite the fact that the thylacine was believed by many to be responsible for attacks on the sheep, in 1928 the Tasmanian Advisory Committee for Native Fauna had recommended a reserve to protect any remaining thylacines, with potential sites of suitable habitat including the Arthur-Pieman area of western Tasmania.

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: The Marjory Moir Story Revisited

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. 


I showcased this classic sighting from 1936 in a previous article. You may think that would have been it but a comment submitted to that article recently has brought it back to life in more ways than one.

Marjory Moir passed away some years back but before then her account was recorded on audio tape back in the early 1980s by her granddaughter. The transcript of that conversation is given below as Mrs. Moir relives that exciting day fifty years previously.

The other fascinating thing about this new information is that one of the witnesses is still alive today and living in Scotland! Indeed, she had a second sighting of the creature, although it was not as spectacular as this famous account. She was the youngest of the party and is called "Ann" here to respect her anonymity.

Read on...


The Gonzo Daily - Friday
Yesterday was a lovely day. Graham, Mark Raines and I (mostly Graham) manhandled the new mixing desk into the office, and much to my surprise it fits perfectly. We decided not to try and use it until we had sussed it out a bit, but then - to my ghreat pleasure - we found an operating manual for free online. I haven't broken the news to young David yet that he will have to plumb it in, but I am sure he will roll his eyes in horrow. Mutter something about the fact that I should have consulted him before buying it, and then do a magnificent job. (I know that 'plumbing in' is the right word for washing machines, but as no plumbing is actually involved I don't whether it applies to mixing desks, but I cannot think of a better term, and cannot be bothered to try).
The other week I had a message on Facebook from a dude called Steve who has just moved to the village with his wife and stepdaughter. He came over to visit us, and Graham and I entertained him with a little wine and a little beer. I think it was gone three when he went home the next morning. Last night his aforementioned wife and step-daughter came over and the upshot is that we now have a delightful young lady called Chloe working at the CFZ part time. The CFZ, and by extension the Gonzo Weekly, is now staffed mostly by unemployable bearded men of a certain age with wild staring eyes and a battery of mental and physical health problems, and a gaggle pretty young ladies from a plethora of schools and colleges. AND we have a pet lobster! I think we should win the Queen's Award for Industry.
Apart from other things, you will be pleased to hear that Issue 64 of the Gonzo Weekly is imminent. This issue features Liz Lenten's scrapbook of thge tour they did with Jefferson Starship, an exclusive interview with Briudget Wishart about Spirits Burning, Hawkwind and all sorts of other things, new music from Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life, new music from Mike Davis and Lizzy Rowe, the new Small Faces compilation album, the Small School in Hartland, the legendary Roy Weard on why we make music, Clepsydra tour dates and an interview with progressive album artist Sandor Kwiatkowski and more news, reviews, views, interviews and brindled gnus (OK, no specialised African antelopes 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?


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. 


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. 

  • NEWSLINK: 'Tiger density highest in Corbett park'
  • NEWSLINK: Cats gone wild

  • UK SIGHTINGS: Is this paw print proof of a big cat...
  • OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1946 the actor Pete Postlethwaite was born. Postlethwaite starred in Dragonheart, Jurassic Park 2 (he was one of the few good things about the film, which would have been much better if it had actually followed the plot of the damn book it was supposed to be based on), Inception and the TV-movie series of Sharpe.
    And now the news:

  • Police find 39 pangolins packed into car
  • Drones Enter the Battle Against Elephant, Rhino Po...
  • Himalayan heights pose no problem for bees
  • Researchers discover rare new species of deep-divi...
  • Russian poachers purge parks as Moscow goes nuts f...
  • Giant ‘snot’ jellyfish washes ashore – scientists ...

  • Unusual numbers of whales stranding on the Florida...

  • Pete Postlethwaite lays down the law in JP2: