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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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

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



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.

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    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.

    CFZ 'PEOPLE': Poppy

    Poppy  is 15 years old today, or 76 in human years.  

    Happy Birthday to her and to her late and much missed brother, Spider.  No doubt she will spend her day with a casual stroll around the garden, and an undefinable amount of time staring out of the window or sleeping in her box, and perhaps will enjoy something nice for tea.

    "But when the day's hustle and bustle is done, 
    Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun. 
    And when all the family's in bed and asleep, 
    She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep. 
    She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice-- 
    Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice; 
    So when she has got them lined up on the matting, 
    She teaches them music, crocheting and tatting."
                                                                                           T.S. Eliot


    Early Bigfoot Tales
    The following guest article is by Rupert Matthews, author of the book Bigfoot and Other Mysterious Creatures. —————–. Early Bigfoot Tales

    Capture or Kill a Bigfoot by Rick Dyer
    ... is a dead/captured Bigfoot. We have put together a team of full time Bigfoot enthusiasts lead by the only man that has every killed one "Rick Dyer

    Bigfoot Sightings: Skater Voyeur and Snohomish Sasquatch
    Every once in awhile there's a Bigfoot sighting, and once there are a handful of them to mock — I mean scrutinize — I like to tie them all up into a blog ...

    Is this Bigfoot's footprint? Men discover evidence of mysterious six-foot-tall creature in Mississippi ...
    A large footprint unlike one from a human or bear has been found in the woods in Mississippi – raising suggestions that the creature it belongs to is ...


    The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday
    Before we go any further, I have been informed by my legal advisor (Corinna) that I am not allowed to use the words unctious, smarmy or egregious in this next paragraph. And I nearly always do what my wife tells me.
    I am very proud to have been involved, albeit in a very minor capacity, in Hawkwind's campaigning against the badger cull, but although it has largely been a success - the cull in most of the UK is on hold, the killings (of reduced numbers) are starting again in Somerset and Gloucestershire.
    There has been a lot of speculation about the reasoning behind the latest round of government sponsored badger culls which are being carried out despite the vast weight of evidence suggesting that they are cruel, expensive and pointless. Dan Holdsworth, who has in the past been vocal in support of the cull writes: "The EU's Veterinary Health department has recently spoken to the UK government, instructing them to do something about bovine TB levels. As any keep fan of "Yes Minister" can tell you, something clearly must be done. This is something, so by the orders of Sir Humphrey, this must be done..." If all the research papers are WRONG and badgers are indeed the primary reservoir of bTB in the countryside, then the numbers of badgers to be killed this year will make no appreciable difference.
    So what is behind this latest waste of mustelid life and public money? There is a General Election next year, and already I can hear the Party Political Broadcasts claiming "We are a Nation of Animals Lovers, but Government is about taking difficult decisions, and we decided to do just that in order to save our great farming indiustry whch is the backbone of the countryside. Rule Britannia etc". It is cheap electioneering and nothing more or less. Either that or those set in power over us are even more stupid than they appear to be.
    Hawkwind, Pink Fairies and Kate Bush Fans, and students of the British Underground had better look out! The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#93) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/.
    It has the lovely Jaki Windmill, the chanteuse of The Pink Fairies, (and all sorts of other things) on the cover. Hawkwind fans should check out the news of a charity auction of Bob Calvert memorabilia, and Doug Harr was there in the audience when Kate Bush played live on Friday evening. Dean Phillips revisits the events of 40 years ago when Wally Hope and the other Wallies of Wiltshire appeared in the High Court, with an amazing collection of pictures and clippings from the time, nearly all of which I had never seen before. There are also new shows from the wonderfully eccentric Jaki and Tim on their Submarine, from the multi-talented Neil Nixon at Strange Fruit and from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and ursine tree kangaroos (OK, no weird arboreal marsupials from New Guinea, 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 ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
    Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:

    All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
    You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
    To make sure that you don't miss your copy of future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe
    As well as the Gonzo Weekly, there is a daily service called - wait for it - The Gonzo Daily, and you can subscribe for free HERE:
    *  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 an orange kitten named after a song by Frank Zappa 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 kitten?


    ON THIS DAY IN 31 B.C. - The Roman leader Octavian defeated the alliance of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian, as Augustus Caesar, became the first Roman emperor. 

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  • AND TO WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK... (Music that may have some relevance to items also on this page, or may just reflect my mood on the day)