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, October 01, 2014

CFZ PEOPLE: "It's not tuesday, it's not thursday...IT'S GRANDDAUGHTER WEDNESDAY!


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.

CRYPTOLINK: Sad tale of the Tasmanian Tiger: How Benjamin, the last of his kind, died of exposure at Hobart Zoo after being left out in the cold

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. 

The last Thylacine, called Benjamin, died on September 7, 1936

  • The Tasmania Tiger was locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters and died from the cold
  • There is footage of the last Thylacine, taken in its enclosure in 1933 by naturalist David Flea
  • In 1996, on the sixtieth anniversary of the last Tasmanian tiger’s death, September 7 was declared ‘National Threatened Species Day’
  • Australia's list of threatened species includes the Tasmanian Devil, Blue Whales and the Wedge Tailed Eagle 

The tale of the last Thylacine is a relatively sad one, left to die out in the cold.

One of the largest known carnivorous marsupials in modern times, the Thylacine, which is greek for 'dog-headed pouched one' is more commonly referred to as the Tasmania Tiger, because of its stripped back.

The animal, which was native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century, although sightings are still being reported, yet none have been proven.

Is it really extinct? :The Thylacine, called the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, was a large marsupial that is now almost certainly extinct. The female (pictured) was the last one to be captured and died in the old Hobart Zoo. But there have been a number of reported sightings although none have been proven
Is it really extinct? :The Thylacine, called the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf, was a large marsupial that is now almost certainly extinct. The female (pictured) was the last one to be captured and died in the old Hobart Zoo. But there have been a number of reported sightings although none have been proven

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The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday
I feel much better today. Yesterday was one of those weird days when I achieved absolutely nothing. But sleep and major tranquilisers have got my head back into some semblance of normality and I am ready to face the universe again. I am surprised by the negative vibes being directed towards the two new Prince albums (OK, if you want to be pedantic, the Prince Album and the Prince with 3RDEYEGIRL album). Personally I think they are both smashing and grow on me with each subsequent playing. Prince is a weird little bugger, but I have been a big fan for the last twenty years, and although he has his off periods, like Neil Young and the late Frank Zappa, he is so prolific (when he wants to be) and covers so many bases that he is never gonna be able to please all the people all of the time. I think I prefer the solo album to the 3RDEYEGIRL one, but that may just be because I heard it first...
Ageing Hipsters, rock and roll historians, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Gong fans and all sorts of other people, had better look out! The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#97) will soon be available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/.
It has me being totally seld indulgent with a picture of my first grand-daughter (born a few days ago) on the cover, but features an interview with the legendary Freddy Bannister, promoter of festivals at Bath and Knebworth amongst others. He talks about Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd amongst others. Doug Harr goes to see Tears for Fears, and Jon is surprisingly reassuring about the future of the music business. There are also new shows from the multi-talented Neil Nixon at Strange Fruit and from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive, and the massively talented Jaki and Tim are back with their submarine and Maisie the cow. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and Mollucan palm cockatoos (OK, no weird pink parrots, 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:
*  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?


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.


ON THIS DAY IN 1949 - Mao Tse-tung raised the first flag of the People's Republic of China when the communist forces had defeated the Nationalists. The Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan. 

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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)