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...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

DAVEY CURTIS: Seaham - Planet of the Spiders

 Dear Jon,

Have you seen this?

A woman has had a finger amputated - and told she was within hours of death - after being bitten by a false widow spider.

Andrea Wallace, from Seaham, County Durham, was bitten in a Sunderland park and described the result as "like something out of a horror movie".

The attack left her with flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis, which required 10 weeks in hospital.

False widows are the UK's most venomous spider but extreme reactions are rare.
There have been no reported deaths from its bites in the UK and it is understood the spider which bit Ms Wallace contained a bacteria which caused the reaction.

Within an hour of arrival at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Ms Wallace went into surgery as doctors tried to prevent the poison spreading through her body.

She was later transferred to the University Hospital of North Durham.

  Andrea Wallace's finger swelled and began oozing pus after the bite

The hairdresser said: "The pain was like nothing I've been through in my life.

"By the time I got to hospital my finger was bursting open, there was pus, it was black. It was a right mess."

"They told me if I had been two hours later I would have been dead. It was scary.

"It was like something out of a horror movie."

Doctors attempted to construct a "false finger" but eventually had to amputate.

The mother-of-four has been left with a six-inch scar, but she said: "Losing my finger was a small price to pay.

"I could've lost my life."

The poor woman.



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.


This Sunday my body clock
is completely gone to cock
and I have to confide to you
that I'm actually not sure what to do
It is not going to be that easy to fix
cos I've not been to bed before half past six
since Wednesday, and I'm beginning to think
I am now completely out of synch
does it matter if I turn nocturnal
not that much, cos my eternal
tasks of writing blogs and mags
while consuming coffee and smoking fags
Can be done at any time of day
but I would really like to say
that Sundays are still my favourite time
'cos I do the blasted things in rhyme
not because I find it prudent,
but merely for my own amusement
but that's enough from this particular freak
my poems whill be back next week
Slàinte mhòr
Judge Smith, Peter Hammill, Edgar Allan Poe fans, Wings fans, Carl "Blue" Wise fans, Hawkwind fans, Gong fans and all sorts of other people, had better look out! The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#99) will soon be available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/.
It has Judge Smith on the cover, and features an article by him about the latest performaance of his celebrated opera based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". There is also an interview with him about it. But there's more! We have an interview with Carl "Blue" Wise about Denny Laine, Wings, Joey Molland, Badfinger and playing alongside some of the sopul stars of Stax records (amongst other things). Doug Harr goes to see King Crimson, and Jon asks whether repackaging and remixing and remastering music is morally acceptable. The new album by Aphex Twin is critiqued and there are exclusive words Hunter Ayling is backstage at Hawkwind's Hawkoktoberfest. 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 a new show from Canterbury Sans Frontières, but sadly it will be the last for a while. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and doves making coos (OK, no musical members of the Columbinidae, 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 infantile orange cat 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 infantile orange cat?



The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing listing the black
pinesnake (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi) and the fisher (Pekania
pennanti) as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

The black pinesnake found in Mississippi and Alabama suffers from
population loss caused by habitat degradation, fire suppression
activities, road kills and intentional killing by humans. The West
Coast population of the fisher, commonly known as a type of weasel,
is threatened from habitat loss, rodent-killing pesticides and wildfires.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned listing both species.

Comments for the pinesnake listing are due by Dec. 8, 2014. Comments
of the fisher listing are due by Jan. 5, 2015.

Click here to view the Federal Register notice for the black pinesnake:


ON THIS DAY IN 1492 - Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sighted Watling Island in the Bahamas. He believed that he had found Asia while attempting to find a Western ocean route to India. The same day he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. 

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