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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Monday, November 03, 2014

CRYPTOLINK: How Elves and Serpents are Saving Iceland for Future Generations

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. 

Last month, the mayor of the 2,200-person town of Egilsstaðir in eastern Iceland matter-of-factly announced that his government had verified video proving the existence of the Lagarfljótsormur, the Iceland Worm Monster. A fixture of Icelandic myth since 1345, the Worm is supposedly a 300-foot sea serpent, which thrashes about and slithers up onto the surface from within the glacier-fed Lagarfljót Lake. Some say the Lagarfljótsormur was put there by men, some say it was tied to the bottom by Finns to keep its bloody appetites in check, and some say its lashing and churning portends disaster. But rather than go the way of most wyrms—into myth, history, and crackpot theories—a casual, possibly coy half-belief in the Lagarfljótsormur and many more magical creatures still persists in Iceland, with modern-day sightings by government officials, entire classrooms of children, and as in the case of the 2012 film that supposedly confirmed the serpent’s existence, men casually observing a roiling river demon over a cup of coffee. Many suspect these “beliefs” are just opportunistic bids for attention or tourism dollars. But no matter the motive, the Lagarfljótsormur and its mythic kin now play a significant role in shaping Iceland’s relationship with and preservation of its own culture and the natural world it’s tied to.
Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Five “Real” Sea Monsters Brought to Life by Early Naturalists

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. 
This phrase translates from the Latin as “here are dragons.” It is etched on the eastern coast of Asia on one of the oldest terrestrial globe maps, the Lenox Globe, dating to 1510. Though the phrase itself is found on only one other historical artifact—a 1504 globe crafted on an ostrich egg—depictions of monsters and mythological beasts are common on early maps. They mostly crop up in unexplored reaches of the oceans, warning would-be explorers of the perils of these unknown territories.
One of the most famous of these maps is Olaus Magnus’ Carta Marina, drawn between 1527and 1539. Magnus (1490-1557) was the Catholic archbishop of Sweden and a prominent historian. His travels brought him farther north than any of his contemporary European intellectuals, lending a great deal of perceived credibility to his accounts and publications. Carta Marina is a detailed map of Scandinavia—one of the oldest ever created—and it depicts the Norwegian Sea so teaming with monsters that it would seem impossible to escape these waters uneaten. In 1555, Magnus published Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (“A Description of the Northern Peoples”), which not only related the history, customs, and beliefs of the Scandinavian people, but also reprinted and described the creatures found on Carta Marina. His standing and reputation secured the widespread acceptance of his stories.

Kraken gif created by Richard Naples [Smithsonian Libraries], based on a drawing by Denys Montfort in Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques: animaux sans vertèbres et a sang blanc, v.2, 1801. (Smithsonian Biodiversity Heritage Library)

Magnus’ descriptions and drawings were copied repeatedly, with little to no modification, for centuries by such historical titans as Edward Topsell, Ulisse Aldrovandi, John Jonstonus and Conrad Gessner, whose Historia Animalium, replete with Magnus’ drawings, is the first modern zoological work attempting to describe all known animals. Such repurposing ensured that these creatures were ingrained in the public mind as truth. And over the centuries, many new monsters were added to the mix.

Read on...


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.

100-Year-Old Cockatoo Named Fred Receives Centenar..
Robin flies to top of poll on Britain's 'national ...
Whooooo said that? The distinct voices of owls


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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    WTSP 10 News

    Florida man spends weekends hunting Bigfoot
    Tucked away in the Adirondack mountain range, Whitehall, New York has been a hot bed of Bigfoot activity for hundreds of years. (Photo: WGRZ).

    Did LordCryptid Capture a Bigfoot on Camera?
    Bigfoot researcher LordCryptid in Michigan was walking his dog the other day and managed to capture a dark figure on a trail. Whatever it was, it was ...

    Mike Ritchburg Describes His Childhood Bigfoot Encounter (Video)
    Mike Ritchburg describes his encounter with a massive Bigfoot while out deer hunting in the swamps of South Carolina. Mike was only 14 years old at 

    The Mogollon Monster; Arizona's bigfoot
    “They were all about the hairy man, or the wild man, or something like that, and of course I didn't believe them… we took all these campfire stories and ...


    Bigfoot-like apparition caught on film
    When Theresa Schue snapped photos of the landscape on a church outing she wasn't expecting to capture anything but the view. What she got has ...

    Rick "Doll Boy" Dyer Releases Another Inconclusive Photo
    Yesterday Ricky Dyer said he was going to release another photo of his stuffed rug....I mean Bigfoot, then he got a pout on and said we wouldn't 

    Is The Discovery Channel Investigating The Edward Waterman Photograph?
    If the news is true (or perhaps we're misinterpreting things), Ed Waterman's research could be a big deal if the above photograph is proven to

    Terribly Fake Montana Bigfoot Sightings [VIDEOS]
    These are possibly the worst videos of a Bigfoot sighting ever filmed in the history of Bigfoot footage. They make Harry and the Henderson's look like a

    Bigfoot found in china
    Nov 21, 2013 . In the following incredible account, a "Bigfoot (Chinese Yeren)-human hybrid man" was found in China . are to be found in the July and


    The Gonzo Daily - Monday
    It has been a long, convoluted and rather complicated weekend during which (in no particular order): Andy the druid did a Samhain ceremony, Calpurnia the tortoise laid an egg, I improvised an incubator, Amy and Charlotte brought me diabetic-friendly cardamom biscuits, Martha the baby pigeon continued to eat drink and grow stronger, Karaand Harry Wadham brought me niececake and niecepies, I worked out how to put moving images on the background of a website, we had Julia the Happy Medium for a houseguest, 28ft of cast iron guttering fell off the front of the house in a rainstorm and I put the final touches to Karl Shuker's new book cover. Not bad for my weekend off when I was supposed to be asleep for two days.
    Steve Hillage, Supertramp, Jon Anderson, Yes, Joy Division,  Hawkwind, and Daevid Allen fans had better look out! The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#102) IS available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/.
    It has Steve Hillage on the cover, and features an interview with him inside. But there's more! There is news about Daevid Allen, Doug Harr critiques the Supertramp live DVD, and people make wild speculations about a new Galahad side project. Xtul are still in the deep woods, and Corinna finds a brilliant board game from the Swinging Sixties. Jon muses on Peter Hook's recollections of Joy Division, and we send Carl 'Blue' Wise to a desert island and Jon is very rude about the third album by The Ting Tings. 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 turtles having a snooze (OK, no soporific chelonians, 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 55 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?


    ON THIS DAY IN 1507 - Leonardo DaVinci was commissioned by the husband of Lisa Gherardini to paint her. The work is known as the Mona Lisa. 

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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)