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, January 05, 2015

WYRD MUSIC: Mike Davis

I do not actually see any great difference between what I do with Gonzo Multimedia, and what I do with The Centre for Fortean Zoology and its attendant projects. Indeed, at the Weird Weekend back in August no less than three of the speakers were actually people who are Gonzo artistes, plus another two who have appeared on a number of occasions in the pages of this magazine. Basically, it is all about encouraging a literate and intelligent interest in things which are challenging to the mainstream, because if we never challenge the mainstream then nothing will ever change and society as a whole will never progress.

This coming year, together with my friend and colleague Martin Eve, who is best known as electron composer 4th Eden, we are launching a new umbrella project called 'Wyrd'.  Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny. Their concept of fate, wyrd, was stronger than that of the Classical Pagans as there was no resisting it. The word is ancestral to Modern English weird, which retains its original meaning only dialectically.

Some of you may remember that about ten years ago I was involved in publishing a magazine with this name, and indeed there  may well be a revival of said magazine. But it is more than that. The company I own, CFZ Publications, exists basically to give a voice to authors who would otherwise be unlikely to get published.  It is about taking the profit motive out of publishing; a concept which has sometimes turned around and bitten me in the bum as people who I thought I was helping have turned round and accused me of trying to profit from their genius. However, although some people have totally missed the point and disappeared into a cloud of their own self-importance, other people have grokked it immediately and remain close friends and collaborators to this very day. Wyrd is an attempt to do something similar but in other artistic media, utilising the new technology and the burgeoning social media to play games with form, and subvert any recognisable business practises.


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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  • NEWSLINK-INDIA-Solving the big cat problem: An exp...

  • tigers-about-the-house-what-happened-next- Tigers ...
  • FORTEAN ART TERRORISM: The latest from Xtul

    Oh the universe is a strange place. But you don't need me to tell you that I am sure. I have been telling you the story of my totally unexpected relationship with a band called Xtul, and their Minister for Information, Danny Miles, whom I have known for over thirty years and have done my best to ignore for most of that time. However, because my time is limited, and my space within the various places that I have been telling this story is even more so, I had only got as far as the second week in September when we got close to the end of the year, and the band broke silence and released a particularly scabrous slice of undanceable sound collage, and labelled it their Christmas single. So I had to write about that, and then we came to the big Christmas double issue, and so I had no time to write any more, and we are still stuck back in mid-September, with a story to tell that I had planned to get done and dusted before Christmas.


    The Gonzo Daily - 5th January
    It's the 12th day of Christmas and the rhymes are all used up
    and have we staggered back to normal? The answer must be yup
    and so my year begins as normal, Richard Muirhead's on the phone
    with a story about mammoths and not just a piece of bone
    but a 19th Century circus claim to have exhibited alive
    a specimen from Malaya where they claim the species thrives
    and an email from a rock star (who is well known to you)
    changing the time and date and things of his forthcoming interview
    and a reminder from DVLA about retaxing the car
    and a reminder about the electricity bill that we've not paid so far
    and a thousand other things to do before it gets much worse
    so for 2014/5 that's the end of my festive verse
    Love and Blessings
    The Gonzo Weekly #111
    Mice on Stilts, Kate Bush, Three Friends, PFM, Yusof, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, King Crimson, Elbow, The National, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Yes, Hawkwind, and Daevid Allen fans had better look out!
    The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#111) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/. It has Mice on Stilts on the front cover, and an interview with the band, Doug's totally subjective top ten gigs of last year, we send Lee Pomeroy, prog bass player to the stars to a desert island, and there are shows from the multi-talented Neil Nixon at Strange Fruit and from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive, and the titular submarine dwellers are lost at sea, whilst Xtul are still causing havoc in the forest. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and anteaters wishing to snooze (OK, nothing to do with dozy edentates, 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/…/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit
    * 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?

    NESSIENEWS (Caveat Lector)

    Plum resident creates driftwood monsters
    One driftwood creation bears a striking resemblance to the famed Loch Ness Monster of Scottish myth. It is Gavasto's favorite piece and is priced at .

    'Monster' spotted on Lake Erie
    This "monster" was spotted near Rosie Sanden's home on West Lake Road in Dunkirk. Sanden called the driftwood log with icicles "The Loch Ness ...


    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.


    A bigfoot sighting over holidays
    “It was a Bigfoot, no question about it,” Don told me during a telephone conversation less than three hours after their encounter. When they

    New Bigfoot videos emerge in Maine / latest news
    The Bigfoot hunter and researcher is so convinced that this case is the real deal that he has even likened the videos to the infamous footage recorded ... 


    ON THIS DAY IN 1896 - It was reported by The Austrian newspaper that Wilhelm Roentgen had discovered the type of radiation that became known as X-rays. 

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  • Linton Zoo lions play with old Christmas trees

  • 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)