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...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES:Recent anti-social behaviour involving peacocks and cars in Devon.

The following is copied from The Guardian`s online edition of April 15th 2015.

A pride of feral peacocks is causing havoc by attacking their own reflections in the bodywork of cars parked too close to their territory around a West Country estate. Apparently mistaking their own images for encroaching love rivals, the birds of Clyst St Mary, Devon, are causing thousands of pounds of damage by clawing away at vehicles.

The birds are believed to have roamed wild around the Bishops Court estate in Devon for years but people who live and work nearby say they have become bolder and more aggressive. Drivers say their vehicles have been left covered in scratches almost every day since spring sprung and the birds became agitated and frisky. Penny Hill, a manager based on a business estate close to Bishops Court, said her car had been repeatedly attacked. She said: “The peafowl roam around the area, which were presumably introduced at some point in the past.

“The peacocks, although beautiful to look at, are becoming an incredible nuisance particularly around this time every year as they are attacking and damaging vehicles. They are aggressive, territorial and intimidating.
“My nice clean car sat in the car park and a peacock spend all day attacking its reflection thinking it was another bird and becoming territorial as it’s mating season.

“The result was a bloody and scratched mess where the pecking has completely ruined the back of my car, which I take great pride and care with,” she said, adding: “I am not the first person working on the estate that this has happened to.”

Hill said complaints had been made to the estate, which is used as a venue for wedding ceremonies.
But Bishops Court insisted the peafowl were wild and had nothing to do with the house.
A spokeswoman for Bishops Court said the birds did not belong to the estate. “They absolutely do not originate with us. They are just wild. I don’t know where they come from. It is like asking where the robins or the foxes come from.”

Earlier this month a swan hit the headlines for terrorising visitors on the river Cam in Cambridge. The bird was nicknamed “Asbaby” because he is apparently the descendant of an infamous swan dubbed Mr Asbo who caused chaos on the same stretch of river before being rehomed.

There were 34 comments by today,7.50 a.m April 16th, one of which was: “I saw the headline and thought that the article was going to be about misbehaving upper-class twits......

The reply being :” Real upper class twits dont' give a t*** about their car.

It's the plebs you should be worried about.

I refuse to make things worse by commenting further!

P.S. The *** was in The Guardian`s version.


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.


The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday
Today is Bealtaine - May eve. Probably my favourite day of the year. Last May eve we asked Andy the Druid  to do Bealtaine Fires for us, and he did so. It was jawdroppingly moving and so we have asked him to do it again this year. Because even druids have day jobs we shall be doing it on Monday at approximately tea time. Much love to you all from everyone in the Gonzo family, and may you have a peaceful and happy summer.
As always Kipling wrote the words that I cannot:
“Oh, do not tell the Priest of our art. 
For he will call it sin,
but we shall be in the woods all night,
 conjuring Summer in!
We bring good news by word of mouth for women and cattle and corn.
The Sun is coming up from the South by Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.”
The Gonzo Weekly #127
Roy Weard, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Circuline, Astronomusic, Blur, Blackbird Raum, Hawkwind, Jon Anderson, and Yes fans had better look out!
The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#127) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/. It has the legendary Roy Weard on the cover, and inside yours truly interviews him about his autobiography, memories of Watchfield and Windsor free festivals and lots more. Doug writes about Circuline, Jon interviews Astronomusic, Jon eulogises over Blackbird Raum, and is pensive about Blur's new album. Jon critiques a book about Doc Shiels. Neil Nixon reports on an even stranger album than usual, Wyrd plays live with exclusive pics, Xtul gets even more peculiar, and there are radio shows from Strange Fruit and from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive, and the titular submarine dwellers are still lost at sea, although I have been assured that they will hit land again soon. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons trying to choose (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials having difficulty in making choices, 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!!!
This issue features:
John Lennon, Noel & Liam Gallagher, Tool, Black Sabbath, Nile Rodgers, Chic, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Bernard Stollman, John Shuttleworth, Hugh Hopper, Rocket Scientists, Tommy James, Birmingham Sunday, Inner City Unit, Mick Abrahams, OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine, Brantley Gilbert,Roy Weard, Circuline, Astronomusic, Hawkwind, Jessica Taylor, Yes,
Reflektions, Tracy Nicholson, Stargrace, Jim Watts, Dogleg, Doc Shiels, Xtul, Yes, Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Rick Wakeman, Blackbird Raum, Blur, Damon Albarn, A.C.,Spice Girls, Elvis, The Osbournes, Michael Jackson, The Partridge Family, Claude Serre, Jonne
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?


ON THIS DAY IN 1527 - Henry VIII and King Francis of France signed the treaty of Westminster. 
And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • South African Airways bans transport of hunting tr...
  • Convergent evolution: Diverse sea creatures evolve...
  • Endangered loggerhead turtles losing their battle ...
  • Children's knowledge of nature is dwindling, study...
  • Chinese delegate to elephant conference asks about...
  • New Zealand stoats provide an ark for genetic dive...

  • Mexico signs historic agreement to protect jaguars...

  • 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)