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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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


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.


Western Gazette

Sexey's school pupil's Gothic school project set in Coombe Woods retraces footsteps of Bigfoot
But 12 year old Caitlin took an even greater creative interpretation and set herself the task of making a film about the mythical legend of Bigfoot raging ...


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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    The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday
    I gave what I hope was a mildly amusing and hopefully entertaining talk about the basics of cryptozoology to the Friends of Appledore Library last night. I wasn't expecting it, but they were kind enough to present me with a bottle of single malt whisky. This is rather good, because although I am mostly off the sauce at the moment, this isn't something I will neck back with gay abandon, and the off sip after a long day will not really breach my resolve. And this is my sixteenth cigarette free day. I am feeling mildly pleased with myself.
    There are various complications with the WW speaker list. Two weddings, an unexpected family holiday and a stroke have caused more than a little chaos, but a revised programme will be posted as soon as I get around to it. This will not be today.
    I know that accepted wisdom is that Captain Beefheart hit a career low with the Blue Jeans and Moonbeams album in (I think) 1974, but I think it contains some absolutely gorgeous music, and furthermore the piano phrase in 'Further than We've Gone' truly NEVER fails to make me happy, no matter how much of a miserable old sod I am being on any given day.
    The Gonzo Weekly #130
    David Peel, John Lennon, Gryphon, Lester Bangs, Malachite, Britannia Potts, Roy Weard, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Hawkwind, Jon Anderson, and Yes fans had better look out!
    The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#130) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/. It has David Peel on the front cover together with the intriguing story of how the FBI got him and John Lennon confused inside. There is a look at Gryphon live by Doug, Jon examines a new collection of Lester Bangs' writings, and talks about a very weird weekend, whilst the legendary Roy Weard continues his regular column. We send Nigel Hewlett-Beech to a desert island, There is a peek at some rare Yes memorabilia, and a look at the story of Silver Machine, Neil Nixon reports on an even stranger album than usual, Wyrd meets Britannia Potts, Xtul gets even more peculiar, and there are radio shows from Strange Fruit and from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive. 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:
    Liam Gallagher, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Kurt Cobain, Slash, Malcolm Young, AC/DC, Weird Weekend, Kim Kardashian, Bear Grylls, Steve Ignorant, Slice of Life, Steve Hackett, Elvis Presley, Eliza Carthy, Tim Eriksen, Galahad, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, B B King, Mick Abrahams & Sharon Watson, Tommy James, Hugh Hopper, Third Ear Band, WMWS, David Peel, Strawberry Alarm CLock, Eliza Carthy & Jim Moray, Magic Michael, David Peel, John Lennon, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Jon Wiener, Gryphon, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Nigel Hewlett-Beech, Malachite, Yes, Steve Howe, Palos Verdes, Alan White, Rick Wakeman, Lester Bangs, Xtul, Neil Nixon, And the Native Hipsters,Rolling Stones, Paganini, Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Dalriada
    Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
    Issue 129 (Clepsydra cover)
    Issue 128 (Louie Louie cover)
    Issue 127 (Roy Weard cover)
    Issue 126 (Atkins-May Project cover)
    Issue 125 (Mick Abrahams cover)
    Issue 124 (Karnataka cover)
    Issue 123 (Cream cover)
    Issue 122 (Anthony Phillips cover)
    Issue 121 (Annie Haslam cover)
    Issue 120 (Frank Zappa cover)
    Issue 119 (Eliza Carthy cover)
    Issue 118 (Dave Brock cover)
    Issue 117 (Daevid Allen cover)
    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?

    MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Some very scarce British butterflies of the early 20th Century

    Today I am focusing on some rare butterflies as recorded in `British Butterflies` by W.S. Coleman ( 1905). The accompanying image, plate XV in this book, shows, in size order from the largest to the smallest,

    1. The Scarce Swallowtail.(Noon position.)
    2. Apollo. (Centre left.)
    3. Arran Brown (7pm position)
    4. Weaver`s Fritillary ( 11 a.m position)
    5. Purple-Edged Copper ( 3p.m position.)
    6. Tailed Blue ( 5p.m position)
    7. Tailed Blue, another view. ( 4p.m – ish position)

    Coleman has the following to say: Scarce Swallow-Tail Papilio Podalirius

    “There is no reasonable doubt that several individuals of this elegant butterfly were formerly taken in various parts of the country, but no captures have occurred for many years past. The caterpillar,also,was more than once found in the New Forest District,Hampshire. Generally a common insect on the Continent.”

    The Apollo. Parinassius Apollo

    “Although many years have gone by since any capture of this splendid butterfly has been authentically recorded in this country, we retain a figure of it in this work to remind us of what a collector of,say, a hundred years ago,might have a reasonable chance of taking – as there is little doubt it was a regular inhabitant , or visitant, in bygone years, and this remark would apply equally to the Scarce Swallowtail”
    The Arran Brown Erebia Ligea

    “Of this species, greatly resembling our E.Blandina, several specimens were formerly taken by some entomologists in the Isle of Arran, where,as also in other mountain districts, it may probably still exist;but its haunts have to be re-discovered by some enterprising butterfly-hunter. From Blandina, which it almost exactly resembles on the upper surface, it may be distinguished by the marking of the under side of the hind wing, on which is an irregular, broken band of pure white, and between this and the margin a row of three distinct black eye-spots.”

    The Weaver`s Fritillary   Argynnis  Dia

    “This rare species so closely resembles Euphrosyne and Selene in its upper surface it might readily be,and perhaps often is,passed by as one of those common insects. Underneath it is chiefly recognised by the beautiful blush of silvery purple that suffuses the centre of the hind wings, and more faintly tinges the tip of the upper wings. There are some small silver markings on the hind wings and a border of round silver dots, not lunules. The size of those I have seen is also smaller than the average specimens of Euphrosyne and Selene.

    The name “Weaver`s” Fritillary, is due to the fact that its first recorded capture in this country was by Mr Richard Weaver at Sutton Park, near Tamworth. Since then it has been taken at Alderley in Cheshire;at Sutton Coldfield;Manchester;Worcester Park;Surrey;Hastings; but only in single examples. This insect is plentiful over the Continent, and found in woods and bushy places like our own common Fritillaries. The larva feeds on plants of the violet genus in April and May .”

    The Purple-Edged Copper   Chrysophanus Chryseis

    “As this species has been admitted by that very careful and accurate entomologist , Mr Stainton, into his “Manual”, I cannot refuse it a place here,though,from all the information I can gain,its only claim to the name of “British” rests on a tradition of it having been taken a long time ago in Ashdown Forest,Sussex;and since then by a dealer,in Epping Forest. It is a beautiful insect, coppery-red, bordered with changeable purple, and I should be glad to see it fairly established on our list of “ British Butterflies.”

    Tailed Blue  Polyommatus Boeticus

    “This interesting little butterfly has been long known as a southern insect with a very wide range of distribution, abounding in the south of Europe,and extending into India,Java etc. Then in 1859 it was found in Guernsey.and in August of the same year a specimen was actually captured on the Chalk Downs near Brighton. Since then,from time to time,other specimens have turned up on,or near,the south coast,and it is likely that many a one has escaped capture by its great resemblance to a Common Blue when on the wing,both in its colouring and in its habit of flitting about over open grassy spots. So that it would be well when collecting about the south coast to net all doubtful looking Blues,just for inspection…”

    ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

    News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

    From CFZ-USA:


    ON THIS DAY IN 1568 - After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary the Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth. 
    And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

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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)