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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Wednesday, July 29, 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.


The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday
My lovely stepdaughter Shoshannah arrived last night and it is - as always - a total delight to have her down. We have a particularly visitory week this week as Richie and Naomi West and party will be descending on us this evening all the way from Texas. It is always lovely to see them. And by the way, for those of you reading this who live in North Devon, I have finally joined in the war of words about thew Woolsery Fish and Chip shop. I posted this last night on the Woolsery chippie Facebook page: "Tonight's veggie special was utterly gorgeous. We have enjoyed all the meals we have had from the chippie, but tonight was something very special!"
Food, like my family, butterflies and rock and roll music is something I get serious about.
Martin bought us a baby greenfinch this morning that had been badly injured by their cat. It is most certainly not going to recover, so we did all that we can do; putting it in a dark box in the quiet and warm of the conservatory. Back in the day I used to have a bottle of ether for such emergencies but for some reason they won't sell it to me now. I wonder why?
I was, of course aware of this quote from the good Doctor: “The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next gas station.” But I was not aware that so much study had been done on the subject or that ether addiction was known as etheromania. Read on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ether_addiction
Personally it just sounds nasty. But suggestions for a quick, merciful and preferably legal way to euthanase badly injured wildlife would be appreciated.
The Gonzo Weekly #140
Pink Fairies, Jaki Windmill, Sophia Sage, Carl "Blue" Wise, Steleye Span, Fun Loving Criminals, Echo and the Bunnymen, Roy Weard, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Hawkwind, Jon Anderson, and Yes fans had better look out!
The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#140) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/. It has Jaki Windmill of the Pink Fairies on the front cover together with an interview with her inside. Doug goes to see Steeleye Span, John B-G talks about getting the most out of digital music, and Jon interviews a massively talented young lady called Sophia,and remembers his worst gigs. Davey goes to see the Fun Loving Criminals, and Lee remembers an encounter with Echo and the Bunnymen. Xtul take an unexpected twist. Thom waxes all poetical like, whilst the legendary Roy Weard continues his regular column. And there is a radio show from M Destiny at Friday Night Progressive, and one from those jolly nice chaps at Strange Fruit. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons with books to peruse (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials in a literary mood, 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:
Simple Minds, Steeleye Span, The Divine Comedy, Twisted Sister, Carlos Santana, Roger Waters, Phill Rudd, Adam Ant, Don Henley, Barbara Dickson, Zombies, Genesis, Steve Ignorant, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Dieter Moebius, Donald Joyce, Mitch Aliotta, Buddy Buie, Doug Rowe, Justin Lowe, Wayne Carson, Dave Black,Third Ear Band, Arthur Brown, Inner City Unit, Hugh Hopper, Pete Sears, Captain Beefheart, Brand X, Jaki Windmill, The Deviants, The Pink Fairies, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lee Walker, Carl "Blue" Wise, Sophia Sage, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Davey Curtis, Artistas del Gremio, John Brodie-Good, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Dave Brock, Shoshannah Hughes, Yes, Chris Squire, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Steve Nardelli, Xtul, Wyrd, Mike Davis,Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, One Direction, Dave Clark 5, Neil Nixon, Sibylle Baier, Kromlek
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 137 (Chris Squire cover)
Issue 136 (Neil Nixon cover)
Issue 135 (FNP cover)
Issue 134 (John Shuttleworth cover)
Issue 133 (Liz Lenten cover)
Issue 132 (Daevid in Brazil cover)
Issue 131 (Boomtown Rats cover)
Issue 130 (David Peel cover)
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, and a small kitten totally coincidentally named after one of the Manson Family, purely because she squeaks, 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, and the adventurous kitten?

RICHARD FREEMAN: Daily Mercury QLD, May 20 1939, TROVE archive Sightings of dragons in S.Africa.

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: The Camberwell Beauty in North-West England- an historical account

I have been inspired to do some research into the history of the Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa)  butterfly in counties in North-west England by Jon`s piece in Animals and Men #53 (May 2015) `The Changing Face of the Species List of British Lepidoptera`. Fortunately there must have been some keen lepidopterists in Cheshire and neighbouring counties  since the mid 1800s because records of this butterfly, although it is very rare, are well kept.

According to the Butterflies and Moths of Cheshire,Flintshire etc by S.Gordon Smith (1) (1948) (which I`ve failed to find for sale online) the Camberwell Beauty was “ a great rarity.” Below is a list of records and locations in date order:

Macclesfield Forest (see link below) 1858.

Altrincham (now Greater Manchester)  1872

Delamere   1872 (Cheshire)

Hale            1917 (Greater Manchester)

Cuddington    1941 (Cheshire)

Prenton          1947 ( Merseyside)

This is just an abbreviation of a longer list, though not much longer. In November`s  1947`s `Cheshire Life` Norman F.Ellison ,who  had a radio show as well as being a writer, wrote in his monthly `A Naturalist`s Notebook` page:

“ Two rarities were sent to me: a Camberwell Beauty, found at Prenton, Birkenhead and a Clifden Nonpareil, found at Bromborough three weeks later. In the past hundred years there have been only eleven records for Cheshire…Both specimens found there way into the magnificent collection of Lepidoptera formed by Mr S Gordon Smith …of Chester…The breeding of larvae has always been one of Mr Smith`s chief interests,and he knows the problems of providing suitable food-plants for maybe twenty different species in his “larvatorium”. Once he bred out 14,000 Small Tortoiseshells in one year without producing a single striking variety, but he successfully reared the Early Thorn through fourteen generations to show the extraordinary colour changes through in-breeding. The first and last generations are so dissimilar in colour and markings, it is difficult to realise that all belong to the same species. The collection is particularly rich in varieties, and several new ones have been named by him. He has printed privately two books, Records and Observations, 1918-21, and Light Records , 1919-23. (2)

The above mentioned book ref (1) also mentions a Long-tailed blue recorded at Haswall in 1887.

This link here:  shows a photo of the Macclesfield Camberwell Beauty mentioned above in 1858. http://www.record-lrc.co.uk/(S(jgtnqbzaggecwx3uiiimqaib))/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1221  Someone called Hugh Harrison caught it in September 1858.

The May 1948 issue of `Cheshire Life` followed up the previous November`s issue with the following: “It (the Camberwell Beauty mentioned 6 months before) was certainly not in my mind on the 16th April, when my wife and I were walking on the 16th April (1948) over Thurstaston Hill. A warm but hazy afternoon with the wind from the SE. Suddenly she drew my attention to what at first I had taken to be a scrap of paper blown by the wind…I saw that it was a large butterfly or moth of some kind. Carefully I stalked it and as I came nearer, my suspicion became reality – it was a Camberwell Beauty. “ (3)

Barry T.Shaw in The Butterflies of Cheshire (1998?) says the following about the Camberwell Beauty: “ This immigrant from Northern Europe was recorded by Day ( G.O. Day  A list of Lepidoptera found in the counties of Cheshire,Flintshire,Denbighshire, Carnarvonshire,and Anglesea 1903) as a “ great rarity” and this statement is just as relevant today. In most years a few individuals reach eastern Britain probably from Scandinavia, but it is only during the sporadic “invasion” years – notably 1872, 1947,1976 and 1995 – that a small number disperse as far as Cheshire. Reports in other years are often suspected of being released insects from captivity rather than migrants, although this is difficult to confirm. Unfortunately, there are breeders who release these butterflies into the wild and this only hampers the monitoring of any genuine migration. “ (4). Shaw goes on to mention an individual found in Macclesfield on April 26th 1996 which was probably an individual which had “ successfully hibernated” (5) which is interesting!

This site : http://www.cheshire-butterflies.co.uk/species/speciesdetails/ches/camberwellbeauty.htm  mentions 2006 as another year when Camberwell Beauties reached Cheshire.


  1. S.Gordon Smith Butterflies and Moths of Cheshire,Flintshire,etc 1948
  2. Norman F.Ellison. A Naturalist`s Notebook November 1947  Cheshire Life p.14
  3. Norman F.Ellison. A Naturalist`s Notebook. May 1948 Cheshire Life p. 11
  4. Barry T Shaw  The Butterflies of Cheshire ( 1998?) p. 46
  5. ibid p. 46


One man's quest to uncover the mystery of Big Foot
Do large and astonishing creatures roam the East Texas countryside? Jeff Stewart, a cryptozoologist from Tenaha, seems to think it's a very real ...


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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