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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Thursday, December 24, 2015


The Best Bigfoot Sightings Of 2015 Compilation (Video)
2015 was no stranger to bigfoot in the media. While things remained the same in the bigfoot community, the media seemed to take a somewhat ...


Dear Friends,

I can hardly believe that this is the 21st time that I have sat down, a few days before Christmas, and written an account of the previous year’s activities for the CFZ members, friends, and supporters.

This is always a bittersweet time for me, because – especially as I grew older – each year brings with it a list of friends, colleagues, and collaborators who have passed on to the Elysian Fields. This year the list is headed by my old friend Daevid Allen who died of cancer in Australia in March at the age of 77. As well as being an important influence on me, musically and culturally, it was through him that I met my long term friend, boss, and CFZ benefactor Rob Ayling.

Long term CFZ cohort Richard Ingram died in the early summer at the age of 68. I had known him for the best part of thirty years, and it is a shock to know that he will never again be a lecturer at the Weird Weekend. Our thoughts are with his son Michael who is left fatherless at an upsettingly young age.

Two important faces from the Bigfoot community died this year. Rob Riggs and Ray Crowe were both affiliated to the CFZ, the former via Nick Redfern, and although I never met either man in the flesh, I carried out a lively correspondence with both for more then a decade. They will be sadly missed.

This has been a complicated, confusing, but ultimately quite a rewarding year. It started with disappointment for Richard Freeman who was struck down by gout the day that he was meant to be flying to Australia for the second CFZ Australia Tasmania expedition the report in Animals & Men, and indeed the expedition report at the 2015 Weird Weekend was given by our old friend Lars Thomas.

The expedition gathered more data to support the idea that the CFZ’s totem animal, the thylacine or Tasmanian wolf survived its supposed extinction in 1936, and remains a living creature today it has, after all, been described as ‘The liveliest extinct animal alive’.

Arguably more important was the work that Lars Thomas did with the microfauna of the region, obtaining several interesting specimens, some of which appear to be entirely new species to science.

In last years annual report, I pledged that for the first time since 2003 the CFZ flagship journal Animals & Men would meet its stated publication schedule of four issues a year. In order to do this we underwent the biggest shake up of our publication schedule, and – indeed our membership structure for the past twenty-one years. For the first time ever, we removed the subscription model, and Animals & Men began to be published in three different formats.

  1. An online flipmag embedded on the CFZ publications website and reachable through links on the blogs and main site.  This is, and will remain free.
  2. A hard copy, traditional magazine available at low cost from amazon and all associated outlets.
  3. A Kindle edition formatted to be read on electronic book readers.

In January, we were approached by out old friend and colleague Dr Andrew May who offered to sort out the increasingly outdated CFZ publications website. This turned out to be a massive undertaking, and by the time he and I had finished, the main CFZ website had been given a stringent, and the brand new CFZ publications website and CFZ shop had been built from scratch.

For some years we have been trying to arrange publication of our books and magazines in eBook format. For a number of reasons this never happened, causing a great deal of conflict within the CFZ community. Andrew May sorted it out once and for all, and now, something in the region of a third of our publications are available in eBook format. As anybody who has ever dipped their toe into the increasingly murky waters of internet publishing will know, there are quite a few different formats that eBooks can be published in, most of them are incompatible with each other.

We decided to publish in the Kindle format because there are three apps available in most other formats which mean that Kindle books can be read on Android, iOS, and PC formats (amongst others).

We would like to publicly thank Andrew May for all of his hard work this year and for very patiently explaining the intricacies of internet publishing to an old duffer like me. I truly do not know what we would have done without him.

Another important change took place this summer. Because of an increasing work load, and – I have to admit – my failing health I have been getting further and further behind with the things that I have to do. Regular CFZ watchers will know my adopted niece Jessica Taylor, she has been doing voluntary work with us on an ad hoc bases since she was about 12 and hanging out in my office playing Zoo Tycoon for some years before that. When I decided that I had to bite the bullet and engage a proper assistant for 20hours a week, Jessica, Fresh from studying Business Studies at the local college was the only realistic candidate. She started working for us in July and has been bullying me (although she insists that it is for my own good) ever since.

Joking aside she is a lovely girl and I always look forward to the days that she is in the office.

The previous CFZ interns Saskia England and Sheri Myler have both left. Sheri has now graduated and is working in a national park in the North of England, and Saskia is studying Marine biology in Plymouth University. Therefore two large intern-shaped holes in the CFZ infrastructure. We are very happy to say that Charlotte Phillipson and Nadine Rider have joined the team as interns. I am giving both of them lessons in natural history, officially to Nadine because she is home schooled. I am very much an old school naturalist and am appalled in the way that the modern education system seems to roundly ignore most of the things I consider to be important., so in my owl little way I am trying to redress the balance.

This year we also took on another one of my adopted nephews, Danny Owens to replace Mark Raines as gardener and groundsman after Mark left the village. Seldom have we had anyone as hard working and diligent as Danny, and I only wish we could afford to take him on full time.

The Weird Weekend was held on the third weekend of August, once again at The Small School. This year’s speakers were:

  • Nick Wadham: Wild and Deadly Animal Show
  • Lee Walker: Urban Legends of Liverpool
  • Lars Thomas: Microcyrptozoology
  • Judge Smith: Ouija Boards
  • Shoshanna Hughes: Feral Cats
  • Rob Cornes: The Seal Serpent:
  • Ronan Coghlan: Irish Cryptozoology
  • Rosie Curtis: Scary Internet Memes
  • Steve Rider: Tales from the Infinet
  • Jaki Windmill: Astroshemanics
  • Richard Freeman: Dragons
  • Adam Davis: Manbeasts and Me
  • Lars Thomas: Tasmania expedition report
  • Richard Muirhead: Mystery animals of Hong Kong

One of the highlights of the weekend came when Carl Marshall, Lars Thomas and I presented the latest evidence in our long standing investigation into the possibility of a hither to unrecorded mammal species for the UK, the beech marten. Much to my surprise and pleasure, Carl presented me with a taxiderm specimen of one of these creatures believe to have been taken in Dorset during the 19th Century; seldom have I had a better birthday present. We continued with our programme of publishing this year, with the following titles:

  • More Stars Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems. By Dr Karl P N Shuker
  • Sasquatch Down. By Michael Newton
  • The Song of Panne (Being Mainly about Elephants). By Jonathan Downes
  • Weird Wessex: A Tourist Guide to 100 Strange and Unusual Sights. By Andrew May and Paul Jackson
  • Glimpses in the Twilight. By Lee Walker
  • Brundannon’s Daughter; Through the Realms of the Woodwose. By Corinna Downes
  • Going Mad to Stay Sane. By Andy White
  • In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman. By Dmitri Bayanov
  • The Scribbling Sea Serpent. By Kate Kelly
  • Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology – Volume 2. By George Eberhart
  • Strange Skies, Strange Eyes. By Brian Allan

We have also published Volume Three of the Journal of Cryptozoology, edited by my old friend Dr Karl Shuker and we look forward to publishing Volume four in 2016.

The 2016 publishing schedule includes major new books by: Dr Karl Shuker, Richard Muirhead, S .D. Tucker, Rob Cornes, Brian Allan, Matt Salusbury, Richard Freeman, and more.

As mentioned earlier, this year saw a major reorganisation of the CFZ membership package. As a result of this, in the Autumn we instituted a new CFZ monthly members newsletter. The third issue of which will be emailed out on the 1st of January. Reaction to this has been extremely favourable so far, and we look forward to it becoming a much loved and welcome edition to the CFZ publication schedule.

2016 will see the return of the CFZ Yearbook, and – after all of the upheavals of recent years, we hope that it will be back as a regular event in the CFZ publishing schedule. Something else that has been missing in recent years has been out monthly web TV show and we are pleased to announced that plans are underway to bring it back in earlier 2016, co-presented by Charlotte Phillipson.

We have this year had funding difficulties, entirely related to the loss of income from my house in Exeter and the length of time it had taken to effect the repairs necessary. This has severely affected our cash flow, and is purely the result of us trusting the wrong people. And to ensure you that things will return to normal soon. It only remains for me to wish you all a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2016.

Jon Downes

(Director CFZ)


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 - Christmas Eve
T'was the day before Christmas and all through the shed
which was built for potatoes, but is my office instead,
I have very nearly finished the things I must do
and soon will pack it all up and enjoy Christmas too
I have wrapped all the presents and dealt with the dogs,
and drunk tea with my visitors, and written the blogs
now there's only one thing left to do my dear
that's wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy new year
A very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy 20...
PLAYLIST: Strange Harvest # 7
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Blue Christmas- Elvis ...
Guests Galore For Zappa Plays Zappa In Beverly Hil...
Gonzo Weekly #161/2
Nightmare before Christmas, Judge Smith, Auburn, VDGG, Trim Tab Jim, Pink Fairies, Wreckless Eric, John Shuttleworth, Digitiser, Mr Biffo, Jaki Windmill, Tim Rundall, Roy Weard, Mack Moloney, A J Smitrovich, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Hawkwind, and Yes fans had better look out!
The latest issue of Gonzo Weekly (#161/2) is available to read at www.gonzoweekly.com, and to download at http://www.gonzoweekly.com/pdf/. It is a bumper festive issue with the Nightmare before Christmas LIVE on the cover and a feature article about the show inside. There are interviews with Judge Smith and Liz Lenten from Auburn, and a series of photographs from the recording sessions for a lost prog rock masterpiece, Jeremy goes to see Wreckless Eric live and Roy writes about Trim Tab Jim. Jon muses on Peace and Love and Corinna sneers at some more tacky pop memorabilia. John talks about Faithless, Neil unearths a hidden gem, Thom waxes all poetical like, whilst the legendary Roy Weard continues his regular column, C J Stone does his, A J Smitrovich continues thumbing through his Dad's LPs, and Mr Biffo has more of his regular slices of insanity from the world of Digitiser 2000, and there is a radio show from Strange Fruit, one from Friday Night Progressive and another from Mack Moloney, and Tim and Jaki are back with a new show. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and antechinuses wanting poos (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who are slightly constipated, 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:
Jimmy Page, P J Harvey, AC/DC, Trent Reznor, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, EODM, Madonna, Wilko Johnson, David Bowie, Barbara Dickson, N.W.A., Galahad, Strange Harvest, Friday Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Jaki Windmill, Tim Rundall, Adam Roth, Mick Lynch, Mary Joan Okum, James Hill OBE, Peter Broggs, Johnny Winter, 13th Floor Elevators, Spirits Burning, The Pirates, Dee Palmer, Freddie King, The Selecter, Ducks De Luxe, Alexis Korner, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Judge Smith, John Brodie Good, Public Service Broadcasting, The Long Lost Band, Jacqui McShee's Pentangle, Spooky Ghost, Gary Duncan Quicksilver, Drones for Daevid, Pink Fairies, John Martyn, Liz Lenten, Wreckless Eric, Howard Eynon, Roy Weard, Trim Tab Jim, My Dad's LPs, A J Smitrovich, Mr Biffo, Ken Worthington, John Shuttleworth, Hawkwind, Alan Friswell, Xtul, Elvis, Black Sabbath, One Direction, Cliff Richard, Yoko Ono, Yes, Neil Nixon, Emit Bloch, Cave Growl
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 160 (Frank Zappa)
Issue 159 (Jon Anderson and Matt Malley)
Issue 158 (Billy Sherwood)
Issue 157 (Drones for Daevid)
Issue 156 (Rick and Emmie)
Issue 155 (Pink Fairies)
Issue 154 (Steve Ignorant)
Issue 153 (Martin Barre)
Issue 152 (4th Eden)
Issue 151 (Corky Laing)
Issue 150 (Roger Dean)
Issue 149 (Tony Palmer in Space)
Issue 148 (Wally Hope)
Issue 147 (Thom the World Poet cover)
Issue 146 (Bee and Flower cover)
Issue 145 (Dave Brock cover)
Issue 144 (Percy Jones cover)
Issue 143 (Billy Sherwood cover)
Issue 142 (Daevid Allen and Spirits Burning cover)
Issue 141 (Rick Wakeman cover)
Issue 140 (Jaki Windmill cover)
Issue 139 (Raz cover)
Issue 138 (Galahad cover)
Issue 137 (Chris Squire cover)
Issue 136 (Neil Nixon cover)
Issue 135 (FNP 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:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk The more the merrier really.
* 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.co.uk
* 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 56 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 young lady called Jessica. 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?


CFZ PUBLISHING: Animals & Men #54 print and Kindle editions

The world's leading publishers of cryptozoology, forteana and fortean fiction, with over a hundred titles currently in print.

The latest post on the CFZ Publishing Group blog begins as follows:
The CFZ’s magazine Animals & Men is always available to read online, but for those who prefer a permanent copy we are also issuing them in print and Kindle edition...
Click here to read the whole article.


ON THIS DAY IN 1814 - The War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium. 
And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • US wild bee numbers decline as land is converted f...
  • Hail the Hydra, an Animal That May Be Immortal
  • Reproduction, stem cell researchers set up a rescu...

  • Scientists discover rare sea snakes, previously th...

  • 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)