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 03, 2016

MARK RAINES: invasion of the mini yellow lines, Holsworthy,Devon

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Odd coloured bears.

Carl Marshall, CFZ correspondent, and myself have been looking at Ursidae mysteries including odd behaviour and colouration, for my Flying Snake magazine issue 10  .See Carl P. Marshall  `Unexpected Ursidae A Selection of Crypto Bears , hybrids and behaviour`  I have found some more stories in the last few weeks since Flying Snake was published at the end of March 2016. However just to mention first that one of these anomalous bears which featured on Web sites in 2015 and had a blue head, as if the head had been dipped in blue paint! It was photographed (or Photo Shopped?!) in Silvermere Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Other odd coloured bears include pink ones (oh yes!) .For example:

"An extraordinarily large polar bear, the fur of which is a bright pink colour, has been captured in Northern Siberia. The animal will be sent as a present to the Czar." April 20th 1891.Repository,Canton,Ohio. Also in The Macon Telegraph  July  7th 1931 : “Himalayan hunter reports seeing a pink bear. However it may have been an ordinary bear tickled pink at the thought he doesn`t have to put anything to go out of doors these hot days.” 

I posted these two stories on the Fortean Times Forum Message Board on April  26th and the same day someone calling her/himself EnolaGaia replied thus: “Even though polar bears look white, their hair is really made of clear, hollow tubes filled with air. Scarring or residue on the fur can cause the “white” fur to appear to human eyes as cream colored, yellow, or even pink in the Arctic light”.

EnolaGaia also pointed out that the most common fur dis-colouration was green due to algae (and I once saw a  green “Peppermint Pup” in Middlesborough but that ,as they say,is another story)

I found a  story by Dickens called `Too Much Blue` in the American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore, Maryland) of August 9th 1852 in which a Green Bear at Namur ,Belgium is mentioned but this could of course be total fiction. The pub or inn I mean ,if that`s what The Green Bear was. 

Concerning green bears, The State Times Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) of September 15th 1971 reported that Jacksonville Zoo in Florida had  a green-tinged bear but it wasn`t able to look after it properly because the zoo was so dilapidated.

A blue bear turned up in Alaska according to The Oregonian of October 14th 1963 and  supposedly  “the genes that produce this freak colour are found only in a few bears in the Yakutat - Glacier Bay area of Alaska.”



The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday
The saga of the dessicator goes on and on, and gathers momentum like a great big snowball of opinions as it does so. To recap - for those of you not aware of the story so far: The other day I was talking to Max about making one's own dried tomatos and raisins, and he mentioned in passing that he had a friend with a dessicator. That very night I drank the first alcohol I had drunk for ages because I have been on antibiotics, and got mildly sloshed. Whilst looking for something completely different I saw a dessicator remarkably cheap on eBay and - feeling remarkably pleased with myself - tried to tell Corinna about it, despite the fact that she was fast asleep and it was three in the morning. She was not impressed.
Sadly she was not impressed the next day either, so I wrote about it on this bloggy bit, and then forgot about it. However I received a whole wallage of comments some of which I reproduce here.
  • Naomi writes: "A student suggested that you make a profit by selling "homemade raisins." That's a classic American answer."
  • Steve writes: "Can't think why you'd want to make your own raisins, but I'd imagine a desiccator could be used for drying and preserving any fruit, so if you always have a glut of tomatoes, you could make your own dried tomatoes for use on pizza topping or in sauces. On the whole though, I'd have to say that a desiccator sounds like a gadget which gets used twice and then put in a cupboard and never used again."
  • Dan writes: "Do not, if you happen to have access to a -80 degrees freezer and a freeze dryer, attempt to make freeze-dried banana slices. They taste and feel like banana-flavoured plastic".
When Dave B-P came over yesterday evening he was massively supportive of the dessicator, as was Graham and Max when I told them. Corinna still thinks it was a stupid waste of money, and - although I am looking forward to playing with it - I have to admit that as my evening of revelry fades into the vague interstices of my memory, I can think of fewer and fewer practical applications for it. However, don't tell my lovely wife, or I shall never hear the end of it.
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Gib Guilbeau - Cloudy ...
Alan White on Drum Talk TV!
Billy Cobham: Exclusive Interview - in conversatio...
And by the way chaps and chappesses, a trip to the Jon Downes megastore: if you want to make me a happy fellow, you can:
buy my novel:
buy my single:
buy tickets to the Weird Weekend:
but the CFZ 2016 Yearbook:
Gonzo Magazine #180
The Beltane issue is here so T Rex, The Who, Stonehenge, Steve Miller Band, Flaming Groovies, John Blaney, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Dogwatch, That Legendary Wooden Lion, Hawkwind, and Yes fans had better look out! After what has been a long and peculiar week, this issue features Doug musing on the spiritual message of The Who, Jeremy going to see The Flaming Groovies, Alan on the Free Stonehenge Campaign, John on the thorny subject of money,
and there
are radio shows from Strange Fruit and Mack Maloney, as well as the return of Friday Night Progressive, the latest installment of the saga of Xtul, and columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, Mr Biffo, Neil Nixon and the irrepressible Corinna. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons ouyside zoos(OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have escaped from captivity, 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:
Marc Bolan, Zhongyu, Marcelo Paganini, Prince, Adam Ant, Galahad, Roger Daltrey, AC/DC, Rick Wakeman, Strange Fruit, Friday  Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Billy Paul, Papa Wemba, Captain Beefheart, Brand X, Osibisa, Pink Fairies, Gram Parson's The International Submarine Band, Gib Guilbeau, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Sons of Fred, Percy Jones, Norman Wisdom featuring Rick Wakeman, The Who, Alan Dearling, Stonehenge Free Festival, Roy Weard, John Brodie-Good, Steve Miller, Younghusband, Flamin' Groovies, Mr Biffo, John Blaney, Hawkwind, Xtul, 10CC, The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Kevin Ayers, Neil Nixon, Vashti Bunyan, Old Corpse Road
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 179 (Gregg Kofi Brown)
Issue 178 (Viv Stanshall)
Issue 177 (David Gilmour)
Issue 176 (Joey Molland and The Raz Band)
Issue 175 (Larry Sanders)
Issue 174 (Keith Emerson)
Issue 173 (Pink Fairies action figures)
Issue 172 (4th Eden)
Issue 171 (Keith Levene)
Issue 170 (Wildman Fischer)
Issue 169 (Wildman Fischer)
Issue 168 (Wakeman/Bowie)
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 two small kittens, one 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. 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 kittens?


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.

  • NEWSLINK: 18 animals have died at the Baton Rouge ...
  • NEWSLINK: Zoo feeds headless zebra to tigers in fr...

    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 creature, known as Bigfoot, has made a big impression all over the country and right here in Michigan. Phil Shaw says he'll never forget when he ...


    ON THIS DAY IN -  1855 - Macon B. Allen became the first African American to be admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts
    And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • Why Can't Elephants Jump?
  • Flightless survivors: Incredible invertebrate dive...
  • A new scorpion from California reveals hidden biod...

  • Climate change puts most-threatened African antelo...

  • 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)