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...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


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: Dying Tiger Spent His Life Being Paraded...
  • NEWSLINK: Big cats HAVE lived in wild near Plymout...

    The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday
    Graham tells me that nearly twenty years ago I kicked up a fuss because we changed from Windows 95 to Windows 98, and that I ranted about the changes for days. I truly don't remember that, but it seems like the sort of thing that I would probably.
    I don't like change. No I REALLY don't like change and I particularly don't like it when tried and tested software that  have been sing daily for years updates with what I perceive as a load of unnecessary bells and whistles. I hated Windows 8 for example with a user interface that appealed to the mobile phone generation but nobody else, although now that I have had an iPad for a couple of years I would probably be a bit better with it.
    Why am I saying all this? It is simple. After 10 years of using Microsoft Office 2003, following five years of using a hooky copy of Office 2000, we have taken the plunge and subscribed to Office 360. And, I am doing my best not to rant and rave and generally be a complete arse about the changeover, especially as porting over all my templates from Office 2003 is not as straightforward as I would have liked.
    Change? Pah!
    And now I am on the want again. Ticket sales for this year's Weird Weekend are the slowest ever. I strongly suspect that it is because of the financial insecurity that so many people are feeling at the moment, but I hope that it will turn itself around in the next four weeks. This year's Weird Weekend featuring our very own Steve Ignorant, sponsored by our very own Erik Norlander, compèred by me and the return of  Nuneaton's Mr Entertainment, Barry Tadcaster with his pal Orang Pendek, and featuring a whole cornucopia of high strangeness and cerebral silliness. It would make me very happy if I could sell some more tickets..
    find out all about the Weird Weekend
    buy tickets to the Weird Weekend:
    And now for the news................
    THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Phil Miller / In Cahoo...
    THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
    The Grandmothers Of Invention Live Interview with ...
    Michael Des Barres - Interview - For Rush Hour Ent...
    Eric Burdon Interview
    Gonzo Magazine #191
    We interview Ian Jones from everyone’s fave Welsh rockers Karnataka, Doug muses on Rush, Alan grieves for music venues under threat, John goes to see Santana, and Jon expounds on hippydom and reviews a book by John Lennon’s mistress, while Biffo goes Ghostbusting!0
    And there are radio shows from Strange Fruit, Mack Maloney, and Friday Night Progressive. We also have columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, Mr Biffo, Neil Nixon and the irrepressible Corinna. There is also a thrilling and slightly disturbing episode of Xtul. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons outside 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:
    The RAZ Band, John Shuttleworth, Yoko Ono, Dolly Parton, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, David Gilmour, Meat Loaf, Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Randy California, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Steven Young, Danny Smythe, Gladys Hermiston-Hooper (née Nash), Arthur Brown, The Beatles, The Golliwogs, James Young, Cymbalic Encounters, Richard Brautigan, Karnataka, Ian Jones, Rush, Alan Dearling, John Brodie-Good, Santana, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Xtul, John Lennon, May Pang,  Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Glastonbury, Paul McCartney, Neil Nixon, Cantona,
    Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
    Issue 190 (Erik Norlander)
    Issue 189 (Rick Wakeman at the O2)
    Issue 187/8 (Yer holiday special)
    Issue 186 (Beatles)
    Issue 185 (Judge Smith)
    Issue 184 (Mick Abrahams)
    Issue 183 (Daevid Allen)
    Issue 182 (Wally)
    Issue 181 (Beatles)
    Issue 180 (Beltane)
    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)
    Issue 167 (Paul Kantner)
    Issue 166 (Spirits Burning)
    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?

    MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES:The midwife toad in Nottinghamshire

    A couple of weeks ago I came across a Forum called `Our Nottinghamshire`(1) which has an article in it titled `The strange case of the Midwife Toad .An invader from Yorkshire via the Continent`. Dated March 21st 2013. I am including here the most salient points in the article,including a link to a photo (2) of the pond from whence the toads emerged.

    “Several accounts in the early 2000s record the finding of an unusual toad, smaller than our usual toad as well as reports of a strange bell-like sound, a sound unfamiliar in our Isles, suggested something unusual was living in an obscure part of the county. In particular, the sightings and sounds have been recorded around Worksop such as along Owdy Road, Carlton in Lindrick, where squashed toads on the road were finally identified as the species.

    The origin of these aliens can be traced to either 1878 or 1898, when a nursery firm Horton and Smart accidentally introduced the species to their Bedford site as eggs on aquatic plants from France. They would have remained there and subsequently died out in 1922 when the pool they had colonised was filled in by Bedfordshire county Council, if it were not for a W S Brocklehurst (3) collecting a dozen for his private pond. From this colony,his son Robert Brocklehurst brought 5 toads and 12 tadpoles from his father`s garden to his house at Woodsetts near Worksop...In the Spring of 1947 Mr Brocklehurst brought plants from his father`s pond at Bedford, and then in August he introduced the toads. He states that:

    “ Nothing more was heard or seen of them that year.In the Spring of 1948 the toads were heard croaking and they continued to call all through the summer. In August about twenty tadpoles from Bedford were introduced. Most of them were well-advanced in growth and it is believed that they underwent metamorphosis that year. On april 15,1949, a toad was heard croaking,not at the pond site but from a large rockery built by a former owner of the house and standing in another part of the garden some 95 yards away from the pond.Croaking continued throughout the summer, both from the pond site and from the other rockery.”

    A mild February in 1950 meant that two toads were heard calling although he noted they were not usually active until late April and May. What is well known to naturalists is the toad’s unusual breeding where after normal copulation the male takes the string of eggs around his legs and carries them with him until they hatch, although strangely they do not always live near water and can be found anything up to 25 yards from any water.

    A Paul Batty on a herpetological website notes that no one knows how many colonies there are, but is clear they are spreading and establishing more in both Woodsetts and into Nottinghamshire. As an introduced species of course they receive no protection and understandably some people may be reluctant to reveal the survival of the species. However, soon the bell like sound of this rather amiable alien may be more familiar in the county. This web site has some excellent colour photos of Midwife toads in Britain:


    2. This is a link to a photo of the pond from whence the mid wife toads emerged in Worksop  http://www.ournottinghamshire.org.uk/page/more_toads?path=0p31p53p

    3.  W.S.Brocklehurst was not the same Brocklehurst who introduced wallabies into the Peak District via a private zoo.


    Family Captures Video Of Bigfoot At Wildhorse Lake, Oregon
    A family of 4 in southeastern Oregon on Sunday released footage containing what they called a “Bigfoot” creature. Jason Dixon, his wife, son and ...


    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.

    NEWS FROM NOWHERE - Wednesday

    ON THIS DAY IN - 1801 - A 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of Elisha Brown, Jr. The ball of cheese was later loaded on a horse-driven wagon and presented to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson at the White House. 
    And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • Scientists, zoos team up on landmark elephant welf...
  • Genetic roots of insect's waterproof coating could...
  • Over 20 countries environmentally suitable for Ebo...
  • Black bear links real objects to computer images

  • 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)