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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Monday, April 17, 2017


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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    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.

    MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: The Cleopatra butterfly in Britain

    Gonepteryx.cleopatra.mounted.jpgIn early April 2017 Jon Downes told me the Cleopatra butterfly was a resident of continental Europe. However I have a couple of old records I found in the excellent `Porritt`s Lists` which is a reprint of George Porritt`s Yorkshire butterfly and moth records first published in 1883/86, 1904,1907 and 1922 (Butterfly Conservation 2011)

    Page 158 includes the following records - Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra or rhamni

    1883 Of general occurrence except in the coal districts of West Riding, where it is rare), but scarcely so common as the last.The variety Cleopatra occurred at Thrybergh Park, near Rotherham,June 27th 1860 (Rev HA Pickard in Entomologist`s Wkly Intell. 8: 171-2 Sept 1860)

    1904 p.193. Widely distributed but apparently not nearly so common as my former record would lead one to suppose

    1907 p.248 Widely distributed, but not common.

    Note: Although Porritt treated the Cleopatra as a variety, the Cleopatra as a variety, it is actually a separate species. There is a full history of this record in H.M.Frost (ed) 2005 The Butterflies of Yorkshire.

    In the Doncaster Museum Collection there is a Cleopatra labelled `Collected by EA Schofield, Doncaster August 1911` with its photograph on p.158 of Porritt`s Lists.

    PIC: By Sarefo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2905123

    EDITORIAL COMMENT: The Cleopatra is a close relative of the Brimstone, a common British species. The excellent UK Butterflies website writes:

    "Several individuals of this species were captured in the late 1800s, and their data labels indicate they were taken from Ventnor, Isle of Wight in 1870, Sandown, Isle of Wight in August 1873, Aldeburgh, Suffolk in 1896 and Forfar in June 1887. An individual was also caught at Feock, near Falmouth, Cornwall in September 1957. More recent records include an individual seen on 27th July 1981 in a garden in Temple Ewell, Kent and a male seen in Jersey on 10th August 1986. This species is not considered to be migratory and their presence has been attributed to passage by ship."

    It would appear, therefore, that Richard has discovered a series of previously unknown sightingsof this species. Well done old friend.


    The Gonzo Daily: Monday/Tuesday
    Allan Holdsworth/Yes/Thom
    Poor old Allan Holdsworth.
    Great names, I cannot find you now
    In these loud years of youth that strives
    Through doom toward peace: upon my brow
    I wear a wreath of banished lives.
    You have no part with lads who fought
    And laughed and suffered at my side.
    Your fugues and symphonies have brought
    No memory of my friends who died.
    I didn't write that, by the way. It is from the Sassoon who didn't cut hair.
    And now, here is the news:
    THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Allan Holdsworth
    THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
    THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Allan Holdsworth - Loo...
    Gonzo Magazine #230
    In order to provide a perfect literary counterpoint to you guzzling chocolate eggs and waving your arms around in delight, here is an issue in which Jon meets Binky Womack (yes, folks, he is one of those Womacks), Doug writes about Kate Bush, Neil writes about the Great Beast, and Alan roams the highways and byways of Lithuania in search of musical delights. And yes, there is lots more, and it is all free...
    Groovy huh?
    It’s all free!
    And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney, Friday Night Progressive, Strange Fruit, the sixth of Jeremy Smith's Seven Deadly Sins radio shows, and because it was a full moon this week another episode of Canterbury Sans Frontieres. We also have 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 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:
    ate Bush, Elton John, Rick Wakeman, David Bowie, John Otway, Roger Daltrey, New Order, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Jeremy Smith's Seven Deadly Sins, Canterbury Sans Frontieres, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Brian Matthew, Glen O'Brien, Ben Lacy Speer, John Warren "J" Geils Jr., Toby Grafftey-Smith, Mika Vainio, Eric Cook, Emmie Beckitt and Rick Wakeman, Supertramp, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, Al Atkins, Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, Mary Hopkin, Binky Womack, Alan Dearling, Rasa Serra and Saulius Petreikas, Kamaniu Silesis (perhaps Pinewood of the Bumblebees), Baltik Postfolk Alternative, Esatis, Skyle, Justin 3, Matt Winson Band, Kev Rowland, Jadis, Matthew Parmenter, Lioncage, Marduk, Tony Daunt and the Dauntless, Soniq Theater, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Xtul, Martin Springett, Sex Pistols, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Linkin Park, Neil Nixon, Aleister Crowley
    Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
    Issue 229 (Larry Wallis)
    Issue 228 (Space Pharoahs)
    Issue 227 (Chuck Berry)
    Issue 225-6 (The Rites of Spring)
    Issue 224 (Hibernal)
    Issue 223 (Beatles)
    Issue 222 (Cruise to the Edge)
    Issue 221 (Deke Leonard)
    Issue 220 (Larry Wallis)
    Issue 219 (Martin Stone)
    Issue 218 (Mark Reiser tribute)
    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 57 who - together with a Jack Russell called Archie, an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, and two half grown 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 Archie and the Cats?


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    NEWS FROM NOWHERE - Monday/Tuesday

    ON THIS DAY IN - 1492 - Christopher Columbus signed a contract with Spain to find a passage to Asia and the Indies. 
    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.)