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, August 31, 2017

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: The case of the washed ashore giant lizards. Or,what tales could be heard if dead lizards told tales?

I found this story (with a black and white photo) in the `The East Hampton Star`, a New York newspaper of April 23rd 1959, front page. The headline, in the top left hand corner of the page was `Police Baffled by Case of Dead Lizards.` The caption under the photo was `The Lizards are examined by Paul Rickenbach, Star reptile editor and house musician.`
" The Case of the Monster Lizards,opened by the discovery of  two dead giant reptiles on the beach at Two Mile Hollow Sunday morning, remains unsolved on the books of the East Hampton Village Police.It is a mystery which will thrill readers of Fu Manchu and bring morbid chuckles to Charles Addams fans. (Charles Addams was a dark-humoured cartoonist from whence the famous or should that be infamous Addams Family T.V series got its name.)
Dominick Grace of East Hampton made the grim discovery while strolling on the beach at about 9.30 Sunday morning. A wooden crate, with a mesh grille on one side, rested on the sands .Mr Grace peered into the combination coffin-raft; saw the two bodies; and hurried off to tell the police.
The police came ,and opened the crate, spilling the two corpses to the sand. One was about 6 1/2 feet long, the other about 7. Both were spotted with a thin pattern of green and yellow spots on a brownish background;had long,thin tails; and were sticking long forked tongues out at the investigators. Two metal feeding trays were inside the cage, which was marked " Made in Japan.." "Singa..."  and had other scribblings in oriental script. The curious gathered, and speculated. What tales could be heard if dead lizards told tales? 

Amateur naturalists consulted the encyclopedias and concluded that the beasts fit the description of the monitor lizard family of southern Asia . "They are all rapacious and some reach a length of ten feet", commented the dictionary.

Most observers agreed that they had been tossed overboard from some passing freighter. But why? Had they sickened, and died? Or had some sailor tired of their rapacity and given them the deep six 

A nautical expression indicating a water depth of 6 fathoms (36 feet, 10.97 metres) as measured by a sounding line; "deep six" acquired its idiomatic definition because something thrown overboard at or greater than this depth would be difficult, if not impossible, to recover. Marks on a sounding line were traditionally placed at 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, and 20 fathoms. The "leadsman" called out the depth as he read it off the line. If the depth was at a mark he would call "by the mark" followed by the number; if the depth was between two marks, he would call "by the deep" followed by the estimated number. Six fathoms would therefore be reported as "by the deep six". Wikipedia.)

...No inquest was held, and the police allowed benevolent citizens to remove the bodies for decent burials.The case remains open. (The lizards could have been Mangrove Monitors which have lived in Japan since the 1940s or the Malayan Monitor which is found in Singapore.) 


The Gonzo Daily: Thursday
Yesterday's blog post was a perfect example of why one shouldn't try to write deathless prose when one is also eating Ice Cream. Although I stand by everything I said about Kevin Ayers, and I am glad to find out that Bob Rickard is a a fan, I totally miswrote what I wanted to say about the fab Gogol Bordello. What I meant to say was that their new elpee is their best for many years (since East Infection, actually), but whilst it is a great record it isn't actually the best album I have heard for years, or even all year. Sorry Eugene and co.
By the way, forgive me for banging on about this but on a personal level I would be very grateful if you could spread the word about our rebooted monthly webTV series after a break of nearly four years. I actually hadn't realised it had been so long, but - then again - my concepts of time and space are fairly abstract at the best of times.
But now, here is the news:
Rick Wakeman & Steve Howe Of Yes Interviewed On Ol...
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Captain Beefheart & Th...
Gonzo Weekly #249
We unpack Bill Bruford’s box and investigate the contents, we visit The Raz Band featuring Joe Vitale and Joey Molland in the studio, Alan introduces us to Gypsy Dave Smith, Alan Finlan and Startled Monkeys, we drop the legendary UFO author Nick Redfern on a desert isle, and review this week’s return of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu
Yup, and it’s all free!
And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney, Strange Fruit, and Friday Night Progressive. We also have columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, C J Stone, Mr Biffo, Neil Nixon and the irrepressible Corinna. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and antichinuses attracting a chorus of boos (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have become unpopular for some reason, 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:
Leonard Cohen, Morrissey, Robert Plant, Cyreez Lewis, Skunk Anansie, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Iman, Prince, Carine Roitfeld, Billy Joel, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, John Laird Abercrombie, Jerry Lewis, Albert Austin "Sonny" Burgess, Sir Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson CBE, Brian Wilson Aldiss OBE, Rick Wakeman, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, Third Ear Band, Atomic Rooster, Bill Bruford, The RAZ Band, Alan Dearling, Gypsy Dave, Alan Finlan and Startled Monkeys, Kev Rowland, All Out War, BLK Ops/Cave Bastard, Child Bite, Syk, Chris Pasin and Friends, Warbeast, Empire, Aenaon, Nick Redfern, Mr Biffo, Hawkwind, Xtul, Martin Springett, Mal Evans, Janis Joplin, Daniel O'Donnell, Robertson’s, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Wilson Pickett, Duran Duran, Justified Ancients of Mu Mu
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 248 (The Selecter)
Issue 247 (Don Airey)
Issue 246 (Steve Hackett)
Issue 244-5 (Summer Special)
Issue 243 (Galahad)
Issue 242 (Steve Miller Band)
Issue 241 (Carol Hodge and Steve Ignorant)
Issue 240 (Midsummer Madness)
Issue 239 (Miss Peach)
Issue 238 (Hawkwind)
Issue 237 (Hawkwind)
Issue 236 (Manchester)
Issue 235 (Jon Anderson)
Issue 234 (Al Atkins)
Issue 233 (Richard Strange)
Issue 232 (Roy Weard)
Issue 231 (Allan Holdsworth)
Issue 230 (Curtis Womack)
Issue 229 (Larry Wallis)
Issue 228 (Space Pharoahs)
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 58 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?


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 same western North Carolina group that recently reported a Bigfoot sighting in McDowell County is now planning a Bigfoot Festival in Marion.

11-Year-Old Boy Records Bigfoot In His Backyard
Footage of a Bigfoot was captured by a boy of 11 years in his backyard, and it has remained one of the best sightings of Bigfoot to date. The exact ...
Catching Bigfoot On Thermal Camera Traps
Catching Bigfoot On Thermal Camera Traps. The WASRT get some amazing aerial footage of their research location via their drone, and set up their ...
Is This The Ultimate Bigfoot Trap?
A pile of swedish fish, jolly ranchers, and a camera left out in the open right next to it. Is this the combination that will solve the mystery once and for all ...


ON THIS DAY IN - 1056 Byzantine Empress Theodora becomes ill, dying suddenly a few days later, without children to succeed the throne, ending the Macedonian dynasty
And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • Ocean channel in Bahamas marks genetic divide in B...
  • Chimps Can Play Rock-Paper-Scissors at 4-Year-Old ...
  • Freeze-dried dung gives clue to Asian elephant str...
  • Predators preserve existing animal species

  • Popular sungazer lizards under threat from poachin...

  • 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.