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 16, 2018

On The Track (of Unknown Animals) Ep. 90 (Mystery sharks, a mystery fish, Common Moor Carcass etc)

Here we have the ninth episode of the relaunched webTV show by the Centre for Fortean Zoology, written and presented by Jon Downes and Charlotte Phillipson, their families and other animals. This episode contains: • A shadowy figure in the snow • The CFZ Poster Boy from 2007 grows up • Greg goes to Hong Kong • The mystery of Tadpole Pond • A Hong Kong paradise fish? • The druid gives us Oriental weather loach • The search for Gambusia • Mystery great white sharks • A great white shark in Plymouth? • Retrieving trail cameras • Have we solved the mystery of the Common Moor carcass? • PRODUCT PLACEMENT - Weird Weekend North 2018 - Mr Biffo and Digitiser TV - Mr Loxodonta has a record out • Watcher of the skies • New and rediscovered: New genus of Chinese freshwater crab • New and rediscovered: Two new Mexican snakes • New and rediscovered: Large new knifefish • New and rediscovered: New rat-like rodent • New and rediscovered: Rediscovered bat • New and rediscovered: New Thai spitting cobra • New and rediscovered: New lizard • New fiddler crab with enormous range • Fair use • Coming next month • The Patreon campaign • Archie sings the Beach Boys • The team says goodbye until next month You can support us, and help us make this show ever more bigger and better at our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/CFZ

CRYPTOLINK: Out of Place Alligator

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

Some Elk Grove residents say they have spotted an alligator or caiman-like reptile, 3 to 4 feet long, surfacing at a neighborhood lake on multiple occasions the past few days, social media posts and local news outlets are reporting. A photo posted Thursday morning to Facebook by Elk Grove resident ...


The unknown animal is said to roam the streets at night and is not shy of confrontation. According to local media reports in Santa Fe, Argentina, the creature has attacked two dogs. They say the large animal killed a German Shepherd and Pitbull before disappearing. But one resident apparently ...

But it has gained popularity after being shared on popular YouTube conspiracy page Bigfoot Tony today. And viewers were quick to speculate. One comment read: “This has got to mean Bigfoot is in Russia.” And another added: “Great footage here. I love how fearless the Russians generally are.


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.

City Council looks to make London more bird-friend...

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Folklore of Hong Kong fighting spiders.

I stumbled across this information on the Hong Kong history web site Gwulo.com relating to a questionI had posted a question on  July 28th 2016 asking for information on unusual animals at Cheung Chau island.

Tung lin

Hello Richard,

I almost forgot this one......

Boys running around the outback on CC island of my time must understand the fun of hunting and keeping some harmless Spider. This tiny spider never construct any web at all. It scouts on everywhere, indoor & outdoor, on trees, shrubs, or house furniture like your desk. They are like  tiny lonewolfs, maybe in search of flea or other tiny bugs.

People consider they are the good and harmless, kids think they are so friendly and pet-able too!

Kids of age 5 to 8 years old would like to bring their spider pets to school and do all kinds of creative shows or fight. They keep them each in a tiny envelop made out of a leaf. The spider is about 0.5 to
1.0 cm long, and color in all black, white and black, biege or brown. It has no visible hair but very clean to touch. It never bite people at all.

And they are free to go after few days fun!!

Thanks Tung and Andrew for recalling our younger days.  This photo reminds me of the creek below the old Clear Water Bay Road about a mintue's walk below Good Hope School.  While the scenic settings were different, their countryside atmosphere gave us children joy and opportunity to explore.

 I sometimes hiked to Kowloon Reservoir to look for fighting spiders. They, a loner, made their home a foot or two above ground by pulling together two leaves with their silk, and this made their location easy to spot.  Some are "Old Poke" (lo-dok - loose translation) because they use their two front arms to spear at their opponent.  When two of  them meet, they fight as if they want to hug each other.  Another kind is the "Red Kid" named for their body colour. To catch them, I wrapped
around the folded leaves with an opened flat tin box and next closed the lid.

And yes, we kept them in separate homes made of thorny leaves.  A fight took a few seconds and the loser quickly ran away so injuries were infrequent.  I set them free in our balcony garden after a few days.  Looking back, such were our boyish thinking and fun, but pity the poor little creature who lost his natural home, and freedom albeit temporarily.  Regards,  Peter


The Gonzo Daily: Monday/Tuesday
Another week and another slew of things with which I have to deal. I went to the hospital on Friday, and apparently I have some nasty ulcers on my feet and legs, so this week - unfortunately - I will be in and out of the surgery having the bloody things dealt with. However, it is not all bad news: Carl will be down tomorrow for a few days, which will be fun. Not only will all sorts of extra work be done but Carl and I will stay up late drinking wine and watching Charles Manson biopics. Nice wholesome boys, us.
Forgive me for always banging on about our webTV show, but it matters a lot to me, and I would be grateful for as many people as possible to see it, and spread the tidings of it far and wide:
And if you fancy supporting us on Patreon:
And by the way chaps and chappesses, a trip to the Jon Downes megastore seems to be in order: if you want to make me a happy fellow, you can:
buy my novel:
buy the record by the main protagonist of the novel who isn't me in an elephant mask, honest:
buy my single:
But for now, here is the news:
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Keith Christmas - Fore...
Gonzo Weekly #282
Doug Harr leads us through the latest twist in the Fleetwood Mac saga, as Lindsey Buckingham is out and Neil Finn from Crowded House etc is in. Richard writes on Bill Kreutzmann, post Grateful Dead, Alan raves about Fifty Foot Hose, and Jeremy goes to see Ferocious Dog, now augmented by he who was Fruitbat from Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. And Jon? He is away with the fairies and writing about a Series of Unfortunate Events...
#Hail Eris!
And there are radio shows from Strange Fruit, AND Mack Maloney, BUT Friday Night Progressive is on hiatus this week, there are columns from all sorts of folk including Neil Nixon, Kev Rowlands AND the irrepressible Corinna, although Roy Weard, C J Stone, and Mr Biffo are sadly absent this week. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and southern dibblers who have stood around in twos (OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have paired up under last weekend's blue moon, 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:
Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Beatles, Brett Anderson, Yoko Ono, Yes, Johnny Marr, Justin Hayward, Belle & Sebastian, Laura Marling, Mike Lindsay, U2, Elvis Presley, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Viacheslav Koleichuk, Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin, Cecil Percival Taylor, Ronald Dunbar, Nathan Tate Davis, Yvonne Stapley, Tim Matley, Rick Wakeman, Natural Gas, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, Michael Bruce, Man, Jeremy Smith, Ferocious Dog, Doug Harr, Fleetwood Mac, Alan Dearling, Fifty Foot Hose, Richard Foreman, Bill Kreutzmann, Kev Rowland, Witchhammer, Alestorm, Ammunition, Amor, Ampline, Anvil, Galahad, Mr Biffo,  Hawkwind, Jon Downes, Wild Colonial Boy, Martin Springett, Simon Young, Ceri Houlbrook, Madness, Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, Grateful Dead, Calpurnia
And the last few issues are:
Issue 281 (Carl Palmer)
Issue 280 (Steve Andrews)
Issue 279 (Biffo)
Issue 278 (The Beatles)
Issue 277 (Auld Man's Baccie)
Issue 276 (Dukes of the Orient)
Issue 275 (Martin Gordon)
Issue 274 (Steve Took)
Issue 273 (Live Dead 69)
Issue 272 (George Butler)
Issue 271 (Mark E Smith)
Issue 270 (Eric Clapton)
Issue 269 (Narnia)
Issue 267-8 (Happy New Year)
Issue 265-6 (The Who)
Issue 264 (John McLaughlin)
Issue 263 (The magic Band)
Issue 262 (DikMik)
Issue 261 (Leonard Cohen)
Issue 260 (Amsterdam Squat Festie)
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?


ON THIS DAY IN - 1065 - The Norman Robert Guiscard took Bari. Five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy ended. 
And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • Stand by me: bears adapt to hunting ban on family ...
  • Fight begins over fate of leatherback sea turtle –...
  • Duke Marine Lab student researches light pollution...
  • Spiders and scorpions have co-opted leg genes to b...

  • Cockroaches' DNA reveals why they thrive in filthy...

  • 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 da