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, January 21, 2019


The Gonzo Daily: Monday/Tuesday
And what can one say?
Well, I don’t know if I am imminently going to get into trouble, or not. Because, last night, I told a well known radio presenter to commit a biologically impossible act of self-procreation. Why, you may ask? Well, the story actually begins about a year ago, when – as some of you may remember – I got a brief, and very temporary, gig publicising a video game called ‘Monster Hunter World’, produced by those jolly nice fellows at Capcom. Or, rather, I got a gig in which I could use my own expertise in the field of hunting for mystery animals (something that I have been doing for the last thirty years) to publicise aforementioned game. This was something that I was perfectly happy to do, because most people are blissfully unaware that there are many animals, which are ‘ethnoknown’ (meaning that they are perfectly familiar to the people that live in a specific area, but they are not generally accepted to exist by mainstream scientists). Of course, the ‘monsters’ in the game are imaginary, and magnificently bestial, but I have found, over the years, that the popularity of games like this does drive a fair proportion of its players to get involved in real world cryptozoology. And, as you can guess, I genuinely think that this is a positive thing!
I coined the term that games like Monster Hunter World are an ‘entry drug’ to cryptozoology (Bill Drummond fans will get the reference without any difficulty) and I talked about this on thirty or forty radio shows. A week after I returned from London, having done all the radio shows in a massive tranche of interviews - which took nearly seven hours, what felt like a gallon of coffee and far more Danish pastries than an elderly diabetic is supposed to eat – I was approached by a couple more radio stations and, being a generally affable type of bloke, I agreed to be interviewed live on air for both of them. One of them went without a hitch, so we won’t mention that. But, the second – which I shall not identify further – was hosted by a cheerful young man with a public school accent, and during the pre-interview we had an enjoyable chat. However, when I got on the air for the interview proper, I was immediately accused of being only interested in the money I could get from sponsors rather than the science itself. As you can imagine, I was quite upset by this.
Fast forward a year.
Last week, I was approached by a researcher for the same radio show. He sent an email, to which I was very polite in replying, but I said that I wasn’t interested. He then telephoned during the middle of a Sunday evening, and – still polite – I told him that I didn’t want to go on the show, and that I had not enjoyed my previous appearance. Half an hour later, the host himself rang me up, trying to do that ‘hail fellow, well met’ approach that Tory MPs always do on Newsnight when they are caught fiddling their expenses or shagging their research assistant. This attitude has always irritated me, and having been expelled from a minor public school myself, I know how just how to counter such a parry. I told him to carry out the aforementioned biologically impossible act of self-procreation and put the phone down.
Hopefully, he will get the message, but I suppose there is the outside chance that – in these ridiculously whingey and self-righteous days (thank you to Olivia for those two adjectives, which hit the nail completely on the head), he might decide that - by telling him to carry this impossible procedure out – that I have somehow impinged upon his personal rights. So I suppose there is the outside chance that there will be articles about me, all over the internet, complaining about my use of what I consider to be perfectly appropriate Anglo-Saxon language. And, unlike most people who are ‘behaviour-shamed’ in such a fashion, I truly don’t think that any of my readers here, or in the wider world of cryptozoology will actually be particularly shocked at the revelation that “Jonathan Downes occasionally says rude words.
I would, once again, like to thank all of you who continue to ask about Corinna's health. She has been on some pretty heavy duty meds for about a month now, and although she is still in intermittent discomfort, the pain is now being pretty well managed. We go back to the hospital at the end of February and will play it by ear until then. We would both like to thank the people all around the world who have sent us their good wishes, and included her in your prayers. 
A prayer flag (Lung ta) is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all. By hanging flags in high places the Lung ta will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras.
I believe something similar happens with positive vibes transmitted electronically. And so, please forgive me when I write about Corinna's health problems every day, but I am convinced that these electronic Lung ta and the resulting torrent of good vibes that has been the major contributory factor to the aetiology of her illness so far.
Blessed be.
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Melting Euphoria - Ley...
For those of you who are interested in such things, the Gonzo Privacy Policy is here:
And the CFZ Privacy Policy is here:
And, yes,
Our webTV show:
And if you fancy supporting it on Patreon:
And by the way chaps and chappesses, a trip to the Jon Downes megastore may seem to be in order:
Meanwhile I continue to pretend that I am a popstar, because now I have sold eight whole copies of my new album Coldharbour. If I continue at this rate I will get a silver disc sometime at the beginning of the next millenium. Coldharbour, by the way, can be found here: https://jondownes1.bandcamp.com/releases
I think it is really rather good, but then again I would say that wouldn't I?
I do have good news to impart: Lars Thomas' book about the mystery land animals of Scandinavia and the Baltic States has been uploaded, and over at Gonzo the first volume of Kev Rowland's The Progressive Underground is also imminent. And at Fortean Fiction, my latest novel - 'Zen and Xenophobia' - vaguely a sequel to 2015's 'The Song of Panne' - is now available.
! would warn you that if you are of a nervous disposition, or easily offended, you will find parts of my novel both offensive and upsetting. There is sex, violence, drug abuse, occultism, pornography, firearms, politics, religion, and not a little sociology. But there is also love, kindness, faith, and redemption. And it's a cracking good yarn. Or I think so, at any rate. All I would say on the subject before bidding you farewell is Caveat Lector. And I'm not gonna explain what that means, because because if you don't know what that means then you probably shouldn't be reading the book in the first place.
Gonzo Weekly #321/2
In a gloriously chaotic issue, Malaclypse shows us something about Discordianism, The Grande Fromage is backstage with Rick Wakeman, Alan talks to Audiobooks, Graham looks forward to Hawkwind's demicentennial, Jon writes about Keith Moon, J. K. Rowling and more, whilst Carl and co. go hellraising...
#Hail Eris!
And there are radio shows from Strange Fruit, Mack Maloney, Friday Night Progressive, AND Canterbury Sans Frontieres AND there are columns from Kev Rowland, and C J Stone, and Mr Biffo BUT Neil Nixon, and Roy Weard and the irrepressible Corinna are on hiatus.  There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and rock wallabies who've blown a fuse (OK, nothing to do with the relatively small macropods who are having electrical problems, 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:
JK Rowling, Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter, Paul McCartney, The Bruce McMouse Show, Wings, Michael Jackson, Bart Lancia, Jon Anderson, The Who, Woodstock, HMV, Andy Serkiss, Rammstein, Queen, David Bowie, Biff Vernon, Merrell Fankhauser, Rick Wakeman, Friday  Night Progressive, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Bonnie Buckingham, Willie Murphy, Kevin Fret, Joseph Jarman, Georges Dimou, Clydie King, Houari Manar, Alvin Fielder, Eric Haydock, Paul Steven Ripley, Larry Cunningham, Dan Tshanda, Shane Bisnett, Brian Velasco, The Fall, Tony Palmer, The Chad Mitchell Trio, Deviants ixvi, Mick Farren, Discordia, Malaclypse The Pi r 3., Alan Dearling, Audiobooks, Kev Rowland, Child Bite, Alberto Rigoni Feat. Marco, At the Gates, Axminster, Behemoth, Born Broken, We are Breaking the Chains, Bart Hennephof et al, Carl Marshall, Geordie Jackson, James Archer, Hellraiser, Mr Biffo, C J Stone, Hawkwind, Jonathan Downes, The Coldharbour Diaries, The Wild Colonial Boy, Martin Springett, Thom the World Poet, Keith Moon, Tony Fletcher
And the last few issues are:
Issue 321-22 (Discordianism)
Issue 319-20 (Brix Smith)
Issue 317-18 (Christmas)
Issue 315-16 (Steve Miller)
Issue 313-14 (Hawkwind)
Issue 311-12 (Extinction Rebellion)
Issue 309-10 (Steve Hillage)
Issue 307-8 (Michael Moorcock)
Issue 305-6 (Maartin Allcock)
Issue 303-4 (kOZFEST)
Issue 301-2 (Ringo Starr)
Issue 299-300 (Aretha Franklin)
Issue 298 (Alan in Hungary)
Issue 297 (Shir Ordo)
Issue 295-6 (Robert Berry)
Issue 294 (Bow Wow Wow)
Issue 293 (Stonehenge)
Issue 292 (Rolling Stones)
Issue 291 (Alien Weaponry)
Issue 290 (Frank Zappa)
Issue 289 (Misty in Roots)
Issue 288 (Paula Frazer)
Issue 287 (Boss Goodman)
Issue 286 (Monty Python)
Issue 285 (ELP)
Issue 284 (Strangelove)
Issue 283 (Record Store Day)
Issue 282 (Neil Finn and Fleetwood Mac)
Issue 281 (Carl Palmer)
Issue 280 (Steve Andrews)
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 59 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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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.


ON THIS DAY IN -  1793 - During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the guillotine. He had been condemned for treason. 
And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • Cambodia seizes record three-tonne haul of African...
  • Scottish ministers urged to honour pledge to prote...
  • A New Snake Species Was Found in Another Snake’s S...
  • The giant tortoise lived for more than a century, ...
  • The female park rangers protecting turtles from tr...

  • 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)