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...

Monday, February 10, 2020

OTT Xtra Episode 111 1 (Strange fish in Moscow, Baikal seals, Mysterious severed head)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to thelatest episode in our new series: On The Track Xtra! We hope that you enjoy it. It contains: * What is Fortean Zoology * A mysterious severed head in Wiltshire * The gang agree to disagree * The last visit to Moscow Auarium with Dr Max Blake * More from Barry Tadcaster and Gef the talking mongoose * The world's only freshwater seal I think the production values are ever improving and we are learning (slowly) all the bells and whistles which are now available via YouTube. I should - however - warn you that If you hear strange noises in the background of the segments which feature me doing a piece to camera, those are the filters of the two tanks in the office; one containing Clarence the walking catfish, and another containing a large and massively elusive leaf fish that we have been looking after for Max ever since he went off to university, something in the region of ten years ago. At least, I’ve always thought it was a leaf fish, and worse, have been telling everyone it’s a leaf fish for the last decade. However, when I looked her up today to try to display my academic chops by giving her Latin name, she doesn’t look like any of the leaf fish on Google. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I really miss doing the Weird Weekends each year, but with the health problems currently bedevilling the CFZ to restart them is impossible. But I truly hope that these shows have something of the taste of the mixture of hard science, weird shit and surreal odness that made the 17 Weird Weekends such a joy to be part of. _________________________________ Some useful contacts: CFZ Website www.cfz.org.uk CFZ Patreon https://www.patreon.com/CFZ OTT on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OnTheTrack/ Jon on Twitter @cfzjon CFZ Blog Network https://forteanzoology.blogspot.co.uk/ CFZ Publications http://cfzresources.com/publishing/ CFZtv https://www.youtube.com/user/cfztv CFZ Next Generation Initiative https://www.facebook.com/groups/29796...


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 hunt for Lake and Sea Monsters is probably the most iconic branch of Cryptozoology. Following our successful Mystery Cat and BHM Study Groups, we feel that these sightings should also be archived and published in a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. Curated by Sally Watts and Richard Muirhead

  • Hmmm again
  • Hmmmmm

  • OREGON: Sea Serpent

    Regular readers will know that in recent years we have migrated the two specialist Study Groups – Mystery Cats (curated by Carl Marshall and Olivia McCarthy) and Lake and Sea Monsters (curated by Sally Watts and Richard Muirhead) – to their own standalone blogs, although when there are postings, notifications of them can be found here on the main blog.


    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.

    MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A red tiger in India

    We are all familiar with the tiger with black stripes and yellow coat,however Dr Karl Shuker in his` Mystery Cats of the World` mentions a species of red tiger which is pallid,although Shuker does not give an exact geographical location for these tigers which are described as "red."(1) Perhaps there is no one location. However whilst I was reading a book titled `Big Snake.The Hunt for the World`s Longest Python` by Robert Twigger ( Victor Gollancz 1999) the author makes the following comment about an eccentric character he knew called Colonel H and what seems like a genuinely red tiger.:

    " In the old Oxfordshire house there were only two human statues(sic)Laughing Buddha and Saluting Man.Saluting Man was carved out of jackfruit tree wood by a Naga craftsman.He had a spear in one hand and saluted with the other and on his head was a hat made from the skin of a red tiger.  
    The WWF knew nothing about red tigers,but Colonel H insisted they lived deep in the jungles of the Naga Hills (in )"too far from a town for these environmental johnnies" .The red tiger is slightly smaller than the Bengal tiger and instead  of having yellow and black colouring ,it is red and black. The hat on Saluting Man was a piece of aging tiger skin,reddish orange and black.(2)The Naga Hills are in north-east India on the border with Myanmar(Burma)


    The Gonzo Daily: Monday/Tuesday
    And so, here we go with another week of funnity (a cross between fun and jollity). I have managed to get the first OTT Xtra of the new year ojut on time, and I would like to take this as an augury that things are slowly returning to noirmal (whatever that is). I am curre=ntly reading Adrian Whittaker's excellent biography of Dr Strangely Strange, which is totally enthralling. What with that and the debut album from Judge Smith's new band, I am having a culturally enriching time of it at the moment.
    The eagle-eyed amongst you will have also noticed that the Gonzo Multimedia websites have changed and are in a process of flux, so there are no individual sales links at the moment. But check out www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk for a thing of wonder.
    Life is still not easy, Corinna is still not well, my right foot is still painful, even though the infections appearto have gone, and with all this and everything else that I am having to deal with at the moment, not ignoring the emotional fallout from mother’s funeral only a few weeks ago, everything is delayed. We will get there in the end, but remember us in your thoughts and prayers, please. On which point, thank you so much to all of you who wrote to us giving kind words about Corinna and/or condolences for Mother. I will be writing back to you individually, but there were a lot of messages, and my time is embarrasingly limited at the moment. So, if you are one of the kind people who did so, please don't take offence that you have not had a reply.
    You guys have been doing massive amounts of praying for Corinna. I believe that the outpouring of good vibes transmitted electronically, being a little like a Tibetan prayer flag. Find out more:
    Blessed be.
    GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: The Beatles - Come Togeth...
    THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
    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 eleven 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?
    Gonzo Weekly #371/2
    In this frabjous issue Doug talks about how Big Sean helped him through a life crisis, Jon extolls Ransom Riggs and talks about gender, Graham looks at Hawkwind's forthcoming Hawkfest, we remember a night in Portsmouth with Pop Will Eat Itself, many years ago, Alan admires the paintings of Joie A. Pabilando, we are surprisingly impressed by the new album by Eminem, and unsurprisingly so by the new Pet Shop Boys record, and we go on Animal Rescue missions with PAART.
    And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney and Friday Night Progressive AND Canterbury sans Fronieres AND Merrell Fankhauser, but no sign of Strange Fruit this week, there is a column from Kev Rowland, but Mr Biffo, and C J Stone, and Neil Nixom abd Roy Weard, are on hiatus. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and antichinuses who have lost their shoes (OK, nothing to do with tiny marsupials who are searching for their footwear, 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:
    Moore's Law, John Higgs, Ozzy Osbourne, Gorillaz, Lindsey Buckingham, Bart Lancia, The Dave Foster Band, Brian May, Pop Wil Eat Itself, Friday Night Progressive, The Merrell Fankhauser Radio Show, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Carmelo Esteban "Steve" Martin Caro, Chamin Correa, Guy Deplus, Hylda Sims, Dan Andrei Aldea, James Edward Heath, Robert Parker, Sunanda Patnaik, Thérèse Allah, better known as Allah Thérèse, David Charles Olney, Chris Darrow, Dennis Garcia, Terence Graham Parry Jones, Rick Wakeman, Gerry Beckley, The Waterson Family, The Fall, Richard Wright and Dave Harris-Zee, Chasing the Monsoon, Doug Harr, Big Sean, PAART, Alan Dearling, Andy Wood, Joie A. Pabilando, Kev Rowland, Kissin' Dynamite, Faerenus, Like a Storm, Lisa Larue, Millenium, Madsen, Major Parkinson, Carl Marshall, Geordie Jackson, Zombie Cinema, Tony Klinger, Jade Goody, Hawkwind, Jonathan Downes, Wild Colonial Boy, Ransom Riggs, Martin Springett, A Map of Days, Pet Shop Boys, Eminem
    And the last few issues are:
    Issue 375-6 (Big Sean)
    Issue 373-4 (End of the World)
    Issue 371-2 (New Year)
    Issue 369-70 (Christmas)
    Issue 367-8 (Register to Vote)
    Issue 365-6 (Rick Wakeman)
    Issue 363-4 (Focus)
    Issue 361-2 (Martin Springett)
    Issue 359-60 (Robert Hunter)
    Issue 357-8 (King Crimson)
    Issue 355-6 (Elfin Bow)
    Issue 353-4 (Melanie S Jane)
    Issue 351-2 (Royal Affair)
    Issue 349-50 (Experimental Sonic Machines)
    Issue 347-8 (Gary Duncan)
    Issue 345-6 (RDF)
    Issue 343-4 (Auburn)
    Issue 341-42 (America)
    Issue 339-40 (Kev Rowland)
    Issue 337-38 (Zee)
    Issue 335-36 (Raz)
    Issue 333-34 (Nepal)
    Issue 331-32 (Scott Walker)
    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 60 who - together with a Jack Russell called Archie, an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, three other cats, 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 and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention Archie and the Cats?

    NEWS FROM NOWHERE: Monday/Tuesday

    ON THIS DAY IN -  1763 - The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. In the treaty France ceded Canada to England.
    And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • .
  • Savannah monitor lizards have a unique airflow pat...
  • Imperiled Yellow-legged Frogs Protected Under Cali...
  • EPA Weakens Safeguards for Weed Killer Atrazine, L...
  • We Need to Treat Human Noise as a Global Pollutant...

  • 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)