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, December 24, 2020



The CFZ Annual Report 2020

Dear Friends,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

No, who am I kidding? It’s been the worst of times, and it certainly wasn’t the year which we immanentized the eschaton. In fact, it has been a year that I would very much rather forget.

This is the 26th time that I have sat down to write my annual report for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and it is the first time that I have written it as a widower. Only a few days after writing last year’s annual report, my mother-in-law passed away. She was very much a part of the CFZ family and someone whom I loved dearly. Her passing was the beginning of a pattern that would become only too familiar this year.

We lost Paul Whitrow, who produced the bloody awful record that I made with Lionel Fanthorpe back in the day, some of you may remember him as a familiar face at the last few CFZ Weird Weekends. We lost Professor Bryan Sykes, world famous geneticist and friend of the CFZ. We lost Rob Rosamund, one time chairman of BUFORA and again, another regular visitor of the Weird Weekends. 

We lost Judy Dyble, the original singer with Fairport Convention and King Crimson; an old friend of Corinna’s and mine both, as well as an avid collector of black dog folklore. We lost Wolfgang Schmidt, a German philanthropist and the CFZ’s first large financial donor. We lost Nadine “Deanie” Rider, who many of you will remember as one of the CFZ girls and someone whom we all loved very much.

Above all, we lost Corinna. Administrative director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, my wife and companion of the last fifteen years. She had been fighting a mystery disease for the better part of the last two years, before she finally succumbed to two different types of cancer on August 16th. She was not only my friend and soulmate, but she was my partner in many endeavours: Together we looked for lake monsters in Ireland and the Lake District and we searched for blue dogs in Texas. As I am sure you can all appreciate, I am devastated by this loss and I know my life will never be the same again.

As a result of Corinna’s passing, everything has changed. Whilst for years I had run the CFZ with a small committee of people, including Corinna, Graham and Richard, I have recently begun to relinquish control to a talented group of individuals, all of whom bring vast amounts of specialist knowledge and insight to this great organisation. I have vested more power in an ad hoc committee which I laughingly call the CFZ Politburo, which makes me a sort of cuddly, cryptozoological Stalin, if such a thing were possible.

I realise that this annual report has started off on a depressing note; however, as I am sure we can all agree, this year has been pretty miserable no matter which corner of this beautiful world you choose to call home. The good news is, that despite the trials and tribulations caused by the global pandemic, we have managed to make some important steps forward as an organisation: The lockdowns that have defined this year, in conjunction with Corinna’s health, mean that I have spent much of the year at home, time which I have used to plan and prepare for this organisations bright future.

I will now discuss this years major developments in a vaguely coherent order:

Technical Developments

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes. Firstly, my friend Louis Rozier, whom many of you will only have heard of from his assistance in setting up the CFZ’s Patreon page, has gradually become more involved with this organisation. He is currently researching and developing an innovative trail camera for us, which will be built using recycled mobile phones and a selection of other affordable components.

The device will monitor a given area for wildlife, recording quality footage day or night as motion is detected, this footage will then be sent by the device directly to the CFZ headquarters for analysis. One design we are evaluating is capable of being deployed in harsh conditions for many months at a time, without need for human interaction, for example the device's power needs can be met by an integrated solar panel. These cameras have the potential to greatly increase the CFZ’s investigative capacity, and because they are built upon affordable commodity hardware, we can do this at a very affordable cost. I intend to ask members to donate their old phones for this cause at a later stage, I look forward to updating everyone on the progress of this very exciting project!

On a quick side note, Louis is also working on some major updates to the CFZ’s online presence. I am excitedly looking forward to seeing the fruits of his labour sometime in this new year. These developments should help to solidify the CFZ’s future in the digital world and aid in all of our future endeavours. 

A Lynx in the Forest of Dean

Secondly, I am sure regular readers of CFZ publications will remember that, about a year ago, Carl Marshall wrote a paper for Animals & Men based upon evidence which suggested that there are lynx living wild in the Forest of Dean. As a result we have started a major research project, focusing on the forest. This too is very exciting and here is it’s position so far:

  1. We are planning a publicity campaign, with posters in local tourist hotspots and editorial content in local newspapers, in an attempt to assemble a database of sightings of big cats in the area. We are seeking any accounts of livestock losses in the area too. We then plan to extrapolate data from this in order to track the animals movements within the forest over a period of time.
  1. However, as everything is up in the air due to COVID-19. At present, we are unable to work out which of these approaches is going to be most effective, so just like the rest of the country, we are just waiting to see what happens and hoping life gets back to normal sometime soon.
  1. Richard Muirhead is conducting research to find every mystery cat sighting in the Forest and the surrounding area over the past fifty years. Obviously, records of these sightings are not all easily accessible and this is extremely important but time consuming work.
  1. Although we are perfectly aware that there are legal pitfalls as regards us doing this, we are still  investigating whether a live trapping programme might be effective. We are looking at whether a large fox trap from Poland will suit our needs, or whether we will have to build something better suited to our specific and unique needs. We have found an interesting PDF of a paper explaining how to build a trap for lynx in North America. Louis has it at the moment, but if anybody else would like to have a look at it, and put their ha’porth in, please email me and I’ll send it over.
  1. Ve is looking at the places we need to approach for an information gathering poster campaign. He is also making a list of news outlets in the area, and to this end, Lizzy has furnished him with a list of the Roman Catholic parishes who may have parish magazines.
  1. Ve is planning a reconnaissance of various areas of the forest, looking for footprints, laying sand traps, and looking for hair samples. This will, however, not take place until we’ve got a bit more baseline data in order to find out more about the probable movements of the creature(s).

Given the present uncertainty regarding the future, once again thanks to the pandemic, Carl, Ve and I have decided that the best way to proceed with the Forest of Dean lynx investigation is to try a search for hair samples, the same way that Lars did ten years ago at Huddisford Woods.

Carl and Geordie have carried out a preliminary hair sampling exercise in the area which Carl found the lynx footprints a year ago. Naturally, the majority of the hair samples they have found were deer, boar or domestic dog. However, two hair samples, which on first sight appeared to be compatible with those of a lynx, were found and retrieved, which is a very exciting development.

Carl has been kind enough to purchase us a high-powered USB microscope. However, as we need the microscope's light to penetrate the hair in order to analyse its structure and match it to an animal, we either need to bolt on some upgrades or dig into the CFZ’s piggybank for a tool more suited to our very specialist needs. Once again, Louis, the CFZ’s resident tech support, is looking into a professional solution whereby we fit aftermarket LED lights to the microscope, making it fit for purpose. The only problem is that this sort of modification requires specialist parts, which we must order from overseas, so again we are at the mercy of the pandemic in the short term and the impact it has upon global trade.

A Big Cat in New Zealand

In New Zealand, at the end of September, a possum hunter called Jesse Feary shot what he believes was a baby big cat, in the same place he had seen what he believed was a black panther, the weekend prior.

“I spotted it, not even 100m away from us’

“It was down as low as it could be, and coming for us’’

“I do a lot of possuming, I see wild cats all the time

“Normally they are quite scrawny but this is monstrous’’

He shot the cat from about 50m and said he was sure it was the baby of the adult cat he witnessed last week. Big cat reports in New Zealand are particularly interesting, as with the exception of three species of bat (one of which is probably extinct), there are no placental land mammals known from the region.

There have been reports from various parts of the world, but particularly from Australia, which suggest that under certain circumstances, feral cat populations can produce individuals of truly extraordinary sizes, and as the animal in Mr Feary’s report was obviously a domestic cat rather than a panther or puma, we decided that it was extremely important for us to investigate in every way that we can.

In early October, I wrote a briefing document to the CFZ Board of Consultants, which read:

As I told you last week, Carl Marshall and Lizzy Bitakaramire are working on the currently topical sightings of ‘big cats’ in New Zealand. As part of this, it became necessary for Lizzy to grab Carl by the ear and pull him, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century by teaching him how to use Google Sheets. This accomplished two things: firstly, we have decided for all future investigations to open up a set of documents on Google Sheets and Google Docs, so that the work in progress is visible to all who may be involved. However, it also brought me to the realisation that it is important for us to – as my maths teacher used to say, forty-five years ago – show our workings. I have always maintained that the CFZ is the best cryptozoological organisation in the world, precisely because we ‘do it properly’, but if we make our workings and investigations – as far as possibly – transparent, we can not only ‘do it properly’ ourselves but hopefully inspire other researchers to do it our way and improve the standards of the discipline as a whole.

Two weeks later, I was able to report that:

The best and most important piece of news is about the investigation into the New Zealand big cat. As you will remember, it was shot by a local possum hunter, who thought it was a juvenile black panther. In our opinion, from the initial measurements of the animal in the photograph, it is nothing of the sort, but it is another piece of evidence towards the hypothesis that the gene pool of certain feral cat populations can, in certain circumstances, throw up a giant specimen.

Last night, Carl Marshall managed to finally speak to the hunter himself, who has promised us hair samples from the body, and hopefully the body itself. We shall be sending the hair samples to Lars, so that he can examine the scalation and, if necessary, arrange for full DNA analysis.

It goes without saying that, if the results are what we are predicting, this could be one of the most important cryptozoological discoveries in recent years. So again, an exciting development that has come from a bleak year. If by contrast the results come back and the so called ‘big cat’ turns out to be just a big moggy, within the acceptable size range for a Maine Coon or similar, then even that result would not be a failure. It will stand to prove that, once again, the CFZ is doing it’s job in the way that it should be done.

Lizzy is archiving every possible piece of information linked to this case and, in the future, she will be doing this for each of our investigations. In a world where we are continually under attack from internet warriors, it is more and more important than ever that we exhibit complete transparency in the way that we carry out our investigations.

We are the good guys, and I feel it is important that we should be seen to be so!

Unfortunately, this is where the trail went cold. Jesse Feary’s promised parcel never arrived, and we never heard from him again. I am not going to give up hope just yet, and I would like to think that we will still be able to get hold of him and put this mystery for bed once and for all.

Further Technical Developments

A year or so ago, Carl and I started work on a virtual version of the CFZ museum, using open source educational software. We didn’t get that far with it, because life got in the way. However, it is still a project I want to complete in the long term, and I have just come up with another potentially useful use for it. Lizzie and I are trying to work out whether we can use this software, which has been customised to suit the needs of the CFZ, to act as the front end to her ongoing archives. This, I think, would be very useful, because I am unwilling to allow the archives to be shared in a format which means people outside the core team can edit them. This would, I think, be a recipe for disaster.

 Ongoing Book Projects

I have had a long discussion with Chris Clark, and we have decided the way forward for completing the Boris Porshnev book. I have been working hard on getting the first edition of my Hong Kong book out in time for Christmas, but the Porshnev book is next on the agenda and in a month or so should finally be out.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for getting the book from Porshnev’s grandson in the first place, Lars for translating it into English, and Chris for editing. I would like to apologise to all three of them for the length of time it has taken for me to do my bit.

The other major book project that is going forward at the moment is a book on the mystery animals of Guyana by Damon Corrie, who was, you will remember, the guide on the 2007 expedition to Guyana.

The Golden Frogs of South Devon

About twenty years ago, Richard, Graham and I were called to the little village of Starcross, which is on the road between Exeter and Dawlish. I lived there when I was a student, and this was where I met my first wife. When the CFZ moved in, it was something like a decade and a half after I had lived there. The village had changed a lot, the old grey stone asylum which then was the Royal Western Counties Hospital, had been demolished. Staplake House, which is where I lived on and off for over three years, had burnt down and the ruins had been bulldozed. I had recently appeared in a TV show, called Mysterious West, alongside a lady who I believe is now the presenter of the morning show on ITV. One of the subjects I had spoken about was the legend of the Golden Frogs of Bovey Tracey.

There have been reports of golden coloured frogs in various parts of South Devon for many years.  The accepted narrative is that they are the result of a mutation caused as a direct result of human pollution, or something along those lines. Well, I thought differently. Whilst there is no doubt that the occasional leucistic frog or newt does turn up, in my opinion the reports of golden frogs do not fit this pattern.

There is a charming medieval folk story about an old woodcutter and his wife, who lived in the woods just outside the village of Bovey Tracey. There had been a famine in the land, and the woodcutter and his wife were starving. They had no food, only a few sticks of wood for the fire, and both their child and their cow were seriously ill, the latter only able to produce a cupful of milk.

Well, one night, this unfortunate family were sitting, shivering in their sitting room, when there was a knock on the door. It was a tall, beautiful woman, dressed entirely in white, and she was lost and seeking shelter for the night. In real life, the old woodcutter and his wife would probably have coshed her on the back of the head, in order to steal what few possessions she may have had. But this being a fairy story, they invited her in, gave her the meagre cup of milk that their ailing cow had produced, and put the last few sticks on the fire for her. They then all went to sleep, but when the woodcutter and his wife woke the next morning, they found that both the cow and the child were cured, there was plenty of wood on their woodpile, and the larder was full of provender.

The mysterious lady thanked them for their kindness and said that in memory of her visit, she would make a holy stream and a holy well, and that forever the frogs that lived in the holy stream would be golden in colour. Well, there isn’t a holy stream anymore, but there is a holy well and whilst I don’t know about golden frogs in that particular stream, I have been chasing them around large swathes of Devonshire for the better part of the last few decades.

Then, in mid October, I received a message on Facebook. It came out of the blue from the lady who had kindly let me, Richard and Graham chase around her garden with her small children, in a fruitless search for golden frogs all those years ago. Guess what? There was a dead golden frog in her garden.

She sent me photographs and diffidently asked whether we would like the body. I replied politely that I would very much like it, and then forgot about it until, a few days later when a parcel arrived in the post.

These days, Graham goes through my post, because my neuropathy means that I can’t really open most things. As he was just about to open the plastic box that had once held a Chinese takeaway, knowing that it contained a flyblown dead frog, I warned him not to do anything until he had found a jar of suitable size and the CFZ flagon of isopropyl alcohol. After the frog was duly pickled, we noticed something particularly interesting. The golden sheen, which had so marked the photographs, was completely absent and the frog was various shades of brown and grey.

This tells us something very interesting. It implies that the golden colours come from reflective chromatophores rather than from any genetic leucism. It would imply that our supposition was right all along. Although I am not qualified to comment whether the leucistic specimens which turn up once in a while are a result of anthropocentric changes to the environment, the fact we have seen these golden skin markings for ourselves has shown that they must be the result of chromatophores, because they disappear a few days after death. This gives quite a lot of support to the medieval legend, and to our assertion that they are a naturally occurring part of the frog population.

I do not know whether the Virgin Mary turned up in Bovey Tracey that night so long ago, but there is still a Mary Street in the town, and back in 1990, we found that there is still a Holy Well there, although it is mostly forgotten and unfortunately, we have not been able to attain any reports of golden frogs.

Our investigation into these things will continue. What we really want to do is get hold of a viable pair of these frogs and see if they breed true, but that will not be happening until at least the springtime.

We sent the original photographs of the golden frog, as taken by Monica in Starcross, to Lars in Copenhagen, and he passed it on to a colleague, who quickly came back with an answer:

“This looks to me like a fairly simple case of flavism - this is a rare, but by no means unknown phenomenon, where the colouring of an animal is dominated by mainly yellow and orange colours. It has to my knowledge never been studied in great detail, but it is probably a random mutation of some sort that either changes to formation of the chromatophores of the animal or the actual production of the various pigments in the chromatophores. The various processes are rather complicated, so there are a lot of places for mutations to have an effect, which is probably why these animals can look very different. Whether these mutations are hereditary is hard to answer. Some of them may be - and that is possibly why these colour-variations can be very localized -  i.e. the mutations happens at some stage (possibly due to environmental factors, possibly completely randomly) - and is passed on to the following generations of whatever species we are talking about (flavism is known from several species of frogs and toads, salamanders and newts). The strangely coloured animals may then disappear again because of another mutation - the genetics behind the colours of amphibians are rather fluid anyway, so lots of mutations/changes are possible, something which have been used extensively in the pet-trade with selective breeding of all kinds of weirdly coloured animals.”

So, after thirty years, we have shown that there is a naturally occurring colour variation, which gives a metallic golden colour to the common frog and that it is found in the South Devon area. We can even say that this was quite probably present there back in the Middle Ages, when either a poor old woodcutter and his wife were visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, or when somebody made up a charming little folk tale to explain the unusually coloured frogs, prior to the scientific understanding we possess today.

That is a rather satisfactory end to what has been a very unsatisfactory year, and we are greatly appreciative of Monica in Starcross for bringing this frog to our attention.


So, I hope you will all agree that despite having been a horrible year, we are on track to achieve some really quite spectacular things in the near future. This is assuming of course that the pandemic, and more importantly the way our leaders react to it, allows us to proceed with all of our plans. I would like to thank all of you who have supported us during this exceptionally difficult year, and I hope that you will continue to support us in the next year and all future years to come.

As I have always said, the CFZ is very much a family and I have opened this report with a list of all of those family members who have left us over the last year. I would also like to request your thoughts and prayers for the CFZ Canada representative Robin Bellamy, who has had to resign due to health problems.

I would like to end this report with some good news:

Two of the CFZ girls, Emily Taylor whom you will remember from her big cat researchers a decade or so ago, and Guin Palmer, who has been aggregating news stories for the BHM and Lake and Sea Monster blogs since earlier this year, have both had babies: Cayde and Muhammed, making me a great uncle twice over… and so the pain of so much loss during this year is balanced out by the immense joy received from these two new lives, and the universe continues on its way.

I sincerely wish everyone a great start to the forthcoming year!

Best Wishes, Jon Downes
Director, The Centre for Fortean Zoology

On the Track (of Unknown Animals) #118 (Clifden Nonpareil, British lynx, Wally, microscope madness)

 Here we have the 36th 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. And it is a special non-standard episode, but we are living in special, non-standard times!

In the new look OTT; we will try to keep the montly episodes to half an hour, but in between the scheduled episodes will be others - OTTXtra. So hold on, its gonna be a bumpy ride. And so far the bumpy ride seems to be a success: viewing figures are noticeably up, and the reactions we are getting seem very positive. This episode contains: • Jon says goodbye to Corinna • Archie • Mystery cats in the Forest of Dean • Back to the forest • Searching for footprints • Retrieving hair samples • Microscope madness • CFZ Tech support • Lockdown for Jon • Congratulations Guin • A rare visitor to the RD&E • Teasing Richard • The history of the Clifden Nonpareil • The origin story of a Comedy Rhinoceros • How to help us • Changes at OTT • The team says goodbye until next time _________________________________ Links for this episode: Find out more about WWN https://tinyurl.com/rchokh9 Buy the Yearbook (c'mon, please) https://tinyurl.com/vtppmrv _________________________________ 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...


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 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.


 The Gonzo Daily - Christmas Eve

I am feeling remarkaby calm and collected today. Thank you to everybody who has contacted me today hoping that I will be okay for Christmas. I have my house, my books, my dog and cats, and dear Graham to look after me. For a lot of reasons this is not been a time I enjoy for several decades, and in many ways it’s a relief to switch it off and just treat this as Thursday, the 24th of December and tomorrow is the 25th. But come I will wait and see how I feel tomorrow. That is the real crunch.
Love and Peace
From me and Lilith Tinkerbell the cat
On the Track (of Unknown Animals) #118 (Clifden No...
Leslie West, rock guitarist best known for endurin...
GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Carols from King's 2016 | ...
FRANK ZAPPA: Ahmet Zappa talks 'Zappa,'
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 #421/2
This magazine continues to go off on strange tangents that I never expect, but I am very happy to see it do so. What is in this week? Ooooh lots of things. Such as Rick Wakeman, lotsa Covidstuff, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jon's 2020 Top Ten, The Crown, and oodles more...
And there are radio shows from Mack Maloney and Friday Night Progressive, AND Merrell Fankhauser, and the Real Music Club, AND Strange Fruit, and Mr Biffo, there is a column from Kev Rowland, and C.J Stone, but Mr Biffo, Tony Klinger and Neil Nixon, are on hiatus. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and dibblers who have got the blues (OK, nothing to do with tiny marsupials who are listening to the new Bob Dylan album, 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!!!
..And the last few issues are:
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 a recently widowed old hippy of 61 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 a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention Archie and the Cats?


  ON THIS DAY IN - 1814 - The War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium.

And now some more recent news from the CFZ Newsdesk

  • BBC: Microplastics, drugs and food - how jellyfish...
  • Turtles Get Some Good News in 2020 (via Richard Fr...

  • 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)