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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Sunday, August 16, 2009

WEIRD WEEKEND: What Lizzy did next - Saturday

Saturday was an EXCELLENT day. I had my face painted, I won a golden baboon and my darling friend Annie came over for the day. Annie is very new to the world of Forteana but enjoyed herself a lot, as did I (obviously). Rat Scabies’s Holy Grail talk was brilliant, as was Neil’s on Zooform phenomena. Unfortunately, with nipping off to collect Annie, we only saw one more talk (Darren Naish’s – which was great except I wondered why he kept mentioning plasticine) but I will be checking out the others on CFZTV as soon as they are uploaded.

Oh, and thanks to Ronan, I can now spell “close the door, please” in Irish Gaelic properly….


Anyone who's ever been at (or near) the CFZ in the run-up to the Weird Weekend will know how hectic things can be preparing for the event. There's an old saying: "What can go wrong will go wrong," and that may not literally be true but it can sometimes feel that way.

This time around I constructed the UFO backdrop that was used during the opening musical theatre sequence - although I've yet to see the video of how that performance went. I was off doing other things! My main task during talks has been taking stills photos, and I was wryly amused to find that on the Friday the silver surface was reflecting the camera's flashlight and was more of a hindrance than a help.

I muttered "Is that damned UFO going to be parked there all night?" Well, it was. But, as with anything else at the Weird Weekend, one just soldiers on!


Andy Roberts proving beyond all doubt that he is a hippy

Julian Vayne with a python skin

Maxy gets a Golden Baboon award

Becky from `Devon Facepainting` attends to Julian Vayne from North Devon Museums

Neil Arnold


Lisa's son Mitchell wins a copy of Andy Roberts's book on the social history of LSD in the raffle, (which, btw, raised a whopping £170)

Rat Scabies

Richard (together with Dave Archer and Chris Clark) launch the new CFZ Expedition -

our third to Sumatra

It is so nice to have Mark North back in the fold because last night we revived an old tradition of ours. I went over to him, shoved a microphone under his nose and said: "Dude, we've got away with it for another year"....

WEIRD WEEKEND - Speakers Group Photograph

The Class of 2009
L-R Neil Arnold, Paul Vella, Andy Roberts, Ronan Coghlan, Glen Vaudrey, Darren Naish, Jonathan McGowan, Max Blake, Jonathan Downes, Corinna Downes, Rat Scabies, Richard Freeman, Tim Matthews, Nick Redfern, Michael Woodley

WEIRD WEEKEND SCRAPBOOK: What Oll did on saturday

As I mentioned in my Weird Weekend Scrapbook yesterday, one of my duties this weekend is to film most of the talks for this year. Although this might sound like an easy job it is a lot harder than it looks as it means I have to stay completely alert to try to get the best shots and there are no second chances; if I were to not pay attention even for a few seconds before I know it a speaker I’m getting a close-up of could have wandered out of shot, ruining the filming of an entire talk.

So far, though, things have gone well with the filming. Sunday will see my Lake Monsters For Kids talk, where I’ll be giving the younger attendees of the village the chance to work out the possible identity of the Loch Ness Monster.