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, September 07, 2009

CFZ PEOPLE: Jessica Taylor

So yesterday marked another rite of passage for a core member of the CFZ team. Young Jessica Taylor (11, but insisting that we tell you that she is 12 in November) started Great Torrington Community School yesterday.

Here she is looking very grown up and sophisticated, and probably soon will be too old to give her old Uncle Jon a cuddle.

Many of you will recognise Jessica from her starring role as younger sister to the eponymous star of Emily and the Big Cats (a role which she fills IRL as well)

When the CFZ's girls start growing up it makes the rest of us seem very old!


Dear Jon,

I don't know if it's a coincidence, but ever since Mollie Sugden died I've been finding cat stories; vampire cats, ghost cats, winged cats, and more. My favorite, however, is about a group of cats in rural Pennsylvania that formed a gang.

The original article appeared in the April 7, 1834 edition of the Adams Sentinel and General Advertiser and the reproduction is just about legible.

Hope you can use it and that you're feeling better soon.



People who watched the latest episode of On the Track will know that last week Maxy turned up with an unexpected set of passengers - some enormous apple snails that he rescued from a shop that had no idea how to care for them.

Well, we are obviously doing something right, because one of the female P. canaliculata has presented us with a large clutch of eggs (about the size of a squished strawberry).

So, to celebrate, here is a piece of peculiar music from four decades ago:


Another song from the recently unearthed video of Jon Downes and the Amphibians from Outer Space live in a pub in Seaton shortly before the end of the summer tour in 1995. This song is an original, from the album The Case, which was issued about six weeks after the gig, and it is called Better than Dying.


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February, and he is now working on the BHM section. This 4th trenche is a mixed bag of bigfoot and yeti stories from the 1980s and 1990s, from the United States in the mid 1990s, which were - by the way - originally from the collection of Craig from the long defunct Crypto Chronicle



The Sumatra expedition leaves Blighty this forthcoming weekend, and we shall be covering it as closely as we can here on the CFZ Bloggo.

Richard has just arrived at the CFZ (10:30 am) and I spoke to Adam Davies last night. The expedition will keep as much contact with the CFZ base as possible, but it has to be remembered that we have no satphone, and are reliant on them telephoning home from whatever villages they pass that happen to have any means of contact.

None of us have any idea whether this means daily or weekly contact, or even if - as on the two previous Sumatra trips in 2003 and 2004 - we hear nothing from the team until they arrive back in Singapore.

But the coverage, and the coverage of all preparations will be found on the dedicated expedition blog:


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


It’s time for some cryptozoology news:

T. rex for sale in Vegas

Animals Before Birth

Moths Cloaked In Color: Reexamining Parallel Evolution In Diurnal Neotropical Moths

War Against Wildlife Ends In Southern Europe

Global warming and the fate of the world’s coral reefs

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Unveils "Darwin's Legacy"

See Darwin as You Have Never Seen Him Before in The Manchester Museum's Unique Exhibition

Dad dives in stream to escape wasps

Here’s a little joke for you about wasps (it’s not my own, but it is slightly better than the puns I usually come up with)...

The world’s foremost authority on wasps is walking down the street when he sees a LP record in the window of a record shop: “Wasp sounds from around the world”. Intrigued, he goes into the shop and asks if he can listen to it.

“Certainly,” says the shop assistant and pops it onto his turntable. After listening to the first track for a while, the world’s foremost authority on wasps is a bit confused. I don’t recognise any of these sounds, and I’m the world’s foremost authority on wasps! Can you play the next track please?”

The assistant obliges and skips the needle onto the next track. After a while, the world’s foremost authority on wasps is still confused. “No, I still don’t recognise any of these wasps. Can you try the next track?”

The assistant skips the needle on, and the world’s foremost authority on wasps listens for a little while longer before shaking his head. “It’s no good. I just don’t recognise any of these wasps.”

The assistant peers at the label of the record and says “Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I had it on the bee side.”