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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, February 20, 2014

FORTEAN BIRD NEWS FROM THE WATCHER OF THE SKIES



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. 






TODAY'S BIG CAT ROUND UP


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. 


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  • CRYPTOLINK: Bigfoot Hunting: The New American Pastime, Or Something Else?

    A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

    The 1950s in America, with the innocence and excitement that abounded during that era, served dutifully as the “Golden Era” for a host of now famous modern endeavors. Following the Second World War, as the United States emerged from the conflict as one of the major world superpowers, creativity was running high, and new forms of industry and infrastructure were being identified and executed for profit, thanks in large part to the necessity for innovation that occurred during the war years.

    The 1950s would also usher in an age when, in the absence of the requisite focus on wartime turmoil, curiosity, hearsay, and perhaps a bit of boredom, blended eloquently to lend themselves to new, and sometimes odd, interests. Of particular interest to our audience here, the 1950s ushered in such things as the modern flying saucer craze, as well as a new interest in an older story from further back up in the foothills around the Pacific Northwest: the alleged existence of “ape men” in the remote wilds of North America.

    We sometimes forget how old this phenomenon really is, especially when we find ourselves watching the mind-numbing silliness (or sport, according to some) that so-called “Bigfoot hunting” has become. But has it really become the past time of a select few weekend-warriors who are out in search of the biggest-game there is, or is it a continuation of a much older cultural practice? Read on friends, and you may just learn the sad, shameful truth.

    The discussion of the Bigfoot craze in America is a lot like flying saucers, in a sense, in that while the perceived fascination with the phenomenon would begin in the 1940s and 50s, there are earlier histories that involve both the wild men of the remote parts of America, as well as unidentified flying objects. Reports of strange airships–and even disc shaped craft in at least a few instances–do go back much further in our cultural memory than the first sighting of alleged “flying saucers” by Kenneth Arnold in 1947 (which, as has been argued elsewhere, may not have been “saucers” at all). The airship reports date back to the 1890s, often linked with Jules Verne’s presentations on such themes in books like Robur the Conquerer and its sequel, Master of the World. In similar fashion, reports of “wild men” in the Americas that pre-date the 1950s reports that led to the creation of “Bigfoot” (if in name only, and largely by members of the press, as had been the case with Arnold’s “saucers”) exist also; notable reports include a detailed affidavit written and signed by William Roe a few years prior to the famous hoax that fooled Jerry Crew at Bluff Creek, California, as well as earlier reports such as the “Ruby Ridge” incident, and collected accounts of the Harrison Lake Chehalis natives authored by J.W. Burns even earlier.



    In those days, going out and “hunting” Bigfoot, for those who took the matter seriously, was something that was seldom done… although there were a few who were doing it, and trying to do it seriously. Namely, among these were writer and researcher John Green, as well as Rene Dahinden (who famously took a ver literalist “pro-kill” stance regarding Bigfoot “hunts” early on), as well as the British explorer and adventurer Peter Byrne, who would claim to have raised several millions of dollars throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s that had gone toward serious studies into Bigfoot’s potential existence. Zoologists the likes of Ivan Sanderson, as well as his colleague Bernard Huevelmans (who actually coined the term “cryptozoology) also took serious interest in the matter. Later, the renowned anthropologist Grover Krantz would enter the proverbial Bigfoot-ring, espousing views regarding “final proof” of the creature that mirrored Dahinden’s early offerings on the necessity for having to kill one of the creatures. Finally, one Archie Buckley, a pediatrist who studied alleged Bigfoot footprints, would attempt to make a strong case for their existence, in part with the help of promotion through programs like In Search Of…and other television specials which most of the men described above had variously appeared on.

    THE GONZO BLOG DOO-DAH MAN SKIPS

    The Gonzo Daily - Thursday

    You will almost certainly notice that this week's issue of Gonzo Weekly will be somewhat different to usual. That is because I am not the editor. This weekend I shall be rushing around the countryside together with Graham Inglis and Gonzo Grande Fromage Rob Ayling, filming and photographing Hawkwind's revisiting of the legendary Space Ritual this weekend.On Friday afternoon I should be filming the sound check of the rehearsals at Seaton. All things being equal I will get back here with the boys late on Friday night so that I can add photographs of the dress rehearsal to this week's issue prior to downing some whisky, and getting as early a night as possible and going to London for the main event the next day. It is all very exciting, because so many things could go wrong and probably will.  But the long and the short of it is that I am handing over the editorial reins to my lovely (and ever so slightly scary) wife Corinna for this issue. Expect battle axes, flaming arrows and songs about 40,000 varlets being slaughtered in a mead hall.
    and apparently I messed up yesterday's notifications, so here is yesterday's poem again:http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/thom-world-poet-daily-poem_19.html

    Keith Emerson talks ELP's Brain Salad Surgery track by track
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/keith-emerson-talks-elps-brain-salad.html

    AND OTHER STUFF...
    Remember, the Farplace Animal Rescue people need your help. They are good guys and only need just over 100 more signatures...
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/02/appeal-for-farplace-animal-rescue.html

    This issue features an EXCLUSIVE Pink Fairies interview, an exclusive interview with prog album artist Sandor Kwiatkowski, the return of the mighty Six Foot Three, Clepsydra box set details, a massively desirable slice of Acid Mothers Temple memorabilia, news about Hawkwind live next weekend, an oral hygiene tool endorsed by an Oriental dictator, A Communique from Pussy Riot, the Psychedelic Warlords live, and more news, reviews, views, interviews and brindled gnus (OK, no specialised African antelopes 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 COMPLETELY FREE!!!

    To make sure that you don't miss your copy of this and future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe
    http://eepurl.com/r-VTD

    PS: If you are already a subscriber but think that you haven't been receiving your copies please check your spam filters. For some reason known only to the Gods of the internet, some e-mail programmes automatically count the magazine as 'spam' probably because it comes from a mass mailer. Either that or they are just jealous of our peerless content.

    *  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.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

    * 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 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) - puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon, which he shares with various fish and sometimes a small Indian frog. 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 the orange cat?

    CRYPTOLINK: Breakdown - Possible Baby Bigfoot

    A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today