Tuesday, November 13, 2007

News From The CFZ

Well, I'm now back after 4 days of mystery and mayhem in Las Vegas at Ryan Wood's "Crashed UFO" conference. Things have been busy on the cryptozoological front while I've been away, so I hope to post quite a few stories over the next few days.
And to begin with, here's the new newsletter from Jon Downes at the CFZ Head Office in England.


Dear friends,

This is a particularly exciting time for the CFZ.


There are only two days to go until the Guyana expedition leaves for South America. We spoke to Richard this morning, and all the equipment has now arrived, and they are ready to go. Expedition member Paul Rose, also known to his legions of fans as Mr. Biffo, has invested in a satellite ‘phone, and so we hope that we shall be able to give daily updates on the expedition blog site: http://cfzguyana.blogspot.com/ We urge you to log in daily to see the updates of news from the team.

We have been receiving a lot more intelligence from our contacts in Guyana. They have found us a number of eye-witnesses and also tell us of some caves where – in fairly recent years – the didi was supposed to dwell. We shall be exploring these caves, and as far as we are aware, we will be the first Europeans ever to have done so.

We are very grateful to Capcom – one of the world’s leading publishers of video games – for sponsoring this expedition. There have been accusations from some quarters that this expedition is merely a publicity stunt by Capcom. Well der! Of course is it – from their point of view. Capcom are in this purely to sell more copies of their rather excellent new video game Monster Hunter 3. And why shouldn’t they be? This is what they do. We, however, are only grateful that, for once, we are able to carry out an expedition which otherwise we would not be able to afford. So viva la publicity stunt. May there be many more in the future. Thanks guys.


We are also pleased to announce a new monthly project from CFZtv. This is a monthly web TV show called On the Track which gives a monthly run-down on news from the world of cryptozoology and the CFZ, presented by yours truly, in what I sincerely hope is an entertaining and informative manner.

The first edition, which was basically a pilot, came out in October and the second edition, last week. We have paid quite a lot of attention to the comments and criticisms which arrived for the first edition, and the second edition is – we feel – much slicker, and much better. It now has live narration, rather than interminable subtitles, and is shot partly on location.

This month’s edition features scenes shot at Drusilla’s Animal Park in Sussex and includes a round-up of cryptozoological bats, new and rediscovered species, and an interview with Richard Freeman about the forthcoming Guyana expedition, as well as other CFZ news. We hope that you like it. The service is free, but both the Guyana blog and the On the Track blog: http://cfzmonthly.blogspot.com/ include Paypal donate buttons. If you feel generous, please do not hesitate to donate, because running the CFZ is a ridiculously expensive business. When my father died last year, I inherited some money – most of which I put straight into CFZ funds. Nearly all of it has gone now, and so, if we are to continue with our planned programme of events, then all donations are gratefully received.


Issue 41 of Animals & Men is now available. It has already been sent to all current members, but if you would like to read it, please send £3.50 or $10.00 to us via our Paypal account: jon@eclipse.co.uk

The contents are: 3 Editorial 4 Faculty of the CFZ 6 Newsfile 14 Newsfile Xtra - weird war tales 17 Obituary - Jim Cronin 18 Bigfoot notebook 20 Mystery cats diary 25 Aquatic monster study group 31 Eel of Fortune 45 The legend of Goatman 52 Chesapeake cadaver 51 Letters 54 Reviews 56 CFZ News 59 The Sycophant 60 Cartoon by Mark North We are now working on Issue 42, and are confident that it will be available before Christmas. It will, of course, feature an expedition report from the South America team, as well as articles on the mystery animals of Vermont, giant pike, lake monster news, big cat news, BHM news and Weird Weekend 2007 report. Watch this space.


The 2008 Yearbook is practically complete. We are waiting for the return of the Guyana team, so I can finish my annual report, and then – in early December – it will be published. It includes articles on the Mongolian Deathworm by Michael Woodley, Nick Malloy’s Orang pendek Expedition Report, Dr. Karl Shuker on the Mystery Cats of London Zoo, Neil Arnold on the Big Cats of Greater London, Lisa Dowley with an expedition report from Loch Morar, Richard Muirhead with a round up of fortean excerpts from a Victorian magazine called Science Gossip, some reprints of classic articles on the singing mice, Tony Lucas on the Mystery Animals of New Zealand, and Nick Redfern with an intriguing article called Planet of the Apemen.

If you want to pre-order a copy, post free, send us £12.50 ($25) via Paypal for non-members. CFZ members will have already been contacted with an even more preferential rate.


We also have several more books due out in the next few months. These include Ethna’s Journal – a remarkably gruesome piece of fiction by my beloved wife. It reminds me of some of the best of Michael Moorcock, although – according to Corinna – compared to some other women’s fiction it is not gruesome at all. Thank God I am a bloke I say. Seriously, however, it is highly recommended.

Also coming in the next month or two – Island of Paradise – my long awaited, and hopefully exhaustive, book about my researches into the chupacabra and other mysteries of Puerto Rico. It tells the story of my 2004 expedition there with Nick Redfern, together with flashbacks and re-examines my earlier 1998 expedition with Graham Inglis. It contains much information that has never been published before, and though I say it myself, I am rather pleased with it. It is 90% finished now, and I hope that it will be published by the end of the year.

Also in current preparation is the first volume of our monumental multi-volume set of mystery animals in the UK and Ireland. The first volume is the Mystery Animals of Tyneside and Northumberland by Michael J. Hallowell. Several other volumes have been commissioned including Staffordshire (Nick Redfern), Kent (Neil Arnold), South Wales (Oll Lewis), Devon (Jon Downes), Cornwall (Jon Downes), Greater London (Neil Arnold), West Midlands (Dr. Karl Shuker), Dorset (Jon McGowan). We hope that the entire set, in about 30 volumes, will be available by the end of the decade.

The Guyana Expedition Report will be published in book form in a similar format to the Gambia book that we published in 2006. Expect this early in the New Year, roughly concurrently with The 2008 Big Cats in Britain Yearbook.

In preparation for the early part of next year, there are new books by Dr. Karl Shuker, Richard Freeman and Michael Woodley.


I stopped being a professional musician in 1996, when my ex-wife buggered off with my keyboard player. Things like that tend to cloud one’s enthusiasm for the rock and roll lifestyle. However, I have made the occasional forays into the recording studio since, but mostly for my own enjoyment. I am tremendously touched, eleven and a half years after I finished touring, that I still receive kind comments about my music. I have, therefore, decided to follow in the estimable footsteps of Radiohead and make my own back catalogue available for download from the CFZ site. Eventually, all my albums will be up there, but to start with I have posted:

The Case 1995
Contractural Obligations 1996
Hard Sports 2002
Lost Weekend 2003

And my new album, Twilight Over England, which is being released today.

You can download them all from http://www.cfz.org.co.uk/music. I am not charging for this service, but would be grateful if anybody downloading would be kind enough to make a donation for as large or as small an amount as they like using the Paypal donation button which is on the page.


This will be held once again at Woolsery Community Centre, on the third weekend of August – 15th- 17th. Currently the following speakers have been confirmed:

Adrian Shine: Re-examining of the 1963 Tim Dinsdale footage from Loch Ness;
Geoff Ward: Spirals in action from crop circles to DNA;
Lee Walker: Newferry after midnight: true horror stories from a suburb of Liverpool;
Richard Freeman et al: Guyana expedition report;
Nick Redfern: TBA;
Ronan Coghlan: TBA;
Jon Downes: The Owlman and Mawnan
Matt Salusbury: Water elephants in the Congo
Matthew Williams: TBA

Tickets will be on sale early in the New Year. We urge you to book early to avoid disappointment.

That’s about it for this issue. As many of you know, Corinna and I were in a very serious car crash in September, followed immediately by a financial crisis caused by the idiocy of my bankers. As a result of which, I am not feeling in the best of health, and have spent most of the time ill in bed. Even today, I am in bed and dictating this newsletter to Corinna.

Please bear with us, therefore, if we are not quite as efficient as usual, and if I – in particular – take longer to answer my emails than I would normally do.

Thank you for your continued support.

Onwards and upwards,

Jon Downes
Director, CFZ
Editor, Animals & Men Magazine; Editor, Exotic Pets Magazine; Center for Fortean Zoology [CFZ], Myrtle Cottage, Woolfardisworthy, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 5QR, England.

Telephone: +44 (0) 1237 431413

E-Mail: jon@eclipse.co.uk

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