The long awaited weekly newsletter from the
Centre for Fortean Zoology
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#2 - March 31st 2014
Since 1999 we have been collecting addresses for our mailing list, and occasionally sending out newsletters. We always meant to do them regularly, but life - as it has a habit of doing - got in the way. Now, finally we are doing what we should have done a long time ago. You are receiving this because at one point or other you opted in to our NotifyList account. If you do not wish to receive them for any reason you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this page...
So welcome to issue 2 of our newsletter.  It seems like only yesterday that issue #1 left North Devon to wing itself north, south, east and west via the wonders of the internet.  

It has been a busy week here with visitors every day bar one, and Graham has gone off to spend a few days with his mother and sister in Hertfordshire.  As I took him into Barnstaple on Friday to pick up his hire car, I took the opportunity to have a few hours to myself by pottering in the town before returning home.  Bliss.  
And yesterday, whilst taking Richard back to Barnstaple station, he, my mother and I stopped off at Fremington Quay and had a good old Devon cream tea as a treat.  That and the fact that my daughters wrote to me to say that I am an awesome and wonderful mum made my Mother's Day complete. 
The CFZ Newsletter is edited by Corinna Downes, administratrix supreme, and the wife of the ringmaster of the CFZ Circus.
Of course it was a fake. It was always going to be a fake.

I don't think anyone worth his or her salt doubted that for a moment. But sadly antics like his do a lot to bring cryptozoology into disrepute.

It is stories like 'Hank' the bigfoot, and the so-called Montauk Monster, which was nothing more than a dead racoon that make the newspaper headlines, and when they are disproved (as they always are) many commentators tend to throw out the baby with the bathwater and dismiss the whole of cryptozoology as being equally fallacious. The fact that Dyer had been involved in another high profile bigfoot fake a few years ago, didn't deter the "I Want to Believe" brigade from swallowing his claims hook, line and sinker.

Unfortunately, some websites and media pundits who should have known better, gave this idiotic joker more coverage than he deserved and the story garnered an amazing amount of interest online.

If the cryptozoological community does not do more to police itself, it will lose all credibility, and that would be a crying shame.

Probably the best overview of the whole sad affair is given by Sharon Hill over at Doubtful News; a lady for whom I have the utmost respect.

The recent alleged ‘Loch Ness Monster’ carcass displayed on the ‘Mulder’s World’ Facebook page is nothing of the sort. It is in fact, as anyone with a basic knowledge of anatomy could tell, a decaying basking shark carcass. It’s not Scottish either, it’s from Spain.

To top it all off it’s not even new. It washed ashore in Andalusia on August 15th last year.

It’s well known that after death the gill rakers and lower jaw drop away leaving the skull and what appears to be a long neck.

The illusion is given of a long-necked, small-headed animal. What looks like two small horns on the head are in fact the pectoral girdle. The animal also appears to have  claspers, modified fins used by male sharks in mating.

Many supposed sea monster carcasses are just dead sharks. You can find out more in the following books.
Tickets for this year's Weird Weekend are now on sale. So far confirmed for this year's event are:

Nigel Mortimer: Opening Portals
Ronan Coghlan: Bogus Bibles
Lee Walker: Urban Legends of Liverpool
Lars Thomas: Tales from the CFZ Laboratory
Jon and Richard: Introduction to Cryptozoology
Nick Wadham: Alien Abductions
Tony Whitehead (RSPB): O.O.P birds
Carl Marshall: Out of Place animals at Stratford Butterfly Park
Judge Smith: Survival after death
John Higgs: Chaos, Magick, and the band who burned a million quid
Richard Freeman: Tasmania 2013 Expedition Report
Matt Salusbury: Baron Walter Rothschild's Deinotherium caper
C.J. Stone: a MODERN King Arthur
Results of nature walk (Lars/Nick)
Ronan Coghlan: The Amphibians from Outer Space
Jon Downes: Keynote Speech

Miss Crystal Grenade
The CFZ Awards
Silas Hawkins
Kids Nature walk with Lars and Nick
Kids Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Speaker's Dinner at the Community Centre

and of course:
The Tunnel of Goats
The event takes place from the 15-7 August this year in North Devon. Find out more HERE. Tickets are available at a special discount price of £20/head for the whole weekend as long as you buy them in advance. Buy online HERE.
The tickets for this year's event are selling, slowly but surely. However, it would be much better for my blood pressure if they sold a little faster. So, ladies and gentlemen; do your bit to save my arteries...
Over the last week we have been doing quite a lot.
  • Andrea Rider, who has recently started working in the office has been working extremely hard on Volume Two of George Eberhart's monumental Mysterious Creatures.
  • Saskia (one of our two lovely interns) has, ably assisted by her brother Riley and a young lady called Charlotte - who is nearly 12  - been working with Richard and Graham on refurbishing the conservatory. She is doing all the designs and masterminding the work as part of her college course on Animal Management.
  • Richard Freeman was here for a few days, and on Saturday worked with the kids on the conservatory project as well as working on several new book projects for CFZ Press
  • Graham Inglis together with Saskia dismantled and collected a shed from Kilkhampton, and brought it back to Woolsery where they painstakingly put it back together again to hold some of the extraneous impedimenta that had built up in the conservatory
  • Alexandra Cook has taken a hatchet to the first edition of Richard's book of Japanese themed horror stories, and is working hard on a 2nd edition.
In another piece of Governmental idiocy it has now become illegal to import apple snails. This is apparently because they have been found as an invasive species in Northern Spain, about 1,100 miles south of the UK.

They are still legal to own, but people being the profiteering capitalistic scum that they are, are beginning to charge stupid prices for them. I want some more for a project I am doing with some of the local kids. So if you have surplus of any species, especially Canas snails, please email me.
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Our mailing address is:
The Centre for Fortean Zoology,
Myrtle Cottage,
Bideford, North Devon
EX39 5QR
Telephone 01237 431413
Fax+44 (0)7006-074-925

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