Newsletter 3rd August|jon_downes||08/03/03 at 22:27:47|jon_downes|xx|0||

Dear Friends,

Welcome to another CFZ newsletter. Each week I think that this cannot possibly last. Originally these electronic bulletins came out every couple of months just to keep the membership up to speed with what was going on. Over the last five weeks - largely due to the sterling work done by Elliot Saunders - the CFZ online community has grown out of all recognition. This newsletter has therefore become - much to my surprise - a weekly occurrence. We will continue to put them out each week for so long as there is enough news for us to do so. If one week a newsletter doesn't turn up in your email in-box don't panic. It will either mean that things have quietened down, or that - more likely - we are away for a few days and unable to get to a computer.


I was completely overwhelmed by the response to my request in the last newsletter for volunteers to transcribe interview tapes. It is a job I absolutely loathe, and I hoped against hope that one kind person would be good enough to offer their services. At last count I had 17 volunteers. Think you very much to all of you. I have made a note of your kindness and will be sending you tapes to transcribe as and when they become available. In the meantime take you very much to Dave McM for volunteering Lesley's services. Mark Martin has just sent them about 40 minutes' worth of audio files of Loch Ness monster witnesses which he recorded whilst at Loch Ness last week. Helen (who has always been an angel), will be getting a couple of tapes of Bolam  BHM eyewitness testimony sometime this week, and Kate will be getting a tape recording of an interview with a witness to what sounds very much like an out of place Pine Marten.


It hardly seems credible that the little fanzine which my ex-wife and I started in 1994 is now 60 pages long with a colour cover. But it's true. The new issue is under way and we hope to have it finished, printed, and dispatched to the CFZ membership by Monday week. We do want to apologise to everybody. This issue is about a month late. However, with Richard languishing in darkest Sumatra and then there the great crocodile hunt, we are sadly running late. However, I'm sure and that you'll agree with me that it has been worth the wait.


It doesn't seem like it but it is that time of year again. We are now soliciting submissions for the 2004 Yearbook. For those of you who have not been part of the CFZ world for that long, the yearbooks are an annual publication of about 200 pages. They contain research papers, expedition reports and reprints of classic fortean zoological literature too long to be included in the quarterly magazine. We hope to publish this year's volume in time for Christmas. It already includes a major paper on Irish mystery cats by Neil Arnold, the full research papers and accounts of of the 2003 Midlands crocodile investigations, enlisting of Cryptozoological films and television programmes, and a major look at the cryptozoology of the Lake District. However, we are still looking for more articles so if you have any ideas for something which you want to write about please contact me.


It is sad to announce that it will do Potter's Museum - which has been on display in various places since 1861 is up for sale. It is a crying shame that such a unique collection could not be kept together for posterity but that is the way that things are at the beginning of the 21st century. We shall be attending the sale in September and will do our best to buy as many of the unique fortean zoological exhibits as we can afford. I know that it always seems that in every newsletter am asking for money. Sadly, I am. Unfortunately the Centre for Fortean Zoology has no funding except from subscriptions, donations, and sale of books and merchandise. If there is anybody out there who wants to help us preserve some of this unique and irreplaceable collection and who has a few quid to spare please get in touch. Eventually the items that we buy  will join at the rest of our arcane collection in the CFZ visitors' centre. Until then, we will seriously consider any offers from museums or institutions who would like to house the collection on a temporary basis. I would urge anyone who feels like donating to do so. It would be a crying shame if the this wonderful collection was dispersed to the four winds and we will do our best to make sure that this does not happen. The entire collection has been valued at 200,000 and we know that we have not got a chance of raising more than a fraction of this. We are hoping that the most expensive items will be the ones in which we are least interested - the stuffed bear from Steptoe and Son for example. We will concentrate on purchasing those items which are of a serious Cryptozoological or Fortean significance. Please help us.


Mark Fraser - our Ayrshire for representative is organising a trip to Sherwood Forest together with Georges Massey the CFZ representative from Switzerland. He has asked us to enquire whether any CFZ members fancy an outing to Sherwood about the 3rd week in August. Please contact him a direct on
Chris Clark and Jon Hare - the two intrepid explorers who accompanied Richard Freeman  to Sumatra in mid June are coming down to the CFZ for a flying visit next weekend. We intend to go out for a drink and possibly a meal next Saturday evening. Are there any  CFZ members or sympathisers who would like to come along and chat about Sumatra and about the intrepid threesomes future expedition plans?
Richard Freeman will be giving the world exclusive first lecture on the subject of his Sumatra trip at the Cowick Barton, Cowick Lane, Exeter at 8 o'clock on Wednesday 13th August. Admission is free but you can buy us some beer if you want to. We look forward to seeing you there.
As regular readers will know Karl Shuker has had to pull out from the Weird Weekend 2004 because of work commitments. He has been replaced by Darren Naish will be talking about some of the stranger extinctions of animals on small island groups. The Weird Weekend will be held in Exeter over the first weekend of October. For details of speakers see the announcements on the CFZ website Forum. There are still some tickets available at 15 a head and we urge all to buy early to avoid disappointment. This is a the first predominantly Cryptozoological conference to be held in the UK since 1990 and we believe that it is not only going to be great fun but are that it is an important step in building and strengthening the cryptozoological community in the UK. We hope that as many of you as possible will decide to join us.
Once again I was overwhelmed by the response to our announcement  that we have CFZ T-shirts for sale. We still have a few left and you too can be the grooviest and most stylish cryptozoologist on the block in one of our handsome magenta black and white T-shirts. Just send a tenner to me at the CFZ mansions and you're sure it will be winging its way towards you soon. If like me you are somewhat on the portly side I can order larger sizes for a pound extra. However we don't have any left in stock at the moment. We can also do children's T-shirts at a pound cheaper. Again, we have to order them especially but you wouldn't want your kids to be left out would you?
That just about wraps it up for this week. Before we go, we would like to thank Sue Smith and her family for allowing us to invade their garden last week in search of evidence that either pine martens or the close to related beech marten are living in her neighbourhood. We would also like to say a big thank-you to Elliot for all his hard work especially when he has been feeling so lousy. Let's hope you get better soon pal. Congratulations to Nigel Wright on his first big cat sighting and again think you very much to everybody who was helped make the CFZ what it is today.
Onwards and upwards

Jon Downes
Centre for Fortean Zoology, 15 Holne Court, Exwick, Exeter EX42NA UK||