Have you seen the big cat?|jon_downes|jon@cfz.org.uk|08/05/07 at 12:12:04|jon_downes|xx|0||


Have you seen the big cat?

Over the last couple of years, residents of the tiny North Devon village of Woolsery have reported seeing a huge cat-like animal, black in colour, and up to 8 foot in length, in the area surrounding Huddisford Woods, just outside the village.  Now, scientists from the Centre for Fortean Zoology – the world’s largest mystery animal research group – which is, coincidentally, based in an early 19th Century house in the village, are appealing for witnesses in the hope that they can build up a data base of information which will give them clues as to the identity of the mysterious beast.

Professor Bernard Heuvelmens, the Belgian scientist who first coined the term cryptozoologist – the study of unknown animals, once wrote that “there are lost worlds everywhere”.  However, CFZ Director, Jonathan Downes (47), admits that after travelling around the world for the last 15 years in search of peculiar creatures, it is ironic that he should be carrying out a full-scale investigation on his own doorstep.  

But it is not just big cats which are attracting monster hunters to Woolsery. Only three weeks after the wedding, the couple are hosting the 8th annual Weird Weekend – the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world.  On the weekend of the 17th – 19th August, cryptozoologists from all over the world will converge upon the tiny North Devon village of Woolfardisworthy, where the newly weds live and work.

Amongst this year’s influx is Grigoriy Panchenko, a scientist from the Ukraine who will be presenting evidence for the continued existence of primitive hominids in the former Soviet Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria

If you have any information that could help the CFZ on their quest, or are interested in finding more out about the Weird Weekend, please telephone Jon or his wife, Corinna, on 01237 431413.


+ The Centre for Fortean Zoology is a non profit-making organisation, which was founded in 1992. Over the last 11 years we have mounted expeditions to Central America, Thailand, Mexico, various parts of the United States, as well as numerous investigations in the UK. Further information on the CFZ can be found on their website, www.cfz.org.uk.

+ CFZ Press are now the world’s most prolific publishers of books on mystery animals.

+ The honorary life President of the Centre for Fortean Zoology is renowned explorer, author and soldier Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his pioneering Operation Drake and Operation Raleigh expeditions during the 1970s.

+ The CFZ is looking for corporate and private sponsors.

+ Photographs are available. Please contact Jonathan Downes, Corinna Downes or Mark North on +44 (0)1237 431413.