At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

ZACHARY MANN'S CRYPTOTOUR

Zachary Mann is a valued contributor to this blogspot.  He has now decided to do a series of articles, a state-by-state guide to cryptids.  This should make a fascinating reference tool for all cryptozoologists.  In this article he outlines his plan.


  I love the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s my home state, and the only place that I can ever have the privilege of calling my home. In my life time I have traveled far and wide across many states meeting wonderful people, beautiful places, and sharing new ideas with my fellow man. Yet, despite all of that, there is no place I’d rather live. And as it turns out, many of my fellow Virginians would agree with me. It’s rich in history and many of the USA’s most important events have happened here; the settling of Jamestown, the End of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars,  and we have had more US Presidents born here, than any other state by far.
However, not every place is perfect all of the time. One of the biggest ‘drawbacks’ if one could call it that, was growing up fascinated by Cryptozoology and yet feeling like I was so far away from everything. I mean, Scotland has Nessie, Nepal has the Yeti, and the Congo has Mokele Mbembe. Even here in America you have Champ in New York, Blue Dogs in Texas, and Sasquatch in the Pacific Northwest. As a child, I felt like I was missing out a lot. I suppose it would be like a child wanting to be an actor and growing up in the middle of rural Missouri and longing for the lights of New York or LA. Yet, now I realize that there are plenty of amazing things that are being reported everywhere, including my beloved Virginia. 

Zachary Mann (with sister)
You have to understand, growing up in a time before the widespread usage of the internet as well as the dozens of new shows on various cable networks featuring Cryptid and paranormal activities, you had relatively little to work with. Oh, yes, there were books, magazine articles, and occasional spots on TV, but they were always about the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot in California. Local articles did exist, though. As a young boy I remember my mother giving me an article she clipped out of the Richmond Times Dispatch, about sightings of a possible river monster in Virginia, I would later come to know this Cryptid by the name Chessie, as she was already being discussed by researchers far  my senior. I saved that article and keep it for years, but having moved three times since then I have  lost that small news clipping to time, but it shows how for decades people have been reporting strange things all over the place and the tradition still stands strong today.
I am happy to say that within the last decade a whole slew of works has come out relating to localized Cryptozoology. All across America, as well as the rest of the world, people are able to report, publish, and discuss the bizarre things that happen to them and their neighbors. This is one of the reasons why I first decided to contribute to this great Blog and organization. My first article, all the way back in December of 2013, was about alleged sightings of Bigfoot in my hometown. That’s right, hometown, not state. Places I’d passed by tens of thousands of times and where people I have known my whole have lived for decades before I was born had been seeing some occasionally strange things. Even I have had one rather puzzling sighting of a pair of extra-large, and so far unidentifiable, birds.
So that’s why I’m proud to announce a new venture I’ll be undertaking. I plan to ‘travel’ from state to state exploring local Cryptids and highlighting them in a series of articles. I’m going to dig through the archives of local newspapers as well as contemporary articles too. I know that whole books can, and have been, written about local Cryptids, but my goal is to give you a well-balanced taste of the unique flavors each state has to offer.

The point of this exploration is to show everyone out there that there are always weird and wonderful things going on all around you, to encourage people to come forward with their amazing experiences, and to show that the woods beside your house may not be as empty as you once thought. So I hope you’ll be ready to join me on this cross country road trip of America. We’ll take only the backroads, we’ll always make time to stop and explore every scenic spot, and try and uncover the truly mysterious side of the states of America. So I hope you’ll all join me on this this cross country voyage, we leave at dawn. First stop, my home state, Virginia.




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