Greetings one and all and welcome to the Antipodean branch of the CFI Blog. I will be your host for this journey, and I ask for your patience and forgiveness as I finally shamble blindly into the blogosphere.
Oz has a long history of phenomena which can be shoe-horned into the catchall which is "Forteana" - the beasties which European settlers borrowed from the original inhabitants (the Min Mins, the Bunyips, the Yowies and the Yarries) as well as those which they bought with them. We've started Fortean trends (the Tully Saucer Nests for example, are often cited as the precursors to crop circles) and we've maintained the favourites (like the Cloncurry fish fall or the Coogee Virgin). As a result, we have a goodly collection of reserchers into these phenomena - Tony Healy and Paul Crowther, Malcolm Smith and even Rex Gilroy to name but a few, not to mention the hard-working collective that is Ghostwatch.
Against this backdrop, what hope do I have to contribute to this body of knowledge ? I'll be honest and state that the only bit of "investigation" I have managed to do is getting in contact with a journalist who was trying to track down the Beast of Buderim in the mid-nineties, as well as maintaining the aforementioned critter's unofficial webpage until it was wiped from the QUT servers. Not an impressive resume, I'll admit.
What I will attempt to do is to give a wrap-up of what contribution this wide brown land (and hopefully the wobbly islands off to the right) makes to the vast array of weird stuff that people like to force into the box marked "Forteana". I will cast a critical eye over claims made in haste by snake oil salesmen for the new age, or the "High Priesthood" of science. Hopefully, amid all of this, I will entertain those of you have managed to stay awake up until this point.
In setting this blog up, Dino asked for a bio which should be lurking somewhere around this page. The first one I wrote went for three pages or so and tried to explain exactly where I'm coming from. After a bit of judicious editing, I figured that's best left for one of these new fangled blog entries. Probably the next one. In the meantime, I hope that this first serving acts as the right kind of introduction.