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Published on Jan 28, 2008
The Weird Weekend is an annual conference hosted by the Centre for Fortean Zoology in rural North Devon. It is the largest regular cryptozoological conference in the English speaking world (4). They have had 50 different speakers since it began. It is a fundraiser for the CFZ, and since 2000 has featured the cream of the world's cryptozoological researchers. Jonathan Downes. the Director of the CFZ said in a 2004 interview with BBC Radio Devon, that "although the conference is predominantly cryptozoological in nature, it is not exclusively so. We try to make sure that the speakers include ones that are of interest to the people who attend, even if they are sometimes a little off topic".
The original mission statement for the event reads: "For years we had - individually and collectively - been guests at various conventions and conferences around the country, and indeed around the world, and we decided that we wanted to do one of our own. However we wanted to do a conference with a difference.
In the UK at least, the UFO Community, the Fortean Community, the Cryptozoological Community and the Pagan Community are four totally different things. We felt that this was a pity. There were and are people who regularly speak at conferences for each of these communities who have a lot of interesting things to impart to members of the other communities but until now never got the chance. We decided that as we had a foot in each of the camps we would do our best to ensure that the Weird Weekend would, each year, be a forum where people from all the different communities could meet, make friends and talk to each other. The first event was held in 2000, and annually since then, proving that our concept was a success beyond our wildest dreams...."
Grigoriy Panchenko is a Ukranian cryptozoologist and explorer. He is noted for his work into the almasty or Caucasian wildman. As part of the CFZ's committment to sharing information, here is his talk from the 2007 event. (more)