Tales of the Yeti will be highlight of weekend convention

TALES of the Yeti will abound in Woolsery when the largest gathering of esoteric natural history scholars in the English-speaking world,takes over the vvillage community hall..

The Centre for Fortean Zoology's annual conference, the Weird Weekend, will see speakers from all over the country discussing their work and discoveries.

The Weird Weekend, being held from August 18-21, is now in its 12th year and is the largest convention of its kind. This year's speakers include one of the world's leading geneticists, Professor Bryan Sykes, who will be speaking on the Yeti and samples of hair he has tested.

Continuing the theme, cryptozoologist Richard Freeman will be talking about the Centre for Fortean Zoology's latest expedition that took them into the Garo Hills of northern India on the track of the Yeti.

Last year at the convention scientists announced that hairs found in local woodland were those of a leopard. These findings were later confirmed by DNA analysis.

A world exclusive this year comes from Dr Darren Naish from Portsmouth University and Max Blake from Bristol University who will produce conclusive proof that more than 100 years ago there were still mystery cats in Devon.

Other speakers include Fortean researcher Matt Salusbury who has been on the track of pigmy elephants in India, entomologist Nick Wadham on giant spiders, cryptozoologist Adam Davies on the orang-pendek, the mystery ape of Sumatra, and Glen Vaudrey on the waterhorse, a sea serpent from Scottish legend.

As well as monstrous creatures, other esoteric subjects are covered. Former police officer John Hanson describes UFO cases reaching back to the 1940s.

Other subjects include Ronan Coghlan on the labours of Hercules, and Henry Hartley on Fortean aspects of the modern Mayans. As well as talks there will be stalls, workshops and events.

The Weird Weekend raises funds for village charities dealing with children and for the Woolsery-based Centre for Fortean Zoology, the only full time organization in the world dedicated to the investigation of mystery animals.

Visit http://www.weirdweekend.org/ or ring (01237) 431413.