The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in the UK in 1992 - nearly 20 years ago. Over the past two decades it has expanded to become a truly global organisation. We opened our American office in 2001, our Australian office in 2009, and now - in our 19th year - we are proud to welcome CFZ Canada to the CFZ global family.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Working 9 to 5

Many apologies for the absence of late, sometimes life gets in the way. That's what this blog is about.

Cryptozoology takes a lot of hard knocks. Often called "pseudoscience", those of us who practice actual research would appear to the disbelievers as time wasters. To them, we do nothing all day except sit and read fiction and perhaps generate fiction because, after all, "monsters" couldn't be real--our parents said so at age 5. This bleeds over to the never-ending search for support in the academic community as well. Would it kill them to run a few DNA tests at the local university? Could the PhD's not even consider that our (usually non-PhD) work could maybe, possibly, perhaps actually have some merit? Could philanthropic folks with a genuine interest not rise above their shame and make a public contribution? Oh were are the Tom Slick's of this generation? Lack of funding and respect ultimately means that those of us with a passion for the study of unknown (unproven?) creatures have to fall back on a "day job". I am fortunate that my "day job" is actually paranormal study--I get to research, publish, consult, and investigate and get paid for it; hence my absence over Halloween. I was working.

Even though I am paid well, I don't work a standard 40 hour workweek. During the Halloween season (which the media seems to think is the only time ghosts appear) I do really well financially. The other 11 months of the year, I'm happy to get 10 paid hours a week. It's not a living wage. Thankfully, I have a spouse who makes enough to support the family and my income is only supplemental. Every couple of years I give birth to a new book which means a little more in the kitty, but generally I just reinvest that into equipment and future books. I'm a slave to my "hobby"--paranormal research.

Sadly this is the case for most of us in Cryptozoology. Even Loren Coleman, probably the most prolific writer on the subject right now, has a "day job" throughout most of his career as a Cryptozoologist. Like many others, he teaches and lectures, and maintains the International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine. Dr. Karl Shuker, Britain's version of Loren (said with a grin, of course!) is equally prolific and respected yet even on his Facebook page he lists himself as a "Zoologist, Media Consultant, and Author" rather than "Cryptozoologist. John Green of B.C., aka Mr Sasquatch, was/is a journalist. The other three of the "Four Horesmen of Sasquatchery", Rene Dahinde, Grover, Krantz, and Peter Byrne are all either dead or aging. Is the era of "professional research" going by the wayside?

We who seek knowledge in Cryptozoology are starting to lose our role models. Huelvemans, Keel, Krantz and so many other leave behind some very big shoes to fill. Can we fill them if we are tied to income producing positions outside the field? Have the pseudo-skeptics killed all hope of achieving the respect that this research garnered in the 1950's and 60's?

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