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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER NIGEL WRIGHT: Are our spiritual selves what life makes them?

Nigel was an integral part of the CFZ from about 1997 until about 2004, when family committments on my behalf led me to translocate to North Devon, and family committments for him meant that he couldn't donate as much time as he had used to. For years he was my PA (fulfilling much the same role as Matty Osborne does on occasion) and we drove around the country having adventures and doing odd things. If only as a guest, it is nice to have the old bugger back on board..

In an attempt to maintain my reputation of being the “straight man” of the CFZ, I have decided to choose a subject matter for this blog, which lends itself to such serious treatment! However it is an important point to make, I believe, since my own life story did indeed fashion my beliefs and interest in the paranormal. So, dear reader, please forgive the self indulgence of my telling a bit of my own journey to this point in my 51 years of existence on this small, yet wonderful planet!

Where does one start on such a recounting of one’s life and times? Well when planning this blog I started by listing all the bad moments in my life. Times that had been, in some way or other, instrumental in shaping my beliefs and fears. It proved to be a somewhat sobering experience! Having cursed my so-called “clever” idea, I realized that most, if not all of the really bad times during my life had coincided with further steps forwards that I had made, in my spiritual journey. Was this really just coincidence? Or was a larger force at work? This needed, nay deserved, further examination.

I will begin by listing some of the life-changing events in my life to date. They may sound like a rather bad script for a B-class Hollywood movie, but I assure you that they are true events.





1) Having a UFO encounter at the early age of 9 or so (which is responsible for my lifetime's interest in the subject)
2) Being allowed to watch my grandmother die at the same age( which led to my interest in the afterlife)
3) Being subjected to persistent and severe bullying at school( which led to my having a bad nervous breakdown at the age of 14)
4) Enduring a nasty divorce(whilst recovering from a serious cancer operation)
5) The cancer itself and the subsequent recovery (which meant about 3 years of near immobility. Time to reflect on life and religion etc)
6) Being present at the birth of my daughter( which renewed my belief in the hope of life anew)
7) Meeting Jon and the rest of the CFZ crew( which expanded my interests beyond all reckoning)
8) Becoming a full time writer and researcher (a job which I dearly love doing!)


So you see, every bad event in my life had an equal good effect, in the sense that it helped my along my spiritual path. My life has, compared to some, been very quiet. But I feel sure that the same rule would apply to many, if not all. Life’s bad times DO indeed also affect one’s ability to absorb new ideas and beliefs. Life is indeed good, and worth preserving at all costs. So for all of you, I wish long life and many happy times!

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