Jonathan Downes

Jonathan Downes was born in Portsmouth in 1959, and spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong where, surrounded by age-old Chinese superstitions and a dazzlingly diverse range of exotic wildlife, he soon became infected with the twin passions for exotic zoology and the paranormal which were to define his adult life. He spent some years as a nurse for the mentally handicapped but began writing professionally in the late 1980s. He is also a musician and songwriter who has made a number of crtically acclaimed but commercially unsuccesful albums.

In 1992 he founded the Centre for Fortean Zoology, with the aim of co-ordinating research into mystery animals, bizarre and aberrant animal behaviour and his own particular love of zooform phenomena (paranormal entities which only appear to be animals!) He has searched for Lake Monsters at Loch Ness, pursued sea serpents and birdmen in Cornwall, chased big cats across westcountry moorland, and most recently went to Latin America in search of the grotesque vampiric Chupacabra.

He lists his other hobbies as Tequila, radical politics, the music of Scott Walker, books and more books. He is Leo with Scorpio Rising and believes that Harpo Marx is the funniest man to have ever lived. He is divorced and lives in Exeter with a dog, two cats, and a two-toed amphiuma.


Take This Brother May it Serve You Well (1988)
El Grand Senor (1991) *
Riding the Waves (1992) *
Road Dreams (1993)
The Smaller Mystery Carnivores of the Westcountry (1996)
The CFZ Yearbook 1996 (1996)
The CFZ Yearbook 1997 (1997)
The Owlman and Others (1997) (reissued with extra material 1998)
The CFZ Yearbook 1998 (1998)
The CFZ Yearbook 1999 (1999)
The Rising of the Moon (1999) **
Only Fools and Goatsuckers (2000)
Weird Devon (2000)***
UFOs Over Devon (2000)
The Blackdown Mystery (2000)

* With Kim Andrews
** With Nigel Wright
*** With Richard Freeman and Graham Inglis