How did you first get involved in researching strange and mysterious creatures?
When I was about 5 or 6, my parents took me to Scotland for a week's holiday, and we spent a day at Loch Ness. I still have a couple of very fragmented memories of my dad telling me the story of the monster, and the idea that there was a colony of dinoasurs in the loch. For a young kid, this was great news! And very exciting news too. So, while the other kids at school were reading books like the Secret Seven and the Famous Five, I was digging into books on weird and unsolved mysteries, many of a cryptozoological nature.
What creatures particularly interest you? I'm very interested in the reports of so-called "British Bigfoot"-style beasts. I recently wrote a 300-page book on this very subject called "Wildman." It's published by Jon Downes' CFZ Press. Many people would be surprised to know the sheer scale of such reports: they're everywhere, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland. And reports go back centuries. But, the British Bigfoot is clearly paranormal (however we might define that term), and definitely not a flesh and blood ape. Anyone who says it is, is talking bollocks.
My personal opinion on the Yowie, Bigfoot, the British apes etc is that they are clearly paranormal in nature. Now, the way that word is used provokes all sorts of theories: that it could be some dimension-hopping thing, a Tulpa-style created thought-form, or something even stranger. But, the overwhelming elusiveness of the creatures, coupled with reports of these things vanishing in the blink of an eye lead me to believe we are dealing with creatures that are not normal, flesh and blood animals.
Do you have a website? Yes, people can contact me at my "World of Whatever" blog at http://nickredfernfortean.blogspot.com I update the blog most days and it covers a wide range of Fortean issues.
What’s the closest you’ve personally come to finding something?It depends really. But at least a couple per week, varying from the British Bigfoot to werewolves, or out of place animals (like big cats) to Mothman type creatures. It's pretty varied.
Probably the footprints and tree-knocking, that kind of thing.
What’s next for you - any trips planned? Books or articles to write? Talks to give?I'm always lecturing on the subject. I live just outside Dallas, Texas and I do quite a bit of lecturing on cryptozoology for local schools. And I generally do about 2 or 3 lectures a month on average. I have a new book out in May from New Page Books called "Monster Files". It's a study of what government agencies know about cryptids.