Monday, 4 November 2013

Meet the Cryptozoologist: Jonathan McGowan

Jonathan McGowan on the big cat trail in Dorset.

How did you first get involved in researching strange and mysterious creatures?
I first got interested in searching for strange creatures when I saw out-of-place large cats in the early 1980s, and also having a fascination for the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti and Bigfoot.

What were some of the early influences in your life?
My early influences were Arthur C. Clarke's mysterious world and books about Bigfoot.

Have you personally seen one of these creatures?
I have seen more than 20 large cats in UK, no sightings of yeti or Bigfoot.

What creatures particularly interest you?
The Yeti and Bigfoot interest me more than any other.

What cryptids are most likely to exist in your opinion?
The Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine), and the Yeti.

What’s your favourite?
I don't do favorites, but I love the Yeti and Bigfoot, if it exists. My favourite Australian cryptid has got to be the Queensland Tiger.

Have you developed any theories around where the more unusual animals - i.e. yowies/bigfoot - have come from?
I have developed some theories about most cryptids.

Have you written any books/articles?
I have just completed my book on big cats, which is yet to be edited let alone published, but I hope it gets out soon.

Do you have a website? How can people contact you?
My website is not so much about cryptids but generally natural history with a 'big cat' blog. You can visit it here -

How many mystery animal reports would you receive a year?
I receive hundreds of reports of large cats a year.

What’s the closest you’ve personally come to finding something?
I have been a metre away from a leopard in Dorset and also a puma. On expedition with the CFZ we found evidence of a Yeti and also an Orang Pendek.

What’s next for you - any trips planned? Books or articles to write? Talks to give?
I'll be joining the CFZ team on expedition to Tasmania, and probably Sumatra again at some time in the future. I give many talks on big cats and I am due to give a talk on the Yeti.

Could you share some of your favourite cryptozoology book titles with us?
I like all books on cryptozoology, especially those on the huge apes, and big cats. Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers is one of the best.

Jonathan McGowan on expedition in Sumatra in 2011 with David, his guide.

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