Jonathan Downes (born Portsmouth, England, in 1959) is a cryptozoologist, author, film-maker, journalist, composer and singer-songwriter, with a background in radical politics and mental health care. He is Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology.His father, the explorer and Colonial Service Officer J. T. Downes (1925–2006), authored several books on wide range of subjects, such as African history, theology and Devonshire dialect. His mother Mary Downes (née Rawlins) (1922–2002) was a broadcaster and author who published several collections of Nigerian folklore under the pen-name `Yar Kunama`.
He is currently the editor of Animals & Men; the journal of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the editor of The Amateur Naturalist (formerly `Exotic Pets`) - a magazine published by CFZ Press, the editor of the online magazine blog `Cryptozoology:Online`, and from January 2003 until August 2007 was the Deputy Editor of Tropical World magazine, a tropical fish magazine published in the UK. He has also edited and contributed to several other publications over the years
According to his autobiography and other writings, as a child he lived in Nigeria, and then Hong Kong (then a British Crown Colony), and returned to the UK in 1971, when his father was 'invalided out' of the Hong Kong government. He was educated at Bideford Grammar School, (1971-6) and later West Buckland School (1976-7) from which he was expelled. He worked as a psychiatric nurse between 1981–90 and between 1990 and 1994 ran the fan club for Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.
He is active in community work, and is part of the team organising the monthly children's service in the village church at Woolfardisworthy, North Devon. Having suffered from manic-depression for years, Downes is an activist for mental health issues. On the 21st July 2007 he married his second wife Corinna Newton Downes.
He has two stepdaughters, Shoshannah (27) and Olivia (25)
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