Who's talking at Seriously Monstrous?

Richard Freeman

Richard FreemanFull time cryptozoologist. Herpetologist (reptiles) former zookeeper, Author of 'Dragons;More Than A Myth?', 'Explore Dragons' and 'The Great Yokai Encyclopedia; An A to Z of Japanese Monsters; Orang-pendek, Sumatra's Forgotten Ape. Goth, Dr Who fan, book collector.


Dr Charles Paxton

Charles PaxtonDr Charles Paxton is a research fellow in statistical ecology/marine biology at the University of St Andrews. He has worked on the biology of cetaceans, penguins and fish. He is interested in what science can really tell us about the chances of there existing unknown large aquatic animals.


Ian Simmons

Ian SimmonsIan Simmons is a science centre consultant and writer based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He has been a regular contributor to Fortean Times for over 20 years, writing most recently about the role of werewolves in mediaeval Jewish theology.


Jackie Tonks

Jackie TomksJackie particularly has a keen interest in collating evidence of Bigfoot, via filming, using daylight and night vision photography and filming, thermal imaging, and camera traps, and is a keen tracker. She is also interested in the Anthropological ('personal/cultural meanings')  of the Bigfoot field and also her Psychological background means that perceptual factors and eye witness testimony factors are of interest to her.

Jackie is also a keen paranormal investigator, and has carried out multiple investigations into alleged haunted sites, and has headed such research groups.  She has a long history of worldwide travel and adventures. Most memorably she has sat amongst Mountain Gorilla's in the Congo, she survived the 2015 Nepal earthquake (following filming Hindu shamans) and has learned she can run faster than Usain Bolt when chased by a major carnivore!

Jackie studied Psychology at degree level and then went on to do Masters degrees in varying subjects and then qualified as a Counsellor. She now works as a Social Worker for the NHS. She is also a member of  the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and ASSAP. She also has training in documentary filmmaking.

Jon Pertwee

Jon PertweeJon Pertwee is a lifelong fan of the cinematicly odd!

He recently turned fifty and in those years leading to that, Jon (who legally changed his name to honour both his third doctor hero and the tv series which he grew up with Kolchak..which is now his middle name!)

He got degrees in film and media studies and has spent the last few decades interviewing a slew of fantasy and filmic celebrities, as he freelanced for the BBC, Channel four and Sky one.

He is fascinated by all types of monster movies or creature features and has amassed a huge collection on DVD of over 1500 titles.

He has lectured on the subject of monster movies and fantastic television all over the country and is both friendly and approachable ... feel free to ask about old friends such as 'Zoltan Hound of Dracula' or the 'Thing with Two heads', both of which have a special place in his heart.

He became transfixed with creature features from the age of five in a hotel room in Minehead, where the hotel's tv had a special screening of 'Tarantula.'

He lives in England, has a gecko called Bishop Len Brennan, hates football with a burning passion and adores his partner Tara.

Nick Walters

Nick WaltersNick Walters is the author of seven novels, four of them Doctor Who books, including the Doctor Who Magazine Award winning 'Reckless Engineering'. He has also written numerous science fiction and horror short stories for the small press. In 2015 he wrote 'Mutually Assured Domination' for Candy Jar Books’ range of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart novels, and is currently working on the follow-up, 'The Man From Yesterday', due out in November 2017. He lives and writes in Bristol.

Jon Downes

Jon DownesJonathan Downes was born Portsmouth, England, and is a naturalist, cryptozoologist, author, editor, film-maker, poet, novelist, activist, journalist, composer and singer-songwriter, with a background in radical politics and mental health care. He is Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. In 1992 Downes founded the Centre for Fortean Zoology, arguably the world's largest cryptozoological research organization. He is vocal in his opinion that cryptozoology should not be considered to be a branch of paranormal research. Although he has written a number of books on UFOs and other Fortean subjects.

Speakers are invited to ASSAP conferences to provide a range of views on subjects requested by delegates. Appearance does not imply endorsement of speakers' views or background.