Richard Freeman (cryptozoologist)

Richard Freeman (born 1970) is a cryptozoologist, author, zoological journalist, and WebTV Presenter. He is also the zoological director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ),[1] and co-edits both the journal, Animals & Men and several editions of the annual CFZ Yearbook. Freeman has written, co-written, or edited a number of books, and has contributed widely to both Fortean and zoological magazines, as well as other newspapers and periodicals, including Fortean Times and Paranormal Magazine.

Richard Freeman
Richard Freeman, photographed in October 2000
Born1970 (age 49–50)
OrganizationCentre for Fortean Zoology

He has also lectured across the UK at events such as the Fortean Times Unconvention, the Weird Weekend, Microcon[2] and at museums and universities such as the Natural History Museum, the Grant Museum of Zoology, Queen Mary, University of London and the Last Tuesday Society.

When interviewed by author Nick Redfern in 2005,[3] Richard claimed an early obsession with the classic science fiction series Doctor Who (with Jon Pertwee) had sparked an interest in all things weird. After school, he became a zoo keeper at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire and became head keeper of reptiles, working with more than 400 exotic species from ants to elephants (but with a special interest in crocodilians). After leaving the zoo, he worked in an exotic pet shop, a reptile rescue centre, and as a gravedigger.

Whilst on holiday he learned of the CFZ and bought a copy of the Centre's journal, Animals & Men, which left him impressed enough to subscribe and begin contributing. He eventually became the CFZ's Yorkshire representative, then moved to Devon to become a full-time member of the Centre. He is now the zoological director[4] and co-editor of Animals & Men.

Cryptozoological expeditionsEdit

  • Thailand in 2000 for a species of a giant crested snake known as the naga.
  • Sumatra, Indonesia in 2003 for an upright walking non-human ape called orang-pendek.
  • Sumatra in 2004 again to look for the orang-pendek.
  • Mongolia in 2005 for the Mongolian death worm.[5]
  • The Gambia in 2006 for a dragon-like aquatic cryptid, the Ninki Nanka.[6]
  • Guyana in 2007 for the giant anaconda, the di-di (a yeti-like hominid), the water tiger (a spotted semi-aquatic, flesh eating mammal), and the bushmen, an unrecorded race of three-foot pygmies with red faces. He also heard of what may be a new species of tiny caiman with a red strip running along its back.
  • Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia in 2008 for the almasty, a relic hominid.
  • Sumatra in 2009 for the orang-pendek.
  • India in 2010 for the Mande-Barung or Indian yeti.
  • Sumatra in 2011 for the orang-pendek.
  • Sumatra in 2013 for the orang-pendek.
  • Tasmania in 2013 for the thylacine or Tasmanian Wolf.
  • Tasmania in 2016 for the thylacine or Tasmanian wolf.
  • Tasmania in 2017 for the thylacine or Tasmanian wolf.
  • Tajikistan in 2018 for the gul, a creature akin to the Russian almasty.

Creatures huntedEdit


  • Weird Devon (Bossiney, Padstow, 1999) with Jonathan Downes and Graham Inglis
  • Dragons: More Than a Myth? (CFZ Press, Bideford, 2005)
  • Explore Dragons (Heart of Albion Press, Loughborough, 2006)
  • The Great Yokai Encyclopedia; an A to Z of Japanese Monsters (CFZ Press, Bideford, 2010)
  • Orang-pendek: Sumatra's Forgotten Ape (CFZ Press, Bideford, 2011)
  • Green Unpleasant Land ; 18 stories of British Horror (CFZ Press, Bideford, 2012)
  • Hyakumonogatari: Tales of Japanese Horror (CFZ Press, Bideford, 2012)
  • Adventures in Cryptozology: Hunting for Yetis Mongolian Deathworms and Other Not-So-Mythical Monsters (Mango Publishing, Florida 2019)

Other appearances in printEdit

  • CFZ Yearbook 1999 (CFZ, Exeter, 1999)
  • CFZ Yearbook 2000/1 (CFZ, Exeter, 2001)
  • CFZ Yearbook 2002 (CFZ, Exeter, 2002)
  • CFZ Yearbook 2003 (CFZ, Exeter, 2003)
  • CFZ Expedition Report: Gambia 2006 (CFZ, Bideford, 2006) with Lisa Dowley, Oll Lewis, Chris Moiser, Chris Clark, Suzi Marsh
  • CFZ Expedition Report: Guyana 2007 (CFZ, Bideford, 2008) with Lisa Dowley, Paul Rose, Chris Clark, Jon Hare

Appearances in mediaEdit

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! - Season 4 Episode 1: Cryptozoology[7]


  1. ^ CFZ website
  2. ^ Microcon 2009 programme
  3. ^ Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods..."
  4. ^ CFZ faculty listing
  5. ^ Butler, Rhett (3 May 2005). "Scientists search for Mongolian Death Worm". Mongabay,com. Conservation news. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ "Hunt for Gambia's mythical dragon". BBC News. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Showtime: Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Season 4 Episode 1". Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2011.

External linksEdit