Today we have two Weird Weekend speaker profiles from Jon Downes: the first on Dr. Karl Shuker and the second on Mike Hallowell.
And here's Jon:
"Dr. Karl P. N. Shuker (born 1959) is a British zoologist living in the West Midlands, England. He is currently working as a full-time freelance zoological consultant, media consultant, and author, specializing in cryptozoology, for which he is internationally renowned. During the course of his continuing researches and writings, he regularly travels worldwide, and also appears frequently on television and radio.
"Shuker has authored many hundreds of articles, and twelve books, including the cryptozoological works Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; expanded in 2002 as The New Zoo), and In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), as well as two worldwide bestsellers - Dragons: A Natural History (1995; reissued in 2006), and The Unexplained (1996; reissued in 2002).
"During his writings and researches, Shuker has been the first cryptozoologist to bring to widespread public attention a considerable number of cryptids that were previously little-known. These include the Sri Lankan horned jackal and devil bird, Gambo the Gambian sea serpent, Goodenough Island mystery bird, New Guinea ropen and devil pig or gazeka, Scottish earth hound, Indonesian veo and horned cat, New Caledonian du, Irish dobhar-chú, Shatt al Arab venomous mystery fish, Zanzibar makalala, Ethiopian death bird, Zululand kondlo, Arctic North American waheela, Kellas cat, Mongolian Death Worm, Hungarian reedwolf, Fujian blue or Maltese tiger, Welsh cenaprugwirion, bigfin squid, St Helena sirenian, Timor Sea ground shark, and crowing crested cobra."
And concerning Mike Hallowell, Jon says:
"Mike Hallowell was born in South Shields, Tyne & Wear, in May 1957. He is married to his wife, Jackie, and has three grown sons. Mike runs his own media firm - Thunderbird Craft & Media - and is a full-time writer, broadcaster and paranormal researcher.
"Mike was the founder of the Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Society, but left the organization in 2003 after disagreements regarding its running. Mike is now the patron of The North East Ghost Research Team.
"Mike is a regular contributor to/columnist with many journals, newspapers and magazines, including Contemporary Review, UFO DATA, Magonia, Paranormal Magazine and VISION. He frequently appears on radio and TV, and has starred in several documentaries.
"Mike's first book on ghostly phenomena was Ales & Spirits, which detailed the history of over twenty haunted public houses. He has since written Invizikids; The Curious Enigma of “Imaginary” Childhood Friends which was published by Heart of Albion Press in 2007.
"His book Mystery Animals of Northumberland & Tyneside was published by CFZ Press in 2008. He has co-authored with Darren W. Ritson, The South Shields Poltergeist: One Family’s Fight Against an Invisible Intruder (Sutton Publishing).
"Mike has interviewed many of the leading lights in the world of paranormal research and alternative spirituality, including Uri Geller, Jon Downes, Stephen Holbrook, Richard Freeman, Cliff Crook, Colin Fry, Tony Stockwell, Timothy Good and Nick Redfern. Mike also writes the UK's longest-running paranormal column in a provincial newspaper. WraithScape appears every Thursday in the Shields Gazette, which also happens to be the oldest provincial daily newspaper in the British Isles."