According to the biography in his book, The World Atlas of Mysteries, Hitching was born in 1933 and grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, where his grandfather, Randle Ayrton, was a noted Shakespearian actor. He attended school in Warwick, but in 1950 he left and became a newspaper reporter, then a magazine journalist, before producing the British music television programme Ready Steady Go!
While filming a documentary at Carnac in France, the megaliths he saw there inspired him to spend the next four years researching his book Earth Magic, on the subject of standing stones. According to The World Atlas of Mysteries,
Other books by Hitching include Dowsing: The Psi Connection, Fraud, Mischief, and the Supernatural, Instead of Darwin, and The Neck of the Giraffe. This last book concerns the debate between Creationism and Darwinism and reviewers have been critical of its poor or non-existent referencing of source materials ISBN 0-451-62232-4.
Francis Hitching has appeared several times on television in Great Britain and the United States, discussing his alternative theories of archaeology, dowsing, psychic powers and other paranormal phenomena. He wrote or co-wrote several episodes of the television programme In Search of..., hosted by Leonard Nimoy, and appeared on-camera in three episodes: Haunted Castles, Magic of Stonehenge, and Water Seekers.
The biography mentioned above also states "John Francis Hitching is a member of the Royal Archaeological Institute, the Prehistoric Society, the Society for Psychical Research, the British Society of Dowsers and the American Society of Dowsers". However, the Royal Archaeological Institute has apparently denied his claim of membership