Sasquatch reports in the UK:
Like the rest of Europe, Great Britain was familiar with the hairy Wildman or Wodewose until the late medieval times, when the age of reason supplanted ancestral lore and relegated its knowledge to the realm of myths and legends of a vanished past. However, reports of sightings of Hairy Humanoids in the UK have kept emerging until recent times. There are even associations of British Bigfoot researchers compiling the reports.
Here are four examples of reports of Hairy Humanoids sightings from the UK.
The Shropshire Man-Monkey or Gorilla
For a number of weeks in 1878 the residents of Bridgnorth, Shropshire were terrorised by what witnesses described as a ‘gorilla’. The creature was sighted during the hours of darkness by numerous people, including a clergyman and a police officer, both of who fled. I wrote a post with more details on that story just ten days ago.
The Boars Hill Beast
In October 1991 the Oxford Star reported how local anglers Kevin Yates and Billy Ryman, had encountered a giant sloth-like creature swimming in a pool ‘between Sunningwell and Cumnor’… At around two a.m. Billy was woken up. He could hear the very gentle sound of splashing coming from somewhere on the lake. Listening carefully, Billy could tell that the splashing was coming from their side of the lake, but his line of sight was cut off by the irregular shore line and forest cover. Gradually the splashing, although still quiet, grew somewhat louder, and he began to see ripples disturbing the surface of the lake. What was responsible for the splashing appeared to be in the water and coming their way. Soon, it would be within his line of sight…
Soon, the cause of the splashing came into view. Although most of it was underwater, it was clear that it was a very large creature. The head was above the surface, and it seemed to swimming in a frog like manner, diagonally across the lake towards the small island. Billy’s first thought was that it was a large man, but the stroke – although reminiscent of an exaggerated breaststroke – had a ‘desperate, dog-like rhythm.’ Unsure what to make of the creature, Billy quietly roused Kevin, and pointed to the swimming beast. Kevin had a pair of binoculars to hand – invaluable for checking the far shallows for carp activity – and he raised them to his eyes. By now, the creature had reached the shallows by the small island.
Kevin and Billy watched as the creature stood up, waist deep in the water, and appeared to look stare down towards its unseen feet. As the anglers passed the binoculars between themselves, it was obvious that this was no human. They estimated that it was around seven feet tall. It was covered in long, dark hair, had a round face with dark eyes, and long thin arms. The two men both described it as looking like a giant, but highly mobile, sloth.
The creature stooped down and began picking small items from the lake bed and placing them carefully on the island. Kevin and Billy were able to watch the creature in silence for some ten minutes or so as it went about it’s curious task. Eventually, the creature climbed out of the water, onto the island, and shook itself, like a dog. It squatted down on its haunches like a ‘fat Buddha’, and began working on the pile of items which it had placed on the shore. It was now that the men realised what they were: freshwater mussels. The creature was opening them up with its fingers, sucking out the flesh, and then dropping the shells on the floor or in the water. As the creature neared the end of its meal, Kevin reached for his camera. Whilst he was loathe to disturb the animal, the men both knew that if they did not take a picture now, the chances are they would miss their opportunity. But as Kevin focussed the camera, the creature spotted the movement and froze, staring at the anglers.
Seizing his chance, Kevin took a picture. It wasn’t a great success. The camera, intended only for ‘trophy photos’ of the men holding giant carp, simply wasn’t designed for long distance flash photography. The flash illuminated only that immediately in front of the men, and it also ruined their night vision, leaving them unable to see the creature as it splashed frantically back into the lake and swam for the far shore. By the time the men had recovered their night sight, all they could see was the creature’s dark outline as it crawled out onto the far shore and made off into the woods.
Neither man slept for the rest of the night: whilst their patience was rewarded with a couple of medium sized carp, nothing could settle their confusion and agitation as they wondered at what they’d seen. At first light, they searched the edge of the lake and found numerous discarded mussel shells, some old, some more fresh…
For a couple of weeks after the story was published, the Oxford Star received a numerous letters from people who claimed to have seen something similar around the Boars Hill area. One particular letter which stood out was from a local Scout Master who reported how half his troop had seen the creature three years previously when they were camping at Youlbury Scout Camp, a large wooded complex immediately adjoining the estate on which Youlbury Pool is situated. According to the Scout Master, the troop had playing a ‘wide game’ at night when a trio returned to the camp out of breath and terrified, claiming that they had disturbed some sort of creature skulking around in the woods. None of the scouts were prepared to go back into the woods following their encounter, and the descriptions given by the boys at the time were almost identical to those later given by Billy and Kevin.
Whilst the creature was described by Billy and Kevin as ‘sloth-like’, it is in fact easy to rule out such a creature as having been responsible for the sighting. The world’s biggest living sloth – the maned three toed sloth (Bradypus torquatus) – is well under a meter tall, and, – as the name suggests, extremely slow. A highly specialised species, native to the high trees of the Brazilian rainforest, they are unable to stand or walk on the ground.
To read the whole story: The Boars Hill Beast
The ancient broadleaved woodland of Wychwood, in rural Oxfordshire, is the remnant of a much larger medieval Royal Hunting Ground. Today much of this eight square mile forest is designated as both a National Nature Reserve, as well as a Site of Special of Scientific Interest. It is renowned as a habitat for plants such as adder’s tongue and early purple orchids. But in the early 1990s it became apparent that a more unusual and mysterious species might have made itself at home amongst the shady boughs.
At dusk on Friday the 14th January 1994, bus driver Greg Gilbert was driving his bus between Charlbury and Chadlington when he claims to have witnessed a curious creature crossing the road in front of his vehicle. The creature was described as looking like a bear – big, brown and hairy, standing up on its back legs and at least five feet tall. Whilst this sighting by Greg Gilbert was the first such formally reported, it turned out to be far from an isolated case.
Local resident James Graham-Cloete came forward to admit to having seen a large dark object in the headlights of his vehicle as he drove through the woods one evening. As he slowed down to observe the roadside anomaly more closely, he was able to identify it as a bear-like creature.
Farmer John Blackwell, from Dean, near Chadlington, claimed to have seen the mystery beast creature no fewer than six times since September of 1992. According to his report, he was in woodland near to the Council’s refuse tip site, when he was startled by an animal the size of a sheepdog. Upon sighting the farmer, the beast slumped off into the trees. Farmer Blackwell saw the creature again at the same location on the following two nights. Convinced that he had seen a young bear, the farmer kept a regular lookout, and saw the creature again in February, and then twice at the end of May, by which time it had grown to the size of a Great Dane. In addition to the sightings, Mr Blackwell also claimed to have come across physical signs of the animal’s presence such as claw-marks and large footprints, and to have heard a continual howling.
At the time the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF, now known as DEFRA) denied having received any reports of local bear escapes, but admitted that such a creature would have no difficulty surviving should it do so. Given the amount of woodland cover and green corridor across west Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds it would not be difficult for any animal to move over a wide area.
The elusive creature has never been captured or photographed, and neither has a body ever been found.
So the question remains….Bear or Bigfoot?
Bolam Lake Country Park sits in the heart of rural Northumberland. The lake itself is surrounded by woodland and grassed areas, and during the day is a magnet for picnickers, anglers, hikers and bird-spotters. When the sun goes down, however, the place is quite, isolated and very, very dark.
In 2002, a group of pike anglers were in the midst of an all-night session when they were confronted by a eight foot tall biped, covered from head to toe in thick, dark hair. In common with many other such creatures, it had glowing red eyes, and bore sharp teeth. The creature was said to stomp so hard that the ground beneath it physically shook. The fisherman fled in terror.
Bolam Lake is only some twelve crow miles from Rothbury, where ancient legend tells of dark skinned cave dwelling beasts called the ‘Deugar’. The dwarfish, nocturnal Deugar would lead ramblers from the beaten path, before devouring them.
Source: British Bigfoot