Trace evidence, like footprints, hair samples and some very compelling film and photographic footage; have been captured, catalogued and studied with an almost microscopic diligence paid to every detail, by the obsessive devotees of this particular, fabled, fauna fetish!
"Get Off My Land!!!!"
The tales of the North American Sasquatch draw most public focus along with the Himalayan Yeti,(only from a pop culture retrospective nowadays)and now thanks to the work of Adam Davies and others, The Orang Pendek of Indonesia also, is a subject of serious scientific study.
There are in fact, many organisations worldwide, investigating other Bigfoot-like creatures, like the Chinese Yeren, the Russian Almasty, and Australia's Yowie. Viewed together, they seem to form a conglomerate of 'far off legends' that are only credible to our minds, due to their environmental isolation.
We have little trouble believing in these creatures or considering them real, simply because we do not have to consider the viability of their habitat or the means of their survival into our modern epoch; famously absent from our yearbook of the natural world and somehow, managing to evade even the most diligent scientific researcher, without ever having landed themselves caged, in carnival or zoo!
So, we preponder that maybe an animal like Bigfoot could avoid detection in the Pacific Northwest, or that the Yeti might remain unseen in the vastness of its 'alleged' mountain home; solely because our detachment from these lands makes it more tolerable to believe that we could have overlooked the presence of such faraway beasts. But, what of those sightings in a more'closed system' like the UK? How could it be possible that a type of 'Wildman' could also be roaming our countryside, for the most part avoiding the detection of our teeming millions and managing to live sustainably; without ever piquing the interest of our mighty British naturalists; who have, in ages past, been held responsible, for classifying so much of the natural world?
With this egotistical disqualification in mind, we turn to the study of the British Bigfoot or Wodewose; a subject that seems to invite derision from even the most seasoned of researchers, who, while juxtaposing the ecological needs of its ape-like cousins on to its island kin, judge the claims of our witnesses as somehow falling outside of the 'what we know to be true' paradigm. Which, even in cryptozoological circles can be fixed in its observance of the official line.
What I intend to present in this blog series, are behavioural characteristics of the British Bigfoot, that not only corroborate characteristics observed by witnesses of these creatures in more acceptable locations in the world but also, as we will see, are almost indistinguishable from them and their other simian cousins.
We will start with a relatively untouched area of Bigfoot Research, bluff charges and intimidation - which are behaviours that are regularly observed in great apes, which have also been observed in 'bigfoot-like' creatures around the world. It should be noted that these witnesses reported this behaviour without any prior knowledge of the existence of an ape-like hominid in the UK.
PLAS DOL Y MOCH -GIANT APE CREATURE
In April of 1966, two teenagers staying at the Plas Dol Y Moch outward Bound centre in Wales were taking part in a night navigation exercise when they encountered a thick and bulky black shadow, like a giant ape, that came crashing through the undergrowth and roared at them. The Boys, dropping their maps and equipment ran back to the centre and alerted the staff, who to their surprise believed their story and called the police, who promptly questioned them and even organised a search.
CHILD'S ERCALL - MAN BEAST
In 1971 after an evening spent with her then-boyfriend at the home of his parents in the village of Child's Ercall, Shropshire, a teenage girl was happily riding her bicycle back home when she was shocked to see a large, hairy animal dash across the road directly in front of her and glaring at her menacingly. The animal was human-like in shape, covered in long flowing dark hair, with bright yellow eyes and a black-skinned, shiny face.
CANTERN BROOK WOODS - GREY HAIRY THING
A witness recalls how he and several other small children were regularly run out of the Cantern Brook Woods in Shropshire, by a huge grey screaming figure, whilst cutting wood to make their dens. The creature would chase them to the edge of the woods and then stand watching them, from the trees.
STOWE-BY-CHARTLEY - GIANT CHIMP
Late one evening in September 1986, a man and his wife were driving past the ancient ruins of Chartley Castle in Staffordshire, England; when they were forced to brake to avoid a huge stag crossing the road, followed by what looked like a large chimpanzee, which came bounding after it. Halfway across the road, the creature looked directly at the couple and angrily charged their vehicle, breaking off at the last second. In a panic the husband tried to reverse, stalling the car and leaving the couple briefly stranded in the road. Over the next twenty seconds, the huge ‘Chimp’ charged their car twice, before finally bounding off in the direction of the stag.
THE CANNOCK CHASE - THING
Some local residents of Cannock Chase were chased by a Bigfoot whilst driving through the area at 2am. The creature was human-shaped, but around seven to eight feet tall and very broad and stocky. When it realised it had been seen, it stood up straight and ran towards the terrified witnesses who sped away in their car.
THE IVY DEN - CREATURE SIGHTING
In the 1980’s several children were playing at a place called The Ivy Den, at Hackenthorpe Sheffield, when they were chased away by a 6-7 ft tall, dark figure, with very bright red eyes, which they saw running up the side of a stream about 20 feet away from them. The creature jumped across the stream with ease, at which the children fled. An interesting aspect of this sighting is that one of the children fell while running, only to see that the creature had ceased chasing him and was watching him a little distance away. This might indicate that the creature had simply meant to scare them off.
THORPE PERROW - SCREECHING FIGURE
In 1983, a young teenager living in a rural area called Thorp Perrow in Yorkshire was riding his bicycle back home at night, without lights. Taking a shortcut through a farmland track, he was singing to himself when he swerved to avoid hitting a ‘person’ in the road. He stopped to look back, only to see a huge ‘person-shaped thing’ with its arms above its head, screeching at him angrily. Over 30 years later he still can’t forget the way its eyes stared at him.
FRANKS WOOD CRANHAM - WILDMAN
In 2002, In Cranham Essex, A black shadowy figure, standing two and a half metres tall with no discernible features, gave chase to a group of friends as they left the wood.
THE CLEADON GEET
In 2003, around 11pm, a 16-year-old girl was waiting for her bus home, when she felt an urgency to relieve herself. She snuck off into some bushes nearby, when suddenly to her terror, a 7ft tall, skinny, hairy ape-man; lunged from the bushes and chased her. Needless to say, she ran all the way home.
THE RED CHESTED BIGFOOT - OF SALTFLEET MARSH
In the winter of 2004, two sisters were walking their dogs along the edge of the salt marsh at Saltfleet, East Lincolnshire; when they were pursued by a large ‘person’ covered in red and brown shaggy hair. Needless to say, they ran all the way home and have not been back to the area since.
MIDDLE WOOD - APE-MAN
In August 2015, a man walking in Middle Woods, Offten, Sussex; suddenly became overwhelmed by a fear that he wasn't alone. He explains that as a large man of 20 stone (127 kilos) that he is pretty fearless, but inexplicably on this occasion, he lost his nerve and decided to leave the woods. On leaving the area he heard a monkey go ‘woo woo’ and an almighty crashing noise. Then a 2 legged ‘thing’ like a chimp in colour but a gorilla in build, approximately 5’7 in height, came hurtling across the trail, using its long arms to knock aside the trees. He noted that its arms were at least a third longer than his own.
DORKING DEEP DENE - CREATURE
Two explorers visited an abandoned tunnel in Dorking Deepdene late one evening in 2016. Hearing noise inside and thinking that it was other explorers, they waited outside for them to finish. Their two dogs started barking and were suddenly silenced by a loud Roar. Then they heard the sound of something big moving the trees, breaking and snapping branches like they were twigs and then it stopped. After 10 mins of sitting in silence afraid to even breathe, they left the area, slowly. Returning some days later, they found a large footprint around 20 inches long. 8 inches wide at the top and about 3 inches wide at the bottom.
In these rather extensive examples, one can see, bluff charges and intimidation, with some people, even being chased out of an area. However, what is also quite clear, is that these animals tend to stop short of any physical action against the humans they encounter. One of the important aspects of the Ivy Den Creature encounter is that The 'Ape-man' that chased the children out of the woods, was observed to stop its pursuit when one of the fleeing children fell; indicating that the creature was lacking any real intent to harm; or the Dorking Deepdene Creature, which roared and broke branches in the woods facing two explorers, but remained out of sight, throughout the entire confrontation.
What remains certain, is that for all the doubts about the veracity or plausibility of the witness reports in the British Isles, our sightings are replete with lesser-known behavioural characteristics, that appear throughout other multitudinous and unconnected reports around the globe and testify, against the preference of the paranormal promulgators, to the mundane and physical character of the British Bigfoot.
In part 2 of this series, we will take a look at HOWLS & GROWLS - WHOOPS & WOODKNOCKS
Written by Andrew McGrath
(Extra special thanks to Deborah Hatswell of the British Bigfoot research organisation and to the witnesses of these extraordinary creatures, for their tireless research and bravery in this little-known area of British Cryptozoology)
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