Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dartmoor "Something"

I mentioned last week that I would be posting a hitherto-unpublished story brought to my attention recently by a chap named Bob Shenton, who saw "something bloody odd" on the wilds of Dartmoor back in the winter of 1967.

Bob was driving across the moors late one night (at the time he worked as a plumber and was heading to a house to deal with a case of a burst water-pipe) and - while near the village of Postbridge - came across something decidedly strange.

According to Bob, for the very briefest of moments, and as he approached Postbridge, he caught sight of what looked very much like a large ape-like figure crossing the road in front of him and vanishing into the shadows at the edge of the road.

Interestingly, Bob described the creature as "like a shadow" in the sense that it seemed one-dimensional in nature - which closely echoes the description of the similar beast seen at Bolam Woods by Jon Downes in 2002.

Not only that, Postbridge has been the site for many years of a phenomenon that may very well be related: namely, that of the infamous hairy-hands, which I have discussed at this blog previously.

I am contacting local newspapers in the area to see if anyone else can shed further light on this mysterious encounter. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Big Gray Man In Print

Over the last few months, the Devon-based Center for Fortean Zoology has been republishing all of its old (and until now), long out-of-print Yearbooks. Well, the good news is that, finally, they are all back in print - professionally bound at very reasonable prices (see this link).

The particularly good (and highly relevant) news is that you can now get your hands on the 1997 Yearbook, which includes an excellent paper from Dr. Karl Shuker on the Big Gray Man of Ben Macdhui (a mountain in Scotland's Cairngorms range).

The Big Gray Man is a strange character indeed. For some (albeit, granted, not many) it's a real, flesh and blood Scottish equivalent of Bigfoot. For most, however, it's a critter that's far more paranormal than it is "real."

Nevertheless, the stories of large footprints, shambling and swaggering figures on the mountain, and the distinct sounds of heavy, crunching footsteps have led to a suggestion that there may be a tie-in with the larger Bigfoot mystery.

And, I'm pleased to say, in his article, Karl does a truly excellent job in relating the history, the sightings, the witness testimony, and the many and varied theories that may explain the puzzle of Ben Macdhui's Big Gray Man.

The whole book is a treat in itself; but for devotees of the British Bigfoot, Karl's chapter alone makes the CFZ 1997 Yearbook well worth buying.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Bolam Bigfoot In A Major New Book

I received in the mail yesterday a copy of the Center for Fortean Zoology's newest book: Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Northumberland and Tyneside by Mike Hallowell.

Basically, this is the first in an ambitious series of books. The idea is that there will be as many books in the series as there are counties in the British Isles - and all of which will focus upon the many and varied reports of weird creatures that have surfaced in the relevant counties - and in some cases for centuries.

Future titles in the series include The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent by Neil Arnold; The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Dorset by Jonathan McGowan; The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Staffordshire by me; The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Co Durham and Humberside by Mike Hallowell; The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Greater London by Neil Arnold; and The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Devon and Cornwall by Jon Downes.

I haven't read all of Mike's book yet; however, I did spend last night reading the chapter titled The Beast of Bolam Lake. As I have noted at Man-Beast UK previously, the story of the Bolam Beast is truly one of the strangest "British Bigfoot" cases to have occurred in the last few years, and is one that culminated in a bizarre encounter for CFZ Director, Jon Downes.

Over the last few years, various people have written online and in-print articles on the Beast of Bolam, but now, thanks to Mike Hallowell, you get the definitive story - in a 39-page chapter, no less.

Comprehensive, packed with data, case reports, eye-witness testimony, and much more, this chapter alone makes the book well worth buying - and for anyone and everyone with an interest in accounts of the British Bigfoot it's essential reading.

As soon as I've finished reading the whole book, I'll be reviewing it over at my There's Something in the Woods and Reviews of the Fortean Kind blogs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Other British Man-Beasts: Part 1

I mentioned recently that in addition to reporting on the many and varied cases of so-called Bigfoot-like entities in Britain, I was also going to post the data I have in-hand on other British man-beasts - including werewolves.

Here's two cases from my files:

The first concerns a woman who claims to have seen “a hairy man with a wolf’s head,” roaming around near Loch Morar (a Scottish loch that, notably, also has a longstanding lake monster legend attached to it), and that was further described as “walking on two feet but running on all-fours.”

The witness, now in her seventies, described seeing the creature at a distance of about 70 feet, and said that it “stared at me in a horrible way,” before bounding away.

The second case involves a similar man-wolf seen, somewhat bizarrely, in the early hours of a winter morning on a stretch of road outside of the Scottish town of Oban. In this case, the witness was a mailman on his way to work, who described seeing the creature racing along the road at a very high speed in the opposite direction to that which he was traveling in.

The beast totally ignored the shocked driver, who continued on his journey in a highly agitated state, not quite believing what it was that he had just seen. But he was sure on the facts: that at around 3.00 a.m., and for a few brief seconds, he had encountered a tall, man-like figure with wolf-like features hurtling along the road at breakneck speed.

Part 2 of this series will appear here next week.

Coming Next Week: The Dartmoor Creature

Earlier today, I conducted a fascinating interview with a guy who claims to have seen a large and hairy man-beast on the wilds of Dartmoor in 1967. I'll be posting the information here on Tuesday of next week. Like so many of the other cases I've uncovered, there are distinct paranormal overtones to this particular story.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Scottish Beast

This is an interesting article on the phenomenon known as the Big Gray Man of Ben Macdhui - and has some equally interesting links at the foot of the page.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


For those of you wanting to learn more about British Bigfoot accounts, I definitely recommend you obtain a copy of Monster! by Neil Arnold. An excellent A-Z style book, it details the sightings of a number of encounters with strange creatures that can be said to fall into the British Bigfoot category.

For example, Neil writes about the "Bilington Beast": a hairy, man-like creature seen in fields and woodlands in the English county of Kent in 1961. Neil also discusses the "Big Gray Man of Ben Macdhui"; the "Brecon Beast"; the "Brenin Llwyd"; and the Dundonald Creature, which Neil describes thus:

"This intriguing monster was said to haunt Dundonald Hill, in Kilmarnock, Scotland, for many centuries and possibly to the present day. The dogs of the local castle were often unsettled by an unseen presence in the grounds; a shadowy figure known to haunt the trees and the shadows."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Delays of the Bigfoot Kind!

I've been tied up with various work things over the last few days, but the good news is that I have some excellent new leads on British Bigfoot encounters I'm following up on; and some notable reports that I'll be posting here later this week.

And, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I'm gonna start posting soon some of the other British Man-Beast reports I have that fall into other categories: such as sightings of werewolves and Owlman-type creatures.