Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Cleadon Big Hairy Man

Mike Hallowell has a fascinating new post online at the Centre for Fortean Zoology's main blog on the subject of a "big-hairy man" encounter in the village of Cleadon. The report is a preliminary one; but contains a lot of interesting data. Hopefully, Mike will be able to update us on this affair in the near future.

Here's the link.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Man-Monkey & Haunted Canals

As readers of this blog will be aware, of the many and varied "British Bigfoot" reports that have come my way, certainly the one that fascinates me most of all is the January 1879 incident on the Shropshire Union Canal - in which a man was attacked by a large, ape-like animal with bright, shining eyes.

Well, none other than British Waterways have picked up on the story and have a new posting that reveals background data on the affair, as well as much more on the haunted canals of Britain.

Here's the link to the complete article.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Man-Monkey Parallels

Andrew Gable - the Center for Fortean Zoology's representative for the U.S. states of Pennsylvania and Maryland - has a new post that, as you'll see, contains a number of intriguing U.S.-based parallels with the "Man-Monkey" of Bridge 39 on England's Shropshire Union Canal.

Here's the link to Andrew's post...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Big Grey Man

In August of this year, Fortean researcher Andy Roberts delivered an excellent lecture on the phenomenon known as "The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui" to an audience at the Center for Fortean Zoology's annual Weird Weekend gig; at which I was also speaking.

Although some would describe the Big Grey Man as a definitive British Bigfoot, as Andy demonstrates, the story is not quite so clear-cut. The CFZ have now posted Andy's lecture on-line, and it can be viewed below:

Temporal Entities

Here's a new posting over at today's edition of The Anomalist, which I believe has a major bearing on the overwhelming elusive and seemingly near-spectral nature of the British Bigfoot:

"Gnomes - A Sustainable Population? The Heavy Stuff. Are gnomes temporal beings? In an article comparing the evidence, and lack thereof, of gnome populations to that of possible Bigfoot populations, the theory that both these beings are temporal entities, visible here for only a short time to the witness, is a compelling one. There is no solid evidence of the existence of either gnomes or Bigfoot. Years of research into the Bigfoot phenomenon have never yielded solid proof, say like a captured specimen, or remains of a deceased creature, and as the argument of the theory goes, it never will be found due to the beings ability to shift in and out of our realm, either due to multidimensional manipulation or another factor of their abilities not even comprehensible to us. "

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Welsh Man-Beast

This new story at Cabinet of Wonders is more werewolf-driven than strictly Bigfoot, but it's big, hairy and man-like and originates in the British Isles - so those are all good enough reasons to include it here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Sasqwatch!

Two weeks ago, I attended the annual conference of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy in Tyler, Texas (an event I am reviewing for a future issue of Fortean Times magazine). Well, while there, I met a woman named Yolie Moreno, who is the brainchild behind a new product called the Sasqwatch.

And what, I hear you all collectively cry, is the Sasqwatch? Well, as it's name suggests, it's a cool-looking watch that has a definitively British Bigfoot-like appearance and quality to it, and which any and all self-respecting researchers, investigators and fans of Bigfoot definitely need to own.

Yolie was kind enough to mail me a "review-copy" of the Sasqwatch, which arrived in the post yesterday, and which you can see wrapped across my wrist in the new photo above.

Do I recommend the Sasqwatch to one and all? Of course, I do! Just remember: if you're out looking for the Brtitish Bigfoot, and you are actually fortunate enough to stumble across the legendary hairy beast, you're going to want to know at what time the historic encounter occurred - right? Definitely! And the Sasqwatch will allow you to do just that.

So, for that reason, now is the time to invest in your very own Sasqwatch, which can be obtained right here, at the official website that has been established to market this unique and special item. And, remember, Christmas is just around the corner, if you're looking for unusual gifts for family and friends...

Monday, September 28, 2009

British Beasts at Mania

Over at my Lair of the Beasts column at you can find an article on me that summarizes some of the more well-known British Bigfoot-style creatures.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Cheshire Creature

The latest issue of Paranormal Magazine includes an interesting story concerning the sighting of what sounds very much like a classic British Bigfoot-style beast.

Originally having appeared in the August 2009 issue of Phenomena Magazine, the account reads as follows:

"Poachers in woods at Walkerwood Reservoir, Cheshire, heard noises brush in front of them, then their torches suddenly stopped working. Panic set in and the ran. They stopped several hundred yards away and could still hear the noises which seemed to be pursuing them. They opened fire, they heard no sound, and then the noises began again, as though something was moving towards them, then from the darkness came a huge dark figure. It was about seven feet tall and was completely black in color. They could see no features, and the thing seemed to be absorbing the darkness, as if camouflaged in some way. The poachers fled."

This is not the first time I have come across cases involving a British Bigfoot that has seemingly had an effect on powered equipment (in this case, torches). Jon Downes experienced something similar at Bolam Woods in 2002, when recording equipment began to suspiciously fail.

Plus, the reference to the sighting having occurred at a reservoir is intriguing, since this is not the first time that an association between Bigfoot and reservoirs has been noted. There's this one, too.

I'll update you if more data becomes available.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Phantom Baboon of Basingstoke

Last week, over at my Reviews of the Fortean Kind blog, I reviewed a new edition of Elliott O'Donnell's 1913 book, Animal Ghosts. The new edition - re-titled Ghostly Pets, Phantom Felines and Haunted Hounds - has been re-published by Tim Beckley, and is well worth reading.

So, what does that have to do with my Man-Beast U.K. blog, you may reasonably ask? Well: I'll tell you!

One of the chapters in the book deals with spectral monkeys in the British Isles, and includes the following account from O'Donnell that focuses upon a ghostly baboon seen near the English town of Basingstoke, Hampshire.

In O-Donnell's own words...
"A sister of a well-known author tells me there used to be a house called 'The Swallows,' standing in two acres of land, close to a village near Basingstoke.

"In 1840 a Mr. Bishop of Tring bought the house, which had long stood empty, and we went to live there in 1841. After being there a fortnight two servants gave notice to leave, stating that the place was haunted by a large cat and a big baboon, which they constantly saw stealing down the staircases and passages.

"They also testified to hearing sounds as of somebody being strangled, proceeding from an empty attic near where they slept, and of the screams and groans of a number of of people being horribly tortured in the cellars just underneath the dairy. On going to see what was the cause of the disturbances, nothing was ever visible. By and by other members of the household began to be harassed by similar manifestations. The news spread through the village, and crowds of people came to the house with lights and sticks, to see if they could witness anything.

"One night, at about twelve o'clock, when several of the watchers were stationed on guard in the empty courtyard, they all saw the forms of a huge cat and a baboon rise from the closed grating of the large cellar under the old dairy, rush past them, and disappear in a dark angle of the walls.

"The same figures were repeatedly seen afterwards by many other persons. Early in December 1841, Mr. Bishop, hearing fearful screams, accompanied by deep and hoarse jabberings, apparently coming from the top of the house, rushed upstairs, whereupon all was instantly silent, and he could discover nothing.

"After that, Mr. Bishop set to work to get rid of the house, and was fortunate enough to find as a purchaser a retired colonel, who was soon, however, scared out of it. This was in 1842; it was soon after pulled down. The ground was used for the erection of cottages; but the hauntings being transferred to them, they were speedily vacated, and no one ever daring to inhabit them, they were eventually demolished, the site on which they stood being converted into allotments.

"There were many theories as to the history of 'The Swallows'; one being that a highwayman, known as Steeplechase Jock, the son of a Scottish chieftain, had once plied his trade there and murdered many people, whose bodies were supposed to be buried somewhere on or near the premises. He was said to have had a terrible though decidedly unorthodox ending - falling into a vat of boiling tar, a raving madman.
"But what were the phantasms of the ape and cat? Were they the earth-bound spirits of the highwayman and his horse, or simply the spirits of two animals? Though either theory is possible, I am inclined to favour the former."

There ends the story. Interestingly, however - and somewhat similarly - there was a deep belief in Staffordshire and Shropshire in the 19th century that sightings of the notorious Man-Monkey of the Shropshire Union Canal (that was first seen in 1879) were connected with a man who had drowned in the waters of the canal. Human spirits returned in the form of marauding monkeys? Who knows...?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Werewolves on the Loose....

Although this blog is predominantly dedicated to British man-beasts of a distinctly Bigfoot variety, as you'll know sometimes I delve into tales of other hairy man-beasts, such as those relative to the British werewolf. And here's my latest post on the matter, over at

Man-Monkey Musings

As some of you probably know, the one so-called "British Bigfoot" that interests me more than any other is the "Man-Monkey of Ranton," which haunts Bridge 39 on England's Shropshire Union Canal. A very atmospheric, tree-shrouded locale, Bridge 39 is arguably as weird as the hairy man-beast itself.

Aside from the fact that the original story of the beast's activities (which kicked off in the late 1870s) is both chilling and packed with supernatural overtones, the case is made more significant by the fact that sightings of the beast have continued up until pretty much the present day; and additional data on the affair always seems to be surfacing.

And, with that last point in mind consider the following:

A couple of weeks ago I flew back to England to speak at Jon Downes' annual Weird Weekend gig (where I spoke on the strange story of Stalin's Ape-Men, which can be found in my brand new book, Science Fiction Secrets).

Well, the transatlantic flight from here in Dallas, Texas to Birmingham, England is always a long and mind-numbingly tedious one; so to pass the time (and particularly so when the only things on the aircraft's TV are [A] a soppy chick-flick, and [B] some kids' film about robots), I always take with me a book or several.

This time, I took a book that I hadn't read in years: The Eye of Fire by Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman - the sequel to their earlier title, The Green Stone.

Psychic-questing books like this have always fascinated me, and I eagerly devoured both titles when they were published back in the 1980s - as I also did with Andy Collins' books on the subject, such as The Black Alchemist and The Second Coming.

But, I often like to re-read books I haven't touched in years - hence why I decided on The Eye of Fire for the flight to the Weird Weekend.

Well, imagine my surprise when, at one point in the book, I came across something that I had long-forgotten about: a strange and intriguing reference to Ranton Abbey, which is situated only the very briefest of trips away from the infamous haunted bridge.

Ranton Abbey - known more correctly as the Augustinian Priory - was built around 1150, and flourished in the 13th century as a subordinate house to Haughmond Abbey, near Shrewsbury. In the early 19th century the property became part of the estate of the Ansons of Shugborough, latterly the Earls of Lichfield. Today, it is in ruins; having been destroyed by fire in the Second World War, while occupied by Dutch soldiers.

And, with that said, onto the story.

While much of The Eye of Fire is beyond the scope of this blog, the relevant data relates to a July 1982 trip to the abbey that the team of investigators in the book embarked upon, as part of their quest for the Eye of Fire of the book's title.

Basically, the relevant parts of the book reveal how one of the characters in the book, named Mary Heath, created a diabolical and monstrous "Guardian" at the abbey - whose role was to protect an ancient artifact that plays a vital role in the story.

Interestingly, the "Guardian" is described in the book's pages in highly ominous tones, and, variously, as: "...a complete blackness, seething within itself, shapeless but at the same time having substance...;" as " abomination...;" and as a heavy-breathing "great beast."

In other words, the "Guardian" is a monstrous, protector-style thought-form, brought into being and roaming an ancient abode in Ranton. But there's more: the vile thought-form was reportedly created by a woman named Mary Heath in 1875.

How intriguing that a diabolical and violent thought-form was created in Ranton in 1875; and then - only 4 years later - the Man-Monkey (for which the best explanation is that it is indeed a Tulpa-style thought-form) was seen roaming around the nearby Bridge 39.

Could it be that Mary Heath's monstrous creation and the Man-Monkey were (and still are) one and the same?

Admittedly, this is a speculative question. However, the location, the time-frame, and the nature of the "Guardian" entity strongly suggest (to me, at least) that we should consider a possible link between the two.

Thoughts or comments, anyone???

The Bexley Monkey

Not all of the out-of-place or unidentified primates seen in Britain are of Bigfoot-sized proportions - as Neil Arnold reveals!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Radio Tonight

I'll be on Acceleration Radio with Bruce Collins tonight, where I'll be talking about my book There's Something in the Woods (which contains several chapters on the British Bigfoot). The show runs from 5PM to 7PM Pacific Time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The British Bigfoot - Untamed!

On Saturday night, I took part in a cool 2-hour discussion on Untamed Dimensions radio on the subject of Bigfoot - much of which focused upon the weirder, high-strangeness aspect of the British Bigfoot phenomenon.

The show is available to download as an MP3 right here. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Man-Monkey on Underworld

This morning I was interviewed by Lia Ramses, the host of Australia's Underworld Show, about my research in the field of cryptozoology. The interview will be aired on Sunday night (Australia-time), and more details can be found here and here.

In the 1-hour interview, we covered a lot of ground, such as that relating to my beliefs concerning a link between certain cryptids and the paranormal; Britain's most-famous Bigfoot-like entity, the Man-Monkey of Shropshire; the Loch Ness Monster and Aleister Crowley; my quest for the truth about Puerto Rico's Chupacabra; how I got involved in the investigation of Fortean phenomena, and much more.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Hairy Man of Wouldham

Over at the main Centre for Fortean Zoology blog, Neil Arnold has a new post titled Black Dogs and Hairy Men - the latter part of which focuses on a British Bigfoot-style report from Neil's home-county of Kent.

Here's what Neil has to say:

"Wouldham is a small village in Kent which sits right next to Blue Bell Hill, which for me remains the countries weirdest village.

"In my book I noted several bizarre tales concerning witnesses who’d seen red-eyed man-beasts and very recently a lady, who now resides in Norfolk, contacted me to say that when she was a child growing up in the ‘60s at Wouldham, her grandmother used to tell her intriguing tales.

"One of these was said to date back to the 1920s and her grandmother, who passed away, made notes of this. The lady said that her grandmother used to tell her about the ‘hairy man’ of Wouldham. A humanoid often seen in local woods by children, and certainly adults were made aware of this being.

"It was completely covered in hair and the story had become embedded in her psyche and was triggered again when she purchased my MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: KENT and saw, at the front, an image of a hairy humanoid standing at Blue Bell Hill’s Kit’s Coty House, an ancient structure on the landscape.

"It’s clear to me that we aren’t dealing with tales of escaped monkey’s, but indeed something very much embedded in the fabric of the place, as some kind of folkloric creature which has existed for possibly centuries. It seems as well that the more I write about the creature, the more it stirs up. Around 1997/’98 there was a report in the local newspaper of a gorilla-type creature seen at Blue Bell Hill, and I recall scoffing at the report and believed it was simply down to media drama.

"Now, it seems that there is, and always has been, a strange humanoid prowling the dark lanes and thickets of a place that I’ve been obsessed with since I was a kid and my dad used to take me there and terrify me with tales of the phantom hitchhiker..."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Keel Passes

I'm sure many of you will have either read or heard the sad news that Fortean legend John Keel has passed away.

This is, of course, very tragic news: Keel was without doubt one of the most influential, thought-provoking and controversial characters within Forteana. Indeed, such was his influence, importance, history and legend, it's almost impossible to do the man justice in terms of an obituary.

The Mothman Prophecies, UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse, Jadoo and more are all titles that should be on the book-shelves of all Keel disciples - as well as on the shelves of those who may now just be discovering his work for the very first time.

Agree with his views or disagree with them, no-one can doubt that without Keel the world of Forteana would not be what it is today. Thanks in part to his skills as a writer who could capture and captivate his audience, he made the world of the unexplained one that was exciting, enthralling, disturbing, unsettling, adventurous, and much more, too.

Indeed, it was largely due to Keel's written output that many of my views on the notion that at least some of the cryptozoological beasts of our world have less (or more!) than mere flesh-and-blood origins were originally formulated.

Tonight, I will be raising my glass to Keel - not with sadness, but with admiration for (and in memory of) one of the most original thinkers within this odd and bizarre world we inhabit - and I hope you'll be doing likewise.

The Orford Wild Man

As some of you may know, I write a regular weekly column for titled Lair of the Beasts - the latest of which focuses on a centuries-old tale of a hairy wild man captured near the east-coast town of Orford. Here's the link.

Creatures of Kent

Neil Arnold discusses the Maidstone Monkey.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man-Monkey Latest

As many of you may know, the one British Bigfoot case that fascinates me more than any other is that of the so-called "Man-Monkey": a wild, hairy and glowing-eyed monstrosity that has been seem roaming the woods that surround Bridge 39 on the Shropshire Union Canal since at least the late 1800s.

I recently wrote an extensive article on what is undoubtedly a beast of paranormal - rather than flesh-and-blood - proportions for Fortean Times, and which has just been published.

Check it out.

And, if you ever get the chance, take a trip out to the bridge: it's easy to find, very accessible, and has a small amount of parking-space. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the one to solve the riddle of this diabolical beast...

I'm going to be offline from now and until July 6; but already have some new and intriguing British Bigfoot-based stories to post on my return.

See you then!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beware of the Bog

As some of you may know, I have written pretty extensively in the past on the issue of strange creatures (predominantly British Bigfoot-style entities) seen at the ancient Castle Ring, on the fringes of the Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

Well, now it seems that hairy man-beasts aren't the only hazardous things to be found at this historic site.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Scotland's Big Grey Man

Over at the main blog of Jon Downes' Center for Fortean Zoology, Lindsay Selby has an excellent (and lengthy!) post on Scotland's most famous man-beast (or Fortean phantom), the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui.

In part, Lindsay says:

"The big grey man is often said to be Scotland’s Bigfoot and the stories go back hundreds of years.In the 17th Century, a man of the clan Murray was reported as having captured a wild man in Craigiebarns Rocks and a chained wildman still appears in his family's heraldic shield. The next written report I could find was in 1791.

"Poet James Hogg, known as the `Ettrick Shepherd`, described seeing a huge figure on Ben Macdhui whilst tending his sheep. As he watched the halo, which had formed around him due to the combination of sunshine and the mist, he looked up and saw a huge, looming figure. He fled, not stopping until he reached some of his fellow shepherds. Hogg later said he believed that the phenomenon, which had so frightened him was, in fact, an uncommon natural phenomena known as the ‘Brocken Spectre’ and was a reflection of himself caused by the weather conditions - so could the grey man be just an effect of climatic conditions?"

And, here's the rest of Lindsay's illuminating post.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blogsquatcher Comments

The Blogsquatcher comments on the British Bigfoot.

B's blog always has good stuff at it, and it's definitely well worth checking out on a regular basis for all the latest on Bigfoot and high-strangeness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Kent Bigfoot

Over at my main cryptozoology blog - There's Something in the Woods - you can find a new interview I have just done with author and cryptozoologist about his new book: Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent.

Here's the link to the full interview; however, during the course of the interview, we discussed Bigfoot-style reports from Neil's home-county of Kent, and here's what Neil had to say on this matter.

Nick: "Some of the creatures you feature in the book - such as British Bigfoot reports - seem more zooform in nature. Can you discuss a couple of British Bigfoot reports and your views on what they may be."

Neil: "The last few chapters of the book talk about sightings of 'things' which quite simply are too weird to be flesh and blood. Eight-feet tall red eyed, hairy humanoids are not part of our nature, yet somehow people are seeing these creatures. I've often believed Bigfoot, the Yeti to be real, but when these creatures, or something similar starts turning up in the UK we have to look more at the human psyche, or the lay of the land. I don't know what they are but I've met genuine people who've been terrified by sightings of hulking man-beasts in the local woods. As the book was going to press I received a report from a young lady who was driving one night and saw a tall, spindly humanoid cross a stretch of road. The creature had long arms and knees which, as it walked, came up under its chin. It was completely black in colour with a domed head, and scared her so much she almost crashed. These are genuine encounters but I really don't know why people see these kind of things. Maybe such encounters originate with the original 'woodwose', or 'wild man of the woods,' depicted in old scriptures etc. There are some creatures, or forms seen all over the world which are beyond human understanding and they can't simply be creatures awaiting discovery, they are from some other place, and not the woods, sky or waterways."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

British Bigfoot Comments

Good mate and fellow Fortean Nigel Wright says of the British Bigfoot:

"...these mysterious creatures, if they exist, in the physical sense, may just go on to prove a long-held theory of mine. That there might exist a form of 'window' or 'vortex' in inter-dimensional space, through which these and other types of paranormal objects materialize. I consider the possibility of these creatures being able to have existed in our UK countryside, undiscovered for thousands of years, as being totally preposterous! So, the only other explanation possible is that they 'come' from another place, or time."

And here's the rest of Nigel's post...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Welsh Wild Men - Part 2

Nope, this is not a continuation of the previous post. Rather, it's Oll Lewis of the Center for Fortean Zoology talking about the closest thing that Wales may have to Bigfoot.

As Oll says in his fascinating article:

"In the Americas the most searched for cryptid is Bigfoot and its no surprise that BHMs are among the most sighted cryptids there as a result. However in the UK things are quite different, man beasts are hardly ever seen here and if they are they usually end up being attributed to either a trick of the light, zooform phenomena or misidentification.

"Besides Britain just doesn’t have the enormous wilderness areas that America and Canada do, colonies of big cats might be able to hide themselves but large hairy ape-men would find that task considerably more difficult.

"Well, one bit of Folklore from North Wales tells the story of a British BHM and how he, for some time, evaded capture and detection.Villagers in Nant Gwynant in North Wales have long told a story about how a cave in the valley came to be named.

"Long ago villagers and shepherds in the area were plagued by a thief that would break into their homesteads. They would awaken to find that their goats and cows had been milked, food had been stolen and the best sheep taken during the night. This went on for some years and every time anyone laid a trap for the thief it never took the bait and the finger of popular suspicion passed from ne’er-d’-well to ne’er-d’-well with each suspect’s guilt eventually being disproved.

"One day a shepherd was returning from the mountains later than usual and spotted something strange; a huge burley naked man covered from head to toe in thick red fur was resting on a neighbouring hill. The shepherd suspected that this out of place and strangely hirsute giant might be the thief that was plaguing the village so the shepherd snuck past the man without being detected and ran back to the village as soon as he was out of sight.

"When he reached Nant Gwynant he rounded up all the available men and they hatched a hasty plot to catch the hairy giant. Unfortunately, because it would seem this plan involved running at the hairy man and shouting loudly whist brandishing makeshift weapons this plan was, not surprisingly, unsuccessful.

"The hairy man bounded off on all-fours leaping over obstacles with the skill and precision of a dear. A watch was kept on the area over the coming weeks to see if the hairy man would return, and he did a few days later. Because the previous plan had failed the villagers decided to loose their dogs on the hairy man instead, however this also proved unsuccessful when the man bounded off with a hare-like speed.

"The villagers despaired that they’d ever catch the man, as he was too fast for even their dogs to catch, and one man came up with the idea of consulting a magician. The magician told the villagers to find a red haired greyhound without a single hair of a different colour and this would be able to catch the man.

"After much searching and bartering with local towns and villages the people of Nant Gwynant found a dog that fitted the bill and proudly took him home. When the villagers next saw the hairy man they were ready with the red greyhound and it was set loose to catch the hairy man. The hairy man escaped again by leaping down a small cliff.

"After everything they tried to catch the hairy man had failed the men of the village reluctantly gave up and resigned themselves to the fact that the thefts would continue. However, one woman was so angered by her frequent losses she decided to stay up every night and hide herself in the front room of her farmhouse to wait for when the hairy man decided to pay a visit.

"Sure enough after a few weeks the hairy man paid a visit to the wrong house and the lady was waiting with a hatchet. She remained hidden until the man had squeezed his bulky frame halfway though the window before she struck the hairy man with her hatchet. The unexpected blow cleaved off the hairy man’s hand in one blow and he recoiled back out of the window before the woman could smite him with a further whack.

"The brave woman dashed out of her door, hatchet in hand ready to finish the man off but by the time she had gotten outside he had fled. When the village awoke the next day and the men learned what had happened they followed the trail of blood the hairy man had left behind to a cave beneath a local waterfall. As the big hairy man was never seen again it was assumed by the villagers that he had died in the cave, so the cave was named ‘the cave of the hairy man.'"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Welsh Wild-Man

This is an odd story, yet an intriguing one, too. Indeed, it almost reads like a modern-day equivalent of the "wild-men-of-the-woods"-type tales that proliferated in Britain centuries ago.

Its subject matter?

Namely, a shaggy-haired character roaming the woods of South Wales, and apparently living on "rabbits and berries." Who he is, no-one really seems to know. But, the chase is on to find him...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Kent Sasquatch

Excellent news! Yesterday, I received in the mail a review-copy of Neil Arnold's brand new book: Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent; which, as its title strongly suggests is Neil's own, deep, personal study of the weird creatures that dwell deep within his very own home-county of Kent, England.

At almost 400 pages in length, this veritable whopper of a book looks to be an excellent, definitive study that encompasses big-cats, black-dogs, water-beasts, Bigfoot, and much more.

I've only read one chapter thus far, and checked out the photo section and the other chapter titles; but I can say for certain that this is one of the most detailed regional studies of weird beasts ever written.

And, you may ask: which chapter have I read thus far? Well, the one on Kent-based Bigfoot and man-beast accounts, of course! There are some highly intriguing cases in this particular chapter that easily demonstrate that whatever the British Bigfoot may be, it's lurking deep in the heart of Kent.

Next week, I will be summarizing right here Neil's data on the Kent Bigfoot - but, until then, I most definitely recommend you get hold of a copy of Neil's book at the earliest opportunity. A great job, Neil!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bigfoot & the Paranormal

Fortean researcher Regan Lee has an interesting new article on the classic British film of 1957, The Abominable Snowman.

And as Regan asks with respect to her post: was the film's creator aware of the paranormal aspects of Bigfoot?

Here's a few quotes from Regan's article to give you an idea of its content:

"What I found surprising in this were the references to the Yeti's telepathic and other 'paranormal' abilities, as well as the eye illumination. There's also the implication of Yeti living in caves and within the earth; for example, in the previously mentioned scene, the Yeti arrive from the rear of the cave. The film was made in 1957 which means that awareness of 'paranormal Bigfoot' was out there in the literature even back then. Hairy bipedal encounters, from the Yowie to Bigfoot to Yeti, include story after story of these beings having telepathic abilities, appearing not only on, but inside mountains, traveling via caverns, caves and underground tunnels, eyes that glow from within, playing with the mind, visiting humans in the astral realm and dream state, and other preternatural traits."

And here's the rest of what is a very interesting article

More on Rendlesham...

Things are getting very weird regarding yesterday's post about a bear seen in Rendlesham Forest. First we had the sighting of Jenny Pearce, who said: "I saw it moving through the trees ahead. It was much bigger than a dog. I picked up my son and left for the car straight away."

However, as this new story shows (which has surfaced today), the tale of the bear - and the accompanying You Tube link - were part of a publicity campaign by a theater production company that was putting on a version of Shakespeare's A Winters Tale - which includes a famous stage-direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear."

All well and good, except for the fact that (a) Jenny Pearce continues to stand by her account of seeing a bear-like animal in the woods; and (b) this is not the first time a large animal with somewhat bear-like qualities has been reported within Rendlesham Forest.

Yesterday, I mentioned the case of Sam Holland, who had a close encounter with just such a beast in the same area in 1956. I interviewed Holland in 2001, and published his story in 2004. So, there's no way his case can be connected to the current publicity campaign of the theater production company.

And for those who are interested, here is the text of my original Word document on Sam Holland's story :

"Shortly after New Year’s Day in 1956, Holland was walking through the woods with his spaniel dog, Harry, when he was horrified to see a bizarre-looking creature come looming out of the trees some forty feet in front of him.

"It walked upon four huge, muscular legs – ‘like a lion’s’ – and its thick fur coat was both black and glossy. Incredibly, said Holland, the animal was easily ten feet in length; and so could not be considered anything even remotely resembling a domestic animal, or a known wild beast of the British Isles.

"Holland recalled thinking for a moment that perhaps the animal was an exotic big cat that had escaped from a zoo or private estate; that is until it turned in his direction and he was finally able to see its terrible face.

"Likening it to that of a sliver-back gorilla, Holland said that the monstrous creature possessed a huge neck, widely flaring nostrils, and immense, powerful-looking jaws. For a moment or two, the animal looked intently at Holland and his whimpering little dog; then, seemingly losing interest, continued on its way and into the depths of the surrounding undergrowth.

"Holland would later explain that the creature looked like a strange combination of ape, dog, lion and rhinoceros. Needless to say, the British Isles is not home to any such animal that even remotely resembles the beast that Sam Holland says he stumbled upon. Yet he is adamant that his description of the monstrous entity and his recollections of the day in question are utterly accurate.

"Today, Holland believes that whatever it was that he had the misfortune to run into half a century ago, it was unquestionably paranormal rather than physical in origin. But from where, precisely, he has no idea."

Franky, this whole affair puzzles me a great deal. I have no doubt at all that the theater company's publicity campaign is indeed an integral part of the story.

However, that the company should have chosen a location for their campaign that was already home to a large, mysterious 4-legged beast that was seen back in 1956, is decidedly synchronistic in the extreme.

And what about the fact that Jenny Pearce stands by her report of seeing a large, lumbering beast in the woods?

Is it possible that, in a strangely Fortean fashion, the theater company decided to embark upon its campaign at precisely the same time that a large, bear-like entity (perhaps related to that seen by Sam Holland) manifested in the woods?

Whatever the ultimate truth, I strongly suspect we have not heard the end of this story!

And for more, check out Jon Downes' take on things, which adds additional data to the story.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Rise of the Shug-Monkey?

Here's a weird one: there may be a bear running around Rendlesham Forest, England!

As some of you may know, the forest's main claim to fame is that it was the site (in December 1980) of what is without doubt Britain's most famous UFO incident.

So, is a bear really on the loose in an area of forest that just happened to already be dominated by high-strangeness?

My guess is no.

Rather, I suspect that - like so many places around the world - Rendlesham Forest is a classic "Window Area" of the type that attracts (or opens doorways to?) Fortean oddities of a particularly odd nature.

Interestingly, in my 2004 book Three Men Seeking Monsters, I related the story of a man named Sam Holland who claimed to have seen in Rendlesham Forest a beast that sounds somewhat like that which is currently being reported - but way back in 1956.

It's very possible that Holland may have seen the Shug-Monkey: an odd, perhaps spectral "beast," that is alleged to have roamed the area centuries ago.

Moreover, I have a couple of other reports on record of people seeing large, lumbering animals in Rendlesham Forest walking on four-legs. And, yes, they could conceivably be mistaken for bears - except for the fact that when they realized they had been seen, the creatures suddenly reared up onto their hind-legs and took off running.

Bears, of course, will stand on their hind-legs for brief periods, but when it comes to hunting or making good their escape, they will drop back to all-fours and set-off at a very fast pace.

So, has the Shug-Monkey returned to Rendlesham Forest? Time, perhaps, will tell...

And for more information on the Shug-Monkey, click right here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bigfoot in Kent

This is excellent news just in from the CFZ's Jon Downes: Neil Arnold's new book Mystery Animals of the British Isles: Kent has just been published.

Here's Jon, with all of the details:

"After months of work, this remarkable book is finally available. It is the bulkiest book we have ever done, and with over 270,000 words the longest apart from Monster Hunter and Dragons: More than a Myth?

"Neil is to be congratulated for such an extraordinary piece of writing. A large proportion of the book concerns big cats, but as Neil - despite his detractors - is one of the leading mystery cat researchers in the country, this is hardly surprising.

"However, what makes it so much better than yer run of the mill big cat books which seem to be largely rehashed press cuttings, and in which the sentence 'err it was black, it had a long tail and looked like my Labrador,' seem to be repeated over and over again ad nauseam, this is the first-hand story of years of dedication and hands-on research.

"The non-cat chapters are equally as interesting, covering a whole gamut of subjects from out-of-place animals to what Neil calls the 'nameless anomalies' which would not be out of place in an episode of The X-Files from about ten years ago.

"I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's only £14.99 which is hardly extortionate in this day and age, and in the unlikely instance that you don't like it, it is so substantial that you can use it as a door stop, throw it at your dog, or wrap it in a pillow-case to make a handy cosh, and tootle on down top your nearest sub-post office. Well done mate."

And with Jon's words complete, you may ask: why is Nick referring to Neil's book here? Well, I'll tell you!

I was e-chatting with Neil recently and he was telling me that his book contains the details of a number of notable and intriguing British Bigfoot reports from the county of Kent. A review-copy of Neil's book is on its way to me; so as soon as I have read it, I'll do a summary here of the British Bigfoot material for your interest - as well as a full review over at my There's Something in the Woods blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bridge Mysteries

As some of you may know, the Center for Fortean Zoology has a Michigan-based representative: my good friend Raven. And just lately she has been doing a tremendous amount of work: writing articles, doing on-site investigations, establishing new links with people in the field, as well as setting up websites and blogs.

Does the woman ever sleep?! Probably not!

Anyway, over at her new Into the Shadows blog, Raven has an interesting new post titled Knock Knock Bridge, which is a study of a wealth of weirdness at a particular bridge not far from where she lives.

I like stories like this, as I've done a lot of investigations myself where high-strangeness has occurred at bridges - most famously from my own perspective at Bridge 39 on Britain's Shropshire Union Canal, where that most-mysterious, spectral British Bigfoot known as the Man-Monkey was seen in 1879.

And with that said, here's an extract from Raven's post:

"Today Jessica and I took a ride out to the Canton area to do a pre-investigation study of the Denton Road bridge and the surrounding area. There is so much history that lies just beneath the surface of that entire area that we'll have to do many investigations to cover even a portion it.
"As we drove through where the bridge is located,an eerie ambiance fell over the van. It was like we had just slipped into another dimension of time. With the exception of the newly built condos that now dot the land heavily, and the occasional jogger or bicycle, there is a stillness to the place that can only be described as otherworldly.

"We met a gentleman named Don who has lived there since 1963 and was not only able to give us a first-hand account of the folklore, but also had a wealth of knowledge regarding the development of the area as well.

"Don told us that the bridge was called 'knock knock bridge' by all the local children when he was growing up,because, as legend has it, if you knocked three times and waited,something spooky was bound to happen.

"From ghost lights to shadowy dark figures chasing cars, there have always been strange stories passed down from one generation to the next."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bigfoot in Blighty

Over at Cabinet of Wonders, the Emperor comments on my forthcoming book on the British Bigfoot. By the time I get the thing finally complete, it's very likely to be just about as bulky and hulking as the Beast of Bolam itself, given the sheer volume of data that is out there on this seldom discussed and often ridiculed topic!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Wildman": Good News!

Later this year, Jon Downes's CFZ Press will be publishing a new book from me. Titled Wildman!: On the Trail of Britain's Bigfoot and Other Man-Beasts, it will (I hope!) become the definitive guide to Bigfoot in Britain.

The book will cover such issues as the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui; the Cannock Chase Bigfoot; the Beast of Bolam; the Shug-Monkey; Britain's "Green Man" legends, and much, much more.

If you have any data you would like to contribute, or if you have had your own encounter with the British Bigfoot and are willing to have the details published, do let me know!

In addition, if you have investigated the Bigfoot issue in Britain (or in general), and have thoughts and ideas that you feel might be relevant and of interest, and you're willing to have them published - again, let me know.

All comments, accounts, thoughts, observations and witness testimony will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chasing the Chase Beast

Jon Downes and Richard Freeman track the Cannock Chase Bigfoot...

The Man-Monkey Solved?

As regular readers of this blog - and of my books, too - will be aware, one particularly strange British-Bigfoot story that has fascinated me for years is that of the so-called "Man-Monkey" of the Shropshire Union Canal.

Indeed, so fascinated am I by it, I even wrote a book about the damned critter!

The story essentially had its origins in 1879, when a man walking home late at night, and with his horse-and-cart in-tow, claimed to have been attacked by a bizarre ape-man style beast with shining eyes that ultimately vanished into the night.

Not only that: the beast was distinctly spectral in nature, as can be evidenced by the fact that the man said that as he struck it with his horse-whip, the whip actually passed right through its hairy body!

More intriguing: sightings of the Man-Monkey have abounded in the area ever since. Indeed, I think my current count of cases, sightings and incidents is upwards of 30 - and which covers the period from the early 20th Century and right up until September 2005.

But now, there is a fascinating development in the saga - and maybe, just maybe, it may open some doors to the question of what the Man-Monkey really was, is, or may have been.

The story comes via Fortean expert and author Mike Dash.

As Dash says, just recently he was leafing through a copy of the December 8, 1878 edition of Sheldrake's Aldershot & Sandhurst Military Gazette, and came across the following story in its pages:


For a fortnight past the district around Madely Wood, Salop, has been in a state of intense excitement, by the alleged depredations committed by a gorilla, which is said to have escaped from a wild beast menagerie travelling to Bridgnorth.

The animal was stated to have first made his appearance in the neighbourhood of that town, where in the darkness of the night it was severally seen by a clergyman and a policeman, both of whom fled.

It is also said to have appeared at several places in the immediate neighbourhood. A few evenings since the occupier of a house in Madely Wood went to bed at a reasonable hour, with the greater portion of his family, leaving his “gude wife” up, who took the opportunity to visit a neighbour, leaving the door open and a candle burning.

Returning in a short time, she was horrified at seeing a bent form, with a goodly array of gray hair around its face, crouching over the expiring embers of the fire, apparently warming itself, the light having gone out.

Too frightened to shriek, she ran to her neighbours, who quickly armed themselves with pokers, iron bars, guns, and pitchforks and other instruments of a similar character, and marched in a body to capture the gorilla.

The form was seen sitting at the fire, but evidently aroused by the approaching body, rose to its full height and revealed the figure of an eccentric character well known in the neighbourhood as “Old Johnny,” who seeing the door open had quietly walked in to light his pipe, accidentally “puffed” the candle out, and was very near being captured, if not exterminated, in mistake for an escaped gorilla.

The animal has not been heard of since.

Well, this is indeed fascinating: the story surfaced only one month before the Man-Monkey was seen - and in the same English county of Shropshire, no less.

And as Mike astutely notes:

"Old Johnny and his humorous encounter make for an interesting story, and it's easy to see why the journalist who wrote the piece focused on him. As published, though, the article ignores the central question of what became of Shropshire's mysterious 'gorilla'. The wild-beast-escaped-from-a-travelling menagerie is a common motif in out of place animal stories, as Mick Goss demonstrated years ago in a Fortean Times article on the mysterious crocodile of Cefn Caves - itself just over the border in north Wales. But it would be an ambitious showman who kept an animal as dangerous as a gorilla in a travelling show."

Indeed, Mike is right: numerous stories, tales and rumors of "circus escapees" (in Britain , in the U.S. and elsewhere) have been trotted out time and again to account for sightings of exotic animals having been seen in areas where they have no business roaming.

A perfect case in point is Britain's big-cats.

For example, in his classic title Cat Flaps, British Fortean author Andy Roberts discussed a wave of "big-cat" sightings in the English county of Yorkshire in the 1980s. One particular series of encounters led one commentator to tell Andy that: "They all come from Knaresborough Zoo, you know."

Of course, there was no evidence at all that the zoo had lost any big-cats - yet such tales and theories often spring up in such situations.

So, is that what happened back in 1878?

Had someone - or, as the Gazette's story suggests, several people - seen a weird Bigfoot-like entity that was subsequently explained (without any actual evidence to support the notion), as having escaped from a "travelling menagerie"?

Or, incredibly, was the story actually true?

Could there really have been a travelling menagerie from which a gorilla made a successful bid for freedom? And if so, did it ultimately find its way one dark and winter night in January 1879 to the heart of the Shropshire Union Canal, where it scared the you-know-what out of the man who had the misfortune to encounter it?

Perhaps further digging will unravel the puzzle.

Could it really be the case that a fully-grown gorilla briefly made its home in the wilds of Shropshire before probably succumbing to starvation and the effects of a harsh winter?

Of course, that would not explain the seemingly spectral nature of the beast reported at the canal - nor would it explain how sightings of the same beast have continued until the present day.

Unless, that is, what people are seeing today could be the ghostly-form of the long-dead gorilla; forever doomed to haunt and wander the tree-shrouded, old canal...

But, bringing animal ghosts into the story is a whole different kettle of fish that I will keep for another day!

Suffice to say for now, however, Mike Dash has made a highly significant breakthrough in a story that - despite its age - never seems to go away.

For further information, see the following links:

1. Mike Dash's original article.

2. A post on this development at Cabinet of Wonders.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Pye Green Bigfoot

As most of you who regularly read this blog will already know, barely a week goes by without some sort of monstrous, high-strangeness occurring in the vicinity of England's Cannock Chase woods. And now there is this: a new article (at the local Chase Post newspaper) that details the very same high-strangeness (which includes so-called British Bigfoot reports) at the Chase's Pye Green Tower.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

British Bigfoot Opinions...

You can find a new interview with me over at Alien Seeker News; and although it's chiefly not about cryptozoology, we do get into the subject, including the following on the controversy surrounding Bigfoot in Britain, and its undoubted paranormal qualities:

Paul Dale Roberts: "Do you think that Bigfoot is an inter-dimensional creature and that is the reason why we can't capture one?"

Nick Redfern: "Yep, that is definitely what I think - or, that at the very least, it is not flesh-and-blood, as we understand the term. The whole Bigfoot field has a lot of Fortean weirdness attached to it that a lot of researchers who focus more on the flesh-and-blood theories don't like to deal with, at all - because it opens some very problematic doors. But, as with UFOs, when it comes to Bigfoot I have no time for belief systems that are so rigid they can't be tampered with. To ignore the paranormal stories associated with Bigfoot actually means discarding a hell of a lot of material. And I won't do that just to bolster the simple idea that 'Bigfoot is a giant ape.' I have investigated a lot of British-based Bigfoot reports, and there is just no way a flesh-and-blood Bigfoot could live, hide, breed and die without detection in a country the size of Britain. But people see it - whatever 'it' is. And in Britain, most of the reports from there are of Bigfoot creatures appearing and vanishing in the blink of any eye, not leaving footprints, being seen near old prehistoric sites, etc."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Freeman and the British Bigfoot

Over at his Room 101 site at Binnall of America, Richard Thomas interviews the Center for Fortean Zoology's Richard Freeman about his cryptozoological work. In part, they cover the controversy surrounding the British Bigfoot - and, I have to say, my conclusions are inline with Richard (Freeman). Here's their specific exchange on the British Bigfoot:

Richard Thomas: "Nick Redfern has written a book with the interesting title Man-Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot. What do you think the likelihood of such a creature in the UK really is and, perhaps more interestingly, what do think it could be? For instance, do you think we're dealing with some kind of missing link or something else entirely?"

Richard Freeman: "There is no way a species of giant ape could live undetected in the UK. You would need a population to carry the species on and there is just not enough room. The UK is not like Canada or Tibet, a real ape or hominid would have been discovered decades ago. I think what people are seeing are zooform creatures.

"Interestingly though, relic hominids may have lived on mainland Europe until relatively recently. The trolls of Scandinavia sound very like them and as recently as the 1980s a hominid was reported from western Russia only 15 miles from the borders of Finland."

And click here to read the entire interview.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hexham 2

Here's part-2 of my article on one of the strangest British man-beasts - that borne out of the controversy of the Hexham Heads.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hexham Werewolves

As regular readers of this blog will know, from time to time I veer away from talking strictly about the British Bigfoot, and focus on other British man-beasts too, including werewolves. And, on this particular issue, over at my weekly Lair of the Beasts column at, you can find the first-part of a two-part story on one of the weirdest of all British werewolf stories - namely, that of the Hexham Heads.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monstrous Reviews

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that on December 30 of last year, I posted right here 2 links to You Tube videos of me lecturing on the controversial subject of the British Bigfoot (scroll down this page and you'll find them!).

The lectures - and the filming - took place at the Boston, Massachusetts-based Mass Monster Mash gig in October of last year. And for those who may be interested, the new issue (no. 245) of Fortean Times includes a full review from me of the weekend-long conference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Shugborough Wild Man

The latest issue of TAPS Paramagazine includes an article from me on the strange tale of the hairy wild-man of the ancient Shugborough Hall, which can be found in the heart of Staffordshire, England. With tales of Bigfoot-like beasts on the loose, animal mutilations, and bizarre rites and rituals undertaken in local woods, it's truly one of the strangest "British Bigfoot"-style stories I've ever uncovered. (That's me hanging out at Shugborough on a wintry day about 2 years ago.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Canal Mysteries

As readers of my book Man-Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot will know, encounters with hairy man-beasts are curiously prevalent in the vicinity of old, British canal bridges.

How ironic, then, to learn that a couple of encounters with unknown entities in the vicinity of canal bridges occurred in Pelsall, England - the very village I lived in as a kid!

Now, these cases didn't involve hairy man-beasts; but I do find it kind of weird that I should have written so extensively about high-strangeness in the direct vicinity of canal bridges, only to find out that my home village was an apparent beacon for such activity, too!

Here's the links to the two stories, for those who may be interested:

Story One.

Story Two.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coming Soon...

I've been tied up with a load of stuff over the last week or so, but later this week I'll have several new posts on British man-beasts: Bigfoot; werewolves; and the Owlman will all be putting in appearances!