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.