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Terror in the Woods

Imagine the scene: It’s late on a chilled, winter’s night and the witching-hour is looming perilously close. Your high-pressure job takes you out of town on a regular basis, and right now – after a hard week spent on the road – you just want to get home to your wife and the comfort of your own bed. But before you can do both, you are forced to concentrate on driving through the winding, tree-shrouded roads of large, ancient woodland. Your eyes are tired, the light is poor, and mysterious shadows dominate your field of view. And, little do you know it, but there’s something else on the road, too. It’s something terribly monstrous, as you are just about to find out.

As you negotiate a sharp bend – a bend you have traveled on probably hundreds of occasions and one which is particularly dense with tree cover – you slow down and turn on your high beams to help illuminate the blackness that beckons. Suddenly, your eyes become hypnotized by something incredible on the right-side of the road.


You hit the brakes hard and you sit, astonished and wide of mouth, never giving even a single thought to the possibility that another vehicle may slam into you from behind. Your mind is utterly elsewhere. And it’s not surprising.

Glaring at you in menacing fashion, and sporting what appears to be a pair of large, glowing, yellow eyes, is a huge black cat. No, it’s not just someone’s spoiled, overfed pet. Rather, it’s just about the closest thing you can think of to a fully grown, menacing puma.

Its penetrating eyes bore into yours, it changes its stance to one of attack, and – while gripping the steering-wheel and holding your breath, as if your very life depended on it – you try and prepare for the absolute, very worst. Fortunately, the worst does not come.


Without warning, the beast’s head quickly turns. It races across the road, into the safety and camouflage of the trees, and is gone. You sit there, for a few minutes, trying desperately to get your breath back, and fighting off the rising panic that threatens to overwhelm you. Finally, the shaking in your hands begins to fade, as does the adrenalin-driven dizziness that hit you when overwhelming fear set in.

It’s then you realize the potentially life-threatening fact that your car sits in the middle of a dark road late at night. That practically no-one is likely to be out, at this hour, on this very stretch is probably the only thing that has saved you from becoming the victim of a very nasty, and potentially fatal, accident.


You floor the accelerator, race home, and relate the details of the amazing experience to your wife – who you have roused from her slumber, an action prompted by a high degree of both excitement and fear.

She listens carefully, and after having done so, the two of you come to a stark and sensational realization: you are one of the ever-growing number of people in the British Isles who has had a close encounter with a large, exotic and predatory cat of a type that simply should not exist in Britain, and which the government says are merely the stuff of nightmare, mistaken identity, and hoaxing.

But, now, you know better – much better, in fact. Although, given the gut-wrenching experience you have just suffered, you earnestly wish you did not.

The story above is not fiction. It occurred in 1977 to a man named Jimmy Freeman. And the forest in question is no normal forest. It’s an area that has been a veritable hotbed of supernatural strangeness for centuries. Never mind just big cats, the forest can claim to be the domain of a strange Bigfoot-like creature known as the Shug-Monkey. Sightings of ghostly entities abound.

Fiery-eyed devil-dogs – provoking distinct imagery of The Hound of the Baskervilles variety – roam the woods. And, in December 1980, this very same locale was the setting for Britain’s most infamous of all UFO encounters. Its name is Rendlesham Forest, a 1,500 hectare area of picturesque and wooded proportions that is located on coastal heath land in the county of Suffolk, England – clearly a place of supreme strangeness!

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  • Richard Freeman

    Pumas are not black. Leopards can be black but not pumas.

  • jane

    great article, really enjoyed reading that!

  • alan borky

    Nick there’s this term vortex that’s big in Spiritualist circles which’re these sort of Star Trek like wormholes by means of which spirits/entities supposedly come and go.

    In my experience they can be both short and long lived and usually come into existence near troubled teens old aged Downes Syndrome cases alcoholics the dying or seriously ill coppers with consciences troubled by corruption in the force the renovation or demolition of old buildings or the establishment of new building sites but wherever they occur weird sh*t ‘appens.

    I was only thinking about this the other day when I was getting me daughter to capture some Google Maps satellite shots of our old place up the road before they knock it down [and I still can’t reproduce how she bleedin’ did it!] where a load of seriously weird crap happened and not just to me because I suddenly realised the corner of Grierson Street where a load of us kids saw that hovering triangle thingy was also the same end of the street where Sooty the pink lava peckered wonder dog used to do his drainpipe shinning.

    Similarly only a short distance away on Parliament Street on the Saint Nathaniel’s Estate where the TV version of the Toxteth Riots mostly happened [and which I swear must’ve been built on an abandonned LSD factory if any of my experiences on there’re anything to go by] I had a number of weird experiences involving animals.

    Literally the first evening we were one of the first families to move on it me an’ our kid decided to do a bit of exploring further down where they were still finishing the buildings and all of a sudden these three huge alsatians came out of nowhere snarling and looking for a moment exactly like the three headed hell hound Cerberus.

    As it happens they were on a chain but we didn’t know that but all of a sudden as this ‘three headed’ dog hurled itself at us time seemed to slow down and this eerie silence seemed to descend on me because even though the dogs were clearly still barking away like mad strewing great skeins and ropes of gluey saliva all over the place I simply couldn’t hear anything for a moment.

    Then exactly like in the Scooby Doo cartoons our kid who must’ve be around eleven/twelve rose up in the air and began pumping his legs up and down like mad as if he was riding an invisible bike which he couldn’t seem to get moving. All that was missing was the mad bongo playing they use in the cartoon to imply they’re running on the spot.

    Anyway all of a sudden I could hear the dogs barking again and our kid now suddenly shot away from me off across a loud of debris and a huge mud pool without seemingly once touching the ground and with absolutely no protection on his feet because his slippers’d dropped off while he’d been hanging in the air.

    Apart from the awe of watching this impossible sight I actually felt fury at him for making me feel so slow and leaving me for the dogs to finish off.

    Anyway I had to take the same escape route as him and I was wearing footware but I still nearly broke me ankles several times just try’n’o get across it and then I had to run across the pool of mud drenching meself in the stuff but when we took the same route back only my footprints were left in the mud and only my feet had any mud on them his were completely clean.

    There was a load of weird stuff like that such as Patchy the mongrel who was said to be smarter than the family who owned him who I watched with me own eyes shinny up a fence and one time I watched this spider pulling lustful gurning expressions exactly like Les Dawson at this best as a slug slithered near its web and its eyes even started doing that thing characters in cartoons do when they fall in love sort of fire out on long stalks with ecstatic glee.

    Now the point of all that is this.

    If those things I witnessed weren’t just down to me being a nutcase but maybe because I’m sensitive to the sort of effects ordinary every day domestic type vortex energy can produce then what if Rendlesham Forest scaled vortex energy was involved.

    Might it not be possible for ordinary domestic cats to become temporarily something much spookier and might it not also be possible people who’ve experienced time loss episodes in such regions weren’t transported elsewhere by greys for a probe up Uranus but they may’ve briefly been transfigured into Fred Flintstone era primitive humanoids or even wolf or ape men facilitating thus such reports from others?

    Just a thought.

  • Daniel T. Pelfrey

    That is not actually true. Granted the genetic likelihood of a black puma are 1000000 to 1. So the likelihood of a black puma, while unlikely is still within the bounds of extreme possibility.

  • J.Griffin

    Did I miss something?
    If I see a big cat in my headlights,
    isn’t he the one at risk?

    I drive a Dodge Diesel Dually 4×4
    but it seems to me that any enclosed car would have the upper hand,
    even a smaller car against a lion.