Britain’s Bigfoot: A Big Beast and Big Problems

Back in 2007 I wrote a slim, little book titled Man-Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot. It was on the not-so-well-known story of a strange, ape-like creature seen in January 1879 at Bridge 39 on England’s Shropshire Union Canal. Five yeas later, I followed up Man-Monkey with Wildman! The Monstrous and Mysterious Saga of the British Bigfoot, which was a 300-page study of all the various, so-called “British Bigfoot” cases on record. There’s no doubt that the U.K. has in its midst a lot of strange and controversy-filled creatures that, in the field of cryptozoology, have become known as “Cryptids.” They include the Loch Ness Monster, the lesser-known Morag of Scotland’s Loch Morar, so-called “Alien Big Cats,” out-of-place wallabies (which are not really cryptozoological in nature at all, but which have certainly got lumped into the matter), and the resident lake-monster of England’s Lake Windermere. Its name is Bownessie.

There is, however, no more controversial a creature in the field of U.K.-based Cryptozoology than the aforementioned British Bigfoot. Why? Well, as I point out in both Man-Monkey and Wildman!, there is not a shred of fossil-based evidence to suggest that such things have lived in what is now the U.K. – as in ever. No bones have ever been found. We have no specimens – alive of dead. Taking into consideration the size (or, more correctly, the lack of size) of the U.K., it would be wholly impossible for colonies of such Goliath-sized animals to lurk and live in the U.K. and never get caught, captured or killed. And when I say it’s impossible, I do not leave any room for doubt. Huge flesh-and-blood ape-like beasts cannot and do not live in the U.K. But, here’s the thing: people see them on a surprisingly regular basis. But, how can that be? Well, if we take a strictly “it’s some kind of ape” approach, it can’t be. Unless, that is, the beasts are far more supernatural than they are physical. And, of course, that brings up the not insignificant issue of how, exactly, we define what the word “supernatural” really means. In my experience, that word means many things to many people, and all depending on the person you speak with.

Although a British Bigfoot cannot exist, the witness testimony – at least – does suggest it’s “real” in some sense. Of particular interest is the fact that most of the reports that have surfaced are in close proximity to perceived sacred sites, such as old stone circles, ancient burial grounds, bridges, crossroads, ruined castles and what John Keel (of The Mothman Prophecies) termed “Window Areas.” As a couple of examples of many, I have a lot of reports of a creature seen on the east-coast of England known as the Shug-Monkey. More than a few such reports emanate from none other than the site of the U.K.’s most controversial and famous UFO encounter: the 1980 “UFO landing” at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk. There have been a number of similar encounters in certain areas of massive high-strangeness in England’s Cannock Chase woods – and particularly in close to proximity to a certain cemetery on the Chase. So, why do I mention all of this? Read on.

Just a couple of days ago, I received a Facebook message from a guy named Rob Hampton. While visiting friends in the English county of Oxfordshire, a few weeks earlier, Rob had a very weird encounter. The location was the Rollright Stones – which I have written about here at Mysterious Universe on a previous occasion and which border Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. According to Rob, while in the immediate vicinity of the stones, he had a fleeting (very fleeting) sighting of what he could only term as “Bigfoot.” The creature, said Rob, was a hulking seven-to-eight-feet in height. It had silvery, grey hair which flowed long from the head down, and that covered its entire body – aside from its hands and feet, which were of a noticeably bright pink color. Rob told me that the beast was walking steadily and quickly, not at all unlike someone on a mission. It gave Rob a sideways, piercing glance, which he said made him feel “funny” (but definitely not from an amused perspective), after which it simply blinked out, as if it was never there in the first place.

The Rollright Stones

Rob didn’t elaborate. And, he didn’t tell some amazing tale of epic proportions: it was just a brief description of an equally brief event that shook Rob up and which – like all such cases in the U.K. – left me feeling puzzled. The biggest frustration about the British Bigfoot phenomenon is the fact that no matter how amazing, how long-lasting, or how close-by the encounters are, we learn absolutely nothing from these kinds of experiences. All we can say is that people report seeing something that they definitely should not be seeing or reporting. The results of brief time-slips to eras long gone? Tulpas? Who knows? I have no answers at all, just case-files upon case-files. And that’s the problem with the British Bigfoot. It defies common-sense, but those who report it most definitely do not come across as lacking in common-sense. I won’t stop investigating the British Bigfoot controversy. But, do I think there is a likelihood of solving the riddle? Not really, no. It is, however, that million-to-one, unlikely chance that something just might one day surface which still pushes me on. Holding my breath? Nope, not yet. One day? Maybe…

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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