In my recent two-part article on so-called "Alien Big Cats" (ABCs) and Princess Diana, I made mention of a creature that has become legendary in the field of British-based cryptozoology. It's infamously known as the Beast of Exmoor. It's reputed to be a large, savage, black cat of some unknown type, and which is as stealthy as it is deadly. Of the various people who contacted me about the ABC-Diana issue, one asked why I didn't make mention of a similar ABC known as the Beast of Bodmin. Well, the question was a bit of a puzzle, since the Bodmin critter had no connection to the Diana issue! So, why would I mention it?!
But, since the person brought up the matter, I figured I would focus on it today, as the story of the Bodmin thing is a very weird one. Whereas the Beast of Exmoor is found in the English county of Devon, the Beast of Bodmin is found in the county on which Devon borders. Namely, Cornwall. But is it just a large black cat and nothing else? There are a couple of very weird stories that suggest the Bodmin creature is actually not a big cat, after all. Or, bizarrely, we may be looking at two very different kinds of creature on the loose. Possibly even three.
Like the Beast of Exmoor, its Bodmin-based counterpart has been reported for years. Decades, in fact. So, if we're talking about flesh and blood animals there cannot be just one. In the same way there can't be one Nessie. Or one Ogopogo. Or one Bigfoot. Okay, you get it. Of course, that is assuming they're flesh and blood. Which I don't. There are indications that the Beast of Bodmin may be something more (or less) than many suggest. I have made my position clear (on numerous occasions) on the fact that I think the cryptids of our world are not just unknown animals. There's something much weirder going on, which brings me back to the Beast of Bodmin.
A number of years ago I had the opportunity to speak with a guy named Keith Fletcher, of Derby, England. He had a work colleague named Paul Randall who encountered something monstrous and bizarre on Bodmin Moor back in the late 1970s. As controversial as it surely sounds, the creature very much resembled Bigfoot of the United States. Since it quickly vanished into nothingness - in classic ghostly/spectral style - the hairy man-beast was clearly not a regular animal.
Now, if this was the only such case on record, we might be right to dismiss it. But it isn't. Marcus Matthews is a well-respected researcher of the Alien Big Cat phenomenon and the author of a very good 2007 book on the subject: Big Cats Loose in Britain. Marcus notes of strange events on Bodmin Moor: "I have learned from a relation that in the 1970s and 1980 there were always rumors of an escaped Orangutan ape in the area. Farmers coming home from the public houses were used to seeing a strange pair of eyes looking at them, and a hairy human-like figure disappearing quickly."
Bodmin Moor, which is approximately 80-square-miles in size, is a seriously wild, weird, and atmospheric place. It was home to Mesolithic hunters, and later became a place on which cairns and stone-circles became commonplace. Many of them can still be seen to this day. And it also happens to be home to a vanishing Bigfoot, an orangutan with strange eyes, and an Alien Big Cat? And all deep in the heart of stone circle country?
If you're comfortable believing that, fine. I, however, am not fine with it. Time and again I see reports of ABCs - such as the Beast of Bodmin - associated with other Fortean phenomena. And to the point that to view them as just large cats, and nothing else, is ridiculous. And, for the immediate future, that's my last word on the ABCs of the UK.