I will be the very first to admit that the following account reads far more like a tall story, or an outrageous hoax, than it does of reality; and that’s wording it mildly. I am relating the words of the claimed witness, whose account was provided, anonymously to me, in 2001, close to twenty years ago. It begins as follows: “I am a forester in North Wales, living for much of my time in a remote mountain bothy in Snowdonia. A bothy is a small mountain hut, and there’s nothing I like more than to spend some quality time on my own, amongst the hills and nature. Over the years, I have received many reports of sightings of an extremely unusual creature, a ‘monstrous beast,’ as one visitor called it. This has puzzled me for a long time, and I became determined to seek out this beast for myself. It was while searching on the internet that I came across the British Beast on your website, and the thought occurred to me that maybe there is a population of these beasts spread across Britain.
“I have spent the last month or two preparing for an expedition base from my mountain bothy. The authorities refuse to give us any support, thinking that we are all crackpots. However, me and a group of colleagues managed to pull together enough resources to mount the expedition, which has just finished. I am afraid our success was limited, and there is much still to do but we did see the creature for ourselves. It attacked our camp one night, and much of our equipment was damaged. It was at least ten feet high, and stood on two legs. It seemed to be more bear-like than ape-like, it seemed to be investigating our camp when a dog we had with us tried to attack it. There followed a few minutes of absolute terror, as the beast was clearly quite distressed by our invasion, and sought an escape from what must have been a confusing situation. It was fortunate that no one was injured, and we are fairly sure that the beast is not inherently dangerous to people.”
A second email, received a couple of weeks later, also in anonymous fashion, reads as follows: “We have returned to the campsite twice since the incident, to try and salvage what we could. One important point is that the beast could definitely not have been a bear, from a behavioral point of view; the only time a bear stands on two legs is to sniff the air, but this animal was rampaging about on two legs. We feel it is also vital to point out that the beast was in no way aggressive, but merely felt threatened by our presence. All of our camera equipment had been damaged beyond repair, and the terrain there is mostly rock, scree and heather, so there were no tracks etc. We have spent many hours trying to piece together what we would consider to be a fairly accurate description of the beast’s appearance, bearing in mind we have been unable to rely on photographic evidence.
“The beast was roughly ten feet tall, when standing on two legs and gave off a strong, musky type of smell. It had dark brown hair, probably fur, and massive hands. Its eyes appeared to be red in color, and we could really sense the fear which the poor beast was enduring. For most of the time we were ducked down behind some rocks, and the campfire smoke was making it keep a fair distance away. It did attack our tent though, tearing through the sides. It was a dull and gloomy day, so when we began to take photos, the flash naturally went off. This really frightened it, and it began to head for us. So we ran off and were forced to leave the camera on its tripod. Alas, the beast picked it up and threw it against the rocks. We feel that this bizarre animal is indeed very intelligent, and eagerly await some finer weather before embarking on another expedition. This disaster has not deterred us, and preparations are being made for next time. People are calling it the ‘Brecon Beacon Beast,’ despite it being nowhere near there. The local press seem to go for any excuse for a good alliteration!”
All attempts to trace the story to its original source, and to secure further commentary from the writer, resulted in nothing but overwhelming silence and a suspiciously – and suddenly – invalid email address. My view on all this? A hoax. There’s no doubt in my mind at all. As I noted in my book Wildman, I discuss the matter of the “British Bigfoot” at length (a creature that is clearly paranormal in nature). While I do believe there is a mystery to solve when it comes to the “British Bigfoot,” this story does nothing but complicate things.