Jul 10, 2020 I Nick Redfern

“Ghostly Phenomena Rather Than Natural Animals”: Britain’s Enigmatic Sasquatch

My previous article was on Neil Arnold's research into the British Bigfoot. In a follow-up interview I did with Neil, I explains to me why he believes the strange creatures are not flesh-and-blood animals, but something much stranger. Neil says of Bigfoot in the part of England in which he resides (the county of Kent): "A majority of things I investigate - i.e. big cats - are real animals, but sometimes I receive reports of creatures which clearly cannot exist, such as British 'wild men,' hairy, bipedal creatures with glowing eyes. These creatures are not zoologically, biologically, scientifically possible. And so they are either the product of hoax, misinterpretation, or some obscure manifestation connected to the witness or the layout of the land. The inconsistent nature of the British Bigfoot, Neil believes, "...suggests a paranormal entity of sorts rather than elusive flesh and blood creature. I believe this is exactly the same for the rest of Britain - and it's important to analyze this from an angle beyond flesh and blood, scientific possibility - because the theory that these 'British Bigfoot'-type creatures are 'real' is absurd, and probably more absurd than suggesting they are ethereal," says Neil, who adds: "I've never seen a ghost, and I believe it takes a certain type of person to see a spirit, demon, etc. I think we need to look at the witness before we start trying to find where these wild men are living."

Neil does not, however, rule out the possibility that at least some of the Earth’s mysterious man-beasts might be of definitively flesh and blood origins, however: "I’m of the opinion that what we know as Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest, or the Yeti in the Himalayas, could be a flesh and blood, yet undiscovered, species of upright walking ape. This certainly seems the case with the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, which has been seen by zoologists, such as Debbie Martyr. However, Britain cannot, does not, and never will, harbor a species of ape - known or unknown. It's important to eliminate certain theories and details before we start saying such things are real or not. There’s not a shred of evidence for ghosts and there will never be a shred of evidence to support the English 'wild man,' except for those occasional startling eyewitness reports. As we know, not everyone is genuine, but there are people out there who are genuine and very sure that what they’ve seen is not down to a hoax or misinterpretation."

"Each year, since the early ‘80s," Neil expands, "I receive one or two reports that defy description or zoology. And, in most cases, witnesses seem genuine in what they've experienced: A creature between six and eight feet tall, covered in hair, muscular, bipedal, and having glowing yellow or red eyes. In some cases, these could be down to people dressed up, but the majority seem to suggest something unexplained." Neil makes a comment that squarely sums up his position on the entire controversy: "There’s not one report, in my opinion, pertaining to U.K. wild men that could suggest a real, flesh and blood creature. The U.K. could not support a colony of apes, let alone an undiscovered species of upright walking ape or unknown form of man. Like ghosts, the U.K. wild men reports seem to be more connected to the human psyche, or are the product of misinterpretation,  or have deep-rooted connection to the land."

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Real or cutout?

Adding further (and final) commentary on this matter, Neil says: "Jonathan Downes categorized such figures as 'zooforms' - spiritual entities that have animal characteristics. This obscure category has been vital in collating unexplained creatures which clearly do not fit into zoological or cryptozoological types. Hell-hounds, ghostly animals, mothmen and other winged humanoids, and British wild men, are zooform phenomena, possible demonic apparitions that have existed for centuries, but rarely taken seriously." Neil signs off as follows: "Such entities have now become part of modern folklore like the dragons, harpies, centaurs, satyrs, etc., of old. These are not flesh and blood animals, but no doubt belong in the same melting pot as fairies, elementals and the like. This doesn’t mean such things do not exist - but they simply do not exist as viable flesh and blood creatures in the woods. Weird things are seen in the woods, oceans, lakes and skies of the world. It’s as if we, as a race, put them there, but as a zoological form they are invalid. Whilst in a few rare cases a gorilla or monkey may escape into the wilds of the U.K., the reports from all over the U.K. suggest that such wild men are more akin to ghostly phenomena rather than natural animals."

Nick Redfern

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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