As a follow-up to my latest article on recent sightings of wolves in England, I thought I would share with you a story that came my way – around 10 or 11 years ago – from a man named Terry Baxter, of the city of Birmingham, England. Terry had an interest – a very big interest – in exotic and out-of-place animals seen throughout the U.K. His story may have a bearing on the tales of those wolves that are being seen right now. Terry had an intriguing theory to explain why some people were seeing unlikely animals in their midst, and why other people were seemingly dumping exotic animals in the waters all across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He didn’t doubt that such actions are overwhelmingly reckless, however. And, I fully agreed with him: letting wild animals loose in deep ponds on a nice sunny day during a hot English summer might seem a good idea at the time. But, when autumn and winter arrive, the creatures are unlikely to survive for very long at all – which is precisely why what became known as the “Cannock Crocodile” was so active in the summer of 2003, but sadly vanished forever as the English weather got worse and colder.
But, Terry was not of the opinion that ignorant, stupid people were simply dumping these beasts because they had grown too large, and vicious, to handle. In other words, this wasn’t the work of inexperienced owners simply getting rid of their increasingly aggressive pets. Rather, Terry claimed second-hand knowledge of a group in the Midlands – and what sounded like a distinctly shadowy group, too – that was “very Fortean” in its nature, beliefs and pursuits. He felt that the group was trying, albeit in a somewhat unwise and skewed way, to “make Britain mysterious again.” Somewhat puzzled, I asked him to clarify what he meant by that. Terry replied that, in centuries-past, Britain was packed with legends of strange beasts of all manner. But that, today, he added: “…all we’ve got left are big-cats, and even Nessie has gone off the radar.” Well, I wouldn’t say it’s quite that black-and-white and simplistic, but he did have a point!
So, according to “certain information” Terry claimed to have acquired, there were – and still are, he said – people in the West Midlands and Staffordshire trying to turn back the clocks on the sterile concrete jungle, and create modern-day mysteries of a “water-monster” variety, specifically by introducing exotic animals to certain parts of the British Isles. As Terry put it: “They want to see legends developing of the ‘Great Serpent of Cannock;’ or the ‘Giant Fish of Birmingham,’ really so that the old stories and legends will live again and England will be magical and mysterious again.” Whether Terry is right or not is moot. But, there’s no doubt at all that we have indeed seen regular dumping of exotic animals in the waters of central England for years. I don’t support these actions, at all, not do I think it’s a good idea in the slightest. But, as a theory – and one based on what Terry claims is second-hand testimony from a source with some knowledge of this situation – I can’t rule out the possibility that this is precisely what is going on and why.
Why do I buy into Terry’s story? I’ll tell you. Chiefly because there have been sightings of undeniably wild creatures in and around the very areas Terry spoke of. Giant snakes have been seen in the canals of the aforementioned city of Birmingham. Encounters with what were very likely Snapping Turtles, too. And there are tales of massive eels lurking in the waters of the West Midlands. Perhaps it was – and still is – Terry’s mysterious friends who were responsible for the reasons why we’re seeing so many creatures in the U.K. that simply should not be here.