My previous article was on the Trickster phenomenon – something that can be friendly, manipulative, or downright dangerous. I focused on the coyote, the Djinn, the Kitsune, birds, fish and more. Now and again, however, I have a nagging feeling that what is known as “The British Bigfoot” falls into this particularly category, too. First and foremost, it’s important to note there is simply no way – at all – that six-to-eight-foot-tall, hairy creatures can live in the U.K. It’s just not possible. But, here’s the weird thing about it all: people do see them, and on a fairly regular time-frame. They look just like the American Bigfoot, China’s equivalent (the Yeren), and Australia’s Yowie. They’re all large apes. The big difference with the U.K. Bigfoot, however, is that creature is quite clearly supernatural. Its never seen eating food or drinking water. Sightings are often made in the vicinity of ancient stone circles and other ancient created, millennia-old formations. People report strange phenomena around them – something I’ll come to soon. I could go on and on and discuss numerous cases that show that the British Bigfoot is far more supernatural than flesh-and-blood. However, I’m going to share with you just one such story, and for one reason: it contains some of the aspects that appear in Trickster-based events.
In the early 2000s, much of England found itself in the grip of a wave of bizarre stories of Sasquatch-type creatures. Jon Downes, the director of the Center for Fortean Zoology – and a good friend to me – was at the forefront of those investigations. The location was Bolam in Northumberland, England. Jon, to this very day, well remembers the strange events that went down in that period. Jon told me: “After arriving on-site, a veritable wave of paranormal chaos erupted in the direct vicinity of Bolam Lake. Although we had tested all of our electronic equipment the night before, had charged up batteries where necessary, and had even put new batteries in all of our equipment that needed them, practically without exception all of our new equipment failed. The laptop, for example, has a battery, which usually lasts between 20 and 35 minutes. It lasted just three minutes before failing. Admittedly, we received an enormous number of telephone calls during our stay at the lake, but not anywhere near enough to justify the fact that we had to change handsets four times in as many hours. The batteries in our tape-recorders also failed. It seems certain that there was some strange electromagnetic phenomenon at work here.”
It’s important that I step in now, as Trickster-based reports often parallel much of what Jon said. For example, Tricksters will drain electric from devices and equipment, as Jon noted. We’re talking about laptops, batteries, lights and so on. Jon’s words were typical of what one can get when you’re in the midst of a Trickster. Back to Jon: “We met with a witness, named Neil, who had been fishing at Bolam Lake one night four or five years previously. Together with two companions he had been making his way back to the car-park when they encountered a huge, dark, man-shaped object about seven to eight feet in height with what he described as sparkling eyes. The three fishermen did not stop to investigate but ran back to the car. However, this was by no means the only encounter that Neil had reported to us. Together with one of his companions from the first adventure, he had again been night fishing at Bolam Lake during the summer of 2002. They had been camped out on this occasion, and had heard noises, which they assumed were from an enormous animal moving around in the bushes outside of their camp. Deciding that discretion was most definitely the better part of valor, they decided not to investigate any further; but when they broke camp the next morning they found that the fish they had stored in a bait-tin had been taken, and there were distinct signs that something very large had been lumbering around in the immediate vicinity.”
Problems with the electric
As the investigation came to its close, and as the dark skies of winter closed in, something extraordinary and menacing occurred at Bolam Lake, as Jon explained to me: “At about half-past-four, one of the members of Twilight Worlds [a research group that accompanied Jon to the area] reported seeing something large, human-shaped and amorphous in the woods directly in front of the car-park. As the dusk gathered at about 5 o’clock, we again heard the raucous noise of the crows that he had reported just before dawn. Suddenly, once again, they fell silent and one of the Twilight Worlds members shouted that she could hear something large moving around among the undergrowth. All of the car-drivers present were ordered to switch on their headlights and to put them on full-beam. We did not hear any noise in the undergrowth; although other people present did. Eight people were watching the woods and five of us saw an enormous man-shaped object run from right to left, disappear, and then a few moments later run back again.” The most amazing aspect of the encounter, however, was that the hulking, racing thing was shadow-like, and utterly lacking in any sort of 3-D substance. But, even so, still some form of mystifying entity in its very own right. The bizarre event was over in an instant.”
It’s intriguing that the “creature” should have appeared right at the time that Jon and his team were checking out the area. What are the chances of that? Not much! As I see it, this was a classic Trickster situation. And the beast was seen precisely where Jon just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Or, more likely, Jon was manipulated by a Trickster to see the site and the “thing.” The British Bigfoot exists. There’s no doubt of that, at all. It’s not an animal, however. It’s much weirder than that. As are all Tricksters!