Feb 27, 2022 I Nick Redfern

UFOs and the “British Bigfoot” – Mystery and Controversy

Regardless of what people may personally feel or conclude about the "British Bigfoot-UFO" connection, none can deny that when we go looking for places in Britain where both enigmas have been seen and encountered, there's certainly no shortage of stories to address. A number of sightings of the Man-Monkey of the U.K.'s Shropshire Union Canal - seen in 1879 at a nearby bridge - were made in the nearby village of Ranton. The spectral beast is still seen there. It so happens that, back in the 1950s, Ranton was the site of a famous - but now largely forgotten - UFO encounter. Researcher Gavin Gibbons wrote in 1957 that one October evening in 1954, a Dutchman living in England named Tony Roestenberg returned home to find his wife, Jessie, ‘in a terrified state’. According to Jessie: earlier that day nothing less than a flying saucer hovered over their isolated farmhouse in Ranton. In addition, Jessie could see peering down from the craft two very "Nordic"-like men that could have stepped right out of the pages of the controversial Desmond Leslie-George Adamski tome, Flying Saucers Have Landed. Their foreheads were high, their hair was long and fair, and they seemed to have 'pitiful' looks on their faces. The strange craft reportedly circled the family’s home twice, before streaking away. Curiously, on the following Sunday, Tony Roestenberg had a "hunch" that if he climbed on the roof of his house "he would see something unusual,"which he most certainly did. It was a high-flying, cigar-shaped object that vanished into the clouds. Gavin Gibbons, who investigated the case personally, stated: "When I visited the Roestenberg's house almost three weeks after the sighting…Jessie Roestenberg appeared. She seemed highly strained and nervous and her husband, coming in later, was also very strained. It was evident that something most unusual had occurred." Moving ahead...

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(Nick Redfern) The British Bigfoot: A True Enigma

Castle Ring, Staffordshire - from where a number of significant Bigfoot-type reports have surfaced - also has longstanding link to UFO activity. Graham Allen, former head of the now-defunct Etchinghill, Rugeley-based Staffordshire UFO Group, and who had taken over the reins from the group’s founder, Irene Bott, several years earlier, said in 2005: "Castle Ring is the highest point on the [Cannock] Chase which makes it a good place for UFO spotting. There have been numerous incidents of UFOs, which could be because you are more likely to see something from a high point." Allen elaborated that with respect to unearthly encounters at Castle Ring: "‘There have been reports of something landing there in the 1960s. From a research point of view there are a high number of reports around ancient sites. One argument could be that ancient sites have been located there because of the incidents of UFOs and natural phenomenon. There could be locations where there could be magnetic influences in the ground which have been attributed to earth lights." Then there is the Shug Monkey of Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk - that also happens to be the site of what is undeniably Britain's most famous UFO encounter: that of December 1980. And, to illustrate still further the UFO-hairy man connection, just down the road, so to speak, from Rendlesham Forest is the town of Orford - home to a legendary wild man caught in the seas off the coast of Orford centuries ago. Now, we come to the strangest UFO-British Bigfoot case I have on record.

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(Nick Redfern) Castle Ring: Something in the Woods

In 1968,a man named Alistair Baxter headed up to Loch Ness and spent a handful of weeks with a camera and binoculars quietly and carefully monitoring the loch for any unusual activity of the long-necked and humped variety. Baxter never did see the elusive beast of Loch Ness, but he was able to speak with numerous people who had seen it. After being at the loch-side almost constantly for five weeks, however, an unusual event occurred. Baxter was awoken in the middle of the night by a curious humming sound that was emanating from a bright, small, ball of light about the size of a football that - at a height of around fifteen feet from the ground - was slowly and carefully making its way through the surrounding trees that enveloped Baxter’s modestly sized tent. Suddenly, and without warning, the ball of light shot into the sky to a height of several hundred feet and hovered in deathly silence over the still waters of Loch Ness. For reasons that Baxter was at a loss to explain, he felt an overwhelming urge to go back to sleep and the next thing he knew it was daybreak. But the strangeness had barely begun.

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(Nick Redfern) Sinister and Creepy

Shortly after breakfast three men in black suits appeared outside of Baxter’s tent seemingly out of nowhere and proceeded to ask him if he had seen anything unusual during the night. He replied that he hadn't, at which point one of the three men turned to his two colleagues and made what Baxter said was ‘a strange smile’. He turned to face Baxter. "We might return," said one of the mysterious men in black and all three departed by simply walking off into the woods. They never did return. Most interesting: for the following three nights, Baxter had a recurring and frightening dream of a large and lumbering ape-man that paced outside of his tent and that would then head down to the shores of the loch, whereupon, under a star-lit sky, it would tilt its head back, wail loudly and stand staring at the ink-black water. The dream would always end the same way: with an image of a huge and ominous atomic mushroom cloud exploding in the distance, and the beginning of the Third World War and the end of civilization.

I can't say I understand all of this. I certainly don't. All I can say, for sure, about the controversy of the British Bigfoot - and it's UFO connection - is that it's real.

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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