Oct 22, 2022 I Brent Swancer

Bizarre Encounters with Truly Huge Hairy Giants in the Wilderness

One thing that remains mostly consistent throughout the Bigfoot phenomenon is that these creatures are really rather large. They are routinely reported as being 7 or 8 feet tall, cutting an imposing figure that would make anyone coming across them reel in terror at such an intimidating sight. Sometimes they have been reported as being a little larger, but for the most part 8 feet tall seems to be the norm. Yet peppered throughout such accounts we have some that describe such creatures that are far larger than the norm, looming over the landscape to make even the normal Bigfoot look puny, and here we will look at some reports of encounters with some truly immense hairy giants. 

An early example of a truly hairy giant has its roots at the mist-shrouded summit and passes of Scotland’s Ben Macdui, the highest peak of the Cairngorms and the second highest peak in the British Isles. Here there is said to lurk a truly enormous hairy beast called the Am Fear Liath Mòr, or alternately the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui or simply the Grey Man, which is said to stand over 10 feet tall and, depending on the report, up to a truly massive 30 feet tall, with dark skin and hair, long arms, and broad shoulders. The first recorded encounter with the Gray Man of Ben Macdui dates back to 1891, when noted scientist, mountaineer and explorer and member of the Royal Geographical Society J. Norman Collie was hiking near the summit of Ben Macdui. He would say of his encounter:

I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. Every few steps I took I heard a crunch, and then another crunch, as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself, this is all nonsense. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist. As I walked on and the eerie crunch, crunch sounded behind me, I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it, I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben Macdui and I will not go back there again.

This is common in reports of the Gray Man, with witnesses often reporting having been overcome with an inexplicable sense of dread, and the creature is rarely completely seen, often appearing as a giant shadowy figure in the mist or only heard. After Collie’s encounter was made public, many other mountaineers came forward with their own accounts of seeing or hearing the Gray Man over the decades, and one particularly interesting account comes from 1958, when naturalist and mountaineer Alexander Tewnion had quite the frightening experience, of which he would recount:

I spent a 10-day leave climbing alone in the Cairngorms. One afternoon, just as I reached the summit cairn of Ben MacDhui, mist swirled across the Lairig Ghru and enveloped the mountain. The atmosphere became dark and oppressive, a fierce, bitter wind whisked among the boulders, and... an odd sound echoed through the mist – a loud footstep, it seemed. Then another, and another... A strange shape loomed up, receded, came charging at me! Without hesitation I whipped out the revolver and fired three times at the figure. When it still came on I turned and hared down the path, reaching Glen Derry in a time that I have never bettered. You may ask was it really the Fear Laith Mhor? Frankly, I think it was.

What is the Gray Man of Ben MacDhui? Is it tall tales, an optical illusion, hallucinations, or something else? No one knows. Another early and harrowing report of some sort of hairy giant allegedly happened in October of 1894, in the Greater Mattawa River Region of Central Ontario, in Canada. On this day, an Indian/French Canadian hunter and guide going by the nickname of Little Jack was guiding a father and son from the Sears family of Chicago, Illinois, on a moose hunting expedition. As they paddled along the main trunk of the Mattawa River along the Ontario-Quebec border, the father and son requested to be taken to a lake deeper into remote territory, where they had heard there were a lot of trophy moose. Little Jack was hesitant to do so, as the Natives of the area and some other hunters had sometimes spoken of a “hairy giant” in the area, said to measure between 12 and 15 feet tall. They were just rumors, but it was enough to spook him a little, and yet he still agreed to take them there when the father offered more money. It was a decision he would live to regret.

When they reached the lake, Little Jack allegedly told them to not try to cross the lake, and that they should stay away from thickly wooded areas. He gave them very specific spots to stay at and kept a constant eye on them, the stories of hairy giants lurking in the back of his mind. At some point, the son supposedly broke the rules and began paddling across the lake, and Little Jack called out to warn him to stop even as he noticed a “large shape” looming through the trees, which he at first took to be a bull moose but would soon prove to be something altogether more bizarre. Little Jack frantically paddled out to intercept the boy, who was heading right towards what he still thought was a dangerous bull moose, but the Sears kid did not hear him, and pulled his canoe ashore. He then ventured into the trees, after which Little Jack heard several shots from a rifle and then silence.

Fearing the worst, Little Jack allegedly rushed as fast as he could toward the shore and that was when he saw the Sears boy come flying out of the woods in a terrified panic, looking like he’d seen a ghost, and right after him came crashing out of the tree line a truly monstrous beast, and it was no moose. It was described as an enormous hairy “ape man” standing at least 15 feet high and covered with dark hair. The monstrosity was soon upon the Sears kid, who it allegedly picked up off the ground and then proceeded to gruesomely twist his head clean off his shoulders with unbelievable power. Little Jack purportedly fired round after round at the beast to no effect, and as he did the creature apparently “held onto one of the deceased boy's legs and dragged his corpse off into the woods while holding his disembodied head in the other hand.” 

When Jack told the Sears father he was furious, and sought to track the monster and enact vengeance, but Little Jack convinced him that it was too dangerous and they instead headed for the nearest settlement for help. An armed search party would allegedly be launched to try and locate the boy’s body, and over the coming days they purportedly all heard “beastly screams and howls” out there in the wilderness. The only thing they would manage to find was the boy’s rifle, which had been seemingly twisted apart by something very powerful, but they were ultimately unable to find anything else and the search was called off due to concerns about their safety. It is not really clear what happened to Little Jack or Sears after this, and it is a pretty spectacular story, indeed. Did any of this really happen? The tale was apparently related by a trapper and hunting guide named Howard B. Leblank, who was told about the event by his father, who was a French-Canadian fur trapper, and who told it to the website Sasquatch Chronicles, and it is hard to know just what to make of it. 

From the years of World War II, there was an equally immense hairy giant reported from the Solomon Islands, which is an archipelago consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands spread out in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. The Solomon Islands experienced some of the fiercest fighting in World War II, and are most famous for the bloody Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942 and 1943, and it seems Japanese forces had more to contend with than allied soldiers on the Solomon Islands. While traversing the islands’ numerous remote, thick rain forests, the soldiers often reported coming across giant, hairy hominids ranging from 10 to 15 feet in height, and covered in long, brown to reddish brown hair, with prominent brows, flat noses, and wide mouths. The monstrous creatures had immense arms and were known on occasion to even brandish crude weapons such as clubs. It was reported that the giants were known to be quite aggressive and even attack on occasion. Several units described these fierce and terrifying beasts crashing through the foliage to ravage whole squads of soldiers, or snapping apart trees and branches in threatening displays of power. Bullets were said to have little effect on them and soldiers would on many occasions be kept awake by inhuman wailing from the dark as the strange behemoths wandered the night.

Indeed, the Solomon Islands have a long history of mysterious giants, and the local people are well aware of them. There is a rich tradition of folklore, as well as sightings and footprint evidence of giant hairy hominids on the islands that continue right up to the present day. What were these strange beasts? Who knows? From later years we have a report that comes from April of 1977, in the San Gabriel Mountains of California. On April 22 of that year, a Staff Sergeant Fred Wilson and two of his friends were at the Sycamore Flats Campground on a hunting expedition when they saw in the trees a massive hairy humanoid beast that stood around 15.5 feet high and had tan-colored hair, an oblong-shaped head, a flat nose, and notable canine teeth. The frightened men allegedly then fired at it with their rifles, which had little effect other than to enrage the beast, which came crashing towards them in a very threatening manner. The three terrified men then apparently ran to their nearby vehicle and tore out of there as fast as they could, just barely managing to evade the rampaging monster. The creature gave up after a short chase and sauntered off into the wilderness, and when authorities were called and arrived at the scene they allegedly found three-toed tracks measuring 21-inches long. Interestingly, other hunters and campers in the area would also claim to have seen the monster prowling the area at the time. What was this thing?

A more recent account from the Sasquatch Chronicles podcast supposedly happened to a witness called only “Wes,” who claims that he and his friends had been hunting in the mountains of Alaska at the time of the incident. He says that as they were out on the mountain they saw a “a very, very large man-like creature” that he claims stood 18 to 19 feet tall, was covered with hair, and which had what he called “tusk-like lower canines.” The witness claims that it was a “freaking giant,” and that they were lucky it was at some distance away and headed away from there. The encounter clearly shook him up quite a lot because he says it made him give up hunting for good. What to make of this account? From the site Cryptozoology News from 2014 we have truly bizarre report from the English countryside, of all places. The unnamed witness, identified as a 25-year-old student, was allegedly travelling home to London by train from a small town in the south of England. The trip had been pretty uneventful, boring even, until out of the trees stepped a giant creature “like an ogre” that stood around 11 or 12 feet high. The witness would say:

You have got to see it to believe it. I fell asleep a few times, I was zonked. When I wake up, the sun is almost down, I look through the window on my left and I thought I’d lost the plot. I see a three-meter-tall fat bloke running through the soggy fields, water up his knees. I was gobsmacked. I thought it was a person…until it got closer to the train. We were going at a very slow speed because of the surrounding water. It wasn’t a man. It was more like a trolI. I don’t know what that was but it had hair all over the body, and a bald face and chest. The eyes reminded me of a gorilla’s but it had long ears like a wolf, and short white horns. I wasn’t sure if I was still dreaming. 

A hairy giant in England or tall tale? One recent case supposedly occurred in the winter of 1996 at the Fruška gora mountain, in the Syrmia region of Serbia. Two men by the names of Vojvodina Sreta Spasovic, and Dejan Radulov were out on a hike in the wilderness here enjoying the nature, and on this day they decided not to follow the path they always used, but rather veture out into the woods off of the trail. They soon found that the woods were thicker than they had thought, and they decided to sit down and take a break, and that was when they heard the sound of loud breaking branches off somewhere in the sea of trees around them. They at first thought it must be a deer, and they decided to go off and investigate, hoping to see the animal. They soon came to a small clearing, but rather than a deer there was an immense, man-like beast covered in hair and standing an estimated 12 feet tall. Spasovic would say of what happened:

It was completely covered with thick, dark brown hair, and its hands were disproportionately big compared to his body and they reached almost down to his calves. It was hunch-backed, broad-shouldered and with a strong, short neck with a big head that resembled the head of a chimpanzee or an orangutan, but it was much wider and bigger. It had nothing but the strong, thick hairs on its body, but I did not manage to see whether it was a male or female. I could hardly resist screaming from fear, and when I looked at Dejan, I saw that he was pale with fear and that he was staring in the creature that stood on less than 50 meters away from us. We stood that way and stared at it for the whole eternity, when the creature suddenly noticed us. At seeing us, it screamed in a way that reminded me of the sound of a bear. I was frozen with fear thinking that it would attack us. But, on my surprise, the creature hurried to the edge of the clearing, and it disappeared into the woods at incredible speed. It is almost improbable that such a big creature is capable of moving so fast and in such an agile way. 

Although they were startled and scared, Spasovic wanted to follow it and get a better look at the mysterious beast, but his friend was too terrified to go. After some amount of convincing, he managed to get Dejan’s curiosity to overcome his fear, and so they stalked off into the trees to look for the thing. Spasovic would describe what happened next:

I was persistent, and in the end, Dejan accepted to follow this unusual and unbelievable creature, though, unwillingly. I was frightened of course, but my curiosity was stronger than any fear. We headed towards the place from which the creature went into the woods, and we saw the trails there. They were clear, and it was visible that this creature had a thumb and four toes on his foot. I was definitely convinced that it was a man-like creature, not a wild animal as it might have seemed to us because of our fear. We continued through the woods, we followed the trails, and now and then we heard crackling of the branches in front of us. Every time the noise was quieter and quieter, so we concluded that it was running away from us. We felt relief when we realized that it was scared of us the same as we were of him, but anyway it was useful to be cautious. 

At one moment we did not hear any noises, but we could still follow the trails. I was looking at my compass and I saw that the creature was constantly moving towards north-east. After a few kilometres there were no trails. We searched the district thoroughly looking for the trails, but we found nothing. It seemed as if the creature had disappeared in the ground, or as if it had got wings and flew away. We were so confused that we spent next few hours thoroughly searching the area, hoping to find its den, or at least a trail that could lead us further. But all our efforts were in vain. We could not find a trail or a hint that there was its den or hiding place. We spent the whole next day wandering around the woods between Zmajevac and Jastrebac, but we had not seen either the creature or its trails. We were coming back to the same place during the next few weekends, but our search had no results. Maybe it is better that way, since I had the impression that this creature was not aggressive at all, and that it had only wanted to be left alone.

In all of these accounts we are dealing with creatures that are much larger than is commonly reported in Bigfoot sightings reports, big enough to make them truly anomalous and to have them stand out as particularly odd. We are left to wonder what might be behind such reports. Are they just outsized Bigfoot, just extra large specimens demonstrating that these creatures can come in large and smaller sizes just as humans can? Are they something else, beyond the Bigfoot phenomenon? Or is there anything to this at all other than tall tales and overactive imaginations? Whatever the case may be, if you think Bigfoot are big, then they have nothing on these guys, and as cases continue to come in we can likely expect to see some of these strange reports crop up from time to time. 

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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