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East London Bigfoot?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2008

Dave McMann passes along a new East London, UK article about the sighting of an alleged Bigfoot/bear thing, with the headline “Is ‘Bigfoot’ on the loose in woods?”

Park officials have denied a Bigfoot-like creature is on the loose in Wanstead’s woods after a “strange and hairy” bear-like animal was spotted by a fisherman.

Trainee fitness instructor Michael Kent said he was “stunned” when he saw the “hairy, dark creature” during an evening fishing trip in the Hollow Ponds area of Epping Forest, on the border between Wanstead and Leytonstone.

Mr Kent, 18, said: “I was there with my dad and brother. I was walking over to where my brother was when I heard this rustling sound.

“I looked over and saw this strange, dark figure that resembled a bear. It was hunched over and I could see it had a really hairy back. I think it must have heard me and scampered off into the bushes after a couple of seconds.

“It was getting dark but I still managed to get a good look at it. It was about 4ft tall, so it was too small to be human, but not the right shape to be a deer, it didn’t have long legs or anything like that.

“I’ve been fishing in the area since I was five years old, and I’ve seen deer, dogs and even a cow before but never anything like this.

“It definitely looked like a bear. My dad and brother weren’t so sure they just laughed but I really do believe I saw one.”

He added: “It would be good if there bears around here because it would mean we’d have some other wildlife round here to enjoy, as long as they didn’t go around attacking people.

“I’m going to keep my eye out for it and perhaps i’ll see it again.”

But not everyone is convinced by the sighting.

Ian Greer, a park keeper in Wanstead’s Tarzy Woods said: “I doubt he saw a bear. The biggest animals we’ve got in the woods are foxes.

“Sometimes we get deer but there are no bears around here.”

When did it become fashionable to call every dark form in the woods a Bigfoot? Apparently whenever a newspaper wanted to.

Where does it become more realistic to think an animal in the forest might be a Bigfoot and not a bear? Apparently in England.

“strange and hairy bear-like animal”

“resembled a bear”

“hunched over”

“really hairy back”

“scampered off into the bushes”

“about 4 ft tall”

“definitely looked like a bear”

Duhd, it’s a bear, not a Bigfoot.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


6 Responses to “East London Bigfoot?”

  1. Kitsos responds:

    Capybara have been known to breed in the UK once they escaped and they do become quite large so it seems like a likely candidate. Coypu also have been known to escape Fur farms and breed but they rarely become larger than a meter or so. An escaped bear is a verrry far-fetched idea. Oh…and dogs aren’t exactly rare either heheheh.

  2. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Could it have been an escaped feral boar? I know there have been sightings of escaped swing sighted in the Chelmsford area and other locations around rural Essex (One confirmed sighting was in Great Leighs only around 16 miles from Hollow Ponds).

    As the Wild Boar was historically hunted to extinction in the UK during the early 18th centuary. As such people here are certainly not used to spotting/identifying them in the local woods.

    However there are more and more seemingly established populations formed from escaped farmed animals, which is not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, being they are originally a native!

  3. sausage1 responds:

    As a native Cockney let me tell you that there are no ‘woods’ in Wanstead within my ken. There is Wanstead park and Wanstead Golf Club, both of which boast squirrels and not much else due to being manicured to the nth degree.

    Possible culprits? Coypu (escaped from farms in Norfolk in the 60s), feral dog, or Essex girl with mange who missed the last bus home. Which offers the chance for a gag.

    Q What is the Essex Girl attachment on a Swiss Army Knife for?

    A to get her feet out of your steering wheel.

    “It’s the way I tell ‘em!”

  4. Alligator responds:

    Spring Heeled Jack redux? Or maybe the “Gray Man” has come down south from the Highlands?

    Nae, I’d say some well known animal which the witness saw briefly and misidentified. Consider his statement “I’ve seen deer, dogs and even a cow before but never anything like this.” That’s pretty limited experience for for observing any kind of animal or wildlife, which means a fox, badger or an escaped exotic could really throw him off.

  5. greatanarch responds:

    I thought bears had been extinct here for 1000 years? Unless we fall back on the old standby of an escapee from a zoo. Actually the hairy back and hunched-over posture give it away: it’s Essex man on his way home from a really rough night. Was it carrying a tekeaway curry?

  6. Strick responds:

    Yes, I don’t want to malign the lad, but Michael Kent doesn’t seem like the world’s foremost authority on the higher primates, which could possibly make him an expert on Essex girls with mange. I’m originally an Essex man myself, so it’s OK for me to pass judgement…

    A lot of people are freaked out to see all the Muntjac that we have running around in the woods these days. I realise they are tiny and look absolutely nothing like either a bear or a bigfoot, but they can be disconcerting for those who have never run in to mini-deer before. Especially the males with the pointy tusks. I vote porky Muntjac



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