Big Grey Man Film: Broken Spectre

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 9th, 2010

Big Grey Man

The above is Harry Trumbore’s drawing of the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui in The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates.

The BBC News is informing us of this one:

The myth of the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui is to be made into a movie by an amateur film company.

Carrbridge Films is run by young people from the Cairngorms National Park.

The Big Grey Man is said to haunt the Cairngorms, but sightings are linked to walkers’ reflections being cast on low cloud.

To raise £2,500 for a new camera, Carrbridge Films has offered sponsors “perks” such as roles as associate producers.

Director Fergus Thom, 18, said the project was one of the company’s most ambitious.

Inspiration for the film, called Broken Spectre, include an account from Prof Norman Collie in the late 1800s.

He claimed to have been “seized with terror” when followed by an unseen creature while descending Ben MacDhui.

Mr Thom said: “We’re all very excited to be embarking on another big project and look forward to getting out and about and capturing all the wonderful locations we have on our doorsteps.

“Having said this, we also have a lot of work ahead of us to prepare the plot and screenplay.”

The group hope to complete the film by early next year.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Big Grey Man Film: Broken Spectre

  1. fmurphy1970 responds:

    Interesting to hear about this film. I live not to far from here and holiday regularly in Cairngorms National Park, but have yet to hear a first hand account of Grey Man encounter by locals or visitors. The area is a complete wilderness, with large forests at the base of the mountains. The mountains rise to heights of 4,000 feet and the area is known as a habitat for some very rare species, some which are threatened by extinction; (i.e. Scottish wildcat, Scottish crossbill, Pine Marten).
    I am in possession of a rare book ‘The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui’ by Affleck Gray, Lochar Press. It contains a number of witness accounts and background to the myth, including Prof Collie’s account. It is hard to give an opinion without more evidence, and in my observation there is only one account in the book which reports a physical creature. Others have reported huge footprints in the snow, and some have heard strange unidentified animal sounds. Could it be a relict hominid species? The Gaelic name for the creature, ‘Fear Liath Mor’, points to a tradition predating Prof Collie’s encounter, and it seems to have been known locally for several centuries. Britain has old traditions of the Woodwose, ‘man of the woods’, and stories can be found throughout Britain and Europe regarding these. In more recent years, there have been reports of ‘bigfoot’ type creatures in Scandanavian countries, which are on a similar latitiude to norther Scotland.
    Look forward to seeing this new film’s take on the story.

  2. Kopite responds:

    Cool. This could be interesting. Many times myself I’ve stomped around the Cairngorms, from Rothiemurchus forest, through the Lairig Ghru and up to ol’ Ben Macdui itself. Never saw or heard anything though and never really got a sense of anything out of the ordinary there. I have always suspected the Big Grey Man myth to be wild imagination but still, it’s a fascinating legend to have in those parts. It’s not really well known outside the area though, unlike Nessie, so this film could bring some attention to it.

  3. tropicalwolf responds:

    Independent = maybe these kids can get it RIGHT. Best of luck to them.

  4. Kopite responds:

    fmurphy1970 wrote:

    “”Could it be a relict hominid species””

    I’m surprised you proposed that seeing as you seem very familiar with the Cairngorms area. There just isn’t the room or dense forest for anything like that to exist and hide in that locale. Rotheimurchus Forest and Glenmore Forest are small and not dense at all. The rest of the area is mostly open terrain. Nothing like that could remain hidden in that area. It’s certainly not like the PNW of North America.

  5. alanborky responds:

    Ooh, you’re a bad lad, Loren Coleman – I took ‘Broken Spectre’ to mean someone’d ‘debunked’ it.

    ‘Oy, Kopite, (an’ I’m presuming here ‘Kop’ alludes to our mutual spiritual home, Anfield, [which ain’t that far from ours]), you’re takin’ a big risk comin’ out with lines like, “I have always suspected the Big Grey Man myth to be wild imagination”.

    Given current events, some Old Traffordite could sneer, “Ye’, like the myth LFC’s got a future!”

  6. BoyintheMachine responds:

    The Grey Man is sometimes said to appear as a bigfoot-like creature, but to claim the Grey Man is bigfoot is to ignore the actual legends of the Grey Man. The Grey Man also appears as a shadow, a bearded-man with a cloak of fog that obscures his body, or else fog that behaves as if it is alive. Not only can the Grey Man appear in many forms, but he has supernatural powers.

    The Grey Man is a spirit being or fairy. He might have began as a pagan weather god associated with fog and mist.

    The Grey Man

  7. fmurphy1970 responds:

    Appreciate comments Kopite.
    By posing the question ‘Could this be a relict hominid species?’, I was not giving an answer yes, merely opening up a possibility as remote as it may seem.
    Other things to consider are an account from mid 1990’s of an encounter with a walking ape-like creature on the eastern side of the Cairngorm Mountains. A couple of men were driving down a forest road when an incredibly strong and muscular creature fitting this description started running alongside the vehicle going at about 20mph. The creature stayed with them for a while before running into the forest. A few years ago there was a report by some students from Aberdeen University who were walking through forests again on the eastern side of the Cairngorms and believed that something resembling a gorilla was watching them from the woods.
    Certainly in lower Rothiemurchus, dense woodland is patchy, but I know of no reports of the Grey Man from that area. Most reports come from Ben MacDhui and from higher altitudes where there are barely any trees at all, and from the eastern side of the mountains. It’s also worth considering that areas of the Himalayas where the Yeti has been reported do not have dense woodland, and you have to wonder why that creature is not seen more often.
    I also think that legends and traditions that describe phenomena in spiritual or paranormal ways, should not necessarily be written off as bunkum. After all, the waterhorse and waterbull, of highland legend bares a close resemblance to descriptions of Nessie. Also Sasquatch is often described in these terms in Native American legend.
    I’m not saying the Grey Man is real, only trying to consider the available evidence.

  8. carrbridgefilms responds:

    Hello all,
    Thanks for the mention of our film and for all the comments.
    Our website for the film can be found at

  9. Kopite responds:


    Hehe, but the Old Traffordites have their own problems right now so they can’t throw stones LOL


    Interesting reply thanks. I had never heard of these two relatively recent incidents that you alluded to, especially the one in the 1990s. I’ll see if I can find out more. I used to hike and camp in the Cairngorms almost on a yearly basis in the 1990s and never heard of that account. Most of my info comes from Affeck Grey’s book and from what he wrote the Big Grey Man legend seems more of a spectre/weird presence.

    I really don’t think there is enough reports for anything flesh and blood to be there. Surely if there was something there then there would be far more reports and as I said before, the lack of suitable terrain kind of pre cludes it in my opinion. It’s not the PNW.

    As for the Yeti, it is thought that when they are sighted high up on uncovered and open mountain terrain it is due to them moving from point a to point b from valley to valley and they would really ‘live’ more in the forests, which are adundant and thick at the lower altitudes. That’s where the unidentified hair from Bhutan was found, in the lower forest.

  10. MattBille responds:

    It’s very doubtful there is a cryptozoological creature in this legend, but the atmospherics of the tale are wonderful. You could make a very good film out of the idea that this is a creature from another time, flesh and blood but with some mystical attributes, the very last of a line that inspired the giant legends all over Europe.

  11. Kopite responds:


    I looked and looked but I can find no mention online regarding the alleged sighting in the 1990s and the more recent one. Do you have any specific names, dates and locations or even just more details? Thanks.

    PS)I was under the impression that the eastern Cairngorms are pretty much devoid of much forested areas.

  12. wuffing responds:

    The thread title is perhaps a little misleading; as the Carrbridge link suggests, trying googling for images of “Brocken Spectre”, with c in each word. No hairy monsters here folks – but strange atmospheric images for sure.

    Good Luck with the film! W

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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