A Life Changing Experience Camping in the Pentland Hills, 2011

Hi Deborah,

First of all thank you for allowing me to share my experience. What follows is my true account of what happened to myself and my friend Andy in late August early September of 2011.

I have attached two images one is a map of Bonaly with a RED X marking the camping spot and the other is a picture of the reservoir with a RED x marking the camping spot there.

My Encounter:

Late August early September 2011

I’ve been an avid camper most of my adult life and I have a small group of close friends that I go into the Pentland hills with, we usually go to the south of Edinburgh in the, ‘Green Belt’ but on this occasion it was just me and my mate Andy.   The focus of the trip was to get to our camping spot (just North East of Bonaly Reservoir) and enjoy the very rare warm weather and have a couple of cans, a fire, some good food and enjoy being in nature for a few days.

The hike from the bus stop in Bonaly is quite arduous as you are climbing several hundred feet in all around 2 miles,  we had two full packs each full of gear and supplies which took well over 2 hours as neither of us are very fit.  We got up to our usual spot around 7 pm, our camping spot is to the left of the public foot path heading south west through the hill range (about 250 yards from the path) and we always camp in the same place right at the end of the tree line which is down a man made embankment. This spot is great because there is little wind and there is a small stream for fresh water, directly to the South is the start of a very dense Pine Forest which is pitch black even in the height of daylight, to the South West it is open land that leads to a very scenic and beautiful Reservoir which is surrounded by Pine trees. To the North West there is a very small Pine forest which I would estimate is only around 2 hectares and at the bottom of this area is where we set up camp.

We both have one man tents which we set around 3 meters apart with the entrances facing one and other, we gathered fire wood from the forest floor using dead dry wood and built a fire about 5 meters due south west of the camp (So embers wouldn’t set fire to our tents).  After having a couple of cans and some food it was already starting to get dark and we had planned to get up early and walk up to the triangulation pillar to watch the sun rise (which neither of us had done before), the time was around 9:30 pm. We shut the camp site down and entered our tents and with a hot drink each in hand, we chatted about life and how much we enjoy nature for about an hour.  By this time it was dark but the dull glow of the fire provided a small amount of light, I didn’t bother hanging a torch in my tent but Andy did, he then decided he would read for a bit and I was so tired I decided to just get some sleep. Andy left his tent wide open, bug screen and all, but I closed my tent off completely and turned over to go to sleep.

Only around 5 minutes had passed since I turned over to get some sleep when a very strange sensation started to come over me, it wasn’t tiredness more like a light weightlessness (here’s where things get weird). My mind was yanked out of my body (like some giant vacuum cleaner had sucked me out) and I found myself floating about 12 feet above my tent looking down. This was an incredibly unsettling experience and from investigations I have done since, this is called, ‘an involuntary out of body experience’.

As I was floating there my attention was drawn to the dense Pine tree Forest to the South West of the camp, where this very tall dark figure started to emerge from the tree line. I remember thinking to myself, “What the fXXX is going on!”. I watched this massive thing walk straight passed the fire and walked right between the two tents and into the small pine forest to the North East only about 50 yards from our camp.  My mind/awareness was yanked again being pulled in the direction that this creature was going.  At this point I was filled with a mixture of dread, confusion and curiosity, the creature walked into the tree line and I followed. When in the small pine forest I watched this figure walk another 50 yards and come to a stop ( I kind of floated down so I was about 10 feet away from it mid torso). The figure/creature turned around and looked straight at me completely silent and still.

It was difficult to tell scale but it looked massive, but not bulky more athletically  built, all covered in black hair (so black) the facial features where hard to make out, but it had a cone shaped head and deep set black eyes. It stood on 2 legs and had very long arms. I don’t know why I did this but I tried to reach out to it for some reason and I saw my hand stretch out in front of me and move towards its chest.  As I moved closer I focused where my hand was going and looked nowhere else. My hand touched its chest and I could feel it’s coarse thick hair and I looked up and into its eyes and it stared straight back into mine, and I didn’t feel afraid anymore. There was an overwhelming sense of peace that seemed to move right through me and at that moment I was sucked back into my body (like I had been shot through a gun).

Before I go any further it’s important to say I realise that this sounds fXXXXng nuts and if it wasn’t for what happened next I would have just brushed it off as a crazy dream.

When I came back into my body I snapped back to consciousness, I was soaking with a cold sweat and to my utter surprise my mate Andy was shouting and screaming in his tent. I quickly opened up my tent to make sure he was OK and what I saw was a wreck of a man staring back at me. He was white as a ghost and said to me, “Did you just see that thing just walk straight through our fXXXXng camp man?!?!” It was at this moment I realised that I had not been dreaming and that’s when the panic set in. We have never vacated a camp site so quickly in our lives and we where down that hill in record breaking time……..

We talked very briefly about what happened when we got back to Bonaly, but when I told him what happened to me he lost his shXt and just about had a break down. After that day I have never been back and Andy and I have never spoken again……

So there you have it Deborah, like I said not your usual encounter I would guess. If you need anymore info please let me know

Many Thanks

Garry Richards


  1. Hi,

    I’m a U.K. armchair Bigfoot enthusiast. I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands, of encounter accounts (Mostly from USA or Canada) a few from the U.K. But this one is pretty special. As it includes an OOB encounter. It is so well described too! It seems almost incredible that such creatures could survive almost unseen in this country. But this encounter story will stick in the mind!

    1. Thank you so much Michael,, If your looking for a read between posts, there is a map attached that has every report I have ever taken. And I agree if we can make it easier for people to share their story’s regardless of whether they “fit the mould” as such, we will never find all the answers, we need to know all of puzzle pieces i think. Il pass on to Gary your kind regards. Thank you. Deborah

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