A Wildman Eating – Leigh Woods, Somerset, August 17th, 2015

BRISTOL, United Kingdom — A Bristol resident says he witnessed an ape-like creature as it ate a piece of food with what he believes were improvised eating utensils. 58-year-old Harry, a retired man in Somerset County, who provided a last name but chose to remain anonymous, told Cryptozoology News, that he was walking through the Leigh Woods Nature Reserve on August 17 when the following event took place. “I usually take my dog, but lately I have avoided taking her there because she has been getting very skittish for some unknown reason,” said Harry.  According to the man, he suddenly began hearing noises as if someone was “snapping twigs” and “making squeaky sounds”. “I thought it may have been a deer, so I went off the path to look,” he recalls. “This is when I saw this strange ape creature. It was sitting in the brambles, digging in the earth with a twig.” Reportedly, the alleged animal did this for about 5 minutes, then picked something up and began eating it. Harry believes this was a piece of raw meat.

“Then it took another twig and used it to pick pieces of meat from between it’s teeth.” But Harry was also aware that the strange-looking being appeared to be “communicating with something”. “It kept looking left and was talking to something, and I thought I heard movement from where it kept looking. When I say talk, it more grunted and squeaked,” he says. “at one point it started doing something with the twigs, crossing them over on top of each other, like it was weaving something. All in all I watched this thing for 25 minutes. It was only when it stood up and walked off that I left. When it stood, it grabbed a large tree branch and snapped it off quite easily, and then leaned it against another tree. Then it walked off and I never saw it again.” The Somerset resident says he was about 200 yards away and managed to discern the physical features of the creature.
“When it stood up I’d say it was about 6 feet tall. It was old looking and it had a grey skin. I could see that it had human features, but it’s face looked more ape-like with a broader nose and cheeks, and a jaw that jutted out and looked like it was curved. It looked like a prehistoric man from “Land That Time Forgot”, the old Doug McClure film. It was covered in grey hair, which had black streaks in it. “Mostly grey though,” said Harry, also adding that it had “small breasts type things” but that it looked like a male because there was “something” in the crotch area.
The man explains that even though he was confused about what he was witnessing, he is sure that it wasn’t an animal. “It wasn’t a horse or dog or anything like this. It was like an ape man. It was like a man living wild – like a Neanderthal or something similar. I have heard of Bigfoot, but it wasn’t like one of those, like the giant wrestler type of thing. I searched for Bigfoots in the UK and came across your articles on these sightings so I thought I would share this with you.”  Harry claims he was not “scared or worried” because the creature “seemed friendly”, although, he adds, it didn’t get a chance to see him. The man did not immediately reply regarding video or photographic evidence. “I am not interested in fame or being on TV,” he said. This report comes one week after another British man claimed to have witnessed a similar creature in the county of Suffolk only three days prior to Harry’s encounter.
The Woodwoose, also known as the Wodewose or the Wild Man, is a creature present in European literature from the Middle Ages. Critics believe that inaccurate accounts of possible apes written by explorers and travelers in that time period, may have been responsible for the creation of the myth. Formed in 1909, the Leigh Woods is a 500-acre national nature reserve containing a rare species of Sorbus tree. The area is also notorious for two violent deaths that occurred in 1857 and 1948.  In 1857 the mutilated body of a woman was found in Nightingale Valley, and in January the following year, John Beale was hanged for the crime in Taunton. Another violent death occurred in 1948 when George Henry Chinnock, who had been living in the woods, was found with head injuries.
Quote from the Bristol Post: ‘Leigh Woods has had a reputation for being haunted for some time. Years ago, tramps lived in the woods favouring the Abbots Leigh end and avoiding the Leigh Woods part because of it’s evil reputation. It was said that screams could be heard in the night’
This Account Prompted another person to contact me:

I came across your story of the Leigh Woods witness accounts and I have had some strange occurrences happen to me there. I used to visit the woods a lot as a young girl, and when I was much older. My last venture there was so strange I haven’t been back since.

In my youth we spent some nights in those woods but there were lots of us – 20+ cars. We would park in a circle with lights on so the middle was lit. One night when I walked towards my car to get something, I saw red glowing eyes watching us – they were about the height of the bumper. I’ve never even told anyone about that before. Then about 10 years ago, I was out in Leigh Woods, a place I know like the back of my hand, and yet I got lost. I was wandering around trying to get my bearings and I came across this weird stick house made of branches and vines that were woven together. It was open to the elements and you could see inside. I have no idea who or what made it, but the experience of being lost in a place you know well has stopped me going back – I haven’t returned in the last 10 years.

The Area itself is circled with others reports of the same hairy upright creature, which is reported by the majority of witnesses regardless of county or area.

Leigh Woods is a 2-square-kilometre (0.77 sq mi) area of woodland on the south-west side of the Avon Gorge, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, within North Somerset opposite the English city of Bristol and north of the Ashton Court estate, of which it formed a part. Stokeleigh Camp, a hillfort thought to have been occupied from the third century BC to the first century AD and possibly also in the Middle Ages, lies within the reserve on the edge of the Nightingale Valley. On the bank of the Avon, within the reserve, are quarries for limestone and celestine which were worked in the 18th and 19th centuries but are now derelict. Because of the rare flora and fauna, the woods were included in the Avon Gorge Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1952, and 140 hectares (350 acres) have been designated as a national nature reserve.

The south part of the woods is an area of former pasture woodland with old pollards, mainly oak and some small-leaved lime. To the north, the area comprises ancient woodland of old coppice with standards, and contains a rich variety of trees, including the rare species bristol whitebeam (sorbus bristoliensis) and wild service tree (sorbus torminalis). There are multiple species of sorbus within the woods with at least nine native and four imported species, making it one of the most important sites in Britain for this tree. Birds which live in the woods include the raven (corvus) and peregrine falcon (falco peregrinus). Many butterflies and moths can be seen in summer including the white-letter hairstreak (satyrium w-album).

D. L. Hatswell 26/11/17

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