Afan Forest Journal of Events, Howls, Dogs scared, Structure and Wood Knocks.

This account came in to me just in the last two weeks, and like most of the emails I received it was from a person who is used to being in one area a lot and they suddenly notice changes that stand out, unsure where to look for advice they look online, luckily this gentleman saw some of the work you guys have put in out in the field and many of the things we are finding we are unsure whether to dismiss them or not, there is a fragile line between what is claimed as Bigfoot structure and what is mis-identification or word of mouth? So in the hopes of helping get some answers I have reached out to as many bushcrafters as I can in the hopes we can weed out what is bushcraft and whittle down some of the things we need to be looking for. Like all accounts this is in the witnesses own words as he typed them.

Hello Deborah

I messaged you as I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about man made, or  woodcraft that I have found when I am out on my daily runs with my dogs, these look odd to me compared to normal bushcraft? I usually take them into the Afan Forest Valley,  I make two runs each day with the dogs, probably five days out of seven we visit this area, so Im used to being in the forest, the sounds and usual finds, but as of late I have noticed some strange things going on and some strange finds, as I mentioned earlier I have found some structures and snaps that I can’t put down to the usual weather or bushcrafters.

As I have three big dogs and they are too strong to take out all at once, I have to rotate the walk. So I spend a good few hours a week in the woods and my house looks over the river and into the forest, which is totally dark at night. You cant see into the treeline when it’s dusk or dark. There have been a couple of times when I’ve been out in this area when we were confronted with the strong smell of sulphur inside the woods, it is a horrible stench that doesn’t seem to be from the ground or any source I could find. This week I have found the most unlikely piece of woodcraft, which is a tree stump, upturned by the wind?  which has a pile of broken branches piled against it to provide a small shelter, not randomly like the weather would do but in they had been stacked to lean against the tree. (see video below for all structures)

This part of the Forest is quite close to the village and I would imagine at night it would give a perfect spypoint to watch people in their houses or see who is moving around there (it reminds me of the Wildman structure found by the police in the Peak district when tracking a Wildman that scared woman and villagers in the 1880’s and the same conclusion was reached that it was some kind of look out or hut)?  The structure doesn’t really provide any cover from the weather, which makes it seem unlikely to be man made, there is no sign of braken or a debris cover. It does seem more like a lean-to than a bushcraft shelter, I dont see why it would be there out in the open for all to see either so I am really unsure.  I will keep my eye out now for anything looking out of place and I have found a small stack built of twigs and rocks, in a ditch near the river. Both of these are odd and as I say, have no clear bushcraft reason to have been built. In the area of the first shelter, my dogs, who are american bull terrier/fila brasil crosses, are not comfortable. These are dogs with no fear of anything, their body language tells me alot and I wouldn’t say they are scared near the lean to, they do seem to act in a way they haven’t acted before, for instance for the first time ever they let me walk out in front of them? which has NEVER happened in the Seven years I have walked them in this area, the dogs are usually up the trail ahead of me. And it did appear as if they seemed to be looking at something I couldn’t see or make out? Their attention was on the bushes and I kept looking in that direction to, but I couldn’t see anything?

I have been keeping an eye on these things I keep finding and then when I saw your channel I realised you might be interested in some of my strange finds.  Then about Four weeks ago something really strange happened and I heard a proper howling from the woods. It was around 9pm on the Wednesday night, and the dogs were out in the garden to go to the loo before I lock up for the night. I was waiting on them and I heard the strangest sound, Five long, loud Wolf howls?  All followed by Coyote type yapping?  My dogs, who would usually lose it if another dog makes a noise near their house, they would bark and make a lot of noise but they didn’t react how they usually would. They just tipped their heads sideways to listen. After the howls I was a bit shocked and dragged them indoors, it did seem as if they didn’t want to come in when I called them? I would normally give them biscuits when they come indoors and they always come rushing to get in first for their treat.  But this night they wanted to stay outside with the howling. It puzzled me what those howls could be? It couldn’t be Wolf or a Coyote and another domestic dog would have received a different reaction entirely from my dogs? So I listened to Wolf howls online and it sounded spot on to me, a perfect match?  How did I hear a 100% Wolf howl with an added Coyote conversation at the end? Here in the UK?

Then two weeks on from the first howling episode it happened again, I stopped dead when I heard from the woods the absolute same howl as the American Werewolf howl you hear on the film? Just one short deep scream/howl and then silence. So me and the dogs are not going deep into the forest until there is more food around, just in case, because I will be honest that howl was horrible and froze my stomach.  So Deb I need some advice, do Bigfoot make Wolf sounds? Some people say they can imitate owls or other animals? Or do we have both Dogmen and Bigfoot here in the UK?  Do Dogmen make that sulphur smell I smelt too? Do dogmen build shelters to watch people from? Or is this just nothing? I’d really like some advice. People say so many different things its hard to know what I heard?

Follow up

I went back to Afan today with the dogs and I was in there a while when I heard my first loud Woodknock . As another dog without an owner came running into the area off its lead in the distance, as the loose dog neared us and the area we were in, I heard a clack as loud as could be, and it moved the stray dog off? As I said before I rotate the dogs run when we are out, so when I went back to that area on the next run with the next dog I took the camera from the car with me. Now the pictures I took are this the first part of Afan about 500m from the car park at Rhyslyn, Pontrhydyfen. and is in the ‘safe’ part of the woods as I have become to think of it. This is not the area where the dogs behave oddly and the tree with the pointless looking structure. But another 500 meters back is where most people turn around due to distance and head back to the car, I like to push on a bit and about 500m further in give or take, the woods always feel different at this point, almost with that being watched feeling?

Firstly, the small structure that has no clear purpose. Then the howls and calls, My dogs always stop next to that structure as the thick reedy grass is their favourite thing to eat and I stand around for 5 minutes or so watching them chew and waiting for them to finish, so I do notice small changes when I go about my routine that have started to stand out to me. As you can see in the picture the rocks have been carried and arranged with sticks in a little “A” poking out of the front and berries layed all around them? I have checked all similar areas of running water here but I haven’t seen another one or anything like it. The next pictures are of the branch and are taken from about 30 feet away,  it didn’t photograph easily but what I saw was a light bright branch which has clearly been hung within a tree. There is also moss scraped off this trees trunk, there is scuffed earth beneath it on the bank and there seems to be footmarks but they could easily be human in bare feet.  I photographed them anyway as you just never know if its important or not.  In the last 2 days of walking this part of the wood a large “A” frame “structure” has appeared, the “A” frame shape is layed on the floor and is made from trees that were carried there as there are no root holes and no drag marks either, one tree has deep scratches in it.  Then next to the A frame shape is the stump which also has the deep scratches and chips of wood  scattered around it, with another clawed or debarked log alongside. I will take some more pictures for you in a day or so, as the first area I mentioned (with the strange lean to) has been smashed up and cleaned away, almost like a tornado has been through it, this is the place where the dogs behave oddly.
So Im unsure what to make of all this, I know it’s not weather damage, I know its not human as Im there myself most days and I would see ground disturbance as they walked in and out or some human sign?  The shelter’s are not something I have seen in this area before? And the howls I heard still have me a bit spooked. I think the best thing I can do is keep visiting and taking note of any changes that happen and I will keep an eye on my dogs and how their behaviour changes and jot it down. If I find anything weird or things change I will make a note of what and when.  If I hear the howls again I will try and record them.
I have to be honest and say Im stumped, the problem we have with structures and shelters is many of them resemble bushcraft, which in a way these “shelters”  do too, but very poor bushcraft in my opinion, these wouldn’t stand up to much and the slightest touch would push them it over seems, they are poorly covered and resemble more of a hunting blind than an actual place to sleep between hunts?  But I am no expert on this subject.  It doesn’t seem fit for a shelter, or to be of any use to anyone?  If it’s taken two days to get this far you would see sign of human foot movement surely? I do see cut wood, but if you were making a shelter you would use whatever was available I think and not expend time ripping limbs or making the noise it would take to gather this much wood, when there is a good pile around to use, or is that my human opinion and I am way of, the honest answer is I dont know, so this could be human or unknown, and until we watch who makes it we can not be certain. So for now we make a note of it, photograph it from all angles, and stand at the shelter and photograph what can be seen from the “structure” crouch or kneel down if you can, whats on the ground below the “structure or find”  is the wood used growing in this area to eliminate weather or falling branches. Or does it seem like the wood has been carried in to the area as it seems to be the case here at Afan.
Im going to ask you guys out there in the know, what do you think?  I know the internet is swamped with mis info when it comes to bushcraft and bigfoot shelters.  For now we are in the early stages of learning here in the UK so we note them and any finds we have,  we should try and match them to known bushcraft or we ask for advice as we have here. Im sure out there people will be able to help us.  Foragers, Wild Campers, Survivalist, Bushcrafters and Wood Schools even Scouts, if we ask and they say “yes, we do that” we can cross it off and move on, if they all say “no! no idea” we keep it and try and find the same thing in other areas around.
The “shelters” aside I am very interested in the dogs behaviour and thow they acted around the “shelter” looking off into the bushes, putting their master in front of them says they were either very scared, or they thought the threat lay behind them?The howls that were heard on two separate occasions seemed to interest the dogs.  Dogs and animals can be key if you watch their behaviour and how it changes in certain areas, the tail will drop or curl under to protect the belly, they will bark loudly for a threat they can easily handle, but a low growl means they are faced with a large adversary, they may drop to their bellies or suddenly go “en-point” and on some occasions some dogs will refuse to enter some areas, pulling their leads or running away to a safer place.   They will alert you to danger as most dog owners will testify too, and they will pick up on scent or sound a long time before our human senses kick in and warn usw. If your in an area and your dogs react watch their ears and the direction they point them, listen to them and go back and skirt away the area until the dogs settle down again.
If your out this weekend as Spring awakens here in the UK and you see something that sparks your interests and your not sure whether it would be of interest or not, take the pictures anyway, cast that print, collect that hair and we can have a look and between us all we can work out what it is, and if we cant, we will find someone that can.  Enjoy, Spring Blessings everyone. 
Until Next Time Deborah.

Until Next Time, Deborah

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