We examine some of those commonly observed behavioural traits of ‘International Bigfoot’ that are also witnessed, although less frequently so, in alleged Bigfoot encounters in Britain.
So, what are Howls, Growls, Whoops and Wood knocks? Plainly put,they are audible encounters, that are assumed by the cryptozoology community, at large, to be a form of communication among these animals, that is primarily employed to convey a message or a mood to one another; and less commonly believed, by some, strangely ‘connected believers’, to be a form of communication between these animals and themselves.
Recorded examples of these audible idioms are distinctly equivocal worldwide. One of the reasons for this possibly being, that certain sounds are relatively easy to explain away, via the transposal of other known corporeal impostors, that admittedly, could be wholly responsible for these alleged, sensory confrontations!
Even in a country like Britain, allegedly devoid of large predators, many of our indigenous animals growl, our dogs howl and birds whoop and whistle. Wood knocks, also regularly meet their nemesis in the woodpecker and, of course, all 5 of these sounds, could easily be attributed to human activity for myriad reasons. Some of which, could be as simple as, forestry workers felling trees, walkers whistling, their dogs howling and growling, or the obvious elephant in the room – the activity of other bigfoot researchers, out in the woods, practising their own primate power of projection!
So, regarding our little island and its maligned man-ape, what audio contacts do our ‘ear-witnesses’ report and are they mixed up with our aforementioned monster impostors, or, do these occurrences have a more mysterious origin, that points to Albion, having its very own ‘Master of the Forest’ roaming throughout its green and temperate lands?
We shall see!
The following encounters are presented here verbatim, but with some minor excision of unneeded detail, edited carefully, so as to neither lose nor add anything in translation, that may inadvertently bend the will of the witness to my own perception. Additionally, although there were many reports that could have been included in this study, I have only chosen a few that illustrate best, the brushes, that many British people have had with these sensory happenings:
The Friston Forest Screams
“In 2012, I was walking through Friston forest with my friend and his dog looking into a rumoured big cat sighting when the dog suddenly smells something and runs into the bushes. So we start whistling for it to come back and we hear this scream come back at us that sounded like the scream cliff does on finding Bigfoot! I do more whistles and the dog comes back with her tail between her legs like something scared the hell out of her. It was mid-afternoon.”
Strachur Strange Wood Knocks, Screams and Tree Breaks
“I would like to inform you all of a sighting I had the other day in Strachur, Argyll, Scotland. I was out riding on my local Mountain bike track when I started feeling a little weird like I was being watched. I got my stuff packed and started cycling down the hill towards the village and I heard a high pitched howl and I then heard wood knocks coming from the bottom of the hill. I quickly rushed down the hill to find a tree pushed over the path. I got over it but after that, I never heard anything more.”
Snape Wood Shriek
“There is a place called Snapewood, it is part of the old original Sherwood forest, but, due to the industrialisation of the Midlands has become a secluded woodland area separated by at least twenty miles and is fenced off, with deer roaming throughout it and is now a nature reserve. I used to camp there many years ago as a teenager growing up. We would stay overnight often and would hear screeching this was not birds or any type of wildlife, our camp was ransacked one night as we lay in our tents zipped up and our food was taken. That night my friend caught sight of what he described as a huge hairy man with no clothes on. I never saw the creature at the time but it changed my friend’s life. He would often tell us over and over again about it over the years and we would joke about it to him. He used to go back over the years on his own and sit for hours and come back and tell us there was a family of three, the youngest being a child ape-like creature, which ran on its hind legs. We thought he was nuts.
He took us back there some thirty years later and showed us where they could be seen. From the top of a disused railway line embankment, overlooking the part of woods where an old clay pond had formed, we were around half a mile away, we sat there all afternoon drinking beers until we heard the same screech we had heard as young teenagers. Even now I am lost for words, as this huge chestnut coloured, hairy man-thing, emerged from the clearing towards the pond and I watched it with two of my mates, bathing for over half an hour. The only thing my mate said was, “I told you, I told you, but you never believed me!” He still frequents the woods in winter and leaves food. He told us he has seen the branches you show in your videos. He says they are waypoint markers and when one passes by they will turn it towards the direction they walk towards, so others know which way they have gone. I came across your channel by accident and was stunned when I started watching, even now at my age! I’m over 50 and I find it hard to believe. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed they exist, but I can categorically state they do!
To be honest myself and other friends ragged my mate for over thirty-five years, it’s just not something I would have believed in, but actually seeing it although from a distance there was no disputing what it was,, my friend was always adamant from the beginning as to what he witnessed all those years ago and he never let it lye either, he would often sporadically call in to see me in passing my house which is adjacent to the woods and he’d tell me that he had been back to the woods with food,I cannot tell you how many times I rolled my eyes and laughed at him; but after seeing it for myself, the whole saga was pretty emotional!”
Growls from the Bushes
“I had something strange happen when I was about 18 or 19 coming back from a festival. I’m on a bus to get home and at the time I was living in Leigh, Lancashire. I didn’t want to walk the long way home, so I got off at the next stop and cut across a field instead of going all the way into town, then walking all the way up again. I thought this would be quicker since I have done it in the daytime a few times before. So I get off the bus and I start walking, I lit a cigarette, and I called a mate and asked him if he wants to come to mine for some beers?
As I’m making my way down the path under the footpath to go across the field it starts to get darker. I have nearly finished my cigarette and as I put it out, you know your eyes adjust to the light and you can see more? I don’t remember the moon being full but it was just enough to light the way down where I was going and as I was getting closer to the end of the path, where it’s more covered in trees, I thought I heard something, something I couldn’t make out, so I stop and look and I thought I could see things running in the distance, I couldn’t make it out clearly, so I put it down to my eyes adjusting and I just carried on thinking nothing of it. As I get closer to the trees, I heard a noise again. All of a sudden there was this deep growl not very loud, but loud enough, it was just a creepy growl and it was enough for me to move faster than I was before, I picked up my pace without looking back.”
Derbyshire Moorland Beast
“My experience with what has become known as the North East Derbyshire Moorland Beast was in August of 1984. I was bivouac camping with my cousin at a place called Blackamoor, Totley just outside Sheffield. I was about 14 and I was visiting family in the school holidays. We had set up the tents and camp, and it had been a fun day and as evening drew in we called it a night. I got into the tent at around 11 pm and we both decided to try to get some sleep.
It felt like no sooner had we settled down to sleep that we heard what I can only describe as “the deep growl of what we’d supposed must be a large apex predator” That may sound far-fetched, but that’s what it sounded like at the time, it was not something we had heard before or could identify. We shook with fear instantly & struggled not to wet ourselves. We lay breathless as we listened to heavy footfalls moving through the heather around us. After a while we raised a bit of courage and gripping our knives we managed to get up out of the poncho shelter. A thick moorland mist had settled and we could barely see each other in it, let alone anything else, we kept searching the fog as we hurriedly packed, whilst all the time praying for all we could muster. Strange how you suddenly find the need for God. We went as quickly as we could, back down to the street lights at Totley and then home.”
Growls and Mystery in the Simonside Hills
“Several years ago my wife and I along with our German wired haired pointer Oskar took a trip to the Simon side Hills in Northumberland. As I was walking close to some hazel bushes, my wife Anne was about 30 yards away to my right and Oskar was beside her. Suddenly I was aware of a loud growling sound coming from the bushes beside me, it didn’t sound like a large cat growl more of a very large dog. My wife at that point hadn’t heard the growl, neither did Oskar.
Further down the hill about another 50 yards another loud growl came from the trees, this time my wife shouted did you hear that? I said let’s get back to the car and we quickly walked down the hill to the car. Suddenly to our horror we found that whatever was making the growling sounds had beaten us to the car and was now in the trees directly in front of us, making even louder growling noises. I told my wife to quickly get into the car and I dragged Oskar to the back and put him in the boot. It was at this point that I was truly scared, as I looked around for some large stick to fend off whatever it was, to my mind, that was about to spring at me from the trees. I got into the car and breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever it was had stalked us all the way down the hill for over 300 yards and by the sound of the growl was extremely large. I wish that I could have seen whatever it was but from the safety of the car. I just want to make the point that whatever it was, was very big and the sound it made seemed artificial if that makes sense. I have never heard anything like it in my life, except on a visit to the zoo.”
The Howler of Barlow Woods
“It was around 1989 when this happened to me, I was 17 at the time. I was just killing time and I went into the wood for a look at the pine trees. I’m just wandering around and everything was normal, I could hear the birds, just a good day up to that point. I was about 100 yards in when went all quiet, silence, not a sound, even the birds stopped. There was nobody around at all just me. The wood was so quiet, I just stood there looking around and then I heard the strangest sound! A loud Whooping noise and knocking sound from all around, then everything went silent again.
Just like that, complete quiet, no birds nor car noise, no animal sounds just complete silence, I didn’t see who or what made the noises, but I could tell I was being watched. I could feel it, I’m looking around everywhere but can’t see anybody at all. These woods are thick and the trees are large, I couldn’t make out anybody or anything around me.
I headed down towards the small stream and got down to look, and I saw nothing. I lay there for ages, I did some knocks back and the whoops started again, louder this time, my cheeks where puckered now, I was so spooked. I looked back into the thick woodland and my eyes saw loads of shapes in the sunlight but nothing I could pinpoint. Then bump, bump, crack in the distance! I could not take it anymore and I was off, I went back to my bike as fast as I could and all the way out I could feel I was being followed. I was scared, I kept turning around but couldn’t see anything and then quiet came again. as I left the woods I could hear the natural noises return, the birds and stream noises. It was over. I have never returned to the wood.”
Littleworth Common, Surrey, England.
“I’m a carpet fitter. In September 2015, I had a job out in the sticks, and as I was unloading some underlay from my van I heard about 4 vocalizations. Now the best way I can describe these sounds were like a wooing noise single at a time, but they sounded like the sort of woo you would here in a jungle. They did sound primate and tropical. The nearest zoo is 25 miles away, I wouldn’t think it would travel that far, but I might be wrong. I’ve never heard these noises before and it was enough for me to stop in my tracks. I was in the Tilmanstone area of Kent, which is an old mining village near the Dover, Sandwich area. It sounded close, but not close at the same time. and I know it wasn’t a fox or anything. As I was in work mode, that’s why it stood out so much, as I could tell it was nothing I had heard before, and it was definitely like a primate type of whoop. It sounded like a very haunting sound, it sort of hung in the air. It wouldn’t sound out of place in a jungle type environment. A very hard one to explain.”
Goyt Forest Woodknocks
“In 2012 I had an interesting experience in my research location Goyt Forest, Peak District National Park. I hadn’t visited the location for about a month, as I was using my free time to search for Deer antlers in a Deer Park not far from my house. Anyway, I decided to head over to the forest where there is a wild population of Deer, to see if I could find any antlers. A few hours in, I had just descended down a steep slope into the forest that lies in a valley and started making my way down to the bottom where I have to cross a river. I Got down to the bottom, crossed the river, and made my way up to a logging road. About 10 minutes after I had reached the logging road and had walked a little further down it, I heard a series of VERY loud knocks, which sounded like they were coming from close to where I crossed the river only 10 minutes ago. There would be 5 knocks, a 10-second pause, and then another 5 knocks. The knocks were very dull sounding, so it was coming from something being hit on a large, thick tree. Didn’t think much of it, assumed it was loggers or something. Anyway, this went on for about 7 minutes, so I got curious and decided to check it out. As I reach the corner of a clear-cut that would allow me to see the river where I crossed and where I suspected the knocking was coming from, it stopped abruptly. I started glassing the area with my binos, and couldn’t see anyone or anything.
I know that no rangers were on duty that day, and there were no loggers as their vehicles and high vis jackets are easy to identify. I had just passed that area 10 minutes earlier and I am 100% positive nobody was there. So annoyed I didn’t get a recording of the knocking, but I just assumed it was someone down there. Anyway, made my way down there quickly and there was nobody there at all. There was no wind, and the knocks were always a series of 5, and then an approx 10-second wait before there would be another series of 5 knocks. And, I noticed the knocks started happening after I tripped and landed on a branch that had fallen, which made a large cracking sound.
I actually went back with my sister, and again, heard the same knocking sound. No wind, it wasn’t a woodpecker, and I can rule out campers because I had just walked past the area the sound was coming from about 20 minutes earlier. I did a couple of hand claps to see if it would respond, but the knocking immediately stopped and we didn’t hear it again. Interesting for sure. I went there at night and heard the exact same mumbling sound that I heard a couple of months ago, coming from around 20 feet in the treeline at the side of the logging road I was walking on. I then heard something large run through the brush as I could hear the limbs breaking. Could have been a Deer, but it came from the same area where I heard the rumbling sound?”
Holme Fen, Wood Knocks
“I was recently down at Holme Fen which is an area of Special Scientific Interest, and an area which I have visited hundreds of times… The woods here are diverse and full of Silver Birch, Beach and Oak trees. Wildlife abounds with many species of native and visiting bird life. The area has fisheries and The Great Fen is a 50-year project to create a huge wetland area. One of the largest restoration projects of its type in Europe, the landscape of the Fens between Peterborough and Huntingdon is being transformed for the benefit both of wildlife and of people. When I was there I heard knocking on the trees. A distinctive knocking and it was a double knock, which I know was not deer or human’s messing about. This knocking sounded like wood on wood as if someone or something was knocking on the tree. It stood out and I think it was meant too.
I have a background in gamekeeping, so I am used to the usual noises you would hear outdoors in nature, this was different and it stood out, what I heard was unusual enough that I felt very uneasy when I heard this sound. It intrigued me and worried me at the same time.
As I walked I kept looking everywhere, but all I could see were Muntjac deer, which seemed to be acting in an uneasy manner, almost unsettled. I keep visiting this site and will continue to do so, and I am sure that something strange happened on that day, something out of the ordinary.”
Looking objectively at these ‘ear-witness’ accounts, many of us would find it pretty straightforward to put some of them in the monster imposter category and apart from the odd exception, where an actual bigfoot is seen, it is only logical to do so. The rational mind is structured in a way to provide us with emotional security and a sense of safety and were we to find ourselves in a similar situation to these witnesses, we would likely employ the same power of rationalisation, to explain away the oddities of our experience.
Those few and far between, who do have a visual experience of an unknown animal, often struggle with the mental adjustment of drinking down the authenticity of what they have seen; but those others whose brush with the unknown has not taken them to such awe-inspiring heights, are rather left with a larger hole to fill, and with a greater unknown with which to make it full!
Written by Andrew McGrath
(Extra special thanks to Deborah Hatswell of the British Bigfoot research organisation and to the witnesses of these extraordinary creatures, for their tireless research and bravery in this little-known area of British Cryptozoology)