They are part of an organisation that reckons a huge “apeman” is at large in the UK.
The British Bigfoot Sightings group has around 2,000 online members and probes claims that people have encountered mysterious beasts.I joined a trek with an intrepid pair of Bigfoot enthusiasts in the South Downs, close to the scene of a number of recent sightings.
Andy McGrath, 42, and Trevor Cornwall, 38, reckon they will one day find Bigfoot. Andy, from London, said: “I became interested in Nessie as a child and pursued my interest by collecting records of sightings during my teenage years.“When I hit 40, I became very intrigued by modern sightings of unknown Nessie-like animals, British Bigfoot, flying owlman and out-of-place animals like big cats, crocodiles, bears, scorpions and snakes. They are out there.”
Strolling around Harting Down in West Sussex, our eyes were peeled for a hairy and muscular 8ft-tall creature with a face described as half- ape and half-man. The hunt was unsuccessful but some spookily placed fallen tree branches were enough to spark speculation over possible sasquatch activity. Healthcare worker Andy said: “I have always questioned whether once I found myself face to face with an unknown creature, would I still want to be? “It is, of course, all very well wanting to prove they exist here in the UK, but what do you do when you have one standing right in front of you? “The hunting part of this venture is fairly new to me but I have already travelled the UK in search of all sorts.”
A man claimed that he saw a Bigfoot-like creature while on a train from Exeter to Bristol Temple Meads last year. The witness said: “We were travelling through an area and in the fields to my right I saw something large in the middle of the field walking. “It was walking kind of hunched over and all I could tell you was it was a black figure. “ was watching the way the ‘thing’ was walking, almost towards the side of the field, it was edged right up to the hedgerow as if to walk alongside the hedge, almost like it was using the hedge for cover. “To my eye whatever it was seemed to take massive strides.”
One UK Bigfoot researcher, Deborah Hatswell, said it was possible a a similar creature could still exist in Britain. She said: “People who are open- minded about whether such a creature could exist in the vast forests of North America might think Britain is too built-up, but it’s actually not. “When you look at the reports of sightings in this country, they tend to follow rivers and forests. “There have always been folklore stories about wildmen living in the woods in this country – they date back centuries and those stories have continued.”