March 16 2018
Isabella here from the high hills of Scotland where we’ve been stranded with snow and ice like much of the rest of the country this winter. This will be a short journal – but I think a very significant one.
I’d had no expectation in this weather to see or hear anything of the local Bigfoot clan, suspecting that, like the rest of us they’d be holed-up somewhere trying to stay warm. The fence that was torn down, rolled into a ball, and set up as an obstacle for cars on the lane was replaced – and has stayed in place – since the Autumn. I don’t know if that signifies the clan’s acceptance of a force that they’d rather not oppose since the landowner has come back with a strong message. I’m not sure if they’ve declared a truce, or if there’s been no particular reason for them to pull it down again. The Alpha can easily step over from what I saw of him and the fence poses no real barrier for his purposes. It may have been the younger ones struggling and that was the cause of this temper tantrum last summer when game was abundant but barbed wire stood in the way of teaching their off-spring to hunt on a clear path from highland lochs to the river. In any case, since the fence remained in place, my certainty that they’d moved on for the Winter grew and I’d stopped listening for them before Christmas.
Uncharacteristically, however, and despite the wild weather, they stayed on this year. As mentioned in my last report, they gathered near the cottage to comment on a nearby estate’s private fireworks at the New Year, exclaiming about the explosion of noise and bright lights with the typical blizzard of phony owl calls that gives them away.
Their vocalising through the night during the Supermoon surprised me too — and maybe a lot of other people in the area. The clan passed by with a booming chorus of hoots — I suppose on the way to the river to fish with the aid of a massive natural spotlight. This marked the first time I’d heard their natural voices as they dropped the obvious owl disguise and let-loose with what I imagined to be sheer glee at the abundant moonlight, perhaps bringing a special energy to their night wandering.
And then on came the storms of February and March — feet of snow and sleet — ice on the track that was sometimes inches thick. Now they’ll retreat I said to myself. I felt certain of it. But, even now, the Alpha has once more made himself known. Very uncharacteristic and even disturbing in this bare landscape that offers no shelter or hiding place.
Several weeks ago I returned home from town at night, parked the car and headed for the door when some odd type of “night bird” began to sing from the forest next to the cottage. It was a sound like nothing I’ve ever heard, melodious and trilling like a nightingale, but strangely intense. Intrigued, I stopped and listened as the sound grew louder and the melody expanded in its complexity until I realised this was no bird, but some kind of Alpha communication. The timbre was gradually more deep-throated and broad; the volume beyond the capacity of anything with feathers. The song, I feel certain, was a personal one; one that belonged to this particular creature and his experience of the wild. I unlocked the door and went inside, not sure what he would make of me listening with such interest. As much as I appreciate his right to live here I’m wary of the boundaries that should exist for my safety – and his.
Inside the cottage I opened the windows, wondering if the song would continue. Silence. The sound from the forest had stopped. That the singing commenced and ended with my appearance in the garden convinced me that the concert was meant for me to hear and nothing else.
Why he’s singing I have no idea. And I’ll admit to being a bit concerned for several reasons. The forest isn’t safe so close into civilisation this time of year, provides no cover for the clan to pass through and especially not the massive males of the species. In the snow they’re likely to leave footprints and who knows where that would lead. I suppose the Alpha knows all of this and his attraction to the cottage regardless is a worry. What’s his message? As it’s the dead of winter in this part of the world and nothing to do with spring sap rising, I’m avoiding interpreting his song as a Bigfoot “crush” and supposing that the melody is one of friendship – or loneliness? Or just being jovial and wanting to say hello? Maybe others in habituation scenarios could contribute their ideas on the meaning of his song and an appropriate response, or whether I should take notice at all.
Another recent development contributes to my worry that our Alpha shouldn’t be so close to civilisation at this stark time of year. Twice this week I’ve heard gunfire after midnight, on and on. Who fires repeatedly into the darkness? To my way of thinking, only people who are very afraid. Or people aiming high-powered rifles with heat-seeking scopes trained on targets larger than any man.
So Deb, life in the high hills of Scotland has taken a new turn; another chapter in this habituation that leaves many more questions than answers. What is the Alpha’s point in staying on and trying to communicate? And what’s all the recent shooting about? Does that relate to his insistence on staying close by? It’s a worrying time and one when I wish I knew a lot more about these creatures than I do. I’m inviting anybody with experience in habituation or serious research background in Bigfoot behaviour to please chime in with their thoughts.
Wishing all in the UK a safe weekend as this apparently promises to be another “doozie.” Take good care and bye for now,
Isabella’s Journal. The giant returns, cupcakes and grunts.
In a Loch far away in the North of Scotland a leading UK researcher took the chance of a break to camp wild alongside the Lochon there to enjoy the river and forests, little did he know that in the forested land beyond the trees lies a small cottage where a giant visits from time to time. I didn’t tell the researcher what wonders abound in the area. And the current exclusion due to the landowner. On the 20th of June he contacted me and reported that late in the night he had heard grunts and loud noises coming from within the trees. I then explained what I knew of the area and what had happened there to him and we both said “now wouldn’t it be strange if Isabella had action and heard the grunts too? Not daring to think it could be true.
Now Isabella hasnt been in touch for awhile as all has been quiet since the New Year, so can you imagine my delight when I go to my email and find a message waiting there for me. I think once again two worlds collided in sequence without the knowledge of either party. Whilst one hears the grunts of a clan, the other is left a gift of thanks. How many of us are within a few feet of our hairy friends without ever realising it
June 20, 2018
Isabella here from the high hills of Scotland. It’s been months since my last report, although I’d hoped after the encouraging visit from you and your team in May that activity here would perk up and there’d be more to say as summer approached. But all remained quiet and eerie around the cottage and the clan seemed to be in hiding or to have moved away.
I’m sure you remember from your afternoon here that there was the construction underway of miles of fencing over the estate and a lot of high brush, rhododendrons and hedgerows of all kinds had been cut back to stumps and even uprooted. The woodland next to the cottage was cleared, especially an area all along a deep ravine that falls away to a lovely burn where you’ll often find deer, pine martins and even otter.
I’d never seen such purposeful destruction for no apparent reason. That is, no apparent reason if you discount the violent removal of the original fencing last autumn when it was pulled out by the cement-sunk posts, rolled into a massive ball and thrown into the farm lane. That behaviour, most likely from the Alpha of the clan, obviously precipitated a war with landowner – evidently a war that continues.
There was a lot of shooting into the woods at night throughout the spring. And, as I’d pointed out to you and the other researchers, just behind the first row of new fence a huge pine tree [about two feet in circumference at the trunk bottom] had been snapped off five feet above the ground and the entire tree thrown into the woods. A second tree – much larger, on the other side of the road beside the river — was also shattered in the same way earlier this month. But no sign of the clan this high up on the hill since early spring.
In fact, I’d stopped venturing into the forest to search for sign because I feared attracting the Alpha up here again. I’d half-hoped the clan were happy somewhere else, not wanting to see them in constant confrontation with the estate’s owner and possibly injured by gunfire. I do think it would be difficult to kill a Bigfoot with a deer rifle. But the damage could be terrible nonetheless and really unnecessary.
In any case, I thought visits here were a thing of the past. I’d check the “hidey-hole” over the lane where the big Alpha used to sit and watch me writing at the dining room table after dark. It has grown back to some extent, but the big box-shaped rock that sat inside is gone so, nowhere for him to rest. Whoever cleared that area did a VERY thorough job of it.
I’ve kept my eyes open and listened whenever I’ve got my dog out for his last constitutional before bed. That’s when I’d usually hear owl calls and thumping or tree knocks in the forest. But the first sign I’ve had;any hope at all that the clan are still in contact, came just this week in the daytime.
Having closed in fields all over the estate, the fencing contractors were evidently finishing the entire project by shutting–off access to the forest next to the cottage late last week. Funny they left this to last, I thought, watching them set up their work. Posts and wiring were laid out along the lane and they were hard at it with a massive hydraulic pile driver — every eight feet or so another fencepost. Then suddenly everything was back onto the trailers and they were gone. All this week I’ve expected them to return — but no sign of them at all.
The owner of the estate has been away for quite a while and returned only last night. He was out this morning to inspect and then into the woodland with his dogs. Gunshot erupted and continued for a long, long while. I was relieved that, for once, he was firing in broad daylight. The clan travel at night from my experience – except for the very first sighting of the Alpha which was in an area high above the cottage at the edge of deep pine forests. I figured the landowner’s target must bevermin or some of the infestation of doves that ravage the roofs of houses around here, digging under moss and between the slates and leaving a general mess.
Feeling certain that the clan was in no way involved I was simplyanxious to get out to the grocery shop and listened for the shooting to stop. The farm lane passes directly by the wood and I wanted to avoid getting too near in my car. As soon as the forest fell quiet and stayed that way, I headed for the front door to make my escape.
I grabbed my shopping bags and flung open the door, then stood back in shock. On the doorsill sat a small, frosted, mangled, cupcake. It looked torn in half – the frosted top severed from the plain bottom – and then set back together and left on the sill. I stepped over it and looked around, glanced into the woods and then hurried to the back to have a look in the long ditch that leads up the hill and away. There was nothing, no one.
Returning to the cottage I considered what to do and decided to leave the cupcake where it sat, then come back and photograph it once I’d done my errands. This was a big mistake. When I returned it was gone. Whether taken by squirrels or by the original donor I don’t know. But I’m here this evening with a very heavy heart.
Whether or not you owned an important estate in the highlands would you really, truly, wage war with a creature delivering a cupcake? Would anybody? And is it brave or just completely foolish to insist on sharing a prized tidbit most likely scavenged from the rubbish bins at the bottom of the hill when such danger awaits you? Who else do you know so completely unselfish, loyal and brave?
I’m not exaggerating in the least — it just leaves me in tears.
That’s all for the moment Deb and I’ll sign off until the next time.
Ever yours, Isabella