Way up on Holcombe Moor is an Army Training centre and lots of land owned by the M.O.D Posted with danger signs it is not accessible to your average human. But as this area is very close to the source of the River Irwell along which many British Wildman sightings lie. I recently got back in touch with the witness to see if they would appear in the new documentary Elusive, but sadly ill health and fear of being identified prevented him from appearing, but he did manage to fill me in a little on some of the details.
This is the original Account, which was taken by A. Bird in 2013.
D. B witness statement: I am an ex service personnel who wished to tell you about two separate sightings of what I believes is the same creature, over an eight week period in the 1980’s, both happened to me whilst training, up in the hills close to Holcombe, This is only a short hop from the Forest of Bowland and has many different habitats, with high wind swept hills and low valleys where its wooded and damp. It rains all the time. And is an ideal area for the M.O.D and the land is posted for mines and artillery.
The witness was very wary about sharing these accounts with me, and it is only some of the information he is happy for me to share. He went on to add that on both nights he was on exercise and was in a position where he was away from the main action and about 150 – 200 yrds on the outer perimeter in a guard position. He was well enough away from the heavy use of blanks and flash bangs but he still describes it being very noisy and manic. Lots of action and noise and he was hoping it would be over quickly as it was cold and drizzly and they were lay flat in the underbrush which was wet and damp. On the first occasion the person was with another male colleague and they were both wearing army camouflage of-course and were doing their best to stay still and concealed, tucked up in the grass they both noticed movement off in the distance and they became aware of a foul stench on the wind which got worse as it came closer.
They were hunkered down not knowing what to do in case this was some kind of test or trick to get them to leave their position so they stayed put, and it was at that point the stench was almost to much and they noticed a very large dark figure approaching them in the darkness, they thought at first it was someone with a huge back pack or kit as the shape and colour was all wrong, until they realised it wasn’t clothed at all. “It couldn’t see us” he said, and Im certain it was unaware that we were both there but it was so hard not to jump up and run off, it was dark and we couldn’t make out anything to much until the “thing” hit a trip wire and a flash went off and we could see it for a split second, it turned to run off and we opened fire even though the guns were loaded with blanks.
It was large, dark and huge across the chest and I think it had no idea we were there. We had to stay put till we got the all clear and then we couldn’t stop asking if this was a set up or part of the exercise? The next time we had free time a small group of us set out to see if we could follow “its” path and find this thing, but other than strange prints that were too smeared to make anything of nothing else was seen.
It worried me I’l be honest so I wasn’t happy when we had to for the second occasion do a night manoeuvre and it was a similar situation, but it was winter by now and there was snow on the ground, so in even worse conditions I was with a female colleague and we were both lay down on the ground in full camo and again about 200 yards from the noise and action, it was almost exactly the same scenario, and I couldn’t stop playing it over in my mind and I was really scared it would happen, as im thinking this, I was greeted by a rank odour, from the road below us this time, it was snowing and a large dark creature was coming uphill towards us, I was so scared I shouted and like an idiot made myself known and it looked in our direction, the camo must of worked as it was looking in our direction but couldn’t see us, and it started to move closer still, when it was about 30ft away it pulled up, as if it sensed us, it snarled, and took off running up a hill that was very very steep, once again you couldn’t make much out, just the size of the thing, and the way it moved, it cleared the hill in about 3 seconds flat, this time my college didn’t stay put and she was off after it, it was easy to see where it went due to the snow, we tracked it and it took us 10 minutes at least, just to get to the top of the Hill it had climbed so easily in a flash, there were some smudged tracks, but there was no sign of “it” and we returned to our spot and waited to return to camp.
Im still not happy about sharing this, and you know how much grief it caused me the first time I shared it, but I do want to know if anyone else saw anything whilst at that camp, or on the hills themselves. There is so much M.O.D land in the UK we cant be the only serving personnel that have seen these things? Something of note these accounts run in a line of accounts that stretch the length of the River Irwell around 9 accounts with 5 miles of the Irwell and around 6 more a little further out.