Brent Swancer January 16, 2022
Big, hairy, ape-like creatures like Bigfoot have been seen all over the world, known by many names and eluding all attempts to capture them or to even truly understand them. Sightings have happened in numerous far-flung places, but sometimes they seem to appear in places they have no business being. There have been creatures like this reported from the most unlikely of places, including Japan, Hawaii, and the United Kingdom as well, defying all apparent reason or logic. In England especially, hairy hominids have been sighted surprisingly frequently, in all areas of the region, including Britain, Ireland, and Scotland, and one area that has a history of such sightings going way back is the county of Kent, in South East England. There is no reason at all for why a giant apeman would have any business being here at all, yet if sightings are to be believed, the anomalous beast has been lurking around here for quite a while.
Kent is a county that borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west, and Essex to the north across the estuary of the River Thames, and reports of large, hairy ape-like beasts have been going on here for some time, with one of the earliest such reports coming from all the way back in 1858, from the area of Great Chart Ashford. The witness was apparently a worker at a wheat field called Bucks Farm, where he was toiling away one day when he saw a rather strange sight when he saw “a large baboon type creature” just sitting there out in the field. A report in the Kentish Gazette at the time said of the weird incident and what followed:
Not knowing, indeed, whether it might not be certain unmentionable personage in bodily shape [i.e. Satan], its appearance had the effect utterly scattering his senses, in when he collected enough of them to make up his mind to a speedy retreat, fear had so unnerved his limbs that he was at first unable to get over a stile which led out of the field. He, however, at last did so, and we may suppose reached his home with his hair standing on end, and related the tale of the awful ‘summat’ he had seen; but the shock was so great it has made him ill. On the affair becoming known, it is reported, several of the stout men of Great Chart, well armed, made a search in the fields, but did not succeed in catching the animal, whatever it might be; while one party, probably inclining to the supposition of ‘the thing’ being his satanic majesty harboured thereabouts, took a horse and cart and went to Ashford in order to bring back aid from the police in taking him into custody. Since then it is reported that the animal (which is set down as a baboon escaped from some show) has been seen in several adjacent parishes; but we have not heard of its capture, or of any damage done by it, except indirectly, through persons trampling down the wheat in Mr Greenhill’s field while in search of it. This mysterious creature is said to have turned up here again, a little girl having seen it on Tuesday near Newgate wood, and although greatly frightened, retained sufficient self-possession to be enabled afterwards to describe it. Since then more than one burly individual in the parish has acknowledged to having been startled from his propriety by a glimpse of it, one who was going to count some sheep having left his job made the best of his way homewards. The children of the National School had a holiday, and with a number of the inhabitants joined in general hunt of the woods but when wanted the creature is not to be seen, and no traces of it could be discovered, although it was considered that the thick undergrowth prevented such careful search as was desirable.
Image by Steve Baxter
Was this just an escaped baboon or something else? Moving along in years to 1942, there was an account given by an elderly lady and dug up by Bigfoot researcher Neil Arnold. According to him, the woman had her experience during those dark days of World War II, when one day she was sitting enjoying a quiet day with her husband in a 200-acre wooded park called the Tunbridge Wells Common, in Royal Tunbridge Wells, located around 40 miles from London. As they sat there enjoying the serenity of the quiet park, they heard something behind them and their day would get very weird indeed. The report reads:
One particular day she went to the Common with her husband and was sitting on a bench when they became aware of a shuffling noise behind them. Upon turning around both her husband and herself saw what she described as a tall, hairy ape like creature with eyes that were burning a reddish colour and it was moving towards them at a slow pace. They observed this creature for some time until they became afraid and they both fled – terrified. She went on to say that they told the police and members of their family, thinking that a gorilla had escaped from a zoo, but were laughed at and were not believed.
From 1987 we have a report from the town of Sevenoaks. The witness, known only as J. Smith, claims that he had gone out to a pub with some friends, after which they had gone off to chat and a BBQ at a hill called One Tree Hill. The location is described as being full of thick scrub and trees. They arrived and began putting together a fire, gathering wood near the top of the hill. That was when their evening would get quite strange, and the witness says:
My friend started gathering wood from the left side and I started from the right. About 10 minutes in, I heard a deep very deep growl I dismissed it as cows or sheep from the valley below. But then a couple of minutes later i heard it again this time deeper and more defined whatever it was was on my side and coming my way. It had real depth to it, that gave the impression it was of a significant size. I placed my firewood on the fire and at the same time my friend joined me. Just as we did so the grunt sounded again, this time it was a matter of yards away and very loud. I looked at my friend my friend looked at me and we both said RUN!! As I ran I caught a glimpse of bipedal figure illuminated from the treeline it was huge. Now the next day less than 1 and half miles from the area a lorry driver driving through a remote road said he had nearly hit an “orangutan” at 630 in the morning. Driver stated that it was a “orangey red” in colour. This was on the road from Ide Hill to Sevenoaks south. This made the local newspapers the same week. I didn’t tell anyone.
What did these people see? Just a few years later there would be some weird sightings made in the vicinity of a park called Blue Bell Hill, which is already a spooky place known for ghosts and phantom black cats, but it seems it can also add Bigfoot to its list of strangeness. In 1990, there came in several reports of a bipedal, ape-like creature lurking about the area, and in one case a group of five Territorial Army members claimed to have shouted at it and thrown stones at it to scare it away. At the time it was written off as an escaped gorilla from a zoo, but no zoos had reported such an animal missing. Was this just a big hoax or something else? Most recently of all there was a series of sightings of massive Bigfoot-like creature lurking about the Tunbridge Wells Common. The creature was first seen in 2012 by a walker who claimed that it was 8 feet tall and had “red demonic eyes, long arms, and was covered in hair.” The creature apparently roared at him, after which the unnamed witness fled in terror. What seems to be the same creature also hit the news again as recently as 2021, when a woman out walking her dog in the very same area also claims to have seen it. She would say of her encounter:
It was wintertime, there were no bushes and no leaves on the trees. I was walking the dog and out the corner of my eye, I saw somebody walking. It was big, I looked and as I looked at it, it ducked behind a big bush. It ducked behind the bush and disappeared. My dog gave chase and chased it all along the train track. It had very big long strides with swinging arms.
Image by Steve Baxter
The area supposedly had several other sightings that same year and gained itself the nickname of “The Kentish Apeman.” As weird as the notion of a creature like Bigfoot lurking about the countryside of England may seem, Kent is not even the only place to have such reports, and accounts of these beasts have come from all over the United Kingdom. British Bigfoot Researcher Deborah Hatswell has spent decades compiling such reports and has even meticulously compiled a sort of Bigfoot map of the UK, and she says of it:
Where do you go to report seeing something 7ft tall, completely covered in hair that looks like the ‘Bigfoot Creature’ reported in North America, Canada and Russia? I have collected these reports in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England. Over the years as I have collected and saved the reports made by other people nationwide, and I not only saved them, I plotted them on a map. My witnesses range from army personnel, police officers, game wardens, wild campers and hundreds of people out walking the dog or taking a leisurely hike. As you can see from the map provided there are no sweet spots, the reports happen all across the UK. There are clusters in areas like Cannock Chase, the Medway, Thetford Forest and Co Durham and the Highlands where the reports are all together in one area, stretching back decades, and there are lone reports in some areas.
It is hard to know what to make of such reports from Kent and beyond. There is absolutely no reason for such creatures to be here, and it seems highly unlikely that even if this was some sort of undiscovered animal that it would remain hidden in England of all places. This is not exactly the darkest reaches of the uncharted, so what is going on here? One idea is that these creatures could represent some seeping over from another dimension, perhaps through the various ley lines, or earth energy lines, that supposedly run through the UK. This could possibly explain why they are only seen sporadically and are able to remain mostly undetected, leaving no evidence behind, because they are basically phasing in and out of this reality. Another idea is that they could be what are called “tulpas,” which are basically thought form entities conjured up into our reality by sheer will and belief alone. Or maybe it is all just overactive imaginations and hoaxes. Whatever the case may be, England certainly has its share of Bigfoot sightings, and it occupies one very strange corner of the world of the weird.