Bigfoot Encounters

British Bigfoot Controversy Grows
By Nick Redfern

January 19, 2003

A team of full-time "monster hunters" from the Exeter, England-based Centre for Fortean Zoology (named after an early chronicler of all-things-mysterious, Charles Fort) have obtained exciting evidence for the existence of a so-called British Bigfoot. The 4-man team, which is
comprised of author and journalist Jonathan Downes, professional zoologist Richard Freeman, Graham Inglis and John Fuller, arrived at Bolam Lake, Northumberland, on Thursday, 16 January to investigate recent reports of a large "ape-man" seen in the area by several, independent witnesses.

In conjunction with the North of England-based Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Group, Downes and his team have carried out an in-depth investigation of the incidents in question and have uncovered some startling new evidence.

On the evening of Saturday 18 January, Downes and 3 members of the Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Group joined the ever-growing list of witnesses to the mysterious creature when they briefly saw it, too. Downes, whose monster-hunting quest began as a child in the 1960s, described the "Beast of Bolam Lake" as being around eight feet in height, three feet wide and dark in colour.

"We only saw it for a few seconds then it vanished into the trees," says Downes. "This is the latest in a bizarre series of Big Hairy Man sightings which have confounded zoologists and which have taken place in the UK in the last six months." He adds: "I have been a professional
monster hunter for years but the thing I saw has prompted me to completely reevaluate my whole world view."

Thirty-three year old Freeman, who previously worked at Twycross Zoo, states: "This is undoubtedly the most important Fortean-zoological incident in the past half century." The events at Bolam Lake are part of a larger, nationwide spate of similar reports that has included encounters at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire; Sussex; Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood fame;
Cumbria; and Longridge Fell, Lancashire - a place renowned for "monster" sightings.

"Hair samples" acquired by the team at the site of the mysterious encounter are to be examined by specialists in Scotland, England, the USA and Denmark.

Last year, the Centre for Fortean Zoology attracted major media coverage when they solved the mystery of "The Monster of the Mere." Numerous people had reported sightings of a strange creature within Martin Mere, Lancashire, England, that Downes and his team were able to identify as a large catfish.

Note To Editors

* The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in 1992 and is now an officially registered non-profit-making trust.

* The Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Group was formed by Mike Hallowell, a respected author and journalist based in the North of England.

* In 2002, Colonel John Blashford-Snell, OBE, became the honorary life president of the CFZ.

* The CFZ has carried out monster-hunting expeditions in Mexico;
Puerto Rico; the USA; the UK; and Thailand, and the results of their investigations have appeared on British television's Channel 4 and on theDiscovery Channel.

* During 2002, in addition to solving the mystery of "The Monster of the Mere," the CFZ assisted Cleveland Police in an investigation of aspate of animal mutilations in the area.

* For more details of these new developments on "The Beast of Bolam Lake," contact (in the UK) Jonathan Downes on 079 019 35443 or; or (in America) Nick Redfern on 409 729 2774 or at The CFZ can also be contacted at its website:

Article courtesy Peter Guttilla January 19, 2003

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