Thursday, November 22, 2012

British Bigfoot Spotted in Kent

Not really Bigfoot, and not really Kent

One of the arguments for the existence of the Yeti and Sasquatch is that southeast Asia has produced some fossil remains of a creature named Gigantopithecus Blacki, a very large apelike creature that could fit the description of the enigmatic "abominable snowman." More controversially, part of a fossilized skull was found in California that some primatologists believe may have come from Gigantopithecus or a close relative. Given the "land bridge" that connected Asia and the Americas during the last ice age, it is at least plausible that this large ape could have found its way to the Pacific Northwest.

The main problem with this hypothesis, grounded as it is in the fossil record, is that the last remains of Gigantopithecus date back around a hundred thousand years ago. For the creature to have survived up to the present day a population would have to have lived for a very long time without producing any verifiable remains. Another blow to the hypothesis is the discovery that the "Yeti" relics of Asia are generally the remains of the Himalayan Black Bear, which does in fact walk upright more often than other bear species and can be mistaken for an ape at long distances. Some investigators have hypothesized that the North American Bigfoot might likewise be a kind of bear, which would imply some of the most famous evidence for the creature such as the Patterson film must have been faked. The Patterson Bigfoot might be a special effect, but it clearly is not a bear.

At any rate, none of this is really relevant to today's story because it concerns a Bigfoot sighting in England, a country that has no large fossil apes and in which wild bears have been extinct for many centuries. So what's left? Presumably it's either a guy in a suit or the real thing.

An article detailing the sightings appeared on the Tunbridge Wells People forum earlier this week, asking local residents if they has seen the elusive sasquatch. 'One of the strangest stories to emerge about Tunbridge Wells this week is the claims that a British Bigfoot has been spotted in woodland near the town,' it says.

'The Kentish Apeman has recently been spotted on Tunbridge Wells Common - the exact spot where it was also apparently seen 70 years ago. 'The beast is reportedly eight-foot tall, has red demonic eyes and is covered in hair.'

A local painter and decorator, named Graham S, claims he was told by an elderly client about a sighting in 1942. '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,' he explained.

'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.'

Seventy years is a long time between sightings for a living creature or population of them to go without detection, especially in England which lacks the massive forests of the Pacific Northwest that just might allow a large animal to survive undetected. Also, that the Bigfoot was sighted in exactly the same spot is suspicious. I know that if I were a hoaxer, the area of a previous sighting is exactly where I would break out my gorilla suit. On the other hand, if this Bigfoot is some sort of paranormal manifestation rather than a living animal, it also is possible that it could be tied to the area in some manner.

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