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Northern England - Scottish Carnivores, Bigfoot, Etc.


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Andrew Gable's picture
Andrew Gable
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009

I'm currently researching one aspect of cryptozoology, following up on the mentions in the Welsh Triads and several other pieces of early Arthurian literature of a Gwrgi Garwllwyd, the rough-grey man-dog.  In the Triads he was mentioned as a cannibal and ally of the Saxon king Aethelfrith of Berenicia.  In a Welsh poem whose name escapes me at the moment, Arthur's knight Cei (later Anglicized to Sir Kay) was reputed to have battled with Garwllwyd at the Battle of Trfwryd (Tribruit).  The same poem mentions Cynbyn (cynocephali) at he battle and mentions Mynydd Edyn (Edinburgh) as the site.  Of course, it also mentions that Manawydan ap Llyr (Manannan mac Lir) was one of Arthur's knights.   I'm also attempting to pin Gwrgi as the source of the Sawney Beane legend.

Now to bring it back towards cryptozoology, my researches have turned up some pretty bizarre predatory creatures in Wales and the English counties bordering Wales (near Liverpool and such) and I have some older reports of what could be wolverines or something similar in Wales.  I know that some of these predators are reported from north England (Hexham, somewhere in Cumbria if I recall).  Then there's the Hexham heads and that wolfy guy.  I'm even attempting to see if I can work in things like the Grey Man of Ben MacDhui.  

So here's what I'm looking for.  I wonder if folks could let me know about anything concerning wolves, werewolves, mystery carnivores, or even hairy hominids (Bigfoot) from any of these relevant areas.

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Mauro
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Re: Northern England - Scottish Carnivores, Bigfoot, Etc.

A few ideas for you to work on.
The exact date of extinction for the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) in the British Isles is still a matter of some debate. It has been suggested that it survived into historic times though fossil record is sadly lacking. Ever since the extinction of lions in the Balkans the Lynx is the largest extant European feline and a true stealth master.
Alien animals may have been introduced to the British Isles sooner than generally believed. In Victorian times there were a number of gentlemen interested in "enriching" the local fauna by importing exotic animals (the Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis) was introduced by such persons) and rumors abound about Coyotes (Canis latrans) introduced to Eppingham Forest and even a population of Tuataras (Sphenodon sp.) introduced in Wales in the XIX century.
On relict hominids... the topic should be approached with the utmost caution. It's very hard to tell where the European traditions about the Homo salvaticus end and where the recent American contamination about Bigfoot begins.
Suffice to say I believe that if they aren't already extinct (and it may well be) there are a few areas research should focus on and none of these is in Europe, let alone the densely populated British Isles.

In Distortion We Trust

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"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Andrew Gable's picture
Andrew Gable
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Re: Northern England - Scottish Carnivores, Bigfoot, Etc.

I think in part I should speak on my exact views on cryptozoology.  Many times, when I'm looking into one topic or another, I am completely open to the idea of that creature being extinct.  In fact, in some cases, I actively assume extinction took place.  For example, as to the American Bigfoot/sasquatch/call it what you will, I'm not at all doubtful that, given its widespread nature in the legendry of Native Americans, that at one time SOMETHING existed.  However, given how different in temperament modern Bigfoot is compared to all the native tales (in which he's a highly aggressive man-eater) I wonder if we're not dealing with an extinct species that lives in memory only.  Either that, or simply a racial memory/oral tradition about the almas and other hominids in the region Native Americans originated from.

So the wels is not actually native to Britain?  I've heard also that there may be a small group of wolverines in Wales.  A question I have for you concerning the Hexham wolf, and others: are wolves still extant in any part of England, or of Britain as a whole for that matter? 

The entire idea of the "wild man" or woodwose is complicated, to say the least.  Personally, I'm more inclined to believe that it's simply an outgrowth of the Green Man mythology.  Are bears still extant in Britain?  I wouldn't be entirely opposed to the idea of them being responsible for some of the sightings. 

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: Northern England - Scottish Carnivores, Bigfoot, Etc.
agable wrote:

A question I have for you concerning the Hexham wolf, and others: are wolves still extant in any part of England, or of Britain as a whole for that matter? 

The entire idea of the "wild man" or woodwose is complicated, to say the least.  Personally, I'm more inclined to believe that it's simply an outgrowth of the Green Man mythology.  Are bears still extant in Britain?  I wouldn't be entirely opposed to the idea of them being responsible for some of the sightings. 

Actually the only place where you can see wolves and bears in Britain now are Zoo's or safari parks.  There aren't supposed to be any predators in the UK and man is at the top of the food chain.  I think this is what makes cattle and sheep mutilations extra disturbing.

We are a nation of dog lovers though and I have personal experience through links with the farming community of the damage a pack of domestic dogs can do when they decide to go and attack sheep.



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