Tales Of Bigfoot In The UK – The Wicken Woods Cryptid

UK Bigfoot Research Group

Wicken Woods is a one of many constituent tracts of the huge Whittlewood Forest, an ancient medieval hunting ground on the Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire border.
In November 2013, deer hunter Jarvis Cassell sighted a creature on the edge of Wicken Woods which has haunted him ever since. The details of his experience had long been an open secret amongst the local farming and hunting community, but – being an insular and suspicious crowd – they had always shunned the publicity and ridicule which would inevitably have followed had the story reached the wider populace. By the time I tracked Jarvis down, however, he had finally come to terms with the nature of the encounter and, more importantly, reconciled his own conscience with regard to his actions on that fateful night.
Armed with a Rigby .275 rifle, Cassell, an experienced countryman and hunter, climbed into his regular ‘high-seat’ – a ladder like structure affixed a tree on the edge of the forest. He was hoping to take a Muntac, or maybe a Fallow or doe Roe deer as they entered the open fields bordering the tree line. It was only just gone four PM, but dusk was already beginning to fall. This was when Cassell normally took his prey – within the hour of sunset. Emboldened by the fading light, the deer would – he knew – venture from the thick and impenetrable woods, into the fields to browse.
The evening was perfect for the shoot. It had been drizzling for some two days non-stop, and a blustery wind blew from the woods and across the open farmland, meaning that Cassell was down wind of any deer which were likely to emerge from the forest.
As the light grew dim, Cassell began to hear the familiar bark of the diminutive Muntjac calling from the depths of the woodland. Then a larger deer – a Roe – slowly broke from the forest into the field. Cassell, like most responsible deer hunters, never shot at a moving target. He tracked it through his telescopic sight until it came to a halt, some sixty meters from his position, and well within his kill-zone. Cassell quietly switched from his rifle to his binoculars, and was disappointed when he confirmed his initial suspicion: the Roe was a buck. It was close season on male Roe. Any other species, any other gender, and it would have been fair game.
But no matter, the evening was yet young, and the fact that the Roe buck was un-spooked would act as a green light to other, legal, game.
So Cassell watched and waited. Some twenty minutes later, the Roe began to move off into the field, out of range now, even if it had been legal quarry. Then, unexpectedly, it pricked up its ears, and looked to the treeline to the left of Cassell. Cassell switched his attention from the deer, hoping to spot a more likely target. Instead, he saw something he couldn’t identify emerge from the trees. It crawled out on all fours, stopped, sniffed the air and looked around before satisfying itself that all was well. It looked like a very large ape, only it wasn’t an ape. Once clear of the trees, the creature stood on its hind legs and began to walk tentatively into the field, stooping now and again to root at the floor. The deer was clearly un-phased by the ape-creature, and resumed its grazing.
Cassell estimated that the ape-creature stood some seven feet tall. It was dark, hairy, and had a face like that of ‘a baboon’. The creature had long, muscular arms, and seemed very alert, constantly checking around it and sniffing the air. Cassell watched it through his binoculars at first, but as his fascination grew, he switched from his from binoculars to the telescopic sight of his rifle. The creature was in the kill-zone. Cassell’s finger was on the trigger, and the creature was blissfully unaware of his presence. As a keen marksman, and ardent nature lover, Cassell was now in an ethical dilemma. One the one hand, he knew that with a gentle squeeze of his trigger finger, he could bag the trophy of a lifetime – whatever the strange creature might turn out to be. On the other hand – he was unsure of the legal ramifications. And, although it was most assuredly a beast, it looked so….human.
As Cassell studied the biped through the cross-hairs of his scope, it came to a halt some thirty meters away from him and began picking at something on the ground.
It was now or never.
Cassell aimed for the head, and gently began to apply pressure to the trigger. Then, from below and to the right of Cassell’s high-seat, there was a gentle crackle as something else broke through the hedge and into the field. The ape-creature heard it too: it immediately stopped what it was doing and turned its head towards the sound. Cassell, needing to ensure that no humans had inadvertently entered the kill-zone when he took the shot, momentarily glanced in the direction of the noise. It was nothing but a small Muntjac. But when Cassell switched his focus back to the creature, it was clear that the very slight movement of his head had given away his presence. The creature was now staring straight at him, its eyes glowing red in the half light of the moon. Cassell lined up the sight and prepared to shoot. But he hesitated for a split second, struck by the intelligent features of the simian face.
The split second delay was all the creature needed. In an instant it was back on all fours galloping towards the tree line.
Cassell had missed his moment. With a quiet rustle, the creature was back in the woods, and lost forever. Jarvis Cassell, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief and prayed a silent thanks to the Muntjac which had saved the creature’s life. With the spell now broken, Cassell found himself deeply ashamed that he’d ever considered taking the shot. Shaking with excitement, he climbed down from his high-seat and made his way home.
But the story didn’t end there. Jarvis Cassell returned the following day to search for physical evidence of the creature. He was lucky enough to find footprints in the sodden field. They showed enormous human-like feet which dwarfed his own size nines. Cassell spent many more nights on the high-seat, this time with a camera rather than a rifle. Mindful of his reputation as an old-school countryman, he began discreetly making enquiries of the countryside fraternity to see if anyone else had seen witnessed his mystery creature. He was surprised to find little scepticism and many sympathetic ears. Whilst few had actually seen such a beast with their own eyes, most were able to relay tales of something which had spooked their dogs, been seen lurking in the shadows, or had left strange prints around outbuildings during the night.
Jarvis Casselll spent months both searching for the creature, as well as conducting obsessive research trying to establish its identity. But Cassell never saw it again, and despite extensive study he has not come close to identifying the nature of the species. For a long time Cassell remained embarrassed and puzzled by the bloodlust which gripped him on the fateful night. Today, however, his soul is less troubled than it once was. Whatever his intentions might have been, the fact is that Cassell didn’t kill the creature, and it presumably lives on.

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