Beast of Brassknocker Hill (UK)

brassknocker-hillI’ve written before about black beasts and roaring animals that seem to be roaming the wilder areas of the United Kingdom. I think I figured out what they are/were. So when I saw an article about  a “Beast of Brassknocker Hill,” I had to look into it.

The story starts in 1979 in the town of Brassknocker Hill. Residents Ron and Betty Harper noticed that the bark of their old oak trees had been ripped off. The markings indicated something with very large teeth had done the damage. They also noticed that all the birds and small wildlife seemed to have disappeared from the vicinity.

BeastOfBrassknockerHill01Later in August of that year, an eyewitness caught site of the beast believed to be causing the damage to all the old trees in the surrounding area. This man saw the beast one night along a stretch of road near Monkton Combe. He said it was bear-like with two stunning white rings around its eyes. He figured it was about 4 feet long.

From that alone I would surmise a bear had gotten loose, was living in the wild and s/he just happened to have a mutated set of markings around its eyes. That’s not unheard of in nature; we’ve seen these variances in other mundane animals from time to time.

BearTreeAccording to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, bears will strip bark off some trees looking for grubs or sap. Other times they claw the bark of hardwood trees and scientists aren’t sure why. In softer woods, the bears leave long grooves on the tree. Claw marks would surely show up on the hardwoods. So those might be the marks that the Harpers noticed.

This is where it gets weird. During 1980, several eyewitnesses came forward describing the creature in several ways: as a gibbon, a lemur, a baboon.  Police Inspector Michael Price reports that he saw the animal and it was most certainly a chimpanzee.

Per my other blog articles about these beasts roaming Britain, if lions, bears, and whatnot could have escaped man’s grasp over the centuries, so could a few chimpanzees. In fact it happened during several hurricanes in south Florida, the apes escaped their zoos, or owners released them and now they are living wild in the Everglades.

PandaFaceI think the original reports were of a bear with unique markings. I know of a living species of bear that has rings of a unique color around its eyes, but it lives in Asia and is extremely endangered – but that’s another story for another day. (No, not the Panda bear, although their markings fit the bill too.)

Bottom line: I think there is a natural explanation for what people witnessed and saw in Brassknocker Hill back in 1979/80. The fact that there haven’t been anymore sightings in that area probably means the bear moved on somewhere else, or it died.

But if I lived in that area, I’d still be cautious moving around outside because there are other animals roaming around the UK that don’t quite belong there!

Til the next time!




  1. Scary indeed. To be outside in the dark of night would require a brave soul. I would not risk running into a strange beast……..

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