The U.K. Government and Strange Creatures: Files, Tales and Mysteries

My previous article was on the interest of the U.S. government in the likes of Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman. So, today, I thought I would show you what the U.K. government knows of so-called “Cryptids.” I should stress that, personally, I’m totally fine with the word “Monster.” For me, “Cryptid” is more than a bit self-important. Anyway, back to the theme of the article. We’ll begin with the U.K.’s most famous monster: Nessie. Or, more correctly, the Nessies. As well as being a persistent pursuer of the Nessies, David James – back in the 1960s – was also a former member of the British Parliament. And as such, he had a lot of contacts and influence in the government, including personnel from what was called JARIC, the Joint Air Reconnaissance Center, based at Royal Air Force Brampton, Huntingdon, England. JARIC’s five hundred or so staff were experts at studying film-footage – and, sometimes, hazy and hard to define footage, which was, and still is, a good way to describe the famous Nessie footage of Nessie seeker Tim Dinsdale. Plus, studying film of an alleged Loch Ness Monster was a welcome break for the JARIC people, whose work was generally focused on analyzing footage of Russian fighter-planes, bombers, and foreign missile bases.

Not only did JARIC carefully scrutinize Dinsdale’s footage, they also came to a remarkable conclusion. Noting that the object was likely “not a surface vessel,” such as a small boat, the team said that, “One can presumably rule out the idea that it is any sort of submarine vessel for various reasons which leaves the conclusion that it is probably an animate object.” Although critics, such as Dr. Maurice Burton, suggested the whole thing was a case of mistaken identity – of nothing more remarkable than a boat – the monster-hunting community was delighted. Nessie pursuer Roy P. Mackal said that: “The JARIC analysis is important as an independent and expert study, free of either pro or con monster bias.”

(Nick Redfern) Nessie: an interest to the British Government

Now, onto the matter of the U.K.’s “Alien Big Cats,” as they have become known. More than a few years ago, Jonathan Downes, of the British-based Center for Fortean Zoology, received a late-night phone call of a very weird and conspiratorial nature. Something which many of us who immerse ourselves in the world of the unexplained can definitely relate to. The man in question – who preferred not to give Jon his name, and for reasons that will soon become very clear – wanted to discuss the controversy surrounding sightings of Britain’s Alien Big Cats. According to Jon’s very own whistle-blower, back in the early 1980s the man was serving in the British military. It certainly is a fact that in 1983 the Royal Marines were famously at the forefront of an investigation to try and resolve, once and for all, the mysterious matter of what became known as the “Beast of Exmoor.” By most accounts, it was a savage, dangerous, and large black cat of some kind. Where it came from, no-one had a clue.

(Nick Redfern) Jon Downes interviewing a witness to a strange creature

Jon’s informant appeared to know a great deal about the events of 1983, and of big cats in the U.K. The man informed Jon that, contrary to the official story, and contrary to what the UK’s media was told by the government of the day, the Marines really did come across the Beast of Exmoor. In fact, several Beasts of Exmoor. Jon listened carefully as the story unfolded: in the early hours of one particular morning, military personnel tracked the movements of a number of large black cats to the private estate of a certain, powerful figure in Exmoor. Amid all the chaos and uncertainty, the team shot and killed the animals. The whole thing was covered up. How about a water-based monster in the U.K. that isn’t Nessie (after all, we’ve already focused on that/those). So, let’s have a look at Teggie, the resident beast of Wales’ Bala Lake. The lake itself is not out of the ordinary. Not in the slightest. But, what is rumored to dwell in its dark depths most assuredly is out of the ordinary. The lake is the domain of a violent lake monster called Teggie. Or, more than a few of them. So the legend goes, at least. Is the story born out of secret, military experiments, as has been suggested? It all very much depends on who you ask and who you believe.

There are longstanding rumors in and around the Bala area that in the build-up to the First World War, the British Royal Navy clandestinely let loose a group of seals into the lake. The reason? To strap the poor seals with dynamite and train them to attack specific targets, namely German warships. If the Germans decided to wage war with the U.K., – and in the English Channel – the seals would go to work. Unfortunately, they would be killed, too, as a result of the detonations of the dynamite. And, if anyone got a brief look at one of those “secret seals” being trained out in Lake Bala, the government would spread yarns of monsters in the waters, as a means to hide the real truth. I should stress that nothing concrete has ever come to fruition when it comes to Lake Bala and its monsters. The legend, however, continues. Just like so many other tales of lake monsters.

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