Thursday 9 June 2011

Mutant turtles terrorising London ponds

Evening Standard

25 May 2011

Hybrid turtles are taking hold of London's parks and ponds.
Experts studying 1,600 square kilometres of London and the home counties were shocked to find 10 species and several hybrids. They even found rare African turtles in a Camden park.
Despite culls, numbers are growing. Tom Langton of the London Natural History Society said: "We found a big increase in the sightings of terrapins, a type of turtle popular in the Eighties due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series."
A government ban in 1997 has led to "lookalike" species being sold cheaply in pet shops. Mr Langton said he hoped all terrapins would be banned in the UK.

Thames fish die due to sewage

Red eyes...

Issue 6 of Encounters magazine, from April 1996 features a letter from a woman named Melissa. Melissa, who lived in London, claimed to have had several experiences with 'elemenatals', strange entities who she was able to communicate with and eventually grow unafraid of. However, Melissa's first ever encounter with one of these apparitions took place on a November night in 1995. She wrote, '...a friend and I were at the local park late at night. It is hard to describe in great detail these events as they seem so dim now (strange, considering the encounter only took place a few months previous). Just outside the gate to the park is an old tree, half living, half dead (surely it can only be one or the other!). We both sensed something bad coming from the tree and felt that somehow it was watching us. After returning to my friend's home, I revisited the tree through meditation and experienced something which to this day I cannot positively say was not simply my imagination. I was at the foot of the tree looking upwards towards the top branches. There was something there staring at me. I cannot put a name to what I saw, but it was a black mass, with two bright red eyes. The following month both my friend and I saw similar entities, although never again the one at the tree. Late one evening, on returning home from work my friend witnessed what he describes as an army marching up the hill, from the park towards his home. The army consisted of hundreds of entities approximately seven feet in height wearing long hooded black cloaks with visible blood red eyes. This reminded me of the entity I had seen before.'

Charlton's hairy hands!

In Issue 5 (March 1996) of Encounters magazine (no longer in existence) there is an interesting story concerning a strange creature from the Charlton area. Under the heading 'The Beast Is Back' the magazine featured the following tale: 'This story was in to us by a gentleman in south east London, who was jolted into writing to us as a result of reading a previous readers' story about the same encounter - "Reading your story entitled 'Suffer The Children', sent shivers down my spine. It reminded me of something I encountered in the early 1970s when I was about seven years old. I lived with my mother and baby brother in a council flat in Charlton, London. Myself and my brother were sharing a small bedroom together. It was night-time and I can remember my baby brother being asleep in his cot when the experience happened. Over the top of my headboard appeared a hand, it was dark brown, very hairy, and had long claw-like finger nails. It was definitely not a human hand. I can remember pulling my covers right up over my head, praying silently for morning to come. I spent the whole night awake, and I could not utter a sound but remember dearly wishing that my brother would wake up and cry so someone would hear him. To this day I don't know what it was that I saw, but I do know that I would not like to see it again. Now I always sleep with the covers pulled tightly over my head, and I always pray. I do wonder if it was the same apparition that your other reader saw ? An alien type of werewolf ?"

Friday 3 June 2011


For those of you interested my book, MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON, will be published hopefully within the next couple of months. Please check back and updates will follow. The book, at over 300 pages, focuses on 'big cat' sightings around London - some myth, some reality, and looks back at the history of those who kept such animals. The book also looks at strange animals kept in menagerie's as well as sightings of exotic species in London's waterways - the River Thames being one haven for unusual wildlife. There is also a chapter on sightings of strange birds in the skies over the capital, and also a chapter on London's monstrous folklore with reports of hellhounds, phantom animals etc.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Was it the Surrey puma ?

At the end of May 2011 a woman jogging in woods near her home in Dorking, Surrey got the fright of her life when a large animal leaped down from a tree behind her. The animal, which made a thud as it his the woodland path, was nowhere to be seen, but the woman was so spooked she immediately rang her husband to tell him she was in danger. Further investigations revealed that whatever had leaped from the tree had left large paw prints on the ground.