Weird Norfolk: Have you seen the beast of the A1075?

Weird Norfolk. The A1075 road from Thetford to Wretham where a 'shaggy creature' was seen in 1986, a

Weird Norfolk. The A1075 road from Thetford to Wretham where a 'shaggy creature' was seen in 1986, and again in 2007. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The Wildman of Watton or Bigfoot of the Forest, whatever name you choose to give the creature, there's mounting evidence of a Sasquatch on the loose

If you went down to the woods that day, you were sure of a Big surprise…

June 1986 was an unsettled month filled with unusual and unexpected weather conditions which saw huge hailstones fall from the sky, violent thunderstorms which disrupted electricity supplies and extensive flooding across the country in all but the east. In Norfolk, nights were frequently shrouded in fog.

But it was a clear night when the witness to this particular shaggy dog – or rather, shaggy beast – story which took place between Thetford and East Wretham. The former is fringed with deep forests, the latter boasts Breckland's oldest nature reserve which was bought by Norfolk Wildlife Trust at the start of World War Two.

It is now an open heath boasting two meres which are home to scarce breeding birds, numerous rabbits, stoats, red, roe and muntjac deer and many rare species. One in particular was afoot one evening in June 1986 as an unnamed driver made their way along the A1075 towards Thetford.

The witness spotted a large, long-haired creature with a light grey shaggy coat. The hairy hominid had a long snout, small ears, saucer-like eyes and walked on four legs – the driver thought he had seen a huge dog and, bewildered, turned around to drive past the creature again.

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On the return journey, indeed on the third return journey (the witness was curious and wanted the best view possible) the beast rose up on its hind legs like a human, but a human who was at least six, if not eight, feet tall. The driver decided not to risk a further return visit.

A few days later, however, they returned to the same spot on the otherwise unremarkable A road and when they examined the ground close to their sighting, there were drag marks on the forest floor as if something substantial had been dragged for some distance.

The driver wondered if the creature had been disturbed as it was eating at the roadside and had subsequently dragged its prey to a quieter spot. Twenty-one years later, in December 2007, another witness saw a similar creature in the same area, describing it as having grey hair with black patches.

Thetford, with its dense forest and acres of unspoilt heathland, is a veritable magnet for creatures that walk between the veil of the known and the unknown: other sightings in the area include the Thetford Forest Park Bear (1979), the Elvedon Creature (2011) and the Thetford Walking Figure in the Dark (2017).

In 2009, another creature was spotted in Thetford Forest. An eyewitness said: 'Myself and a friend had been camping the night before and had got up at first light. We packed up and were on the move just after sunrise. As we strolled along, my mate suddenly stopped and said: 'can you see that?' I looked over to where he was pointing and saw something looking back at us across a small clearing. It stood about seven foot tall and all I can describe it as is 'not of this world'. I get the creeps when I'm camping out at night remembering it.'

Could there be a cryptid creature foraging in the forest, a Yeti-like beast that generally camouflages itself in deep thickets and is only disturbed once in a blue moon? Cryptozoologists suggest that would-be Sasquatch spotters listen for the stealthy footfalls of a large creature and open their nostrils: Bigfoot is said to have big body odour.

For more information about Bigfoot sightings in Norfolk (and the UK), visit the British Wildman Sightings map created by British Bigfoot Research Group.For more Weird Norfolk click here.

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