Britain’s biggest Bigfoot buff says meeting an ape-like man when she was a girl has scarred her for life.
Deborah Hatswell, 52, is the brains behind British Bigfoot Research which she started after finding no explanation for her life-changing encounter with a beast in the wild.
Grandmother of two, Debbie said: “When I was 15 in 1982, I saw something that changed the course of my life and led me on the path I am still on today almost 40 yrs later.
“I saw something completely impossible. 40 years on I now know ordinary people witness and experience impossible events the world over and many of those people live here in the UK.”
Debbie knows not everyone will believe her but insists that does not take away the trauma she still faces decades later.
As a teenager, Debbie had never even heard of various unexplained creatures and cryptids but coming face to face with one soon changed that.
Debbie from Worsley, Greater Manchester said: “For me, it was a creature that looked like a cross between an ape and a man.
“The Creature reports are not what is important here, it’s the people who see them, the effect it has on that person, and the limitations it puts on their life, the constant questions and worry that come with seeing something that ‘does not exist’
“I saw this as a child, it was the most terrifying event of my entire life and caused me many problems.”
“I searched for people even back then hoping they could explain the event away for me, or give me a reasonable explanation of what I saw and why.
“That never happened, but people in my town also saw the same thing, in the same park that I saw it.
“I have traced those witness reports back to the 1960s and the last sighting event being in 2016.”
Bigfoot is commonly just thought of as being a North American phenomenon but Debbie’s lifetime of research has revealed hundreds of reports up and down the UK.
Several names have been given to describe the wild giant such as the yeti and abominable snowman rumoured to roam the Himalayan Mountains.
She and ten others have described the animal stalking the park and bike paths around her home town of Pendleton in Salford as having a massive, thickly muscled body covered in hair.
Debbie said: “He looked like an ancient man of some kind, or a hominid, hair covered and impossible.
“This event should not have happened, in the scheme of things is completely off the charts, but I would take any test available to prove to others what I saw.
“I searched on the radio, local newspapers, ancient archives, anywhere I could to find a possible match for what I saw.”
Debbie last reported suspicious activity as recently as December 2019 in Derbyshire.
As the leader of British Bigfoot Research Debbie has relied on the help me of meet ups and interviews with people in the same terrified position she was in 38 years ago.
She added: “Many of your readers will no doubt question myself, the witnesses and the reports themselves. Which is a natural human reaction and one I have faced for 40 years.
“But all the scepticism in the world does not take away my fear of the woods at night, it doesn’t take away the searching and looking for others.
“It doesn’t take away from the ordinary working class man or woman presented with an impossible sight on their evening walk, or the police officer left to guard a crime scene who is suddenly confronted with a beast.
“And the ones I fear the most, the ‘invisible’ creatures that walk alongside you in the brush, stopping when you stop, or walking as you walk, never seen, but often heard growling or snarling as it shadows you in the woods.”
Debbie started meeting fellow witnesses 18 years ago and each time they would thank her for listening to them without making them feel like a fool or an outcast.
“Over the last 18 yrs this community has grown to epic proportions and we have members in every County.
“If a report comes in I can find each person a validation account and a person who has seen the same as they have.” Debbie continued.
Debbie said sightings are so far and wide in the UK that there is not one hotspot but admits Thetford Forest in East Anglia and Cannock Chase in Staffordshire are two of the most well know.
If you have had an experience you can not explain and would like help from BBR, visit: debbiehatswell.podbean.com.