Brit’s terrifying Bigfoot encounter in UK park bushes that changed course of her life

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Deborah Hatswell says seeing Big Foot was the "scariest event of her life"


Deborah Hatswell was just a teenager when she came face to face with a terrifying beast.

She was walking with a friend in Buile Hill Park, Salford, when a large, ape-like creature came out of the bushes towards them.

The incident happened in 1982, but Deborah, now 53, ­remembers it “as clear as day”.

“We heard something ­rustling in the bushes, then the beast leant forward at us through them,” she recalls.

“It looked like a man and an ape had been combined ­together in some way. It had huge muscles on its jaw, square teeth and no hair on its face but was covered in hair on its neck and chest.

“The creature was huge, around 7ft tall and 4ft across its chest. Without thinking, I left my friend and ran home.

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Deborah says seeing the beast was the “scariest event of her life”

“Coming face to face with this Bigfoot was the scariest event of my life.”

Deborah’s terrifying experience “changed the course” of her life, and led her to appeal to other people who had seen similar beings to help solve the mystery.

And, chillingly, she discovered she was not the only person to spot the Bigfoot creature in that same place.

She says: “Other people in my town saw the same thing, in the same park. There are reports dating back to the 1960s, and it’s even been spotted as recently as four years ago.”

An artist's impression of the ape man Big Foot Deborah saw
An artist’s impression of the ape man Deborah saw

Over the years, she has had thousands of people get in touch about similar creatures they have seen and has even compiled a comprehensive map of UK Bigfoot sightings.

Deborah, who now lives in Bolton, has also collected eyewitness reports about other unusual phenomena, from UFOs and werewolves to supernatural beings and poltergeists, and has a research team who help her.

She also has a podcast, Cryptid Creatures And Unexplained Events, where she interviews witnesses about what they have seen.

“Getting people to share their stories often brings others forward who have had similar experiences,” says Deborah.

“My interviewees come from all walks of life, and there’s no typical witness.

She discovered she was not the only person to spot the Big Foot creature in Buile Hill Park, Salford
She discovered she was not the only person to spot the Bigfoot creature in that same place

“One woman, a civil servant from Preston, recently told me she once saw a man morph into a reptilian figure then back into a man again.

“I had a police officer get in touch with me over a werewolf report that was given to his force in Leicestershire.

“Sometimes I’m the first person they’ve told – they’ve not even spoken to family or friends because they’re worried about not being believed, but in some cases these experiences have stuck with them for years.”

Deborah has spoken to many people who say they have been abducted by aliens too.

People have also told Deborah how they believe they have had contact with aliens
People have also told Deborah how they believe they have had contact with aliens

She says: “I’ve heard stories from people who have had moments of ‘missing time’, where they have hours they can’t account for but when they come round they have blood on their clothes or things like ball bearings stuck in them.

“One woman told me she has been abducted a number of times, and was left with scratches on her back.

“Another chap said he felt something up his nose one night and he pulled out a plastic implant, soon after seeing a craft hovering above him.

“Sometimes people have described being in a spaceship, and can see alien creatures with long nails and black fingers working on them.

“I was never interested in creatures or mysteries until I saw the ape man,” says Deborah

“These witnesses have been told they have been dreaming, but they’re left with physical injuries and it can be very traumatising.”

Deborah also says some parts of the UK are hotspots for spooky activity.

These include Cannock Chase, Staffs, which has long been a centre of UFO activity and is rumoured to be home to black-eyed ghost children and a creepy “pig man”, as well as the M6, believed to be Britain’s most haunted road.

“I’ve had a lot of cases from the M6,” says Deborah. “These have included upright, hairy creatures of around 7ft tall and UFO and ghost sightings.

“A story recently came in about this man who lived near the motorway. As a child, he saw what he described as a ‘gorilla’ staring through his bedroom window, and it still scares him even though he’s in his thirties.”

People are often divided over whether aliens exist

And Deborah reckons the coronavirus lockdown has caused an increase in sightings. “Most of the cases we usually get are historical, so, for example, somebody telling us about something they saw 30 years ago,” she says.

“Since I’ve been doing this, it’s only two or three a year that are recent events.

“But between Covid-19 hitting the UK and last May, we already had five reports of stuff that was recent, including one from a delivery driver who saw a mysterious beast while on his shift.

“I’m not sure exactly what is behind this.

“It could be because more people are going out for walks to places that are remote, such as nature reserves.” Deborah firmly ­believes that “ordinary people see extraordinary things every day”.

She adds: “I may have not had the same experiences as some of my interviewees, but I do know what it’s like to see something strange and not be believed.

“I was never interested in creatures or mysteries until I saw the ape man.

“If somebody had told me at the time they’d seen that, I probably would have laughed at them. But I know what I saw that day and it really happened. It had a massive effect on my life.”

● You can find and listen to Deborah’s podcast Cryptid Creatures And Unexplained Events on podcasts.apple.com





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