When A Monster May Not Be A Monster

Posted by K R on

Of the many strange and varied mysteries of the U.K., there are few stranger than that of the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui (BGM), which is a mountain in Scotland’s Cairngorms range. There’s no doubt at all that the leading authority on the BGM is researcher-author Andy Roberts. He has spent a huge amount of time trying to get to the heart of the mystery of this alleged, large, shadowy thing that some have claimed is a definitive British Bigfoot. Others, meanwhile, have asserted that it is nothing stranger than something akin to what is known as a Brocken Specter. It is described as: “…an apparently greatly magnified shadow of an observer cast against mist or cloud below the level of a summit or ridge and surrounded by rainbow colored fringes resulting from the diffraction of light.” Andy’s extensive paper on this very issue – “The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui and Other Mountain Panics” – is essential reading. You can find it in Andy’s book, Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal. “When considering any physical evidence connected to the BGM,” says Andy, “it is worth noting that some accounts refer to photographs of unknown footprints taken in the Spey Valley . Although the location of the photographs is some fifteen miles from the summit of Ben Macdui, it has been claimed or inferred by some writers that they may of the BGM. Indeed, Rennie cites a ghillie as saying (upon seeing the footprints) they were ‘Bodach tracks.’ This comment, made by a local man may indicate the survival of a tradition connecting unexplained phenomena to the legendary ‘Bodach’ or old man, of wider Scottish legend. As these tracks have been proffered as physical evidence for the BGM in the literature, they and their possible origins need addressing.’ The actual source of the photographs to which Andy refers are referenced in the book Romantic Strathspey: Its Lands, Clans and Legends, penned by James Alan Rennie. In its pages, Rennie described how on December 2, 1952 and around a mile outside of the village of Cromdale, he came across mysterious tracks which, as he recalled and noted in his book, “were running across a stretch of snow covered moorland, each print 19 inches long by about 14 inches wide and there must have been all of seven feet between each ‘stride.’ There was no differentiation between a left and a right foot, and they preceded in an approximately single line.”

Read More: Mysterious Universe


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