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BRITISH BIGFOOT ON LOOSE in Tunbridge Wells

Ape-man roaming Kentish streets? Must be Friday night

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A paranormal investigator is probing a sighting in Tunbridge Wells of the legendary "Kentish Apeman" - a hirsute 8ft-tall creature with "red demonic eyes".

The beast was allegedly spotted prowling the 200-acre Tunbridge Wells Common last month, some 70 years after it scared the living daylights out a couple at the same spot.

Suspiciously there are no details on the latest encounter, but one resident known only as "Graham S" apparently hit cyberspace to explain "how when he was working as a painter in the house of an elderly lady, she regaled him with a tale of coming face to face with the apeman on the common during World War Two".

His chilling account read: “One particular day she went to the common with her husband and was sitting on a bench when they became aware of a shuffling noise behind them.

“Upon turning around both her husband and herself saw what she described as a tall, hairy ape like creature with eyes that were burning a reddish colour and it was moving towards them at a slow pace. They observed this creature for some time until they became afraid and they both fled – terrified.

“She went on to say that they told the police and members of their family, thinking that a gorilla had escaped from a zoo, but were laughed at and were not believed.”

Rochester paranormal expert Neil Arnold has gathered further eyewitness evidence of the apeman. A girl named Charlotte was in Dartford, driving home from the University of Kent, when "she saw a creature with long arms and knees which came up under its chin as it walked".

In 1991, five members of the Territorial Army fought off the beast with stones and verbals on Blue Bell Hill, outside Maidstone, while in Chatham "a young girl with her partner saw the apeman appear then run off into the bushes".

Arnold believes the Kentish Apeman is a paranormal phenomenon, related to folklore of "wild men of the woods", although he admits it's a big ask to prove it. He said: "It’s a very touchy subject in the sense that these things are really not normal. I get some unusual reports. There have been reports all over England, but we can never prove something paranormal."

An alternative explanation is that Kent's very own Yeti is very much a flesh-and-blood animal. Anyone who's been to the Medway Towns or Dartford on a Saturday night will doubtless be able to provide Arnold with shocking stories of demon-eyed creatures staggering out of nightclubs to terrify young women before disappearing into the bushes or a nearby kebab shop. ®

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