The ‘Beast of Hackney Marshes’ mystery - pictures

14:29 17 May 2012

A hoax, a large dog, or the beast of Hackney Marshes?

A hoax, a large dog, or the beast of Hackney Marshes?

Helen Murray - submitted

A strange creature has been captured on camera on Hackney Marshes - 30 years after the unexplained sighting of another mystery beast sparked a full-scale search for a suspected bear on the loose.

Terrified university student Helen Murray said she took the snaps while out for a stroll near dense woodland close to a path near the Old River Lea on bank holiday Monday earlier this month.

She said she was stopped in her tracks by the unknown animal, which was larger than a person and covered in shaggy black fur.

“I tried to stay calm as I wasn’t sure what kind of animal it was or if it was even alive,” she said. “I had my phone ready to call 999. Then the creature moved. Somehow I managed to take a couple of pictures before I ran.

“I managed to get away but was scared half to death.”

Ms Murray says she didn’t contact the police because she thought they wouldn’t believe her.

A spokeswoman for Hackney police said there have been no other reports of sightings, while experts at London Zoo said the pictures were not clear enough for them to comment.

The photographs have revived memories of the unexplained case of a bear reportedly sighted on the Marshes in 1981 - 50 police officers, army marksmen, and a helicopter were drafted in to search the area, but the beast was never found.

Officers at the time stressed the people who’d seen the animal were not hoaxers, although they admitted they could have been victims of a hoax.

Two bear carcasses had previously been found nearby in the River Lea and it remains a mystery how they got there.

• A hoax, a large dog, or the Beast of Hackney Marshes? What do you think of the pictures? Send us your comments below or email us at hg.editorial@archant.co.uk.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 19:20
Central Line drivers will go on strike, disrupting more than one million passengers in London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

More than one million Londoners will be disrupted after drivers on the Central Line walk out in a strike over working conditions.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:20
Keepers Jack Sargent and Adam Davies measure Perry, a 6ft llama, and Mocha, a 4 month-old llama (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

From tiny insects to huge jungle beasts all 17,000 animals at ZSL London Zoo had to be herded, lifted or coaxed onto the scales for the annual weigh-in.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:56
A life-size statue of Amy Winehouse will be unveiled in Camden next month (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch said his daughter will ‘oversee the comings and goings of her home town forever’ after it was announced a life-size statue of the singer will be unveiled in Camden.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 19:20
Central Line drivers will go on strike, disrupting more than one million passengers in London (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

More than one million Londoners will be disrupted after drivers on the Central Line walk out in a strike over working conditions.

Yesterday, 16:20
Keepers Jack Sargent and Adam Davies measure Perry, a 6ft llama, and Mocha, a 4 month-old llama (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

From tiny insects to huge jungle beasts all 17,000 animals at ZSL London Zoo had to be herded, lifted or coaxed onto the scales for the annual weigh-in.

Yesterday, 13:56
A life-size statue of Amy Winehouse will be unveiled in Camden next month (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch said his daughter will ‘oversee the comings and goings of her home town forever’ after it was announced a life-size statue of the singer will be unveiled in Camden.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Will the relaxtion of the rules on phone use open the floodgates to selfie madness at The National Gallery (Picture via Getty)

Will the National Gallery become selfie central after it removes the ban on photography to avoid confusion over visitors using the new Wi-Fi?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
The television programme Whose Line is it Anyway? showcased the art of improv

Now that whole regiments of London comedians have dissolved in the festival mists north of the border it’s a good time to sample a different sort of humour.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Carlisle Bay in the Caribbean has 9 courts

Tennis anyone? Wimbledon might be over but that’s no reason to let the racket get dusty.

Quizzes

Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more
But which London?! [Photo courtesy of Basher Eyre]

You might know London like the back of your hand, but how well do you know the other Londons - and London landmarks - across the world?

Read more