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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More Quirky London

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
An artist's impression of how the slide will look

Although the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower is a pretty distinctive site in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Londoners haven’t really taken it into their hearts in the same way we have Tower Bridge, the Gherikin, or even the Shard - but that could be about to change with plans to turn it into a giant helter-skelter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
The Mr Men in London book will be available from June 4th

The Mr Men will become Londoners on June 4 when a new book featuring them on a Big Smoke day trip is published.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
(Tony Kershaw / SWNS.com)

Britain’s grumpiest tree has been spotted growing in Blackheath Park in Greenwich, south east London.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Take a dip in the King's Cross Pond Club

A huge new natural outdoor swimming pond will open to the public in the heart of busy King’s Cross on Friday - just in time for the bank holiday weekend.

Monday, May 18, 2015
You don't see this every morning! [Photograph by Mikael Buck/Airbnb
]

If you saw this strange sight this morning, we can explain everything. You really DID see a house floating down the rover - and it is real.

Thursday, May 14, 2015
This black cab has been embalzoned with a rainbow as part of the International Day Against Homophobia [Photograph from Transport for London]

A classic London black cab has been transformed with a LGBT pride rainbow to mark the Internation Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on Sunday May 17.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more
Cheers!

We’re giving you the chance to win six cases of this fab Bradshaw Chardonnay.

Read more