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 from SNAP.PA

Some 58 “high harm” foreign criminals who were living in the community have been missing since 2010.

Read more

Arsene Wenger is maturing like an average wine. But how phenomenal does his twlight career have to be to overturn any of Fergie’s records?

Read more

The late Lynda Bellingham described details of the Christmas she would never see during her final TV interview.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Some 58 “high harm” foreign criminals who were living in the community have been missing since 2010.

The late Lynda Bellingham described details of the Christmas she would never see during her final TV interview.

All eyes were on Kate for a sign of the baby bump.

The North West was particularly badly hit, while trees were downed across the country and flights were cancelled at Heathrow.

TOP Stories

40 minutes ago
How London Bridge station is expected to look after its regeneration. Perhaps the trains will even run on time!

Due to a signal failure, all trains to and from London Bridge are being delayed by up to 15 minutes getting into and out of the station.

Yesterday, 15:18
Cheryl Evans, with a picture of her murdered son, Warren

The distraught mother of teenager who was stabbed to death almost a decade ago is appealing for witnesses to help find his killer.

Yesterday, 13:53
@OccupyLondon took this photograph of London Assembly member Baroness Jenny Jones being arrested in Parliament Square.

Fifteen protesters have been arrested in Parliament Square as part of the Occupy Parliament demonstrations – including the Green Party peer Baroness Jones, who was promptly un-arrested once officers realised who she was!

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.