In many ways we are very lucky. We get to travel around the world looking for mystery animals, and then write books about our adventures. Of course it isn’t quite as simple as that, because there is a whole slew of mundane administration and stuff, but on the whole doing what we do is a heck of a lot better than having a proper job. We live in Woolsery and we run The Centre for Fortean Zoology – the world’s largest mystery animal research group, and once a year we invite devotees of the weird and wonderful here for the internationally famous Weird Weekend.

We also write a monthly column for The Bideford Post and we decided that it was about time that we introduced Weird Torridgeside to the blogosphere..

Sunday, 8 March 2009

GUES BLOGGER NIGEL WRIGHT: That Old Devil strikes again

I had intended to have finished off my next blog for the CFZ Bloggo a few days ago, but due to the rather interesting news about new “Devil’s footprints” appearing in North Devon, a few days ago, I have decided to re-write my article. May I, at this early point, add my own comment on this new case. One thing of which I am certain is that I totally agree with Jon when he states that this is NOT a case of the devil actually appearing in our beautiful county! I am sure that there is a perfectly natural explanation for this new appearance, as well as the case from the 19th century.

So, just what did occur in Devon, all those years ago? Well, here are the bare facts of the case; in so much as we know them. On the 8th February 1855 sometime between midnight and 6a.m. mysterious footprints appeared in deep snow, between Littleham village, in East Devon and Totnes, in the South Hams of Devon. These “footprints were cloven-shaped, and seemed to run one in front of another. The distance these prints ran for was truly amazing, as was the objects they seemed to climb over. In one instance they went over a 14ft high wall! Many “explanations” were offered at the time, raging from the just plausible to the downright ridiculous! For instance, someone, who must of suffered from a very over-active imagination, offered the answer that an hot air balloon had trailed a print-making device over the area, on the end of a rope, at night!. Fine flying indeed!

What is not so well known is that this is not the first of this type of event to have occurred in the UK. Way back, in the year 1205 (19th July to be precise) a series of strange “footprints” appeared during a violent electric storm. So, whatever the cause of these mysterious visitors really is, it appears to happen a lot more often than we thought. Nor is these phenomena restricted to the UK, there are reports of similar events happening all over the known world.

Why is this particular case so interesting to me? Well, I happen to live in Littleham! And the church in the village is where the footprints started from. So this is a case that happened not a mile from my front door. The whole area of East Devon is steeped in cases of extreme weirdness. From waves of UFO activity to black cat sightings and disappearances, and much, much more! But that, as they say, is a completely different story.

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