The Mysterious Beast of Brentford

What you are about to read may sound like pure fantasy, and you are entitled to your opinion. All I can do is present the facts for you to judge for yourself.

It was a warm London summer’s day, and Brentford’s Braemer Road was bathed in the glow from the rays. Suddenly, Kevin Chippendale noticed something odd in the sky. It was no bird, much too large, and no plane, for it was a creature. Whatever the pedestrian was observing, it somehow resembled a dragon, or more so a griffin, but surely not, and then, rather coincidentally, it soared towards the Green Dragon apartments.

Fast forward to February of the next year, a bitterly cold day, and again, Mr Chippendale is strolling through the area, and unexpectedly it’s there again, this time he could make out clearer details, characteristics, such as a long muzzle, dog-like in form but large wings which convinced Kevin that what he was seeing must surely have stemmed from his mind as a hallucination. However, a friend of Kevin’s, named Angela Keyhoe, also spotted the beast, a massive bird-like critter perched near the Watermans Art Centre, and then psychologist John Olssen, whilst jogging near the Thames, had his own sighting.

Suddenly the media flocked upon the scene and programmes such as The Six ‘o Clock Show were quick to cover the story of what would become known as the Brentford Griffin. Many sceptics shouted ‘hoax’ but the snowball effect had gone into motion, locals were seeing things in the sky that either were or weren’t there, phone-in options were given to any witness who’d sighted the monster, and eventually Andrew Collins published The Brentford Griffin: The Truth Behind the Tales.

Paranormal researchers were quick to link the sightings to the fact that the local football team, Brentford, had a coat of arms complete with proud griffin, and they also played at Griffin Park, whilst the local public house, The Griffin, was also caught up in the circus. It was as if the town’s symbolic creature had come to life, and the beast, which had been buried deep within the human psyche, was now taking flight.

Of course, when the sightings died down, so did the fuss, convincing many that there was no flying wonder, merely a sum of misinterpretation, hysteria and hoax. However, a Martin Collins mentioned that he’d heard of the beast as far back as the 1950s whilst at school in St John’s which back then was overlooked by Brentford’s football stadium.

Legend was rife that a griffin-like creature was brought to the town by King Charles II as a gift for his mistress. However the poor beast fell into the River Brent and washed away, presumed dead. The creature ended up living healthily at the Brentford Eyot. The story doesn’t end here though. Sir Joseph Banks was reported to have brought a griffin back from a Pacific Island when in the company of Captain Cook. The beast was housed at Kew Gardens which was situated across the water from the Eyot, and the two monsters allegedly bred.

Pure myth, I hear you cry. Possibly. Yet something large, winged and resembling a griffin was seen in the skies over London in the 1980s, and throughout history there have been hundreds of reports from across the world of similar flying creatures.

Image by Wili Hybrid courtesy of Flickr

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