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Loch Doon Camping Experience


This was a recent event. On Wednesday 16th September 2020 I decided to head off for a night of wild camping in the Galloway Forest Park in South West Scotland. It's a beautiful area and one of the few 'dark skies' areas in the country. On clear nights the views above are really quite spectacular, you can actually see the Milky Way on a clear night. Any way I digress. I'd been there a few times before, at Loch Doon so I decided to head there to try out some new camping equipment I've bought this year.

I got down there around 5pm and found a nice spot to set up camp right next to the waters edge at the extreme southern end of the Loch where the Carrick Lane flows into the Loch. I set up the tent and tarp and decided to set a fire in a natural 'pit'. I sat out until sun set and decided to 'hunker down' around 9pm. I quickly fell into a deep sleep. I was awakened abruptly at some point and checked the time on my phone, it was 2247. Hearing rummaging sounds outside I naturally presumed it was perhaps deer or even amphibians (the area around the tent was quite marshy) and I slipped back into a deep sleep.

Sometime later I began coming out my slumber and was aware that my sleeping position was somewhat unorthodox my head had slipped off my inflatable pillow and my head was pointing towards the top of my sleeping pad. Although I didn't fully waken I felt a hand grip my shoulder, not tightly, but just enough that I was aware of it. As I lay there semi awake this hand began shaking me back and forth fairly violently to such an extent that my entire body including my head was rocking, at this point I lifted my head and 're-found' my pillow. I kept my eyes closed throughout but once my head was safely back on the pillow I felt the hand release on my shoulder. I lay there motionless for maybe 15 seconds or so aware of a presence in the tent. Oddly even though I didn't want to open my eyes, I didn't feel it was in anyway sinister or evil. After around 15 to 20 seconds I heard the side of my tent and the tarp around it rustle as though someone had brushed against it. It wasn't wind as it was very much isolated to the area directly behind me where this 'hand' had come from.

I lay, keeping my eyes closed and soon drifted off again into a good sleep. I wakened around 6am, and sat watching the sun rise, packed up and headed off around 7am all the while thinking this experience through the night.

I have to share my gut instinct on this. I felt that perhaps the position in which I was sleeping was possibly blocking my airways. I feel this 'spirit', this 'ghost' or whatever it was prevented me from choking in my sleep. It shook me with the purpose of at least wakening me enough that I'd alter my position, thereby opening my airways up again, allowing me to breathe. It's then stayed long enough to be sure I wasn't going to slip back to an 'unsafe' sleeping position.

Some may say I was sleeping the whole time, but I can assure you, I wasn't. I know what sleep is, I know what awake is and I know what that 'limbo' which lies between asleep and awake is, when you are aware of your surroundings, aware of where you are and aware that you are in that space where fully awakening isn't happening, or sleep. It's not sleep paralysis, I never at any point felt unable to move, or frightened. Indeed I moved freely when I lifted my head onto the pillow. I never felt like someone was applying pressure to me at any point, I was completely relaxed throughout the experience, I simply felt no desire to open my eyes.

I felt I had to share this experience and am wondering if anyone else has experienced something similar to this while camping.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Aliendewd, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

LightMight (4 stories) (137 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-10)
You know who had large hands, with long, boney fingers? E.T. - just sayin'...
If you ever return to Galloway Forest Park for camping, please consider taking a trail camera, or some type of recording device (s) to place inside and outside your tent. Would be cool if you could capture something!
Aliendewd (6 stories) (22 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-10)

I honestly don't know what it was. I've wondered from time to time over the last few weeks what would have happened had I opened my eyes? What would I have seen? I just literally felt no need to, and that's what pushes me to the belief this was some kind of guardian angel or some other entity looking to help.
I had been thinking of my Mum the weeks leading upto my trip as it was the 19th anniversary of her passing on the 18th August and I have wondered if perhaps it was her. The thing which puts me off that is that I recall the general size of the hand felt quite large and the fingers felt long and boney (my Mum was a wee woman 5'3" with wee hands).
Aliendewd (6 stories) (22 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-10)
I agree totally, this light may well have been one of the many satellites, however, as I said in my previous comment, it was unidentifiable (whatever it was) and was therefor a UFO.
I've seen many odd lights in the sky over the years. My Dad, who's a retired Policeman has told me many stories of when he was out on Nightshift and seeing many strange things from triangular light formations buzzing around the night sky, leaving formation, regrouping then setting off over head at great speed (always in the southern sky oddly enough) to phantom horsemen galloping down quiet country roads, Roman Soldiers marching in formation through fields, ball lightening or even the sound of knights duelling in a field where boulders known as the 'clanking stains' stand.
It's a mysterious world in which we live. I do however draw the line at such things as Vampires and Werewolves. I can't for the life of me get with that at all.
LightMight (4 stories) (137 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-09)
Well, I guess if you've ruled out cryptids, body tremors (sleep apnea or meds., etc.), and lucid dreaming, you're left with something inexplicable and puzzling still. I tend to like the extraterrestrial idea, but it could've been a guardian spirit intervening after all...
Manafon1 (7 stories) (718 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-08)
Aliendewd--Really enjoyed your account. The theory that the "spirit" was shaking you to possibly prevent you from choking seems like a good one. You asked in a follow-up comment if anyone else has ever seen a moving light in the sky in one of the "dark sky" areas of the UK and indeed my wife and I did on a visit to England back in 2000. We had rented a car (birth in fire driving for a guy from America) and were driving through Dorset in the south west of England and we stopped for a couple of days in a little village called Melbury Bubb. We were out one night staring at the most incredible night sky we'd ever seen. The Milky way spread out before us, when we both noticed a bright fast moving light that seemed incredibly high and made no sound. Like your light it moved east to west.

Whatever it was was unidentified to us but I've since come to think it quite possible that it was a satellite. There are at least 1,700 floating around above the Earth (almost certainly far more) and it seems likely we were seeing one of them. Then again, it could have been a visitor from another world. I'll never know but I lean towards a man made satellite.
Aliendewd (6 stories) (22 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-08)

We do have a 'wild man' legend here in Scotland 'Am Fear Liath Mor' (In Gaelic), which is said to haunt Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms which is quite a bit further north than where I was.
I also have to say reading your initial comment regarding a Sasquatch in Scotland I had to use our friendly neighbourhood google, out of curiosity and there is a guy who claims to have found a 14" footprint in the Dumfries and Galloway Forest Park. He also claims to have taken a photo of this 'creature' though of course no such photo is attached to his story.

I would say whatever happened, there would've been no way for someone to physically be in the tent with me without them literally being on top of me (it was a small '2 man' tent. Really more a 1 man in truth.) No, this was almost as though the hand had reached through the material of the tarp and the tent. The rustling as this 'entity' (for want of a better word) moved off once I was clearly in a safe sleeping position was localised to the area directly behind me.
I really don't know if others have experienced anything similar in the area, that's partially why I posted this story, and given the specific site I pitched at. I'm curious if anyone has experienced anything at Loch Doon or Galloway Forest Park as a whole.
As I mentioned at the start of my story, it's one of the few 'dark sky' areas in the country and on a clear night the skies are stunning, you can see the Milky Way, it's that clear. There was one occasion I was there with a friend and we're sitting out talking and inevitably the conversation turned to 'UFOs' and 'Aliens' generally. She said she didn't believe in UFOs or Aliens. Now it was a crystal clear night (end of August), i've looked up and here's a bright light in the sky heading East to West and this thing was moving. I pointed it out to her and asked her what it was? It wasn't an airplane, it was going way too fast. It wasn't ISS (as I checked on my phone where it was at that time and it was over Russia somewhere). It wasn't a Meteor, there was no tail. It was a singular white light, bright, and clearly exceptionally high, moving fast.
Now i'm not saying that what it was was Extra-Terrestrial, but it was Unidentifiable and was therefor a UFO.
Perhaps this entity was an extra terrestrial, perhaps not. I don't know, but I would be very interested to know if people have had similar happenings while camping there or even camping in general.
LightMight (4 stories) (137 posts)
4 years ago (2020-10-08)
Does Sasquatch (Bigfoot) live in Scotland too? 🤔 I know they famously research Nessy there...
You've had a very interesting and mysterious experience, Aliendewd! Do you know if anyone else experienced anything similar or strange in that particular area?

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