A SINISTER figure has reportedly been caught on camera lurking in the woods in western Switzerland.
Dressed in a military uniform with a gas mask covering his face, the figure, known as ‘Le Loyon’, is said to have been haunting the woods for the past decade. He apparently walks the same route every day.
However, there was no evidence of his existence until local news website Le Matin published the first known photograph of the mystery man last month, and now police are trying to track him down. But is it for real?
“I came across him near the marches,” an unnamed amateur photographer who tracked him down told Le Matin. “I approached him up to a dozen metres away.
“He had a military cape, boots and an army gas mark – an antique type, I think. He measured more than 1.9m. He stared at me then turned his back on me and left in silence.”
Other locals have also told of their frightening encounters with the man.
“It scared my children,” a woman said. “He came out of the woods with his military clothes. We saw neither his face nor his eyes behind his big dark gas mask. It was scary and I know women who are venturing alone in the forest.”
Another local resident, Marianne Descloux of Maules, said she also saw him: “It was a rainy Sunday. He had on a cap, a dark cloak and gas mask. What goes on in his head? I don’t know. It was unpleasant. I hope I never run into him again.”
The figure was also reportedly spotted clutching what appeared to be a bunch of flowers.
“Families simply won’t go into the forest any more,” a farmer said.
Police want to speak to Le Loyon to ask him to be less threatening, although he’s shown no signs of aggressive behaviour.
Such is the hysteria, that he has been called ‘Switzerland’s answer to the Loch Ness monster’.
“The situation is delicate because we basically have nothing against this person,” Guy Savary, the municipal official in charge of forests, said.
“But since he arouses these fears, we are going to hold meeting to see if we can find a way of locating him, and discouraging him from behaving as he does.”
Some believe he could be suffering from a nasty skin condition, is mentally ill or a hermit.
So what do you think, is it a hoax?