Black Weir Pond epping

The Lost Pond is a strange place at the best of times in the area of Loughton Camp within Epping Forest and near Loughton.The proper name was was Blackweir Pond, known to us as the Lost Pond because of it's lost in the middle of the forest location. A strange circular-ish pond where we used to fish at night for carp, I say strange for it had a local and well told reputation at school as a suicide pond, where normal sane individuals would inexplicably drown themselves : that was the local story at least but we were not deterred from fishing. On one of these fishing trips late in the evening in the mid 1970s we had encamped on the bank of the pond, in an area of clear gravel and a little away from the forest (easier to cast), with the fishing umbrellas behind us to form a wind break and preserve some warmth. With floats in the water and torches on them we fished for a couple of hours chatting away. Not much was happening except for the odd small crucian carp that the pond held.Then from behind us out of the forest there came a loud shuffle in the leaves, Then thump, an extremely loud thud Then after a second there was another another thump and then after another - this time with the sound of gravel being crunched, getting closer all the time. The steps were about a second and a half apart.Strange as it sounds, it sounded to me at the time as though a very heavy man had "hopped" out of the forest and was hopping towards us.looking at each other with a mix of fear and annoyance that this might be one of the Epping Forest "Perves" that tales circulated about we grabbed the torches and bank-sticks (rod rests) and stepped out from the umbrellas to do battle in best Schoolboy tradition. There was nobody there.there was no sign that anybody had been there and no sound from the surrounding forest to indicate that someone was escaping from us.We'd had enough at this point, In absolute terror now we packed up quickly (faster than I have ever done so before or since) and ran for it.....well... fast walked through the dark forest Torches pointing everywhere - just in case, bank sticks and sheath knives at the ready.I still have no idea what could have made the noise we heard....suffice it to say that although this occurred some 30 years ago it remains vivid in my memory - because of the complete terror that I felt at the time.