Le Loyon is a mysterious humanoid figure that was seen hiking the Friborg Forest near the Swiss town of Maules daily from 2003 through 2013. The figure was 1.9 meters or 6.2 feet tall, and was always sighted wearing a boiler suit, cloak, and gas mask. Although the figure was reported to be harmless, many residents felt threatened by the figure and the police did search for the figure a couple times because of the aforementioned threatening appearance and weird mannerisms of the figure. Also known as the 'ghost' or 'hermit' of Maules, the figure disappeared in November of 2013.
Sightings of Le Loyon were reported all the way back from 2003, with residents reporting a 'strange giant' wandering the woods. Residents testified that Le Loyon terrified their children; women also testified that they were scared to enter the woods alone.
Many theories and urban legends about the figure has spread around the town. Some theorized that it was a ghost of a soldier or mentally unstable individual, others theorized that it was some sort of cryptid or alien. The most popular theories stated that the figure was a hermit, and that it wore concealing clothes because of insecurity and/or deformities. The gender of the figure was ambiguous.
The figure did not gain huge public attention from outside the town until 2013 when the Swiss/French news-provider Le Matin posted an article with the first ever photograph of Le Loyon from a hiker (who chose to be anonymous) who was walking with his family. This is what the hiker told the reporter:
"I approached, about ten meters away. He had a military pilgrim, boots and an army gas mask—an old model, I believe. It measured more than 1.90 m. He fixed me. Then turned my back on me and went away quietly.
"He—or she, by the way—was not aggressive. But if I had been alone I would have approached him to tell him that it scares children. Except that I was with mine, who was scared and I had to reassure. So I stayed cautious and I just took a picture with my phone when he left. You never know, maybe he's crazy."
The photo and article became viral in Switzerland and popularized the figure's presence; to the point where it was sometimes referred to as 'the Swiss Loch Ness." More people were hiking the woods in hope to find the figure. Although it was rumored that the figure hiked daily, eyewitnesses of the figure were uncommon. The reactions of seeing Le Loyon were similar—the witnesses felt frightened and uncomfortable, despite the lack of aggressiveness in Le Loyon actions.
The last reported sighting was in November of 2013. A woman reported that she saw Le Loyon in the forest picking flowers:
"It was a rainy Sunday. He had on a cap, a dark cloak, and is gas mask. What could possibly be going through his head? I don't know, but it was unforgettable—and unpleasant. I hope I don't run into him ever again."
Shortly afterwards, Le Matin posted another article on Le Loyon. Its clothes and a note was found near a tree. The note reads, "The risk of a hunt for the Beast had become too big." Le Loyon had never been sighted since.
To this day, no-one knows who, or what, Le Loyon was. No-one knows if it committed suicide or just simply went into hiding. Residents reportedly celebrated Le Loyon's disappearance, with Le Matin quoting a resident: "It's pretty good news!"
In the note Le Loyon left behind references to masochism. So far nothing else had been identified to help find its identity.