COULD this be the legendary Rombald, the Giant of Ilkley Moor, caught on camera at last?

Moo Ping Vivienne, of Eaton Road, Ilkley, caught this amazing image while walking on the moors, showing what appears to be a gigantic figure framed in the mist.

Legend has it that the moor was once the home of Rombald, the giant who one story says created the Cow and Calf rocks while hurling boulders across the valley in a rage.

But Moo Ping hasn’t captured Rombald at all… though the real explanation is almost as astonishing.

In pictures taken by husband Jolyon West, the images show a tall, shadowy figure and a separate one with two figures, surrounded by a glowing halo.

It’s actually a rare meteorological phenomenon known as a Brocken Spectre.

Named after the German mountain where it was first witnessed, the Brocken Spectre is actually an optical illusion.

It occurs when conditions are just right to cast people’s magnified shadows on to low cloud.

So the image of “Rombald” is actually Moo Ping herself, while the two ghostly figures together are her and Jolyon.

Ilkley Gazette: The Brocken Spectre on Ilkley MoorThe Brocken Spectre on Ilkley Moor

Moo Ping got in touch to share this fascinating phenomenon with Ilkley Gazette readers. She said: “Our camera phone only captured a whisker of this spectacular beautiful optical phenomenon we accidentally stumbled into.

“It was spooky and eerie to meet our ghostly figures In mid-air set against a luminous halo of rainbow colours. I was so spooked I wanted to share!”

It wasn’t the only cloud effect Moo Ping and Jolyon encountered on their phenomena-filled walk.

They also saw an “inversion”, which occurs when warm air sits above cold air, rather than the opposite, which is usual.

When this happens, it traps mist and fog at low levels, obscuring the landscape and, in this case, making Moo Ping and Jolyon feel like they were on top of the world while on Ilkley Moor.

Ilkley Gazette: The inversion on Ilkley MoorThe inversion on Ilkley Moor

She said: “The mist behind obscured our normal vista of fields, trees, and houses in town.

“We felt as if we were on top of Everest, which is 29,000 feet, but we were only higher than White Wells, at about 1,000 feet.”

So no giants or aliens, but fascinating meteorological conditions instead. And it’s a good job the legendarily cranky Rombald didn’t actually make an appearance.

Another legend has it that after a blazing row with his wife he fled across the moors, stamping on one big rock that split to form the Cow and Calf tourist attraction. Meanwhile, his wife, in hot pursuit, dropped stones she was carrying in her skirts and created the natural formation known as the Great Skirtful of Stones.