Alien Big Cats ('ABCs')

In your opinion what are alien big cats most likely to be?

  • Escapees from collections, breeding in the UK countryside

    Votes: 19 48.7%
  • A species of endemic British big cat somehow overlooked by science

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zooform Phenomena - animal-shaped manifestations of paranormal activity

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Misidentifications of big dogs, normal cats etc

    Votes: 9 23.1%
  • A big hoax

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Summat else

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 9 23.1%

  • Total voters
    39

oldrover

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Any particular reason to doubt the field worker's estimate?
Yes, I've no particular reason to believe it. It's unattributed for a start, the quote from the field worker says only that it's 'enormous', which is a very relative term. I don't trust the BBC's nature/science reporting. And frankly nothing there looks like anything particularly huge to me, but although mine's a subjective unqualified opinion, so is the estimate in the article until it's quantified.
 

Dr_Baltar

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Yes, I've no particular reason to believe it. It's unattributed for a start, the quote from the field worker says only that it's 'enormous', which is a very relative term. I don't trust the BBC's nature/science reporting. And frankly nothing there looks like anything particularly huge to me, but although mine's a subjective unqualified opinion, so is the estimate in the article until it's quantified.
I presume they are aware of the size of the tree trunk where they set their camera up, which would surely give a pretty good indication of length?
 

oldrover

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I presume they are aware of the size of the tree trunk where they set their camera up, which would surely give a pretty good indication of length?
True, it occured to me too. But then they don't say or quote anyone saying any of this directly. Maybe they did say it though, I don't know. But perhaps they gave a size range estimate, and the reporter only picked up on the extreme upper limit. I think the main pojnt though is that there's a big healthy lump of a wild cat still roaming about the place.
 

Dr_Baltar

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Another quote, that may or may not be helpful:

Dr Paul O'Donoghue, chief scientific adviser on the project, said they believe there is a population of around 13 pure wildcats in the area.

He said the large cat caught on camera was in excellent condition and he had never seen anything approaching its size in the past.

Most wildcats average about 3ft.
 

oldrover

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Another quote, that may or may not be helpful:

Dr Paul O'Donoghue, chief scientific adviser on the project, said they believe there is a population of around 13 pure wildcats in the area.

He said the large cat caught on camera was in excellent condition and he had never seen anything approaching its size in the past.

Most wildcats average about 3ft.
Now that's more like it.
 

GNC

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The FT mag includes Aussie ABCs in their pages, so I don't see a problem with them here. Interesting the phenomenon seems to have been exported - do you know how far back Australian reports go?
 

EnolaGaia

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FWIW ...

Wikipedia treats 'Alen Big Cats' as a synonym for 'phantom cats' worldwide.

Phantom cats, also known as Alien Big Cats (ABCs), are large felines, such as jaguars, cougars, and leopards, which allegedly appear in regions outside their indigenous range. Sightings, tracks and predation have been reported in a number of countries and states including Canada, Britain, Australia, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, the Eastern United States, Hawaii, Italy and Luxembourg.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_cat
 

oldrover

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I know Mike in the article. He's a very straight, sensible guy and an extremely thorough researcher and definitely not prone to flights of fancy. So the Australian big cat question is intriguing. Obviously though, cats can't be indigenous to Australia, so that means any there now must have been introduced by Europeans, but there is another possibility and that's what people are seeing are actually not cats, but cat-like marsupial predators. I mean not really obviously, but it's a nice thought.

I do historical research into the thylacine/Tasmanian tiger 1921-36, as a result I look for articles in the contemporary Australian press about 'tigers', and some but not many of these turn out to be about unidentified big cats or cat-like animals. And I'm aware that these reports go right back into the 19th century. But there are issues, and these result as much from phraseology as biology.

Back then feline names were used to describe at least three then extant indigenous carnivores. Among a shit load of other names, thylacines were known as just 'tigers', or 'native tigers', or 'Tasmanian tigers'. The spotted tail quoll (looks like a mini fluffy thylacine though not closely related) was known as the 'tiger cat', 'native tiger cat', 'Tasmanian tiger cat', and 'Tasmanian native tiger cat'. The eastern quoll was known as the 'native cat'. All of which is great fun at 03:00. Then, we have Thylacoleo carnifex as well, extinct apr 47kya, commonly known as the marsupial lion, and the rarely marsupial leopard.

Thylacines look like dogs, Thylacoleo probably looked like what it was, a killer koala/wombat monster, and quolls don't look very cat-like either, but they're probably more feline than any of the others. Yet the early reports with 'tiger' in them, as well as a proportion of the general early 'mystery cat' reports have been co-opted into the surviving mainland thylacine claims. The same reports are sometimes, or at least have been, used to support the idea of Thylacoleo still being around, but it's worth noting that descriptions that match the life appearance of this real drop bear, tusks from incisors rather than canine fangs, didn't start to appear until the late 20th century. Well after Thylacoleo became widely known. So it seems that this explanation can be abandoned.

As can the idea of these reports referring to surviving mainland thylacines, these were reports of animals with a feline not canine appearance.

The only photograph of a body I've seen connected with one of these accounts (either at the time or afterwards I don't know which) was of a spotted tail quoll, apparently shot in Kenilworth in 1953.

http://www.paulclacher.com.au/tigercat75dpi.jpg

There's a noble tradition of mistaking quolls for more exotic species. In 1927 the miners at the Adamsfield osmiridium fields in Southern Tasmania, arranged the sale of a thylacine to Beaumaris Zoo. When it arrived the curator Arthur Reid discovered it was a quoll, and complained about the matter to Hobart newspaper The Mercury. This hasn't stopped two of the field's leading researchers listing this event as a genuine capture, and attributing it to the township's bootlegger Elias 'Churchie' Churchill, even though he himself made it clear that the event happened in a different time and place. Again in the mid 50's a Tasmanian farmer captured a 'thylacine' which when the authorities arrived it was a quoll. Quolls are bigger than people think.

Then we have the yarri, of theCape York Peninsula, northern Queensland, aka the Queensland tiger, or as proposed by Heuvelmans who believed the size had been over estimated, the Queensland tiger cat. This was reported in the 19th century. I don't have it anymore, but I know the account of a stockman who supposedly was confronted by one, but he managed to keep it at bay with his whip. Sadly, the illustration that accompanied this tale doesn't appear to be on line, but at this link to Karl Shuker's Blog piece on the subject (which is worth reading) the picture that looks like a negative of the Cheshire cat is very similar, and clearly based on it.

http://karlshuker.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/marsupial-sabre-tooths-queensland.html

I recall that the witness mentioned 'tufted ears', and that it was described as being 'a fierce animal of the cat tribe'.

This animal, or a slightly smaller version of it actually made it into the grown up books, being mentioned by Albert Le Souef (of the Le Souef dynasty, an Austrlian version of Dallas set in the zoo industry) in his book The Wild Animals of Australasia, and again in Furred Animals of Australia, by zoologist Ellis Troughton. According to Wikipedia, in his 1965 revision Troughton attempted to try and pass this animal off as a mainland variant of the thylacine, and funnily enough right now there's a party from James Cook University doing a survey of bettong numbers, which they're trying to pass of as a thylacine survey. To understand why they're doing this, visualise a thylacine, now visualise a bettong. They wouldn't have had a world syndicated story about bettongs.

Sadly reports of the Queensland tiger/tiger cat, have pretty much dried up, possibly because people are too bust reporting thylacines going through their bins in Adelaide, but possibly because there was perhaps another largish marsupial carnivore, most likely a quoll species, alive up there until the middle of the last century.
 

Mungoman

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Well, for what it's worth, I've seen one - and it wasn't a thylacine or a feral cat or a thylacoleo or a dog. It was creeping up a gully and it was the same colour as a labrador but twice as big. I watched it through the scope on my .22 from 50 metres or so away and it was a very big, alien cat - one I couldn't recognise even though I am well aware of the larger cats in Zoology. The Old Old Fellas would've said that he's come through from the other side - the Tjukurrpa (the Dreaming).
 

staticgirl

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That's a really interesting overview of how Australian ABC reports and reports of possible 'extinct' marsupial sightings go hand in paw. The 'punctuation' is a product of my wistful hope there are still some beasties in the wild places somewhere.
 

Mungoman

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That's a really interesting overview of how Australian ABC reports and reports of possible 'extinct' marsupial sightings go hand in paw. The 'punctuation' is a product of my wistful hope there are still some beasties in the wild places somewhere.
These large, open, continent sized countries with dividing mountain ranges lend themselves to the possibility of crypto species I reckon staticgirl - if you keep a weather eye open it's possible to see weirdness every now and again.
 

Dr_Baltar

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Woman says she filmed a lion on the roam in Birmingham

A lioness could be on the loose in the West Midlands. That’s if you believe Dawn Paige, 53, who apparently spotted the big cat on her CCTV cameras. According to her the footage showed a one metre tall female rummaging through wheelie bins outside her home in Oldbury. The pictures even surprised Dudley Zoo, which agreed the animal looked like a big cat. But it denied it was any of its lions after confirming they were all safely in their pens.


https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/17/woman-says-filmed-lion-roam-birmingham-7554322/
 
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Walks a hell of a lot like a dog and the rounded 'ear' that's visible in the first pic at link looks like a glitch in the video, as it disappears and reappears at different points.

My vote goes on dog then.
 

staticgirl

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Yeah. In the not-orange footage I think the snout looks much thinner and pointier. Also it walks like a dog.
 

Bigphoot2

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I put this in here because there have been a lot of ABC sightings in Fife over the years and there may be a connection but if the lovely Mods want to move it, feel free.

Grim discovery of monstrous carcass jammed in Fife tree
by Leeza Clark

May 18 2018, 4.40pm

The macabre scene Susan David stumbled across.

Mystery surrounds a macabre discovery made by a west Fife dog walker.

Susan David from Dunfermline was horrified to spot a bleached carcass of what looks like a horse – halfway up a tree.

“It was horrible, really horrible,” she said.

Ms David was out walking her dog near Kingseat when she made the grim find on a popular dog walking route near the former mining village of Lassodie.

“You can walk straight up to where the old pit used to be.

“A lot of dog walkers walk up there. I was just on the path walking towards the old pit when I saw it – it was awful.

“I was just glad there wasn’t any kids with me. You could still see where its eyes were.”

While animal bones are a common sight in rural communities, what is perplexing in this case is the location of the bones, including a skull, spine and ribs.

“It was very weird. I just thought how could it get up there?

etc
https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/new...rim-discovery-of-carcass-jammed-in-fife-tree/
 
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I put this in here because there have been a lot of ABC sightings in Fife over the years and there may be a connection but if the lovely Mods want to move it, feel free.



https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/new...rim-discovery-of-carcass-jammed-in-fife-tree/
"Jammed in tree" sounds a bit misleading.

The branches don't look like they could support the weight of a fresh carcass or a big cat, so I don't think it's been put there and left to rot.
Could someone have simply thrown it up? A bit like what they do with shoes on overhead cables. At the link it goes on to say that they think it might be a sheep so it might be a bit more feasible than throwing horse remains.
 

maximus otter

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"Grim...monstrous...awful...macabre..."...think of the children!"

Tabloid journalism at its best. We are so divorced from our agrarian heritage, aren't we?

Back on topic: I'm at a loss as to why these remains should be situated where they were. A quick Yell search doesn't reveal any abattoirs nearby.

Perhaps a local hunt was feeding their hounds using horse meat and thought they'd disposed of the carcase thoughtfully, but some sportive locals, high on Bucky & jellies, found the remains and decided to "scare the straights".

maximus otter
 

sherbetbizarre

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Mysterious cat-like creature caught on film in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney - but what it could be?

A mysterious giant cat has been caught on camera in an area long-rumoured to be home to a black panther.

The possible puma sighting took place near Cox's Rover in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney on the weekend.

Steven Muiser managed to film the massive black feline, and said it was 'definitely not a feral cat' and 'as wide as the bonnet on my ute', speaking to the Today show.


https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/aust...t-what-it-could-be/ar-AAyw5ZP?ocid=spartanntp
 

Eponastill

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oldrover

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'Attacked in an indescribable manner', how horrible. What unspeakable menace roams the hills near Cox'xs River? A mog going by the video.
 

Tribble

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More sightings have been made of the mysterious large black cat which has been spotted roaming in and around Bonnyrigg in recent years. One user poster on the Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Residents Forum Facebook page revealing she saw the creature this month in Cockpen Woods sparked dozens of comments from other people claiming to have seen it.

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman....ounds-big-cat-sighting-in-bonnyrigg-1-4792254
 

FrKadash

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Just found this article from my local paper,

14 hrs ago
Are big cats really on the prowl in Dorset? This wildlife expert certainly thinks so...
By Nicky Findley

Bournemouth-based wildlife expert Jonathan McGowan is certainly convinced that they are.

He has been studying sightings for most of his life and says he has amassed lots of 'evidence' over the past 30 years including big cat paw prints, faeces, fur samples and territorial tree markings.

"Every week there are several big cat sightings including leopards, pumas and lynx all over the UK but mainly in Dorset, Hampshire and the New Forest.
https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/n...set-this-wildlife-expert-certainly-thinks-so/
 
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