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: 49 47.6%
  • A species of endemic British big cat somehow overlooked by science

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

    Votes: 6 5.8%
  • Misidentifications of big dogs, normal cats etc

    Votes: 23 22.3%
  • A big hoax

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Summat else

    Votes: 4 3.9%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 21 20.4%

  • Total voters
    103

marhawkman

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A population of 250 still seems an odd figure for him to pull out of his behind, especially as he doesn't seem to have proven a population of even one. However, he clearly knows more about the subject than I, so there's little I can say. I'd still like to know thought process.
Yeah this is what I was getting at... how much of his efforts are actual research and how many are just talking about the subject?
 

Paul_Exeter

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Yeah this is what I was getting at... how much of his efforts are actual research and how many are just talking about the subject?
There was a lot of quite bold statements made at the height of big cat fever' in the 90s that suggested a breakthrough was imminent. One I remember was an alleged lynx colony in a disused Dorset quarry that were being monitored by an "ABC researcher" but alas decades later no lynx.

However, it now seems the pine marten has been existing quietly in the South and West of Britain whilst officially extinct from those areas. It is only now with improved camera traps that evidence strong enough to convince the authorities has been presented. This is in spite of amateur naturalist knowing of their presence all the while:

"The pine marten, one of Britain's rarest and most elusive mammals, is back - and the reason is it never quite went away. A new report reveals pine martens are not confined to the fringes of the UK as was assumed, but that they have been living a secret life under our noses for decades."

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/pine-martens-make-comeback-in-uk-after.html

We know that two experienced Forestry Commission workers engaged in a deer census in the Forest of Dean watched two big cats through night vision equipment:

"Both were observed in low light, using heat-activated vision equipment while they were carrying out a deer census. The colour of the animals couldn't be made out, but these are very experienced guys and they know what is and what isn't a deer. One definitely believed that what he saw was some sort of large cat."

The first sighting was at the outskirts of Churchill enclosure, east of Parkend in February 2002. The second was on the southern slopes of Staple Edge in March 2005.


https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/reliable-big-cat-sightings-revealed-1229204.html

But this is still not enough evidence for the authorities...
 

marhawkman

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hmm... reading it a few times... that last one seems to be a case of "I saw something" but not directly, through an IR scope, and... it kinda falls into the anecdote category. Is it a cat? seemingly yes, is it larger than 30 pounds? enh.... not sure we have evidence to support that.

Really wish it was an IR camera... :/
 

Robbrent

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Hmmm!


I am not saying it is completely implausible but I am not sure where "Mr Tunbridge" is getting his facts from!

@Endlessly Amazed There are some but not that many. It is not the problem here that it is in many other countries. I expect there are localised populations in some places though.
It's completely implausible, they are not flesh and blood it's just another aspect of the phenomena we all love, and of cause it loves sending us mortals on wild goose chases
 

Paul_Exeter

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The idea of having a population of 250+ large cats and no dead ones found in a period of 100 years? enh... seems unbelievable.
Dr Max Blake of the CFZ worked on this case:

“ …they make clear that this mammal is now the earliest example of what's called an "alien big cat" being at large in extended bits of Britain.”

Read More: https://www.slashgear.com/canadian-lynx-re-ignites-legend-in-uk-museum-basement-25279401?
utm_campaign=clip

The Norfolk Lynx:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4830320.stm

I met one of the local farmers who saw this one cross the road in front of him before it eventually met its fate

I do, however, feel there may be a paranormal element to some of the black puma-type sightings, something akin the the Black Dogs of old.
 
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catseye

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Sporadic wolf reports pop up from the wilder parts of the UK from time to time. The CFZ recently received witness reports of a wolf or wolves in the Forest of Dean:


Some more detail here:

https://www.timberwolfinformation.org/uk-wolf-spotted-in-the-forest-of-dean-near-coleford/

I‘ve posted on here before about how back in 2014-ish someone I had got to know told me that when the6 were 16 (1999?) he found himself walking alone in a remote part of woodland that fringes north-west Dartmoor, the reason being they live on an isolated smallholding nearby and he had gone out for a couple of illicit cigarettes. He stated that he had suddenly found himself confronted by a lone wolf that stood its ground and gave him, well, a classic wolf enquiring gaze right into his eyes. He stood rooted to the spot and was only afraid after the wolf had turned and sauntered off.

I had to ask him if he had mistaken a husky or other dog but he was adamant it was a wolf and had previously seen wolves in captivity on a visit to the US. What‘s more, he told me this before he knew I had an interest in all things Fortean. What to make of it I don’t know, but it is interesting that Jon Downes refers to Devon folklorist Theo Brown who became convinced from witness accounts that some sort of relic wolf population within the isolated north of Dartmoor had survived into the 20th Century. However, that is of course speculation….
I have absolutely no faith in the general public's ability to tell a wolf from a large unfamiliar breed of dog (or a cross breed). Cross breed huskies particularly. I used to have a very large GSD who was shaggy around the neck and people would often come up and ask if she was a wolf or part wolf. And my lovely big old dog Dylan... who was, to me, the least wolf-like of any dog known to man, apart from the current terrier, would get people sidling away from him, muttering 'wolf'. Which just puzzled him, as he loved people.
 

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Endlessly Amazed

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I have no idea if ABC's are currently in GB - but I suspect they are in limited and dwindling numbers. NA pumas. The kinds of evidence for them which I find intriguing are:
- Sheep found dead in pasture with wounds associated with big cats, not dogs or wolves.
- Footprints of big cats, not dogs, wolves, or large domestic cats.
- DNA from scat or fur.

What confuses the situation and gives lots of room for, er, firm opinions, are:
- The blurry photos, no scale, of what seem to be domestic cats.
- The popular belief that the ABCs are linked to paranormal phenomena.
- The lunatic fringe members who do spurious research into this and publish the results on vanity websites, social media, or youtube.

A blurry photo of one specific instance which is rightly examined and found to be a domestic cat does not constitute grounds for rejecting all the possible occurrences.
 

PeteByrdie

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I have no idea if ABC's are currently in GB - but I suspect they are in limited and dwindling numbers. NA pumas. The kinds of evidence for them which I find intriguing are:
- Sheep found dead in pasture with wounds associated with big cats, not dogs or wolves.
- Footprints of big cats, not dogs, wolves, or large domestic cats.
- DNA from scat or fur.

What confuses the situation and gives lots of room for, er, firm opinions, are:
- The blurry photos, no scale, of what seem to be domestic cats.
- The popular belief that the ABCs are linked to paranormal phenomena.
- The lunatic fringe members who do spurious research into this and publish the results on vanity websites, social media, or youtube.

A blurry photo of one specific instance which is rightly examined and found to be a domestic cat does not constitute grounds for rejecting all the possible occurrences.
The photos of moggies really annoying me. There really is no reason to dismiss the notion of ABCs. We know big cats exist and that humans are a conduit for migration. But, darn it, we have people saying pawprints are definitely big cats and kills look like big cat kills, then we have no believable big cat photos being promulgated by the press. It's frustrating. That's what I love about it. I find I'm excited by these frustrations. But I think your post sums things up excellently.
 

marhawkman

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Dr Max Blake of the CFZ worked on this case:

“ …they make clear that this mammal is now the earliest example of what's called an "alien big cat" being at large in extended bits of Britain.”

Read More: https://www.slashgear.com/canadian-lynx-re-ignites-legend-in-uk-museum-basement-25279401?
utm_campaign=clip

The Norfolk Lynx:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/4830320.stm

I met one of the local farmers who saw this one cross the road in front of him before it eventually met its fate

I do, however, feel there may be a paranormal element to some of the black puma-type sightings, something akin the the Black Dogs of old.
Well, that Lynx is... very tangible.... and notably NOT what people claim as an ABC. Which is where I find the case to be so weird... like the black dog thing... I think it's perception being distorted by expectation. People who already believe are less likely to actually critically evaluate what they saw. Like all the people with a blurry photo of a moggie.... the photographer believes it's an ABC... does anyone else? not many.

But like I said before.... sift the cases, then make claims!
 

Endlessly Amazed

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Can you possible direct me to any article/report on such?t
I wish I could. I have casually read these types of reports for a few years; multiple reports from different sources. I haven't kept close track because I'm not really interested enough. But interested enough to run the cumulative reports through my internal bullshit meter and conclude that there are some big cats out there. I remember specific, different reports about scat, footprints, and killing methods. I mean that there were multiple reports for each of these aspects, and that they had different sources, and that the sources were not immediately associated with the true believers.

If big cats were proven to exist in GB, then this would have financial ramifications for the government, the livestock insurance companies, and the farmers. I think this is part of the reluctance to give official recognition.

When I lived in Flagstaff Arizona, I knew that there was at least one puma who regularly came within 1/2 mile of the settled houses. My doberman and I would run across its footprints. (My dog would give a type of growl I would only hear when we saw these specific footprints, and he would want to go back home immediately - unusual behavior. He cheerfully tackled bears, so I took his unease seriously. ) So, I think it is possible for a big cat like a puma to reside close to people in the countryside and not be discovered at all or at least easily. They are smart and reclusive.
 
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maximus otter

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Can you possible direct me to any article/report on such?

“Monster hunters find DNA PROOF a vicious killer predator is stalking Britain”

A certain Jonathan Downes, head of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, states that he’s had hairs found at Huddesford Woods, Woolfardisworthy, tested by two universities who confirmed that they were leopard hair:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/leopard-britain-big-cats-predator-17252326

l believe that Mr. Downes posts here on FTMB…

maximus otter
 
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RaM

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Panther.jpg

This was taken on the banks of the Lune between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, At first I thought the Pilling pussy's
were back these two were seen quite a few times by people like game keepers and famers and disappeared after
a year or so some said they had been shot by a farmer others that they had been trapped and moved but none
would say were to.
This one looks to have the Lynx type ears but I think it's some sort of stuffed toy.
 

Coal

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“Monster hunters find DNA PROOF a vicious killer predator is stalking Britain”

A certain Jonathan Downes, head of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, states that he’s had hairs found at Huddesford Woods, Woolfardisworthy, tested by two universities who confirmed that they were leopard hair:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/leopard-britain-big-cats-predator-17252326

l believe that Mr. Downes posts here on FTMB…

maximus otter
Ta, interesting. :hoff:
 

SimonBurchell

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I have no idea if ABC's are currently in GB - but I suspect they are in limited and dwindling numbers. NA pumas. The kinds of evidence for them which I find intriguing are:
- Sheep found dead in pasture with wounds associated with big cats, not dogs or wolves.
- Footprints of big cats, not dogs, wolves, or large domestic cats.
- DNA from scat or fur.

What confuses the situation and gives lots of room for, er, firm opinions, are:
- The blurry photos, no scale, of what seem to be domestic cats.
- The popular belief that the ABCs are linked to paranormal phenomena.
- The lunatic fringe members who do spurious research into this and publish the results on vanity websites, social media, or youtube.

A blurry photo of one specific instance which is rightly examined and found to be a domestic cat does not constitute grounds for rejecting all the possible occurrences.
Years ago, in my neck of the woods, half eaten deer were being found, with big cat sightings during the same period (although some of these were obviously misidentified domestic cats). Haven't heard anything like that for years though, although I don't read the local paper anymore, and I doubt they would publish things like that now.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Well, that Lynx is... very tangible.... and notably NOT what people claim as an ABC. Which is where I find the case to be so weird... like the black dog thing... I think it's perception being distorted by expectation. People who already believe are less likely to actually critically evaluate what they saw. Like all the people with a blurry photo of a moggie.... the photographer believes it's an ABC... does anyone else? not many.

But like I said before.... sift the cases, then make claims!
The UK authorities took the 1980s Exmoor mass sheep killings by an unknown predator described by witnesses as a large black cat so seriously they sent in the Royal Marines to patrol the area and establish covert surveillance in the areas where attacks were taking place. Over a period of several years the sheep killings moved from the Barle valley on high Exmoor to the pockets of moorland below, such as Knowstone Moor.

My next door neighbour owned and operated a school bus contract and was one of the witnesses to a large black puma-type cat that crossed in front of her vehicle.

In the late 1990s a farm worker on the rural estate where I was working encountered a large black, puma-type cat that had been lying in long grass. The animal then leapt a fence & hedge too high and wide for a domestic moggie and the farm hand had lived on that farm since birth, so was familiar with all local wildlife and pets.

This much I know, I haven’t seen one myself, but as Forteans I feel we need to give credence to eye-witnesses of all such phenomena
 

catseye

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Huge!

Look at the tiny ABC next to him!

Hes bigger than Clifford!
The black cat with him is Abraxus, who was the cat in question in my 'mistaken identity', where I saw him across a valley and thought it was a very big cat a long way away, when it was really a small cat, much closer to. So I mistook MY OWN CAT for an ABC.

Which is one of the reasons why I question eye witnesses.
 

staticgirl

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View attachment 58656
This was taken on the banks of the Lune between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, At first I thought the Pilling pussy's
were back these two were seen quite a few times by people like game keepers and famers and disappeared after
a year or so some said they had been shot by a farmer others that they had been trapped and moved but none
would say were to.
This one looks to have the Lynx type ears but I think it's some sort of stuffed toy.
A dog, possibly a staffy?
 

marhawkman

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The UK authorities took the 1980s Exmoor mass sheep killings by an unknown predator described by witnesses as a large black cat so seriously they sent in the Royal Marines to patrol the area and establish covert surveillance in the areas where attacks were taking place. Over a period of several years the sheep killings moved from the Barle valley on high Exmoor to the pockets of moorland below, such as Knowstone Moor.

My next door neighbour owned and operated a school bus contract and was one of the witnesses to a large black puma-type cat that crossed in front of her vehicle.

In the late 1990s a farm worker on the rural estate where I was working encountered a large black, puma-type cat that had been lying in long grass. The animal then leapt a fence & hedge too high and wide for a domestic moggie and the farm hand had lived on that farm since birth, so was familiar with all local wildlife and pets.

This much I know, I haven’t seen one myself, but as Forteans I feel we need to give credence to eye-witnesses of all such phenomena
How high? One thing that amazed me as a child was the realization that the moggie we'd found living behind a dumpster.... could jump high enough to jump from the floor to the top of the refrigerator. This was around 6 feet straight up. Why? um... she liked sleeping up there.... that was it. It was the quickest way to get into her favorite spot to sleep. Weird behavior by Human standards, but... is cat....

Anyways, my stance is sift data, then analyze the good data. There's definitely some evidence of at least a few genuine sightings... and hundreds of pictures of housecats.
 

marhawkman

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Years ago, in my neck of the woods, half eaten deer were being found, with big cat sightings during the same period (although some of these were obviously misidentified domestic cats). Haven't heard anything like that for years though, although I don't read the local paper anymore, and I doubt they would publish things like that now.
any... evidence on what killed them?
 

Endlessly Amazed

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The UK authorities took the 1980s Exmoor mass sheep killings by an unknown predator described by witnesses as a large black cat so seriously they sent in the Royal Marines to patrol the area and establish covert surveillance in the areas where attacks were taking place. Over a period of several years the sheep killings moved from the Barle valley on high Exmoor to the pockets of moorland below, such as Knowstone Moor.

My next door neighbour owned and operated a school bus contract and was one of the witnesses to a large black puma-type cat that crossed in front of her vehicle.

In the late 1990s a farm worker on the rural estate where I was working encountered a large black, puma-type cat that had been lying in long grass. The animal then leapt a fence & hedge too high and wide for a domestic moggie and the farm hand had lived on that farm since birth, so was familiar with all local wildlife and pets.

This much I know, I haven’t seen one myself, but as Forteans I feel we need to give credence to eye-witnesses of all such phenomena
Thanks for posting this! I had not heard that any authorities had ever taken this seriously.
 

catseye

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View attachment 58656
This was taken on the banks of the Lune between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, At first I thought the Pilling pussy's
were back these two were seen quite a few times by people like game keepers and famers and disappeared after
a year or so some said they had been shot by a farmer others that they had been trapped and moved but none
would say were to.
This one looks to have the Lynx type ears but I think it's some sort of stuffed toy.
The picture does look 'cat-like' but it's an odd direction for a cat to be heading, towards the water and VERY visible. I'd guess the ground is wet there.

The ear tufts are the only thing that really makes it look a Big Cat, but I think a lot of this is down to angle and perspective. They could be ordinary ears stuck out at angles.

I hate to say it, but the angle it's at makes me think it's a dog, having a shit.
 

BS3

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I have no idea if ABC's are currently in GB - but I suspect they are in limited and dwindling numbers. NA pumas. The kinds of evidence for them which I find intriguing are:
- Sheep found dead in pasture with wounds associated with big cats, not dogs or wolves.
- Footprints of big cats, not dogs, wolves, or large domestic cats.
- DNA from scat or fur.

What confuses the situation and gives lots of room for, er, firm opinions, are:
- The blurry photos, no scale, of what seem to be domestic cats.
- The popular belief that the ABCs are linked to paranormal phenomena.
- The lunatic fringe members who do spurious research into this and publish the results on vanity websites, social media, or youtube.

A blurry photo of one specific instance which is rightly examined and found to be a domestic cat does not constitute grounds for rejecting all the possible occurrences.

I think there's a lot of things possibly going on all of which contribute to the overall 'alien big cat' cultural experience in some way (much like other Fortean phenomena in that sense):

- Escaped exotics, with a peak in the 60s-80s
- Misidentified domestic and feral cats
- A big cat 'archetype' in the broader collective unconscious that leads us to see cats where they aren't (see also: Black Dogs)
- Folk memories of an as yet undescribed melanistic wildcat population that hung on in more remote areas into relatively modern times
 
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brownmane

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I was watching Secrets of the Zoo last weekend and the particular zoo was Columbus (Ohio) Zoo. They had 3 female lynxes - Canadian lynx I think - and their weights were 20-24 lbs. i didn't realize that lynx are that small

While I know they are considered a medium sized wild cat, my 10 year old, born in a barn, male cat is just shy of 20 lbs. I really have over estimated their body size. I've only seen them on tv and since they usually photographed for documentaries, I haven't seen them sized next to a large domestic cat. Even Maine Coon cats would be bigger.
 

Endlessly Amazed

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I was watching Secrets of the Zoo last weekend and the particular zoo was Columbus (Ohio) Zoo. They had 3 female lynxes - Canadian lynx I think - and their weights were 20-24 lbs. i didn't realize that lynx are that small

While I know they are considered a medium sized wild cat, my 10 year old, born in a barn, male cat is just shy of 20 lbs. I really have over estimated their body size. I've only seen them on tv and since they usually photographed for documentaries, I haven't seen them sized next to a large domestic cat. Even Maine Coon cats would be bigger.
I think North American lynx are smaller than the Eurasian ones. The smallest one here in NA is the Southern bobcat at 20 lbs. The bigger ones - up tp to 30-40 lbs. - are in Canada. I would not want to confront any of them! Last winter, someone in the Phoenix Arizona area (Scottsdale) had a female bobcat rip a hole into his attic, and give birth to a litter of kittens there. What an interesting mess in the attic - rabbit parts, scat, urine, multiple cats. etc. In my neighborhood, one sometimes sees them on house roofs, especially at dawn.
 
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