I can be contacted on thehighlandtiger@yahoo.co.uk

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Centre for Fortean Zoology - The Good, The Bad and The (well you can finish the rest yourself ! )

It seems that my "interest" into the affairs of this little group of individuals, has seen a change in the way they conduct their affairs.

They have removed several boastful but totally untrue claims from their website, and they are now telling everyone exactly what they are spending their donations on. Something that was rarely done before yours truly started asking questions.

Ok, so we don't know if they are telling us about all their donations, (and there are still questions to ask about many of the CFZ members, that regularly appear on their Web TV show, how they are financing their lifestyles without apparantly having "proper" jobs and claiming benefits). But at least it's a start. So hats off to them for this.

So that's the "Good".

So what about the "Bad". Well we have to return to an old favourite of mine, the CFZ's "zoological" Director, Richard Freeman. This unqualified "zoologist" couldn't resist throwing a little mud at other researchers in this letter in the Fortean Times (FT263:70 June 2010). Reproduced below in full, and with my comments in red.

Sea Serpents.

Thanks to Mark Greener for a cracking article on sea
serpents (FT260:32-38). I think the drop off in sightings in the past century or
sdo can be attributed to how we travel now. mainly by air or in large noisy
boats. Sea serpents are still reported regularly along the pacific coast of
Canada and the USA.

Just a small point here. There are actually more ships on the high seas today than at any time in the past, and I doubt noise of these ships have anything to do with sightings. After all, dolphins will often ride the bow wave of these ships, and whales certainly don't hide from ships as these whale watching companies can attest to. I think it is more likely that a drop in seas serpent sightings is due to more knowledge about the creatures of the sea, and better viewing equipment, such as high powered binoculars.

What a shame I can't be equally enthusiastic about "The Random Directory of the
Damned" entry on Monsters of the Lakes (FT260:50-53), which fawns over Michael
Meurger's god-awful book "Lake Monster Traditions" (Fortean Tomes, 1988). This
is one of the worst books I've ever read, (and that's up against some stiff
competition!). Apart from Patrick Harpur's "Daimonic Reality" (Viking Arcana
1994). it is the only book I have had to actively force myself to finish

A few weeks ago we have CFZ member Neil Arnold dismissing Merrily Harpur's theories, and now another CFZ member is dissing her brother Patrick Harpur's book. Does the CFZ have a grudge against the Harpur's. I find it strange that an organisation that praises the unintelligable and off the wall work of the late John Michell, the work of known hoaxer Doc Shiels, and promotes books of their beliefs of the existance of the Owl Man (Jon Downes) and the existance of Dragons (Richard Freeman), feels the need to dismiss openly other authors with similar strange theories - but each to their own I suppose.

Meurger insults not only the witnesses and researchers but of native people. I
know quite a few native people from around the world and I can tell you that
most of them are no more superstitious than the average Westerner and no more
likely to mentally morph a log into a monster.
When I first read this, my immediate thought was of someone, when being accused of being a racist, says that he can't be a racist because he has a black friend. I'm not accusing Richard Freman of being racist of course , but it has the same feel. But just because Richard knows some people who are not superstitious doesn't mean that every witness isn't superstitious. In fact considering most of the world believes in a supernatural god or gods, I would say there are more superstitious people in the world than non. A quick look at the online newspapers of African countries and certain Asian countries, you will find many stories of people being accused of being witches and evil spirits. In fact looking in the Fortean Times, only a few pages on from Richard's letter is an article about just such superstitions in Papua New Guinea.

Meurger is no zoologist either. One of the pillars his
book is built on is that lake monsters cannot be real because there are so many
different-looking creatures in the same lake - log like, serpentine, humped,
horse-headed and so on. However even known animals can present very different
outlines and appearances depending on how they are viewed and the viewing
condistions. This is particularly true when most of the creature is under

Now this made me laugh. Richard Freeman a man who loves to parade his self imposed title of Zoological director, (as can be seen at the end of the letter), whilst having no formal zoological qualifications, complaing about someone not having any zoological qualifications. Pot, Kettle and black are words that spring to mind .

There have been reports of huge serpentine animals in lakes as long as there has
been recorded history and some cave paintings suggest that these encounters have
been going on long before the time of Sumner and Babylon.

Now we are touching on the creationist turf, but I've always wondered why certain animals are picked to be real depictions, and yet creatures like the Sphynx and Griffen etc are deemed mytholgical. It seems that people are willing to pick and choose which evidence they need to bolster their theories.

Incidently, there are monster sightings in Windermere, stretching back to the
1950's. The CFZ has investigated and interviewed a number of witnesses and
concluded the creatures are most likely gigantic eels. (see FT220:36-38)

As I've mentioned before, the CFZ expeditions have all come up with zero evidence for the creatures they were searching for, and this is no exception. To come up with such a theory based solely on verbal evidence is flimsy at best.

Richard Freeman
Zoological Director
Centre For Fortean Zoology
Whipton, Exeter.

Yep he does love his title doesn't he!

So we've had the Good and the Bad, and I could make a joke about Oil paintings in the CFZ, but I won't. Instead I'll send my best wishes onto Jon Downes wife Corrinna. I've heard on the crypto bush telegraph, that she has not been very well the last few months, and although I have issues with certain parts of the CFZ's output, I have no animosity towards the majority of its members. I hope she feels better soon.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Is this Bigfoot in Kentucky?

As I have mentioned before, one of the bonuses of doing the survey was getting in contact with groups that I would never have done so otherwise.

One such group is The BigFoot Research Project Kentucky , consisting of just three guys, Chris Bennett, Brandon Lang and John Gray.

Chris contacted me a few days ago to show me an image he took, that he claims is of a bigfoot. Below is the image, along with the email he sent me. The email is unedited and reproduced in full.

More pics and details can be found HERE

Hi This is Chris Bennett over at the BFRPKY.com I thought I'd give you a heads up on the new KY pic being released today. Feel free to use this pic on your nonprofit website. (please remember to list credit for the pic) This is a sample of upcoming releases of information from my current research ongoing in KY. Videos will be out soon as well.

The info being released is from an ongoing study of a small group of creatures in KY. I can't release all the details at this time but I can tell you that this pic is a crop from a larger pic made 03-06-10 by myself while investigating a possible home range territory at an undisclosed location in KY. The pic was captured "by chance" with no real expectations of capturing anything on film that day. The larger 8.1 MP pic shows other "subjects" and is too much to release at this time. Most of the other "subjects" in the larger pic were hiding behind brush anyway so positive identification of them would be ambiguous to the average viewer with no previous knowledge of the area surroundings. This crop shows the only subject "out in plain site". The subject appears to me to be female, however the sex cannot be determined 100% in whole by the pic only so it will probably remain a debate to viewers. I can judge who's female and who's male because I get to see the creatures up very close at times and they have very different "features" between the male and female. My thoughts about this one being a female come from the shape of the head,face and oh yeas, the breasts.
There will also be at least 3 videos upcoming for release to the public. Videos are currently under review by Scientific professionals with an interest in Bigfoot/Sasquatch. The videos will show multiple creatures, a family group, many different sizes and colors. Release date will be decided after all reviews of the material are complete. More than likely, the info of what will be released will be announced in the near future on an upcoming internet radio show "The Squatchdetective" Steve Kull's show as he is also investigating and verifying the info we collect in the field for release.
I send you this info based on your just and honest report of Bigfoot groups. Too many are "for profit" and not "for finding" I'm doing alot of work with these creatures in Ky and completely self financed. It makes me sad to think the guys with all the funding are doing nothing but to continue to look without finding. Because as long as they look, they get paid

Best, Chris Bennett BFRPKY.com

Now I can see what is coming, no doubt there will be comments such as "it's blobsquatch", "I can't see a thing", "its a tree", "it's a man in a ghillie suit" etc etc. And I'll agree, I can't see anything there that shouts bigfoot at me. Although it's certainly enough to pique my interest and wanting to see the other pictures and footage they have.

But that is NOT the point here. It's the circumstances behind this story that interests me. This is a tiny group, of a couple of guys, who recieve no funding from anyone, everything they do comes out of their own pocket. They have a very simple website where they post what they have. Hell, they even have a page that tells you what photographic gear they carry. They don't have a book to sell, they don't plead poverty asking for donations or the group will fold. All they want to do is get out in the field and track these creatures down. To them it's a hobby. A very serious one to them, but a hobby no less. And that's the beauty of this whole case.

We need more people like them, people who are not here to rip others off, people who are prepared to take pictures, no matter how good or poor they are and post them online. People who are prepared to stand by their evidence, and accept the praise or negative comments in equal measures.

I for one, will be keeping an eye on the work of these guys. I'm not 100% believer in bigfoot, I've still to see any evidence that will convert me to being one. But if it does come, I hope it's discovered by groups like these. People with no ulterior motive, other than being the first to crack the case.

Good luck to the BFRPKY, I hope you find what you are looking for

Stop Press - Chris has kindly sent me the full high resolution image, where I have been able to pull this higher quality image crop.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The pettiness of Jon Downes at the CFZ leaves me with no option

It's common knowledge that I am banned by the CFZ from posting any comments on any site they own. (and Jon threatened to ban me from sites he didn't own as well, not sure how he was going to achieve that but there you go ).

I know, I was a bad boy for asking too many questions they didn't really want to answer. But no matter, I created this blog so I could still put over my views.

Well the CFZ's bestest ever British big cat researcher, Mr Arnold penned another article all because of yours truly. An article full of errors I may add.

But as usual I'll post it here and reply in, lets go for a different colour this time, lets try yellow


Recently I wrote a post regarding my opinion’s on as to why large, exotic felids roam the wilds of the UK. This seemed to irk a few in the ‘big cat’ community, as it always seems to do.

So I'm now classed as a few eh? I know I've put on a little weight recently, but I'm still not twice the size I was

I’ve always thought that a rather down to earth explanation could solve the riddle as to why black leopard, puma and lynx inhabit the woods of Britain. For me, it always pointed, certainly in more recent times, to the introduction of the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act, where many cat owner’s decided to dump their novelty pets in the woods.

One slight problem, there was not a rise in sightings, as one would expect, around 1976. It was no different than any other year. Unless of course you have any proof of these "many cat owners" releasing cats

Reports dating centuries previous could well be explained by escapees/releases from circuses, private zoo’s and travelling menageries. All the evidence points to this when you consider report’s in the press, menagerists’ and their incident’s, and some owner’s admitting they’d released animals.

I agree with you, no difference in opinion here

Now, after stating this I was accused by the hilariously named ‘The Highland Tiger’, of being ‘outlandish’, and full of ‘hot air’, with no evidence to back this up, or the claims that I’d ever seen or filmed a large cat in the wilds.

I'll ignore the "hilarious" jibe, and get straight to the point. Yes I did ask you to provide proof of your outlandish claims of 100's of big cats released. Yes I did ask you to provide proof of the films you claimed to have taken.

Was that wrong to do so, If you make a claim are we not allowed to see your proof. If you have the proof, if you have the footage, why not share it.

Usually, any posts I decide to write always provoke a petty response from those cowardly folk who are unable to come out from their fa├žade, but tragically, it has always proved me right that the ‘big cat’ community is unfortunately littered with people who

a) are completely deluded by thinking these animals have some more esoteric, or even prehistoric explanation,

So, we get to the nitty gritty here. Neil Arnold thinks that Merrily Harpur and Di Francis, the two main writers on the theories he mentions are deluded. Some may say, no more deluded than someone who thinks 100's of big cats were released 40 or 50 years ago and are breeding all over the country. But then that's my opinion of course.

b) are simply out to stir the s**t,

No stirring, just trying to get proof of your claims

c) seem to gave no valid theories to put forward themselves,

Errrr, I did. I believe its likely to be a mixture of a number of current theories.

d) have never seen a large cat in the wilds because they are too busy stuck behind a PC all day.

I've already said I've seen a big cat, and I'm probably out walking in the hills more times in a week than Mr Arnold does in a year. After all, all those lectures at the WI can't leave much time for field research.

I’d like to hear everyone’s opinion to maybe put this boring, tiresome debacle to bed.

Thanks to Jon Downes and his petty ban, that should read, everyone's opinion apart from the person who this article is aimed at.

I’ve always written about monsters, but in regards to the ‘big cat’ situation I’ve sought no reason to create any kind of mystery when there isn’t one to create. It’s clear that myself and the CFZ has opposition out there, and that’s always going to happen, but clearly, this debate will rage forever, because there clearly are a lot of sad, anorak’s out there with nothing better to.

So everyone who doesn't agree with Mr Arnold, is a sad anorak. Say's it all really. Now what is that saying about stones and glass houses

I’d simply like to know, where do you think ‘big cats’ came from, and if you’ve seen one please do reply.

Many thanks,

Neil Arnold

I think that's enough replying today

There is a postscript to this, Chris Clark of the CFZ, made a comment I would like to reply to.

Chris Clark said...
Yes, last September when some of us on the CFZ expedition saw orang pendek in Sumatra the same person (or at least the same pseudonym) went to a lot of trouble to rubbish us on Cryptomundo.

Not quite true my friend, (Do all CFZ members have a selective memory, is it mandatory?) I, like MANY MANY others on Cryptomundo, just posed the question, WHY were no pictures taken. The sighting, after all, was relatively long. The only other point made, was the release of pictures of "footprints" to The Sun newspaper without the knowledge of the expedition leader Adam Davies, (something he confirmed himself to Loren Coleman at cryptomundo). The Sun article, whilst mentioning the CFZ, strangely did not mention Davies, who actually did the organising of the expedition.

Should not these points be discussed, or are we not allowed to comment on any CFZ expeditions and the results they come back with.

And just a little comment for Tabitca, who appears to be desperate for me to say something bad about her so she can sue me for libel. Sorry love, but it'll never happen. You're just not that important.


Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tah Prohm Temple and the "dino" carving - So what do I think

As I have mentioned before, I'm not religious, and I certainly don't believe in the "young earth" theory that many Christian creationist believe in. I'm also not a believer in living dinosaurs. I don't think a pleisiosaur lives in Loch Ness or any other lake or sea for that matter. I don't think Mokele Mbembe is a sauropod that chases hippos in the Congo. I don't believe that the Ropen in Papua New Guinea is a flying dinosaur, (especially the glowing one). And I certainly don't believe that any dinosaurs species that lived 60 million years ago are still hanging about today.

The problem with believing that the earth is only a few thousand years old, gives the creationists a bit of a hurdle to clear. That hurdle is the fossils of giant creatures. They need to be able to explain away the fossils, and the only way they can do so, is to claim they were created in the biblical flood. But by doing so, it means that humans were there too. They need desperately to find evidence, any evidence, that could place a human next to a dinosaur. Unfortunately instead of going were the evidence takes them and then creating a theory, they have the theory first and are then are forced to look for evidence that fits their theory.

But this should not distract anyone from looking at any evidence of living dino's that comes to light.

So what do I make of the alleged Stegosaurus carving?

We really have three possibilities.

1. It's a carving of an unknown species of dinosaur, similar to those that lived 65 million years or more ago.

2. It's a carving of a known living species of animal, but as yet has not been correctly identified.

3. It's a hoax created by a very skillful mason, for reasons unknown.

The temple at Tah Prohm was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII. After the fall of the Khmer emoire in the 15th century, it was abandoned. Although other temples in the region were conserved and restored in the early 20th century, it was decided to leave this temple as it was, apart from some stabilisation and access work. As of 2010, however, it seems authorities have started to take a more agressive approach to restoration. All the plants and shrubs have been cleared from the site and some of trees are also getting removed. A crane has been erected and a large amount of building work is underway to restore the temple, with much of the work seemingly just rebuilding the temple from scratch as at other sites. Wooden walkways, platforms, and roped railings have been put in place around the site.

Now I would like to point out at this juncture that the temple was used as a location for the "Tomb Raider" film in 2000. Something I will come back to later.

So is it a dinosaur? Well at first glance it does look like one of those cartoon dinosaurs you see in films and books. But looking closely, it doesn't seem to match any known species. It appears to have the head and body of ceratopsid dinosaur, but without any of the horns. The tail of a saurapod, and the plating of a stegasaurus.

Critics will say, as it's not anotomically correct it can't be a dinosaur, and those plates on its back are not plates but leaves or plants. After all there are similar depictions of leaves around other carvings of animals.

Except there isn't. Yes there are leaves on other carvings, but none as uniform in shape size or number as in this carving. But it still doesn't prove they are not decorative leaves.

Unfortunately this leaves us with a dilemma. Either they are plates on the animals back, which puts us in the dino camp, or leaves which put us in the known animal camp.

So if it is not a dinosaur, then what animal could it be? I've heard people claim it is a rhino. But then we have to make the same obsevations that we subjected the dinosaur theory to. If it is a rhino, then where is it's horn. Asian rhino's may have small horns but they are certainly a feature that any carver would show. And yet again the tail is all wrong. it's much too long and thick. Another possibilty is a wild pig. Yes the body and head seems to be similar, but yet again the tail poses a problem. In fact the tail poses a problem for most theories concerning mammals. However if the creature was a lizard of some sort, then the tail would be possible. To be honest, no matter which way you look at the animal, there is no creature either past or present that fits the carving entirely.

So we are left with the hoax. Now we come back to the filming of Tomb Raider. There is no doubt that the film crew did some amount of rebuilding work at the temple during filming. And there have been internet rumours that one of the production crew carved the stone as an in-joke, but realised in hind sight that if they actually admitted they done so in public, they may be liable to prosecution from the authorities for defacing an ancient monument. But yet again, we stumble, because these are just rumours, there is no evidence. Yes there were masons on site, and yes the production team certainly had the technical ability to do this carving. But we still can't confirm it either way. However Tomb Raider was filmed in 2000 which is a problem for this theory as a book "Ancient Angkor" was published in 1999, and the carving is mentioned in that book.

One of the problems we have is that although there are numerous carvings of other animals, several many times over, we only have this one single carving of this creature. Why only one, when other animals are repeated elsewhere. Why is this creature not found on carvings in other temples in the area. This makes me think that it is not an original carving.

Now one interesting fact, is that the block that contains the carving is of a different colour to the rest of the column. This has been explained away, by creationists amongst others, claimng that the person who first found it and photographed it "cleaned" it up. Of course yet again, we have no proof of this, only someones word.

However as these picture show, there are definite "joins" to the right of the block that don't match the blocks above and below,

Now I just can't get away from the differences in the block from the ones above and below. Something just doesn't feel right. Has it been replaced or repaired or altered. I just don't know for sure. Again we just don't have the proof.

So all in all, what do I think.

Well my gut feeling is that it's a hoax, perputrated by persons unknown for reasons unknown.

BUT...........putting my investigative head on, I've got to say the case has to be left wide open. I can't see any definitive proof that confirms or denies any of the three possibilities.

All through my posts, you will see an ongoing thread regarding the need for proof. This is no different. People can of course make up their own minds as to what the animal is, and how it got there, but none of us have the proof that could allow us to state, "I know the answer"

or of course it could just be the great cosmic joker on another of his wind-ups.

A question for Big Cat Researchers

My Namesake The Highland Tiger aka The Scottish Wildcat, is officially Britains rarest mammal, with recent data indicating there could be as few as 400 left in the Highlands of Scotland.
The Scottish Wildcat Association is doing some sterling work in conserving this wonderful animal. Along with the Cairngorms Wildcat Project they aim to re-populate parts of Scotland with the wildcat.
Now part of their work involves the use a camera traps in order to calculate the number of wildcats left. And they have been very succesful in doing so.

So the question I would like to pose.

If we are able to get clear photographic evidence of the rarest mammal in Britain, an animal that lives in the remotest, and least inhabited part of this island, an animal only a few feet in size, then why are we not able to get an image of a black leopard, one of hundreds that some people believe exist in the UK, that exist in areas of high human population, and are many many times larger than a wildcat.

Every mammal in the UK has been photographed with clear images, even the rarest. But not one clear picture of a big cat. The question has to be asked. Why not?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Neil Arnold Replies...

As promised, any reply by Neil Arnold will be posted in full.

I have made comments in red, as I address his points.

I have attempted on three occasion's to post a reply on your blog but am being met with an Error statement, so I would be grateful if you could tell your reader's that I have indeed replied to your post in which you decided, behind a facade, to make a dig at me.

Other people have been able to comment, so I have no idea why you have not been able to, but no worry, here is your reply in full. Regarding the "dig", as you yourself have in your article pourded scorn on others, you can't complain when your theories are subjected to the same treatment

I will happily answer the question's you have asked of me, although I'm sure you are quite eager to fuel a row.

I have no wish to cause a row, just to try and access the truth

Firstly, I don't recall naming any name's when I mentioned my theories, and I find it rather unprofessional that you have done.

So it's ok, to bring up other theories and dismiss them as nonsense, as long as you don't mention the names of the authors who's books support those theories. Very strange way of thinking in my opinion and one I find that very cowardly

I DID mention that I always thought Di Francis' and Janet & Colin Bord's books were dated, and what's wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with that, I never said there was.

As for the other guys you mention, Merrily Harpur has always connecting 'big cats' to the supernatural, and I don't know Rik Snook apart from the fact he likes to use everything I put in the papers for his own website.

So you have a problem with Rik Snook, putting links to sightings that appear in the papers, just because it's you that contacted the papers first. Sorry to burst your bubble, but a person reporting a sighting to yourself, doesn't mean it's for you and your eyes only. You are not the only big cat researcher in Kent. Maybe you don't like the "competition"

As for my book, I'm sure I'm allowed to promote it ? Do I need your permission to do so ?

Of course you are, but promoting a book containing your theories, whilst at the same time, running down the work of other authors, is a bit cheap.

As for theories being backed up. Receipts regarding the purchase of 'big cats' from Harrods were destroyed before the archives came into place. Any celebrity purchase of a large, exotic cat would have been dealt with the same way as any member's of public purchase, unless a newspaper had found out about the story. However, why would a general dealer/buyer from thirty or so years ago still have a receipt of a large cat, especially when such people have had scorn poured on them over the years for releasing such animals ? I think it's rather common knowledge that people purchased such animals in the '60s (i.e. Margot the puma, Christian the lion), and there are numerous records, which are mentioned in my book, of animal's escaping and even attacking people. Many newspaper stories dating back several centuries speak of escapees, but not everyone who loses/releases a large cat is keen to talk about it. Again, if you haven't spoken to or investigated any previous owner's of large cats then you clearly aren't looking in the right places.

The problem you fail to address is that all your examples do not match the animals people are actually seeing. There are no lions living in the wild in the UK, so how can they be the parents of the animals roaming the UK. You can't find any records of black leopards being bought, and yet you claim the UK is awash with black leopards. You still havn't furnished any proof

As for film footage of such animal's. I do not advertise areas of sightings, but my footage has been aired on Sky, ITV, BBC in the past,I don't need to go to You Tube to prove anything to you, in the same way you don't have to prove anything to me

You claimed that you took the footage, could you please provide links to this footage. After all, anyone could claim they took a film of a big cat. Proof is needed here. Otherwise we have to take your claims with a huge pinch of salt. A researcher is judged on his research material. Unfortunately your material is sadly lacking

, but judging by your response to my CFZ post it seems that either a) you don't believe such animal's roam the UK,

I do believe big cats aroam the UK, I have seen them with my own eyes

b) you haven't a clue as to where they came from,

No I don't know where they have come from, but then neither do you. None of us have any proof that is undeniable, that proves the existance of even one big cat out there.

c) you are simply spoiling for a petty argument.

No, I'm simply pointing out the flaws in your claims

I have seen several cats in the local wilds as many researchers and members of the public have. Why is this a false claim ? It's no big deal to see a large cat in the UK wilds. Unfortunately, for some it is the Holy Grail to see one but due to lack of patience, or the belief they are supernatural, they are unlikely to see one.

I never said it was a false claim, after all I am a believer.

Regarding the CFZ, who you clearly have a problem with. Maybe you should begin to realise that there are many research groups around the world, who all have their own opinion's. Some mount expedition's, some are armchair enthusiast's, each to their own, but if you are eager to exist only to create petty arguement's then more the fool you.

The only problem I have with the CFZ, is that they appear to be more of a money making organisation, (you only have to look at their desperate pleading for funding), than doing any real research. Not one expedition has been successful and that is undeniable. To me and others looking in, the CFZ is just a group of people going on big boys adventure holidays paid with the money of gullible benefactors.

I am more than happy for people to comment on what I do, or say, which is why I write posts on my opinion's. If you have a REAL problem with me however, I don't think you should be hiding behind a facade to state it.

I only have problems with people who claim to know the answers, but are unable to furnish any proof.

I think it's very difficult actually finding the 'real researchers out there', because it seems to me that the community is full of anorak's eager to create a mystery which isn't there at all whi is why much of the 'big cat' community are a laughing stock put alongside Ufologists etc.

Yes it is difficult to find real researchers, and I agree it's full of "anoraks" that make the public put big cat research on par with ufology. But then you also lecture on ghosts and the paranormal, making yourself part of the problem.

I'm unsure as to how I am full of "hot air" and making "outlandish claims" when the theories I suggest are far more down to earth than the supernatural claims Merrily Harpur suggests.

Any claim made without proof is outlandish. I have said the very same thing in person to Merrily Harpur. However you will never find Ms Harpur, putting her theory above all others as the one and only answer to the big cat conumdrum. She actually believes that there are many answers to the situation, including her pet theory of daimons.

I would be interested to hear where you think such animal's have come from, because I've always been of the opinion that we should be looking at the more realistic solution's, such as escapees/releases, including zoo parks, menagerie's etc, rather than demonic or prehistoric cats.

I actually agree in theory that most of the genuine big cat sightings are of escapees or deliberate releases. How we disagree is that unlike yourself I don't believe that every sighting is of a leopard or puma. And I certainly don't believe that the numbers of big cats at looses in the UK are the amount you claim. The proof is just not out there.

And finally, it seems that you are completely oblivious to what excatly happened in the '60s and '70s. I never claimed there were thousands of exotic felids roaming the UK. Many animal's were recaptured, some shot dead or died naturally in the wilds, but if what we are seeing in the UK wilds are not offspring or generation's past, then I'd like to hear your answer ?

Until someone, anyone, provides proof of a single black leopard loose in the UK, (we are still waiting are we not?), then no-one can claim they know the answers. Theories are great, but it's proof we need.

Thank you for your time.

Neil Arnold

So there it is, a long reply, but strangely, NOT ONE piece of proof to back up any of his claims. Strange that!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Some British Big Cat Researchers do come out with a load of nonsense

In the last few days, we've had Neil Arnold, acclaimed by the CFZ as the "world's greatest big cat researcher", pour scorn on the work of other researchers.

NEIL ARNOLD: Cats That Can’t Be Caught…Cats That Could Be Bought

It doesn't take a genius to work out who he was insulting. Di Francis, Merrily Harpur, Rik Snook, the BCIB etc.

Now we know he has a book to plug, yet again, but he does come out with some facts that he never ever seems to be able to back up.

These are his claims in his own words, and I would like to challenge him right now to supply proof of any of them. Or is he yet another CFZ researcher, who is more interested in filling his pockets than real research.

1. Regarding animals sold in Harrods, London. I have records that lion and puma were purchased there, but no black leopards

So where are these records, are there copies of receipts.

2. It is a FACT that large exotic cats DO roam the UK. I’ve seen them; I’ve filmed them.

So he has filmed them, it's very strange then that none of these films have ever come to light. Or is he making false claims. Perhaps he should put them on the CFZ TV site for people to view and discuss.

3.It seems that for every animal purchased pre-1976 (when the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was introduced), many went unrecorded, but thankfully, due to some newspaper archives and my own digging and delving, it proves that a majority of animals seen in the wilds today ARE offspring of animals released back then

and what proof has Mr Arnold got, other than anecdotes and rumours. Again I challenge him to furnish proof of his claims.

Finally we should have a look at a quote by Mr Arnold in the Kent Messenger Newspaper on April 14th 2010.

Hundreds of puma and leopards were released in the 1960s and 1970s and what we are seeing is their offspring

So there we have it, but if there were "hundreds" of big cats deliberately released 40 or 50 years ago, there should be tens of thousands of big cats in the UK today, (which there is obviously not).

Again I would challenge him to provide the proof of these claims.

So Mr Arnold, if you are prepared to discredit other researchers work, you can't complain when someone looks closely at your own efforts.

So will I be made to look a fool as Mr Arnold provides all the proof to back up his theories........or as I suspect is he yet another CFZ member, full of hot air and outlandish claims, but not a shred of hard evidence.

People like him do a discredit to the real researchers out there.

If he decides to get in contact, I'll let you all know. Don't hold your breath.