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

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.


  1. When did they call him "world's greatest big cat researcher"?

  2. http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/09/neil-arnold-writes.html

    "neil arnold, still (in our opinion) britain's leading big cat researcher"

    Ok they didn't say world, but you get my drift

  3. So you are admitting that you made that bit up? Basically you accuse other people of hyperbole whilst indulging in the same thing yourself. How many other times have you "bent" the truth?

  4. LOL

    Nice try, but when it comes to British big cat research, I think you'll find that ALL the researchers actually live in the UK. Hence if someone is called Britain's best researcher on the big cat phenomena, then by default they will be the best in the world as well.


  5. No you silly little man. At least I assume you are a man; your arguments seem steadfastly masculine. The piece that you quote reads (by your own admission) "neil arnold, still (in our opinion) britain's leading big cat researcher".

    Nowhere does it say anything about him being a researcher into "big cats in Britain". No matter how many LOL's you add, you cannot change the fact that you misquoted the CFZ blog out of context, and twisted it to try and support your own increasingly fatuous arguments.

    Also, in the original blog post they used capital letters in the right place which you do not. Is this another attempt by you to blacken your opponent's name by insinuating that they are semi-literate, or were you just so excited by the prospect of scoring another cheap point that you did not bother to check your own prose for typos.

  6. Thankyou Mr Dunncehead for the insults, your name seems very apt in this case.

    Unlike the CFZ I won't censor any comments made by others even if they disagree with me.

    You are perfectly entitled to your thoughts, no matter how wide they are off the mark.

    I thought one of the CFZ lackeys would post on here, and you did so, so I thank you.

    But I think you'll find that Neil Arnold is quite capable of answering for himself, (unlike you he actually doesn't need to resort to direct personal insults, to get his point across)

    I just find it strange that instead of adressing the points brought up regarding the facts questioned on this blog, you would rather have an argument withs regards to semantics.

    Do you have any thoughts on the actual topic?

  7. Like I said, you are undoubtedly a silly little man. It is YOU who are avoiding the topic. When you open your attack on Mr Arnold with a quote about him that you later admit that you completely made up, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously?

    As for me being a lackey of the CFZ, I am no such thing. You seem to have a vastly inflated idea of their importance. They are a club for people interested in Cryptozoology, and not the Mafia.

    If you want to look at fraudulent and immoral behaviour within cryptozoological circles there are far worse culprits I can assure you.

  8. DH, There has been many times when Jonathon and Corrina Downes have proclaimed the wonderness, (is that a real word, oh well it is now) of Mr Arnold whilst slagging off other big cat researchers. In fact nearly everytime Mr Arnold writes for them, they actually mention how great he is, over other researchers. Why do that, unless you are trying to put over a sly dig at others.

    Yes there are other culprits out there, and I will be mentioning them in the months to come. Keep an eye open for an article on the shenanigans at Loch Ness in a few weeks.

    Just one question, my blog is a bit obscure, and you have never commented before. May I ask you how to came to find it.

  9. Also, regarding what you wrote,

    "If you want to look at fraudulent and immoral behaviour within cryptozoological circles there are far worse culprits I can assure you."

    The wording of this sentence appears to indicate that the CFZ have been guilty of fraudulent and immoral behaviour, just not as bad as other organisations. Is this true? Or are we back to semantics again

  10. ...but they have never actually said that he was the "best in the world". No matter how many times you try to wriggle out of it, you opened your snide little attack on Neil Arnold with a blatant misrepresentation of the truth. There is no getting away from it.

    You have been caught out in a lie. Admit it, and we can move on.

    As for how I found your blog. Like you I make it my business to scrutinise the soft white underbelly of cryptozoology, and it doesn't come much softer or whiter than this dubious and rather distasteful blog.

  11. Oh dear Mr D, you won't tell anyone how to came across it.

    well for the record, I only posted links to this blog in two places, both not available to the public eye. I posted links directly to the CFZ, and to Mr Arnold himself. Now I doubt Mr Arnold put you up to it, but I wouldn't put it past Mr Downes or Mr Freeman doing so.

    So will you confirm if you have ANY connection with the CFZ, or are you just someone who randomly stumbled upon my blog.

  12. I have connections with all sorts of people, and am a member of all sorts of organisations. Unlike you I admit to all sorts of affiliations. However I have been reading this blog for weeks, but only decided to start commenting last night. And iis there any reason why, as a member of the CFZ that I shouldn't?

  13. Also (and I apologise for this, because I dislike people who make multi-part comments) but I am afraid that you are once again being economical with the truth. You also publicised this blog WEEKS AGO on cryptozoology.com, and have emailed links to all the different organisations to whom you sent your impertinent questionnaire.

    Start telling the truth HT.

  14. So you will not confirm you are a member of the CFZ. Now why am I not surprised.

    Yes I did publicise this blog elsewhere, and I have posted numerous articles with maybe a handful of coments posted. And yet, I post an article about something posted on the CFZ site, and here you are within hours of it being posted. Now you either got a heads up from Mr Downes OR you regularly visit my blog. If it is the latter then I thank you for being such an avid reader. If it is the former, then you should be glad I don't censor posts like Mr Downes. I welcome all comments. It's up to others to conclude if there are any agendas being played out in the comments made by people like yourself.

  15. You still haven't answered the only questions that I have actually asked.

    1. Why did you begin a blog posting about Neil Arnold with a fabricated quote, that you later agreed that you made up?
    2. Are you going to apologise for having made this quote up? And admit that you only did it maliciously in order to further your vendetta against Messrs Downes and Arnold?
    3. How many more idiotic lies have you told? And how many more half-truths have you twisted out of recognition?

    And yes, I do read you every day

  16. Ok just for you

    1. The only "fabrication" was using the words "worlds greatest" instead of "Britains leading". However you must agree that the CFZ believe Mr Arnold to be the best big cat researcher over the many others, no matter which words are used.

    2. Apologise.lol If you think that using the word "world" instead of "britain" is the work of a malicious vendetta, then you are in a serious need of a visit to a specialist.

    3.If you think I have told any other lies, please feel free to point them out. I'll be here happy to answer them. Unlike Mr Downes of course.

    You seem very hung up on one single sentence in these posts and yet have failed to comment on any points raised on the topic in question. Will you be doing so, or will you be still fixated on your imaginary "vendettas".

  17. So you admit that you opened your attack on Neil A with a fabrication? Good. Now we are getting somewhere. How many other misquotes and fabrivations are there?

  18. Just for the readers information, it should be noted that Mr Duncehead used the word "hyperbole" in one of his comments. Now you must admit, that this is a very under used word, and to be honest not used often in general conversation. Unless you are of course Jon Downes or his general dogsbody Oll Lewis who are the ONLY people to have uttered this strange word on the CFZ blog. In fact they have used it several times.

    I thought Oll might be behind these posts,it seems that I may be close to the truth

  19. Oh dear. It is time to attack people with a better vocabulary than you is it? You still haven't answered my question. Because you obviously have a short attention span it was:

    "So you admit that you opened your attack on Neil A with a fabrication? Good. Now we are getting somewhere. How many other misquotes and fabrivations are there? "

    Goodness me, I have just noticed that I mis-spelled `fabrication` the second time. Will you be attacking me for that now?

  20. If you wish to continue with this line of questioning then fair enough. Obviously you have nothing to say about the topics raised in the post.

    But then perhaps we should talk about fabrications that appeared on the CFZ website, such as the wording of Richard Freemans zoological qualifications. Wording that was subsequently changed after I pointed them out.

    Now shall we decide who's was the greatest "fabrication". Me, using the word "world" instead of "britain" or

    the CFZ declaring about Richard Freeman that "In 1996 he took a degree in zoology at Leeds university and after graduation moved to Exeter to work full time as the Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology"

    When we all know he never completed the course.

    So, you tell me, who's "fabrication" is deemed to be the worst

  21. Fight fire with fire. That's a good one. At least you are admitting that your comment about Neil being the best researcher in the world was a complete fabrication.

    I do not think that Mr Freeman's qualifications or lack of them have any relevance to this discussion between us, which merely started when I read an outrageous claim on your blog this morning.

    You claimed that the CFZ had stated that Neil was the "world's greatest big cat researcher". I was shocked, because if they had indeed said that it would have been an outrgeously stupid thing to have said.

    However they didn't say it. You did. And have been trying to wriggle out of it with various underhanded obfuscations all day.

    I was taking you to task for this and this only. You have tried to twist it around into part of your general attack on the CFZ, and Messrs Downes, Freeman and Arnold in particular.

    By the way - for the record: If I had to make a claim for the world's leading big cat researcher it would probably be either Lena Bottriel or Marc van Roosmalen. I am also impressed by the work of Di Francis.

  22. The CFZ often quote Neil Arnold as the best big cat researcher, and have done so, ever since Mark Fraser left the CFZ. Why keep mentioning it, it's very childlish

    A slip of the tongue, regarding the real attitudes of how the CFZ regard big cat researchers, is nothing compared to the out and out lies regarding Mr Freemans qualifications. I note you havn't condemmed the CFZ for this. Why?

    I agree with you on van Roosmalen, although his maverick attitudes will mean he'll never get the acclaim he rightly deserves. Di Francis is definately the mother of british big cat reasearch. Many researchers cite her books as their first entry into the world of big cat hunting. She has some interesting theories, which I feel, unlike Neil Arnold, that are much more likely than breeding populations of black leopards.

  23. Whether Richard Freeman has a degree or not is of no interest to me. As far as I am aware the CFZ have never claimed that he has, and when it was pointed out to them (by you) that one of the bits of their website was ambiguous, it appears that they changed it. So? Does anyone apart from you really care?

    How much credibility do you really think that someone having a BSc actually confers on an organisation? In these days of practically everyone going to university very little.

  24. Mr Duncehead. Richard Freeman is the CFZ's "Zoological Director", so claiming he has a degree in zoology would give the CFZ some mainstream credibilty.

    How much credibilty would you give a zoological director, if you found out that he flunked the subject he claims to be an expert on.

    The CFZ claimed he had a degree, and I posted this on an earlier blog entry.

    Again I note, you take me to task for a misquote, but fail to condemn the CFZ for an out and out lie. Now why is that.

    Will you now do so?

  25. Now that is very strange. Mr Duncehead posts commernt after comment demanding I apologise for insinuating that the CFZ thought Mr Arnold was the best big cat researcher in the World, instead of just Britain, and yet when I ask him if he would condemn the CFZ for deliberately falsifying academic qualifications, he goes strangely silent.

    Sort of makes all his demands for a apology pretty redundant doesn't it.

  26. Nope. Nothing of the sort. Unlike yours appears to, my life does not revolve around discussing the minutae of CFZ affairs until the cows come home. I went out last night and didn't feel like faffing about online when I came home.

    As I understand it when it was pointed out (admittedly by you) that the wording on the Weird Weekend website (NOT the main CFZ one) read: "In 1996 he took a degree in zoology at Leeds university and after graduation moved to Exeter to work full time as the Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology" (and I will have to take your word for that, because unlike you I don't make backups of every site I visit). As Tabitca has explained on several occasions this does not say that RF actually GAINED a degree.

    However when it was pointed out by you that this wording was ambiguous, the CFZ changed the wording immediately.

    No-one apart from you seems to care, and your opinion seems to be based on malicious motives.

    However YOU deliberately openbed a blog post attacking Neil Arnold with a false statement, which if it had been true, would have made the CFZ look petty and stupid. I suggest that this was the intention all along.

    However, unlike the CFZ, you have not changed the original wording, despite having admitted that you made it up!

    This says a lot.

    Now, before you jump up and down with glee at the fact that I may not answer your comments immediately let me point something else out. I have been reading your blog for weeks, and yesterday (because of the weather as much as anything), but mainly because it was a Bank Holiday, I decided to engage you in debate.

    However, I am not usually in front of a computer all day, and although I will continue to read you at least once a day, I will not be answering any of your puerile jibes immediately. This does not mean that I have retreated with my tail between my legs in the face of your Byronesque use of the English Language - merely that I have matters of far more importance to which I must attend, because - unlike you - I have a life!

  27. So after all that waffle YOU STILL havn't condemned the CFZ for deliberately falsifying a senior member of the CFZ, a member who is always given the title of zoological director in every press release.

    Unlike the CFZ I will not alter posts nor censor comments. I leave the public to decide on the subject in question.

    Feel free to continue posting,

    Just one point, you say I opened my blog with a false statement, and took me to task on it.

    Will you now in the interest of fairness and none bias do the same to the CFZ who on their MAIN home page make the following extraordinary claim.

    "The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is the only professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals."

    A very bold statement you may agree, but not factually correct. Please not the use of the word "world"

    Have you never heard of the Pangea Institute in the US,

    I await with interest your reply.

  28. Truthfully, I had never heard of them, and as only 14 people have visited their website today, it seems that neither have many other people. But I am not criticising them - they look like a fine organisation, and I wish them luck.

    However, you are right - the claim on the CFZ front page is now arguably not true, and I have emailed Jon to tell him.

    No doubt he will take action if he deems it appropriate. As far as your stupid claims about CFZ dishonesty are concerned Richard Freeman's reputation does not stand or fall upon whether he has a degree or not. I don't care either way. At worst the CFZ have acted to replace a bit of their website that was unintentionally ambiguous, whilst by your own admission YOU made up the opening statement in your attack on Neil Arnold: an opening statement that if it were true would show the CFZ in a bad light.

    It is you rather than the CFZ who is behaving fraudulently.

  29. Mr D,

    If you visited any other crypto sites such as cryptozoology.com, you will have certainly heard them. Scott Marlow, one of their members, who regularly posts on cz.com, teaches the only cryptozoological academic course in the US, possibly the world.

    Regarding Richard Freeman, I was there in person at a function where he told several people that he had a zoology degree and that he studied at Leeds Uni. And for many years, I continued to believe he indeed did have one. Why wouldn't I believe him. However in conversation with someone who knew him very well, several years later, it transpired he had no degree after all. Hence the reason I eventually got in contact with the CFZ. It was not only the CFZ site that had made the false claim, but so did his Wikipedia entry, (obviously done by Jon or Richard himself). This was changed at the same time at the CFZ site. This wasn't an oversight on their part, someone deliberately tried to create an appearance of academic prowess. Now the question is, was it dome with the knowledge of Jon Downes, or was it done without his knowledge.

    I think possibly the latter

  30. I would suggest that this is something that you should raise directly with Richard.

    As far as the CFZ website is concerned, as I have said in this thread on a number of occasions in the past 24 hours, there is no argument that the wording was changed once the webmasters found that the wording was ambiguous. Neither Jon or the CFZ have ever claimed that Richard has a degree. Dozens of people write for different parts of the CFZ website, and the webmasters sometimes let things through by mistake. When these mistakes are found they are rectified.

    As far as Wikipedia is concerned I have no idea. You had better check their edit history. It is open for all to view.

  31. Duncehead. Neil is pining for you, go get a room...

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