Now we've all read the CFZ blog about the finding of "leopard" hairs by the CFZ, how it is a first and "it was the CFZ who found them" Well it seems that they weren't the only ones to have had leopard hairs confirmed by Dr Lars Thomas at the Weird Weekend.
Enter the "Wiltshire Phenomena Research" organisation. It seems that they too were at the Weird Weekend, where they showed some hairs they had gathered as part of their research in Longleat Forest. These too were confirmed as leopard hairs by Dr Lars Thomas. I've re-printed their blog article below.
During our trip into Longleat Forest earlier this year some members of the team decided to go off track. When they did so they found a hair on a wire fence and thought it would be a good idea to bag it because “you never know”.
We decided that rather than just assuming this hair was significant in any way (it could have been a dog hair, from a deer, a sheep, anything!) we realised we would need to get it tested and so we kept hold of it.
Cut to just over a month later and a group of the people who were in the forest that day visited the Weird Weekend (hosted by the CFZ) where they met Lars Thomas who happened to be doing a talk on identifying hair.
He kindly had a look at our hair on his microscopic machine to get a closer look at it and concluded (by comparing the hair on the screen to a book of different samples) that it was leopard hair, which is very exciting.
However, us being WPR, we are in the process of getting the hair retested by an independent source so that we can be sure that the first examination wasn’t a fluke, or wasn’t at fault.
It’s not that we don’t trust Lars, we just need to have at least one other opinion before we reach a conclusion about the hair and take further action on the case.
We’ve also recieved numerous eye-witness reports of big cats in the same area so this is a case that is still being worked on. We don’t have a conclusion yet, but we’re very excited about the progress!
I must applaud the actions of the WPR in striving to get as many opinions on the hair sample as possible, and I'm very interested to hear their results in the future. Longleat Forest is an interesting place, situated next to the Wildlife Park, and containing a Centre Parcs resort. It is ideal big cat teritory.
But lets return to the actions of the CFZ in this saga. Now although the CFZ appear to have claimed to be the first people to have proved the existance of big cats in the UK, after all "it was the CFZ who found them", they conveniently forgot to mention that they weren't even the first people at the Weird Weekend to have found leopard hairs.
In their desperation to "get one over" on the BCIB, they didn't even mention that a small group of investigators in Wiltshire had beaten them to it.
Now why do you think that no mention of the Wiltshire Phenomena Research organisation was made in the CFZ blog. I suppose it sort of made the CFZ's "exclusive", not quite as exclusive as they wanted.
Alice could have been talking about the CFZ, when she said "curiouser and curiouser"
Indeed it is.