Alien Big Cats ('ABCs')

Discussion in 'Cryptozoology: Mystery Quadrupeds' started by Anonymous, Jul 30, 2001.

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

  1. Escapees from collections, breeding in the UK countryside

    19 vote(s)
    51.4%
  2. A species of endemic British big cat somehow overlooked by science

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Zooform Phenomena - animal-shaped manifestations of paranormal activity

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Misidentifications of big dogs, normal cats etc

    9 vote(s)
    24.3%
  5. A big hoax

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Summat else

    1 vote(s)
    2.7%
  7. All of the above

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  1. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    I'd be a little less ambitious in that estimate.
     
  2. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Left Foot of God

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    Any particular reason to doubt the field worker's estimate?
     
  3. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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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.
     
  4. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Left Foot of God

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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?
     
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  5. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    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.
     
  6. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Left Foot of God

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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.
     
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  7. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    Now that's more like it.
     
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  8. skinny

    skinny ____Noble Gas___

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  9. GNC

    GNC King-Sized Canary

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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?
     
  10. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    FWIW ...

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_cat
     
  11. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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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.
     
  12. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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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).
     
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  13. David Plankton

    David Plankton Antediluvian

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    Didn't you get some photos of it's footprints Mungo?
     
  14. staticgirl

    staticgirl Abominable Snowman

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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.
     
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  15. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    Not that one David, the footprint was another one - about 500 K's west, as the crow flies. Very different habitats.
     
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  16. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    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.
     
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  17. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Left Foot of God

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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/
     
  18. hunck

    hunck Justified & Ancient

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    It does look quite lion like but from the way it's walking it could be a dog..
     
  19. David Plankton

    David Plankton Antediluvian

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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.
     
  20. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    Another one for dog.
     
  21. staticgirl

    staticgirl Abominable Snowman

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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.
     
  22. Mungoman

    Mungoman Mostly harmless...

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    It walks like a dog...And I'm getting Jene Genie as an earworm - must let myself go...whoaahhh.
     
  23. Bigphoot2

    Bigphoot2 Carbon Based Infestation

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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/
     
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  24. David Plankton

    David Plankton Antediluvian

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    "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.
     
  25. maximus otter

    maximus otter Recovering policeman

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    You don't have the "Need to Know"
    "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
     
  26. sherbetbizarre

    sherbetbizarre Special Branch

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    [​IMG]

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

    Eponastill Ephemeral Spectre

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  28. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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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.
     

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