One of the many things Edinburgh, Scotland, is famous for is the Festival Fringe, but it’s no festival for dog walkers on the fringe of the city limits where a man walking his canines recently recorded a black alien big cat spooking a herd of deer.
Barry Pearson walks his dogs near Ormiston, Scotland, in the council area of East Lothian which borders Edinburgh. On the afternoon of January 19, he was out with Riley and Jules, a cross-breed and an Alsatian (the British name for a German shepherd) when he noticed something unusual - six deer quickly changing directions while running away from him and the dogs across a field. Near where they made their sudden course correction was what looked like a large black cat with a few white markings.
I first thought it was a collie dog but when I took a closer look it was definitely feline. It was about the size between a Collie and an Alsatian. I was about half a football pitch away from it but if I had been a bit closer to it I might have been a bit frightened. It was very strange but very intriguing … I know it was from a distance, but when I saw it sitting in the field it was definitely bigger than a household cat.
No one else saw the big cat but that hasn’t stopped it from being called the Beast of Ormiston by locals who remember a number of other recent sightings in the area. In fact, from October 2009 to April 2012, seven big cats were reported in the Lothians with two of them near Edinburgh. Add those to the more than 140 big cat sightings across Scotland since 2010 and it’s a wonder anyone walks their dogs there at all.
Yes, I know it's a blurry picture but he was about 55 yards away and holding two big dogs who obviously saw something too. Did Barry see a black alien big cat? A stray black Labrador? Something else? As Ormiston community councillor Cathy Jess put it …
… it could be anything.