Apr 29, 2019 I Nick Redfern

Supernatural Alien Big Cats in the U.K., Pt. 1

The United Kingdom has a long history of sightings of what have become known as Alien Big Cats. Or, as ABCs. There's no doubt at all that the U.K. has, over a significant number of decades, had an equally significant number of large cats in its midst. It scarcely needs saying that the U.K. is not the home of an indigenous, large cat. Pet cats aside, there is the Scottish wildcat. And that's about all. But, even the Scottish wildcat can hardly be said to be a huge, marauding beast. It certainly is not. As "Scottish Wildcat Action" notes: "Scottish wildcats (Felis silvestris) look similar to a large tabby cat, weighing up to 8kg and measuring as long as 98cm. However, there are some key differences. The most obvious is the thick tail that has a black blunt tip with thick black stripes. They also have a much larger cranial capacity, shorter gut and a more angular jaw, good for crunching live prey with." Moving on, there is the case of Felicity. A puma, no less. In the heart of Scotland. Yes, really.

The Scotsman provides this: "Debates over whether or not feral cats exist in the UK were stoked up again in 1980 with the capturing of a wild puma in Cannich, Inverness-shire. Subsequently named Felicity, the puma was moved to Kincraig’s Highland Wildlife Park where she was put on show. After the arthritic cat died in 1985, she was stuffed and displayed in Inverness Art Gallery and Museum. Since the Felicity case, big cat spottings have occurred in Easter Ross, Kincraig and Tain within the last five years alone." Yes, an honest-to-goodness puma roaming around Scotland. It quickly became clear, however, to Felicity's new keepers at the wildlife park that she was very comfortable around people. This strongly suggests that Felicity had recently escaped from a private enclosure. Or, that she had been deliberately released into the wild. In other words, there was nothing particularly strange about Felicity's presence in Scotland. By all accounts, Felicity enjoyed her five years in the wildlife park.

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Then there's the matter of a lynx that was captured in London in 2001. The Guardian newspaper reported, on May 8, 2001, the following of the eye-catching affair: "London zoo yesterday was caring for a lynx found relaxing on a garden wall in Golders Green, north London. The big cat was eventually caught under a hedge by zoo staff called in by police. It had been spotted on the wall five days ago by Carol Montague, who works for the owners of the house and garden. 'I thought it was a leopard or something,' she said. 'It was only about 4ft from me. It was the size of an alsatian, but I could tell it was young, like a cub. I called the police immediately. I don't think they believed me at first, because they just laughed.'  Ray Charter, the zoo's head keeper of big cats, said: 'We get numerous calls reporting big cat sightings, and so far all have proved incorrect... so you can imagine my surprise when I bent down to look under the hedge, expecting to see a large ginger tom, only to be met by a much more exotic face.'"

Yet again, we're almost certainly dealing with an escapee from someone who had secretly kept the lynx as a pet. It's important to note there's nothing new about all of this. For example, it was at Chillington Hall, way back in the 1500s, that one of the first private zoos was established – by a nobleman named Sir John Giffard. According to local legend, on one fateful day, Sir John’s favorite animal, a fully-grown leopard no less, escaped from the confines of its enclosure and charged headlong into the wilds of the surrounding Staffordshire, England countryside. Arming himself with a cross-bow, Sir John, along with his son, quickly set off in hot pursuit of the marauding animal. To their complete horror, father and son found the animal poised to attack a terror-stricken mother and her child who were cowering on the ground.

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In an instant, according to the old story at least, Sir John drew his bow and took careful and quick aim. At that very same moment, his son cried out: “Prenez haliene, tirez fort!” or: “Breathe deep, pull hard!” Sir John sensibly, and rapidly, took his son’s advice and fired. With but just one shot, the leopard fell to the floor, utterly stone dead. Giffard’s Cross – which still stands to this day – was raised where the creature is reputed to have taken its very last breath. Sir John, meanwhile, decided it might be a very good idea to adopt his son’s words as the family’s motto. Of course, if one large, exotic cat was roaming the wilds of the U.K. as far back as the 1500s (albeit admittedly briefly), then who knows how many other possible escapees there might well have been that weren’t cut down by the power of Sir John’s cross-bow?

The cases I have referred to above are completely explainable, when it to comes to the matter of how these particular large cats came to be on the loose in the U.K. (albeit, briefly). In part-2 of this article, however, I'm going to share with you a body of strange, and even sinister, data which suggests that at least some alien big cats are paranormal in nature. That's right, things are about to get very weird...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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