Part-1 of this article began as follows. “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.”
In part-1, I demonstrated how and why some cases of alien big cats in the U.K. can easily be explained: some were escapees from private enclosures. Others almost certainly got too big to handle and, as a result, were quietly and carefully released into the wild. There are, however, those cases which strongly suggest that at least a part of the ABC controversy has its origins in the domain of the supernatural. I know from experience that many cryptozoologists have very little time (if any time at all!) for the claims that a percentage of the U.K.’s alien big cats might be paranormal in nature. The fact is, though, that a significant number of such cases do exist, like it or not.
Before I come to the specific cases I have on record, it’s worth noting that I have never come across a supernatural tale of an alien big cat that involved an animal that was spotted, striped or tan in color. All of the cases in my files, that suggest a supernatural component to the ABC phenomenon, involved large black cats. And only large black cats. One such case, a particularly memorable and weird one, came from James. He is a now-retired fireman who encountered just such a creature on a bright, summer morning in 1978, and who I met in Exeter, England in the summer of 2001, while speaking at the annual (then-local) Weird Weekend conference.
According to James, on the day in question he was out walking with his spaniel dog, Sammy, on the Haldon Hills, which provide an expansive view of the area, including the nearby city of Exeter, England. As James and Sammy took a pleasant walk through the hills they found themselves confronted by a very strange animal. It was Sammy who alerted James to the fact that something weird was about to go down. As the pair took their daily stroll, Sammy suddenly came to a complete halt and began to growl. It was clear that she had picked up on something strange. At first, James thought that perhaps Sammy had picked up the scent of a rabbit or of a fox – although, as James admitted, Sammy had not reacted like that before when rabbits were around.
In seconds, the cause of Sammy’s behavior became apparent: around fifty or sixty feet away a large black animal rose out of the deep grass. At first James assumed it was a black Labrador. It was not. In mere seconds, James realized that what was walking towards him and his faithful pet was a large black cat that resembled a mountain lion. Sammy whimpered and James’ heart thumped. When the animal reached a point around twenty feet from the terrified pair, something happened that provoked even more terror: the huge cat rose up onto its back legs; they were legs which appeared to physically change as it transformed from a four-legged animal to a bipedal one. But, that was not the weirdest part of the story.
As James looked on, pretty much frozen to the spot with fear, the face of the cat began to change and took on a malevolent, human-like appearance. A strange and sinister grin dominated the face, as the beast did nothing more than stand and stare at James and Sammy. James told me it was the terrible grin that finally made him realize that it was time to leave – as in immediately. As Sammy was only four months old at the time, it was easy for James to scoop her up, under his arm and get the hell off the hills. He looked back twice: on the first occasion the cat-human was standing just as it had been thirty seconds or so earlier. On the second look, however, it was gone. By James’ own admission, he and Sammy did not take another walk on the Haldon Hills for several months.
There’s another case in my files of an eyewitness encountering a supernatural ABC while out walking man’s best friend. Bob Parker experienced something strange on the Cannock Chase woods in Staffordshire, England in late 2000, while walking his dog on one particular Sunday morning. In this case, a large black cat came hurtling violently through the heather, skidded onto the pathway that Parker was following, and bounded off, apparently not at all bothered or concerned by the presence of either Bob or his little Corgi dog, Paddy. Of course, seeing a big cat was astounding enough in itself; but what happened next was just downright bizarre. Bob told me that: “Me and the dog just froze solid. I couldn’t believe it; could not believe it. But when [the cat] got about fifty feet from us, it literally sort of dived at the ground. It sort of took a leap up and almost dive-bombed the path, and went right through and vanished, just like that. I know exactly how it sounds, so don’t tell me. But that’s exactly what happened: it was like it just melted into the path.”
Eileen Allen says that she caught sight of a “big black panther,” as she described it, while she was visiting the Cannock Chase area in the latter part of 1996. The overwhelming shock of seeing an immense beast staring intently in Allen’s direction, was nothing compared to the absolute terror that struck her when the creature suddenly vanished – and I do mean literally vanished – into thin-air, amid a sound that Allen described as “like an electricity cracking noise.” Unsurprisingly, Allen did not hang around and quickly left the woods. To this very day, she has never returned; nor does she have any plans to do so in the future, either.
What all of this suggests is that the U.K.’s ABC phenomenon has two sides to it: (A) there are real, large cats that have escaped or that have secretly been given their freedom; and (B) there are very big, black colored cats that are clearly supernatural in nature. Combined, they are a formidable and amazing phenomenon.