(NOTE: An update to this story is at the end.)
One of the knocks against cryptozoology, UFOs and the paranormal world in general is a lack of solid evidence and the poor quality of videos and photographs – if there are any at all. While this doesn’t sway true believers, it makes it extremely difficult to get acceptance in the general public and coverage by the mainstream media. That may change soon in the case of the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine – the extinct yet long rumored to still exist striped marsupial from Tasmania. Neil Waters, founder and president of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia released a video of himself (watch it here) in Tasmania stating that he has trail camera photographs of a male, female and baby Joey thylacines – photographs that are currently being analyzed by experts, both in the field and independent. Yes, we all hate teasers, but wouldn’t you give a discovery like this a big buildup too?
“When I was checking the sd cards, I found some photos that were pretty damn good. I know what they are, and so do a few independent expert witnesses, expert canine judges, feline judges and a vet so far have seen it. I’ve left the images with Nick Mooney from the museum."
Waters says he’s in “northeast Tassie” in a little town that “grows a bit of hops.” The secrecy is obvious when you read the headline on the TAGOA Facebook page (their caps): “WE FOUND A THYLACINE.” Nick Mooney is a former government wildlife manager, conservationist, Tasmanian tiger investigator and skeptic, due to the lack of photos or evidence, so his confirmation is key. These photos were taken by a TAGOA trail cam, and Waters explains what they show.
“I can tell you there’s three animals. We (the committee of experts) believe the first image is the mum. We know the second image is the baby because it’s so tiny and the third image is the dad. And there’s a little bit of a clue with the mum and the dad as to what they are for certain features of them but they are ambiguous.”
Waters knows what you’re thinking, so he admits up front you won’t like the photos of the adults. Mooney has said he likes reliable witnesses and there were no humans present to see these animals, but Waters sounds convinced that he, the experts and the public will be convinced.
“However, the baby is not ambiguous. The baby has stripes, a stiff tail, the hock, the coarse hair, it’s the right color, it’s a quadruped, stocky, and it’s got the right shaped ears. So, looking at the baby, not only do we have a family walking through the bush but we have proof of breeding.”
Thylacine fans will remember there was a sighting reported in January of a female and two pups, but that was in South Australia, where the thylacine has been extinct for at least 2,000 years. This sighting is in Tasmania, where a recent study claims the number of sightings by reliable sources indicates it could have still been living there until the year 2000. And now Neil Waters claims he has proof, which he has been searching for for decades. He says he “did the right thing” and gave the photos to independent experts and Neil Mooney for verification, but it’s obvious from the teaser he’s pretty confident the verdict with be stronger than “I’m not saying it’s a thylacine joey, but it’s a thylacine joey.” While he says he "hopes" to have the verification by the end of the week, he confidently announces “a photo release on the 1st of March” on the Facebook page.
Again, would Neil Waters, who has dealt with skeptics and disbelievers on a regular basis, put himself in the position to be ridiculed? Will a clear photo of a thylacine baby convince them? Will it convince you?
Hopefully, we’ll all find out soon.
(UPDATE from the The Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia Facebook page on 2/23/21)
Yesterday, i received Nick Mooney's report on the 2 photo's he has written a report on. I provided 3 for analysis. The 3rd photo, I believe to be the adult male, and it has its rear hocks showing.
We are getting other expert opinions in. I have had a group of 4 vets look at the photos today. All agreed the juvenile is simply not the right shape to be a Pademelon. It too has hocks showing. The reason we went public early was to give the media something to think about and give our Group the heads up, we have something. Plain and simple.
We have a few more things to film, edit and compile and I promise you, we will give you what we find in the field every time. This is the clearest daytime shot at close range to date. All 3 animals are the same linear shape without the huge round rear end of a macropod.
With all due respect to Nick Mooneys report, he encourages us to get further opinions. So far 7 for and 1 against....
Why would a baby Thylacine be hanging out with 2 pademelons....?
Pademelons are small marsupials in the kangaroo (macropod) family. This is obviously a fast-breaking story. We'll do our best to keep you updated.