Jul 17, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Black Cats of the Paranormal Kind: Mysteries and Manipulation

Over the last few days I've written articles on the phenomenon of "The Trickster." As incredible as it may sound, the mystery can be applied to numerous issues - and to a myriad of mysterious creatures. The earlier articles I wrote included sections on Bigfoot, the Djinn, and the Coyote. And more. In this article, I'm going to focus my attention on the largely U.K.-based mystery of what are known as "Alien Big Cats." For decades (some say centuries) sightings have been made of what many inaccurately call "black panthers." Ask the media and cryptozoologists, and you'll get the standard theories for what the ABCs are: (a) escapees from zoos; and (b) pets that escaped from private enclosures. There is, however, zero evidence to show that all across the U.K. large black cats are being let loose, or fleeing, on a regular situation. There is, though, another aspect to all of this. It's a theory that pushes us down the Trickster path. That's right: there's a distinct possibility that the Alien Big Cats are Tricksters. A lot of cryptozoologists don't like that particular picture, but, the fact is that there are many ABC cases that are steeped in the world of the paranormal.

In the summer of 2007, a falconer named Martin Whitley, of the English county of Devon, tooka number of photographs of a very curious animal on the wilds of Dartmoor – where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle set his classic Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles. As Whitley noted, it was June 9 when the strange affair went down. In his own words: "I was flying a hawk on Dartmoor with some American clients when one of them pointed out this creature. It was walking along a path about 200 yards away from us. It was black and gray and comparable in size to a miniature pony. It had very thick shoulders, a long, thick tail with a blunt end, and small round ears. Its movement appeared feline; then 'bear-like' sprang to mind. There was a party climbing on the Tor opposite, making a racket, but this it ignored completely." That's right: the creature changed its shape in very short periods. One of them being that of a large black cat. The matter was never resolved. And, there's nothing new about this, as you'll now see.

I have on file a fascinating story from 1953, specifically the month of August. The location: Abbots Bromley, a village in the English county of Staffordshire; the origins of which date back to at least AD 942. The witness was a now-deceased man, Brian Kennerley. In 2002, Kennerley’s family told me of how he often spoke of the occasion when, as he walked through Abbots Bromley on what was a warm, summer’s night, he was confronted by a large black cat – one that he described as the typical "black panther." Not surprisingly, Kennerley was frozen in his tracks. His amazement turned to outright fear when the beast suddenly rose up onto its back limbs, giving it a height of around five and a half feet. The creature reportedly issued a low growl and flicked its dangling front paws in Kennerley’s direction. Notably, Kennerley's daughter told me her father said that as the ABC rose up, “its back legs changed shape, probably to support it when it was standing upright.” A few seconds later, the creature dropped back to the ground and bounded out of sight.

Marcus Matthews is the author of a 2007 book, Big Cats Loose in Britain. As the title suggests, it’s a book which focuses on a shapeshifting phenomenon we have already addressed in the pages of this book; namely, the so-called Alien Big Cats, or ABCs. Shortly after Matthews’ book was released, he shared with me an extraordinary story. It was the story of a woman who, in the 1990s, had seen a large "black panther" (as so many people call them)) leisurely sitting in the heart of one of the highly-complex pictogram-style crop circles that appear in Wiltshire every year. Moving on: as amazing as it may sound, there have been ABC encounters in none other than Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England - the site of one of the world's most famous UFO encounter.

As an example, we have the saga of Tom Potter (at the time a local), a man who was witness to a large monkey-like animal seen in Woodbridge in the early hours of a 1987 morning. I met Potter in December 2000, and right in the heart of Rendlesham Forest, when a 20th anniversary party to celebrate the 1980 UFO landing was held there. As Potter drove to work at around 4:30 a.m., and as he passed the fringes of Rendlesham Forest, he caught sight of a creature that was not dissimilar to a chimpanzee. In fact, that is exactly what he thought the creature was, as he slowed his vehicle to a near-halt and watched it amble along the road at a leisurely pace. That is, until it suddenly stopped and turned to look at Potter; whose vehicle, at the time, was moving at a speed of barely a couple of miles per hour. According to Potter, the "chimpanzee" dropped onto its four-limbs, was briefly lit up by a white light, and took on the form of a sleek and shiny, large black cat. It then suddenly raced into a nearby field and was not seen again. It's very clear that the Alien Big Cats have the ability to change their appearances - and, mostly, to appear when the witnesses are largely alone. Deliberate manipulation on the part of the ABCs? That's my view. This "solitary" angle tied to the shapeshifting aspect of all this makes it highly likely that the Alien Big Cats are Tricksters. And, in my next and final article (for now) on the Trickster mystery, I'll address the connections that suggest the creatures of Loch Ness, Scotland are almost certainly Tricksters of some supernatural sort.

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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