Mar 06, 2022 I Nick Redfern

From Alien Big Cats to Men in Black: A Strange and Sinister Connection

For decades, the U.K. has played host to a decidedly mysterious and marauding beast. It has become known as the "Alien Big Cat," or the ABC. Some cryptozoolgists and monster-hunters suggest the puzzle is an even older one, maybe even dating back centuries. Regardless of when, exactly, the controversy began, the fact is that, pretty much every year, dozens upon dozens of reports surface of large cats roaming the wilder – and sometimes the not so wild – parts of Britain. Very often, the cats are described as being huge, muscular and black in color. This has given rise to the term "black panther,”" which is actually incorrect, but frequently used by both the public and the press. It would be far more correct to suggest the creatures are probably leopards and jaguars displaying significant melanism – a condition in which there is an excess of a black pigment known as melanin. For some researchers, the ABCs are something totally different. Now, we come to the UFO angle to all of this. No, you didn't see that wrong. I did use the "term "UFO" in an article on Alien Big Cats. As amazing as it may seem, there is a direct connection between the ABCs and the extraterrestrial Men in Black, no less.

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Note: This picture shows a melanistic jaguar. It was taken by an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an arm of the U.S. Government. The picture is in the public domain.

During the early part of 1998, the British Government’s House of Commons held a fascinating and arguably near-unique debate on the existence – or otherwise – of a particular breed of mystery animal that is widely rumored, and even accepted by many, to inhabit the confines of the British Isles: the so-called Alien Big Cats, or ABCs, as they have become infamously known. It scarcely needs mentioning that Britain is not home to an indigenous species of large cat. Nevertheless, for decades amazing stories have circulated from all across the nation of sightings of large, predatory cats that savagely feed on both livestock and wild animals and that terrify, intrigue and amaze the local populace in the process. And, of course, the media loves them, one and all. As history has demonstrated, there now exists a very large and credible body of data in support of the notion that the British Isles do have within their midst a healthy and thriving population of presently unidentified large cats – such as the infamous Beast of Bodmin and the Beast of Exmoor that so hysterically dominated the nation’s newspapers back in the early-to-mid 1980s. But never mind just the 1980s – reports continue to thrive to this very day.

There is, however, an aspect of the ABC mystery that doesn’t always get the coverage it should: the strange connection to the mysterious Men in Black and "government officials" that, allegedly, at least, are intent on keeping any and all hard evidence of the existence of the beasts under wraps and out of the hands of the public and the media. It might seem strange that there could be a cover-up of the ABC phenomenon in the UK, when the media is practically reporting on them – somewhere in the land – at least a couple of times per week. But, there’s a vast chasm between (A) the press titillating and exciting their readers with tales of large, predatory cats on the loose and (B) actually presenting hard evidence of such creatures in the nation’s midst. The stories of the big cats of the UK undeniably entertain and intrigue the British public. That, however, is very different to – hypothetically – someone finding a dead mountain lion by the side of the road and the story then becoming a stark and serious one of potential man-eating proportions.

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(Nick Redfern) From ABC to MIB

Clearly, we don’t see evidence of sinister, black-garbed characters popping up, and silencing witnesses, every time an ABC is seen in the UK. But, they have surfaced on more than a few occasions when claims are made about ABC corpses being found or seen (by the side of a country road, for instance). Merrily Harpur’s book, Mystery Big Cats, includes a number of cases that suggest the British Government’s DEFRA – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – may have played a role in confiscating the evidence that large, unknown cats really are prowling around the British landscape. Are we dealing with government officials who don't want to panic the public? Or, are we talking about the creepy Men in Black? The questions are still wide open.

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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