Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Monday, January 18, 2010

JOHN TRIPLOW: In Search of the Lynemouth Panther

A few years back now, I was told about a big black cat sighted on an open playing field - right on my doorstep in Lynemouth, Northumberland. Alas, this was before I had acquainted myself with preternatural research so inevitably, I missed the chance to investigate the subject at that time. Since then I had thought very little about the sighting – until now.

On Tuesday, January 5, my partner Kelly returned home from visiting a friend who lives on the “other side of the line” (a local derogatory phrase used to describe the opposing side of the village, which was divided by a railway line until the 1980s - it worked both ways of course!) Anyway, Kelly went on to tell me that around the same time the cat was sighted her friend had encountered the creature in roughly the same spot. She claimed the “panther” was stooped low to the ground, with its tail “pricked up - as if it was hunting for prey”.

Therefore, the following Saturday – January 9, to be precise – I decided to take advantage of the recent snowfall, which had plagued the country for the preceding week: if the beast was still lurking in these parts, I might stand a good chance of tracking some footprints or better still, capturing a snapshot of the animal against the snowy backdrop – or so I thought.

Well, this is were it gets weird. Armed with a digital camera and notepad, Kelly and I headed out towards our back gate where we were met by one of our neighbours, Anne. Anne happened to mention that she too was heading out with her camera as a local man by the name of Colin Cooper had apparently been out walking in a field and found some curious-looking footprints, which he had subsequently photographed.

By this juncture, I was positively bemused by the situation that had arisen: what were the chances of bumping into someone looking for the same thing at exactly the same time, on the exact same day? It wasn't like we were going blackberry picking, was it?

I asked Anne if she would be so kind as to take me to meet the gentleman who had taken the photographs; she gladly obliged.

When I arrived at the man's house, I introduced myself to Colin and explained the situation, whereupon, he invited me into his home to view the pictures. In honesty, due to the small image display on the camera, I was reluctant to express an opinion of what I thought the footprints were, although I did request he e-mail the pictures to my account for closer review.

As we headed over to where Colin had taken the photos, it was becoming increasingly difficult to manoeuvre through the winter wonderland bestowed on our journey. So much so that I ended up stumbling onto a concealed pond, which decided to give way as I ventured over its icy depths. Luckily for me, it was only knee-deep and I squelched home (miserably) in boots filled with freezing-cold, stinking pond water. On a brighter note, it could have been a lot worse!

Unfortunately, I failed to locate any evidence that suggests an ABC is actively inhabiting the rural borders of our village, although I will certainly be keeping my ear to the ground in the future.

I have still yet to receive the desired pictures from Colin, although I will be sure to keep you all informed of any developments with this case.

If anyone knows of any ABC sightings in and around Lynemouth, Northumberland, please feel free to contact me via my e-mail below.


John Triplow



Neil A said...

Hi John,
there have been sightings around Northumberland since the 1940s and previous, it would be interesting to see the prints.To find anyd etails on sightings it may be worth putting an appeal in the local paper, sometimes just by the amount of witnesses who come forward you may be able to pin-point specific areas and map out a route.
Certainly areas such as a pond would be ideal for a large cat looking to drink, so check there for paw-prints.Even as the snow thaws, the mud may hide a few secrets to suggest an animal stooping to drink. It may also be worth checking with local farms for any missing or eaten sheep, although ideal prey would be rabbit, pheasant, pigeon, deer.

Triplow said...

Hey Neil - Since writing this blog, I have obtained copies of the photographs. However, after having the chance to study them properly I believe them to be "whole rabbit tracks"; I can see why the guy thought they were large footprints, as the rabbits body had created the outline and the paws attributed to him mistaking them for pads.
But that certainly doesn't explain the ABC sightings in and around the village, therefore, I think it's a great idea to contact my local paper, Neil.

Peace J

Ray said...

mmy self and two friends were hiking from blyth to alanmouth
on the way as we were leaving lynemouth a seen a creature that at first glance a took as a fox but it was to large far to large and no it was not a dog are deer one of my friends caught it in time and was also confused
whengot home googled weird animals in lynemouth as and this come up

Triplow said...

Hey Ray - Can you please send me an email so I can get some more details from you.