WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

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

Loading...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

THE LEOPARD HAIRS FROM HUDDISFORD WOODS

On Friday morning, in front of a number of witnesses and a Danish TV crew, Lars Thomas - a Danish scientist with a high reputation - analysed a number of black hairs on brambles and thorns at Huddisford Woods. Some of these hairs were found by him, and some by Andrew Perry, Nadia Novali and their friends.

The CFZ have been actively studying the big cat reports from this area since 2005, and for the last 18 months have been making a feature-length film there.

Max and I drove the team to Huddisford Woods on Friday and showed them three of the places that the big cats have been seen. We did not tell them specifically where to look and the Danish TV crew will, I am sure, corroborate this.

After microscopic analysis, and comparison with known leopard hairs, Lars identified the hairs found in the woods as being from a leopard. The analysis was carried out in front of representatives of the CFZ (including president Colonel John Blashford-Snell), and was filmed both by CFZtv and the aforementioned Danish TV crew.

The video of the examination will be released as soon as we have time to digitise it (probably in a few days). Conspiracy theorists will no doubt claim that we will use this time to somehow doctor the results. This is just not true: the examination was filmed on our Sony PD150 and we have to digitise the DV Tapes which has to be done in real time, and we just have not had the time to do it.

Lars Thomas is not just an old friend of the CFZ, but he has been a core member since 1994. Several other people in the party that found the hairs are also CFZ members. The CFZ have therefore proved that there are big cats living wild in this country. However, in view of recent events we would like these findings corroborated. We have 25-30 of these hairs, and will make them available to anyone who has the resources and expertise to test them, including - if they wish to participate - the Big Cats in Britain research group, who have made no secret of their animosity towards us.

There are two provisos:

1. That the results (including any reports, films or photographs) are immediately put into the public domain
2. That the hairs are returned intact to the CFZ

OK guys it is up to you.

38 comments:

Dale Drinnon said...

This is very good work and a bonus all around if there is a positive identification. However if there is a positive identification that the specimens are indeed melanistic leopard hairs, the situation moves outside of the definition for Cryptozoology: leopards are a KNOWN species.

Best of luck and I hate to harp on the same point over and over again, but it needs to be said.

Neil A said...

Hopefully something positive will come of this discovery. Maybe one or two sceptical folk will show an interest, and those who believe 'big cats' to be paranormal entities, can now look at some 'paranormal hairs'!!

Well done guys. A majority of folk know that large, exotic cats exist in the wild. A lot of evidence in the past has unfortunately fallen on deaf ears and blind/ignorant eyes. Let's hope these hairs put a lot of myths to bed.

Lon said...

Well done...I was very happy to be able to read this development! Keep up the great work!

Neil A said...

I totally agree Dale. Reports of large, exotic cats in the wilds of the UK have never been connected to cryptozoology. I often read articles which mention 'big cats' in the UK as cryptids, which is absurd. If any animal escapes captivity, it is not a cryptid. If an animal such as a leopard, puma etc, is released into the wild, it is not a cryptid.

I guess the situation has always been lumped in with cryptozoology simply because no governing body or scientific 'authority'will look at the evidence. This in turn has made the subject a fringe topic to an extent, and then of course it gets lumped in with ghosts etc.

I'm sure there are a few people out there hoping these hairs aren't leopard hairs, or refuse to get involved which is rather sad. The only problem I can see, which was evident in the past regarding evidence, is that even with a positive identification nothing will come of it. Sheep kills, droppings, paw-prints, and even a lynx caught in a back garden was never good enough evidence.

Web Owner said...

It will not be believed until it comes up and bites someone, is on camera doing it, is in a recogniseable spot on the map and the person is hospitilized. The end product to that will be the cat illegally belongs to the person that took the pictures. It's a no win situation:)

Web Owner said...

Hi jon. I have a lovely picture of bald eagles that were forwarded to me from a friend in Oz.. Thy were taken in Missouri. They are not out of place, so not crypto, but the scene is worth an acknowledgement. regards Penny

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Just keeping up to date on your Progress with the Huddersford Wood Hairs. It was interesting to see the hairs being sent away for further analysis. Will it be OK to make mention of this on my Big Cats At Large. Cornwall blog. full credit to you obviously. Thanks in Advance Penny

Jon Downes said...

Yes of course you can. The DNA test results have proven that the hairs are from a leopard, and almost certainly an animal from the sub-Saharan subspecies.

I will keep you all posted as more details emerge...

Web Owner said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/218650.stm
Sorry to trouble you Jon. I have sent you a link to a 1998 news clip I know, ancient history. Would you happen to know what the outcome was to this lion sighting.Thanks Penny

Jon Downes said...

From memory, there was some talk that it turned out to be a dog, and I believe that a piece of video was taken from a police helicopter of a creature near a badger sett..

Web Owner said...

Thanks Jon,very helpful. Penny

Jon Downes said...

whereabouts in Cornwall are you?

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. I don't put my home address on boards. I'm just the other side of Liskeard near the coast

Jon Downes said...

Very wise. I just wanted to ascertain which end of Cornwall. But as you are so close to us, why not pop over (I can then persuade Corinna to make a cake), and we can compare notes.

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Thank you for the invite. I will need to delay it at present have broken my rib this week and it is holding me up at present. However I will take you up on the offer and let you know in time for Corinna to bake a cake, Although I think that you will have far more knowledge than I have on the cats,especially locally.Penny

Web Owner said...

Sorry Jon. It's me picking your info again. I have an interest in the Sandplace big cat. I noted today that Merrily made a comment to this in an article written for yourselfs in 2008.
Could you possibly tell me what year the actual sighting was. It was the St Keyne sighting that got my interest in the possibility of the presence of big cats in the area. I can find no reference to this in the local papers although at the time their was mention of hair being sent off for DNA testing.
Thanks Penny

Jon Downes said...

I'm sorry but I don't remember that one. I must be getting old

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Have you got this link weird fossil find.Penny
http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20112004-22092-2.html

Web Owner said...

Have you heard about this Jon,
http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/Prehistoric-wildlife-moor-plan-approved/article-3513831-detail/article.html. Penny

Web Owner said...

Jon, Have you got this update on the Australian Thylacene http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13270381

Web Owner said...

Me again Jon. Were these marine travellers sent through to you
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/strandings-cornwall.html#cr

Web Owner said...

Jon I'm after another opinion here, Reference too the stuffed toy tiger at Hedge End. I was reading report after report on the fiasco of the day and the turmoil that insued. However in one paper and one alone which I cannot retrace therefor seeking another opinion.. their was a mention that a carcass had been found nearby. I do not think it was someone trying to be humourous stating that. What is the possibility that their was really another large cat on the loose and the toy tiger was placed en situ so as not to worry the public whilst they searched. Or am I just being foolish in this thought.

Jon Downes said...

It is a nice thought, but I don't think that the British POolice are that subtle...

Web Owner said...

Thanks again Jon

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon me again. I have just read their was a possible sighting of a large sandy coloured cat in N. Cornwall. The cat was large dog size with a long curled tail. Was anything reported to you. Date of the posting 21.06.11... The police attended the spot and did take a paw print. Penny

Web Owner said...

http://bigcatsatlarge.blogspot.com/2011/07/white-squirrels.html
Hi John have you heard about the white squirrels found in Cornwall if not I have posted a link to my blog. Penny

Web Owner said...

Jon, Is it OK if I share the recent article on the mountain lion that was run down that had apparentley walked 1000 miles, This only goes to prove once again that we know very little at all about the animal kingdom and it's survival.

Jon Downes said...

yes, of course

Web Owner said...

I hope the weird week-end goes well. I still haven't managed to get a personal picture of those white and black/white squirrels yet. Penny:)

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Sorry I missed your weird week-end ..Last year a report was presented to me in regard to a sighting that I thought fitted the description of a lynx or caracal. Only yesterday was I told of a sighting that took place approximately 9 years ago in almost the same place as the report from last year. Now under further investigation. The lady held onto the sighting for fear as usual of ridicule but having now chatted to her in regard to the squirrels she has now given me other sightings to investigate. I do not feel that our own native wildcat akin to the Scottish wildcat ever became extinct and this is what I hope to find along with the lynx. I believe they are here although I have never personally encountered one.

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Have you got the footage on the Rare Seahorse found in the Thames
http://bigcatsatlarge.blogspot.com/2011/10/rare-seahorse-in-thames.html

Web Owner said...

This is Cornwall have mentioned you in an article today, evidentley it would appear that instead of just recording sightings they will be responding to them. Progress is being made.:)

Web Owner said...

http://magblog.audubon.org/bird-thought-be-extinct-150-years-rediscovered.
Morning Jon. Don't know if this is of interest to the crypto world blog.. New Zealand Storm Petrel believed to be extinct for 150 years is now rediscoverd. :)

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Does this two headed snake offer any interest to you :)
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/photos/the-week-in-photos-4-11-11-1320418649-slideshow/

Web Owner said...

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. I daresay you are following this along with the rest of us. Their has been a third deer carcass found in Gloucestershire. Possibility it has been made by a big cat. I have made reference to it on my blog. http://bigcatsatlarge.blogspot.com/2012/01/third-deer-kill-big-cat-is.html Penny.

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Todays video for Big Cats in the wild in Stroud.It looks pretty positive for a small black leopard type.
http://bigcatsatlarge.blogspot.com/
Penny

Web Owner said...

Hi Jon. Have you had word of any red - white or piebald squirrels in your woodland areas. Also has anyone mentioned any Goldcrest spottings. Thanks Penny :)