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.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: The Padiham Panther

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.
There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

'Padiham panther' spotted on moors
Burnley Express

THE mystery of the Padiham Panther has been re-ignited this week after a Hapton grandmother captured a black “beast” on film. Amateur photographer Sheila McBeth spotted the shadowy creature stalking across fields near Hapton Moor and captured the ...

This Lancashire story is a bit of a disappointment because although there is a picture of the lady who took the picture peering intently into a pair of binoculars, the picture is nowhere to be seen. Like the Sundabans mystery cat photo also trumpeted over the media this week, one suspects that the copyright holder is holding out for cash rather than releasing the pictures so that pirates like me can pinch it and disseminate it for the public good. Hmmmm.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Having looked at this one, I reckon I can offer a bit more detail on the subject. The lady lives on a street in Hapton, Lancashire, which backs onto the Leeds-Liverpool canal. The area of Hapton Moor she is looking at isn't exactly moorland as such; it is rough pasture used at the minute for grazing horses and at this time of year it tends to be grazed down very low indeed.

What makes me intensely skeptical of this report is the fact that the same piece of land is overlooked by the canal tow-path, and bounded by the busy A56 (and the M65 north of that canal) and the Padiham-Burnley conurbation. The land is heavily used, crossed by several footpaths and is overlooked a very great deal, yet nobody else has seen a thing.

Now, there very likely are non-domestic cats living in the area; there's plenty of much wilder open moorland around this area where a big cat could quite happily live and avoid scrutiny very easily, but this particular bit of land ain't wild open country at all.

Farm moggy out mousing is my guess, and the reason there's such a delay of publication of the pictures is that pretty much everyone else will be thinking that as well. At this time of year, there is literally nothing in those fields that you can use to give a photo scale, and since scale and size are the crucial criteria with ABCs, all you end up with is a shaky, blurry video of a cat that could be anywhere from 18" to 3' long.