In recent years, quite a few people in rural Australia have seen big black cats that don’t belong there and might be dangerous. But no one has shot or captured one, the authorities haven’t taken any action, so no one knows what these critters are.
The video above is later than my 2013 post, so we note some changes. A few kills have been found stashed up trees: leopards do that. A man claims to have shot one and has pictures of it–which have been dismissed as a hoax. And a few government rangers have said they’ve seen the big cats, too.
But why are they always black cats? A “black panther” is a natural variation found among leopards and jaguars–so where are the normally-colored leopards or jaguars?
Meanwhile, some of those amateur videos look pretty real to me.
From 1764 through 1767, in a rural district of France, “the Beast of Gevaudan,” whatever it was, attacked some 200 people, killing 90 of them. The government sent thousands of professional hunters to bag it, all to no avail. A local man finally shot it, bringing the Beast’s reign of terror to an end.
They called it a wolf, but there’s reason to doubt that identification. I have nothing convincing to offer in its place, though.
All we can say for sure is that this was one of the all-time greatest cryptid stories.
The International Bigfoot Research Alliance (IBRA) has joined the search for “moderate Democrats.”
“This search has become a job for cryptozoology,” said IBRA Director Freddie Fungo. “All these years of hunting Bigfoot has prepared us for the biggest challenge of all–to prove the continued existence of moderate Democrats.”
The fact that they have not caught Bigfoot seems to have made no impression on them.
“Moderate Democrats were fairly numerous as recently as 2,400 B.C.,” Mr. Fungo said, “and as late as 1623, Sir John Mandeville reported an encounter with a good round dozen of them somewhere in the Everglades. And of course we know from history that Grover Cleveland not only existed, but was twice elected president.
“So they must be somewhere! It’s just a matter of looking in the right place. When we do find them,” he predicted, “they’ll be in the last place we look.”
And then, he said, “the challenge will be to protect them from poaching by today’s not-so-moderate Democrats.”
Betcha thought I was gonna talk about that swamp down in Washington, D.C. Uh-uh! Not today! I’m talkin’ the Likouala Swamp, in Congo, Zaire, and the Central African Republic–55,000 glorious square miles of it, 80% of which is unexplored. Population, 90,000–but most of the land is unpopulated… and not visited, if one can help it.
Soggy ground, dense forests that are flooded at least half the time, poisonous snakes, clouds of biting insects carrying assorted diseases; 100% humidity, average temperature around 90 degrees; sketchy and unreliable maps, and guides who don’t know what the dickens they’re talking about–
Is it possible that a dinosaur lives here?
Local folklore and worldwide cryto-lore knows the creature as “mokele-mbembe.” The few people who venture into the nastier regions of the swamp are said to be terrified of it. But no one has ever taken a picture of it–let alone brought back any kind of sample, dead or alive.
It’s easy to be skeptical and just laugh it off, there’s no such thing, a kind of brontosaurus surviving to the present day–upon my word, pshaw, humbug! Poor cryptozoology. The moment the cryptozoologist actually finds a specimen, it ceases to be cryptozoology and regular zoology takes over. In fact, any number of animals were discovered in the 20th century that hadn’t been known to exist or were thought to be extinct. Coelacanth, anyone?
(Not extinct, after all–the coelacanth)
Would it not be more fair-minded to say that maybe, just possibly, there is something in the Likouala Swamp that probably oughtn’t be there? The coelacanth lived contemporaneously with dinosaurs and marine reptiles, and it’s still here. Why not mokele-mbembe?
But if there is such a thing, I hope they never find it. Trouble like that, the people and the dinosaurs don’t need.
This is one of those weird stories that sticks in my mind, demanding to be understood. And I keep trying, but I haven’t got there yet.
On July 25, 1977, in a residential neighborhood of Lawndale, Illinois–already we’ve got a solid time and place–two marvelously large birds swooped down out of the sky. One of them grabbed 10-year-old Marlon Lowe while another boy escaped by diving into a neighbor’s swimming pool. Marlon struggled violently, and after about 35 feet, the bird let go of him and he had the presence of mind to run into a house before he could be snatched again. There were seven witnesses to the incident, and their stories all tallied.
The big birds flew away well before police arrived.
After the incident made it into the news, Marlon was mocked as “bird boy” and his mother, Ruth, branded as a kook. Crank calls, threats, dead animals left on their doorstep–it’s difficult to understand the animosity felt toward these ordinary people who had done nothing wrong.
The birds were written off as turkey vultures. What bunk. We have lots of turkey vultures in my neighborhood. They’re big, but nowhere near big enough to take off with a 60-pound boy in their claws. No one’s in the least afraid of them.
No one in 1977 had a cell phone camera, so we’re out of luck for pictures.
I don’t know about you, but I’d believe seven witnesses. What they were describing was outlandish, but surely not impossible. Eagles have been known to take small children. It’s a very rare event, but not unknown. But no one in Lawndale thought these birds were eagles.
Is it possible that somewhere in North America there are enormous birds yet unknown to science, only rarely seen–and not very many of them?
If you say “no, it’s totally impossible,” you’ve probably spent too much time in a city or the suburbs.
All right, let’s say the Beast of Bodmin isn’t really, there’s no such thing, all the stories are baloney. But does that mean there never was a Beast? If not, where did all those stories come from? Welsh tales written down a thousand years ago, after having been handed down from one generation to the next over several centuries–did they do that just to confuse us, ages later?
I wonder how many hikers would take a dare to walk the moor at night.