It's one of my personal favorite topics when it comes to the Fortean field of cryptids: Alien Big Cats.
What is an alien big cat? It's not a little green kitty from another planet with an underactive thyroid and a penchant for cow meat. It's an out-of-place feline, sighted in areas where it just can't be.
I first began reading about ABCs back in the late 1990s. As I looked into the very interesting sighting of large felines slinking around the UK, I was surprised to learn this was no Sasquatch search, but rather a series of very credible sightings--and even some trophies.
In 1903, a Canadian Lynx was actually shot in Devon, and is even now part of the collection of the Bristol Museum
In 1980, a puma was captured in Scotland by farmer Ted Noble following several years of sightings.
In 1989, 1991, and 1994, alien non-indigenous cats were confirmed (the animals' bodies found after death) in Shropshire, Norfolk and the Isle of Wight.
Larger, black cats were photographed and capture on video throughout the 1990s, including the Beast of Bodmin and the Fen Tiger (Cambridgeshire).
Things took a decidedly darker turn when in 2000, when an 11-year-old boy in Monmouthshire was attacked by a reported large black cat that left him with five long claw marks across his left cheek.
In 2005, a South-east Londoner was attacked outside his home, leaving him with scratches all over his body.
These and many other reports show that England does indeed have Alien Big Cats--and unlike Bigfoot, they're dangerous.
So what exactly is going on?
Unlike the modern mythological Black Dog, ABCs may have a much more plausible explanation, and it involves the Dangerous and Wild Animals Act of 1976. In a nutshell, it became illegal to own bobcats, caracals, cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, lynxs, ocelots, pumas, servals, tigers without special licensing. The theory has been put forward that people owning these cats may have simply released them into the wild, where they could have mated and thrived, creating a small population of alien big cats that have become more and more common in news reports from around the country.
But before you breathe a sigh of relief that only our friends in the UK need worry, keep in mind that phantom cats have been seen around the world, including Australia and the United States.