Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Burgess Hill lynx sighting

17th December 2010
"I sighted a big cat which I can only describe as a Lynx last night. It was in Burgess Hill. He was crouched down in the grass and near bushes and trees on the far side of the road as we drove home from the Tesco supermarket at about 9.30pm. He was about four or five times the size of a cat, he was very feline in appearance having pulled back pointy ears as if being wary of others. He had a mottled and slightly stripy coat, was quite fluffy and had big eyes. It was a very exciting moment."

Monday, 13 December 2010

Eastbourne paw-print photo

ITV's Meridian News were recently told of a large paw-print fond in the snow at Eastbourne. Read the story (with photo's) HERE

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Black leopard sighting at Ovingdean

There has been a fresh report of a large, black cat, (possibly a juvenile) at Ovingdean, near Brighton, not far from the golf course where in the past a larger, black leopard has been observed. Details are on file.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Latest Sussex 'big cat' sighting

Thousands of Sussex 'big cat' reports have been received over the twenty or so years I've been collecting such evidence, and a majority of these are being compiled for a book. This year the trend of sightings continues, with reports received on a weekly basis. The latest, and one of the better ones being as follows:

Date: 12th October 2010
Location: Upper Bevendean Avenue.
Time: 2:30 pm.
A member of the Brighton Permaculture Trust Scrumping Project had parked up at Upper Bevendean Avenue, and was picking apples on common land. There are steps in the area which run from this land to Bevendean Crescent.
A large, long-bodied animal was sighted at very close quarters by the startled witness who stated, "Animal was right of the steps, a few feet away. It was going up and directly behind Upper Bevendean Avenue. There is very dense undergrowth here. The cat was long in the body, black/brown and slinked into the undergrowth."
The witness believed that animal was drinking water from an old saucepan as there was a lot of rubbish at the site.
The report suggests the animal was a black leopard due to the mottled colouration.

In the past there have been several sightings of a large black cat around the Brighton area, as well as Patcham, Telscombe and Lewes.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Sussex 'lion' hoax!

Neil's latest article at the CFZ covers the tale of an alleged lion on the loose in the county. For more read HERE

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Latest sighting in Sussex...

From a witness: "Small Dole is situated 2 miles south of Henfield and 1 mile north of the South Downs. I took my dog out for a walk 6am Sunday morning 9th May 2010 along Sands Lane towards Sands Farm. As I walked past the last house and looking east along Sands Lane I could see a large jet black animal sitting on its haunches on the left hand side of the tarmac lane. It was in the sitting position with its head level with the top of the barbed wire fence which runs along the field boundary. At first I thought it was a black labrador but couldn't see an owner. As I walked closer (within 200 yards of it) I could see it was definitely a large cat at which point I stopped. The cat seemed quite unafraid and not particularly bothered by my presence. My dog (cross between a terrier and a Jack Russell) was bothered and didn't want to continue along one of its favourite walks. As I waited it stood then bounded southwards into the scrub where I instantly lost sight of it. It held its tail slightly upwards at about 30 degrees from its body and the tail length was about as long (if not longer) than its body. The tail was bulbous at the end and parallel along its length.
I walked back home and haven't see it since."

Sunday, 11 April 2010

If 'big cats' are myths....

After the statement from organisation NATURAL ENGLAND that all big cats are "a myth", it's interesting to note that in March 2010, Kent Big Cat Research received twenty-seven reports of large, exotic cats throughout the county. This suggests of course that either every witness is hallucinating, or NATURAL ENGLAND are completely wrong.

In March 2010 there were sightings from Blue Bell Hill, Lordswood, Densole, Lenham, Canterbury, and Ashford. These mainly concerned reports of black leopard, the most recent coming from a Jules C, who on March 25th at 8:00 am, whilst on a train from Ebbsfleet to Canterbury, stated that, "..on the other side of the tunnel between Boxley and Blue Bell Hill, near train track I saw a big, black cat from a short distance. It resembled a black leopard."

In early March a black leopard was observed by a male motorist, a Mr Wright and his girlfriend. At 6:00 am they travelled down North Dane Way in Lordswood in the Medway Towns and saw a big black cat bound towards the undergrowth. Mr Wright was convinced it was a black leopard as he'd seen a similar one in 2000 in Hempstead.

On march 12th a woman named Anne observed a black leopard in a field at Lenham, near Maidstone. It was 2:15 pm as she travelled on the M20 London bound and saw the cat which she described as being, "very long in the body".
On March 10th a lady named Eve saw a black leopard whilst travelling on a train between Canterbury and Selling.

Cats such as the leopard use railway lines not only for navigation but of a night they provide perfect food and there is a lot of shelter in these areas.
During the same month there were two sightings of a black leopard made by a Jason Roberts from Reinden Woods in Densole.

In 2010 Kent Big Cat Research has already received seventy-three reports of large cats. On 2nd January a member of an angling society from Marden was walking along a field at 4:15 pm when a big, black cat bounded across the field fifty yards away. The cat was around five-feet in length.The witness was quite shocked by the appearnce of the animal as he never previously believed such animals existed.

Five days later a Mr Head reported to police a big black cat which he observed whilst sitting on a train at Swanley station at 9:00 am. The witness noticed a creature on the embankment opposite the Kent bound platform. As people began to move along the platform the cat crouched low. It had piercing green eyes.

The following day on the 8th a black leopard was seen at Pheonix Place in Dartford and on the 15th January a Mr Jackson observed a massive black cat at Shottenden. The sighting took place at 2:15 pm as the animal walked into a field around fifteen yards away. On 31st January a black leopard was observed by a couple in Meopham who were sceptical to such sightings. It was 2:00 pm when they spotted a big black cat on a woodland path which sauntered off into the woods.

In February 2010 there were numerous sightings around Canterbury and Ashford. A black leopard ran out in front of a vehicle near Wye on the 20th at 6:00pm, there were also several sightings from Sevenoaks of a black leopard. In April there were sightings of lynx from Sussex and Romney Marsh, puma from Canterbury and Dover, and black leopard at Hawkinge, Gravesend, and near Bromley and Bexley.

Maybe NATURAL ENGLAND, if they admit to such animals roaming the wilds, would have to re-name themselves UNNATURAL ENGLAND! Sightings date back across Surrey, Kent, and Sussex to the 1500s. A majority of animals sighted in the countryside are not connected to zoo escapee's as the organisation stated. Hundreds of puma and leopards, mainly cubs, were released in the 1960s and '70s and what we are now seeing are their offspring. Also, previous centuries prove that animals escaped and were released from menageries. In 2007 Neil Arnold wrote a 400 page book, MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: KENT, a result of his twenty years of research into such animals. Proof that such animals are reported quite regularly across the south-east.

How many strange, and rash statement's will these organisations issue over the next few years ? If some organisations refuse to believe in such animals, it may be wiser to not issue any statements whatsoever. With their type od scepticism is it any wonder that NATURAL ENGLAND and similar groups only receive a handful of reports each year. The vicious circle of repetition continues...

Friday, 19 February 2010

Folklore Accounts Part two

Big cat or phantom hound ?

From Richard Jefferies 'Wild Life In A Southern County' (1879):

‘Near by the hollow, where the stream crosses the lane, is another spirit, but of an indefinite kind, that does not seem to take shape, but causes those who go past at the time when it has power to feel a mortal horror.

A black dog may be seen in at least two different places: the wayfarer is suddenly surprised to find a gigantic animal of the deepest jet trotting by his side, or he sees a dark shadow detach itself from the bushes and take the form of a dog. The black dog has perhaps more vitality, and survives in more localities than all the apparitions that in the olden times were sworn to by persons of the highest veracity. They may still be heard of in many a nook and corner. I have known people of the present day who were positive that there really was “something” weird in the places where the dog was said to appear.

It is supposed that horses are peculiarly liable to take fright and run away, to shy, or stumble, and break their knees, at a certain spot in the road. They go very well till just on passing the fatal spot a sudden fear seizes them as if they could see something invisible to men; sometimes they bolt headlong, sometimes stand stock-still and shiver, or throw the rider by a rapid side movement. In the daytime – for this supernatural effect is felt in broad day as well as at night – the horse more frequently falls or stumbles, as if checked by an invisible force in the midst of his career. This, too, is a living superstition, and some persons will recount a whole string of accidents that have happened within a few yards; till at last, such is the force of iteration, the most incredulous admit it to be a series of remarkable coincidences. These last two, the black dog and the dangerous place in the road, are believed in by people of a much higher grade than carters…

The carters have a story about horses which had spent the night in a meadow being found the next morning in a state of exhaustion, as if they had been ridden furiously during the hours of darkness. They were totally unfit for work the next day. Instances are even given where men have hidden in a tree with a gun, and when the horses began to gallop fired at something indistinct sitting on their haunches, which something at once disappeared, and the excitement ceased. But these things are said to have happened a long time ago.’

Folklore Accounts Part One

Big cat, bear, or something stranger in Sussex ?

When Spring-Heeled Jack fever hit the foggy streets of London in 1838, The Times reported that on the 14th April the same year, another Spring-Heeled Jack was on the rampage, but in Sussex. Peculiarly, in this instance ‘he’ was described as a bear. Strangely, in several discussions held at Mansion House in the capital, the spring-heeled marauder, was said to have many guises, and was described as a ‘ghost’, ‘bear’ and a ‘devil’.

The Times wrote: ‘Spring-Heeled Jack has, it seems, found his way to the Sussex coast. On Friday evening, between nine and ten o’clock, he appeared, as we are informed, to a gardener near Rose Hill, “ the shape of a bear or some other fur-footed animal”, and having first attracted attention by a growl, then mounted the garden wall, and ran along it upon all fours, to the great terror and consternation of the gardener, who began to think it time to escape.
He was accordingly about to leave the garden, when Spring-Heeled Jack leapt from the wall, and chased him for some time; the dog was called, but slunk away, apparently as much terrified as his master. Having amused himself for some time with the trembling gardener, Spring-Heeled Jack scaled the wall and made his exit. The fellow may probably amuse himself in this way one to often.’

Monday, 15 February 2010

Neil Arnold's upcoming talks:

Tuesday 16th February 2010 - 7:00pm - Eastchurch Gardening Club, Village Hall, Warden Rd, Sheppey.

Thursday 18th February 2010 - 7:30 pm - Rodmersham WI, Rodmersham Village Hall.

Tuesday 23rd February 2010 - 10:00 am - Bexley NHS Retirement Fellowship, Social Club, Calvert Drive, Bexley.

Wednesday 24th February 2010 - 2:00pm - Dartford KARF, Brent Methodist Church Hall, St Vincents Rd, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1XF

Wednesday 3rd March 2010 - 2:00pm - Gravesham Ladies Club, Christ Church Hall, Old Rd East, DA12 1NR,

Wednesday 3rd March 2010 - 8:00pm - Matfield WI, Matfield Village Hall.

Monday 8th March 2010 - 7:30 pm - London Monster Walk - Meet at outside Starbucks next to Holborn Viaduct.

Tuesday 9th March 2010 - 8:30pm - Halstead WI, Halstead Village Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Wednesday 10th March 2010 - 2:00pm - Ashford ARA, Centrepiece, Bank Street, Ashford, Kent.

Monday 15th March 2010 - 8:00pm - Allington Castle WI, Palace Wood School, Allington, Maidstone.

Tuesday 16th March 2010 - 2:00pm - Meopham ARA, Meopham Village Hall, Wrotham Rd, Meopham, Kent.

Tuesday 16th March 2010 - 8:00pm - Joydens Wood WI, Community Centre, Birchwood Drive, Joydens Wood.

Wednesday 17th March 2010 - 2:00pm - Faversham ARA, United Church, Preston Street, Faversham, Kent.

Wednesday 17th March 2010- 8:15pm - Detling WI, Detling Village Hall, Maidstone, Kent.

Thursday 18th March 2010 - 7:30pm - NW Kent Group of the Wildlife Trust, Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford Boys Grammar School, Shepherds Lane, Dartford.

Saturday 20th March 2010 - 11:00am - Gravesend Info Centre, 18a St George's Square, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0TB.

Tuesday 23rd March 2010 - 7:30pm - Explorer Scout Unit, Guzzlebrooke (awaiting details)

Wednesday 24th March 2010 - 10:00am - Crayford Probus Club, VCD Athletic Club, Old Rd, Crayford, Kent, DA1 4DN.

Wednesday 24th March 2010 - 8:15pm - Aylesford WI, Brassey Centre, Aylesford, Kent.

Thursday 25th March 2010 - 2:15pm - Hans Volunteer Group Gillingham, Millennium Centre, Rainham.

Thursday 1st April 2010 - 8:30 pm - Cuxton WI, St Michaels Church Hall, Cuxton.

Tuesday 6th April 2010 - 1:30om - 55+ Fellowship, Wyvern Hall, Sittingbourne.

Monday 12th April 2010 - 1:45pm - Sole Street Monday Club, St Mary's Church, Manor Rd, Sole Street.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sussex big cat sightings - now read the book!

Neil Arnold is a full-time researcher, author and speaker, regarding sightings of elusive 'big cats' in the south-east countryside. For twenty years Neil has accumulated a vast file on sightings across Sussex.

He is the author of MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: KENT (CFZ PRESS) which covers a vast number of Sussex 'big cat' sightings. He writes for magazines and newspapers, and is currently writing MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: SUSSEX

Sightings around Sussex, of black leopard, lynx, puma and smaller exotic felids date back centuries. there is no mystery as to why such animals roam the woodlands of the south-east of England.