I’ve have been fascinated with reports of alien big cats here in the U.K since the mid 1980’s. When reports of large black feline type creatures would often been shown on national and local news (here in the West Country). As a child, it chilled me to think that these large predators were out there stalking the British country side taking any prey they wished and were seemingly uncatchable. At one point marines were sent in to deal with the many reports from the Exmoor area in the early 80’s.
In my young mind these creatures were up there with ghosts and poltergeist as things of the night to be feared. I remember at the age of around 9 or 10 my school mates and I went to a school camp at a youth hostel on the edge of Exmoor, that was at the time the very epicentre of the sightings and reports. I recall one of our teachers gathering us together just before lights out one evening and he regaled us with stories of the Exmoor Beast. I can tell you even after a long day of outdoor camp type activates, it took us a while to get to sleep that night.
For many years after I dreamed about seeing the semi mythical beast for myself, I collected many newspaper clippings and notes all pertaining to the beast or beats, in the hope that I could find a way of somehow getting my own sighting. But when I did it was completely by chance.
It was in the early 1990s and the now teenaged me was enjoying some summer fun target shooting on some farm land near the town of Newport in Wales. Myself and a couple of good friends had driven over from Bristol as we had permission to use a field to burn off some steam with our air riffles and assorted armaments. We had taken up position at the brow of a small hill that formed one side of a little valley, at the bottom of the hill a single-track country road separated the field we were in from the opposite hill. It was getting late in the day and we were running low on ammunition for the .22 guns we had with us. I had gotten a little tired of killing tin cans and was lying on my back soaking up the sun gazing over to the other side of the valley.
Then something caught my eye, in the field opposite stood a big old oak tree and at its base I saw what I first took to be two dogs chasing each other in circles around the trunk. But as I looked on I noticed that it was only one dog with a much larger creature chasing it. The creature that was perusing the poor dog looked large and powerful, over twice the size of what I think was a border collie. It was black in colour and powerfully built at the front and slightly slenderer at the rear with a long curled tail. I got the attention of my friends who straight way turned their guns towards the animal, not to shoot it but to get a better view through their telescopic scopes. All three of us watched in amazement as the cat continued to chase the poor dog around the tree and after what seemed to be an age the cat got bored of its games and shot up to the top of the field at great speed and disappeared through a hole in the hedge, never to be seen by us again. This sighting cemented my interest in these beasts and myth had suddenly become very real indeed Of course our friends and family didn’t believe us, but we know what we saw and it was truly amazing, now for me there was no doubt that large black cats were roaming the British countryside.