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Andrews AFB’s Two Mystery Cats

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 27th, 2006

I must say, we didn’t have to wait long for some interesting new Mystery Cat reports, did we?

On Thursday, April 27, 2006, FoxNews began reporting that two “wild cats” have been spotted at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland (home to Air Force One), according to media watchdog Bufo Calvin. One of the “wild cats” was later reported to be brown, and the other one, black, according to the media.

Calvin mentioned that this was “somewhat reminiscent of a search on a military base that happened in my area (the Mt. Diablo region of the San Francisco East Bay) that Loren Coleman” once discussed in his writings. Yes, and Mark A. Hall’s and my Panthera atrox thoughts go hand-in-paw with these multicolored cryptid felids, of course.

Cryptozoology author Matt Bille mentioned the news over at today’s earlier “Increase in Mystery Cat Encounters?” entry on this blog, and wrote this in his comment: “Loren’s timing in posting this is almost Fortean.”

Yes, sometimes it does happen.

:-)

News reports are being filed and filling in the picture of what’s happening.

One Maryland reporter, Guy Leonard, detailed the latest in his article, “Search still on for elusive ‘large cats’ near Camp Springs,” moments ago:

Air Force security personnel and Prince George’s animal control officers continued to search for two large cats, possibly mountain lions, near Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs Thursday evening.

Initial reports claimed that one or two mountain lions were on the loose in the area, causing three elementary schools to be locked down. But the Air Force would only say the animals had been identified as large cats and could provide no more detail.

The reports started at 10:30 a.m. when a large brown cat scaled the fence of the base and dropped onto Allentown Road. The second animal, reported as black, is believed to be still on the base.

Reports continued late into the day with confusion as to the number nature and size of the animals.

After the usual background info, other specific details emerged:

Princeton, Skyline and Francis T. Evans elementary schools went into lock down because of the reported sightings. Pupils were dismissed at the regular time if they had transportation. Those who would have left school on foot were held until their parents could pick them up.

Source: Business Gazette, Maryland, April 27, 2006.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


12 Responses to “Andrews AFB’s Two Mystery Cats”

  1. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Well if they turn out to be just mountain lions that is still something to entertain ourselves as the ‘offical’ word is spun

  2. MattBille responds:

    Mountain lions in Maryland would not be “just” mountain lions, though. They would have to be escaped/released exotics OR another major piece of evidence in favor of the survival of the Eastern cougar. If the authorities cannot prove the former by tracking the cats’ origin, then we are left with the latter (no matter how the news is spun).

    Regards,
    Matt

  3. MattBille responds:

    Added thought: I’ve never quite grasped the rationale for why authorities would deliberately dismiss evidence of cougar presence. The usual thinking it that having cougars would scare people and depress tourism, but tourism and outdoor activities like hiking and hunting in the West are extremely popular despite the well-known presence of cougars. Outside of a voter initiative in California, environmental law and regulation to protect cougars hasn’t resulted in any serious closures of land to recreation or curtailment of other activities, so that doesn’t seem like a good reason either. Loren, you no doubt have some thoughts?

    Regards,

    Matt

  4. John Ryan responds:

    I’m reminded of a ‘big cat’ scare in the same area of S. Md. about 35 years ago. I wrote a letter to Strange Mag. describing a big cat that I saw with a friend when I was about 12. It wasn’t a cougar; around that same time reports from the Clinton, Md. area were surfacing of sightings of a big cat along Piscataway Rd., there was an article in the Wash. Post, I don’t know what year. I’d be surprised if the sightings at Andrews AFB turn out to be cougars: the sightings will end, and we’ll hear nothing else about it.

    Regards,

    John Ryan

  5. jretzer responds:

    I grew up in the Andrews AFB area back in the 70s (we could throw a rock from our yard to a runway) and it was a hub of crypto stuff — there were lots of reports of big cats, as well as the “bunny man”, the “goat man” and batlike swamp creatures. There were a lot of wooded, swampy areas in and around the sprawling base.

  6. brianinja responds:

    We’ve already heard the official response, “If a large cat is here, it would have been brought in from another area.” I’m a newspaper reporter and editor in Maryland and have been documenting mystery cat sightings for the last few years, which you can read here.

    I’m continually baffled by the closed mindedness of our state’s natural resources personnel in these situations. We routinely have two or three black bears a year meander through some of Baltimore’s suburbs, which lumber east from mountains of out west, but we’re told it is “impossible” for a mountain lion to take such a similar path into the area. I’ve heard some hypothesize if the Eastern cougar were rediscovered living in the area much of the remaining developable land would be immediately locked down due to what would have to be an endangered status of the big cat. That’s most likely just a conspiracy theory, but something has to be at play here. The most intriguing aspect of Thursday’s sightings was that one of the cats was described as being black. Science has not identified a melanistic cougar and if black bobcats are more common than previously thought, this could lend credance to the many black panther sightings we get each year.

  7. stompy responds:

    I thought the “bunny man” was in VA. It is as a matter of fact- Burke, VA

  8. jretzer responds:

    As kids, we lived in mortal fear of the bunnyman — especially after a teacher told us that he had been sighted nearby. Burke VA is close enough to southern Maryland for people to have sighted him in the swamps.

  9. jretzer responds:

    Here’s a page that describes teenagers recounting the bunnyman story in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where I grew up.

    Strange thing. No one, to my knowledge was ever able to definitively describe it. For some, it apparently was as simple as a maniac in a bunny suit; but the stories we heard was that it was a large swamp creature.

  10. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Bunny Man? Wonder if the creators of the Donnie Darko movie are familiar with this? It’s the first I’ve heard of him.

  11. Laura-Kathleen responds:

    I live on Andrews AFB and thought the whole cat thing was sort of funny. The two cats were supposedly spotted jumping over the fence onto the base by security forces. Then they were seen at the commissary. Security forces went around the residential housing telling everyone to keep their children and pets inside. The cats were later spotted seen leaving by again jumping over the fence, and the next day seen in the urban area surrounding the base. I wish I had seen them because the whole thing seems very hard to believe.

  12. Joan Woodward responds:

    About 3 months after the April 2006 reports of “big cats” at Andrews AFB, another minor report of a black, mountain lion sized cat came from an area about 12 miles SSE of Andrews. A Brandywine man reported seeing the cat walking about 20 feet away as he mowed his lawn. Animal control found no traces. Report came from WTOP news radio station.



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