Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 29th, 2006
This is the introduction and the “western segment” of “APPENDIX I” from Mysterious America:
The American Lion (Panthera atrox):
Cryptid Black Panthers, Maned Cats,
and Striped Felines Selected Sightings
The first edition of Mysterious America (1983) detailed decades of large mystery felid sightings. This edition updates that work, gathering old records, as well as new ones. This revised volume also adds, for the first
time, this appendix to support the added details in Chapters 12 and 13.
In 1994, Mark A. Hall published a list of seventy specific cases to illustrate the black panther and maned cat data in his article, “The American Lion (Panthera atrox),” Wonders 3(1): 3-20, in conjunction
with his theory that Panthera atrox may be a Pleistocene survivor. The following list of more than 140 events doubles Hall’s original, which is reprinted here with permission, and expanded with other material from
my files; any mistakes are mine and not his. While there are literally hundreds of cases, the following chart contains a selection to demonstrate the diversity and chronological nature of the reports, as well as specific hints of geographic distribution.
Please note, several sightings may be grouped under one entry, as mystery cat reports often occur in a concentrated series. Some effort has been made to highlight incidents involving more than one feline, demonstrating the social nature of these cats, but several melanistic records may include multiple sightings not referenced as such.
Eastern Reports of Black Panthers, Maned Cats, and Striped Felines
[116 cases not shown…to be found in Mysterious America]
Western Reports of Black Panthers, Maned Cats, and Striped Felines
1. 1519 / Montezuma’s Menagerie, Tenochtitlan, Mexico / R. Marshall, Onza,
1961: 82-88 / one of “two kinds of lions”
2. 1750s / lower California / R. Marshall, Onza, 1961: 92-95 / other kind of “lion”
3. 1868 / Lake Co. CA / See Chapter 13 / maned with stripes
4. 1940 / w. Mexico / See Chapter 13 / maned with stripes
5. 1951 / Waterloo NE / New York Times 29 Nov 1951 / maned
6. 1954 / Surprise, Rising City NE / Omaha World Herald 2 Aug 1954 / maned +
mate = 2
7. 1959 / Lorain OH / See Chapter 13 / maned
8. 1960 / Fort Worth TX / interview with Sallie Ann Clarke, April 1970 / black
9. 1961 / Craig and Roger Cos. OK / Newsweek 27 Mar 1961: 31-34 / maned,
10. 1964 / Marin Co. CA / San Rafael Independent-Journal 14 Sep 1964 / black
11. 1964 / Ventura Co. CA / See Chapter 12 / black + black = 2
12. 1967 / Ventura Co. CA / Ventura Star-Free Press 13 Dec 1967 / black
13. 1968 / Thousand Oaks CA / Ventura Star-Free Press 9 Jan 1968 / black
14. 1972 / Contra Costa Co. CA / See Chapter 12 / black + tawny = 2
15. 1973 / Concord to Danville CA / Vallejo Times-Herald 5 Mar 1973 / black
16. 1973 / Alum Rock (east of San Jose) CA / AP, 16 Dec 1973 / black
17. 1975 / Nobility TX / Sherman Democrat 22 May 1975 / black
18. pre-1976 / Big Thicket TX / Corpus Christi Caller 8 Feb 1976 / black
19. 1976 / Tucson AZ / Tucson Citizen 17 Sep-27 Oct 1976 / black
20. 1976 / Tacoma WA / See Chapter 13 / maned
21. 1977 / Talihina OK / Talihina American 20 Jan 1977 / black
22. 1977 / Oklahoma City OK / Oklahoma Times 25-26 Oct 1977 / Oklahoman 26-
27 Oct 1977 / black
23. 1977 / Dierks, Dover AR / See Chapter 13 / black + maned = 2
24. 1977 / Muscatine IA / Res Bureaux Bulletin, 1977, 27: 6 / “lion” cub found
25. 1979 / Fremont CA / Fremont Argus 11-17 Nov 1979, San Francisco Chronicle
13 Nov 1979 / maned, roaring
26. 1983 / El Toro CA / UPI 9 Oct 1983 / maned
27. 1984 / San Dimas CA / San Gabriel Valley Tribune 21 May 1984 / black
28. 1985 / Fort Worth TX / F. W. Star Telegram 21-22 Feb 1985, UPI 21-22
Feb 1985 / maned, roaring
29. 1988 / Fairfield CA / UPI 10 Apr 1988 / black
30. 1999 / Port Angeles CA / See Chapter 13 / “African lioness” + roaring = 2
Are you aware of any new reports, since the year 2000, of black or maned Mystery Cats from the West?
Mysterious America contains details on the western sightings, as noted in this sampler, which celebrates the book’s forthcoming departure from print. The examination of Mystery Felids (Panthera atrox) is one of the most enhanced parts of the book, which changed from 1983 to the recent 2001/2004 editions.
The paperbound version will not be available at this price again online as a Paraview Press edition after Friday. It goes out-of-print too. But, yes, a few hardcovers remain on sale via me, through March 31st.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.