Big Black Cats of the Carlisles

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 24th, 2012

From Ohio to Cumbria, Black Panthers are being seen near towns named Carlisle.

Black Panther sightings in New Carlisle, Ohio, took place in October 2011:

A big felid track from near New Carlisle, 2010.

Several footprints that apparently belong to a large exotic cat have been found in the area.
Resident Jeff Brown said his neighbor, Matt Cooper, called him Sunday morning saying he’d spotted what looked like a panther sunning itself in his hay field in the New Carlisle area.
“He called me and said, ‘I just shot at something out back. I think I might have hit it,’ ” Brown said.
Believing it to be a black panther, the two set out with Clark County sheriff deputies but could not find it. However, they did find several footprints authorities said looked like that of a large cat.
Sheriff Gene Kelly said after receiving reports of a panther in the Harrison Twp. area in Montgomery County, he believes it could be the same cat.
“It could have followed the river and come north,” he said.
“We have alerted Miami County and Champaign County since this area borders those other counties.”
Brown said he’s sure it was a panther, about 4 feet in length. He tied a large piece of venison in a nearby tree, and when he checked back hours later, something had devoured it.

Now comes February 2012 reports, mirroring ones in 2010, of Black Panther sightings near Carlisle, United Kingdom.

Jeni Banks [shown above] had driven along Eastern Way in Carlisle on her way back home to Wetheral hundreds of times and she had no reason to think this journey would be anything other than normal.

Then, in the gloom, she saw something moving, a creature of some kind, ambling across the road ahead of her.

To the left of the road were houses and beyond the pavement to the right was an area of woodland.

“It wasn’t quite dark, but it was gloomy enough for me to need my sidelights on,” explained Jeni, a 26-year-old businesswoman.

“I remember thinking to myself that it looked like a big black Labrador because of its size but as my car drew level with it I looked again.”

For a few fleeting seconds, Jeni stared in disbelief as the creature stood at the roadside, its head turned back towards her approaching car.

Its eyes gleamed in the headlights, and Jeni took in the creature’s size and shape: its elongated black body, and its long curling tail.

“I saw it as clear as anything,” said Jeni, obviously still fascinated by the memory of the creature, which vanished into the woodland. I was within 20ft of it, and when I saw it I was in shock.

“It was a big cat, right here in Carlisle, beside the road. It was surreal.

“There were no other cars around but I know what I saw. When I got to Tesco I called in for some shopping and just blurted it out to the woman at the checkout, saying that I’d just seen a panther.

“She said: ‘Oh, right’ and must have thought that I was a bit of a lunatic. As soon as I got home to Wetheral, I rang the police and told them what I had seen because the creature was so near to houses.

“They were very nice about it and said they would log it with the other sightings.”

Like many of those who have reported panther or puma sightings in Cumbria, Jeni had never expected to see an animal so exotic on the fringe of a northern English city.

Read more here.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

2 Responses to “Big Black Cats of the Carlisles”

  1. flame821 responds:

    In North America we have a lot of different ways a Panther (or jaguar or cougar) could get here. Most common would be an escaped exotic pet but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility for several animals to migrate, over time, from the South. (granted it would take a lot of effort and luck) but with the global climate changes occurring AND the loss of many apex predators in North America it isn’t as outlandish as one might think.

    As for big cats in the UK, a large island, that is a lot harder to account for. They would almost have to be escaped exotics but there are so many reports of these animals anymore that either the few that could be escapees get around a LOT or there is a growing, breeding population. Either that or people are getting more and more confused over wildlife (the easy explanation) or we are seeing animals filling an open niche and that is going to continue unless someone gets trigger happy and decides to kill them off again.

  2. Desertdweller responds:


    Never shoot at anything unless you know what it is.

    That is so basic a gun safety rule. Never put yourself in a situation where you have to say, “I shot at something, but I don’t know what it was. I think I may have hit it.”

    How credible is someone who will give a statement like that?

    If you don’t know what something is, how do you know it is OK to shoot it?

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