New Maine Mystery Cat Photo Details

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 29th, 2007

Maine Mystery Cat

Click on image for full size version

Maine officials taking big cat photo seriously

By Kathryn Skelton , Staff Writer

Friday, June 29, 2007

A photo making e-mail rounds Thursday [June 28, 2007] that shows what looks like a big, rare cat in a Sidney backyard is real, according to the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife spokesman.

Whether that’s actually a mountain lion leaning on a rock wall is up in the air. The cat’s tail, the easiest way to tell a bobcat from a mountain lion, is hidden by a tree.

“That’s why we’re sending someone out there,” said Mark Latti. “Maine doesn’t have a wild population of mountain lions.”

The picture came in to IFW on Thursday. He said the homeowner wants to be anonymous. A biologist will go out soon to look for other evidence, like tracks, and measure the size of the rocks where the cat stood to get a sense of scale.

Maine hasn’t had wild mountain lions since the late 1800s, Latti said. Vermont and New Hampshire don’t have them either.

“We do receive a handful of sightings a year,” he added. The last significant one was about six years ago in Monmouth. Plaster casts were made of what turned out to be mountain lion tracks, “but we never saw it again.”

In the mid-1990s, mountain lion hair was found in Cape Elizabeth.

The animals live mostly out West and sometimes make headlines with vicious attacks. According to, the male mountain lion can get up to six feet long and 227 pounds.

Central Maine Medical Center spokesman Randy Dustin had a friend send him the photo with a note that read, “This thing ran in front of me the other night in Sidney.” It was on the Turnpike and the friend thought he’d been seeing things.

“I think it could be real,” he said. “It’s exciting.” Lewiston Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, June 29, 2007

Maine Mystery Cat

Curious photo prompts investigation

Could this be a mountain lion? A Sidney resident thinks it could and a biologist is investigating.

By Joel Elliott/Blethen Maine News Service

Sidney — A state biologist is investigating a claim that someone here sighted a mountain lion.

An anonymous resident sent a photo of the animal to the state Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department, and experts there have yet to determine its validity, according to department spokesman Mark Latti.

“The photo is inconclusive, just because of the perspective, and it only shows part of the cat,” he said.

Latti said it would be easier to determine the type of cat if the back end were visible in the photo, because long tails are a distinctive feature of mountain lions.

The department receives similar calls sporadically from residents across the state, but biologists have not found evidence that they consider to be conclusive proof of the cats’ presence, Latti said.

“There is not a wild population of mountain lions or cougars in the state,” he said. “However, there’s a very real possibility that someone could have brought it in from another state and released it. Or it could be an escaped domestic one.”

If wild mountain lions were in the state, Latti said, there would be more sightings or hard evidence, like road kill.

“While it is a possibility, we just don’t have enough evidence to substantiate it,” he said. [Contributed photo] Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, June 29, 2007.

Maine Mystery Cat

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.

45 Responses to “New Maine Mystery Cat Photo Details”

  1. elkie responds:

    I’d feel a little happier about this photo if we could see its paws planted firmly on a surface rather than being obscured by a rock and foliage. It looks like something from a museum exhibit that’s been superimposed into a different location. Also, it’s whole positioning looks a little too “staged” for me.
    But what I’d like to see most of all are the photographs taken before and after this one. Anyone worth their salt, and in posession of a modern camera, would click away for all they’re worth. Perhaps what we might see in these photos would be more telling.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    You know, what’s incredibly funny to me is how people want photos, want proof, and want images of these cryptids. Then when one is obtained, people nitpick and complain that it’s not enough, it doesn’t show the tail or the feet or isn’t a rapidfire presentation of a flow of pictures of the animal walking or running or attacking something.

    For us to place motives on why someone would only submit one photo, or wish to remain anonymous in this age of media madness, is unfortunate.

    Why it is all well and good to be skeptical, to be careful, and to be highly analytical, it is also worth our congratulations sometimes that someone, apparently, and finally, got a clear photograph of a seemingly cryptic animal – just like most people demand when “only” a sighting comes in.

  3. chris from flickerbulb dot com responds:

    i personally really really hope it does turn out to be a mountain lion.

    i saw one myself in 1990 in a corn field in central indiana — only 10 miles from downtown indianapolis, and was told they weren’t in indiana by everyone i told the story to: but i know what i saw.

  4. Meebs responds:

    I want one. In all seriousness though I hope more info can be brought fourth concerning this big cat. I’m not ready to condemn this photo as a hoax. I’d rather believe its real than assume it isn’t.

  5. mitchigan responds:

    I always love the old “escaped pet” explaination. You’d think they’re as common a pet as a tabby.

  6. curtskinn responds:

    from what I see from the picture, I think that the cat is a very big Canadian Lynx. The coloring and the shape of the body is not right for a cougar and adult cougars don’t have spots as this cat looks like it does.

  7. titantim responds:

    Good observation. Adding to your notes, the head does not appear wide enough for a cougar. Cougars have large, wide snouts and usually a thick neck. Even the slender Florida panthers I have had the pleasure of observing in captivity have the wide face.

  8. kittenz responds:

    Well… I’m skeptical for several reasons. Not of the possibility of pumas or lynxes in the Maine woods, because I fully belive that they are alive and possibly thriving there, but of the legitimacy of this photo. Not saying it’s false, but it sure looks odd. And the cat doesn’t really look like it’s a puma… my first impression was “lynx photo, pasted into a photo of woods”.

  9. elkie responds:

    Loren, I’ve been a long time fan of both you and this site, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seperating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to reading through the cryptozoological reports you’ve posted up here. However, I find it awfully disappointing that you think it’s “incredibly funny” that people should want more evidence of an out of place animal, or an as yet unknown cryptid, than a single photograph supposedly provides.

    A single photograph just will not do. If cryptozoology is to be taken more seriously than it currently is by the mainstream scientific community we can’t simply present one, pixellated shot to them and say “See, we were right all along”.

    And I just don’t accept that only a single shot was taken. C’mon…with the complexity of todays cameras you’re telling me that the photographer pointed the lens, took ONE shot the went merrily on his way? I simply don’t accept that. The animal is in a stationary position. It hasn’t been caught mid run. There’s no motion blur. It looks like it’s “going nowhere fast”, giving more than enough time to give the camera button a few more presses.
    That is why I’m asking to see the shots directly before and after this one.
    If these shots can’t or won’t be presented then we should at least be told why. It’s an insult to our intellignece not to do so.

    When being presented with photo’s like this a little skepticism is a good thing Loren. Actually, it’s not just a good thing…it’s a necessity. Without it we could all be made to look a little stupid. Ask Ang and Chow. I’m sure they’d agree with me.

  10. mauka responds:

    I live in Maine, and I haven’t heard of Cougars in the State except from this site. Where would they becoming from the rest of New England or Canada?

  11. Morgoth responds:

    Positive sign: the image of the cat matches the compression level, color, and shadow of the background image.

    Positive sign: the image does NOT match other mountain lion or cougar pictures easilly found on the Internet.

    Warning sign: the image is tagged as having been created with Photoshop. This COULD have happened in the chain of custody.

    Warning sign: the dark background behind cat makes composite image easier to produce.

    Verdict: probably a real picture, location unknown.

  12. elkie responds:

    Hi Morgoth. If you click on my name you’ll see what I do for a living. I’ve been working with high end graphic packages for twenty years in multiple areas of the design industry. With the technology we have today it’s REALLY simple to match compression levels etc between the elements of one or more photographs, especially if that old favourite photoshop is involved somewhere along the line just as you suggest : )

  13. shumway10973 responds:

    The only thing I am suspicious about is the location. I don’t really care, a whole lot, if this is a puma or a really big bobcat or lynx. It is the right size for a puma, and if the other 2 are able to get that big, there would be something new to look into. Makes me wonder if the puma interbred with bobcat/lynx. I know the red wolf did with our coyotes here. Concept is easy, numbers dwindled enough that a puma with the drive to mate finds something from a different species willing to mate. Cats are one of the few animals able to breed successfully with almost any other cat from around the world. I haven’t heard of a cross breeding (with cats) that produced sterile offspring. So, I am going to say, either puma or a bobcat/puma mix, which would be a new critter to investigate anyway.

  14. fallofrain responds:

    To try to answer makua’s question from the earlier post…while it’s unusual to see cougars, they’re not especially rare, especially in the western states. They have no federal endangered or threatened status. Even my apartment complex here in Oregon has handbills posted warning of cougar sightings. Historically, they were also found in the eastern states from Canada to Florida. Their populations declined due to hunting and habitat loss. I don’t think it’s a matter of expanding their territory. They are no longer widely hunted, so they are probably re-populating their former range.

    As for the photo, it’s difficult to make a judgement. The coloring is a little strange, but there can be some color variation in populations. I think a lynx-cougar hybrid is very unlikely. In a meeting, the cougar would probably eat the lynx, but not without a good fight. I worked for a wildlife consulting firm in Arizona. I have some closeup photos of a cougar in captivity if anyone is interested.

  15. Carol Maltby responds:

    Multiple photos to show a sequence are not the sort of thing the average person would think about offering. Perhaps if that idea and explanation of why it would help could be worked into more interviews and articles, it might start to take hold.

    I’m having real trouble with that high albedo rock in front of the tree. It’s got an almost perfectly straight right-hand border, and that line of pitch black shadow under it extending under other rocks. More importantly, to the right of that rock it’s solidly black too, yet nothing seems to make it a shadow, and it’s too geometric to look like it’s just the dark background with material in front of it.

    The foliage in the foreground is in a sort of v-shape. Look at how the left hand foliage has an appropriately organic, random interface with the shadows of the rocks, and you can identify clumps of leaves. The right hand foliage where it meets the black shadow is smooth (other than with some little bumps) and is composed of blocky pixelation rather than any identifiable leaves.

    In addition, I’m wondering how if things are so contrasty that the deeper areas of the road are perfectly black, how such a range of tone on the felid is coming up right in front of it. While it is right at the edge of the dark forest and right next to a tree, I don’t see anything that I’d describe as shadow on its back.

    I say it’s fake.

  16. tarik responds:

    I wish it at least looked like a mountain lion, I know that mountainlions look a bit different everywhere, but that is an awful furry critter for summer in maine.

    The most intriguing parts for me in the article is the following:
    he last significant one was about six years ago in Monmouth. Plaster casts were made of what turned out to be mountain lion tracks, “but we never saw it again.”

    In the mid-1990s, mountain lion hair was found in Cape Elizabeth.

    Were these confirmed? Or are these the disappearing evidence that the eastern mountain lion conspiracy folks like so much?

    I would love to hear about real evidence, but this photo is really really weak.

    Here is what mtn lions look like in the zoo:
    and what mountain lion photos look like when some one gets a grainy photo of one:
    (philly zoo, and here in NM respectively).

  17. McHaggis responds:

    I am always wary, when there is only one photograph….and its a perfect one at that.

    However in this case I think it’s genuine. You can usually tell a tampered picture, by viewing it in the negative. I’ve done that, and I cannot see any of the usual photoshop pointers.

    Now what species the cat is, is another question.

    It looks remarkably like a pumapard, (puma x leopard cross),

  18. The_Carrot responds:

    It would not surprise me in the least if this were a real photo of a large cat in Maine. I’m from the Massachusetts area, the North Shore to be precise, and we’ve had mountain lion/cougar sightings *here*. There’s no reason why there couldn’t be large cats in Maine, and I suspect that there are several (small) populations.

    As for the photo itself; just because the picture posted on Loren’s site has a tag proclaiming that it was edited by Photoshop doesn’t mean that it’s a fake. It means that someone edited the photo that’s *posted on the site* to fit the website. Period.

    What’s more important is to dowlnload copies of the pictures while they are still in the camera.

  19. Morgoth responds:

    Hi Elkie,

    I write the high end graphics software that guys like you use. So when I’m talking about compression artifacts that information is coming from someone who has written a JPEG codec and understands the math behind the FFT algorithm.



  20. dharma responds:

    Fake photo or not.

    I’m fairly sure I saw an “Eastern Mountain Lion” in the early 1980s above the banks of the Connecticut River in Hadley, Massachusetts.

    I was riding my moped along the levy about a quarter mile south of the Hadley landfill when out from the brush ahead of me I flushed a very large gray/brown cat with a sizeable tail. It ran about 20-30 feet in front of me for about minute, so I got a pretty good look at it.

    It was incredible as it accelerated into high gear, its back legs went from an alternating cadence to an in-synch pattern and it just started to leave me in the dust. My speedometer said I was going about 17 or 18 Mph. Right past the dump, it leaped from the levy into a hole in a huge bramble pile of stumps and branches that had been piled about 20 feet high at the dump.



  21. illlich responds:

    I saw large cat prints along the Long Trail in VT back in 97– of course I don’t know enough about cats to judge WHAT cat, but it certainly wasn’t a house cat, and I can tell the differnece between cat and dog prints.

    Something does indeed look wrong with the cat, but I’m not saying it’s faked– it doesn’t look like a normal mountain lion, perhaps a lynx/bobcat, or even a mix of some kind (not uncommon for coyotes in the east to be mixed– why not big cats?) I would suspect that a cat in heat would be desperate enough to mate with whatever feline it could, especially with low population density of cats in the east.

    As for the problem regarding there being “only one picture”– well, how do we know that is in fact the case? Perhaps the photographer only released ONE to the press/authorities/public, and has several more he/she kept, only releasing the clearest one.

    I agree with Loren that there is a certain silliness about picking apart the photo as “not enough”, as we clamor for photos when there are only eyewitness accounts. . . what’s next? Picking apart video for not having hair samples? Picking apart hair samples because there are no blood/saliva/skin samples? Etc. I’m not saying to accept the photo unquestioned, nor am I telling people to shut up; I just think it’s funny/curious, perhaps an unfortunate side-effect of crypto-zoology.

  22. jerrywayne responds:

    Crypto : Eastern puma

    Skeptic : Bobcat

    Fortean : Smilodon

  23. woodsman responds:

    I’ve seen a mountain lion (on a trail in Redwood National Park in California, about a dozen yards away — looked at me as I rounded a bend in the trail, then disappeared around the next bend). The cat in the photo is pretty clearly NOT a mountain lion. Personally, I think it looks like a bobcat (I’ve also seen those, a dozen times or more, some in California and some in Connecticut).

  24. glider04 responds:

    First Impression, Fake. For a couple of reasons, One, the picture looks staged or at least manufactured. Two, If you look to the left of the cat, there is a green bush that is absolutely flat across the top. That seems weird to me. Two, look even further to the left to see a Gnome like thing pointing towards the cat, maybe one of Gordon T. Holmes transplants. But most of all the it looks like a diorama that might be seen at a BassPro/Cabela’s store with more greenery mixed into it.

    Just my opinion, from a Comspiracy Theorist at heart.

  25. cmgrace responds:

    I have compared the pic with pics of both a bobcat and a canadian lynx. I can’t see any of the black tuft things on the ears, but it does look like it has the black patches of fur on the sides of the head. I can’t tell if there are any spots or stripes though.

    I did look a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service map of canadian lynx occurence. They have been spotted in Maine although very infrequently. I Googled it as map of canadian lynx habitat. Sorry I can’t give a link.

    So my guess is a canadian lynx. I do wonder though if there are more pics??

  26. Mnynames responds:

    As usual, I love the Wildlife spokesman’s conflicting statements-

    1- We have NO mountain lions, and neither does VT or NH.

    2- We have sightings of them EVERY year.

    3- We found tracks that were positively identified as those of a mountain lion.

    4- We found hairs that were positively identified as those of a mountain lion.

    5- We have pictures from a guy I know who saw one cross the road.

    What was that first one again?

  27. satarina responds:

    definitely looks more like a lynx than a cougar to me. is it? who knows. but i’m with loren on the nitpicking… yeah, we need to be cautious when looking at evidence. but what’s gonna happen is someone is going to snap a pic of of something amazing that is totally real, and we’re going to be too busy picking it apart to celebrate the discovery.
    people, and pictures, aren’t perfect. if i sighted a large predatory cat in my backyard, i honestly don’t know if i’d have the presence of mind to grab the camera at all, much less stand there taking shot after shot. likewise, just because a picture doesn’t show every detail we’d like to see doesn’t mean it’s fake. it may be, of course. but we need to be careful not to over analyze what evidence comes before us. after all, there may well be people who are afraid to release photos or other evidence because they’ve come here and seen the normal reaction to every video or pic posted. it’s a fine line to walk. just something to keep in mind.

  28. Carol Maltby responds:

    The mention of looking at it on another screen is a good suggestion. I tried another computer here, and while it brought up a tad more of the background black, there was no new useful information. FWIW, while I have a lot of reservations on this image, I’m positive I saw a cougar last year here in the Catskill Mountains, so my caveats aren’t based on “it just can’t be.”

    Jerrywayne, I got a good chuckle out of your — what’s the formal term for them? It’s like a conjugation, but not quite.

  29. elkie responds:

    Hi Illich
    I really have to disagree with your opinion that a single photo should be proof enough regarding the existence of something. And I certainly disagree that there’s a “certain silliness” as regards questioning the authenticity of such a compelling picture.
    I think that things like this MUST be questioned by the cryptozoological community, and it must be questioned with more voracity than should be expected by any dissenting group.

    Nowadays, with the advances we’ve made in photographic and cinematic techniques, (Ask Morgoth, posting above. He knows : ) ) we need to tread very carefully before we go shouting out to the world.

    I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I’ve got warning bells about this image. I’d like to see the shots immediately before and after this one. If they contain images of the same creature then surely we should be asking why they haven’t been released. Surely it’s irrelevent if they’re any good or not, or whether the creature is actually pictured on them, they should put any queries about this to rest once and for all. At the very least they should be photos of the location or roundabouts.
    Another thing that worries me is that the image was taken by someone who wants to remain “anonymous”. (Myakka Skunk Ape anyone?) I’d like to know the reason, not the speculation, as to why they’re choosing to do this.
    Finally (breathe a sigh of relief) I don’t think that questioning how genuine this is is ” an unfortunate side-effect of cryptozoology “. I think that it is a sober, intelligent, critical-thinking necessity. Sure, it might break a few hearts and pop a few bubbles along the way, but ultimately that’s a good thing for the entire crypto field.


  30. theSnark responds:

    1. it looks like a painting, but that’s probably just my computer.
    2. Can you really blame someone if they only have time to take one picture of a predator that’s staring directly at them? And who’s to say they didn’t run out of film? For all we know, they could have been taking other pictures and this was the last one.
    3. lol Indeed, Mnynames!

  31. fallofrain responds:

    There’s a difference between being skeptical and being dismissive. I think I’d want to remain anonymous too, considering half the people in here have labeled the photographer a fraud. I’ve worked around mountain lions in the field, and have seen enough lynxes to be certain it’s a lion. As for the photo…yes, it could be faked in Photoshop. But why? It’s not like it’s an undiscovered animal, and probably not really an out-of-place one, considering the photo was taken within the animal’s historical range. I see no reason to doubt it. I’ve seen similar lighting conditions in forests here. As for photos before and after, there are some digital cameras (mine included) that can take up to seven seconds to recycle for another shot. So a lot depends on the camera involved. An animal can cover a lot of ground in 7 seconds.

    I work with Photoshop to put my photos in storage media. I don’t do anything to them you can’t do in a darkroom, but I imagine they’re “stamped” with a Photoshop tag. That doesn’t make them fakes.

    I’m just playing devil’s advocate here. I think there’s a better possibility that the photo is real than a fake.

  32. jodzilla responds:

    Don’t be too hard on us. I don’t think it’s bad to be nitpicky. We’ve all seen faked photos. We know there are hoaxers even though we don’t always understand the motives. There seem to be way too many pranksters out there to accept something on face value without serious scrutiny. After all, we know giant squid exist because we’ve seen proof other than the photos. I for one want this big cat to be real, but I’ve never had a single photo taken with any camera that looks as “painted” as this. That doesn’t mean it’s fake. It just means I’d like to see more investistigation.

  33. JackSparrow responds:

    Just throwing this idea out there. The more I looked at the original photo the more it looked to me like a snow leopard that had been given a new colour scheme. We all know how its done with computer programs. Possibility? Still not a couger.

  34. YourPTR! responds:

    “If wild mountain lions were in the state, Latti said, there would be more sightings or hard evidence, like road kill.” – I don’t think this proves anything. Don’t Bigfoot live in Maine? And there’s no roadkill of them, all it shows is they are either incredibly rare, lucky or both to have avoided roadkill so far. The picture DOES have a fake look about it though. The animals seems more pixelated than its surroundings. The feet are missing and the tail is conveniently hidden from view making identification more difficult. The animal also looks like it’s posing for the camera.

  35. sasquatch responds:

    The top of the head is very flat between the ears. Cut and paste is my suspicion. But, what is the cat? It looks like a sabre tooth tiger (sans the teeth)!

  36. crypto-steve responds:

    I’m 100% behind Loren and his comments on this one. This photo is about as good a picture of a mystery feline that one could be expected to take. Mountain Lions are animals that, by their very nature, are difficult to photograph. As you can tell by the photo, it is aware that someone is watching it. They are incredibly fast creatures and probably didn’t afford the photographer time to take a succession of photos. The idea that this is a museum prop or is photoshopped comes from the fact that we, as students of cryptozoology, have put up with so many faked photos and videos over the years that we have become highly critical of even the best evidence. Our hopes have been crushed too many times. But, this is definitely a large cat and it’s real. The only question is whether or not it is a mountain lion or some other species.

    Also, I think that it is important to keep in mind that mountain lions are highly adaptive creatures. If there are tracks, hair samples, and photos coming out of the northeast, then it is proof positive that there is at least a small population trying to survive there. Of course, the same could be said for Bigfoot. But, unfortunately, I doubt that a state funded biologist would ever be sent to an area to investigate that evidence.

  37. PhotoExpert responds:

    Remaining objective and without judging the authenticity of the photograph itself, there are several reasons why a nonprofessional photographer may only take one photograph.

    One reason may be that the photographer had a film type camera and only had one shot remaining at the end of the roll.

    If it were a digital camera being used, perhaps the amature photographer had a full memory card, had time to delete only one shot, and then took the photo befor the cat left.

    Yes, a professional might have taken a few shots of the subject in the same position. But we are not talking about a professional here. We have an average person who at least had the presence of mind to obtain a camera and get a photo, if indeed the photo is not manipulated digitally. Kudos!

    Let’s imagine that the photographer had a full unexposed roll of film or a new memory card. Perhaps the photographer tried to get the best angle as the cat was watching him. And as he moved into the perfect position, he found it and took the shot. Like someone else previously stated, the recycle time may have taken a few seconds and the cat departed. If the “image review” was on, it takes time on amature digital cameras.

    Perhaps the photographer was somewhat apprehensive or feared for his life. The photographer gets one shot but wants to keep his eye on the cat too. You can’t rule out emotion on the part of the photographer at the time the photograph was taken. Everyone has different knowledge levels and fear levels. Just because you or I would not be afraid, does not mean someone with less knowledge or apprehension would not be and want to keep their eye on the cat. I understand this completely.

    So one good shot is better than several blurry ones and perhaps this photographer only had time for one good shot. Don’t dismiss the photo based on the one shot theory. There are several reasons for only getting one.

    If the photograph is indeed authentic, the photographer should at least be congratulated and not criticized. At least it is not a blobcat. That is not a mispelling of bobcat but a direct reference to blobsquatch photos that we continually see. If a BF photo was obtained and had this clarity, we would all be rejoicing. LOL

    Now for the Photoshop tags. That is really not an issue for me personally and most professional photographers or media type people. The photo could have that tag if it were resized. Perhaps the photo came from a film type camera and needed to be scanned in and it went a shade or two off in density and needed density correction. The Photoshop tag being there is of only minor concern. It should not be dismissed. However, it should not be the basis for not considering the photograph as authentic.

    With that being said, it appears to look more like a lynx or bobcat than a cougar.

    As for the authenticity of the photograph? I have not sat down and looked at it carefully enough yet. I just got home from work as any photographer worth their weight in gold will be working on a Saturday in June.

    Some people made interesting posts about the authenticity of the photograph. Some justified it as being real and others justified it as being a probable fake. But we all know, real photos can sometimes appear to be fake no matter how much analysis is done on them by experts. Heck, experts will contradict one another. I have been in court as an expert witness and analyzed photographs for the judge overseeing the case. The opposition will bring in another expert with the same amount of experience and that expert will give a conflicting analysis to the photograph. Sometimes, even when being as objective as we can, and as professional as we can be, the facts are inconclusive and both sides could be correct.

    This may be the case with this photograph. In cases like this, the jury is still out and subjective points of view overtake objective points of view. However, if there is more evidence to back of this photograph, then that should swing the pendulum back into the realm of objectivity.

    So let’s see where the evidence points as it is gathered. But one thing is for certain, we should not discredit the evidence just because one shot was taken and that a Photoshop tag is associated with the photograph. We should see where this goes! Remember the recent Loch Ness video discussion? The video was pretty good initially but opinion changed as more was discovered about the videographer and the pendulum started swinging the other way.

    Let’s see where it swings on this one since there are objectively two camps on this and both could be right at this point in time given the evidence we have been presented with.

    Just my two cents.

  38. Loren Coleman responds:

    With regard to the issue of “Photoshopping,” it actually goes without saying that the photograph you are seeing here is not directly from the photographer.

    If we backtrack, the photo came from the homeowner to the personnel at the Maine Fisheries and Wildlife Department, which then was shared with the media via various reporters.

    One reporter passed one version (at top) on to me directly, another was temporarily posted at an online news location (bottom), and both were uploaded by techologically-aware people at Cryptomundo central, where the first one received was also enlarged (and now is the middle version).

    I am certain all kinds of pixel infractions, resizing, and more, some of which might have added all kinds of editing tags, took place with this jpeg. This attempt to dissect fakery via looking at the jpeg tags here, I fear, may be a waste of your time.

    BTW, on another matter, this photograph was taken by a Maine resident who wishes to remain anonymous. This is different than someone who is totally anonymous and unknown.

  39. jmv227 responds:

    Is it a coincidence that Sidney, Maine was the same place where a hybrid wolf/dog mutant was seen last year and now its home to this creature?

  40. Spinach Village responds:

    this reminds me of another possible cougar sighting and the reason is this:

    to me it looks more like a jaguar that was my first reaction and it still is, could be a cougar, but i wouldint be suprised if it was a jag

  41. Spinach Village responds:

    ps… linx and bobcats have tall ears with tufts…with linx ears being even taller than bobcats

  42. Loren Coleman responds:

    Regarding JMV’s comment above: The Mystery Beast (Maine Mutant) that was killed on the road happened in Turner, Maine, and this incident occurred in Sidney, Maine. Those locations are not the same, and 40 miles from each other.

    However, the “Maine Mutant” (which was extensively discussed via my blogs here last summer) was a misidentified dead dog on the road. Meanwhile, the large unknown predator seen in Turner-Greene area apparently is still out there, and who is to say that this couldn’t be the Sidney photographed cryptid?

    Sidney is also known, in the not too distant past, for its reports of migrating Bigfoot leaving 22″ tracks in the area.

    Maine is a wild state, that’s for sure. I’m glad to be living here.

  43. bond responds:

    Photo looks real. I’d say it’s not a moutain lion, but a large bobcat!

  44. John A. Lutz responds:

    It sure is interesting how Maine’s wildlife spokesman Mark Latti speaks as if he has a mouthful of mush.

    He claims Maine has NO cougars, yet cougars have been documented in a Feb, 1994 picture by Wayne Perri & supported wholeheartedly by the late Dean of Sportsman Gene Latourneau.

    #2) In 1995, Caribou Firefighter Owen Jackson took pictures of a puma drinking from the southside of Cross Lake.

    #3) Maine Forest Ranger Dean Wiggins filmed a cougar the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in 1994. Maine Wildlife Officials were so fearful of it being verified, they tried to confiscate his videotape to which he threatened court action. When forced to returned it, state officials decalred it as “inconclusive”.

    #4) Brunswick resident Niki Lund filmed a huge cat with long tail crossing her yard. 2 local wildlife officers identified it as a cougar, but state Biologist Sandy Eldrick claimed her “photos being inconclusive”.

    #5) In 1981 George Matula found cougar tracks in the Allagash Wilderness & put dogs on its trail, which promptly picked it & chased the cat to Canadian border.

    #6) In November 1982, Deer hunter Tony Fuscaldo discovered a cougar devouring a recently captured bobcat along a loggig road in NE Maine. He got 1 quick picture, before cougar fled into underbrush. There were numerous teeth bite marks on the bobcat, but state biologists later claimed, “the teeth marks on the bobcat wer inconclusive” to being that of a cougar.

    Since every piece of evidence is incloclusive to Maine Officials, I’d say they need to go to a tracking or animal identificatiion course to refresh their abilities in identfying evidence. Of course, there is a strong probability, they have NO idea how to make proper identification for cougar evidence now.

  45. Spinach Village responds:

    John, very interesting… are those photos available on the internet?

    poor bobcat, too bad it couldint fend for its self

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