Worldwide Paranormal News
There have been many reported sightings of big cats in Australia, most especially the black panther. Hearing this news one morning a number of years ago is what got my creative juices going for my self-published book, Identity Shift, which will be re-released in a few months from Ellora's Cave, retitled: Scratch.
My brother swears he saw the supposedly extinct Tasmanian Tiger one night when he was a truck driver, it ran across the road in front of him, its distinct striped tail etc more than obvious. This was mainland Australia.
Anyway, on that note, here's an interesting news article on the subject:
They have been reported seen in every Australian state: often huge, black-furred catlike animals that prowl the remoter regions of our vast mountain ranges, from where they emerge to terrorise scattered farming communities, killing livestock and leaving behind their large paw-prints as calling cards. They are the mysterious "Australian Panthers", creatures around which much folklore has been spun and, like the Thylacine and Yowie, will continue to exercise a hold on the imagination of Australians for generations to come. The "Australian Panther" had been known to the Australian Aborigines for untold thousands of years before the coming of the Europeans. Thus, like all our other mystery monsters', it has inhabited this continent since ice-age times. A popular myth has grown up about these animals; namely, that they are escaped circus or zoo panthers that have gone wild.
In all my 30 years of investigations into the Australian Panther mystery, I have not uncovered one authenticated case of a panther having escaped from an Australian circus or zoo and gone wild. Nor is there much substantiation to the other exaggerated story that cougars were liberated in various parts of Australia by American servicemen during World War 2. The "Australian Panther, like the still-living Thylacine, giant monitor lizard and Yowie, still evades capture; and until one is available for scientific study, its actual identity will continue to remain unestablished. One thing, however, is certain. It cannot be a member of the feline family as no such animal is known from the Australian fossil record.In fact, as will be demonstrated from sightings descriptions to follow, our 'panther' is actually a marsupial-a giant marsupial cat species that has survived from ice-age times, perhaps, as with the "Blue Mountains Lion" (to be dealt with in our next chapter) related to the 'extinct' Marsupial Lion, Thylacoleo carnifex. The amount of case histories of Australian Panther sightings is voluminous and far too extensive to be completely covered in this book, although the many reports that follow will give the reader more than enough food for thought on the subject. While known in every state, it is certain that their main distribution is concentrated throughout the vast eastern Australian mountain ranges
Prior to the flooding of the Bass Strait land-bridge toward the close of the last great ice age about 12,000 years ago, no natural barrier existed to prevent these animals from entering Tasmania, and it is evident that today, isolated from their mainland counterparts, some of these marsupial carnivores continue to survive there.
This is where we begin our study of the Australian Panther. Tom Forester, a camper, was with two mates exploring the Snowy Range west of Hobart one weekend in January 1972. On this particular Sunday morning they all spotted a large, black-furred catlike animal observing them from the edge of dense scrub nearby their camp. They had no sooner got to their feet than the creature turned to vanish quickly into the trees. The men later found large paw-prints embedded in soil near their camp, suggesting the animal had been there the previous night.
Later that afternoon Tom went to get water from a creek. As he crouched on the creek's edge beneath a tall boulder, he saw a dark shadow reflected in the water. Before he could turn to look up, he was thrown aside as the dark shape leapt upon him with a screech, then bounded across the creek into bushland. A shocked, badly scratched Tom staggered back to camp. Soon afterward his startled friends went in search of the mystery animal but it had left the area.
In April 1989 a group of a dozen people saw a black-furred panther-like animal, about two metres in length from head to tail and standing up to 0.6 of a metre on all fours, as it moved along the shore of Lake Gordon in the Mt Wright area, north of the Snowy Range. An animal of this size and description was claimed seen bounding across the Marlborough Highway one afternoon in February 1990.
Ten years earlier, one eyewitness claimed to have seen no less than three of these large 'panthers' roaming together near Split Rock, west of Great Lake. This report resulted in one farmer from the Mount Arthur district east of Launceston relating how, one day in 1960, he had watched powerlessly as a "black catlike monster", a good seven feet (2.3 metres) from head to tail, bounded out of scrub onto his property to attack and carry off a large calf.
Craig Black, a young fossicker, was digging in a creek in Ben Lomond National Park one day in 1961 when he realised he was being watched by a large black 'panther' further up the creek on the opposite bank. The animal emerged, then dashed across the shallow creek. It was apparently a female. "I am positive I saw that it was carrying a pouched cub," he said later to a ranger.
A Mr Gregory Hunter, his wife and another couple were driving near Smithton in the north-west of the state one March day in 1968 when they drove past a five-foot-long (1.6 m) black-furred "giant cat standing on the scrubby roadside. “We stopped. I backed up the car hoping we could get a better look, but the strange beast had vanished,” he said.
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