Rick Minters new big cat book "Big cats:facing Britains wild predators" has opened an old wound so to speak of a MOD cover up of important big cat evidence with mention of the big cat carcase seen taken into the RAF Fylingdales base in Yorkshire way back in 2004.I can,t remember which big cat researcher first broke the story then but i do remember the conspiracy theories that the story added weight to.Simply put,a carcase of a big cat was seen on the main road that goes past the base presumably hit by a car.The security guards at the gate called for a digger which took the body into the base and since then past employees have stated that the big cat carcase is being held there.This may or may not be true,i don,t know but i would of thought that if there was a carcase it would of been better for it scientifically to be transported to Porton Down in Wiltshire where the appropiate facilities would be available for any scientific analysis let alone proper (freezer)storage facilities.I realise that all major military bases have freezer capacity to store bodies in the case of say a terrorist strike or similar but it wouldn,t be the place to store the much sought after body of a big cat,in any case RAF Fylingdales is an extremely small base perched on the north Yorkshire moors engaging in space surveilance with a very small staff of highly specialised technical personal numbering around 80 backed up by a small civilian contingent such as cleaners,cooks etc and i don,t expect for one second that there is scope for animal research or any storage facilities there,the base used to be famous for the golfball shaped radar stations towering over the moor that are no longer there and the Google maps show a small research station coupled with the housing residences for staff,some from America as the satellite tracking info is shared with the USA.In a case such as this Porton Down or any of the murky private animal research labs would be Britains answer to Roswell not a small RAF base such as this.There are a multitude of private labs dotted around the country equipped to deal with any proposed big cat carcases but the many university research labs would ,i imagine be firmly kept out of the loop for they would be open to breaches of confidentiality quite easily.
In 2007 i teamed up briefly on a wildlife survey for a mammal study group with an extremely talented bio-chemist on board who had worked for some years at the research facilities at Porton Down,over a series of drinks one night which made him temporarily forget his signing of the Official Secrets Act,necessary for all government employees engaged in top secret activities and legally binding,he mentioned in some detail the fuss caused on the rare occasion when a big cat carcase was brought in to the department next to where he was working.His work capacity was to test the internal fluid contents such as blood,bile etc.The dates i was not told nor where the carcases came from apart from one which was called a Moor cat in his departement-speak,presumably being brought off one of the West country moors like Dartmoor.They were though variable enough in type and colour to be differentiated between each other.He backed up my ideas that the large cats seen all over the country were a sub-species of leopard and even went on to expand that there were 3 or 4 different types,whether or not i was being fed a pack of lies washed down with a lot of scotch is open to question however I might add to the broth that Porton Down has been involved in highly top secret affairs and is reputed to research into various diseases like rabies and anthrax having large and state of the art research facilities covering animal and bio-chemical study areas amongst others and is extremely secure with armed guards posted and no open media or public access whatsoever so impossible to verify any rumours of big cat bodies being kept there.The site is massive,consisting of as much underground as there is up top, at over 7000 acres is the size of a small town and so secretive that no single government department has complete knowledge of what goes on there,a lot of the multitude of various military and civil research departments are only interlinked with others in their immediate study areas.Porton Down being the prime candidate for holding any big cat carcases jumps to the top of the list when it is realised that in 1996 ufologist Tony Dodd speculated that alien bodies allegedly found at the site of a ufo crash in the Beryn mountains in Wales had been taken to Porton Down,the sheer impossibilty of access to the site to prove or disprove the theory only accelerated the conspiracy theories.If there ever was a big cat carcase that needed to be safely tucked away from prying eyes then there could be no safer place than this one,however in the past various big cats have been caught like Felicity the puma and a lynx in London,the latter of which ended up at the Natural History musuem i understand,these never were kept secret so why should one from Yorkshire be?As the majority of police forces recognise the existance of big cats in the wild any cover ups must be the result of knee jerk decisions taken at the time of events happening rather than overall national policy.The plot thickens.
Here in Sussex we have had our own cover-ups the most famous of which was when armed police were called to the sighting of a very large panther size black cat seen in bushes at the playing fields in Peacehaven just off the Tye.This was in the autumn of 2003 if i remember and the whole area was sealed off with the police helecopter hovering above,a team of armed to the teeth police officers scouring the area and another team as back up along the track in a van.Apparently the original witness had called the local police who on seeing the cat for themselves called for back up.On being questioned as to what the drama was about the police told they were after an escaped criminal!I have 3 witness statements that mention a large black cat being seen there as well as one from a council employee and was asked at the time to "keep quiet" to prevent public panic.To be honest i would of thought that an escaped criminal nutter would be more to be afraid of than a wild cat large as it may be.In fact there were and still are regular big cat sightings in the Telscombe and Peacehaven area but none since have caused such a government departemental panic.Actually,these days the police are more often seeking the help and intellectial input of big cat researchers such as myself and others up and down the country to clear up cases where damage to livestock or property for example may be the work of a big cat or some enterprising vandal or miscreant.The police sometimes receive calls from distressed members of the public who have seen a big cat for the first time and worry for the safety of themselves and children and so the police can be glad to put them in touch with someone who is used to dealing with the aftermath of a big cat sighting in all it,s forms.These days we as "big cat people" are treated as some kind of agency to be called upon at times of need and are usually glad to be of service in allaying peoples fears,this in turn frees up valuable police time to be spent on more pressing cases..
As for the conspiracy theory of bodies of big cats being swept up off the countries roads and whisked to shady government labs like Porton Down and others does sound a little far fetched at first,for a start the council employees charged with road kill picking up duties would have to be briefed and having worked at this capacity myself once i never heard of this being mentioned,i did once though hear of a very large cat being found squashed only to hear it had been unceremoniously put in a black plastic sack and sent off to the incinerator with the other bodies of wildlife and pets falling victim to traffic as contrary to often held opinion council workers can be hard pressed and over worked.However if any bodies of big cats were to be found reaching their way to say Porton Down by one way or another then it would normally be kept quiet as we,the British public,are undeniably kept as mushrooms by the state,in the dark and fed on s*@t,which is the principal reason why any conspiracy theory would materialise.We have the media to keep us informed on the goings on that might interest us and i use the term media in it,s loosest possible form to include as in this case book authors,bloggers,tweeters,big cat researchers etc......
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BIG CATS IN BRITAIN: MoD dismisses big cat cover up claims