Alien Felines: Eastern Panther by Davy Russell
POSTED: 11 December 98
The "alien feline" mystery is a worldwide phenomena. Although the big cats are not as supernatural as the chupacabra, or as widely celebrated as bigfoot, the existence of such animals is as thoroughly debated. The eastern panther is one such cat that is officially listed as an extinct animal since the mid-late 1800s. However, this "ghost cat" is still reported through much of eastern Canada and the New England States in America.
Also known as the mountain lion, cougar, Klandagi, and catamount, the eastern panther generates dozens of sightings a year throughout its northeastern US range; and according to a December 5th National Post article, up to 40 sightings a year are recorded by the wildlife branch of the New Brunswick (Canada) government.
The animal is commonly described as a large predatory cat with a muscular body weighing about 100 pounds. It is about 4-7 feet long and is tawny coloured. Another species (or colour variation) is the all-black panther which has been reported in the state of Vermont several times.
In his book "Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls, and Unsolved Mysteries", Joseph Citro describes an encounter with a black panther by Marian Harpan Peduzzi in 1946. Peduzzi was walking on a dirt road in Berlin, Vermont, heading home for dinner at around 4 pm. She noticed what she thought was a black labrador, but when she studied it further, she realized it was a large cat...just 100-150 meters away. She quickly reached a friend's house. Her friend confirmed the sighting of the mysterious cat. After watching the panther for a few minutes, it got up and ran in the direction of the house, coming within 10 meters of the startled pair before changing directions and disappearing into the woods. The two women described the cat as being 4 feet long with a long tail and glossy black fur.
Evidence for the eastern panther is quite limited. Despite the large number of hunters that annually scour the woods, not one of these cats has been captured or shot. Not one cat has been hit by a car on any of the thousands of miles of highways all over the northeastern US and Canada. There are no live specimens, no plaster casts of tracks, no clear photographs. The only piece of tangible "evidence" is some grainy, black-and-white video footage taken by Roger Noble (Canada) in 1990.
Several theories attempt to explain the feline enigma. Some say the cats are transplanted western cougars or illegally purchased black panthers, which either escaped, or were released when their owners discovered they make poor pets. Nevertheless, the number of annual sightings suggests a larger population of cats than science is willing to support.
SOURCE: The National Post (Canada)
"Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls, And Unsolved Mysteries" by Joseph Citro
"The Eastern Panther" by Gerry Parker These books available in the Paranormal Book Store, an Amazon.com Associate.