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An Interview with Gail And Wayne, The Lithgow Couple Who Videotaped the large Black Cat{Story here...27/7/2001}

To Read 19/5/2001 Saturday Telegraph Interview With Rex Gilroy, and Photo's from the scene of the Large Black Cat Sighting click here

Congratulations Wayne & Gail for obtaining such clear footage of what has puzzled many witnesses, researcher's and science for decades. This footage will almost certainly become the turning point of serious research all over Australia now, for not only this Black Panther-type cat but for many other Australian creatures science has no answer for, including the possibility of an evolved Australian Panther-type Creature and also Thylacoleo Carnifex (the marsupial Lion) still roaming the Australian Countryside.

A Report on myself and Rex's look around the site of the Panther sighting with the Daily Telegraph's Lillian Saleh-her driver {Filippo Campione} and Photographer {Stephen Cooper} Story here...14/8/20001

Rex & I both agree the above Daily Telegraph Crew are the nicest {3} people you''ll ever meet anywhere!

Transcription's from *Sydney's* Channel 9's A Current Affair Report 10/5/2001 11/5/2001 14/5/2001 16/5/2001; & Channel 7 & 10 news report's on the 10/5/2001;The Daily Telegraph 10/5/2001 11/5/2001 12/5/2001 13/5/2001 14/5/2001 15/5/2001 16/5/2001 17/5/2001; & Sun-Herald 29/4/2001 13/5/2001 Newspaper Article's.

All Images, TV Transcriptions and Text (except comments by ausiepath9} on this page are {copywritten Gail & Wayne*Channel 9 Channel 7* & *Channel 10**The Daily Telegraph & The Sun-Herald*} and all articles copywritten by subsequent authors. Video still's taken from Original footage.

Below another Still from the Video

Photo's Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

Comparison Photo with a Real Panther scroll down this page!

The Above shot appears to show the Black cat as being smallish, it is a optical illusion as the cat was facing the camera square on, the shot on the right shows it as it was moving and shows the correct size! The white line behind the head is a border from the article, better photo further down.

The Video is clear and shows the Black Creature as being huge, as No-one else has put any video or still other than these from the newspapers, it will be inconclusive to those of you who just see these two poor quality videograbs.

I will try to do some screen captures and maybe a Mpeg or Avi file as well.

Transcription's from Channel 10 and 9's A Current Affair Report 10/5/2001

A Lithgow Couple, Wayne and Gail, have taken video footage of a large Black Cat-like creature that was said to be stalking the area for decades. The first closeup-video ever taken of a Large Black Panther-like Creature, shows a large and long black cat only 50 metres uphill from Gail Pound's Home.

She called her husband who got his video. There have been previous doubtful sightings and local legend has it large claw marks have been seen on trees, and dead goats found high in trees, possibly left there by the Panther.

Hidden cameras and traps have been used by Dept of Agriculture Inspectors without success.

Bill Atkinson An Exotic Animal Expert

We don't know what's out there, we don't know what they are. It may be it's just a dog {later in the interview he explains his own views; ausiepath9}

The Dept say's the photo's are inconclusive, showing some type of large cat.

The children who play in the vicinity of the sighting have in the past be warned to be on the look out for snakes, now they have been told to stay away or be on the lookout for something more dangerous.

Inspector Gary Megay Area Commander of the N.S.W Police Force

Today the local police called on the Pounds. Concerned if their right, it should be hunted and hopefully trapped. A Predator of this size probably isn't likely to be a huge risk for an adult, but there's the potential for kids to be at risk.

National Parks and Wildlife Officials are looking at the Tape.

For years Wildlife experts and the New South Wales Government have been secretly searching the Mountains for a large mysterious black predator. It was a confidential investigation setup after dozens of alleged sightings and reports from farmers that something was killing their livestock.

The Video Still & Gail Pound

Channel 9's A Current Affair Interview with Gail and Wayne 10/5/2001

{Gail} "And it got up and it just had like a bit of a stretch and it stretched itself right out kind of thing, and I went ahhhh... My God..., then I yelled out to Wayne", {her husband} "come and have a look at this, come have a look at this, What is it?? What is it"??

{Wayne}I got the binoculars and had a good look at it, and I was still looking at it and all of a sudden it got up, and I said "no..hang on.."I said, thats a giant cat, and Gail yelled out 'thats a Leopard', 'I said..no..hang on.., thats a Panther'.

Wayne Pound came out of his shower and watched the animal through the binoculars for quite a while before remembering the video camera.

{Wayne}It sort of sat behind a tree up there for quite some time, about 5-10 minutes, and sort of walked out into the clearing, and we got a couple of good shots of it.

And you were standing there naked with the video camera

{Wayne}yeah, yes, yeah {laughs}

Quite a moment

{Wayne}Oh..very! Quite exciting

So what were you thinking?

{Gail} Well, we were quite mesmerised.

Gail was getting dressed for work yesterday when she first noticed this moggy {a feral cat, this is shown on the video of the Panther as well}in the scrub outside her window.

She was in no doubt it was no feral cat {I'm sure she would know as the area she lives in has many, and in the main street they showed them walking around}. But it was the bigger black companion which blew her away.

what do you think it is??

{Gail} It's a Panther {giggles} look at it what else can it be?

A Panther in your backyard

{Gail}In the backyard..Yep!!

This isn't the first sighting of a mysterious creature in the Blue Mountains. In fact far from it!

A secret report by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, reveals, there has been 40 sightings since the 1970's, most recently in May 99.

Read excerpts at the end of these Articles titled:

Wild Cat-Official Papers Reveal Hunt for Blue Mountains Black Panther

Inspector Gary Megay Area Commander of the N.S.W Police Force

If we are needed to assist the Dept of Agriculture and conduct in any searcher's, we will do that!

Talk of the sighting spread like wildfire in the town of Lithgow, about 3-4 hours drive from Sydney.

It appears the Dept of Agriculture doesnt take this lightly. A report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act {FIOA} they show a report where it shows under height of animal seen: Animal sighted was Height of Doberman Dog!

The is a report titled "Reports of Panther-like cat Investigated" One letter to the National Parks and Wildlife says, in regard to sightings from Quote "reputable people" about a large Panther sized Black cat that has been killing sheep and goats and there's no doubt the Public wasn't supposed to find out.

From the same report: " I stress that these points are "NOT" for release to the media, unless the issue blows up.

Question to Gail: Have you ever heard stories of Panther type creatures in Lithgow {the town of her sighting}.

{Gail} Not really, no! and I believe there was a Sunday report in the Telegraph a few weeks ago {that report is below this article; Sunday Telegraph April 29 2001}And a friend came around and showed me, but I wasn't aware of any sightings before ours!

Your a believer now

{Gail} Oh!..too right I am {giggles}

They feared going public as no-one would believe them. The Video speaks for itself { I have seen the video and its compelling Ausiepath9}

Wayne was approached at work and the Mickey taken out of him {made fun of}, when this guy said 'hey Wayne, come out there's Pink elephants outside'.

{Gail} It's not a feral cat!!! No way in the world!!!

Bill Atkinson An Exotic Animal Expert

You don't want to call it a Panther do you?

{Bill Atkinson}umm no no no

Why not, you think it is don't you?

{Bill Atkinson}Um, what I think, and what's reality, isn't the same thing {he's watching the video as he's being interviewed}That's a very big cat I would say by the size of it, it could be a Panther

Bill Atkinson is an expert in exotic animals, for the Dept of Agriculture. After investigating claims for the past few years, he's anxious to view the video.

{Bill Atkinson}The size of the animal in comparison to the umm ..domestic cat is a thing that people have been seeing and what they always all said was a large black cat.

The tape will be handed over to other wildlife experts

{Bill Atkinson}On the evidence here I couldn't guarantee that that is a Panther.

But you think there's a good chance

{Bill Atkinson}Oh {he almost say's definately but stops} Oh!.. by the size of it, that's a Big Cat! Certainly it appears bigger than any cat I've seen!

Biologist's Theory On the Panther Footage

Daily Telegraph

By Simon Benson: Environmental Reporter Sydney Daily Telegraph 11/5/2001

'It's a bloody big Cat'.

Above comparison by Ausiepath9

Photo Panther {Isaac}Copywritten

Scientists will be called in to search for a "large feline predator of unknown origin" roaming the Blue Mountains following confirmation of the animal's existence from amateur video footage.

"It's certainly a bloody big cat." Department of Agriculture exotic animal expert Bill Atkinson said after viewing the video yesterday.

Mr Atkinson could not verify whether the animal was a large feral cat, black jaguar or black leopard. He could only be certain is was a large cat.

Gail and Wayne shot the 15-minute video of the animal after they spotted it from the back window of their home at Lithgow. The footage, revealed in The Daily Telegraph yesterday, appears to show a large cat more than 1.5m long close to a smaller cat.

Mr Atkinson said the evidence was inconclusive but it was 'definitely a large cat and it was definately black.

Wildlife Biologists will now be called to the area to search for evidence, such as hair, which may identify the species. If the animal is about 1.5m in length it could weigh as much as 100kg.

Black Jaguars from South America and Leopards from Asia would pose a risk to humans and eat most other animals. They could easily adapt to the environment of the Blue Mountains.

However, the animal could also be a large feral cat {very large, one of the biggest feral cats ever captured in the Northern Territory weighed close to 85kg, yet this was said to be one of a kind, an average Feral cat weighs about 60 kg and never grows to the lengths in the video from Lithgow}

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said: "If it did turn out to be an exotic animal then we would certainly have to do something about it. We are taking it seriously and we will endeavour to get some scientific evidence."

Rumours of a "black panther" on Sydney's fringes have been circulating for 30 years. Large cats usually only live for between 12-16 years.

Lithgow locals Harry Mujezinovic and his wife Amra yesterday said they were now reluctant to venture outdoors. "We are scared because we don't know if it's true or not .

We won't be coming out at night until we know for sure." Mr Mujezinovic said.

Inspector Gary Megay of Lithgow police said he was not overly concerned about reports of the sighting. "We are not warning people to stay inside or anything like that. Obviously when there is a suspicion that there is a predator on the loose there is concern for young children.

"But where the footage was taken is the edge of a national park with plenty of wild animals for it to fee on," he said.

Town Ready For Rush Of Big Cat Hunters.

By Stephen Downie

Daily Telegraph May 12/5/2001

The Blue Mountains district is preparing for an influx of novice big cat hunters today as the town of Lithgow debates the existence of the mysterious black "panther".

Scientists from the New South Wales Agriculture Department postponed plans to track the mountain beast yesterday, spending time assembling technical equipment for the assault on the national park.

But experts remained divided over whether the video footage of a large black cat is real, but the doubts have failed to curb panther fever. Footage of the "black panther" was revealed in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

The film showed a large cat more than 1.5m long near a smaller cat. Lithgow council said news of the big cat swept through the town yesterday.

"It certainly has sparked interest in the community, "Lithgow council general manager Iain Stewart said. "We've heard rumours but nothing's been substantiated." Mr Stewart said he expected to try to hunt down the animal over the weekend.

"A few of the locals will probably trample through the bushes to try and find it, if in fact it exists," he said.

He said that while the animal posed no risk to the town at this stage, council was prepared should things turn ugly and the animal wandered into residential areas. "If the community is threatened we will be taking action," Mr Stewart said.

The Lithgow Tourist centre got into the spirit of the hunt yesterday when it added a panther on it's website. "Some people thought it was a joke-it's being removed," Mr Stewart said.

Bill Dean, 77 whose house where the footage of the "black panther" was taken, said there has "got to be something out there". "It's too big to be a feral cat," he said. Mr Dean's curiosity was raised this week when his dog Chloe continued to bark.

Ordinary Chloe never wanted to go out the back door, he said. Mr Dean was concerned about the sort of people who might be attracted to the town. "I don't want anyone up here with guns, they'll shoot stray dogs," he said.

The main street was a buzz with panther talk yesterday. Lithgow newsagency worker Leanne Webb said alot of people didn't know the animal existed until recently. "Everyone's talking about the animal, but I don't think half the town knows where it was spotted," she said.

"I guess this might bring more tourists here," The Agriculture Department is viewing footage of the animal. A team of experts could arrive in town as early as today, an Agriculture Department spokesperson said.

Traps Set For Big Cat

By Phillip Koch

Daily Telegraph May 13/5/2001

Agriculture Department Officials will set traps this week to try to establish if the animal terrorising the Blue Mountains is a panther. Their investigation follows the revelation in the Sunday Telegraph two weeks ago {see report below Sunday Telegraph April 29 2001 }

Agriculture Department exotic animals Bill Atkinson said he would personally investigate the sighting later this week. "We'll probably set traps to secure hair samples, because there are alot of feral cats in the region," Mr Atkinson said.

He is also waiting to view amateur video footage of an animal that appear to confirm the existance of the "large cat". Department officials plan to travel to the site where the video was taken to investigate.

"It's hard to tell the the size of thing from the video," explained Mr Atkinson, who said he would also show the video to big-cat experts at Taronga Park and Western Plain zoos.

He said more witnesses had come forward since the Sunday Telegraph reported that the State Government had secretly investigated dozens of sightings of the animal. "At least a dozen people have contacted me since that article," Mr Atkinson said.

"I even heard of a sighting in 1964 or 1965." He also said he no reason to doubt the witnesses, who maintained they had seen a big cat. "These people sound quite credible, and we have no reason to doubt them."

Mr Atkinson said the residents who had come forward since the revelation had reported seeing the mystery animal over a wide area of north-western Sydney. But he said finding the big cat would be impossible if it didn't want to be found.

"The animal has been seen only because it want's to be seen. We can't afford to hire 1000 trackers to find it.

Seeing Is Believing-Farmer Reveals Panther Killings of Sheep & Dogs

By Lillian Saleh

Daily Telegraph May 14/5/2001

Paw prints seen in the same area of the sighting with Obvious Differences!  

For Decades they have been too afraid to tell their stories for fear of being laughed at.

But the video footage of the "Panther" at Lithgow last week revealed in the Daily Telegraph has prompted people throughout the region to recount their "run-ins" with the infamous animal said to be lurking in the Blue Mountains.  

A Gulgong farmer said he had "seen" the panther four times in the past 13 years. He claimed a number of sheep and farm dogs had been killed by the panther. "I have had sheep which were clawed from the top of thier heads to their noses," the farmer, who wished to remain anonymous said.

"But when I took the sheep into the Department of Agriculture in Mudgee they laughed at me and said a dog must have done it "But the sheep had two big tooth marks in the top of the head and there is no way a dog could have did that," the farmer said.

He said on one occasion he chased the animal in his ute, but could not keep up with it. "I was doing 60/km/h in the ute and it was running alot faster than that.

Even the dogs couldn't keep up." He said the animal would only appear at night or early morning and then disappear for days. "One time I could see it perched on a rock and I tell you, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stick up."

A neighbouring farmer said her daughter saw the panther eight years ago. "My daughter was driving along Mudgee-Cassillis road one night when she swears this big black animal crossed in front of her. "She was terrified for days," the woman said.

"There had been talk going around here for 12-13 years, but I personally have never seen it. "But that is not to say it doesn't exist."

Officers from the Department of Agriculture will this week set hair traps to try and establish whether the animal filmed by a Lithgow couple last week is a panther. Lithgow police said locals reported their "theories" on where the panther may have come from.

A Better Quality Still-The Black Cat is 50 metres away from the camera and sitting down, there is a hill between the camera and the Black Cat, with a slight slope.

"We have had a few comments saying a couple of panthers escaped decades ago, and have bred since then." the Spokesperson said.

Another theory put forward was the panther escaped after a Bullens Circus fire in 1979.

Claw Marks A Clue To Panther

By Lillian Saleh

Daily Telegraph May 15/5/2001

Photo Credit:Stephen Cooper

Bill Atkinson {NSW Parks and Wildlife Animal Expert} and Wayne Pound who took the Video Footage of the Large Black Cat {Panther}  

Oversized scratch marks on a tree and animal droppings will be analyzed as the hunt for the Lithgow black panther continues today.

The claw marks-scraped up 1.5m high on a acacia tree-will be examined today by the NSW Department of Agriculture.

The scientific checks may reveal the origins of the mysterious beast believed to be lurking in the Blue Mountains. Yesterday readers of the Daily Telegraph. It is believed US World War 2 soldiers for unleashing the animals in the wild.

It is believed US servicemen stationed on the east coast brought American mountain lions, jaguars and panthers to keep as mascots. After the war the servicemen are believed to have released the animals instead of shooting them.

Jim Barndon, from the Department of of Defense said there were no records of American's having kept the animals. "But I suppose anything is possible during war," Mr Barndon said.

Panther enthusiast Greg Foster yesterday said troops were responsible for unleashing the panthers. "They used to keep them at Richmond and Warragamba as pets," Mr Foster who studies panther sightings said. "Instead of killing them after the war, they released them into the wild."

Animal expert Bill Atkinson, from the Department of Agriculture, yesterday returned to the site where the "panther" was filmed in Lithgow last week to conduct tests. Mr Atkinson found an acacia tree with scratch marks and torn bark as well as sizeable animal droppings.

Photo Credit:Stephen Cooper  

Gouge Marks on the Tree In the Vicinity of the Video Sighting.

"The scratching and ripped bark were about 1.5m high on the tree," Mr Atkinson said. "It is hard to believe a possum could have done that

Experts from Taronga and Dubbo's Western Plain zoos will this week view the footage of the panther. Scores of the Daily Telegraph readers yesterday recounted their run-ins with panthers.

Sydney resident Derek Borg said he followed a set of claw prints along a creek gully in Lismore 22 years ago. "I was walking along the creek bed when I saw them," Mr Borg said. "Each print was the size of saucers and I followed them for about 15 minutes along the creek," He said the prints then "disappeared".

A Yass farmer driving a grader in Tumut three years ago said the "panther" snarled at him after he followed it along the road. "I was riding the grader when I saw this big black cat up ahead. I chased it in the grader but then it just stopped and snarled at me before running into the berry bushes," he said.

Sightings in New South Wales

1} Cabbage Tree Rd, Richmond which backs on to the Blue Mountains National Park.

2} In Bushland between Emu heights and Mount Riverview

3} Lithgow

4} Grose Valley

5} Spring Rd, Gulgong

6} Perched on a rock in the Rylston Kandos area.

7} Near the Ulan coalmines

8} Crossing Cassilis road at Mudgee 

Is There a Pride Of Panthers on Prowl

By Lillian Saleh

Daily Telegraph May 16/5/2001

For almost half a century Rex Gilroy has been investigating sightings of mysterious animals. His expeditions have taken him from the heart of the north Queensland wilderness to the NSW north coast.

Yesterday, Mr Gilroy, who with fellow panther expert Greg Foster has been commissioned by the Daily Telegraph to hunt for the black panther, set off for Lithgow.

Armed with his trusty ruler, note pad and pen Mr Gilroy quickly found "evidence" of the beast's existence. The veteran hunter claims to have found fresh paw prints just metres from where the panther was first seen and filmed last week.

And he believes numerous sightings indicate upto 15 panthers could inhabit the wilds of the Blue Mountains. "There is definitely a panther out there," Mr Gilroy said. "The prints are just too big, to belong to a feral cat.

Mr Gilroy believes the prints, which measure 10cm long by 12 cm wide, are only a day old. "By the look of them I'd say they are definately fresh prints," he said.

Two years ago Mr Gilroy found a similar set of prints in bushland nearby which he had made into a plaster cast. "There were reports of sightings here two years ago so I came out with some friends and spent a couple of days looking for it. "But all we found were some prints," he said.

The wild cat enthusiast returned yesterday to trek even further into the Wollangambi National Park in a bid to find more clues. But while he is convinced of the panther's existence, Mr Gilroy is less confident of Authorities catching the beast.

"There is alot of bushland out there and I really don't think it will just sit around and wait for someone to catch it," he said. "It would take a team of about 20 people going into bushland for several days or weeks."

While the panther continues to remain elusive, two english tourists yesterday thought they had stumbled across the animal. Clive Grant and Matt owen were gathering firewood at the Inger Camping grounds at Wentworth Falls when they discovered large paw prints embedded in sand.

"It scared the hell out of us and we just bolted back to our tent," Mr Grant 31 from Coventry, said. And Mr Owen 28, said "We thought it was the panther everyone has been talking about and it petrified us."

Both men were relieved-and slightly embarrassed-when told their 'panther' prints were in fact kangaroo paw prints.

Daily Telegraph readers continued to recount their run-ins with the panther, Dean Behncke said he stumbled across the panther twice while living in the Richmond area six years ago.




Yowie Man To Hunt Panther

By Lillian Saleh

Daily Telegraph May 17/5/2001

The Department of Agriculture is planning more tests as the hunt for the black panther of the Blue Mountains intensifies.

Wild cat expert Bill Atkinson, from the Department of Agriculture, said hair traps would be set in Lithgow next week.

Many readers of the Daily Telegraph are still recounting their run-ins with the beast. Irene Vaines said the panther lept in front of her car as she was driving through Harden on her way from Sydney to Young eight months ago.

"At first I thought it was some sort of shadow but as I got closer to the bridge I saw it leap from one concrete pylon on to the bridge," Ms Vaines said. "I turned the car around and had a closer look at it but it just disappeared".

Former Lithgow resident Bede Potts said he came across the beast while rabbit hunting with his father in the 50's. "I ran towards it because I wanted to get a closer look. As I got closer it took off into the blackberry bushes but I saw the big black animal with a long curled up tail," he said.

Janet Herd recalled seeing a panther while bushwalking with two friends in the Blue Mountains in 1968.

"After some walking I noticed a sound coming from the bushes," Ms Herd said. "My friend picked up a stick and said to be quiet. "I turned to the side of where I was standing as I saw this big black-panther, I was terrified," Mrs Herd said.  

On the trail of a Panther

By Troy Lennon

Daily Telegraph May 23/5/2001

'There is a Yeti in the back of everyone's mind; only the blessed are not haunted by it'-an old Sherpa saying.

Like the Yeti and Bigfoot before it, video footage of what looks like a large black cat wandering in the bush in the Blue Mountains has sparked an all out hunt for what is believed to be a panther.

For decades, the Blue Mountains residents have reported sightings of the creature. This latest video footage is evidence that the stories have a factual basis. While some believe it may be nothing more than a large black cat, or even a wild dog, not everyone is skeptical.

Rex Gilroy, is a long-time hunter of mysterious creatures, believes it could be the last of Australia's marsupial lions. The theory is not so far fetched. A mysterious black creature in the Kangaroo Valley on the South Coast in the 80's was found to have probably have been a rare black wallaby.

Others believe the animal would more likely be some kind of big cat such as a black leopard or puma that was accidentally released into the wild, or it's offspring. Based on the available evidence, Bill Atkinson, technical manager of exotic animals with the Department of Agriculture, says it is not possible to say exactly what it is.

"I don't think it's a labrador from the footage, it's a big cat," he says. A panther could, in theory , survive in Australia, he says, because there is enough wildlife and feral animals to feast on. "Panthers are very successful predators, very good hunters," Bill says.

They also inhabited the Atlas Mountains in the Middle East. However, cats have never been native to Australia, their evolution came long after Australia seperated from the other continents. So even if the mysterious black creature is eventually solved that still eaves the question how it got here.

One persistent legend is that US servicemen stationed in Australia during World War 2 sneaked black panthers into the country as pets. According to legend, the soldiers could not take thier mascots home so they freed them into the bush.

Even though there are no official records of soldiers bringing the animals to Australia the story makes it hard to dismiss. Given that a black panther lives only 10-16 years on average and 20 years at the most, it seems unlikely that it would be the same panther.

If it is the offspring of the original panthers there would need to have a viable breeding group to keep them alive for so long. The fact that there have been sightings of panthers from Gippsland Victoria to Brisbane suggests either one wide-ranging animal or several.

Bill Atkinson says Panthers and other large cats don't normally have such a large range. However, there is no way of telling if the wider range is due to adaptation to Australian conditions. Another possibility that has been suggested is that the cat escaped from a circus or animal park.

One Possibility often cited is that they escaped from Bullens Circus or Bullens Lion Safari in the 60's or 70's. Stafford Bullen renowned animal trainer and member of the famous Bullens Circus family, says it is definately not one of them.

He says strict regulations and regular checks by the Department of Agriculture on exotic animals make it unlikely that an animal could escape without detection. "If they find us a panther short we're in real trouble" says Bullen.

The Urban Myth

Stories of a panther on the loose in the Blue Mountains are a source of fascination for many people. But they are not unique, with panthers spotted along the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Why are so many people so compelled by blurry images of animals on amateur video that may or may not exist?

Barry Williams, executive officer of the branch of the NSW branch of the Australian Skeptics, said people enjoyed these stories because of the modern complications of modern life.

"We probably cling to some of our more irrational beliefs because they are easier to get a grip on," Williams said. The mysterious is often worked into stories known as urban myths, which are eagerly shared despite their doubtful origins.

They are often called urban myths because they are most often invented by city or town dwellers to make up for the rich body of mythology missing in urban life. Often they are short snappy morality tales or stories with a weird twist. Sometimes they are just reality blown out of proportion.


Wild Cat-Official Papers Reveal Hunt for Blue Mountains Black Panther

By Rod Smith

Sunday Telegraph April 29 2001

The State Government {NSW} has secretly investigated dozens of sightings of an animal, thought to be a Panther, on the fringes of the Blue Mountains.

A large, dark-coloured cat-like creature has been blamed for the deaths of livestock and native animals over a 20 year period across an area stretching from Richmond to Emu Plains.

A wildlife expert, consulted by NSW Agriculture's vertebrate pests department says the creature is most likely a big feral cat.

"Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation of the evidence is the presence of a large feline predator-most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar," Dr Johannes Bauer, of Charles Sturt University, reported.

Panthers typically live for 10 to 15 years in the wild, but lifespans of 20 years are not uncommon. Two years ago, National Parks and Wildlife Service Officers set traps in an attempt to catch the creature, according to documents obtained by the Freedom of Information legislation.

The document shows National Parks officials deliberately tried to keep the investigation and sightings secret. Farmers and local residents have reported seeing the creature more than 40 times since the late '70's', most recently in May, 1999

One witness described it as a "Doberman with a long tail". The animal has been blamed for bites on horses' legs, attacks on dogs and the killings of goats, sheep and lyrebirds.

The most recent sightings have been around Cabbage Tree Rd, near Richmond, which backs onto the Blue Mountains National Park.

One of the sightings was by Emu Heights resident Jeff Fox, who told National Parks investigators in January, 1999 he spotted at first what he thought was a black dog while jogging between Emu Heights and Mount Riverview. "The animal moved very slowly and was sleek in it's movements like a large cat," Mr Fox said.

Seven months earlier, a resident discovered a sheep carcass in a tree with claw marks scientists later reported could not have been made by a native animal.

Panthers which are actually black leopards, characteristically climb trees to eat their prey and can carry a carcass three times as heavy as their own body weight. One report involved a panther jumping on the roof of a house killing the family cat.

In his July, 1999 report, Dr Bauer concluded: "I consider the habitat the animal occurs in as optimal leopard habitat, with probably abundant prey in the form of macropods, possums, stray dogs etc.

"I would also think that within the densely forested area, dissected by many gorges and rock formations, the few sightings of this animal are not surprising.

The Freedom of Information documents were obtained for $30 by Michael Moss, a wildlife enthusiast from Balaclava, in Tasmania, who was researching the possible survival of the Tasmanian tiger.

After four days of trapping and investigations in the Cabbage Creek area in August and September of 1999, National Parks officials concluded the attacks on livestock, had been carried out by wild dogs and there was no evidence of a panther living in the Blue Mountains National Park.

As National Parks spokesman confirmed yesterday that the sightings and attacks had been taken seriously, and that one of the service's most experienced pest officer had been assigned the investigation.

But he told the Sunday telegraph: " After three days in the field in 1999 and interviewing Grose Vale residents and examining other evidence said he could not confirm the attacks were those of a large cat."

Before trying to trap the creature, the Department of Agriculture had tried photographing it with infra-red cameras, but without success. Theories on how a panther may have reached the Blue Mountains are varied.

They include it being an escapee from the defunct Warragamba Dam African Lion Safari park, or a wayward pet smuggled into the country.

The Department of Agriculture also said the most likely answer to the mystery was wild dogs.

"We've tried trapping it and tracking it. We even had a shooter out there at one stage, but of course there are limitations on what you can do," department spokesman Bill Muldrew told the Sunday Telegraph.

There's no question that the people who have lost various pets, or in some cases livestock like goats and things like that, have done so-but it may well just be wild dogs


Wanted Alive: Big Black cat that was caught on Camera

By Eamonn Duff

Sun-Herald 13/5/2001

Wildlife authorities will travel to the Blue Mountains this week in the hope of learning more about the mystery black cat caught on video camera.

But there will be no shoot to kill policy because of concerns about killing a creature that was long considered extinct. NSW Agriculture technical director of exotic animals Bill Atkinson said:

"This is not the time to be going out with guns blazing. This is a completely new thing for us and so the first priority must be to identify exactly what it is and where it originated from.

"Only when we have identified it can we sit down and decide the most appropriate course of action. You cannot dismiss the possibility this could in fact be something that was deemed extinct."

It's Out there Somewhere

The massive black creature filmed in a Lithgow backyard last week is not the only creature still out there, believes Australasian Cryptozoology Research and Investigation Centre Director 'Rex Gilroy'.

"There remains an animal in that region which is a living remnant of the ice age marsupial cat fauna, possibly an offshoot of the marsupial lion," he said. The Thylacoleo carnifex was Australia's largest marsupial carnivore.

Panther speculation re-surfaced a fortnight ago when details of a massive Blue Mountains-based cat became public through a Freedom of Information document request by big cat researcher Michael Moss.

The New South Wales Government released a series of documents that acknowledged "something was out there". The secret files also revealed that in 1999 wildlife officials sent an expert to track down the creature after fears it could refocus its attention from livestock to humans-including tourists.

A letter from the Minister of Agriculture's Office read: " I would like your assistance in providing a suitably skilled person to enable this animal to be tracked, located and identified. " To not to do so could bring into question government duty of care if these alleged attacks happened to result in injury to a person."

Mr Atkinson yesterday played down that threat but suggested there be a change of thinking about just how many of these giant cats might be roaming Sydney's fringes. "Yes, there may be more than just the one," he said.

"Because this creature has finally been caught on film, we must now take seriously all the eyewitnesses accounts that have been flooding in over the past 40 years. These type of cats don't generally live for 40 years-so you must draw your own conclusions.

One Grose Valley resident, who has spent the past five years compiling a thorough database on the black cat, said she was ecstatic that film footage from Lithgow had finally proved to the Government that "local residents are not bonkers".

"National Parks can bloody well return and finish the half-hearted job they started a few years back," she said. "This may be a great conversational piece in the city end of the Sydney, but us locals are the ones who have had to put up with livestock carnage, the marauding and the day to day threat."

A Lithgow resident filmed a "black panther" last Wednesday. Mr Atkinson admitted that finding the creature would be difficult. He said "Planes go down in that region and are not recovered for days. People get lost and want to be found but they are not traced for days, either.

"So imagine trying to track one of these creatures when it simply does not want to be tracked. "That's the task we face."


Is it a Panther or just a Wild Dog? 

The Sun-Herald 

By Eamonn Duff April 29 2001  

A mystery black predator thought to be a panther may be roaming through properties on Sydney's outskirts, according to confidential State Government documents.

Memos obtained under the Freedom Of Information Act showed wildlife authorities were sufficiently concerned about the potential danger to Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury area residents that they commissioned an expert to track down what residents are adamant is a big black cat.

Department of Agriculture head Kevin Sheridan confessed in a 1999 letter to National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) director-general Brian Gilligan: "The reports are becoming too frequent for us to ignore the possibility. To...do so could bring into question Government's duty of care if these alleged attacks happened to result in injury to a person."

For years, residents have seen livestock being picked off, while some bushwalkers have come face to face with the beast. The issue has become public following the FOI document request by independent big cat researcher Michael Moss.

In January 1999, a local jogger was enjoying an early evening run when he saw what he initially thought was a big black dog. "The animal was covered in smooth short black shining fur, it was very slow and sleek in its movements like a large cat," the jogger reported. "I still believe, as I did at the time, that I saw a panther."

Three months later, NSW Agriculture's technical manager for exotic animals, Bill Atkinson, wrote to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, warning: "Some eight months ago I started receiving reports from reputable people about a large [panther size] black cat being seen in the Grose Vale area.

"The animal has apparently moved into the Blue Mountains National Park each summer and returned to the Grose Vale area every winter for the last five or six years and killed a number of sheep and goats," he said.

Wildlife ecologist Johannes J Bauer was also commissioned to provide his opinion.

"Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation of the evidence listed above is the presence of a large feline predator," he said. "In this area, [it is] most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar."

This triggered the Department of Agriculture to send an officer to catch the cat. But the three-day hunt proved fruitless, as did later attempts. Angry residents yesterday demanded wildlife officials return and catch the predator.

"We've carried this dark secret for several years through fears for our credibility [and]...we were terrified our district would suddenly become a playground for every would-be hunter and his gun," said a Kurrajong resident who asked not to be identified. "We demand they come back and trap this creature once and for all."

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The Photo below is a Poor Quality Still from the Video-The Video is clearer and shows a Large Black Cat as well as a Smaller Feral Cat.

Photo's Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph More Shots in the 13/5/2001 report

For More Photographs -Click Here

Photo Credit:Greg Foster

To report a Sighting of any Large Black Cat at {Lithgow or anywhere in Australia}, or any other type of sighting you might of have over the years:Email

Report Here or here Rex & Heather Gilroy

To Read 19/5/2001 Saturday Telegraph Interview With Rex Gilroy click here

Take The Black Panther Poll

Scroll Down For Rex Gilroy's Plaster Cast of a Large Cat-like Creature from the Lithgow area two years ago in the Daily Telegraph's 16/5/2001 Lithgow Report

Above Sketch Copywritten By Rex Gilroy 1999

The Below excerpt Rex Wrote for the Gazette, Tuesday, November 6, 1984

A Sketch of the mysterious 'Australian 'Panther' from eyewitness reports sighted in the Kangaroo Valley in 1984. Other sightings of the 'Panther' have also seen along the Putty road, towards Singleton, as well as near North Richmond. The 'extinct' Tasmanian Tiger has also been claimed seen in these same districts over the years.

Click below link for Articles Rex Gilroy has written on these creatures since the 1970's.

Giant Mystery Cats of Australia

The Reports above are from Psychic Australian, an Australian Magazine from the 1970's, that Rex frequently contributed to and was also good friend's with Don Boyd the editor.

Black Panther Search Not Imagination

'People who claim to have seen the Panther are not suffering from imagination, nor should anyone be ridiculed for claiming sightings of any mysterious beast, Rex said.

There is some thousands of square miles of remote-mountainous terrain throughout the whole of eastern Australia alone in which any mysterious or unknown animals could exist undisturbed and unknown to man for thousands of years.

Rex has already gathered a mass of sightings reports of the 'extinct' Tasmanian Wolf on the Australian mainland, where scientists had claimed it's extinct for several thousand years, although it is now known to survive in remote areas of Tasmania.

I saw one myself near Blackheath in 1972. I have gathered a vast amount of Panther sightings throughout Australia.

In 1979 near Moruya, a group of three young Sydney rabbit shooters caught sight of a large black furred panther like beast crossing a scrub-surrounded clearing.

'Before they could attempt to shoot the animal it had bolted for the protection of the nearby scrub. 'The boys later described the animal to me as standing about two feet on all fours.'It had a tail about two feet long, with a body from rump to head about four feet in length'.

A footprint plaster cast from Cambewarra measuring 11cm length by 13cm width across the toes, has been matched by me with others inspected recently at Dubbo {1979}

The Reports Below are from Whispers and Rumours a monthly column from reader's to the editor at Psychic Australian, an Australian Magazine from the 1970's.

Giant Paw Prints-Nowra

Two prints found in mud near Wandandian Creek ,NSW, by a Nowra man while prospecting are about five times the size of dingo tracks found in the area.The prospector said the two prints distinctly showed the marks of claws on the mysterious animal's foot. The man suggested they could be the prints of the panther reported by the Shoalhaven and Nowra News to the abroad in the Cambewarra range.

Grampians Puma

Two government employees familiar with the animals of the Grampians saw a big black cat in clear daylight as they drove along Jimmy's Creek Rd near Yarram Park Rd from Willaura. The men, from Stanwell, drove over a rise on the mountain road and saw the huge cat 50 yds away breaking for dense ti-tree. Stories of the grampian cat are well-known.

Gol Gol Nth

Dairy farmer Henry Ulrich found paw prints on his property near Gol Gol nth as though a large cat and its cub were in pursuit of game. A three day old calf disappeared from his property two weeks before with no trace of the carcass. The huge rear pads were 17ft in stride, front paws 17 inches apart, rear paws 34 inches apart.

Nowra, NSW

Nowra, NSW-A huge mystery cat which has been terrorising farmers and mauling cattle was shot dead by 16 yr old Tom Sega with a .303 rifle about 15th November 1977.

A huge Puma has been sighted many times in the past few years, cattle and dogs have been mauled and giant cat prints found at the scene. Roman Sega and his son Tom, 16, from Wollongong were stalked by the big cat. Roman Sega said, "When the mist cleared the cat was standing on the edge of the under-growth staring at us with protruding yellow eyes.

Before it could pounce Tom shot it with his .303 rifle. He shot it through the heart but it took the cat about a minute to die. It's tail was 2ft long and it had teeth like fangs." They skinned the cat and left the carcass on the mountainside.

Victorian Panther Melbourne

Victorian Panther Melbourne, Vic-Two Wimmera Lands Department officers spotted a huge black panther at close range about 25th November.

Alan Knight and Bert Bray were laying a poison trail in bush about 360km north-west of Melbourne when they saw the black cat 50 yards away outlined clearly against a white sandhill.

Bert Bray said, "It had a catlike head. Its coat was as sleek as if it had been living on eggs."

Alan Knight said, "Bert and I looked at each other in amazement. It was slender in the shoulders and rump, like a cat, with a very small nose and ears and a beautiful catlike tail. It was a beautiful creature.

It was about 60cm high and 1m long with a big long tail. It just sat there for a long time while sniffing on the breeze. It saw us but it certainly wasn't frightened. I don't know what is is but it's much to big for a feral cat."

Alan Knight had heard stories of the black cat before, but this was the first time he had seen one. The animal stalked off into the scrub. The cats have been reported in the Wimmera over the past six years.

Panther Remains

Panther Remains In regard to the reported killing of a giant Puma on the Cambewarra mountain by two men from Wollongong last year, as I am an avid collector of panther and tiger reports, I would very much like to try and find out what became of the skin and remains of the animal.

Reply:We only know what was in Whispers, Roman Sega skinned the Panther and left the carcass where it lay, since she comes from Wollongong I guess you'll have to try the "gong Phone book."

Below some of my thoughts {ausiepath9}

Gail & Wayne Pound who were the Lithgow couple {Lithgow is approx 2-3 hours drive nth west from Sydney, via the great Western Hwy-past Katoomba} involved in clearly videotaping the Large Black Panther type creature that is at the moment the focus by Bill Atkinson.

{Bill Atkinson who by the way I admire immensely ausiepath9} and who is the reason I decided to undertake this mammoth task of keeping this page updated and the latest news on not only this Large Black Cat sighting, but also photo's of Plaster casts and other evidence to show this isn't a recent occurence.

Also to highlight a little known fact that the Cat History In Australia dating back from the Ice-Age to the present day is something that has been ignored for far too long, and that these elusive creatures continue to roam the Australian bush and countryside undisturbed by man, except for the occasional sighting by humans who have come into it's territory or visa-versa.

The sheer number of reports reflect the age of some of these creatures sighted, {and possibly the size of the Australian wide Large Black Panther-type creatures population} not all are escaped or let loose by ex-servicemen stationed in Australia. There must be thriving colonies of them all over Australia as the vast amount of sightings appear to show.

A sightings Database is needed to pinpoint actual hotspot areas for sightings and to track their movements by the reports and trying to correlate if their is some type of migratory pattern, and or day to day movement over vast distances or if there are lairs that would allow it {them} to survive close to civilisation, and the places they are seen.

Water would be needed, so looking for streams or creeks that always run could be another place to try to search for them. Otherwise I'd imagine they would be moving often.

As food appears not to be a problem, then just getting up and moving probably happens daily. Cats like to baske in the sun, they like to keep their fur clean and healthy, even the feral cats shown in the tv reports showed them as having quite healthy fur, they might be called moggies but they aren't dirty animals.

A sighting in Lithgow this week, could be the same sighting in the next town months or years later, especially as Rex obtained his prints two years ago In Lithgow at another location not far from this sighting, and the fuss caused by those sightings could have persuaded the large Black cat {and it could be a colony} to move elsewhere, and this could be the same Panther type creature that his plaster cast shows, or it could be another species of cat not recognised yet.

As we have visited the site of last weeks sighting, just the track above the actual sighting, is a steep climb as Lillian found out {you need walking shoes *S*} and the same walk down reminded me of a perfect lookout to survey your kingdom, its almost straight down, its a very steep incline.

At the top is a ledge with rocks and above that there is tracks for walking and after about 15 minutes its thick bush and scrub.

There is no way this creature will be caught, this area would be impossible for anyone to sneak up on it, this cat if it is a Black Panther would have incredible vision and senses, they have eyes that only reflect the source of the light shone on it, they have a good capacity to absorb light, they don't glow as such, and they have vision that can see in almost any condition.

Anyone trying to trap or catch this Panther type creature, would have to stay absolutely still for weeks on end, have no fires, fires causes your vision to be restricted by the firelight, and you can't see outside your camp, but a cat can see beyond the light.

Also the fire would not make any placid creature come anywhere near it in curiosity unless you were asleep and left out un-cooked meat or some kind of food or scraps, even then it's doubtful it would enter a camp unless starved or starving, the feral cat on the other hand would'nt have such thoughts and would raid a camp no matter, what the consquences.

This cat appears curious so it might be back.. But I do believe that another good close photograph of the creature may be taken again soon, if not at least another reliable eyewitness account.

The smell of a Panther if thats what this animal is, can detect prey from a long distance away, smoke from a fire would be the first thing it would smell besides seeing it's glow, and the bush is a dry place even after rain, branches breaking echo through the bush for miles.

Photo's Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph  

In the video Footage the cat appears to be walking stealthy, not to stalk anything but to try to not be seen, if this is true then this cat could be tempted to stay in the vicinity and be seen again, it all depends on what amount of people and noise is generated and if no-one goes there, it's possible it might return.

It appears by the tracks nearby that it does frequent the area often. It might not even know of the commotion generated by it's presence and move away into the bush to stay there for a few days and not even come anywhere near their again, for weeks, month's years or possibly never again, or wander behind someone else's backyard.

Us humans are the one's running around looking for it, its just going on doing what it has did everyday since it or they were born, and that is moving constantly. Im sure Gail & Wayne have moved on, although, now touched by their footage, work and do the things they did before they saw the Panther or Puma or Unknown Australian Creature.

Some theories from friends of mine range from the tree that Bill Atkinson saw that had gouges out of, could of been made by a Goanna or Large Lizard, the footage shows not a Panther but a Lynx, and also the cat could be a Black Puma.

I believe the Black Cat in the footage is also Female

The way it stoops also makes it appear feminine, in real videos and shots of males the male genitals are clearly seen, the full footage might show this.

Also in the footage I have of Black Panthers in video and PC format when they walk they have shoulder-blades that when they walk move independently and you can discern them almost like pistons of bone moving as it walks.





Rex Exploring the Scene Above the Panther Sighting.

Photo Credit:Stephen Cooper

  Rex Gilroy's 10cm Plaster cast of a Possible Black Panther found two years ago {1999}not far from the present sighting

Photo Credit:Stephen Cooper

Mountain Mystery: A quiet stretch of road in the Richmond area where an animal resembling a Black Panther, like the one shown above, was sighted, and an excerpt from the official report prepared by Dr Johannes Bauer in July, 1999

1 July, 1999

Re: NSW Agricultural Black Panther sightings at Richmond

'Difficult as it seems to accept- the most likely explanation of the evidence listed above is the presence of a large feline predator in this area, most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar'

By Rod Smith

Sunday Telegraph April 29 2001

Rex has been informed by a person who visited this page that the below print is of an Alsatian Dog, also Stephen Cooper the Daily Telegraph's Cameraman informed me on the way to Lithgow of that as well!

A clue . . . an oversized paw print, with pen photographed for scale.

Sightings 1981-1999

By Eamonn Duff

The Sun-Herald April 29 2001 

1981: Police called after "large black creature" reported. Paw prints recorded.

1984: Sighting of large, four-footed animal on fire trail.

    1989: Couple see "large black animal with long tail" bound up 5m embankment. 1992: Witness watches "large black cat" for 20 minutes.

    1993: Witness saw "large black cat" with "yellow eyes and long shiny tail".

    1996: Observer who had seen big cats in India was convinced he spotted "a panther".

    1997: Two people see "german shepherd-sized cat" eating lyre bird.

    1998: March /April, 12 Angora goat kids killed.

    1999: Jogger sees "animal bigger than labrador and built like rhodesian ridgeback".

    April 1999: Goats taken over two week period. Fleece found in tree.

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