Monday, 19 December 2011

Mystery beast lurks in London's Olympic Park

Terrapin ? Catfish ? Giant pike ? The mystery unravelled at the Daily Mail, courtesy of Cryptozoology News from 17th December

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The London Word mentions 'Mystery Animals of...London'

The wonderful website The London Word has mentioned MYSTERY ANIMALS OF...LONDON.  

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Surrey puma sighting

On Sunday 23rd October 2011 at 9:00 pm a motorist named Tim was travelling on the A25 between Wescott and Dorking when a large animal, resembling a puma, and measuring approximately 4-ft in length, and sporting a long tail, crossed the road. Sightings of the so-called Surrey puma still persist, several decades after the original mystery came to light during the 1960s. The mystery hit national headlines in the '60s but since then the legendary beast has been relegated to folklore. The puma - also known as the mountain lion and cougar, is native to the United States and Canada, and in the wild can live for around thirteen years. The fact that there's been a recent sighting near Dorking proves that such animals must have bred when many individual cats were released during the 1970s and '80s after the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

Monday, 24 October 2011


MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON By Neil Arnold, published by the CFZ, is now available. The long wait is finally over. This much anticipated book is the first of its kind to venture forth into the concrete jungle of England's capital city and unravel fantastic, yet true tales of monsters and mysterious beasts. From yarns spun pertaining to strange creatures in the River Thames, to odd things-a-flutter in the skies of the city. Supernatural animals, beasts escaping from menageries, sightings of exotic cats such as leopards and lynx and the Surrey puma, and not forgetting a whole host of weird and wonderful arcane animals cast from the Ark. MYSTERY ANIMALS OF...LONDON weighs in at more than 300 pages, is richly illustrated and indexed, and proves once and for all that the greenest corners, dankest sewers, and darkest streets can still harbour all manner of elusive and out of place creatures. So, if you're thrilled, or repulsed by tales of flesh-eating giant rats, prowling alligators, blood-sucking fish, rampant wolves, swooping eagles and vultures, ghostly lions, spectral bears, phantom chickens and real life vampires, then MYSTERY ANIMALS OF...LONDON is perfect for campfires constructed on a crisp autumnal night. The book is available from Amazon and all good bookshops

Saturday, 24 September 2011

1983 report of coatimundi

30/9/1983 - '2 coatimundi found in Surrey wood'
Conservationists are puzzled by the discovery of the coatimundi, relatives of the raccoon, in a Surrey wood. The creatures were found in a nature reserve near Redhill, but it is not known how they came to be there. Mr John Drewett of the Surrey Trust for Nature Conservation, said the pair were assumed to have escaped from a zoo, although none had been reported missing. He added that they could possibly survive in the wild in Britain

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Is this the 'beast' of Essex ? Of course not...

For more info on another bad 'big cat' photo, visit Kent Big Cat Research

Monday, 15 August 2011

Talk: Mystery Animals of Kent & London

On Tuesday 25th October 2011 at 7:30 pm Neil Arnold will be conducting a talk on MYSTERY ANIMALS OF KENT & LONDON at Rochester's Eastgate House (located in the High Street), tickets can be obtained by phoning the Archives Centre on 01634 332714

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Juvenile Amur leopard cat found in London!

When a lynx was found roaming a back garden in North London in 2001 there was still scepticism despite the fact the animal was tranquilised and stransfered to a zoo in France. In 2011 a juvenile Amur leopard cat was found in London too. The story was covered on ITV1's Wildlife Patrol and mentioned in the press. The City of London site stating:

'22 February 2011

Stray leopard cat finds shelter at Heathrow Animal Reception Centre
A stray Amur leopard cat has been given a temporary new home at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.
The cat, scientific name Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura, was taken in by the HARC after it had initially been handed to Battersea Dogs Home by a member of the public from Chiswick.
Concerned that it was not a normal domestic breed, Battersea Dogs Home passed the animal over to the HARC where it was identified by staff as the Amur leopard cat. This species, more commonly found in Russia and Asia, requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
Rob Quest, Manager at the HARC, said: "We've welcomed almost every sort of creature here in the centre's 33-year history – with the exception of a giraffe. This Amur leopard cat will receive the best care we have to offer before a new home can be found."
At the suggestion of Deborah Bradfield, animal health inspector at the HARC, re-homing responsibility for the cat will now be passed over to the Specialist Wildlife Services, who have found new homes for many exotic animals for The City of London and Customs at Heathrow Airport. They are members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria and hold all the appropriate licences for animal transport.'

The cat was transferred to a zoo in Scotland after it was detained at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre.

The BBC website of March 15th commented, 'A dangerous species of cat found in London has been rehomed to a wildlife conservation centre in southern Scotland.

The Amur leopard cat, more commonly found in Russia and Asia, requires a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. It was taken to the Heathrow animal reception centre last month after being handed in to Battersea Dogs Home.
It has now been transferred to the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Centre.Conservation manager John Denerley said the female cat was settling in well.
"We've welcomed the Amur leopard cat here, we had one before," he said.
"This cat receives the best care we offer.She is young and was a bit nervous, so she has to acclimatise to her enclosure and it will take a few days before she can explore the whole area."

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Big cat sightings...

Over the last few days there have been a spate of black leopard sightings, mainly around Petts Wood, Orpington and Bromley, in one incident resulting in a fox being eaten. This is possibly the same animal that has been seen around Sydenham, Dulwich etc.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Cover shot of the upcoming MYSTERY ANIMALS OF...LONDON book

For those of you interested, and who have been following this blog, very shortly my new book MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON will be published by CFZ Press. Weighing it an almost 400 pages MYSTERY ANIMALS...LONDON is an essential read for anyone interested in strange animals which have been seen around the capital, or beasts which have escaped from zoo parks and private menageries, as well as folkloric 'monsters'. As a teaser here is a photo of the cover:

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Mutant turtles terrorising London ponds

Evening Standard

25 May 2011

Hybrid turtles are taking hold of London's parks and ponds.
Experts studying 1,600 square kilometres of London and the home counties were shocked to find 10 species and several hybrids. They even found rare African turtles in a Camden park.
Despite culls, numbers are growing. Tom Langton of the London Natural History Society said: "We found a big increase in the sightings of terrapins, a type of turtle popular in the Eighties due to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon series."
A government ban in 1997 has led to "lookalike" species being sold cheaply in pet shops. Mr Langton said he hoped all terrapins would be banned in the UK.

Thames fish die due to sewage

Red eyes...

Issue 6 of Encounters magazine, from April 1996 features a letter from a woman named Melissa. Melissa, who lived in London, claimed to have had several experiences with 'elemenatals', strange entities who she was able to communicate with and eventually grow unafraid of. However, Melissa's first ever encounter with one of these apparitions took place on a November night in 1995. She wrote, '...a friend and I were at the local park late at night. It is hard to describe in great detail these events as they seem so dim now (strange, considering the encounter only took place a few months previous). Just outside the gate to the park is an old tree, half living, half dead (surely it can only be one or the other!). We both sensed something bad coming from the tree and felt that somehow it was watching us. After returning to my friend's home, I revisited the tree through meditation and experienced something which to this day I cannot positively say was not simply my imagination. I was at the foot of the tree looking upwards towards the top branches. There was something there staring at me. I cannot put a name to what I saw, but it was a black mass, with two bright red eyes. The following month both my friend and I saw similar entities, although never again the one at the tree. Late one evening, on returning home from work my friend witnessed what he describes as an army marching up the hill, from the park towards his home. The army consisted of hundreds of entities approximately seven feet in height wearing long hooded black cloaks with visible blood red eyes. This reminded me of the entity I had seen before.'

Charlton's hairy hands!

In Issue 5 (March 1996) of Encounters magazine (no longer in existence) there is an interesting story concerning a strange creature from the Charlton area. Under the heading 'The Beast Is Back' the magazine featured the following tale: 'This story was in to us by a gentleman in south east London, who was jolted into writing to us as a result of reading a previous readers' story about the same encounter - "Reading your story entitled 'Suffer The Children', sent shivers down my spine. It reminded me of something I encountered in the early 1970s when I was about seven years old. I lived with my mother and baby brother in a council flat in Charlton, London. Myself and my brother were sharing a small bedroom together. It was night-time and I can remember my baby brother being asleep in his cot when the experience happened. Over the top of my headboard appeared a hand, it was dark brown, very hairy, and had long claw-like finger nails. It was definitely not a human hand. I can remember pulling my covers right up over my head, praying silently for morning to come. I spent the whole night awake, and I could not utter a sound but remember dearly wishing that my brother would wake up and cry so someone would hear him. To this day I don't know what it was that I saw, but I do know that I would not like to see it again. Now I always sleep with the covers pulled tightly over my head, and I always pray. I do wonder if it was the same apparition that your other reader saw ? An alien type of werewolf ?"

Friday, 3 June 2011


For those of you interested my book, MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON, will be published hopefully within the next couple of months. Please check back and updates will follow. The book, at over 300 pages, focuses on 'big cat' sightings around London - some myth, some reality, and looks back at the history of those who kept such animals. The book also looks at strange animals kept in menagerie's as well as sightings of exotic species in London's waterways - the River Thames being one haven for unusual wildlife. There is also a chapter on sightings of strange birds in the skies over the capital, and also a chapter on London's monstrous folklore with reports of hellhounds, phantom animals etc.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Was it the Surrey puma ?

At the end of May 2011 a woman jogging in woods near her home in Dorking, Surrey got the fright of her life when a large animal leaped down from a tree behind her. The animal, which made a thud as it his the woodland path, was nowhere to be seen, but the woman was so spooked she immediately rang her husband to tell him she was in danger. Further investigations revealed that whatever had leaped from the tree had left large paw prints on the ground.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Black leopard seen near Heathrow

On Sunday 16th April two fisherman travelling anti-clockwise on the M25 between junctions 11 - 12 saw an enormous large cat in a field 300 yards from the road. The cat was around four-feet in length and had an extremely long tail.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Did a big cat roam Enfield in 2010 ?

The following email was received from an Enfield resident:

'Hi, the animal was jet black about the size of rottweiler dog it was seen at about  25-30 yards from the 2nd floor at 3:30am 10/06/2010.  10-15 seconds, I was not sure until it walked under a street light it walked slowly.l'm 100 sure it was cat as it got closer I was more sure,please could you inform me of any previous or new sightings in enfield or north london the cat was seen at lower kenwood avenue en2 roundabout.'

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Big cat sighting at Brockley ?

'I live in Brockley in SE4, London. Our garden backs onto undergrowth and the train line South East.

On Thursday night (24th March) my partner noticed a large black shape at the end of our garden making a strange growl as my domestic cat Peach was freaking out looking at it from the window. He went outside only for the creature to have gone rather quickly.

I returned home later on and opened the back door to the garden (It was the first nice evening we'd had) and I obviously startled the creature again and it ran away, clearing three or so garden fences in a matter of seconds. Very heavy footed, claws audible and the strength of the thing evident. We startle foxes and other cats all the time and none of them moved in the way this one did. It was remarkably quick and powerful.'

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Black leopard seen twice at Anerley

Anerley, situated in the Bromley district, may well be the prowling ground of what the local press incorrectly dubbed 'the Palace puma'. Recently a ten-year old girl, whilst getting ready for school at 7:25 am, peered from her bedroom window and was shocked to see an enormous cat, black in colour, with a long, thick tail walking along a fence line. The girl saw the animal again a week or so later whilst in her mother's car. They drove into a parking area at 6:30 pm one evening, in the vicinity of their house, when the girl glimpsed the cat slink down a slope. She stated that the animal was bigger than a Labrador dog.