When this Daily Mail newspaper item was first brought to my attention I thought it was a joke. Between 1977-2009 I acted as an exotic wildlife consultant to UK police forces and my "other work" brought me into contact with many military personnel including high ranking RAF officers who were fascinated by these "big cat" sightings. One very senior RAF man once said to me "if one of these things is ever trapped or killed on RAF/MoD land I'll insist you get called in!"
I have, as it happens, spoken to at least three of the Royal Marines who were involved in the 1980s "search" and two have actually had sightings of large cats since leaving the military but point out there was no "shoot-to-kill" re. the cat and there was a lot of "****** crap being reported on what we were supposed to have seen and done."
And now we have this "fantasy" -I am trying not to be too rude. A body kept in a secure vault at RAF Fylingdales? This is pure and utter fantasy and makes no sense and it is a claim that says nothing for any alleged "investigators" credibility.
Here is what RAF Fylingdales is about:
Our tasking from the Ministry of Defence, through Headquarters Air Command, splits into four jobs. Firstly we are charged with continuously providing warning of ballistic missile events to both Her Majesty’s Government (through the UK Missile Warning Centre at RAF High Wycombe) and the United States’ authorities (through the Missile and Space Domain, which is situated in the Cheyenne Mountains in Colorado).
Secondly, the Station’s complementary mission is to support – on a non-interference basis with the warning mission – the United States’ developing Missile Defense System. The Station’s third job – and secondary mission – is to contribute to the Allied Space Surveillance Network, and this enables, fourthly, the Station to support UK forces worldwide through the Satellite Warning Service.
RAF Fylingdales also plays an important part in the community in our part of North Yorkshire. We are a significant employer in the area, providing technical and highly skilled employment opportunities for many local people. Personnel from our Ministry of Defence Police and Guard Service, and Defence Fire and Rescue Service, also provide routine support to the local emergency services in this remote part of the country.
In addition, we also have the privilege and responsibility for managing, protecting and maintaining some 3000 acres of the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park our part of which includes three Sites of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation; these exist to protect some eighty rare species of birds, animals and plants.
hmm...they seem to be hiding the suppression of big cat evidence" (a puma is, in fact, a Medium sized cat and NOT a member of the Big cat family).
Yes, DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if you want it named accurately) is with-holding information. That, and former police colleagues know for a fact. But these claims of cover ups and a carcass at a base are purile, childish nonsense.
So, here is the Mail Online article:
Puma's body 'is being kept in secure vault at RAF base'By Damien Gayle
Fearsome: A new book claims the carcass of a puma-like animal has been kept hidden at an RAF base
Hundreds of big cat sightings have been recorded over the years, from the Beast of Bodmin Moor to the Surrey Puma, but it is now claimed that evidence of them has been suppressed.
Rick Minter, author of Big Cats: Facing Britain's Wild Predators, claims that the body of a fearsome puma-like animal is being kept hidden in a top security vault at an RAF base.
He likens the alleged cover-up to the U.S. government's veil of secrecy surrounding an alien crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.
In the book, seen by the Sun, he writes: 'It is at RAF Fylingdales that we have Britain's Roswell moment on big cats.
'Retired staff apparently talked about a "body on the table" and a witness outside the base reported a puma-like creature being trundled off in the scoop-arm of a tractor.'
A local paper from the area reported in June 2004 that a large cat 'the length of a sheep' was killed on the Pickering to Whitby road near to the base.
Mark Fraser, who investigates big cat sightings as part of the Big Cats In Britain group, told the Sun such a body was the 'Holy Grail' of his investigations.
'If the MoD have a body, we'd like to know about it,' he told the paper.
A series of photos taken in Cornwall purport to show the Beast of Bodmin Moor.
A big cat sighting near a naval base in Scotland - one of the many fearsome beasts said to be roaming the countryside
And last year, a panther-like creature was photographed near a naval base in Scotland.
Blurred photographs and a succession of intriguing big cat sightings followed, but no creature was ever caught.
The government's Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) insists the claims are unsubstantiated.