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Monday, 7 December 2015

"Swansea University Says You Are Lying---"

I have to say that I am very angry and have been put in a position I should not have been. Last Friday I was contacted by two reporters -one from Radio Wales and the other from a newspaper.  Both had been told by Swansea University that there had never been any "Exotic Cat Study" based at the university.

That immediately meant that I was a liar.  Apparently, Swansea had never heard of me.  So,I explained to both parties that there had been such a study and I had numerous documents to prove this -including university headed note paper, compliments slips and my name on documents along with those involved. The immediate response was "So you think this is a cover-up by the university -is DEFRA involved?  Followed by "What is your response to the university cover up and calling you a liar?"  If you have dealt with journalists you'll know how it works.

Did I have to copy all the documents and submit them as proof I was not a liar?

You see, I have always treated my work as private and correspondence as confidential and I have never ever breached that rule in over 40 years. I had bad experiences with two universities before Swansea but I was promised that those involved followed strict protocols and data is fully credited and acknowledge and they would not give me cause for complaint: this was a serious project.

So I agreed.

I even (and I could smash my head into a wall repeatedly over this) handed over field maps, documents and rare books -none were ever returned.  Replacing the books cost me around £400 when I eventually managed to find copies.  The other material -lost. 

My phone calls and messages to the project supervisor at home and the university -never responded to.  Letters -never responded to.  This happened suddenly and without explanation and considering that I had publicly defended the professor in charge when her credibility was challenged online -and had been there to listen and offer advice on attacks on this persons own livestock you can imagine that it was not just a betrayal but a really hard kick to the stomach. I contemplated just stopping the work.  As it was, the original Red Paper: Felids had to be scrapped because it included photographs,maps and data from the people at Swansea that I could not use without permission.

Even after a few years that still hurts.

I could have given the sort of publicity no university wants.  But, no, you see,  I abide by clear-cut and professional behaviour.   All I did was give the reporters the details below from the University of Swansea website.

 I have had two other universities contact me since that time and I have refused outright to have any dealings with them.  Three times "academics" have used me, my data and then back-stabbed me. If you see anything in the press now -you know the facts.  I am tight-lipped.

  • Folk demons or exotic cats: patterns and perceptions of predation in rural Wales (awarded 2009)

    Student name:
    Supervisor: Professor Alayne Street-Perrott
    Other supervisor: Dr Pyrs Gruffudd

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