Mark our first guest watched a large black cat on his train journey in Cheshire, while Billy, our second guest, got a good view of a black panther from the front of his freight train in Yorkshire – he found other drivers had also seen such animals. Our guests describe both the close-up and the changing views they got from a moving train.
By coincidence, both guests are interested in the topic of sasquatch, so compare their experiences with the study of North America’s great mystery creature, and consider how big cats and sasquatch can challenge our comfort zone.
Word of the week: General Impression of Size and Shape (GISS), (see also episode 14)
22 May 2022
Charlie Bones is a long-term investigator covering East and West Sussex – he guides us through big cat reports from this area of South East England, starting with his own encounter in 2000.
Charlie explains how he thinks the cats use the Sussex landscape through the seasons, based on the trend of reports he receives and his knowledge of the area’s terrain. He also discusses the quirks of the large black cats reported, suggesting there is more than one type of extra-large black feline …
Word of the week: the Weald
2 May 2022
Jonathan is ex-special forces, retired from the police, and an expedition leader who has encountered large predators across different continents. In the first half of the episode he describes his experiences overseas in the wild and explains how to stay confident amongst large carnivores.
In the second half he re-lives his confrontation with a black panther outside his house in south Derbyshire in 2013 – a big cat could have explained the strange behaviour of local wildlife and pets at the time, and the spooked reaction of dogs to an invisible presence on the nearby nature reserve.
Word of the week: ADVOKATE
17 April 2022
Craig encountered a black panther on Exmoor just before the main 1980s reports had begun in the area. He saw it when lamping foxes and later disturbed it in a sheep field eating a predated ewe. 15 years later he and his wife saw a similar big cat in the same area.
Craig briefs us on farmers’ reactions to a big cat on Exmoor in the 1980s, and he reflects on the current big cat situation, from what he’s seen and heard about from his Herefordshire base today.
Word of the week: Shippon
2 April 2022
Amanda watched a black panther rush into position, then pursue a deer in Somerset in December 2021. She describes filming the final moments of the chase, and explains how she and her partner checked for large cat tooth pits on the eaten-out deer carcass found a few days later.
We also speak to Will who watched a big cat close up, stalking deer in Gloucestershire in 2002 – Rick describes other reports in the same location that Will was unaware of.
Words of the week: landscape of fear
20 March 2022
Leopard specialist Sanjay Gubbi describes his work tracking, monitoring and camera-trapping leopards in India, and helping people live alongside these stealthy predators.
Sanjay gives us highlights from his new book, Leopard Diaries and re-lives the moment he was attacked by a fleeing leopard which got trapped at school buildings.
Word of the week: dvipin
7 March 2022
Our first guest Rich explains his thermal camera view of a big cat during his military training on Dartmoor. Our second guests Gareth and Ray discuss a black panther sighting during their family break in France. Ray has unrivalled experience of French and British big cats – he also describes his view of a black panther from his motorhome in County Durham.
Word of the week: Fusca
18 February 2022
Jane and Ade are based at a chicken farm in Nottinghamshire – a black panther arrived on the scene in December 2021, witnessed several times so far, patrolling local fields and lanes.
We hear from Jane and Ade about their encounters, the reactions of their huskies, and how Ade’s thermal camera helps survey the local fields at dawn and dusk. He explains how he has twice filmed what he believes to be the cat.
Word of the week: thermography
2 February 2022
In part one David McEwan briefs us on key sightings from south Scotland in 2021, in part two Frank Tunbridge offers highlights from the 2021 big cat reports he received.
Both guests also reflect on Jim Corbett, the tracker, hunter and naturalist who wrote about man-eating tigers and leopards in north India in the middle of the 20th century, while Frank also discusses Kenneth Anderson’s experience of tigers and leopards in southern India in the same era.
Word of the week: ghooming
16 January 2021