At the end of January, the blogger and researcher known as “Texas Cryptid Hunter” received an intriguing report. A driver hit what appeared to be a large black feline on the road. The damaged car contained hairs (the animal escaped) which he was able to retrieve and pass along to the researcher. The story continues…
The first thing I decided to do was to get the hairs to a friend of mine who has some background in hair analysis. To be completely up front, he is not a professional when it comes to this sort of thing but is very competent, owns his own microscope, and has the know how to quickly identify the hair of most common North American mammals. He holds a degree in Animal Science from Tarleton State University and is a life-long hunter, trapper, and naturalist. He is more than qualified to do the initial analysis of these hairs. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have a bag full of hog hair before I went out on a limb and sent the samples in to a university or lab for analysis. His results, supported with photographs of the samples, yielded results that were promising.
Analysis and pictures are included. The tentative conclusion is that they look like leopard hairs. So TCH wishes to have them analyzed by an expert. What happens? No one wants to look at them. No one is interested. He gets the brush off from university scientists.
Am I surprised? No. They think there are no big cats in Texas so it would be a waste of their time. This is scientific conservatism at work. I know people decry this but it almost always works pretty well. Scientists are very busy and can’t afford to be diverted by something that will almost certainly amount to nothing. That said, I am disappointed that there isn’t a more cooperative attitude to see what this animal could have been. It was large enough to damage the car. Skeptics want the evidence. Here is the evidence and there is no one to look at it.
So I will reiterate the appeal:
I find myself in a rather ironic situation. I am being told by biologists that there is no such thing as black panthers because there is no evidence to support their existence. When I share with these biologists that I may very well have evidence that could support the existence of these animals I am told that my evidence cannot be valid since they don’t exist. The circular nature of these arguments is incredibly frustrating.
I am at an impasse and don’t know what my next move will be. I am open to suggestions. If anyone out there has expertise in this area or can suggest someone that does I would appreciate it if you would contact me. I think that, based on the preliminary analysis, I might have something important here. I want to find out.
Can anyone help out? It’s important to get answers. It’s really NOT a waste of your time. It means a closure to a problem sighting. That’s worthwhile.