Initial investigation of the video suggested a large cat. However, experiments in situ recreating the conditions using a model suggested that the animal on this video was the size of a domestic cat.
Conclusion: Possible 'Kellas cat'
Having visited the witnesses and viewed the videotape of the Carse Wood Cat here are my initial impressions:
The footage of the animal is understandably shaky (nearly always the case), the witnesses having zoomed right in on the animal, yet the imagery appears fairly clear and in focus. Unfortunately the subject moves around the screen so much that it is very hard (frustrating) to get a fix on exactly what it 'is' that we are looking at. Saying that, as 'shaky big cat footage' goes it could be among the best that I have seen.
The video Š I watched a cat-like black animal walking/slinking slowly through a field (approx 150m from witnesses), definitely not a domestic, but not the size of a 200lb leopard. The ears were quite pointed and the tail (though hard to view properly) appeared long. The animal is unaware that it is being watched, very relaxed, could be on the scent of dinner, then at one point it hears a noise and turns its head, and for that split second I am seeing a large black feline with strong muscular head and shoulders! It then goes out of sight and we catch another brief glimpse of it as it goes through a fence and onto the road, and gone.
Viewed it again and again hoping that the next time would allow me a half second of nice steady footage, but alas no. I am hopeful that this can be rectified with some work on the tape. It definitely merits time and expertise devoted to it.
My open verdict: IÕm seeing cat, cat, cat but shall allow myself 5% of doubt until the film can be viewed properly.
The following adds great weight to the animal being a big black cat:
16th July (approx) Gentleman in car sees big black cat run across road in front of him, pulls over in shock, goes to nearest house (next door to video witness) and informs them.
23rd July (9am) Mrs Paterson videos animal in field.
24th July (10.30pm) Mr Morrison and his black Labrador walking along edge of field, Lab disappears into wood, Mr Morrison then sees it bounding towards him only to realise that itÕs not his dog, mystery animal jumps into woods and Lab comes trotting up from other direction.
25th July (evening) Mrs Paterson (as passenger in car), spots the cat again very briefly, this time darting across the road.
Four separate sightings by three different witnesses (within a week or so) and all in a 200m radius. Having walked the area I can understand why a cat would choose this location, forestry bordered by fields full of rabbits, pheasants, foxes and roe, if I were a cat then IÕd stay put for a while and have an easy life.
Hoping to visit the witnesses again very soon and will keep you up to date with the 'cat footageÕ'.
Reuel Chisholm, Scottish Big Cats, 27 th July 2003
"I watched a black animal walking slowly through a field (approx 150m),
definitely not a domestic, but not the size of a 200lb leopard"
"I'm seeing cat, cat, cat"
Well, well, well, did I really say all that?
Yesterday Fran Lockhart & I revisited the Ardersier sighting and returned with some conclusive findings.
The witnesses were out when we arrived and while we awaited their return I took Fran to where the cat was seen, wandered around the field and placed a 'black cat cutout' (domestic size) in the position I thought the animal had been filmed.
By the time the Patersons appeared my heart was already beginning to sink a little! The 'fake black cat' was looking a little too familiar when using the binoculars, and when I asked Mrs Paterson to take a gander, she replied "yeh that would be about the size' (more of the sinking feeling).
Viewing the tape again: shock horror, the big black cat had shrunk dramatically within just 7 days (how did that happen?), and after a little repositioning of 'fake cat Tiddles' (new team member) there didn't appear to be much difference between the two of them in size!
To be honest I don't think Fran saw anything other than a large domestic moggy, and the cat I was seeing didn't resemble the cat I had watched the week before!
Confusing Factors: The subject had been zoomed in on (difficult to gauge size) and a ridge running through the middle of the field gave an optical illusion with 'field of depth'. I guess the witnesses had initially seen the cat walking along this ridge which had allowed the animal to stick out and appear larger than it actually was.
Conclusion: I have definitely learn't something from this, and would strongly recommend anyone with a similar scenario to follow up with a size comparison exercise (if possible), no matter how convincing the footage!
I may look a little daft, but the 'Adersier Footage' is done and dusted and can be removed from the long list of 'dodgy big cat evidence'.
Reuel Chisholm, Scottish Big Cats, 3 rd August 2003
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