Report from Ronnie Patterson
Date of sighting: 17.5.97
Location: Riggs Road, outskirts of Balerno.
Description: 2 - 2 and a half feet high, definitely a big black cat., long tail, thick legs, very powerful looking animal.
Sighting reported by Mr. John Hope of Edinburgh.
This reported sighting was late going to press due to someone at the local paper being on holiday. Well, I think that was the reason, anyway after speaking to Mr Hope on the phone we arranged to meet at Balerno. He was already there when I got off the bus, we then drove to the spot where he had seen the big cat. Mr Hope came across as a genuine man, who knew exactly what it was that he had seen 12 days ago.
And he assured me that in all his years of running on moors, hills and countryside he had came across all types of wildlife, but nothing to compare with what he saw. We both got out of the car and he showed me where he was and roughly where the big cat was when he saw it, and also where he thinks it might have gone. Mr Hope's account of events that day are as follows: "I was out running along this road as I have done many times before, it was a horrible, very wet morning, around 1lam, All of a sudden about 175 yards ahead of me I saw a big black cat, (description as above.) it crossed the road from left to right, sniffed the air then went in to a ditch by the roadside. By the time I reached the spot where I had last seen it, it had disappeared. I really dont know where it went, I then carried on with my run, and reported what I had seen when I got home, After a while of looking about Mr Hope offered me a lift back to town, I wasn't in a hurry that night and wanted to look about a bit more so I thanked him for showing me where his sighting had taken place and also for the time he had given me. He then drove off and I had a scout about the area for an hour or so. I went back to the area the next day and the following day, I looked all over the place for some sort of clue , but as it had been two weeks since the sighting the chances were really remote to no chance. I did manage to speak to a few local people but they knew nothing from what they had read in the paper. And there were others who nothing at all.
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