Report from Phil Crosby
The witness moved into new house around 2 months ago. The house is part of an estate, sited next to mixed woodland, some of which is very dense. He was one of first to move into estate, and the night-watchman who had been there during construction told him he had seen a large black beast "a few times" around the site. The witness did not believe him.
Over last few weeks though, he has had one or two incidents change his mind.
a) Three weeks ago he found one of his chickens dead - apparently no sign of injury so he left it while he continued on his walk. On his return he found it gone and assumed fox/neighbours dog. Then a day or so later he found it buried under a pile of leaves half-eaten. He described the pile as being around a across and a half metre tall, with a clear area around where the leaves had been scraped almost bare to form a mound.
b) In woods nearby he found three sheeps carcasses in very close proximity, all showing signs of having been eaten at abdomen and forequarters, no sign of eating at rear through anus (as would expect with a canid) and the two he could see without disturbing them had throat damage. He is unsure if farmer may have dumped carcasses (it is feasible, but perhaps less likely given recent foot & mouth problems in UK).
c) He has found one or two rabbit carcasses where the head & hindquarters are intact but the body in between is entirely removed and the skin licked clean (I've seen similar before and don't think it is necessarily a sign of cat).
d) One evening last week he heard growling in woods at edge of his property - said his hackles rose and he went indoors very quickly, although he saw nothing.
e) Last Friday evening 15 th February he was crossing from his workshop to his house (wearing a head-torch) when he spotted something at the foot of his garden. He said it was sitting straight upright and seemed to be watching the house (he is clearly spooked by it all!) with light green, almond shaped eyes. It looked dark to him. It stared at him for what he said was an indeterminate length of time (he admits he was frozen by it) until a vehicle came up adjacent road and caught the animal in it's beam, at which point it moved off rapidly in a series of 6 to 8 metre bound. It was he believed around 5 ft long plus tail and around 3 feet high. Next morning he looked where it had escaped and found parallel tracks down the hillside seemingly relating to it sliding down leaf mould. Tracks around 2 feet apart.
Overall I am inclined to believe he saw something - he is clearly very scared. He does not want to be named, or the precise location (one of his neighbours is a keen hunter.) but is happy for us to record sighting as having been in South Aberdeenshire with the identifying detail omitted.
15 th February 2002 and preceding period
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