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How Many Normal (Relatively) Intelligent, Adult, Witnesses Without A Prior Agenda Does It Take To Have Any Provative Weight Towards The Unknown?


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Just from reading some of the other threads I am confused somewhat that eye witness encounters are sometimes dismissed out of hand, the conventional wisdom from law enforcement, tv and such proving that the same is very unreliable and I have seen, and have even conducted training showing that people do make mistakes in their recollection of events, and are thus, vulnerable to recounting them erringly. By the same token, I do believe many people when they retell of events, many people are dead on. Some were trained observers, sniper schooled trained or veteran recon guys. Some were not. Some were just intelligent observant, cool headed people. so there, In my own experience, in my state, yesterday on the news I again heard that there were no mountain lions in my state, the young zoologist stated that he immediately knew that the witnesses were either mistaken or hoaxing because they reported they saw "black" large mountain lion size cats, and there were no "black" mountain lion cats in existence. I am looking for the news feed to link but havent found it yet.  Anyway, I can testify, will take lie detector test whatever, swear on whatever you think is holy that I am One hundred percent , completely, absolutely, without any doubt in this world sure that there are indeed black mountain lion cats in my state. I have seen them, everyone in my infantry squad has seen them, most of the men in my platoon saw them, In fact one of the most humorous true stories of my career involved one of my men, a desperate deer and a six foot long black cat and a humvee. But, for reasons of liability, espenditure of public resources or whatever, our state does not and will not acknowledge these creatures. Even with bodies. My three brothers and one sister saw a mountain lion this winter. twice. they were all together. I know this is a tough question, believing those you are not familiar with, and true anyone can type anything on the internet, but at some point a preponderance of legitimate sightings by credible witnesses has to have some weight.

 

Just rereading this first post, I realized that your level of trust in someones word is probably highly influence by those you deal with and go through this life with, and in my case I have been blessed to have been associated with people whom I did and do trust, many with my life. If your life experience is different complete skepticism of everyone may be your modus operandi. My point is, I think you really can trust many  people, I guess.    edited to include this postscript

Edited by people booger
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It does have weight.  Mostly among those who have already had sightings, or ongoing habituations unfortunately.

 

For all the others on the fence, you have to probe and come to your own conclusions.  Not everybody wants to report or play 20 questions over their sighting.  I applaud those who report though.  It helps make a complete picture of the Sasquatch experience and it helps those people interested in connecting the glowing eyeballs.  LOL

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   Here is the Cougar new item, the link itself is http://www.wsfa.com/story/22457550/unconfirmed-cougar-sightings-in-alabama

 

Unconfirmed cougar sightings in Alabama
Posted by Christina Kleehammer - email
By Elizabeth White - bio | email

(WTVM) - For years, Alabama residents have claimed to have seen mountain lions or cougars roaming the land. Recently, there have been unconfirmed sightings in the Beaulah community of Lee County.

Experts at Auburn University (AU) say the chances of a mountain lion or cougar roaming Alabama are rare, but in our lifetime, possible.

Dr. Todd Steury is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at AU. He has devoted his career to studying and protecting carnivorous animals such as bears, wolves and cougars. While bears and wolves are known to roam the state, cougars are not.

"I get calls from people about cougar sightings about once every week or two, and they are usually misidentification, and I know this because a lot of callers say they are black panthers and there has never been a documented case of a black panther in the history of man," Steury says. 

He still welcomes calls, however, and would love to find evidence of a mountain lion in Alabama. 

In 2008, a cougar was killed by a hunter across the state line near West Point Lake in Georgia. There was speculation that the animal was someone's pet turned loose.

According to Steury, DNA evidence confirmed that the animal was a wild cat from the Florida panther colony, an endangered subspecies of the mountain lion. 

Steury explains that the mountain lion is moving east. There is now a population in Missouri, as well as confirmed sightings in Tennessee and Arkansas. He believes that one day, probably in our lifetime, the cougar will be back in Alabama. However, he doubts they are here now. 

 

P.Bs note:

I do not understand the young academic source here, it is common knowledge among perhaps thousands of people, to include photos, and even bodies.

Edited by people booger
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I, myself, do not dismiss reports out of hand.  When I hear a story that has veracity to it, I believe it is or more than likely is true.  Others that seem questionable in the area of logic, I ask questions of the reporting person in order to get more info and see if there is a reasonable explanation to why it seems odd.  It may be the fashion in which the story is relayed or it may just be me not understanding fully the story as it is relayed to me.  I will make this caveat though.  This does not apply to stories of trans-dimensional, psychic or alien sasquatches.  Those I do disregard out of hand.  But the others I at least give a chance to.

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Guest njjohn

You have to understand that each state's wildlife management resources HAVE to deny species until they officially decide to manage them. They can claim them as non-indigenous or whatever simply because they have a set budget to work with until they write that species into the plan. If they added a species half-way through a budget cycle, it would take away funds already allocated towards another. As long as politicians control these things, you can always expect to be lied too until they deem it necessary to correct you and say they've known all along. 

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Guest JiggyPotamus

It has always blown my mind too that so many reports are dismissed, and the reason for this is nothing more than personal bias. Some reports likely should be dismissed, but out of the thousands of sightings that have been reported only a very small percentage need to be accurate for us to conclude that sasquatch is genuine. Really, if just one of these reports is accurate, then sasquatch must be real, barring escaped gorillas and other primates. I have long believed that the sighting record is the best evidence available at the moment, because it is the only evidence that allows us insight into various aspects of sasquatch movement, behavior, etc...

 

And it is true that some individuals, sometimes due to their professions, make better witnesses than other individuals. A person who is trained to observe and remember as much of a scenario as possible, especially in times of high stress, are going to be the people who make excellent witnesses, since they are less likely to be wrong about what they are describing. We will get a more accurate picture of what they actually saw. I can understand there being skepticism in many aspects of eyewitness testimony, and not just in the realm of sasquatch sightings, but at what point are there enough sightings to conclude that there is actually something going on? I think this is the question you are asking as well. And it is a great question in my opinion.

 

I have heard the claim that the human brain does not remember details in high stress or fear situations, such as a sasquatch encounter, but what about those who are trained for this and deal with fear and stress on a daily basis? Police officers, military personnel, etc.? And another thing that blows my mind is that even if people have a hard time remembering exactly what occurs in a certain situation, don't you think they would see enough to know the difference between a bear and an 8 foot tall monstrosity that is covered in hair? I think just about anyone could distinguish between the two. When I had my sighting, there was no doubt in my mind as to what I was looking at, considering there is nothing else it could have been.

 

There are just not enough situations out there to explain away every single sasquatch report. It is sad that so many people choose not to believe their fellow man, especially considering just how many people have filed sighting reports. And most people estimate that only a small percentage of sightings actually get reported to a sasquatch research group, or to the police, or to anyone who would keep records and make them available to the public.

 

So I throw my hat into the ring of dumbfoundedness when it comes to not understanding just why some people refuse to see the evidence that is staring them in the face. And it is also sad that so many people must have a sighting to believe sasquatch exist. And I think this for the same reason I already mentioned, which is that there is ample evidence. But many choose to not only ignore this evidence, but go OUT OF THEIR WAY to dismiss it outright. In fact, some of the explanations for sightings are so out of this world that it makes more statistical sense for sasquatch to be real, than for what was seen to have been caused by something else.

 

I always like to make the connection with UFO's. I could see how my argument could be applied to that area of research, however, when dealing with lights and objects in the sky, a person is much more apt to get what they are seeing wrong. This is for a variety of reasons, including the fact that most people are not accustomed to measuring distance in the sky, or height, and they do not know what airplane lights look like, or all the manner of natural phenomena that can appear in the sky. So in that field there actually is a much higher probability of making a mistake, and providing an unconventional explanation for something conventional. The only reason I mention this at all is just in case someone attempts to use the same arguments I made against me in the alien arena, lol.

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Great points by all. NJ John I have to tend to agree with you. Only thing that makes sense is a blanket govt policy to deny these things till they ready to deal with them. JiggyPotamus, yes that was basically my question, at what point is the tipping point from unknown to common but undocumented knowledge.

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There is no way an undiscovered large feline can be roaming around north america and not be discovered.

 

There are too many people in the woods with cameras these days.  How come one hasn't been hit by a car?

 

Where are the hair samples?

 

These people are either hoaxing, hallucinating, or mis-ID'ing an animal.

Do you have black cows in the area?  A cow can look like a cat in a fleeting glimpse.

 

;-)

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Bigfoot must move beyond a putative species before eye witness reports can have much weight, as you say. Anecdotal reports have zero value when it comes to defining a species to science. And until that species is defined clearly with a specimen or a piece of a specimen at least, eye witness reports will remain conditional--at least the ones that are not outed as hoaxes or mistakes.

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Well, undoubtedly large cats roam in the Heart of Dixie. I had a very close friend, reliable in every regard, who made a living trapping snapping turtles in the northern half of the state. He related to me once an incident where he was in a creek with very steep and high banks in St. Clair County. He watched what he described as a dark leopard like cat come down the bank and pass right over top of him and pad out of sight. Scared the crap out of him.

 

I've also had the privilege of spotting a cougar where none are said to exist, as had others in the vicinity.

 

But then, neither my friend or myself are scientists so our experiences will not count in the slightest.  (Whew. What a relief we won't have to tackle THAT issue after all!) 

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I don't understand why people compare large cats to Bigfoot sightings. There is a difference between a vagrant or accidental animal and a putative species. A very big difference. In one case we are talking about an animal that is not supposed to exist in that range; and in the other, a species that has not even been proven to exist at all. I would be far more shocked to see a Bigfoot stroll by me than ten vagrant animals.

Edited by dmaker
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There are no black mountain lions, and as far as we know there never have been.   They don't come in black.

 

Jaguars and leopards, however, do have melanistic pelages

 

Mountain lions, leopards, and jaguars are occasionally kept as pets, and black leopards are popular.  I can't vouch for the accuracy of this source, but it suggests that there are a lot more big cats in private collections than people generally realize, and they sometimes end up on the loose:

 

"There Are (811) of incidents involving captive big cats since 1990 till 2007. These incidents have resulted in the killing or deaths of 236 big cats, 74 human deaths, more than 253 human maulings, 214 exotic cat escapes and 366 confiscations. 67% of these numbers occur in the U.S. despite the fact that the U.S. makes up less than 5% of the global population and is not the native home of lions and tigers."

 

So people who claim to see "black mountain lions" are much more likely to have seen a leopard or jaguar - both are known in the exotic pet trade, both come in black (especially in said pet trade), and have been known to escape or be released from captivity. Mountain lions are quite popular as pets too, and they also get released to the wild from time to time.  They don't, however, come in black.

 

An added problem is that size can be exceedingly difficult to judge in the field, and black domesticated cats are quite common.  These folks would've sworn on a stack of bibles that the cat they saw in Essex was lion-sized, but they were still wrong.  It happens all the time.

 

Although some of the kitties claimed to be big cats leave me scratching my head, mistaking a cat-sized cat for a lion-sized cat doesn't make the witness stupid, immature, drunk, mentally ill, or agenda-laden.  All you have to be to make that mistake is human. And yes, you can now claim that you couldn't have mistaken a black housecat for the black mountain lion you saw, but that will simply put you in the same boat as all the other people who've made that mistake.  Without confirmatory physical evidence of the cat in question, you just can't be sure what the witness has reported.  Our brains are not surveillance cameras.

Edited by Saskeptic
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Hi Sask:

Do you have any info on the # of jaguars/leopard that do escape from captivity each year?

 

Based on the life-span of a jaguar/leopard, there would need to be a replenished supply every 15 years or so.  (Assuming they aren't breeding).

 

Also, I would think that, if they did escape from captivity, several possibilities can occur.  They immediately (well, relatively speaking) will die, as they are not accustomed to wild living and/or they will be spotted by humans as they have been conditioned to them and will not avoid them as would their wild counterparts.

 

Hmmmm...no point in there really, just some stuff to chew on I guess.

Thoughts?

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   Here is the Cougar new item, the link itself is http://www.wsfa.com/story/22457550/unconfirmed-cougar-sightings-in-alabama

 

Unconfirmed cougar sightings in Alabama
Posted by Christina Kleehammer - email
By Elizabeth White - bio | email

(WTVM) - For years, Alabama residents have claimed to have seen mountain lions or cougars roaming the land. Recently, there have been unconfirmed sightings in the Beaulah community of Lee County.

Experts at Auburn University (AU) say the chances of a mountain lion or cougar roaming Alabama are rare, but in our lifetime, possible.

Dr. Todd Steury is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at AU. He has devoted his career to studying and protecting carnivorous animals such as bears, wolves and cougars. While bears and wolves are known to roam the state, cougars are not.

 

Wait.  Wolves are known in Alabama?  Currently?  As in, accepted by scientists?

 

Um, do tell.

 

As to the OP:  when many people with nothing demonstrable wrong with them are reporting something, the details - right down to hair color and coverage and nose shape, along with many details of great-ape behavior not generally known to laymen - forming a handy guidebook description and ecological profile, to dismiss them out of hand would indicate to me that we should pretty much dismiss anything they say.

 

Which we don't.

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