Flying Rod sighting, explainable. Yet coincidence played its part

Flying rods. Seen over the city.



Something new

I have created a new website many of you may find of interest.

Bringing together many of the aspects I have been involved with. Theres a large number of articles that have been published in various places so wanted to bring them together as they are of different aspects not of the just unexplained. Being a filmmaker, writer and graphic designer. Feel free to take a look and subscribe.


Be rational with confidence

There is much to say about the role of skepticism and rational thinking especially in the realm of the paranormal – much has been said already.  So we won’t discuss that here other than to say if we believe everything we are told and take everything at face value the rabbit hole you would find yourself in would be vast and in-orderable. I do enjoy exploring the rabbit hole, hence the radio show title “Rabbit Hole That Is Reality” making clear explanation of what is verifiable, true and what is speculation and ponderings.

Hayley, not that she knows (until now) gave me food for thought and added confidence. As some of my own journey mirrors what directions she has took. I too once believed in the paranormal, part of an investigation team doing the usual fallacies. Figure in hindsight it was as I hungered for information and assimilated much. I do not “want” to a ghost buster as it were, like Egon or Ray more curiousity, as to alleged experiences others were having. Seeing unexplained reports and cases since quite young, I wanted in. It is when you start to look at why do we do this? What does this actually tell us? and my personal favourite – Why are we sitting around in the dark?

Concerns over inexperienced people taking their “belief” about aspects of the paranormal into other peoples homes. Further raised 10-fold when a member of the “team” I was engaging with in 2007, was in court on charges of hebephilia towards a young teenage boy.

There were so many rich sources of knowledge, alleged gurus providing insight and demonstrating facets to learn. What I learned over time was “the art of the con”.

Finding others who also questioned what others accepted at blind faith, gave me greater confidence to ask further questions. Hayley was one the first I encountered personally who I was able speak to on White Noise Paranormal Radio in 2007-2009 during an interview by Jason Day. Have never looked back, I still have a hands on anthropological sense to approach the paranormal subjects that hold an interest. As like Victorian machines to “see” how they work from the inside out to deeper understand them.

Tuesday evening dashing from a press media review of Tom Midnight Gardenal at the theatre I hightailed across city over to Castle Rock Canalhouse to catch Hayley mid-presentation at the Skeptics in the pub meeting.

During the break, we both ticked off a box off the facebook finally-we-met list.

Please visit Hayleys Stevens blog
Hayley I would consider a skeptical activist, campaigning, speaking for and blogging on not just approaches to paranormal investigation. Taking a rational approach to many topics such as holistic medicine, mediumship and indeed monster hunting!

Hayley also co-presents with Michael Marshall the Be Reasonable podcast. Listen also to the “Be Reasonable” podcast on iTunes (and other podcast outlets) produced by Merseyside Skeptics Society.

Working in the podcast realm again

After some requesting of us to develop a new podcast or a radio like show covering more than just the unexplained but also the curious, compelling and concerning stories in the media which catch our eye for quite some time.
To be honest, it was like too many voices out there already and the messages getting lost in the audio conumdrum. Where is there room? Should there be another. There is plenty of podcasts and broadcasts out there. A number of quality productions, why be a new voice when you can strengthen ones already being heard. So It has been on a back burner as life took turns.
But further requests keep calling.

Even licensed music tracks from bands was offered to us for use.

So we’ve ran a couple of trial dry runs for set up. Studio in place, recording and internet VOIP connection all running well. Had some feedback from those who have heard the demos. Seems really good so far.

So why not. We as we said are looking to cover the spectrum of more than the unexplained that we presently cover, a social commentary of what we see of interest that deserves to be commentated, shared and known. TYT The Young Turks are a good example of what the aim is, but for a British audience.


A glimpse into the history of big cats in Britain.

Big cats in Britain

In the very first edition of Beyond the Line e-Magazine, cryptozoology has many and varied subjects within it, from the chupacabra to the domestic hamster. However in Britain, it seems, the Big Cats are the most well known of these enigmatic creatures. They’re not just the most well known, they’re also one of the most common mysteries encountered in Britain. So lets look through a brief history of Big Cat sightings and encounters in Britain. 

The first ever possible recorded sighting of mysterious big cats in Britain was in a book from the 1760s, entitled Rural Rides by the radical writer William Cobbett. In it he details seeing a cat “as big as a middle-sized Spaniel dog” climb into a hollow elm tree in the ruined Westerley abbey in Farnham near Surrey. Later he saw a “lucifee” (North American lynx) “and it seemed to me to be just such a cat as I had seen at Waverley.” Another old report was found by David Walker from The Times in 1827 of a “lynx” being seen, and the Big Cats in Britain have a report of a tiger being seen in Scotland in 1927!


Even further back there’s a medieval Welsh poem, called Pa Gwr in the Black Book of Carmarthen, which mentions a Cath Palug, meaning “Palug’s cat” or “clawing cat”, which roamed Anglesey until it was killed.


There is a quiet period for many years, up until the 1960-1970s when it became fashionable for people to keep imported big cats of all sizes and species as exotic pets. It is unsurprising then that a spate of sightings of big cats roaming the countryside happened during that time. Even more so when you consider the Act that was brought about in 1976 when authorities realized that unless looked after properly these still wild animals were a danger to those who kept them. The Dangerous Animals Act of 1976 required all owners of their pet big cats to have a licence, insurance and one certain space where the animal could be kept. Of course, a lot of people keeping these animals could not afford this nor bear to part from them or have them taken away, so rather than handing them over they instead released them into the wild. It’s believed by a lot of people that this is the main reason for the sightings in Britain then and now, as it is possible that these released animals could have established a breeding population. I happen to {mostly) disagree, but that’s for another big cat related article. 


The Nottingham Lion was first reported in 1976 by two milkmen in Tollerton, but despite a search by police and citizens for the animal, they could not find any evidence of it’s existence, despite the total of 65 reports they received.  

The reported Beast of Bodmin Moor is (or was) more than likely one of these creatures, as it appeared shortly after the Act was put in place. From 1983 onwards, there have been at least 60 recorded sightings of big cats in that area to the present day. This at the very least signifies that a large cat like creature was roaming that area for a long time. 


The Beast of Exmoor, first sighted roaming the moors in the 1970s (escaped or released pet by a distraught owner perhaps?). However this particular beast did not gain it’s fame until 1983, when a farmer claimed to have lost over 100 sheep in the space of three months, all with injuries to the throat. There have been sporadic reports since then, even three photographs of the beast, but no conclusive evidence has yet been found. 

The Surrey Puma of the 1960s has been joined by the Fen Tiger, the Beast of Ongar, the Pedmore Panther, the Beast of Gloucester, the Thing from the Ling, the Beast of Borehamwood, the Wrangaton Lion, the Beast of Shap, the Beast of Brentwood, the Lindsey Leopard, the Lincolnshire Lynx, the Wildcat of the Wolds, the Beast of Roslin, the Kilmacolm Big Cat, the Beast of Burford, the Chilterns Lion, the Beast of Castor, the Beast of Sydenham, the Shooters Hill Cheetah, the Beast of Bucks, the Plumstead Panther, the Beast of Bexley, the Beast of Barnet, the Nottingham Lion, the Durham Puma, the Horndon Panther, the Beast of Cricklewood, the Beast of Bont, the Beast of Gobowen and that’s not even all of them. 


Some reports

In 1993 an ocelot was tentatively identified living in Britain. 


In 2001 in May, a Lynx nicknamed “Lara” was captured in Cricklewood, North London. No zoos or circuses reported an animal missing during that time, so either it was an escaped, unregistered and unlicensed pet, it was a part of a relic lynx population (the European lynx lived in Britain up until 500 AD, when it apparently became extinct), or it was a part of a population of those cats established during the mass release of the 1970s. 


Many reports of big cats were made during the year of 2003, including sightings of lions. leopards and pumas. 

In 2004, the BBCS reported over 2123 sightings of big cats in Britain, that was published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine. A Warwickshire gamekeeper reported seeing a large black cat poaching his pheasants before taking off when it saw him that same year.


2006 a man was trimming his hedge when a large black cat emerged from it, studied the stunned fellow and strolled off. A woman also reported a large black cat bounding across the road in front of her when she was driving near Wakefield, West Yorkshire.


In 2007, reported by Big Cats in Britain, two people watched a big cat in their garden at High Hesleden.


July 2008, a big cat was filmed near a military base in Scotland, as reported by The Telegraph.


A tweet sent out by Norwich police this February calling for witnesses to a large cat prowling the city, which was picked up by the BBC.


There have been many reported sightings this year, many of course reported by the BCIB, including a couple who saw a very large cat in their garden near Haden Bridge hop the fence and walk away, a woman who saw a large cat near her home in Scotland chase some deer into a wood and a golden coloured cat running across the road from Hopwas Wood in Whittington. Fortean Times also reported two instances this year of people seeing lynxes-once with a cub! And this isn’t even the half of it, for this year alone.

Big Cats clearly have been reported in Britain for a while, since even before the craze of the 1960-1970s, and they’re definitely not going anywhere soon – judging by the constant flow of reports. You never know, if you keep an eye out, you might get lucky and have a sighting of your own.


See you on the other side,

Sylvia Wix