Black Panther
© Unknown
Researchers into strange phenomena are coming to Runcorn to find out whether an 'alien big cat' has been prowling near Norton Priory.

Manchester's Association of Paranormal Investigation and Training (MAPIT) said it is 'sure to visit the location' after the Weekly News last week reported a big cat sighting.

Will Hayes, a Runcorn teenager, was on a fishing trip with friends when he heard rustling in bushes near his tent. When he shone his torch at the bushes he saw 'large, feline eyes' with a 'big, black body'.

The mystery deepened when he returned the next morning to the location where he claims to have seen the creature, only to find his fishing keep net ripped, blood-stained and emptied of fish.

Stephen Mera, Mapit chairman, read about the Norton Priory sighting in the Weekly News just after the research group had finished investigating a series of mysterious creature sightings in Lancashire.

No date has been set for Mapit's Runcorn trip. Stephen said he will begin preparing by acquiring maps of the area and checking satellite views of the area on the internet.

Mapit was set up in 1974 under the name Manchester Aerial Phenomena Investigation Team, because it only studied UFOs, but its remit has expanded over the years to include poltergeists, and other Fortean phenomena.

Stephen said: "I had recently just finished investigating the Beast of Buckshaw when I came across the Weekly News article.

"I found it very interesting and would like to further investigate this incident and find out whether there are some prints around or other forms of evidence."