Big cat
If someone had said to me before I embarked upon my first quest for the truth about reports of large, unidentified cats in the woods of Cannock Chase, England that I would find myself digging into the accounts of a character known as the Lion Man and his pal, One-Eyed Nick - whose moniker made him sound like something straight out of the pages of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic 1883 story Treasure Island - I would probably have merely smiled and forgotten about it. But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Although my fascination for the dark tales of strange creatures on the Cannock Chase began in my childhood, it wasn't until I was around nineteen or twenty that I made my first serious attempt to try and resolve the matter of Cannock's "Alien Big Cats," as they are known in the world of Forteana. I wrote letters to a few local newspapers, which were published, and which opened the doors to a few interesting stories and leads.

In the weeks ahead, more reports came in and, one day, I became the subject of a small article in one of those aforementioned newspapers. Even more tales of large, savage cats came my way. Most of those cats were black in color and a few were tan. They didn't seem to be doing any harm to the human population. Although, it's doubtful that the same could be said for the other animals that called the Cannock Chase their home, unfortunately.

The more I dug into the matter of the local ABCs, the more I heard about a local man named Louis Foley, who died in 2009. He was better known as the Lion Man. I met Foley and listened carefully to his claims. According to Foley, he was personally acquainted with a number of people who had stealthily released big cats onto the Cannock Chase way back in the 1970s - largely as a result of various and draconian changes made to the U.K. Government's Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.