Thursday, February 7, 2013

With Quotes

This week has been a mixed bag for me.

After class yesterday (Wednesday), I tried searching the school's article database for stories on alien big cats. Most of what showed up was efforts to conserve big cats in their natural homes - "legitimate" big cats, if you will.

There was one article in Folklore magazine that looked promising from the database, what sounded like an overview of alien big cats and their treatment in popular culture or legend. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the physical copy of the article in the library, despite the catalogue saying that it was available.

I admit I got frustrated after that.

So I saved the links to promising articles from the database search and left it at that. I'll go through them later.


Tonight, I typed "alien big cats" into Google, with quotes. Predictably, Wikipedia came up first, but I detailed that in my last blog post (I'm hoping to get enough information together to start editing my article next week). The quotes helped, though, definitely. I found a site called "Unexplained Mysteries", a kind of encyclopedia on phenomena that (as the title suggests) can't be explained by science.

While the site itself isn't a good resource - all the articles relating to alien big cats were extremely short and general - there were links to actual newspaper stories. The first one I turned up, from The Telegraph, was very recent (January 2012). A roe deer had been killed in Woodchester Park, in a way that seemed highly indicative of big cat activity, and experts took DNA samples in the hopes of finally putting this controversy to rest. A follow-up article, however, said "the strongest genetic signal... found on the Woodchester Park carcass was from a fox". So not conclusive at all.

But maybe it doesn't matter if alien big cats don't exist. This newspaper article points out that for every news story about them, more peoples' interest is piqued, and that could potentially bring more money into the national parks.

I found several other newspaper articles, some with embedded video, but the one I really want to share is this one, a short video that almost has me convinced that alien big cats exist. The investigators made a life-sized big cat cutout, took it into the field where the original footage was captured, and compared the two.

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