Geographical Index > United States > Oklahoma > McCurtain County > Article # 374
Media Article # 374
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Black cats no myth, readers say
By Ed Godfrey
Fourteen readers took issue with my column last week about the mythical black panther or black cougar in Oklahoma.
State wildlife officials say there is no proof such a cat exists, but plenty of Oklahomans swear they've seen one.
In the interest of fair play, here is a sampling of their stories:
Becky Duckworth, 40, of Edmond, saw what she believed was a black panther just six weeks ago in the Tanglevine Addition at Covell Road and Midwest Boulevard, east of Interstate 35.
"I saw it as clear as possible. It was right in front of my headlights. It was only about 10 feet in front of me. It walked very slowly.
"It was sleek, it really appeared to be a black panther. It didn't run away and wasn't scared of my car. It was right in my headlights coming toward me. I, for sure, have seen one."
Annell Thompson, 33, of Oklahoma City, said she and her mom encountered a black panther about 20 years ago while driving on a country road near Bromide, south of Ada.
"This thing was not a dog. It was one of the biggest black panthers I have ever seen. (It) walked right out in front of my mom and me.
"If the game wardens say these things do not exist, I don't how they can call themselves game rangers because I know they exist. I have seen them."
Bob Trail, 69, of Coalgate, said he spotted three black panthers six or seven years ago.
"They was in Atoka County. I can even take them (the game wardens) where they was at if they want me to. It's not a myth. They are here."
Larry Grim, 61, said he didn't believe the black panther stories until he saw one a year ago on a country road between Glencoe and Morrison.
"This thing was black. It was a panther. They are up in here."
Said Gregg Price, 40, of Davidson:
"There is nothing bogus about physical evidence of what does exist. When I still lived on a farm in the Rush Springs area in the 1990s, I witnessed one of these so-called bogus sightings!
"A litter of pigs I had just bought was killed -- literally slaughtered -- even played and toyed with. First, the paw prints, then the strides of this bogus cat were measured.
"Second, we tracked and later spotted this "bogus" cat. Was it a bogus sighting? Not according to my eyes, those slaughtered pigs, or my pocket book."
Micky Marsee, 45, of Purcell, said he crossed a black panther's path in 1969.
"Ed, I would have to agree with you on your article in Sunday's paper if I had not seen with my own eyes what I saw. No, I don't believe in UFOs, and I've never seen Bigfoot and I have hunted all my life.
In 1969, my family and I were driving around the Lexington hunting area below Lake Dahlgren when a black panther or big cat of some kind jumped into the middle of the road and stopped and looked at us.
"Now, I was 10 at the time, but my parents, aunt and uncle were there. The cat looked at us for 10 to 15 seconds before leaping on across the road.
"The cat was only 35 to 40 yards in front of us. We had time to get a good look at this animal, and this cat was 4 to 5 feet long from head to tail and 21/2 feet tall.
"We reported the cat to the head ranger at the time, and he point-blank told my dad that he knew the cat was there because he had seen it, too.
"I now hunt up and down the South Canadian River and I have never seen another cat since that day, but I have seen some cat tracks bigger than bobcat tracks in the river bottom and you will never make me believe big cats don't move up and down our river systems."
Only one person called with a Bigfoot sighting.
This article is in response to the author's column from March 21, 2004 available onsite here: Media Article #370.
Click here to view the original article