Friday, November 30, 2007

Waunlwyd beast seen on the prowl by dog walker

Waunlwyd beast seen on the prowl by dog walker

A MYSTERIOUS large black cat has been spotted in the Waunlwyd hills for the second time in two weeks.

Last week we reported how father and son Peter and Gareth Whittle spotted an unusual beast as they were travelling to the Silent Valley rubbish tip on Wednesday, November 14.

Exactly a week later cat lover Denise Selway spotted a similar cat while walking her dog George not far from her home in Hillside Terrace, Waunlwyd.

Ms Selway was unaware of the Whittles’ sighting, featured in last week’s Gazette, until her friend Caroline Road, tried to play a practical joke on her.

“I couldn’t believe it when she told me,” Miss Road said.

“I was laughing for ages so when I went home I decided to play a joke on her.

“I went on the internet and tried to find a story about a sighting somewhere in Wales and I was going to change the name to Waunlwyd to wind her up.

“When I typed it all in and the Gazette story came up from last week I couldn’t believe it.

“Denise still thought it was a wind up but I didn’t have to change anything – it was a mad coincidence.”

Over the years Ms Selway has rescued and rehomed hundreds of cats, she keeps several at her Waunlwyd home and as a result she is very familiar with the shapes and sizes of domestic and feral cats.

“I know exactly what I saw,” she said picking up one of her bigger cats.

“This is a big cat, cats do not grow much bigger than this but the one I saw was much bigger and a different shape.

“It was totally black and it had a long tail, I would say it was about four foot long.

“I was less than 30ft away from it and walked past quite slowly, I feel quite privileged to have seen it.”

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good luck for builders as big cat crosses their path

A LARGE black “mountain cat” has been spotted prowling the hills overlooking Waunlwyd.

Shocked father-and-son builders Peter and Gareth Whittle caught sight of the unusual beast at 11.40am on Wednesday, November 14.

Peter, aged 55, and Gareth, 28, are self-employed and at the time they saw the creature they were making their second trip of the day to the Silent Valley refuse tip.

As they crossed the cattle grid outside Cwm cemetery the big cat walked out in front of them.

“We were driving up the mountain as normal and all of a sudden we saw this cat,” Gareth said.

“It walked in front of us and jumped over the fence without any effort – like it was stepping on to a kerb on the side of the road.

“We both looked at each other, we just couldn’t believe it.

“I phoned my missus and she said ‘Don’t be so stupid’ – but I know what I saw.”

The father and son, who say they were cynical before the sighting, are no strangers to the Waunlwyd mountainside.

“I have been walking these hills for 40 years and me and the boy go hunting most weekends – I know what animals look like.

“I’ve heard there have been sighting before and I have always been cynical but now I believe it after seeing with my own eyes.

“I’ve got nothing to gain from making it up.

“If it was 12 o’clock at night or I was walking home from the pub I would doubt myself, but this was 11.40am and it was a very clear day.

“There was no mistaking it – it was about four foot in length, black and had a big tail.

“It was very, very agile but the head was quite small so I think it would have been a female.

“It was big, too, not as big as a lion or panther but it was still very big.

“It was one big lump of a feline.”

Have you seen this mystery beast? Ring our newsroom on 01495 304589.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Exploring the paranormal at Margam Park - icWales

Exploring the paranormal at Margam Park - icWales

PEOPLE who went ghost-hunting in Margam Castle last Saturday had a frightful night.

Up to 300 people wanted to attend the annual Hallowe’en event put on by Geraint Hopkins of Ghost Watch Wales.

He was able to allow only 25 people on the ghost hunt on Hallowe’en night itself, so he decided to hold a second hunt on Saturday.

Deleine Hitchens from Margam went to the event with her daughter Lisa and partner Simon Williams.

“It was action from the word go,” she said.

“I went with an open mind because it was my first time, but I was nervous about the whole thing.”

Although Mrs Hitchens did not personally see anything, she saw other people experience things, including her daughter who felt her hair being touched.

“There is definitely something out there,” she said.

Mrs Hitchens described her night as a “wonderful experience” and is looking forward to her next paranormal investigation with Ghost Watch Wales.

The group is one of the longest-running paranormal investigation teams in the country, and it has used Margam Park as a location for numerous television appearance on programmes such as Most Haunted, I Love Wales and Weird Wales.

One of the most famous ghosts believed to haunt Margam Castle is the “White Lady”, who Geraint believes to have seen on several occasions.

He said: “I once saw a woman walking down the stairs in period costume, and as she walked down it went really cold in the room.”

To find more about Ghost Watch Wales visit or call Mr Hopkins on 07879 021348.