Black Panther?

Black Panther?
Black Panther / Stock Photo

I do not know if this is considered a “strange creature”, but to me it was! It was a “black panther” type animal. It was the middle of summer, not sure the year, maybe 1988/89, when we had the terrible dry spell. It just would not rain, fires were burning all over the state, rivers were shrinking etc.

Anyway, we were doing night fishing along the Little Kanawha River, in Parkersburg, across the river from Corning Glass/Schott Scientific. We were catching many turtles; very odd for this part of the river, but the water was so low, lowest I had ever seen it. We knew that many animals were coming into the city for water, as the small streams had dried up. We decided to leave at around 3:00 am, we had to drive between a patch of trees to get to the road out, we had a full size cargo van and the trees would just brush the mirrors on each side of the van as we drove through them.

Well, just about through the small patch of trees, a HUGE “cat”, maybe 4 feet long (not including the tail) dove across the front of our van. It made a huge jump, it came out of the right side of the trees and it disappeared in the left side of the trees. It jumped across directly in front of our headlights, but it jumped somewhat higher then our headlights, it’s tail was very thick, heavy looking, black with a rounded tip, quite long also. This entire thing took place in like 2 seconds, and we never did see it again, although before we left, we kept hearing dogs barking in the distance, we fished there often and rarely heard the dogs barking. This was not a regular cat, its length, tail included, was the entire width of our full size Dodge van, from side to side. That was a very odd summer indeed.

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