Skip to main content

The Mysterious Story of Nellie the Lion



There have always been reports of mysterious cats in the United States. Some of these stories come from hundreds of years ago, and some occur in the present day.

One famous story of a mystery Alien Big Cat (ABC) occurred in 1917. This specific ABC was nicknamed "Nellie the Lion."

The sightings happened near Decatur, Illinois. The first report to gain media attention came in after a man named Thomas Gullett was attacked on July 13 while working in a garden. Gullett only suffered some minor wounds, but after word spread people started to panic.

The attacks on Gullett sparked the press' interest in the Nellie story, although the first sightings had actually happened a few days earlier.

The report on the attack led to a 300 person hunt on July 15, 1917. While the hunters were our looking for Nellie she appeared a quarter of a mile away, when she was sighted by a Mrs. Shaw who described what she saw as a "African Lioness."

On July 17, five-inch tracks were found near Decatur. Later that same day, two boys saw the cat near the Sangamon River, which is east of Decatur.

Not surprisingly, panic spread. When people went outside and saw a collie, they saw a lion. One farmer even shot an approaching car because he thought the headlights were the eyes of the big cat. Newspapers had lots of fun with these reports, and passed off all the others as misidentification or jokes, too.

Nellie was taken more seriously when she attacked Chester Osborn, Earl Hill, and their wives on July 29. They were driving near Decatur at 10:30 PM when the two men, who were sitting in the front of the car, saw the cat hiding in the weeds by the road.

The cat leaped about 20 feet and slammed into the side of the car. It then collapsed on the road.

The terrified witnesses sped to Decatur and told the police what happened. They went back to the area, and Nellie, who had been knocked out from the car collision but by this time had recovered, was still there, but soon disappeared over an embankment and was not seen again.

On July 31, James Rutherford saw a "large, yellow, long haired beast" as he was driving a hay wagon past a gravel pit. He watched the cat disappear towards a creek. Search parties checked out the area later, and found a few tracks, but no lion.

Soon after that encounter, Nellie sightings stopped.

We'll probably never know what Nellie was. Was she a real African lioness? Was she a Mountain Lion? The second guess would probably be the most likely.

More on Nellie the Lion and other Alien Big Cats can be found in my book Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More From Across America. The holidays are coming up… it would make a great gift for a cryptozoology enthusiast!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Burrunjor - A Present-Day Australian Dinosaur?

Australia is said to be home to a variety of cryptid creatures, from the aquatic Bunyip, the man-like Yowies and Wakkis, and the thylacine. There is another, however, that could be considered stranger than all the others. Why? Because its said to be something that should have gone extinct 65 million years ago!

The creature in question is called the Burrunjor, and is said to be a surviving dinosaur. Now, before you think that there is no possible way the Burrunjor could be real, remember that there are sightings and stories of other dinosaur-like creatures from around the world - for example, the mokele-mbembe, kongamato, and others in Africa, "Mounatin Boomers" in the U.S., the Partridge Creek Monster, and more.

Over the years there have been many sightings and stories of the Burrunjor in Australia, including this one from Rex and Heather Gilroy from the 1970s:

"In 1978, a Northern Territory bushman and explorer, Bryan Clark, related a story of his own that had taken pl…

Some Thoughts on Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition

So far, two episodes of Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition have aired. Here are some of my thoughts on the show.

First off, let's start with the team, the Midnight Sons. There are a few new members on the team this season. The old leader, Little Bear, is gone, and now Crusty (the guy with the bear claw in his beard) is leader of the team. Other members are: Dudley (new guy), the team "forensic expert," Todd, the "trap engineer," Bulldog (new guy), the "survival expert," Rhett, the "greenhorn" (rookie), and of course Face, the "veteran tracker."

Compared to the AIMS Team of Mountain Monsters, Crusty is Trapper, Todd is Willy, Rhett is Buck, Bulldog would probably be Huckleberry, Dudley would probably be Jeff, and Face would be Wild Bill.

I haven't seen the first episode, "Bigfoot of the Arctic Circle: Siberian Giant," but I did watch episode two, "Bigfoot of Denali: Wind Walker" last Saturday. I actually though…

Cynocephali, Wolf-Men, and the Dogman

In modern times, there are reports of creatures that look like werewolves. These creatures are commonly called Dogmen by cryptozoologists. Most people will probably think that all the Dogman stories are fake, but a lot of people (including me) believe they are true. This post is about Dogmen, but not really the ones seen today. You see, reports/stories of Dogman like beings go back thousands of years.


THE CYNOCEPHALI 

First, we will start of with a history of the cynocephali for those who may not know what they are. According to the Cryptid Wiki, the Cynocephali existed in the mythology of Europe, India, and China. They were said to exist in modern-day Iran. In European mythology, they were described as dog-headed people. Sometimes they were said to be hairy giants.

One theory to explain the Cynocephali is that they are just baboons. That could be the explanation, but, as we shall see, stories of werewolf like creatures continued, and still do in today's world. The Cryptid Wiki has…