The Cannock Crocodile.

Back in 2003 reports were emerging of a strange creature being seen in a relatively small pool on the outskirts of a housing estate close to the A5 and also a new part of the M6 which was under construction at that time. Roman View pool is about 800yds in length by around 300yds wide fringed by reeds and bullrushes which attract many butterflies and flying insects.

roman view pool 005It was to this location that Jon Downes and Mark Martin of the Centre for Fortean Zoology were dispatched to investigate reports of sightings on the 21st of July 2003.

By the time the rest of the team had arrived and had split into three separate groups, and after answering many questions from curious members of the public it was 6.15 before the boat team launched their dinghy, the other two teams were exploring the banks and undergrowth surrounding the pool. After a couple of false alarms Mark Martin had a sighting from the boat of an 18inch long dark blackish green head of a what appeared to be a large animal.

Around the same time the team which was exploring the undergrowth around the pool came across a flattened area of reeds suggesting that a large creature like a crocodile had been emerging out of the water at this location.

In the early evening a John Mizzen turned up at the pool, he had witnessed the animal swimming in the pool previously and went on to state that, “It was about 7ft feet in length. Its head was flat, as was its jaw and nose, and it was greenish black in colour and about 18inches in width. The tail had a scaly appearance. Then it went underneathroman view pool 006 the water and we just lost contact with it. It had been on the surface for about 3-4 seconds and in that time it covered about 15 to 20 feet”.

Another witness told the group that there had been a series of incidents at a nearby slaughterhouse on the shores of a pond connected to Roman View pool by a watercourse. Apparently this establishment which dealt mainly with dispatching elderly or ill horses supplied meat to local zoos. While carcasses were hanging in concrete pits in order to prepare them for consumption something had taken large bites out of them!

As the night drew on the team set about searching the surface of the pool with powerful spotlights in the hope that the eyes of the crocodile would be reflected in the beams, unfortunately this proved to be fruitless and the search was abandoned at around one in the morning.

Some of the team uncovered information regarding an unscrupulous reptile dealer in the area who had had a shop in the vicinity and had been closed down on animal welfare grounds, it has been speculated that he may have been responsible for releasing a reptile, possibly a spectacled caiman, however with the coming of winter the possibility of its survival is slim at best, and so perhaps a modern myth of the Cannock Crocodile has just been created.

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