A third person has come forward with a sighting of the mysterious creature around Falmouth.

Sheila Bird, a local historian and author, spotted a strange cat-like animal in a tree in the swampy area round the back of Swanpool in 2006, a similar area to where Falmouth man Sam Bradbury saw the creature last month, but did not go to the local press.

After seeing Mr Bradbury’s sketch and then hearing the news of a sighting by another woman, Rita Shelton, on Pendennis headland, Mrs Bird referred to her diary entry from the misty morning on December 27, 2006, when she encountered the creature in the trees above the pool.

She said: “It was about 10.15am and I was walking across the cliff path from Gyllyngvase to Swanpool and around the pool on my way to a physio appointment when I noticed a large black form up in the branches.

“I looked closer to see a large cat-like animal with its ears pointing up.

“It was high up in the trees so in order for the creature to get up in the branches it must have been quite agile.

“It was curled in a cat’s cradle position and looked a bit like an enormous Kuala bear with a long bushy tail. It had long black hair with a brownish tinge.”

Mrs Bird, who has written many books about the paranormal around Cornwall, went on to say that she was very intrigued because, like most people, she does not associate cats with a love of water.

They stared at each other for about 50 minutes as the mist cleared and the creature kept almost completely still, but for the odd head movement.

She returned to the spot the next day with her camera only to see the creature had gone.

“I thought it was a great privilege to see an animal like this so clearly,” she said.

Mrs Bird added that now three people have come forward with sightings, she hopes more people would appreciate the mystery of nature.