Now, eye witness testimony puts people in jail, so it shouldn't be scoffed at. However, as anyone involved in criminal investigation knows, there are eye witnesses and eye witnesses. To put it bluntly, some people's powers of observation and recall are less than adequate. To illustrate, let me share two double witnesses sightings I investigated. Even when two people see the same thing, there still remains the problem of cross-fertilisation, especially if they have discussed the matter before being interviewed, as is usually the case. Certainly, it is always important to interview both separately. Just the same, the bottom line is that two pairs of eyes are better than one. So, with these reservations, let us proceed.
So there you have it. In both cases, the sighting lasted only a few seconds. In the first, both witnesses described essentially the same thing, and were solid enough in their recall to recognize their differences. In the second case, there were radical differences. Indeed, they could not agree on whether it occurred just after dawn, or while it was still pitch dark. One saw a dark animal with light bands, the other a light animal with dark bands. Both could only be true if the stripes were so close together, they resembled a zebra's. For this, they may be excused, bearing in mind the brevity of the sighting, but the bottom line is, if you relied on either description, you would come away with a false impression.
The point, of course, is that if only one account had been available, we would have no idea of its unreliability. Likewise, if only one witness had been available for the Cooyar sighting, we would not know that it could be relied upon.
The ultimate lesson is: it is the big picture which matters. Only when large number of individual reports are collated can you have any confidence in the details.