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Illustration by Nathan D. Godfrey, all rights reserved

One question I hear a lot from radio callers, blog readers and conference attendees is whether I think that unknown, upright canine creatures are related to UFOs. It’s actually a concept that’s been around for some time and is also asked in regard to Bigfoot and other cryptids. My usual answer is that while I don’t have any reports from witnesses who’ve seen a dogman hopping directly off a UFO (although I know there are a few cases where people have claimed this about Bigfoot), it just so happens that places where mystery creatures abound are also often UFO hotspots.

A  perfect example of this type of area is the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest which stretches through Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Washington Counties in Wisconsin. This wooded, well-watered and hilly terrain encompasses the Holy Hill region which has had numerous sightings of upright, wolf-like creatures — probably the most famous of which was the 2006 incident where the DNR’s carcass removal contractor saw one such beast drag a fresh deer from the back of his pickup truck. It’s also an area where many Bigfoot have been spotted, and includes old legends of a Goatman and ancient sacred places to boot.

It’s just as well known for its UFO activity. The city of Hartford, in fact, was named the site of one of the Top 10 UFO Cases of 2012 by the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON. The incident occurred July 13 when a woman in her 50s and her daughter both saw a silent, lampshade-shaped object equipped with lights and measuring about two hundred feet long zip over the trees in their yard before shooting away in classic UFO style. The sighting lasted about half a minute, which is actually longer than most sightings of unknown phenomena.

The little town of Dundee, one of Wisconsin’s three self-proclaimed UFO capitals (the others are Elmwood and Belleville), has a long history of unidentified flying objects in its skies. A woman I met at a library signing told me of one that she’d had just off Hwy. 67, about ten miles south of Plymouth, on her family farm at the age of ten in November, 1967. She had been sent to fetch some chickens, whose wings hadn’t been sufficiently clipped, from a tree. She was busy pulling them out when she saw a large, silent, cigar-shaped craft hovering just above a nearby tree only forty feet away. It had small portholes or windows, and on one end were two curved, pipe-like appendages that emitted yellow and blue, laser-like lights that appeared to float off on their own. It eventually zoomed off but the girl had quite a long look at it. She didn’t know if the craft’s occupants were aware of her. She also had an aunt who saw a round, disk-like craft over her fishing boat in the same general area.

Cheeseheads aren’t the only ones to see such things. The late Fortean investigator John Keel, best known for his in-depth investigation of, West Virginia’s Mothman of Point Pleasant, said in an interview for the Sept., 2007 issue of FATE Magazine that there were “countless” sightings of UFOs in that vicinity in the mid-1960s, and described seeing many unidentifiable lights himself when he inspected animal mutilations that were also associated with the strange goings-on. The part of the interview that grabbed my attention, however, was his statement that, “Mothman left tracks that looked like giant dog prints.”

That has pretty interesting implications, if true. I’ve never received a report of a dogman with wings, although plenty of people have claimed to have seen flying things with hairy, un-bird-like bodies. But it hints at some sort of Protean, multi-formed entity able to look like several different animals or a blend of them, with some connection to weirdly behaving lights. And yet, most dogman and Bigfoot witnesses believe they have encountered solid, flesh-and-blood creatures. Keel also thought the lights he saw in Pt. Pleasant were “mischievous masses of energy,” but the two witnesses mentioned above who saw UFOs in or near the weird-creature-infested Kettle Moraine both described craft-like forms with defined shapes. Perhaps they were entirely different phenomena – who can really say?

I have to confess that I’ve been working on a case for several months that involves large, bipedal canine prints that do such inexplicable things as appear suddenly in the middle of a secluded field, then track into nearby woods. They seem to belong to some large animal that is somehow able to obscure its image from multiple trail cams as it drags or carries off deer carcasses. The trail cams have caught weird, anomalous lights overhead when these things occur – all of it so far unexplainable. The investigation is still in active progress but I’ll admit it has me questioning some of my own biases at this point.

Still, even that case isn’t solid proof of a relationship between the unknown creatures and mysterious lights or sky vessels, to my mind. But I do believe that the fact that they often appear in the same areas and sometimes the same time frames, too, means that any open-minded investigator ought to take a serious look. Our universe is seldom simple or predictable, and perhaps there’s an unimagined answer out there that no one’s thought of. Yet. I think we’d best keep looking for it.

 

ImageSee it first on http://layeredpages.com/2014/02/21/interview-with-author-linda-godfrey/  New author interview about my writing life, God Johnson; the Unforgiven Diary and other things – Officially goes up today at http://layeredpages.com/2014/02/21/interview-with-author-linda-godfrey/  

Many thanks to the indieBRAG site and Stephanie Hopkins at Layered Pages.com

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Eyewitness sketch from 2005 Kentucky encounter.

Much better late than never, is my motto when it comes to witness sketches. In “The Michigan Dogman, Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the USA,” I passed along a sighting told to a Kentucky man by his wife who saw a seven-foot dogman in 2005, and who, himself, then began experiencing many of the signs that often accompany such sighting areas: large, weird footprints, the sense of being watched, unidentified growling, pets disappearing and fearful dogs. The couple lives in the forest-and- wildlife-rich Bullitt County. 

The book was published in 2010, but I heard from the wife (who wishes to remain anonymous) this past week. She explained that she still thinks about the creature she saw standing in her driveway, and finally felt driven to make a sketch of it. It looks very much like most eyewitness descriptions of dogmen, except for the fact that although it clearly walked upright on doglike legs, she said its paws appeared more “human-like.” I hear that once in a while, and believe it could be explained by the fact that most dogmen, according to eyewitnesses and footprints, seem to have somewhat elongated paws and very long claws,a combination that could appear hand-like, especially from a distance. She also said its head resembled a German shepherd’s, its eyes reflected yellow, pointed ears on top of the head, covered with dark fur — very like most dogman or manwolf reports. Interestingly, the ears included those strange tufts that witnesses sometimes report.

She was certain that it wasn’t a bear. 

Although the optimal time to create an eyewitness sketch would certainly be as soon after the sighting as possible, I hear time and again that the sight of the creature is etched permanently in the memory of witnesses. Still, I always take the passage of time into account when judging any sketch’s accuracy, along with the artist’s drawing ability and how well it matches the written description. This one is quite nicely drawn, and I do wish I would have had it for inclusion in the book. As I said earlier, however, I’m glad just to have it at all and add it to the growing number of witness sketches from over the years.

By the way, Kentucky is a state with many sightings of upright canids. My friend, Bart Nunnelly, has also collected many of them in his book, Mysterious Kentucky

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Taking the leap to self-publishing with the release of my debut urban/paranormal fantasy, God Johnson; the Unforgiven Diary, has been a mondo-learning experience, especially after having gone the traditional publishing route with all my nonfiction books. One of the most trying hurdles for any self-published author is just getting the word out that your book exists! I’m truly grateful, then, for a new site offering personalized ebook recommends http://www.TheFussyLibrarian.com that has chosen God Johnson as its Urban Fantasy pick of the day for Dec. 3, 2013.

The site only considers books with a minimum of ten reviews and at least a 4-star average rating on Amazon.com, so the bar is set a little higher at the outset. Readers can choose to be notified of books that fit their own preferences, choosing between 40 genres and three ratings for sexual/violent content. 

I think this type of site will prove to be a popular and lasting service to help readers in their search for the self-pubs best suited to their tastes, and hope everyone here hops on over to visit The Fussy Librarian. I guarantee you won’t be shushed!

Podcast with Bigfoot Tonight Show

Chuck Prahl and friends asked me to retell my own encounter from last summer, and we also talked about the 1936 “Gadara” incident and the Maine Wolf Pack encounter I wrote about in Real Wolfmen that was featured on Paranormal Witness.

My Life as an Accidental Werewolf Chronicler

Here’s an interview recently published in JSOnline after a chat I had with writer Tea Krulos.

http://onmilwaukee.com/myOMC/authors/onmilwaukeecomstaffwriters/milwaukeeghostswerewolf.html

The Uninvited

Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d share an example from the spookier side of the reports I receive. As I often note, the great majority of creatures described by eyewitnesses feature unusual but not necessarily supernatural behavior — mostly walking or running on two legs. There’s a small but steady minority of reports, however, that describe something I call the “house or bedroom invaders.” These involve creatures that appear inexplicably inside people’s homes. In my opinion they are not at all the same things that others report jumping from cornfields or snarling on nature trails. Their descriptions detail a taller creature that seems more humanoid in form and is utterly black in color. They normally vanish after a minute or so, and often seem to totally ignore the witness. They do not behave like aliens in an abduction scenario or like the legendary, demon-like visitations of the entities known as “old hags,” incubus or succubus. One witness who saw two of them in her room at night said she felt they had extreme intelligence. 

I received a new one recently from a Rock County, Wisconsin couple whose encounter occurred several years ago. I’ll let the writer tell it in her own words:

“You mentioned in that radio show something about all black ‘wolf like’ bipedal creatures randomly appearing in a person’s house and then disappearing. It gave me chills because a few years ago something similar happened to us. (A lot of other weird stuff happened during that time, but this one thing stood out the most.)

We were bunking in my parent’s basement … One night during the first few weeks, after a lot of horrible drama in the house, my husband and I both woke up at exactly the same time early in the morning (it was almost 3 am.) Standing in the corner of the room, which was pitch dark, was an even darker image of something about 7 to 8 feet tall.Image

I don’t remember ever being able to see any facial features, but I remember the legs and hands clearly. The legs were abnormally long, and it looked as if a person standing on their tippy toes, or what my dogs look like when they are standing on their back legs. Except the foot seemed longer and almost human like. The knees bulged out and were rounded like a dog’s leg, and the ankle stuck out in the back like a dog. This thing was blacker than the dark, which was probably the one thing that really got me scared. At first I thought it was just a dream, and I don’t remember falling back to sleep at all. I just saw it, then it was morning. I shared my “dream” with my husband and his whole face turned pale, jaw dropped, because he saw the same thing and also thought it was a dream.”

Many of those who have reported this phenomenon say the creature or creatures remind them of Anubis, the canine-headed god of the Egyptian afterlife. None of the writers have reported being physically harmed, and most are confused and curious as to what the creatures wanted and what they were. Some have guessed that they are interdimensional travelers, others that perhaps they are some kind of nearby earth spirit. At least one of the incidents occurred in bright morning sunlight, so it isn’t just a night time phenomenon. 

I don’t feel I have enough information to even hazard a guess at what these home invaders may be, but again, they are extremely different than the usual dogman or Manwolf sightings. All that I can say until more of them come in for study and comparison is — Happy Halloween!

 

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