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Posts Tagged ‘beast of bray road’

Sasquatch illustration by Linda S. Godfrey for American Monsters

Sasquatch illustration by Linda S. Godfrey for American Monsters

American Monsters release day! What a great time I had on CoasttoCoastam.com with George Noory last evening talking about all the creepy critters! Thanks to all who listened, called in, and followed my blog afterward. In case you missed the show (I’m not normally up between two and four a.m. either :-) click HERE.

Also, check out my guest blog running today in Huffington Post on America’s Seven Scariest Monsters. It was extremely difficult to choose only seven, and I’ve seen a few comments wondering why I didn’t include the upright canines such as Michigan Dogman or Beast of Bray Road. It’s true that few things are scarier than encountering a menacing, upright wolf, but since I’m so identified with my wolfmen books and research, I wanted to emphasize that this book is a survey of the whole weird menagerie from giant birds to lake monsters. Besides, the canine crew gets its due in the book’s section on land beasts. And I wouldn’t care to run into any of these creatures on a dark trail at night. 

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americanmonsterscoverThe Monsters have been uncaged! The whole furry, scaly, red-eyed, bat-winged, fanged, dripping-clawed, oversized pack of slavering unknown creatures that I spent two years cramming into a 376-page paperback are now free to romp and roam where ever anyone may care to read about them. And in this book, it’s not just all about upright, wolf-like creatures. I wanted to create a work that shows something of the breadth and depth of the unknown kingdom that eyewitnesses continue to glimpse day and night in sky, land and water. I think it’s amazing that people see giant primates, huge flying things thought to have died out with the dinosaurs, and weird beasties like the Chupacabras that looks like nothing ever seen before, and yet we know next to nothing about most of them.

Not that this is anything really new. People like Ivan Sanderson, John Keel and many other investigators were slogging through marshes and tromping far off lands long before I began to collect the experiences of otherwise ordinary people. Nor is my occupation all that unique; I have plenty of contemporary colleagues, friends and investigators from all sorts of backgrounds and abilities–too many to name here but see the acknowledgments page in Monsters for mere starters–to whom I and the whole field of cryptozoology owe an enormous debt for their own research and studies. 

I hope this book, if nothing else, will help make the case that although modern science insists these creatures are not here, they sure look like they are to those who see them. And that there is something more to these anomalous events than mass hallucination, the occasional hoaxer, or misidentifications of known animals. 

“Beast” in New E-book Edition and limited time “God” Johnson for 99 Cents 

New Kindle Edition The Beast of Bray Road; Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf

New Kindle Edition The Beast of Bray Road; Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf

To help celebrate the launch of American Monsters, the original beast is back! The Beast of Bray Road, Tailing the American Werewolf has been unavailable in print or electronic version, but is now again offered as a Kindle book  I’m working on print availability, too.

The book is nearly the same as the original 2003 edition except for the clean-up of a few typos and new cover art created by my artist son, Nathan Godfrey. Most of the interior art is still there.

And in a purely celebratory move, my fantasy novel God Johnson, the Unforgiven Diary, will be available from all venues for 99 cents from August 28 through September 30. It’s the story of Liberty Abbott, the disciple of a has-been demigod who’s taken the trust-inspiring form of Abraham Lincoln the better to attract energy-rich followers. There are no werewolves, but there are pet sphinxes, sentient plants, a snake goddess, Cyclops and a bartender named Cthulhu. The alternate universe Liberty must contend with is secreted in select spots of downtown Madison, Wisconsin. See godjohnsonnewHRthe link above for download venues and more about God Johnson. (Which has nothing to do with the coincidentally-named TV show The Almighty Johnsons about a whole family of demigods with that name! There really is a human hive consciousness :-) )

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WakelyBF 001
While waiting along with everyone else to see whether Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA study and/or the allegedly captured Bigfoot code-named Daisy hold any water worth wading into, I have been looking back at some of the better ‘Squatch reports I’ve received and collected from SE Wisconsin over the years. One of my favorites is the so-called “Bad Hair Day Bigfoot” observed by Matt Wakely in September 2005 SE of Lake Geneva, near the WI-IL border.

The incident is described in full in my book Hunting the American Werewolf, and Wakely passed a polygraph exam of his story on the Monsterquest “American Werewolf ” episode. (The show didn’t mention he saw a Bigfoot rather than a dog man). This was a daylight sighting where the witness had a good long look at the creature. He called his mother and told her he had just seen a caveman, naked and covered with fur. The creature seemed totally unafraid of Matt, and its most unusual feature may have been its rather wild hairdo. My best guess is that it was perhaps an adolescent that had just risen from a midday nap in the cemetery, where it stood with 1 foot on a head stone.

It also had less facial hair, according to Matt’s description, than any other Bigfoot ever reported to me. This also suggests an adolescent age group, but more importantly, it gave Matt an unusually clear look at facial features.

Matt drew his own sketches ( below) and then worked with me to achieve what he agreed looked a pretty fair facsimile of what he saw. At that time, I privately thought the face seemed a bit too human, but my job is to draw and report what the witness saw without projecting my own biases.

Over the past year, as I had my own encounter and gathered more local evidence, it’s occurred to me that if Ketchum’s study proves valid and Sasquatch is indeed genetically part human , then this drawing may be a closer stab at a real portrait than I previously believed. And Matt’s tag of “caveman” may have been very accurate!WakelyBF 002

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Believe it or not, Thursday was the 20th anniversary of my original news story on the creature I dubbed The Beast of Bray Road. Little did I know what it would lead to! And yes, although similar creatures are reported to me regularly from all over the US, the Beast is still spotted on Bray Road. The most recent credible report was from a middle-aged couple who saw it cross the road near Hwy NN and then easily hop a fence, all on two legs. They said its shaggy fur “flowed” in the wind.

My first book on the topic, “The Beast of Bray Road,” is now out of print but can now be had on Kindle (used book copies are quite pricey!) That was published in 2003, and fall 2012 will see my 5th book dealing with unknown, upright wolf-like creatures “Real Wolfmen – True Encounters in Modern America” from Tarcher/Penguin. No one is more surprised than I am at the creature’s longevity. 

Will there be more? That depends entirely on whether enough new cases come to me or if some truly amazing evidence comes to light. I am starting to wonder if the mystery will ever be solved, but I do intend to keep investigating. 

The year changes tomorrow as I enter my 21st decade of creature-seeking, and the hunt begins anew…

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I’m a fan of fan art. I am always tickled when people send images inspired by my books on upright creatures, and am often amazed at how accomplished these efforts are. Here are two sculptures created by the Wentz family which runs a backyard haunted attraction in Ogden Utah. The first looks like a classic hellhound…

And the second is surely a Manwolf, although a bit nekkid. Kudos to the Wentz’s!

And then there is this painting by California eyewitness Anthony S. Chaney. It includes a lot more background than I reproduced here, and is a great rendition of the dogman described by many other witnesses.

I  also receive many notes from writers, musicians and film makers that my research has inspired them to create something werewolfish. I applaud all original efforts and say go for it! After all, there is no more perfect metaphor for the tortured soul of an artist than the transformative loup-garou!

(Image copyrights belong to individual artists, used by permission)

 

 

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UPDATE: As of July 8 2011 please note that I now have reason to doubt the complete truth of the information given me below so I am removing names but leaving the story for now – reader beware!

Bray Road is a popular place on Halloween, usually for little reason since the original sightings heyday. But this year, on Friday October 22, four of six 20-somethings cruising around 1:30 pm saw not one but two furry upright canines about 200 yards away in the middle of a muddy field. The group from the Union Grove area were headed toward the Hwy 11 end of Bray Road (the other end joins Hwy. N in Elkhorn) when the 22-year old driver of the Pontiac Grand Am and another passenger spied a tall, brown-furred creature vanishing into some brush to their right. The photo below was in this vicinity but taken earlier.

They turned in the nearest driveway and sped back. Twenty-two year old C. soon yelled at the driver to stop because he now saw the tall creature — and a companion — in the middle of a muddy field behind the brush. He and his friend, 24-year old A., saw them at the same time. The creatures walked on “three-jointed” doglike legs clearly silhouetted in the bright moonlight, and stood an estimated seven feet tall with long slender arms. When the car stopped so did the creatures, which turned their heads to reveal long canine muzzles and tall, pointed ears. One of them had eyes that glowed a faint yellow.

First one canine, then the other, dropped to all fours and ran off into the darkness. Two of the other passengers with C. and A. saw part of the incident, and the last two passengers missed the whole thing before they could scramble into good viewing positions.

I interviewed C.and A. by phone and also spoke with A. in person. They both remained consistent and convinced by what they saw.

Does this mean the Beast is back? It is hard to say whether this was a glimpse of habitation or just two creatures passing through. It is doubtful the alleged creatures were hoaxers since rain earlier that night had turned the fields very muddy, and humans would not be likely to navigate it as quickly as the creatures were observed to do, even if they were out in the field for some reason. Humans also would have been unlikely to have run away on all fours. I am still talking to the witnesses but so far they appear credible. (ed. note: not sure this is still the case)

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First, I must say that the Beast of Bray Rd. and his kin that are reported to me from around the country for the past 17 years regrettably bear no resemblance to the cute, sexy werewolves of the book and movie, New Moon. (Which are really Native American shapeshifters or Skinwalkers, not werewolves.) And they would make terrible boyfriends for the following reasons:

 

-The creatures I call Manwolves have no physically human aspect, other than bipedal stance and some behavioral traits, so while they may be good-looking for canines, they aren’t really movie star handsome unless you’re casting for Rin Tin Tin.

-Many who have encountered a Manwolf at close range have reported a horrible smell of wet dog and urine. I bet even love-struck Bella would not be enticed by that.

-Manwolves are snarly, aggressive and anti-social; less than optimal boyfriend material. They eat roadkill, deer and cats so you wouldn’t want one to take you to dinner.

-And worst of all, unknown bipedal canines leave the scene at the first opportunity. That smacks of major future commitment problems.

Second, I would just like to mention that the hunky werewolf lover has a long tradition in literature, despite the inherent problems. One is the story of Bisclaveret, which is Breton for werewolf. Like New Moon, it was penned by a popular female writer, in this case Marie de France, but it predates Stephenie Meyer by about 1800 years (the 1100s).

Bisclaveret was a rich and hunky lord of Brittany who naturally married a beautiful woman. His wife wanted to know where he went for three days of every week, however, and found out that he was spending the time running around, literally, as a werewolf. He transformed by shedding his clothing, and could only change back by putting the same outfit back on.

His wife decided she would prefer a former, entirely human lover who then stole Bisclaveret’s clothing and partied on the werewolf’s wealth with the lady for years. Eventually Bisclaveret was able to kill the knave — and his unfaithful wife — and get his clothing and estates back.

Werewolves are fun to put in fiction, I have done it myself. The possibilities are endless. But whatever it is that people are really seeing in the American woods and fields is something entirely different. And the real creatures, whatever they are, don’t appear ready for their close-up just yet.

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