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Posts Tagged ‘werewolves’

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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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.

 

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(original art copyright Linda Godfrey 2012)

Reports of unknown canids don’t stop just because I’m busy making seasonal appearances. So when my publisher,  Tarcher/Penguin, asked me to write a Halloweenish guest blog, I saw a chance to reveal a few of my recent faves:

Werewolves, as I like to say, are not just for Halloween anymore. But comes October’s end, our thoughts turn naturally toward monsters and the macabre.

My own thoughts turn that way year ‘round; I’ve stalked, investigated and written about wolf-like, upright creatures for the past two decades. I believe that amid hundreds of reports of fanged, shaggy manimals must lie at least a fleshy gobbet of truth. And if all the incidents cited in Real Wolfmen; True Encounters in Modern America, aren’t enough to convince readers that something spooky this way trots, consider the many new reports that have poured in since the book’s September debut.

The horrific encounters come from ordinary citizens across the US and Canada. While a few eyewitnesses report creature behavior that smacks of the supernatural, most sightings describe what might be a natural canine that inexplicably walks or runs on its hind legs — and sports one nasty attitude.

I pawed through the most recently reported cases to choose six unforgettable meet-ups between real humans and real wolfmen. The reports below are abbreviated, but I still advise reading them in a brightly lit room with the front door securely shut. The creatures seem as curious about us as we are about them, and more than one witness has reported the harrowing sight of a furry face pressed against the windowpane.

Real wolfmen? Ask these people who’ve seen them:

Polk County, Florida: Highway horror describes what three family members felt in two separate encounters several years ago. First, a husband and wife spotted a seven-foot tall, wolf-like creature standing upright on the roadside as they passed it in their van. They didn’t slow down. A relative later saw a huge, muscular wolf-like creature that gave him an “evil feeling” just west of Orlando! (No, it wasn’t Mickey Mouse.)

Sparta, Tennessee:  A teenager and her older brother on a sunset drive to the grocery store in 2003 forgot about the groceries as an upright, shaggy-furred, wolf-like creature weighing several hundred pounds sprinted across Simpson Road about fifteen feet in front of their Honda Accord. “It was a strange experience I will never forget,” she wrote.

New York state, central: A veteran police officer recalls a childhood encounter with a dark-furred, wolf-headed creature that he and some friends saw “sitting” on a log in some woods at dusk. They thought it might be a human in a dark cape – until it turned to glare at them and they saw its pointed ears, snout and fangs! The officer has since investigated huge, bipedal wolf prints in the same area.

Southern Indiana: A man and woman had just crossed the Ohio River driving north from Owensboro, Kentucky, in 2010 when they had to swerve to avoid hitting an upright, “emaciated and very riled wolf-like creature.” Before speeding away, the driver locked eyes with it and said he felt that the beast was both intelligent and dangerous. It snarled at them as they passed. “I was really fearful, so we left,” he wrote.

McHenry, Illinois: A woman driving home from her mother-in-law’s funeral one April night in 2002 was approaching a roadside cemetery on State Hwy. 31 when she noticed glowing eyes to her left. Next, a dark shape rose onto its hind legs and ran in front of her car, forcing her to brake. It paused to turn and snarl at her before running off into the cemetery. The beast stood taller than her six-foot high truck, she said, and it looked like a “walking wolf.” She called the experience “surreal.” Her husband slept through the whole thing.

Kilgore, Texas: Driving home at 5 am in light rain on a rural road near Kilgore, a thirty-five year old oil dispatcher slowed for a curve when some type of upright animal appeared in his high beams. It had a large, wolf-like head and carried a yearling deer! It growled aggressively at the man, who estimated its height at over six feet. “The thing scared the crap out of me,” he said. “I know what I saw and would put my hand on the Bible to it and take a lie detector test.”

There are more — the pony poacher of Alberta, Canada, the Ohio shadow wolf and the Hawaiian helper dogmen – to name a few. If these witnesses are to be believed, it’s an alternative zoo out there: a zoo that roams uncaged. Happy Halloween!

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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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  • Jan 7, 2011

    Deerfield Necropsy is in: Cougar not the Killer

     

    Mystery cat taken in Rock County several years ago

    The DNR’s investigation into the Deerfield horse-killing Dec. 29 is concluded today with the release of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory necropsy, said DNR Deputy Spokesman Robert Manwell in a phone interview. He sent me a copy of the lab’s report, which said the wound was not consistent with an animal attack at all.

    The official description: “The distance from the soles of the front feet to the midpoint of the wound
    is four feet (120 cm). The laceration is consistent with that produced by a sharp linear or curvilinear metal edge, entering the ventral aspect of the neck with considerable force at an angle. The wound is consistent with a single, large laceration. The cause of death is exsanguination.”

    It sounds to me as if some warped human tried to cut off the poor horse’s head with a big knife or sword, failed, and then the animal bled to death. Why? In October, 2007, someone beheaded a juvenile alpaca on a farm near Delavan for no apparent reason. Until the culprits are caught, it is only possible to speculate about such brutal acts. And there should have been boot or shoe prints in the snow.

    I should mention that the tan quarterhorse weighed over 1,000 pounds and should not have been an easy target.

    Still a mystery, still very sad!

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Jan 7, 2011 Deerfield Alleged Cougar Horse Kill Similar to 1972 Slashing with Hairy Hominoid Sighting 

            Paulette Stelpflug, co-owner of Freedom Stables in the town of Deerfield in eastern Dane County, Wisconsin, experienced a sad and shocking holiday week when a stable worker found a seven-year old tan quarter horse dead with its neck torn out on December 29. Something powerful enough to take out the carotid and jugular with one “swipe” was the culprit, according to veterinarian Rene Reynolds. He added that the cut was too deep for the horse to have accidentally cut itself on something, and that no structure or machinery that could have caused such an accident was found in the vicinity.       
 
 There were, however, some good-sized animal tracks nearby in the snow. Stelpflug said they included “pokey marks” made by claws, according to a series of nbc15.com articles by reporter Zac Schultz. She believed they were cougar tracks, not an unreasonable assumption given the fact there have been confirmed cougars in southeastern Wisconsin in the past several years.           
 
 There are several potential problems with the cougar theory, however. For one thing, cougars nearly always walk with claws retracted, although claw marks could possibly show up in a track made just as the big cat was about to pounce. DNR wardens examined the entire property the following day and said the only tracks were “dog” tracks, perhaps due to that very reason. No measurements of the tracks were given by the owner or DNR.

            DNR official Greg Matthews also said the attack was uncharacteristic of a cougar because no other marks were found on the horse, and no part of the horse was dragged             It didn’t have to be a cougar; there are other large predators around. Black bears and timber wolves might make occasional forays into this part of the state, but a bear would have left distinct footprints. Wolves normally hunt large animals in packs, but do leave large, dog-like prints. A huge, feral dog would best fit the tracks. But none of these possible culprits seems to fit the facts of this case very exactly.

            All of this reminded me of an incident in 1972 about two miles from Jefferson, Wisconsin, and only about fifteen miles east of Deerfield Township. In this instance, a horse received a thirty-inch slash in its neck and survived. But according to a DNR official I interviewed about 20 years later that had been on the scene, the horse owner saw an unknown, upright, hairy hominoid on her property immediately before the attack. The former warden, David Gjetson, told me she seemed very credible and sincere.

            The woman first called him to report that she had seen a large, upright “apelike”

illustration by Nate Godfrey - hominoid bringing down a deer

creature walking in her farmyard. He investigated the site but found nothing. Two weeks later, the creature returned and boldly walked up on her front porch and rattled the front door of her house. It left deep scratches in the siding seven feet off the ground. It then walked to the woman’s horse shed, and the woman heard her horse whinny in fear. The creature then crossed the farmyard and trampled her vegetable garden where it left foot-long tracks (no description of their appearance was given). When the woman finally dared run outside to check on her horse, she found it had a deep, 30-inch gash on its neck.

            Gjetson said he remembered the incident very well, and that he had been able to provide no official explanation for the attack, and could not explain what the woman saw.

            These are not the only strange creature sightings recorded in the vicinity. Jefferson is also the site of the former St. Coletta Institute where in 1936, night watchman Mark Schackelman encountered a tall, unknown hominoid with long claws digging in an ancient burial mound. The beast produced a polysyllabic utterance that sounded like “Gadarrah” to the man. Gadara is a region of old Judea where the New Testament says Jesus cast spirits out of two demon-possessed men (Matthew 8).

            Moreover, in my latest book on the topic, The Michigan Dogman, Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the USA, 
 

I listed a total of about a dozen separate sightings of Bigfoot-like (as opposed to dogman-like) creatures that have occurred mostly within a corridor that runs from southwestern Jefferson County south into the western side of Walworth County and extends westward into northeastern Rock County. These incidents began with the 1936 St. Coletta sighting and span the decades until the most recent — which occurred at about 4 p.m. on July 15, 2010 just east of Fort Atkinson in 2010.



     The entire region is filled with lakes, marshes and rivers and lies at the southwestern tip of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit. A few miles north of Jefferson and about 15 miles northeast of Deerfield is the restored ancient Mississippian village now known as Aztalan State Park with many ancient mounds, some of them flat pyramids. Nearby Rock Lake, Lake Ripley and Red Cedar Lake have all been rumored to harbor lake monsters, and a lane east of Jefferson called Paradise Road is a local spook lane where a large, winged humanoid was spotted in 2005.

            In fact, my 2006 book Hunting the American Werewolf calls out a 13-square-mile area I dubbed the Jefferson Square of Weirdness because of these anomalies and more, concentrated in such a small area. Deerfield Township lies just west of my imagined square.  It includes several small lakes and marshes which are present in a high percentage of anomalous creatures – but of course also provide hunting habitat for other predators.

            I do NOT mean to imply that I think Bigfoot attacked Stelpflug’s horse. Bigfoot would, after all, have left those famed, ginormous tracks. Something canine seems more likely, although it would need to be a very large canine. The snow-prints from whatever it was have already disappeared due to a few days of unseasonal high temperatures, but I am hoping someone took pictures.

            In the meantime, I am waiting for that necropsy.

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Although I try to be a fairly serious researcher most of the time, around Christmas the sightings slow down and — for the sake of a holiday card design — my creature thoughts turn fanciful.

This year my inspiration came from the chorus of a 1969 Tommy James and the Shondells song, Crystal Blue Persuasion. The chorus words, “There’ll be peace and good, and brotherhood,” were sticking with me like an earworm, so I decided to pass them on. Here is the resulting artwork, starring my two fave cryptids.

copyright 2010 Linda S. Godfrey

In case you are too young to know the song, check out the video on YouTube

I did have one second thought about featuring the song. Many tunes of the late 60s had something — ok, a lot — to do with altered states of mind and to be honest, I had no idea whether this one did or not and I didn’t want to be pushing LSD on my Christmas card. I was pleasantly surprised when I found the answer in this interview with Tommy James at SongFacts http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1884

It turned out to be appropriate, indeed. The funny thing is that my creature-mapping indicates more and more that most Bigfoot and Dogman sightings occur in specific, separate territories within given hotspot habitats, which should make them rather bitter enemies. But in the spirit of the season, I prefer to think of them in temporary truce mode. It works better for a card than trying to portray a crypto-turf war, anyway. Sets a better example for humans, too.

Season’s blessings!

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