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Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

Reports picking up in SouthEAST Wisconsin?

Here’s a tail of a black and a tan, one 7 miles from Bray Road a few days ago and one less than two weeks on the southern outskirts of Janesville…

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On Saturday, September 7, 2019, 25-year old Harley Marcum and fellow employee Robert Davis were between shifts outside the back door of a south Janesville company about 6:30pm, when something caught Marcum’s eye; a dark animal moving swiftly from the parking lot toward a nearby marsh, on all fours and low to the ground. “Holy crap! Look!” Marcum yelled at Davis, not believing his own eyes. Robert looked where Marcum was pointing just in time to see a huge black-furred animal skulk off into the grassy, marsh area, its glossy coat reflecting the waning sunlight. There was no doubt in either of their minds, said Marcum:  It was a mountain lion or some other type of big cat.

(Click link for video of Marcum and Davis)

The two men exchanged startled glances, and then decided to run after the animal to see if they could scare it out for another look. A few steps into the field, however, they couldn’t see where it had gone and began to feel uneasy. They retreated to the parking lot, the edge of which was only about 20 feet from the marsh but didn’t catch another glimpse. They did tell a friend of theirs about it, and the friend contacted me. I met up with Marcum and Davis at their usual shift change time on Thursday, Sept. 19, where I looked around for prints and heard more of their story.

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Harley Marcum points at marsh the big cat was frequenting

Where did the big cat go? Their employer’s location is in the general area east of Hwy. 51 on Janesville’s south side, but there are many open and wooded wild areas where the big cat could also easily rove. Male cougars need thirty-square-mile territories if they are planning to stay, and can cover many miles in a day if just passing through.

It Was a Beast

Both men described a rather formidable animal.

“It was weird,” said Harley, “like nothing I’ve ever seen. And I clearly seen it; it was bigger than a German shepherd.” In fact it was larger, he said, than what he would expect a mountain lion to be. “I could see the muscles, it was slick black. It was a beast,” he said. “I had a side view of the head, and I saw a long tail that curled upward and then curled down.” That is a standard mountain lion description.

Harley also noted that it had what seemed a big head for the body, which, together with the black fur that zoologists say is never seen on a mountain lion, may indicate some other species of big cat or a hybrid. Harley said they did not report their sighting to the DNR or other officials. They are now alert at every shift change, hoping for the privilege of seeing such an unusual animal again. “I’m extremely grateful,” said Harley of his encounter.

Sighting #2: Tan Cougar seen East of Bray Road

An even more recent report came to me by phone the day after it occurred, September 15, 2019, from a location only about 7 miles from the NE tip of Bray Road. The caller and his wife own a summer home and acreage in eastern Walworth County. They had first contacted me in November, 2018, after they found roundish, “large baseball” sized prints on their land and learned that only a few miles away, a farmer had lost two calves to an unknown predator. He had five trail cameras positioned around his property for the remainder of the winter, but nothing turned up on any of them. He contacted the DNR but was told it must be either a dog or a deer. He knew it was neither of those.

When the property owner called me last week, it was to tell me that the previous day, his wife had seen what she was sure was a tan mountain lion, walking only about 60 feet away from her bedroom window. She also noted its large, looping tail. She had good light and a longer look at it than most people. The couple prefers to remain anonymous.

And just south of the WI-IL Border:

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art by Linda Godfrey all rights reserved

Area newspapers ran articles in August, 2019, about an 11 p.m. sighting on August 8 of a dark brown, large animal with bright eyeshine. A couple was driving near the village of Rockton, IL, traveling north on South Bluff Road next to the Rock River when this occurred. They described the typically flat-faced head profile of a big cat and also the tell-tale tail that appeared to be “curling under” as it crossed the road in front of their car. They insisted it was not any well-known or usual animal seen in that area.

Readers of my blog will know that I’m working on a documentary called Return to Wildcat Mountain about the surge of tan AND black big cats in central Wisconsin west of the Baraboo area. You can see the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTc-t85UeDw and short versions will be shown at Iowa’s Van Meter Visitor Festival just west of Des Moines September 28, and at the Charles Dickens Horror Festival in Colorado on October 19, 2019 for starters. More to come!

Note: For a fuller story of the Rockton IL sighting please see Singular Fortean’s story singularfortean.com/news/2019/8/28

 

 

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I’d really rather stay on the viewer’s end of the binoculars when folks are discussing cryptid or unknown creatures, but this article “Do You Have a Werewolf Problem?” by the Trib’s Chris Borelli places me firmly on the “focus–zoom in–speculate” side of field equipment and monster tales. It’s a fun piece of writing (although I’m pretty sure I said the 60# deer left NO drag marks, and how is just turned 68 “nearly 70?”) but overall it’s a good representation of the last 27 years or so, and I’m very grateful to Chris, Chad Lewis, and Loren Coleman for their kind remarks and analyses. Stacey Wescott also created some inspired visuals that help tell my unexpected tale.

I would also be remiss if I failed to thank an alligator that recently kickstarted the whole thing by showing up in the Humboldt Park lagoon, sending Borelli in search of explanations.

The alligator also had impeccable timing as my new book, I Know What I Saw, was just released July 16 and I’m speaking and signing books in Chicago at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square July 25, 2019 at 7 pm. And no, I was not the one who put the alligator in the water. But as I’ve learned from this occupation–and preoccupation–of mine, strangeness is everywhere, and once in a while it does you a kind turn or two.

Here is the link to chomp onLindaTribStone: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-linda-godfrey-cryptozoologist-0725-20190724-fcoddjwfwzg7fne6ljmldutaae-story.html

 

 

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“Running on 2 legs super fast” — An Upright Canine Sighting in SE Wisconsin Mid-August 2018,
 
In mid-August 2018, a young man and his buddy were sitting and talking in a Rock County park late one evening when something started up a continuous howl nearby in the woods. Carver-Roehl is the 2nd oldest park in Rock County, and lies about 20 miles west of Bray Road, between Avalon and Clinton on Hwy 40. It includes a small, historic grave yard dating back to 1843 and also the large, limestone outcroppings known as Carver Rock. The man wrote me said they saw a large, dark-furred canine with pointy ears running very fast in the woods about 100 yards away. It stopped for a couple of minutes — they felt it was observing them — and then went from a crouch position to two legs and ran away “super fast.” The man and his friend also left quickly. I’m not sure exactly which part of the 53-acre park they were in, but there are several entrances.
 
I’d like to add that the man was interviewed by producers for a recent Travel Channel show but wasn’t featured in the finished episode. This happens often, I’ve learned, usually due to time constraints. They told me he seemed very credible and truthful. I stopped by the park recently for a quick recon look and found it very well cared for with pavilion, outhouses, new play equipment and trails for hiking and skiing. I imagine it’s a lot spookier at night . I did also see a large, black pointy-eared dog running at me but it was with a woman and a large white dog. They were on the ridge behind the boulders in the photo below. As you can see in the next photo I wasn’t dressed for mosquitoes and was on my way to somewhere else, so I left the rest of the exploration for a 2nd trip.

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Black Panthers in the Midwest? NEW FILM TRAILER RELEASE:  Return to Wildcat Mountain; Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus

 

 

 

 

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At first blush it seems a waste: a mountain lion’s paradise, empty of lions for almost 100 years. But nestled among the rocky crags and lush valleys of this small area in west central Wisconsin, around 150 eyewitnesses say the big cats also known as pumas or cougars are returning – indeed, have already returned — to their old lairs and watered woodlands. Both tawny-colored and, surprisingly, black-furred big cats now strut these rolling hills. Why surprisingly? Scientists say they don’t exist!

cows and barnWhite Lhasa Studios LLC (producers Linda Godfrey and Steven Godfrey) presents the trailer to a new film that tells this story of the returning cats and the people who have witnessed them firsthand.

An area reporter says the eyewitnesses are sure of what they’ve seen. Wildlife officials say most are mistaken. The residents, who range from retired police officers to Amish farmers, beg to differ. The cats are back on Wildcat Mountain, they say, and this time, they show no signs of leaving.

Please follow and like if you enjoy it. The film will also illustrate and correlate with a large chapter in my forthcoming book (see earlier post) “I Know What I Saw,” Modern-day Encounters with Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore.”

The first scheduled showing of the documentary (rough cut) will be June 8 at the Marinette Menominee Bigfoot Conference. Watch here for updates and our fast developing schedule.

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IKWIScoverArt

It has a cover! And can be preordered, and is totally written. It even has pages up such as  the publisher’s at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/565784/i-know-what-i-saw-by-linda-s-godfrey/9780143132806/   Alas, the final production will take a few more months incubation at Penguin/Random House, but I’m hoping the results will be worth it. Also, there will be a documentary film launched at the same time of the book, with a trailer reveal to be announced. And it isn’t about dogman. Not that there’s anything wrong with dogman. Watch here for links to the trailer, hoping in a month or so. Happy New Year!!!

 

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This sightings report arrived last week via e-mail, and is yet another example of eyewitnesses around the globe claiming to have seen werewolf-like creatures. I haven’t received any from Finland before this, so it was a welcome surprise. Both the witness and the person who wrote the story out for her desire anonymity, so the writer refers to her friend by the pseudonym, “Aino.” She also included a map of the general area. In her own words:

I wanted to tell you a werewolf sighting my very good friend had when she was a kid. This happened in Finland. I will tell the story in as much in detail as possible, but I don’t want to reveal my friend’s identity. What I can tell about my friend, she doesn’t like to share her encounter with others. I’m one of the few – if not honestly the only one – to whom she has told her story. I have known my friend “Aino” for almost 20 years. She has told me this story a few times and it never changes.

This incident happened when Aino was 8-9, so around 1995-1996 in North-East Finland. I have added here a map of the sighting’s location.

finlandsightingmap

Her family has lived in the same place for 300 years. The house is big wooden house with two entrances on both ends of the house. There’s an old barn and a shed in the front yard, and a traditional old Finnish sauna next to a lake. The house resides next to a lake, surrounded by hay and rye fields. In a small distance, there’s a thick spruce forest. The area is very, very rural with only a few tens of people living in it. Most of the forest and the nature overall around the area is untouched. If it matters, my friend’s family back then had a horse, cats and also apparently chickens. She’s told me that when she was young, they had many animals like cats, chickens and goats. I can assure that they had horses and cats back in 95-96, but I assume they also had chickens when this incident happened.

As the house and the area is old, there’s lots of unexplained activity in there. She also saw a leprechaun inside her house when she was 6 years old, and that sighting lasted for many minutes. As the bodies of dead ones were stored in the shed over the winter for a burial in spring, there are ghosts and other entities there for sure. Her grandfather passed away in front of the stairs leading to the second floor, and my friend says she always felt uneasy around that spot – a way before she was told how her grandfather had died on that spot.

Because my friend has seen and experienced things in the house and around it, she kind of brushed the encounter off as one of these odd phenomena, even though it really scared her (as did the leprechaun). Even today, she’s sensitive to unseen things and has a keen sense of people, being able to tell their true nature and past with one glance only.

It was daytime during summer, if I recall the season correctly. My friend and her mother were at the lake shore next to a sauna, her mother doing some housework there and Aino playing and helping her out. Aino’s mother asked her to fetch a bucket from the house, and Aino ran through the short hay field, where they used to cut hay for their horse. It’s about 50-60m (59-65yd) long naturally formed pathway from the sauna to the house. She ran to the house’s right side, where the pathway to sauna through the field begins, but stopped at the corner of the house abruptly. She said there was a grey werewolf standing in the front yard, in a broad day light. It looked exactly like a classic werewolf, with a hunched posture, grey fur, wolf’s head, standing on its hind legs. It didn’t see my friend or make any sound. Just stood there. If I recall right, my friend said that he was lighter grey in color.

Naturally Aino got really scared! She slipped hastily inside the house from the right side’s door (they have another door on the left side of the house). She sought the bucket while hunching down, scared the werewolf would see her. She found the bucket and stayed in the living room, squatting under a window, too scared to go out. She waited for a few minutes, because she couldn’t let her mother wait for the bucket for a long. She peeked out from the window to the front yard, but didn’t see the wolf anymore. She carefully looked out from the door, too, scanning the whole yard carefully, because she was scared the werewolf was still hiding somewhere. When she couldn’t see or hear anything unusual, she took off and ran as fast as she could back to her mother. She didn’t tell her mother about this, as she thought mother wouldn’t believe her.

I have been interested in the paranormal and cryptozoology for 27 years. I have read about many experiences taking place in Finland, but this is the one and the only werewolf experience I have encountered here. I’m interested in to find out if there are other encounters like this in this country. I know werewolves were a big thing in Estonia during The Witch Craze.

I love the fact that this family had lived in their house for 300 years, and also that this was the first upright canine story I’ve heard that happened near a sauna. Finland does have some history with werewolf beliefs, as the writer says. Here is one brief site https://www.werewolves.com/vironsusi-the-werewolves-of-finland/  for starters.

Finland also has a long history of sharing their great outdoors with natural wolves that–like any wild animal– can be frightening at times. Although most wolves avoid human contact, in 1976 some packs were daring enough to threaten children walking to school in one eastern location, and vehicles had to be provided to keep the students safe. The surrounding  regions of Scandinavian and Russia are similarly associated with both mythic and modern day representations of wolves. Thanks to our Finnish friends for sharing their own story here.

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Received report Oct 23, 2018, 1:12 AM

A man who wishes to remain anonymous said he had a sighting he could not explain, and wasn’t going to tell anyone about it, but recently changed his mind hoping someone could identify it. The sighting took place in summer, 2018, in Love’s Park, Illinois, only about 20 miles south of the Wisconsin border, and included his daughter. They are habitual sky gazers, he said, and enjoy watching planes on their flight paths to and from O’Hare Airport. But what they saw that day just before dusk was no aircraft.

What he described as “the thing we saw” appeared to be about 100 feet in the air, flying due east over their heads and then circling once before continuing its eastbound path. It was close enough, he said, that they felt they had a good view.

He wrote, “This very large bird was gliding in the air above us. I cannot say for sure the exact size of this bird, because it was in the sky and there wasn’t anything to reference it with.

“This large bird was about 6 feet long, and 15-20 feet wide!  This thing was huge!!!  One thing really stuck out when we watched it, the wings did NOT flap like a normal bird. It just glided.”

The man said the closest photo he found was at Atlas Obscura’s Web site:

The man added they have seen cranes, eagles and other large birds in the area, but this one was much larger than any of those. He described it as dark in color, white ring around its neck. “The wings had a white stripe along the edge of its wings,” he said, “and the wings had feathers.”

He said he researched birds of all types for weeks but found nothing that resembled what he saw. He said, “But that is how I came across your site. I bought your book (American Monsters) and began reading it, and saw others have seen something similar to me! That is when I realized that we were not alone, and I have now chosen to speak to you about the sighting.”

He added, “But the large bird we saw was almost black in color, white ring around its neck, white stripe along its wings edge, and VERY LARGE! It did not move its wings either, it just glided. I have saw turkey vultures before.  In a way is does resemble it. But the size and colors did not! This thing put a turkey vulture to shame, in size!”

I’m not sure what this could be, either. The closest I could come is a Steller’s sea eagle, see this National Geographic photo with its dark feathers and white trim. Its wingspan is eight feet, smaller than this reported big bird but still really impressive, I’m sure. Illinois has a history of large bird sightings dating back many decades; perhaps this one will be added to the list. I hope sky gazers of that area will all spend some time looking up in case the dark-feathered one makes another fly-by.

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