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Archive for the ‘Native American’ Category

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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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I Know What I Saw is now out to be seen! 

This week, starting 7-20-2019 also see Inside Edition.com‘s  rerun of their original vintage episode of the Beast of Bray Road, plus a more current interview they did with me a few weeks ago to update the old beast. Next week, watch for a full feature story in the Chicago Tribune in the online section and then the print version on that Thursday.

Also new indie film out this fall, RETURN TO WILDCAT MOUNTAIN; Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus.  (click to see trailer and watch for release news, or see Facebook @whitelhasa’s Return to Wildcat Mountain page.) 

 

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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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1994 artwork by Linda S. Godfrey created for The Week newspaper in So. Wisconsin

From the Cryptid Art Department Files:

I was pretty excited back in 1994 when comedian Bobcat Goldthwaite came to Walworth County, especially since I got to write a story on his visit and also make an illustration. It was only about two years after the initial Beast of Bray Road story and I wasn’t implying any connection between Bobcat and the Beast. But I think he got a kick out of it.

Here is another drawing made a year earlier, in 1993, as an editorial cartoon for a local issue. I believe the problem at the time was that property tax rates had been frozen and school districts were trying to get them unfrozen to increase school funding. Two sides with good arguments! One of the county school districts is the Bigfoot School District in Walworth, which was named for a local Potawatomi chieftain, NOT Sasquatch.

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Drawing by Linda S. Godfrey, 1993, created for The Week Newspaper, So. Wisconsin

I post them here for fun and also because some recent documentaries have shown interest in my illustrations of other cryptid artwork figures than upright canines. I have 10 years worth created for The Week alone but don’t worry: I won’t post them all. I just wanted to show I don’t play favorites when it comes to unknown creatures!

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On the observation peak at Wildcat Mountain State Park

I spent this end-of-Nov. day in Wildcat Mountain area (WI) with my sister Pam having a true field day doing some research, taking some pix and chatting about cryptids with locals. If you’ve never been to this great state park I highly recommend it! http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/wildcat/ Also nearby Man Mound Park https://www.co.sauk.wi.us/parksandrecreation/man-mound is awesome, unique Native American history and art.

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carvingSnuffy1Labor Day weekend was special for me this year; I traveled to Maine to take part in the International Cryptozoology Conference hosted by Loren Coleman in Portland, and then visited a friend who is a long-time Bigfoot observer and who had promised to take me to the area in central Maine where her encounters took place. I wasn’t disappointed on either count.

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Robert Schneck and L. Godfrey 

The conference was a superbly planned event with wonderful people in the speaker and vendor lineups and a standing-room-only crowd of attendees. Loren and Jenny Coleman and their volunteer staff did themselves proud. In addition, I got to meet long-time online friends like Robert Schneck in person, reconnect with others and make new ones such as Snuffy Destefano, wood sculptor supreme, who created my new Bigfoot carving pictured above (see his Facebook page).

My online friend, “Suzy,” who is of part Wabanaki ancestry, and I headed north the next day. We’ve corresponded for several years. Suzy had only told a few people about her mid-60s to early 70s childhood experiences with a Hairy Man she calls “Wabou” and two smaller creatures that may have been his mate and child, or two juveniles. Her story is amazing, however, and she finally decided to go public with some of it in a new video in order to show people that these creatures should not be killed. (You can see the film at this Maine community TV station here.)

It’s Suzy’s story to tell, as I’ve always said to her, and she does a good job on the video. She and I visited the property she discusses in the film, and it tallied in every way with what she had originally described to me, as did the adjoining woods where she spent so many days beginning at about age 7 and continuing to her early teens when she and her mother moved away. We received a fascinating corroboration from a nearby resident whose property was adjacent to the woods where she spent much of her youth, after we asked him if he had noticed anything strange around the property. He said that beyond the blood-curdling screams at night there was one other thing.

His house was on a small lake, and he said he was puzzled at finding large piles of open clam shells near the shore. Some looked crushed or bitten, and he could not think of any animal known to inhabit that area that ate clams or would leave a huge pile of them. He showed us where the piles had been–they were recently washed away by some severe storms, although a few shells did remain to mark the spot.

Bigfoots have been observed eating clams by other eyewitnesses. Suzy said that Wabou, who was over seven feet tall and covered with very dark, mahogany-colored hair that lightened to reddish tones in summer, would sit in the water with his big legs splayed out in front of him and eat clams as fast as he could chomp them out of their shells.

Suzy reveals many more observations on the video, but I can mention a few other things she has told me. Their teeth, she said, did not have overbites or underbites when the jaw was closed. Instead, they were very square, all the same size and met on edge rather than overlapping. When they grinned it looked more like a grimace, and Wabou would grin at her often, perhaps in imitation of her own smiles. Wabou also taught her to swim, she said, by carrying her into the lake on his shoulders until they reached the deep part, and then pushing her off into the water. He would then reach up to support her as she splashed and learned to stay afloat.

In return, she brought a deck of cards and attempted to teach them to play a simple game or two, but didn’t have much luck. She also brought them white bread, their favorite, and fruits as treats. Most of their days were spent in a simple structure of tree branches bent and twisted together so that pine boughs could be laid over the top. They rested a lot in daytime, said Suzy, because they were mainly out at night. In the dark, she said, their eyes glowed red and she could always find the small one that way when they played hiding games in the trees.

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The woods  where Suzy encountered the Hairy Man.

And no, they did not smell pine-tree fresh. She said after a day with them, she always needed a bath. Her parents were preoccupied with their own problems, and allowed her to roam at will. When she had to suddenly leave her beloved friends, she wanted to give them something to remember them by, so she tossed a pair of purple, hip-hugger jeans  into their nearest day-hut while they were out. “It was all I could grab in the few minutes I had,” she said.

On our trip, Suzy took me to the nearby woods where her large friends lived, although unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to wait for them properly. She made a vocalization that she said was the call Wabou would respond to when she needed him, but didn’t hear an answer. She also made rock clicks timed in a certain pattern, and twice there was a single, far-off click in return. We each saw something large moving between trees in the distance, but couldn’t make out what it was. She began feeling ill and wanted to leave immediately. I had a weird tightness in my stomach but I stayed a few minutes longer to take a few pictures. Suzy had gone straight back to the road where her car was parked. I turned around to head back too, but soon realized I was not headed toward the car, but in the direction of the rock clicks and whatever we’d seen moving in the distance. Luckily Suzy called for me and I was able to turn correctly and pick my way through the underbrush. After I made it back onto the asphalt road, Suzy heard footsteps crashing through the woods in our direction. We decided to go. She believes we had definite “company,” but that it was probably not her Wabou. But there was one more corroboration…

After the video–which doesn’t tell about our trip or reveal where in Maine this all occurred–was shown, the producer received a message from a Micmac man who had seen the video on TV. The producer told Suzy that the man said he had seen a tall Hairy Man in the tree line within a mile or so of those woods. The only date given was “some time ago,” but the closeness to Suzy’s childhood home was a good indication (along with other known sightings in that state) that Hairy Man does exist in central Maine, and that at least the one known as Wabou had a very gentle side!

 

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I like to release book reviews in twos, for some reason. I think it’s because when I finish reading one really good book, it piques my appetite for another great read right away.

This time I’m pairing Ken Gerhard’s A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts and Barton Nunnelly’s Mysterious Kentucky, the Dark and Bloody Ground. These two gentlemen, and I mean that in the highest sense of that word for they are both truly gentlemen, have each written a book with the word “mysterious” in the title and a wide swath of unexplained beasts and phenomena cavorting through the interior pages. While Gerhard goes global, however, Nunnelly sticks to his home turf of Ol’ Kentuck. Together or one at a time, these books provide a rich harvest of unknown tidbits that will have readers gobbling every word Gerhard and Nunnelly have served up. To quote the immortal request of Charles Dickens’ urchin Oliver Twist, all I can say is, “Please, sir[s], I want some more.”

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts; Encounters with Cryptid Creatures by Ken Gerhard

Most people probably wouldn’t consider a quiet cluster of children more frightening than, say, a modern day version of a werewolf – until they look in the children’s eyes and Scan_20170428see only glistening black pools. At that point, for me, the Black-eyed Kids or BEK’s gain a few points on the mysterious creature horror scale. These and other creatures that are not your grandfather’s monsters are discussed alongside more traditional entities in Ken Gerhard’s “A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts.” Readers will find themselves contemplating the Polish Wilkolak, sort of a vampire/werewolf combo, for instance, or pondering whether a photo of an alleged Chupacabras is truly a depiction of the blood-sucking goat killer or something else that simply appears otherworldly but has a mundane explanation.

Mundane is not a word I’d use to describe any part of this book, however. Whether readers are newbies still wrapping their craniums around the vast array of beasties, or seasoned enthusiasts seeking to hone their knowledge of favorite cryptids or catch up on the latest reports, Gerhard’s ghoulish gathering provides an irresistible gateway to the unknown. It’s a volume I’ll be keeping close at hand.

Mysterious Kentucky, Vol. 2; the Dark and Bloody Ground by Barton M. Nunnelly

20170410_211045This is it…the book I and many other fans of Mysterious Kentucky, Vol. 1 have been pining for Barton Nunnelly to finish and deliver. Well, he has at long last delivered, and how!!

Mysterious Kentucky, Vol. 2 covers more strangeness of each area of the huge state Native Americans considered cursed land, from historic lore to present day happenings. And joy of joys, the section on Kentucky Bigfoots alone comprises 118 pages of pure Sasquatch encounter bliss. It’s a hefty tome, packed chockablock from the first story which concerns, appropriately, Kentucky’s first people, to the last entry, Kentucky’s Chernobyl! The book must be seen and held to convey just how info-dense and well organized it is.

Nunnelly is also a gifted artist, and his illustrations enlighten the research and careful writing that take this book to the level of must-have permanent collection shelf of my personal library. The sense of immersion in the Blue Grass State is so complete, I almost looked around for a few blades of teal-colored grass as I sat and read. And as spooky as Nunnelly has revealed Kentucky to be, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find a few stems materialized on my bookshelf. After reading this book, I can guarantee stranger things have happened.

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