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Minnesota is a state with far fewer reports of dogmen than I would expect, given its heavy forests and abundant water sources. So when a report came last week describing a very recent encounter, I was glad to see it. And the best part is that this witness is a professional artist and so provided some very compelling illustrations. She also found the courage to return to the spot this past weekend and take a few photos. I’ve left most of the report in her own words, with minor edits mostly for the natural repetition that occurs during a multi-email exchange.

Here is her account of what happened the evening of Monday, November 7, 2016.

Hi Linda. I wanted to report a sighting. I am 41, a graphic designer. I was driving just out of the town of Duluth, MN on Maple Grove Road. It was a dark night, the clouds covering most light of the 47% full moon. The area I drove was on the very edge of a residential area where houses were sparse, leading to old farm land with a very old barn. As I drove I noticed something dash in front of me from right to left. I saw it heading from the very edge of a residential area where houses were sparse, running into a field with a very old barn.  My eyes struggled to make sense of a very tall creature, 7 feet I would guess. It wasn’t on hind legs.

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The creature moved faster than normal. The face was wolf/dog-like with a longer snout and high set, small pointed ears. The back was very angled with extra-long front legs in comparison to the back. The leg length discrepancy caused it to walk more stiffly, almost with an injured type stride. The forearm was muscled, but it wasn’t primate or walking on its knuckles. It had more of forward stride like a deer, just not as smooth. Since the night was shadowed, it reminded me of a shadow person as the black was such an intense black, it’s hard to describe if you’ve never seen a shadow being. The eyes seemed maybe orange in my view.

For a second I wondered if it was my imagination, but I continued to watch and saw a far-coming vehicle’s lights shine through [between] the moving legs

The oddest part was the feeling of incredible fear and dread. I was literally so scared later I sat in a lit gas station until my husband came home. It definitely wasn’t a deer or moose, (angled shoulder too tall and steep, leg height different, wrong head), not a bear (wrong ears and head, not round, body bulk proportioned wrong) not a Bigfoot, nothing ape or humanlike. Anyway, it felt unlike any animal I’ve ever seen, with almost unnatural speed.

My sister said she, her ex-boyfriend and a friend have all seen it on its hind legs a few years ago. It lives near her house. She said it stood and watched them on the edge of the field with red eyes. Mine was a side view. It felt otherworldly. I am a [psychically] gifted person, as well. I am familiar with spirits and such.

Fear does not begin to describe it. The feeling lingers, like feeling a thick sludge weighing on me, really like an energy attack. I was an active camper, hiker, etc. Now I don’t want to be out in the dark, the woods, or driving alone at night. I know better, to fear these things is not good, it’s just hard to shake. It also felt like a bad omen, as silly as that sounds.  It took me a week to want to drive up there to the location to see if I could see anything, but I didn’t see any prints as most of the road was paved. In the daylight I could see it definitely went up into a field with a barn and an old building. The area is very close to the town of Duluth, but oddly this is just far enough out that the field runs along a road that is surrounded by birch woods and swampland. Our temps were really nice, 60 degrees at the time. This is hunting season and the deer are super active. Our normal temps are much cooler than this every other year.

Here is the illustration/sketch of what I saw that night. I am a wildlife artist with a very keen eye and photographic memory. I am use to drawing musculature, accurate portrayals of animals so when I explain what I saw hopefully there is a bit of credibility.

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The reason I drew what I did was because common response from people compared the animal to a wolf, bear, deer, and moose. I went online, drew each animal as a real representation of actual shape, and looked up the average height. None of these look accurate, the main thing I noticed was the sheer size, slope of the back and very different, long limbs. I drew this to mainly try and figure out what I saw. I don’t care if my name is mentioned, I am definitely not seeking any attention, just to understand what this thing was. I just call it the Bray Road Creature, closest thing I could come to in what I saw. –

I have just a few comments; the first one is that if this creature stood seven feet tall while on all fours, it would be even taller if it ever stood on its hind legs. Since bipedalism is the hallmark trait of any dogman, we can’t be sure that’s what the witness saw, but it certainly seemed larger and differently built than your ordinary wolf or dog.

Another unusual thing she mentioned was the overwhelming, lingering sense of fear and dread she experienced from seeing the creature. This is a common occurrence in cryptid sightings and other types of anomalous encounters, but doesn’t normally happen in the case of  mundane animals crossing a road.

The third thing I took note of was the presence of the old barn. For some reason, barns and other outbuildings often play a part in encounters with both dogmen and Bigfoot. I don’t know whether the buildings serve as shelter, hiding places or hunting grounds for small, tasty mammals, but they do pop up fairly often in such reports.

Finally, my unfortunately necessary disclaimer: Although  she included the rough location, that land is undoubtedly private property and must be respected as such. Trespassing is strictly illegal, and can bring harsh prosecution and fines. I believe — from long experience — that sightings of such creatures are random and rare, and are more likely to happen for those who are not searching for them. Yet I do believe there must be many more places in Minnesota where strange canid creatures abide.

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Are there fairies in the woods near Green Bay, Wisconsin? A woman named Lisa wrote me to ask whether such mystical entities could explain the trail cam photo below that appears to show a 3-D light form surrounded by things that look like partial orbs reflecting light from beneath them.

Whether fairies exist in any form is not something I claim to know, I believe this particular photo is about camera lenses, water droplets and light refraction. But it’s a good photo to study for analysis of these types of photos, which I receive from people every now and then.

The photo was taken July 19, 2011 by an acquaintance of Lisa’s on private property. There was no apparent triggering event (motion or heat) shown on the camera. (In my personal experience, small animals often can trigger the motion sensor yet remain outside the edges of the photo.) Both the smaller objects and the larger, central form seem to be repeated and maintain the same positional angles in relation to one another. To me, that suggests a possible, natural light refraction…but of what? There is one, small bright spot near the bottom of the photo and a couple of other pinpoints of light in the lower trees but the light objects display a complex depth of field.

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The best conclusion in my opinion is that the forms were caused by water droplets, perhaps dew, on the trail cam lens. Lisa has sent these to other places and the only suggestion so far is that they look like mold spores. That sounds unlikely to me. She wrote:

I am hoping that you will be captivated by these pictures also. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of them.AGAIN..they are the honest & truest thing!  No tricks or special equipment used! Please feel free to have a photo expert evaluate them.”

Well, I’d like to add here that, as I asked for people to comment before I weighed in with my own thoughts, I did hear from such an expert, a MUFON member who has studied these types of photos for many years and who affirmed the almost certain association with light and water droplets, although he explained it much more eloquently. I will quote him in part: “As to the illumination of only the edges of the water droplets that face the origin of the flash, I’m not going to comment on that further. However, note how the surrounding “orbs” all appear to be “facing” the center. Were they fully illuminated, you would also see that their shaped becomes more “lensatic” as they are distorted near the edges.  This is only to be expected as this is a “flat” image taken by a semi-spherical optical lens.”

Let me also add again that this neither proves nor disproves the existence of fairies. Still,  we have a beautiful photo to look at that is no less visually entrancing just because it was created by explainable events and materials. And I, for one, am glad that Lisa shared it with all of us.

 

 

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This was another of those freewheeling dialogues that I so enjoy. Listen to The Paranormal View podcast recorded Nov. 4, 2016!

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A certain weird hayfield in SE Wisconsin threads its way throughout the pages of my latest book, Monsters Among Us; an Exploration of Otherwordly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena. Today I spent a few hours threading my own way through the weedy tree lines of that field with its owner, “Roy Smith,” who decided he would like to reveal his actual name and say a bit on camera. I’ll refer to him as Smith here, however, since that is the name used in the book. My video of his introduction may be found below, but first here’s an important postscript on one strange phenomenon in Monsters Among Us.

(All rights reserved on photos and video; may not be posted or printed elsewhere without written permission.)

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On April 29, 2015, one of Smith’s trail cameras caught a black figure silhouetted against the growing green field. At first we thought it was a blackbird or crow, but when we zoomed in (zoom view shown above), it looked more like the head, back and arm of some large animal presumably crouched in the hay. There were two other partial shots of it taken within one second that showed very fast progression across the screen from left to right.

I trudged out to what we judged to be the spot where this happened one dewy morning not long after, wearing a coat with hood, and Smith took photos from where the trail cam had been set up. We ended up concluding, based on comparison to trees in the background and to the original photo, that it was at least as big as me (five foot one) and much larger than a bird would have been from that distance.

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The creature’s shape also seemed to match the stance I took in my photo: crouched over, one arm reaching forward. I wasn’t able to crouch as well, but my lower legs were also hidden by the grass. It would have been heading straight for the treeline area where Smith had been noticing various wildlife carcasses, mostly deer, that displayed oddly munched and crunched areas or were carried off entirely by unknown predators.

Return of the Creature

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Skip ahead one year or so to early May, 2016, and a similar type of creature showed up on another trail cam in the same field, heading in exactly the same direction. It looked black, furry, and seemed to be in a kneeling position. There was an evident shadow around it in the grass.Unfortunately, book production was already well underway so there was no way to add it. But we still set up a comparison shot with Smith trudging out to the field this time.

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The 6-foot 3-inch tall Smith (left, in baseball cap) appeared almost the same height as the creature as he knelt in the hay, but only half as wide! Compare the sizes of Smith and the creature compared to the round-shaped tree at the right. Whatever this black thing is, it’s roughly human-sized or larger. Just one more mystery at this field of bad dreams.

Meet “Roy Smith,” otherwise known as Lee Hampel, a retired math and physics teacher from Illinois, and owner of the mysterious field featured in Monsters Among Us. Hampel had chosen that pseudonym himself, but has since decided to go public. I always feel the witnesses should be the ones to choose in this matter, and honor Hampel’s choice by posting this video taken Oct. 25, 2016 on site in the field.

 

 

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October 1992, to be exact. It was a different slate of candidates: George HW Bush vs Bill Clinton vs Ross Perot. I don’t remember whose idea it was at The Week to throw the Beast into the ring with them, but I do remember modifying my original sketch for the full page poster. At any rate, 24 years later I believe it’s worth at least considering one more time.🙂 (Note: Please, no comments comparing the Beast with any official human candidates for better or worse – he stands on his own two rear paws)

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Before we start, I’d like to add a note to Part One of this story of a years-long dogman habituation in eastern Pennsylvania that continues to this day. The eyewitness I’ve nicknamed Jessie contacted me to say I had her permission to reveal the purpose of the family party she attended later in the day of her first sighting…it was her wedding! This fact has always seemed significant to her although she isn’t sure why. I had left that detail out as a possibly identifying factor–how many women have a dogman sighting on the day they get married? But I’m glad to be able to include it because if it’s important to her, it may also be important to the entire series of encounters. And I do consider this a case in progress.

It may seem odd that the bride-to-be would go hiking on her wedding day, but this bit of back story gives me a chance to add a few more of Jessie’s pertinent characteristics. She describes herself as an avid hiker and prefers sunrise and sunset, so this walk was part of her daily routine. She had worked for several years as a mechanic in the US military and was not afraid to be in the woods by herself. So that morning, she decided to begin her big day by de-stressing with a sunrise walk to a rock ledge where she could best see the colors of dawn. That was what led to the first encounter discussed in Part One.

It also sets the scene for another shock that occurred the next spring after her grandfather passed away, after Jessie’s second encounter in her own back yard. Jessie woke up one night to see her beloved grandfather, whom she described as a “a good Christian with his head on straight,” standing next to her bed. She rubbed her eyes, gulped down some water, and he was still there, watching her. And then he spoke. She wrote:

“‘Don’t,’ he said. ‘Don’t do it. Don’t go after them. You don’t know what they really are. Don’t,’ he said. And meant it. He disappeared after [that], but left me with a sense of horrible dread…To find answers [to what the creatures are] is to find something worse than death, is the sense he left me with.”

Needless to say, Jessie was very disturbed by the visitation and says she has had recurring nightmares ever since. She began awaking with the sense that something was just outside her window almost every night, and would often feel the hair rise on the back of her neck as her cat stared intently at the window for no reason she could see.

Mulch Ado About Something

On June 9, 2015, Jessie wrote me that she had found deeply indented prints in the mulch around her house, and scratches on her house siding. (See her photos, below. Note crushed flowers, too) She had also found a snow print that looked canine a few months earlier.

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She wrote that the activity was all next to her bedroom window. The prints were about four inches wide. (They resembled a similar case I called The Hartland Hairy Thing in Wisconsin.) Jessie also asked whether I knew anyone local who might come out to her place and have a look. I did, and made the connections but unfortunately they have not as yet been able to find a mutually workable time to get together. In the meantime, I advised her to get motion lights, a strong flashlight, and a trail cam, if possible, and to spread playground sand in a few strategic spots around the yard to try for a better footprint.

On June 11, 2015, she awakened to the familiar sense that the creature was outside. This time she got up and peeked through the side of the blinds, only to see it standing there. “I saw ears, eyes and teeth,” she wrote. “The ears are upright dog ears. The eyes were a bright yellow/orange. Like an amber color, and they kind of seemed to glow! The teeth…I don’t want to think about any more. It didn’t see me peeking at first, but once we locked eyes it let out a tremendous deep-throated growl and bared its teeth, then turned and ran into the woods behind our house. It ran on two legs, and leapt our fence like it was nothing. I stayed up the rest of the night but it didn’t return. At least, not that I know of.”

She estimated that it would have had to have been at least six feet tall to see into the window, and noted that it seemed partially hunched over which meant it was probably taller than six feet.

Near the end of June, Jessie managed to capture a howl on her phone camera and she gave me permission to share it. She did not see the creature at the same time so it’s not definite as to what this was, but given all the other sightings I think it is worth listening to. And she did see yellow eyes at her back gate that evening. The howl reminded me of some howls thought to be Bigfoot vocalizations that I’ve heard on other sites:

July 14, 2015, Jessie wrote me again to say,”A little after 2 am, I was starting to doze off in my bedroom after staying up late with a good book, and I heard this massive SLAM against the back door, as if a 7 ft., 400 lb. linebacker just threw himself full-force into the back of our house! It even rattled the chain on the deadbolt on the inside of the door! I jumped up and ran out to the kitchen and in the window of the back door was two bright glowing yellow eyes!!  The wolf-beast was standing on two legs, hunched and snarling through the door window at me, it growled and let out a sort or ROAR!”

She continued, “I ran to my bedroom to grab my phone and video it, and tried to wake up my husband, but no matter how bad I shook and yelled, he wouldn’t wake. I ran back to the kitchen and the beast was gone, no where in sight. Also, on a side note, I do special effect makeup as both a hobby, and a job. I’ve done work in theater, in film, not just with makeup but also as an actress and editor, so I know when it’s someone in a suit or makeup. But what’s outside my house, is a real living, breathing, whole animal. It’s alive, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. And it’s not a regular wolf, or a wolf coyote hybrid, or a neighbors dog. This is something else entirely.”

In mid-August 2015 she wrote that something was tapping and pounding on the back wall of her home all night. “These aren’t normal noises and it doesn’t sound like raindrops or acorns/pinecones falling, I know what those sound like and where they usually hit,” she said. “I can’t bring myself to look outside, I don’t think I could handle what I’d see,” she added.

Similar incidents have continued without her husband ever having witnessed the creature. Jessie did feel vindicated in early August 2016 when a visiting friend caught a glimpse of it at mid-day. The woman spied it lurking in its favorite place, the tree line at the back of the yard. Jessie wrote, “She saw its shadow. She didn’t see its face because he was under the shadow of the trees but she could see the furry outline, the ears, and the eyes standing out.”

Was it a supernatural or otherworldly creature? The fact that two people saw it at the same time means it is not a hallucination on Jessie’s part.

There have been more incidents than I can describe here, but Jessie hopes that one final action will end the visits: she and her husband are planning to move away from that house and yard. In other cases I’ve known of, putting some distance between witness and cryptid often does indeed do the trick. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this does it for Jessie, too. Dogmen just don’t make ideal neighbors.

 

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Witness sketch provided with permission from “Jessie”

Pennsylvania certainly seems to be a hotspot lately for sightings of dogman, wolfman, upright canids–whatever you choose to call the wolf-like creatures that get around on two legs. Most of these encounters could be described as one-time, random incidents. But some reports tell of sightings that never truly end, as creatures return again and again to terrorize individuals or even whole families.

One woman from the eastern side of the state has endured such a situation for four years now. She wishes to retain complete anonymity for several good reasons, so I’ll refer to her as Jessie. The incident that began what she calls her living nightmare began with a sunrise walk in the woods near her house in October, 2013 as she sensed an eerie change in the atmosphere as is often reported by those who encounter mystery creatures. She wrote:

“The stillness and predawn glow of the forest around me seemed somehow off, but I couldn’t put my finger on how. I mean, the light was coming in like normal; it infiltrated the woods and made everything sort of glow for that moment before the sun peeked…so I got up and headed back to the car. I got close to where my car was parked, and got a whiff of something rotten. I thought it was just the deer carcass lying near the trunk of my  car that looked like it was hit the night before.

“I heard something shuffling around in the same spot as the deer. I started to hear something dragging, and I walked slowly toward my car in case it was a bear. The smell became almost unbearable, and I started to cough and gag. When I did that, the shuffling stopped. I turned to see a VERY large…thing…on two legs; it was kind of hunched over the deer carcass and was dragging it with its claws dug into the meat of the deer. It was mostly brown with a bit of grey in it. When it saw me, it stood all the way up and turned to face me. It had blazing yellow eyes that seemed to stand out more than any animal’s normally would. It had a snout somewhat like a husky or German shepherd. Its teeth were fully bared and it gave a very low and menacing growl.

“This thing was my worst nightmare come to life.

“I was frozen, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move, I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head. This thing towered over me! I’m five foot, one. My neck cramped looking up at this thing…it had to have been close to seven feet  if not more. My heart was hammering so fast I thought it would explode. I remember hearing it beat in my ears. My throat burned with a strangled scream that never came out,  and my eyes were locked with his (it was very much male). He growled a second time, licking his bared teeth, and took a step toward me. He had let go of the deer and his claws were free and curled, ready for action.

“That step was enough to break my paralysis. My eyes watered and I broke into a run to my driver’s side door. As I ran around the car, he lunged at it. Not very forcefully, just kind of a half lunge sort of like, ‘Get the f— out of here,’and his arm and claws came down on my car. He scratched down the back window making a horrible high-pitched squeaking noise, then got to the trunk and dug his claws into the paint. I was able to get into the car and turn it on and drive, but he was scratching while I was inside fumbling to get my keys in the ignition. It almost seemed as if he was taunting me with his scratching noises.

“I threw the car in drive and hit the gas. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him grab the deer carcass and drag it back into the woods at the trail opening. I drove back, shaking still.”

Jessie had to attend an event with relatives later that day, and she said they kept telling her she looked “preoccupied.” That was one way of putting it!  She did not confide her experience to anyone, but began combing the Internet to learn what she might have seen. Almost as if the creature knew she was focusing on her sighting, it paid her a visit one night as she sat on her backyard deck listening to music .

“I felt a stare,” she wrote. “Suddenly I got a chill and my hair stood on end, and I turned to look and there he was. It felt almost like a warning to me. This time, he was standing in the woods of my backyard along the fence,” she said. “And he was staring at me and my home with those yellow eyes!” She went inside and the creature also retreated. Shortly after that, Jessie called me and asked if we could talk. The experiences have continued, despite some precautions and remedies I’ve advised that have helped others.

Altogether it’s a lengthy story but one worth telling, so I’m going to split it into parts in order to better communicate all that has occurred to the present time. Watch here for the rest of Jessie’s ordeal.

End of PART ONE of The Persistent Beast of Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

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