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Readers of “Strange Michigan” may remember the story of an unusual water feature known as an ice disk, ice wheel or ice circle. These winter phenomena appear as a perfectly round, piece of ice cut from a larger sheet of ice on a river that spins independently of the ice surrounding it. The Michigan Ice Disk I described in “Strange Michigan” was found Nov. 30, 2007 on the Hemlock River near Crystal Falls and measured 55 feet in diameter. Another ice disk was found in Michigan in the Pine River near Vestaburg in early January 2017. It was featured on Good Morning America and in many local media including Mount Pleasant’s Morning Sun: http://www.themorningsun.com/…/rare-ice-disc-brings-nationa…

I heard about it from my old friend, Mount Pleasant resident William Kingsley. I didn’t find a diameter listed, but these things can be as large as 700 feet in larger rivers. And while the ice circle is definitely a natural phenomenon caused by unusual variations in water temperature and density, it’s still an incredible sight that reminds us just how marvelous and surprising our earthly surroundings can be.

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beargleason

photo from Lincoln County Sheriff’s Dept.

This time of year seems to be when reporters go looking for oddities — or oddities come looking for them. Such seemed the case yesterday when a bold young black bear was seen begging bipedally from cars passing on a highway near Gleason. It was eventually captured and taken to a wildlife refuge. It seemed utterly unafraid of humans, leading to speculation it was either a pet -YIKES – or someone had been feeding it in a habituation situation.

When Hannity Show Came to Bray Road

There’s also a short compilation of Wisconsin beasties in a 3-year old article in Whoo New online blog, including the Beast of Bray Road, Muskego’s Haunchies and others. I’ve had a few people ask where to see the Sean Hannity episode on The Beast (one of the best short documentaries on the subject, I think) and the blog included this handy link.

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dogmanblakehill

Although Hollywood loves to depict their classic werewolves in shredded shirts and jeans, the great majority of eyewitness reports describe fur as the only covering on the upright canines they have encountered.

Here’s an exception to the rule, from a former Texas pizza delivery man whose encounter occurred the night of July 20, 2012. I leave it in his own words with only a few minor edits for repetition, spelling and paragraph separations:

 

Hello Linda,
Thank you for getting back to me. I’m going to state right away that my sighting has terrorized me to say the least. When I was a small child I watched an American werewolf in London by myself and had been mortally afraid of werewolves since then.
My sighting was on the 20th of July in 2012. It was a Friday night. I was 19 at the time, and didn’t have many responsibilities other than delivering pizza part time, so naturally being a teenager I was out with friends at a house party in old Katy (a suburb west of Houston, Tx) .
My friends and I experimented with both marijuana and alcohol, but we were always “responsible” enough to make sure one of us stayed sober to be the designated driver. That particular night was my turn to be the sober one. My friend B. had gotten well past drunk and once he was starting to behave reckless I decided it was time to leave the party and take him home. He didn’t want me to take him home, so instead he asked me to drive him to one of his friends houses that I’m not familiar with. This friend, who I only remember as Joey, lived on the far west outskirts of Katy, close to a town called Brookshire.
I took  Morton Rd to get there, with the driver and passenger windows down so B. could get some fresh air. The street is one turn north of Morton, and while I don’t remember the name of the street I do remember how to get there (my sense of direction is fairly superior; I’ve delivered pizzas all throughout Katy, and have since become a local truck driver in Houston). The road had 3 or 4 house on the eastern side, and on the west side was a fairly large forest area (maybe 40 or so acres) and dead ends just past the last house.
I had noticed the moon was full before I even went out that night. I got to Joey’s house, the second house on the right and parked my car on the left side of the road, closest to the trees. I helped B. get out of my car and walked him to the porch, Joey came out and thanked me for dropping him off and we said goodbye.
I decided to smoke a cigarette before I left the road. At the time, I shared my car with my dad and his number one rule was to not smoke in his car. After lighting my cigarette it didn’t take long to notice that the road was eerily silent. I assume I didn’t notice before as I was helping my noisy drunk friend get inside the house. Maybe three drags of my cigarette I heard heavy footsteps going across the gravel maybe 100 feet in front of me. I was alarmed at the sound they made, similar to the sound of pulling something metal against concrete.
As I’ve stated, my fears have always been werewolves. Here I am, alone, standing on a dark road under a full moon and I hear something BIG walking too close for comfort in front of me, I didn’t hesitate to throw down my cigarette and get into my car. I told myself as I was getting in that I wouldn’t turn on my headlights so I wouldn’t have to see what was in front of me, and simply reverse my way back onto Morton Rd and get the hell out of there. Unfortunately for me, my car had automatic lights that turned on as soon as I started the car, a fact that I was aware of but in my panic seemed to ignore.
Immediately in front of me about a hundred feet as I had guessed was a 6 and a half to 7 foot beast, on two legs. It was covered in black fur, with the body of a gym addicted man and the head of what I guess could be similar to a German shepherd or a black wolf. It had human like feet covered in the dark fur as well with large claws sticking out about two inches, and it held its left hand out the same way a human would reaching for something in front him/her. I noticed that the fingers ended in large claws as well. While this was enough to cause my jaw to drop, what got me the most was that it was wearing torn blue jeans that seemed too tight and unnaturally torn, and an open flannel blue shirt that was ripped at its bulky shoulders.
It looked my way when the lights revealed it and glared at me with narrowed yellow eyes baring its large fangs. My windows were still down and I hadn’t touched my radio so I had no trouble hearing the loud growl it let out. It then turned its head to the forest and dropped on all fours and ran out of my sight into the trees.
All of this took place in about 20 seconds, but it felt like hours. At this point I literally had tears in my eyes but didn’t hesitate for one second longer to shove my car in reverse and put the gas pedal to the metal. I heard loud growling and grunting as I was leaving. I reversed onto Morton Rd and went 80-90 miles an hour down the streets leading back to Katy and didn’t slow down till I was on interstate 10. While still on Morton Rd I kept my eyes in front of me and sobbed the whole time because I had never been so scared in my life. I can swear that the look I got from this creature was communicating to me that I had no business seeing him and that he wanted me gone. The look reminded me of criminals on tv being caught in their wrongdoings and wanting to cause harm to those who witnessed it.
I got home, ran inside and called my Scottish terrier into my room and didn’t sleep till the sun was up.
To this day I’ve never had a desire, nor the nerve to go back to that part of Morton Rd. I obsessed over the idea that I had seen a werewolf and researched werewolf sightings on google and was intrigued by the Beast of Bray Rd sightings and everything else that came up. I was disappointed to see that nothing i found on the web was precisely what I saw…while the beasts others have encountered seemed similar, none were spotted wearing clothes.
The Reaction
I told my mother and father what I had seen, and while my mother could tell I was being genuine, my father was more interested in me driving that far from home without letting him know so I stopped talking about it. Of the 7 people outside of my family I’ve told, only my wife to be and my friend Mike seemed to believe me, most laughing and asking stupid questions such as “did you ask the werewolf if he got the vampires yet?” And similar things like that.
I’ve always wanted to write you, but it wasn’t hard to notice that my story sounds far fetched, especially considering the fact that I couldn’t find any other reported sightings near the Houston area, nor much in Texas recently either. I guess I was scared of being ridiculed, or to be honest scared that if I did say my story that somehow the creature would find out and hunt me down…I’m honestly positive I’ll never stop being haunted by the memory of this creature, it’s just too vivid and too frightening to put out of my mind.
I also never told the friend I dropped off there that night, what I saw. In fact, I didn’t see him again for two years until accidentally bumping into him at a gas station in south Katy.
Last week, my mom and fiancé went shopping at Barnes and Noble and noticed Real Wolfmen and thought I’d like it. I haven’t put it down since and after reading the chapter where the woman in Tennessee saw a clogged creature, I decided that after four years of hesitating it was time to write to you.
I’m not sure what happens next, but I want to say thank you again for getting back to me and taking the time to listen to my sighting. I know that some of these creatures have been spotted in daylight, but I just don’t know how what I saw couldn’t be a werewolf…the moon was full (the official full moon was July 19th but it still looked exactly the same from what I saw) and this creature was wearing clothes..I know some dogs wear sweaters when their owners force them to but even pretending that dogs walked on two legs standing 6.5-7 feet tall, how someone could dress a dog up that way is beyond me…and there’s no way in hell that it was a man dressed up as a werewolf/wolfman/dogman…it was just too real. 
I’m 23, a father of two daughters and I’ll be married next month.
The witness shared a few more things with me after I told him that in my experience, the upright canines with more humanoid features and especially those seen wearing a human garment tend to be seen near parks or Native American reservations. There are, in fact, several reservations near that area, he said, and since he is part Native American, he asked his grandmother about tribal lore that might explain the encounter. He said she told him that in their legend, the entities usually referred to as skinwalkers are more like the usual idea of werewolves. The witness drew a sketch at my request, then asked his mother to redraw it, using his drawing as a guide. I must say it looks very like a typical portrayal of a werewolf. The ruff or neck mane is something that many witnesses describe, however, clothing or no clothing.
To play the devil’s advocate, there is a big advantage to hoaxers in wearing clothing, because it’s eliminates the need for a full bodysuit of fur. In the drawing, the feet are shown as flat rather than digitigrade (supported on toepads) But this witness didn’t seem to think this could have been a human. The creature ran away on all fours. And there was that almost full moon…

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Scan_20160606

Every once in a while I’ll be going through my files and will  discover items that have never been resolved for various reasons, just crumbling away in the staid limbo of manila folders. Here are a couple of headscratchers that turned up recently.  While I also have a bunch of newer reports to share soon, I feel I should mention these oldies first, just in case anyone knows more:

Nashotah Bigfoot? July, 2006, Nashotah, Wisconsin report from three men driving on County C south of town described “something huge and brownish that turned to gray toward the back end” crossing the road in front of them as close as only six feet from the car. It was on all fours, had bigger legs than arms (or forelimbs) and its rear end was higher than its front end, giving it a posture “like a souped-up car” as it ran. They were sure it wasn’t a bear or a deer, and indeed, I’ve heard reports of Bigfoots running on all fours in just this manner.

The man who wrote me about it (second hand) in October, 2006, said he was investigating the incident for the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Research Organization) but it doesn’t appear on their site as far as I could discover. I sent him a recent email for an update and am hoping for a reply. I also have the name of the witness, but his contact info has changed.

I would say this sounded more like a Bigfoot than dogman, except the witnesses also said it had a 4-6 inch long tail.  They did not get a good look at its head. The driver said he’d also seen a large upright creature running through his back yard, and it was seven to eight feet tall. That by itself is not conclusive. I remain especially interested in this incident because of the “Hartland Hairy Thing” seen only two years ago in Hartland, Wisconsin, just five miles away. Both towns are about thirty miles north of Bray Road, Elkhorn.

Water Walker and Giant Swimming Animal: August, 2006, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the date of an old Yahoo conversation I printed and saved from another group because of a question from John Scherf asking if anyone had seen the “Lake Michigan Water Walker.” He said that a strange figure was sometimes sighted sitting on the beach in the very early morning hours. It would then rise up and walk out onto the lake waters until it disappeared. (A person wading out to swim, perhaps?”

The page also included a note from friend and long time cryptid quester Kimberly Poeppey: “I saw a big animal swimming in Lake Michigan! It was as big as a car. It was swimming in the bay by the Art Museum.” She added it was winter and the animal was swimming around blocks of floating ice, leaving a large wake behind. All she could see was its “big, dark, back.” Lake monster?

Anyway, I feel better having given these three mysteries a fighting chance. I penned out a rough map, above, just to give some idea of their relative locations–all in S.E. Wisconsin. I’m no cartographer, but I added a few representative bipeds and quadrupeds in appropriate places for interest. And I’m far from done going through my files. I’ll post again if anything else shakes out.

 

 

 

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Scan_20160420 (2)Two men young were cruising around the towns and villages of northeast England on a later summer’s night in 1989 for lack of anything better to do, when they found an unexpected cure to their boredom in the form of an upright, unidentifiable creature that ran in front of their car. The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote me about it after having found one of my dogman sketches based on other eyewitness reports. He said he had searched for years afterward trying to figure out what he and his friend had seen that night, but my sketch came the closest.

The drawing you see here is my new rendering made to accommodate his exact description. I’ll quote his own telling of that night’s events, sent to me in two emails that I’ve combined here. He gave me permission to post his sighting but asked that I withhold his name:

***

The night of our encounter was not long after I bought the car. My friend Sean and I were out driving around the local towns and villages, playing some tunes on the cassette and generally just cruising about … It must have been late because it was dark by the time we passed through the small coastal village of Cresswell [Northumberland], so I’m assuming it was around 23.00hrs.
I remember we were heading SW from Cresswell to Ellington on Cresswell Rd., having just passed the entrance to the caravan site on our left. I had not yet had the opportunity to test the extra fog lights on the front of the vehicle and I wanted to see how bright they were in the dark. Sean was looking in the glove compartment for a different cassette and I told him I was going to switch the fogs on.
We were coming up to a slight right hand bend, there was a six-foot wall with dense foliage on our left and a normal hedgerow bordering a field to our right, that was when I saw something run out in the middle of the road. I wasn’t going very fast, probably 30mph maximum and had ample time to slow down so as not to hit it – even to stop but I’m not sure I did. I think I just crawled the car towards it as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
It had ran out onto the road from my right and had stopped in the middle of the road looking directly at the car. It was covered in thick, mousey grey/brown fur about 2-3 inches long and stood on its rear legs which were jointed with the knee at the rear like a horse or dogs. Its upper arms were down by its side and It held its forearms out in front of it with its hands and long fingers hung down at the wrist. (They may have been long hands or long fingers but I remember the hands from the wrist to the fingers as being very long).
It had one foot in front of the other as if in mid-step as it seemed I had caught it by surprise, and while its body was still facing in the direction it was travelling, the head was facing the car.
I remember the eyes which reflected the light back at me as being perfectly round and a green/yellow colour much like that of a cat’s eyes when caught in the light.
It stood about 5-6 foot tall but was hunched over, even then I’d say it wouldn’t have been over 6 foot tall stood erect. It had what seemed to have a very muscular body, not big or bulky, more wiry with powerful limbs, thick chest and small waist. It also had a short tail. maybe 4-5 inches long, definitely not as long as most dogs; personally I’d describe it as more like a goats tail. (After seeing this I mainly searched for sightings of satyrs in the region as this was the closest thing I could relate it to)
Its head and face were like that of a dog or goat, as in not flat like a humans face, but with a muzzle and quite large ears. I do not remember seeing any teeth and it did not have horns. The whole encounter could not have lasted more than a few seconds. I assume it regained its composure after being caught off guard as it took off over the 6 foot wall and through the foliage atop that in a single bound. Although I often drive by the same area, I have never seen it again.
As for how I felt, I was in shock at first, like when someone gives you a fright. I shouted, Sean!, Sean! to make sure he was looking as he was fishing around in the glove box for a tape. I just couldn’t take it all in. After it had gone we were still going slow. We were looking back to where it had disappeared and I felt terrified. I’ve always considered myself a fairly macho type and not easily scared, but there was NO chance of me getting out of that car to follow it.
In fact, as we drove on a ways, there was a guy walking his dog farther up the road, maybe half a mile and for a moment I considered telling him not to go down that way. We slowed down but we honestly didn’t know what the hell to say, and we decided he was far enough away from it, so we just kept going. We were still also really shook up at this point.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that neither myself nor Sean was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It’s very hard to talk about it, as quite frankly most people don’t believe it. I wasn’t sure if you would, or even do, as I imagine you must get a few folks who try and pull your leg.
But, hand on heart, all I have said is true to the very best of my knowledge. I want you to know that. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out someone else had seen it and I could actually put a name to the creature.

 

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copyright Linda S. Godfrey all rights reserved, no use without permission

copyright Linda S. Godfrey all rights reserved, no use without permission

Sure, it has monsters. But the astounding beauty and diversity of the landscape around the west central midsection of Wisconsin is as remarkable as the wide range of unknown creatures that seem to inhabit it. My previous post focused on the hairless creature legend of Hillsboro; the two accounts I’ll highlight here are located slightly west of that area, near Tomah and Westby. Both cases are especially apropos to summer road trip time, since the creatures involved seemed to home in on the witness’s cars!

The “Big Bird of Tomah” was spotted by a now-retired, male medical worker driving south on his way from Black River Falls to Tomah one morning around 1999-2000. He was nearing the north side of Tomah on US Rte. 12 when something large and black swooped across his windshield–it was a black, feathered bird with a body he described as about six feet long, and a wing span he estimated at twelve feet. He said it was close enough that he was able to look it in the eyes as it passed him. He did not recognize the species. Luckily, the bird kept going, and so did the man. He told some co-workers but as usually happens in these cases, was disbelieved.

Just for comparison, that side of the state is also known for the sightings of a giant, stork-like bird near Hayward, the Man-Bat of La Crosse, and a flying Lizard Man seen by a state patrol officer and a group of construction workers near Medford. I also have a report of a man-sized bird seen standing on a bridge near Neillsville, on or near Ho Chunk land.

The “Westby Wolfman” report came to me just a week ago but occurred in 1990-91. The witness wrote:

“I saw a wolf figure that ran and stood on two legs, but it would have been in 1990 or 1991. It was outside of Westby, Wi on County Road P around 4:30 to 5:00 in the morning. I think it was in the spring of the year. I was on my way to work. It ran from the side of the road and charged into the driver’s side door of my car. Thankfully the window was up. I saw his face clearly. I stepped on the gas. It scared me.

“Although the whole thing happened so quickly, it was early in the morning and still dark outside. It had a wolf face. It was on two legs. It did not look like a costume. It was taller than the car I was driving. I would guess it to be maybe 6 ft tall. It had black fur, maybe dark gray. Where it came from on the side of the road, there was a bridge and a trout stream. It did not dent my car. Trust me, I looked. When it charged the car it hit hard.

“Years later I confided to one of my clients about the incident. She told me there was a book I needed to read. It was your book. When I saw the sketches in the book, I realized it was the same as I had seen that morning. I never heard of any other sightings in that area, but perhaps there were and they were too afraid to say anything either. I never reported it because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.”

There have been many other strange creatures spotted around this area of the state—kangaroos, Bigfoot, and lake serpents to name a few. It’s an extremely scenic part of the state to visit even if you only see known animals, which can be just as exciting in their own right. Summer Road Trip Rating: Five Screeches! * * * * *

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http://www.whatitmeanstobeamerican.org/places/wisconsin-monster-capital-of-america/#.VMJ0aTpONX4.twitter

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