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Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Category

rockcirclefencenwoods

An overnight gift on my deck? Something unusual turned up this morning on my backyard deck which overlooks part of the Green Belt that connects hiking paths around the city where I live.

My bedroom window overlooks it directly. I once had a wired-in, infra-red motion detector focused on the yard there but something bit the wire in two! That was a few months ago. But just lately, I’ve been getting wood knocks in groups of 3 from the woods back there. Always a few minutes after I turned my light off.

A couple of nights ago, the knocks occurred immediately after I turned off my light. I told the Hubz but I wasn’t too excited, could have been lots of things. Last night around 8 or 9 pm some of the neighborhood dogs started barking in alarm mode. Again, I’d usually figure a deer or rabbit, coyote or whatever…until whatever was being barked at decided it had enough and made that super deep “hobita-hobita” growel + vowel sound that I and many others have associated with Brother Bigfoot or Sister Squatch. The barking stopped immediately. Again I mentioned it to my resident skeptic and he said, “Hmph.” So this morning I took a look out there and was shocked to see a perfect circle of 5 white landscape rocks laid out on the deck near the back rail. They had to have been carried from some edging close to the house. I know my neighbors…none of them would have sneaked onto my yard to make a little rock feature for me. The deck is surrounded by wilted plant debris so no footprints. Here are a few pix from my photo record. And the quarter and standard card deck are for size comparison, not a test to see if my visitor wants to ante up for a game of poker. BTW the woods were completely silent…no squirrels, birds etc. Eerie!

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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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Coming up July 7 and 8th…I’ll be giving a talk at the local library on the 7th at 3:30 and then on the 8th a Q & A with my son, Nate, on our (mostly his) RETURN TO WILDCAT MOUNTAIN documentary on the scores of mountain lion sightings and the fact that in one Wisconsin area, over half are of black panther-like creatures, and officials say there are NO black mountain lions anywhere! First screening of the director’s rough first cut — told by witnesses including a former staff researcher of Florida’s Panther Project.

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iKnowWhatISaw_flyer-6.7

Check out our 2.5 minute flyer on Return to Wildcat Mountain, Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus

 

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https://lindagodfrey.com/2020/02/12/premiere-full-screening-our-indie-documentary-film-about-mountain-lions-returning-and-the-black-panther-mystery-debuts-march-7-at-midwest-weirdfest/

blackjaguar

Black jaguar; could they be mating with pumas to create a hybrid big cat?

RETURN TO WILDCAT MOUNTAIN; Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus

Strangely, in some parts of North America, black-furred big cats make up over half the eyewitness reports of mountain lions, but zoologists say black pumas don’t exist. If that’s true, then exactly what are these ebony felines? Some say they are mutations or hybrids, others point to ancient beliefs of area Native Americans that the black big cats are guardian spirit animals. Might one small central Wisconsin town hold a clue to this growing mystery?

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This puzzling and eerie phenomenon is the basis (as written in my book, “I Know What I Saw” ) for my debut film documentary as director/producer of Return to Wildcat Mountain; Wisconsin’s Black Panther Nexus.The film has been unanimously selected in one of the premiere release positions March 7th at the Midwest Weirdfest Film Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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I provided original art and served as writer and director, with my husband, Steve Godfrey, as co-producer. Our son Nate Godfrey, a film maker with a degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, also lent his directorial skills, and created the camera, audio, animation, and editing. ..pretty much everything that required hands on film know-how. Former newspaper editor/journalist Steven Stanek, Hillsboro WI, shared the decades of amazing eyewitness reports he has collected for his news column and became our field producer.

White Lhasa Crew

We will announce streaming availability very soon and will also have hard cover DVDs for sale at the Midwest Weirdfest.

For now, check out the trailer on You tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTc-t85UeDw.

Or see Facebook’s Return to Wildcat Mountain page.

See more about the film conference here: Midwest Weirdfest

And CLICK HERE for TICKETS

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White Lhasa Studios LLC, copyright 2002 all rights reserved.

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

 

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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blogmontanadogman

Illustration by 2017 witness of upright, wolf-like creature in SW Montana, all rights reserved by witness

 

There’s been a lot of excitement in the past week over a wolf-like animal shot by a rancher near Denton in north Central Montana. It’s some kind of canid, most experts agree, and possibly some type of wolf-dog hybrid. A few have gone so far as to call it a dogman or even werewolf, although it was only seen running on all fours. This week I  received a Montana sighting report describing something much more like a typical dogman report in terms of size, appearance, and behavior. The witness had seen the news photos and felt that he should reveal what he had personally seen. At my request, he also drew the attached sketch of what he observed standing at the treeline of his own back yard less than a year ago.

It occurred only 150 miles southwest of Denton, near the northern edge of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest and Wise River. Just a glance at a map will confirm what a great habitat it would be for any wild canid.

The witness has since moved from that area. He said I could call him Zach here, but I do have his full name for contact info. He is in his mid-twenties, and at the time of the event worked in the environmental science department of the state’s Conservation Corps. Here is his own account of the 2017 incident:

I lived alone and in this remote location we don’t have cable so the only option is satellite TV. It was a humid summer night in July and the TV was acting up so I needed to go out and readjust the satellite like usual. I took a flash light and when I went outside it was usually quiet. Like so silent it was unnerving. I brushed the thought off and went to the dish which is in the corner of my yard. I went to work, making sure all the wires were alright and pointing it to a different angle. Suddenly I heard I small snap of a stick to my left and turned the flashlight to the direction and I saw a creature standing there. I got a good look at it for what seemed like an eternity but was for only about ten seconds. I slowly backed off and ran back to the house and locked all the doors and windows.

The creature was unlike anything I have ever seen before. When I shined the light at it, the first thing I saw was the head. It has cropped ears that pointed upwards. Its snout was narrower than a bears and longer and I could make out large teeth protruding from the jaw. Its eyes were a deep yellow, amber shade that seemed to reflect off the light I was pointing at it. The body was muscular and huge. It had long arms that appeared to be longer than its legs. Broad shoulders that tapered into a skinnier waist. It was slightly crouched over when I saw it, with one hand wrapped around a small tree. I could make out the legs which looked similar to a dog’s legs, it had obvious hocks. Even with the crouched position, it was about my height which is 6 foot. Standing up to full height this creature could easily be 7.5 feet tall. The fur was black and thicker around the neck and chest and the bottom half significantly less so.

I don’t know if it was aggressive or not. Was it observing me or stalking me? For a creature this large is was deceivingly silent. It got within 15 yards of me without me noticing. All I knew was I needed to get out of there and not find out. I don’t live on the property anymore but after the event I never had another face-to-face encounter. But I would hear sounds in the woods I cannot explain. They would start off relatively quiet, and work their way up to furious howls/screams then back down to quiet again. I don’t know if this was the same thing because it could be local wildlife.

Once I got back to the house, I opened a window closest to where I saw it and shined the light exactly where it was but it was gone. It was still dead silent outside when I had the window open. Some nights it would just be very quiet outside and others it would be like normal.

Zach said what he saw was nothing like those new photos now making Internet rounds. His description and sketch show a creature that is larger and more muscular than the Denton canid, and also had black fur rather than brown. Its behavior was also different, as it was observing the yard of the witness from a spot next to good cover rather than boldly stalking farm animals, and then quietly removed itself from view as the witness retreated into his house. He would have had no idea whether it was truly gone or just behind some foliage, still watching.

My final remark wold be the caveat that neither incident proves nor disproves the other. It is interesting, however, that this sighting occurred so close to the time of the Denton sighting, and shows there may be more of a background of unknown canine encounters in Montana than we may have guessed. Many thanks to Zach for contributing!

 

 

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manmndme

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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