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Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Category

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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Photo by Linda S. Godfrey, all rights reserved

Coming up Halloween evening, 8 pm central, 9 pm eastern (if you miss it, check the site for archives):

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/binnallofamerica/2017/11/01/boaa1022-linda-godfrey

BOAradio

Also, see this fun blog post about a blog post about my (and other people’s) cryptozoology blog posts:]

https://mediablog.prnewswire.com/2017/10/30/blog-profiles-cryptozoology-blogs/

And finally, the night my dog looked out the window and saw a wild face staring back…

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Possums can be scarey, too! This was not a faked photo! Happy Halloween!!! 

Taken in city of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, ca 1991, copyright Linda S. Godfrey

 

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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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Thunderbirds, mothmen and other unknown flying things are some of the most puzzling of cryptids. They appear in the sky or a nearby meadow, amaze lucky witnesses, and then fly away without any hint as to their intent. Sometimes they seem to portend doom, as in the famous case of Point Pleasant, W. VA’s Mothman, which many think was a harbinger of the tragic Silver Bridge collapse.

 

In other cases, such as the northwestern Wisconsin daylight sighting by John Bolduan that begins my “American Monsters” book, witnesses are left feeling perplexed yet privileged to have witnessed such a spectacle. Bolduan watched in awe as the tall, silvery-feathered bird took to the air and displayed a 22-foot wingspan.

 

There’s another example of that flighty ambiguity in my next book due out this fall, titled “Monsters Among Us, an Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms and Odd Phenomena.” In this incident, a central Wisconsin woman witnessed a gigantic, large bird standing on a bridge near Black River Falls. She was told by a Native American elder that she had seen a Thunderbird.

 

Why am I bringing these examples up now? I’ve often wished that I had some way to help  interpret these incidents, but had never found much contemporary material aside from well-known Thunderbird lore. I was thrilled recently, then, to stumble across a gleam of illumination in my summer reading pile, in a book about one man’s solo canoe adventure down the Mississippi River. The beautifully written work, Nick Lichter’s The Road of Souls, Reflections on the Mississippi, also describes many of the places long considered sacred or otherwise important by our indigenous people.

 

One of these places is Rock Island, Illinois (specifically, the area known as Rock Island Arsenal across the river from Bettendorf, Iowa). Lichter cites the translated autobiography Life of Black Hawk to explain that this island was once considered a hunting, fishing and horticultural paradise by Blackhawk’s people, the Sac or Sauk. I’ll quote just the last half of Chief Blackhawk’s own statement from  Lichter’s book:

 

“In my early life, I spent many happy days on this island. A good spirit had care of it, who lived in a cave in the rocks immediately under the place where the fort now stands, and has often been seen by our people. He was white, with large wings like a swan’s, but ten times larger. We were particular not to make much noise in that part of the island which he inhabited, for fear of disturbing him. But the noise of the fort has driven him away, and no doubt a bad spirit has taken his place!”

 

Lichter adds, “The swan’s cave was long ago dynamited out of existence.”

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(Image shared from http://cdn26.us1.fansshare.com/photo/mississippiriver/shannon-mississippi-river-watershed-wikimedia-commons-delta-333095664.jpg)

Might the big birds seen up and down the Mississippi since Chief Blackhawk’s day be embodiments of that wandering spirit bird? Blackhawk doesn’t directly call the spirit bird a swan; he merely says it is white, has wings like a swan and is ten times its size. That’s very reminiscent of what Bolduan described. And Webb Lake, where it appeared, is only about five or six miles from the Mississippi in Burnett County, Wisconsin. Moreover, the other encounter I mentioned on the bridge in central Wisconsin was near Black River Falls, a tributary of the Mississippi.

 

This is just my own fanciful thought, but maybe that great, spirit bird is still winging over the Mississippi, setting down now and again as it searches for another place of peace– another earthly paradise to watch over. I believe it’s as good an explanation of these huge creatures as any.

My final thought is a question inspired by Blackhawk’s words when he suggested a “bad spirit” might have taken the great bird’s place… I can’t help but wonder what shape that bad spirit might have taken…

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Only a couple of days after my last blog about the differences between pterosaur-like flying creatures reported today and what scientists have learned about the actual, prehistoric birds, a new witness came forth. This sighting took place in 2008, about twenty miles north of San Jose, California. It occurred in daylight at close range, and the witness had time for a good look at something that is not supposed to be! In the witness’ own words:

Hello Linda,

I’m delighted to have come across your website. Here’s my report of a sighting of what I believe was a pterosaur in 2008. My sighting was a little different than the drawings in the article you posted, “Pterosaurs or Terror-Sores.”

On or about Sept. 3, 2008, on a clear, sunny day around 11 a.m., I was driving North on Hwy. 680 between Fremont and Pleasanton, California. Just at the Hwy. 84 off-ramp, I looked up when something large caught my eye and what I saw was a small Pterosaur flying about 30 ft. above my car. Talk about “driver distraction!” It flew directly over me (perpendicular to my direction), heading East toward Livermore. The reason I can estimate its distance from me, is that it appeared to be about 10 feet above the top of the traffic cam located at the Hwy. 680/84 junction which I was approaching at that moment.

The creature looked very similar to the paintings of the “Ropen” of Indonesia. I would estimate it had about a 3-5 ft. wingspan. It was light tan, all leathery skin, and the most astonishing thing was that it had no feathers! I could see the wrinkles & texture of its skin moving over its bones as it flew. The eyes were very large, round eyes, and it appeared to be young, or at least I had that impression because of its size and some of its features, like the tail and the bump on the back of its head were not as developed as those depicted of adult Ropen/Pterosaurs. I thought it probably flew at night because of the size of its eyes, which were perfectly round and HUGE – much, much larger than an Owl’s, for example. The eyes probably took up 40%+ of its cranial-facial area. As my rational mind was striving to take this all in, I wondered why it was flying in daylight, though it did not seem to be alarmed by anything.

The wings were triangular, slightly rounded at the tips, but I did not see any “hands” attached to the wings as these creatures are sometimes portrayed. The back of its triangular-shaped head came to a rounded point, jutting out a few inches. Its tail was not much more than a pointed “stump.” It had a fairly broad triangular-shaped beak that was longer than the “bump” at the back of its head, perhaps about 10-12 inches. Again, I was surprised at the breadth of its beak because it differed from drawings I’ve seen in books. But this was no Pelican, Bat, nor anything else I’ve ever seen flying through the sky. It had no feathers. As it flew, it’s clawed feet hung down slightly, from its body positioned more toward the middle of its underside (i.e., they were not positioned at the back of the body under the tail, nor were they attached to the wings). Its large claws were slightly curled and facing backwards. I thought it looked a bit clumsy as it flew, in that its feet and legs were not tucked up tight against the body during flight like birds, they were just dangling down. I recall there were 3 visible “toes.”

I was so shocked, but also felt awe and excitement and wanted to pull over to watch it. But, alas, I had to force myself to take my eyes off of it and mind the driving. It would have been a dangerous place to stop on that busy freeway, let alone to get out of the car, and by the time I could have pulled over, the hills would have blocked the view in the direction it was flying, and of course it would be far away by then. I witnessed this creature for 6 – 8 seconds before I had to tear my gaze away, but that was enough time to absolutely know I was looking at something very, very strange — something I had only seen in books about dinosaurs.

I have a keen interest and curiosity about nature and the nature of reality, cryptozoology, metaphysics, and spirituality. Some would consider me a good observer. This experience felt like a privilege to have been a witness to a secret aspect of our natural world. Perhaps I somehow briefly interfaced with another dimension, but it was as real and 3rd dimensional as any other animal. I told a couple of family members about it and most of them do not believe me — but I know what I saw. It’s exciting and validating to read that more sightings of similar creatures are emerging in many locations.

Thank you for your great blog. I’m sure to be a frequent visitor.

Sincerely,
Kris

[Also see this article for ROPEN, the flying cryptid mentioned by Kris]

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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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