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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

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Halloween isn’t here for a couple of months yet, but the werewolf masks — or at least, some old photos of them– are already coming out. There is one making the rounds on some groups that someone clipped from my old, now static and partially dismantled BeastofBrayRoad.com site (which is about to be reborn). It’s very definitely a person in a mask, and the photos were sent to me by Wisconsin friend Donna Pulkowski, after she posed in them just for fun and made sure I knew that. The one above was taken on Potter’s Road, Elkhorn. Another, below, is set on Bray Road.Scan_20170821 (2)

The one that has been causing all the fuss is below, along with the text from the old site. But please wait just a second before scrolling all the way down for that.

First, I want to post one that was sent to me anonymously some time ago. The appearance of it doesn’t come together as a canine for me, but is one of the best of this type of photo I’ve received. It was sent as a print, taken outdoors, so I have the full shot and the zoomed detail. I can’t recall seeing it anywhere else but that doesn’t mean it didn’t. It looks to me like someone wearing a wolf pelt with head, and clothing. The legs appear human. But that’s just my opinion. Please have at it!

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Post from the past: October 29 2009 HOAXES NOT JOKESES 

Look closely at this pic – see a familiar face?

People send me similar things all the time: Cousin Pete in a werewolf suit, or a landscape with a brown blob that is supposed to be a dogman. Sometimes the senders even helpfully add outlines in red crayon to show where the head or legs go.

Why do they do it? Some of these senders want my endorsement so they can sell the pic on e-bay, others are just sort of kidding themselves that they have captured proof that cryptids exist.  Some, I have no doubt, really did capture a photo of what they saw but the pic just isn’t good enough to identify it. I truly hope that some day, someone WILL come up with a clearly defined, measurable, unfaked video or pic of an upright wild canine that the world can chew on.

It’s the folks who just like to trick others that I worry about. I know of at least four Beast impersonators on Bray Road alone (hint; Halloween is their fave time for critter-scamming).

For one thing, they could get shot. It has happened to hoaxers in other places such as the so-called Choccolocco Monster of Missouri whose fun ended when someone aimed a rifle at him. (He survived but learned his lesson.)

I also worry about the safety of innocent motorists who may be passing by. Causing someone to have an accident would not be cool.

Beyond those considerations, I wonder about the psychology of the pure prankster. There is a degree of mean-spiritedness there, along with disdain for the hoaxees. A hoaxer is actually mocking those people who have had real unexplained experiences, and makes it harder for researchers to do their work.

However, I’ve never been able to link any known hoaxers to reported Beast sightings by date or location. And  I have a feeling that most people know a human in a bear or gorilla suit or werewolf mask when they see one.  I’ve received far too many sightings of unknown upright canids over time and geographical distance to blame them all on hoaxers. In other words, hoaxes do not prove or disprove the existence of cryptids, they just gum up the binoculars.

My final word is a plea to would-be Halloween jokesters is to curb your enthusiasm and stick to scaring trick-or-treaters at your own front door this year. At least you can then give them some candy to make up for it.

 

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MidMIMonster

Original drawing by Linda S. Godfrey, copyright 2017 all rights reserved

Skeptics like to characterize unknown creature eyewitnesses as unsophisticated, uneducated or even under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What I have found over 25 years of reports is that these eyewitnesses are actually almost always sober, and that as a group they are quite diverse in profession, gender and age. Even young children are strongly represented, although they usually don’t report their encounters until they are much older.

I’ve received several reports lately from people whose sightings occurred decades earlier, when the witnesses were children or pre-teens. The following is a transcript of a phone interview I had with a woman from south of Eau Claire who saw a puzzling creature when she was a pre-teen. She did not want the exact location revealed and asked me to keep her identity private as well, which I always do when requested. I met with her in person, too, and found her to be a very cordial and sensible person. She simply happened to have once encountered something most children would consider a nightmare – a black, hairy being with “spikes” on its head that looked like horns or ears.

MidWIECmap_LI

In her words:

“I grew up south of Eau Claire, and one day I was out in our woods a distance of a football field and a half, alongside a path to a trash-burning area. I had a tire swing and was playing on it when I saw it. It peeked from behind a tree halfway between me and the house. It was a black creature, looked like it had ears or horns. It was solid black, on two legs, and it was the same size as me at that time, about four and one half feet.

When it stepped out [from behind the tree] I could see half the body. It had a regular hand. I couldn’t see the feet. Its leg looked like a human leg; it had knees. All I could see on the face was its eyes. They were yellow but not reflecting any light because we were in the woods where it was shaded. Its arm was hanging down, and may have been slightly longer than a human’s. It was a straight-on shot. It seemed like everything was three-dimensional. The spikes on its head could have been ears, hair that spiked up, horns, or tree branches that were behind him.

It reminded me of a human but because it was all black I thought it must have been a demon because I had never heard of Bigfoot at that age. I closed my eyes and started praying The Lord’s Prayer and when I opened them it was gone. I can’t remember if I ran to the house right then or not. I waited a few days before going back and never saw it again. But after seeing it, I’d wake up at night for months to hear either a scratching or a tapping on the window. I always put the covers over my head. It was quite often at first – every night – then slowly tapered off. I remember being scared out of my wits. It was almost like it wanted me to come with it or come out to play.

My parents still own the acreage. I never told them about it. My own kids wouldn’t go play out there.”

So what did she see peeping at her in those woods? I include here my own sketch interpretation, which the woman told me was pretty close. To me, the description and behavior scream juvenile Bigfoot. Young Sasquatch’ are often noticed watching children at play and following them home, and I think this conclusion is logical here. Except for those things on the head. That’s not a Bigfoot trait, but the woman may be correct in her guess that the “ears” were just branches in the woods behind it.

Other possible identities just don’t jibe with the report. A bear cub or deer? Not with “regular hands.” An upright canine? Goatman? These also seem unlikely for a creature with human hands, knees and a long arm hanging down at its side. Some might say it was a pukwudjie, or little person of the forest described in lore of the Algonquian, Wampanoag and other Native American peoples, but the pukwudjies are often described as only knee-high and covered with smooth gray skin rather than black fur.

If it was a juvenile Bigfoot, there may be a family group that is still somewhere in the area.  In Monsters Among Us, I told the story of a family who believed a Bigfoot was watching their children play in their back yard near Neillsville (only half an hour east of this sighting), and who had seen several of them over the past five years. The whole Eau Claire area is surrounded by forests and wildlife preserves that would create prime habitat for Bigfoot.

One more note: this report is also one of a growing number I’ve received wherein the witness prays or calls out to God in fear, and the creature is immediately gone. I do not know for sure what this creature was, but even though it appeared years ago and did no physical harm, residents in that part of the state may want to keep an eye on their tire swings!

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This beauty, Ken Gerhard’s Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts, recently arrived in my mailbox and will be my first big read of the new year! Can’t wait to dig into what looks like a thorough compendium of the wild world of weird creatures. Happy 2017 to all!

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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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Partly because it’s National Poetry Month and partly because a fan sent me some surprising poetry centered around unknown creatures, I give you a sample of the work of Jacob Gene Lenhardt of Menasha. This is not sweet or sentimental work, nor is it some sort of disguised sighting report. It is dark, a tad disturbing and I think it comes from some interior place that witnesses occasionally hint at but seldom know how to express. I found myself responding to these lines on a visceral level, and thought some of you might appreciate the chance to do so as well.

Poetry, I remind you again, is the most personal and subjective form of writing and not everyone’s cup of Starbuck’s. But if you’re game for a quick alternate look at the unknown, read on:

 Street Lantern
The snow apes that frequent our
mill-pond are losing their hair; it gets
caught in clumps when they
crawl under the barbwire
or gathers in the
basement drain during
spring floods. It’s because
of the shit I dump
in there to keep them
away or kill them off
but it only makes them
dumber and stronger
throwing up all over
and bleeding internally.
When I’m reading
my daughter a story at twilight
it gives me a stomach-ache
to see her eyes widen
over my shoulder
dancing with those
faint green lights;
I have to leave the room
to tell my mom
not to go out there
until the ship is gone.
Jacob Gene Lenhardt, by permission

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