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

 

 

 

 

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At first blush it seems a waste: a mountain lion’s paradise, empty of lions for almost 100 years. But nestled among the rocky crags and lush valleys of this small area in west central Wisconsin, around 150 eyewitnesses say the big cats also known as pumas or cougars are returning – indeed, have already returned — to their old lairs and watered woodlands. Both tawny-colored and, surprisingly, black-furred big cats now strut these rolling hills. Why surprisingly? Scientists say they don’t exist!

cows and barnWhite Lhasa Studios LLC (producers Linda Godfrey and Steven Godfrey) presents the trailer to a new film that tells this story of the returning cats and the people who have witnessed them firsthand.

An area reporter says the eyewitnesses are sure of what they’ve seen. Wildlife officials say most are mistaken. The residents, who range from retired police officers to Amish farmers, beg to differ. The cats are back on Wildcat Mountain, they say, and this time, they show no signs of leaving.

Please follow and like if you enjoy it. The film will also illustrate and correlate with a large chapter in my forthcoming book (see earlier post) “I Know What I Saw,” Modern-day Encounters with Monsters of New Urban Legend and Ancient Lore.”

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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This sightings report arrived last week via e-mail, and is yet another example of eyewitnesses around the globe claiming to have seen werewolf-like creatures. I haven’t received any from Finland before this, so it was a welcome surprise. Both the witness and the person who wrote the story out for her desire anonymity, so the writer refers to her friend by the pseudonym, “Aino.” She also included a map of the general area. In her own words:

I wanted to tell you a werewolf sighting my very good friend had when she was a kid. This happened in Finland. I will tell the story in as much in detail as possible, but I don’t want to reveal my friend’s identity. What I can tell about my friend, she doesn’t like to share her encounter with others. I’m one of the few – if not honestly the only one – to whom she has told her story. I have known my friend “Aino” for almost 20 years. She has told me this story a few times and it never changes.

This incident happened when Aino was 8-9, so around 1995-1996 in North-East Finland. I have added here a map of the sighting’s location.

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Her family has lived in the same place for 300 years. The house is big wooden house with two entrances on both ends of the house. There’s an old barn and a shed in the front yard, and a traditional old Finnish sauna next to a lake. The house resides next to a lake, surrounded by hay and rye fields. In a small distance, there’s a thick spruce forest. The area is very, very rural with only a few tens of people living in it. Most of the forest and the nature overall around the area is untouched. If it matters, my friend’s family back then had a horse, cats and also apparently chickens. She’s told me that when she was young, they had many animals like cats, chickens and goats. I can assure that they had horses and cats back in 95-96, but I assume they also had chickens when this incident happened.

As the house and the area is old, there’s lots of unexplained activity in there. She also saw a leprechaun inside her house when she was 6 years old, and that sighting lasted for many minutes. As the bodies of dead ones were stored in the shed over the winter for a burial in spring, there are ghosts and other entities there for sure. Her grandfather passed away in front of the stairs leading to the second floor, and my friend says she always felt uneasy around that spot – a way before she was told how her grandfather had died on that spot.

Because my friend has seen and experienced things in the house and around it, she kind of brushed the encounter off as one of these odd phenomena, even though it really scared her (as did the leprechaun). Even today, she’s sensitive to unseen things and has a keen sense of people, being able to tell their true nature and past with one glance only.

It was daytime during summer, if I recall the season correctly. My friend and her mother were at the lake shore next to a sauna, her mother doing some housework there and Aino playing and helping her out. Aino’s mother asked her to fetch a bucket from the house, and Aino ran through the short hay field, where they used to cut hay for their horse. It’s about 50-60m (59-65yd) long naturally formed pathway from the sauna to the house. She ran to the house’s right side, where the pathway to sauna through the field begins, but stopped at the corner of the house abruptly. She said there was a grey werewolf standing in the front yard, in a broad day light. It looked exactly like a classic werewolf, with a hunched posture, grey fur, wolf’s head, standing on its hind legs. It didn’t see my friend or make any sound. Just stood there. If I recall right, my friend said that he was lighter grey in color.

Naturally Aino got really scared! She slipped hastily inside the house from the right side’s door (they have another door on the left side of the house). She sought the bucket while hunching down, scared the werewolf would see her. She found the bucket and stayed in the living room, squatting under a window, too scared to go out. She waited for a few minutes, because she couldn’t let her mother wait for the bucket for a long. She peeked out from the window to the front yard, but didn’t see the wolf anymore. She carefully looked out from the door, too, scanning the whole yard carefully, because she was scared the werewolf was still hiding somewhere. When she couldn’t see or hear anything unusual, she took off and ran as fast as she could back to her mother. She didn’t tell her mother about this, as she thought mother wouldn’t believe her.

I have been interested in the paranormal and cryptozoology for 27 years. I have read about many experiences taking place in Finland, but this is the one and the only werewolf experience I have encountered here. I’m interested in to find out if there are other encounters like this in this country. I know werewolves were a big thing in Estonia during The Witch Craze.

I love the fact that this family had lived in their house for 300 years, and also that this was the first upright canine story I’ve heard that happened near a sauna. Finland does have some history with werewolf beliefs, as the writer says. Here is one brief site https://www.werewolves.com/vironsusi-the-werewolves-of-finland/  for starters.

Finland also has a long history of sharing their great outdoors with natural wolves that–like any wild animal– can be frightening at times. Although most wolves avoid human contact, in 1976 some packs were daring enough to threaten children walking to school in one eastern location, and vehicles had to be provided to keep the students safe. The surrounding  regions of Scandinavian and Russia are similarly associated with both mythic and modern day representations of wolves. Thanks to our Finnish friends for sharing their own story here.

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Received report Oct 23, 2018, 1:12 AM

A man who wishes to remain anonymous said he had a sighting he could not explain, and wasn’t going to tell anyone about it, but recently changed his mind hoping someone could identify it. The sighting took place in summer, 2018, in Love’s Park, Illinois, only about 20 miles south of the Wisconsin border, and included his daughter. They are habitual sky gazers, he said, and enjoy watching planes on their flight paths to and from O’Hare Airport. But what they saw that day just before dusk was no aircraft.

What he described as “the thing we saw” appeared to be about 100 feet in the air, flying due east over their heads and then circling once before continuing its eastbound path. It was close enough, he said, that they felt they had a good view.

He wrote, “This very large bird was gliding in the air above us. I cannot say for sure the exact size of this bird, because it was in the sky and there wasn’t anything to reference it with.

“This large bird was about 6 feet long, and 15-20 feet wide!  This thing was huge!!!  One thing really stuck out when we watched it, the wings did NOT flap like a normal bird. It just glided.”

The man said the closest photo he found was at Atlas Obscura’s Web site:

The man added they have seen cranes, eagles and other large birds in the area, but this one was much larger than any of those. He described it as dark in color, white ring around its neck. “The wings had a white stripe along the edge of its wings,” he said, “and the wings had feathers.”

He said he researched birds of all types for weeks but found nothing that resembled what he saw. He said, “But that is how I came across your site. I bought your book (American Monsters) and began reading it, and saw others have seen something similar to me! That is when I realized that we were not alone, and I have now chosen to speak to you about the sighting.”

He added, “But the large bird we saw was almost black in color, white ring around its neck, white stripe along its wings edge, and VERY LARGE! It did not move its wings either, it just glided. I have saw turkey vultures before.  In a way is does resemble it. But the size and colors did not! This thing put a turkey vulture to shame, in size!”

I’m not sure what this could be, either. The closest I could come is a Steller’s sea eagle, see this National Geographic photo with its dark feathers and white trim. Its wingspan is eight feet, smaller than this reported big bird but still really impressive, I’m sure. Illinois has a history of large bird sightings dating back many decades; perhaps this one will be added to the list. I hope sky gazers of that area will all spend some time looking up in case the dark-feathered one makes another fly-by.

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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

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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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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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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.

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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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