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MIDogmanRoof

Original artist conception by Linda S. Godfrey, copyright 2018 all rights reserved.

Do dogmen, Bigfoots and other cryptids select and follow certain humans…sometimes for years? One Michigan man wrote me about several dogman encounters that began when he was a child. The biggest question in this case may be: will the sightings someday end? The incidents occurred near Alto and Lowell in Kent County, starting when the man was just 11. These communities are just east of Grand Rapids, but both are near rivers and some small lakes, with numerous wooded areas and a rural feel.
Here is the main story as he wrote it (includes the first one and the latest), edited for length and punctuation:
The First Encounter: 1986
“It was summertime, my childhood had a great group of very normal everyday kids and we played war a lot with each other. Normally about six of us played together through the day with kids rotating back home for chores etc. This particular Saturday we decided to play War behind the Alto Elementary School in the woods and creek area. Anyways I was trying to get in the woods ahead of the other kids before they showed up, to have the advantage. We were using squirt guns and water balloons.
It was like 10 am. As soon as I ran into the woods which I knew very well–this was my stomping grounds literally–I felt uneasy, like I was being watched… not by a friend, either. This feeling lingered and got stronger and stronger like whatever was watching me was moving closer.In this small stretch of woods there was a creek behind me that ran the stretch of the woods. There is a train trestle/ rail road tracks as well.
I was crouched in the tall grass facing the play ground and the road when I heard a splash and very fast movement going behind me. I jumped because I was startled at the height and suddenness of the shadow flashing behind me. When I whipped around I saw a large black/grey, wolflike creature that was running down the creek bed bank alongside the creek behind me. It was shifting from four to two legs and jumped after about three seconds into the brush away from me into the trees. It seemed to have disappeared and I didn’t hear it [any more]. I was a country/woodsy kid. I had no comprehension other than fear for what I saw at that moment.
I ran home which wasn’t far, about 1/4 mile. I didn’t tell anybody what I saw. I was afraid of being teased, or made fun of about it by other people.
When I ran in my house and got to my bedroom, it had only been like a few minutes but I remember thinking it resembled the werewolves in The Howling movie I had seen few years before that. It was, I’d guess, 7-8 ft. tall, and a very muscular  300 lbs? Its head resembled a timber wolf with long canines, long clawed hands, its legs bent backwards like a canine. It glanced back at me. It didn’t want me to see it. It didn’t SMELL AT ALL. It’s face was not feral or ferocious, its eyes were blue. Its presence was powerful, overwhelming.
I didn’t go outta my own yard for several days, which my neighborhood friends thought was odd. I had childhood asthma though, so they assumed that was my issue when they didn’t see me much. I used that excuse when my family wondered why I was so home-bound. I never told a soul what I saw for fear of not being believed. I stayed close to my friends when we played, but I didn’t go close to that creek stretch of woods for 3-4 years. And never alone….
Being an eleven year old kid then, I remember thinking about it quite a bit over the summer but fear of not being believed kept me from telling my friends and family what happened behind the school I attended.  I was glad that middle school was coming for me that fall. I remember my concern that I was going to see this creature elsewhere that we played in the Alto area but I didn’t. Over next few years I rationalized to myself that I didn’t know really what I saw and the wolf-like creature image in my memory was better left there.
The Roof Wolf
“Flash up to 2008. I’m 33 years old. My profession at this time was personal fitness trainer and recreational bodybuilding was my lifestyle. We resided in a quaint house about a mile north of Lowell, MI. It had a very pretty welcoming woodsy area behind our home and we all enjoyed walking the trails in the woods as well.”

“It’s wintertime 2009. It’s a blizzard of snow outside.

All of my family was sound asleep. About 1 am, we wake up to a large thud sound on the roof of our home,  like the weight of a person moving around on the roof of our one story home. There is a lot of scraping noises and a slow, deliberate walking sound.
This goes on for about a minute. My girlfriend, our children and myself are genuinely spooked by this phenomenon happening on the roof. I recall vividly that all of us were utterly silent huddled in the hallway looking intently at each other and up at the ceiling from all of the loud creaking scraping sounds.
I don’t own guns, but I certainly felt it was a good idea to grab my machete that was in the closet. That was when I realized the dread feeling in my gut was the exact same feeling I had years ago with the wolflike creature from my youth. As I struggled with this realization I quietly as possible crept up to the back slider door, machete in hand. I had genuine fear for my girlfriend and children but kept it to myself. They were still huddled and scared, watching me sneak outside. Please know that I’m rather a fearless man for most part.
I ever so quietly sneak outside. It’s snowing hard big flakes outside, and it’s eerily quiet. I’m crouched in my pajamas alongside backside of the house. I’m holding my breath…looking up at the roof, listening. Slowly the clawed hands and timber wolf face with piercing blue eyes peers over roof down at me. It’s the exact same  creature I saw in my youth!
We stare at each other blankly for few seconds. There definitely was a weird sense of recognition between the creature and me ein those moments. I was physically frozen and shocked because the creature was only a good 8 feet or so from me on the roof of my home.
It suddenly leaps off the roof about 30 ft into our backyard. It lands on all four then runs on two legs back into the treeline in what seems like a blur. It’s standing there at treeline looking at me. The  contrast of the snow and it’s size and fur make it easy to spot.I hold still while the wolflike creature and myself stare each other down.
We stare at each other for I’m guessing a minute. In that minute my adrenaline dumped. My fear of this creature turned to anger for it disturbing my life, my family. I made a decision as my anger grew, a reckless one….
The Voice
I yelled a loud angry noise and charged, machete in hand directly at it. Pathetically, it took me like fifteen seconds to run the distance the creature had in like 2 moments. The wolflike creature didn’t budge, move or anything. It just stood there watching me run at it. It appeared mildly amused, its facial expression almost a smirk.
As I got within about 30 feet, in my head loudly I hear audibly… “DON’T!!!”. It’s a deep loud voice. I swear the sheer volume of the voice stopped me dead in my run at the creature. I was instantly physically calm, confused, still afraid of the creature, my fear of it was different for me. It’s presence was still overwhelming to me…
At this moment I realized this creature is intelligent?
I dropped the machete in a physical plea, a gesture to not be harmed. I backed away in slow deliberate steps backwards still facing it.  If it chose to be violent, it could easily kill/ harm me from physical appearance of it.
After few seconds it turned and walked calm about 30 feet into the woods. Its presence faded and it felt like it wasn’t ever there…
I went back to my residence looking over my shoulder whole time. I was so bewildered. It was a very vivid, surreal feeling. My reality had been spun like a top. I go back inside, but I keep looking out the slider towards the woods. I announce “It’s gone, girls!”
My girlfriend (Age 31), her daughter (10), my daughter (11)  walk into the dining room area from the hallway, asking questions in quiet voices. I hug our daughters, telling them it’s late. it was just an animal that ran off. They reluctantly buy it..My girlfriend and I  whisper about what happened earlier.  It comes out that she saw it a month or so before which then clicked to me…She had called me while I was running errands early evening. She sounded upset and scared. I was at [a store] only a mile from our residence. I was home in like 3 minutes. When I got in the house, she said she lied and chalked it off to the neighbor’s big Rottweiler. That was when I admitted my knowledge of the creature… Our daughters slept but we really didn’t.  It was simply crazy, Linda.”
This man had an unusual experience, I’ll say that! But not crazy. I have had other reports of upright canines crawling on roofs and staring at people from the tree lines of their back yards. I’ve also had many, many eyewitnesses report the feeling of receiving a message in their heads that indicates a warning of some type, although the message delivery seems extra vivid in this case. I hope to stay in touch with this witness in case anything else happens, and will update if I hear anything new. I have one more case to present from my recent Michigan batch so keep an eye out here for that.

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BigfootArtSnoman

I’m not sure Bigfoots like carrots or corncob pipes, but a nicely outfitted snowman must be tempting. Merry Christmas, season’s blessings and Happy New Year to all!

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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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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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And this is what he looks like. This is the face I see when I have the occasional dream about Bigfoot. Nothing else usually occurs in the dream, but I finally decided to draw him just for fun…

scan_20170301

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I’m always saying I don’t believe in TRADITIONAL werewolves, but almost every culture worldwide has its own, unique version of werewolves or something similar. That fact requires me to define “traditional.” What I usually mean by that are those moonstruck, hairy creatures  whose attributes are derived mainly from old European legends and Hollywood movies. But even these examples may vary. When I come across a legend with some interesting features, then, I like to note it for future reference.

Today while I was looking for something else, I happened across this charming artwork depicting a priest from Ulster named Gerald and his encounter with a couple of upright werewolves. The illustrations look a lot like many drawings made by modern day eyewitnesses and artists. The creatures appear completely canine, for instance, and they can walk either on all fours or upright. Muzzles, pointed ears and toe-pad-walking complete the pictures.

Royal 13 B.VIII ff.17v-18

(image from Creative Commons O, Europeana Collection, from the British Library Royal Collection, c. 1196-1223)

Their behavior, however, is the big surprise here.The story is written in Latin, but as I understand it from various translations, Gerald of Ulster was camping in the woods sometime around the year 1200 when he was approached by a large werewolf.

Short version: The creature begged Gerald to come with him and minister last rites to his mate. It seems they hadn’t always been werewolves. Their village had been more or less cursed to give up one couple every seven years to wander as Lycans, and it had been this pair’s turn to serve. They hadn’t yet completed their obligation when the missus fell ill. Gerald succeeded in tearing part of her fur away to reveal the shriveled elderly woman inside, and she was then able to eat a consecrated wafer. Happy ending.

There isn’t much more to the story. I simply thought it appropriate to begin the New Year with a tale from the era that still informs today’s lore. But I saw something both touching and brave about Gerald’s willingness to follow the wolfman into the woods and in the wolf couple’s determination to keep their faith. Most contemporary reports would have the witness fleeing the scene in terror (as I would be doing) while the wolf creature gave chase and then growled off into the night. That’s probably much closer to reality. But reality bites.

And I suspect they just don’t make werewolves like they used to.

Enjoy the art, anyway, and Happy 2017!

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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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