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Posts Tagged ‘Bray Road’

BeastNewCover

New cover by Nathan D. Godfrey

It’s been over 25 years since, as a Walworth County reporter, I broke the news that people were calling local animal control officers to say they had seen what looked like a werewolf around Elkhorn, Wisconsin on Bray Road. They’re still calling me, and yes, there are still sightings of  large wolves or other canines walking upright — as well as reports of what witnesses say looks like a reddish-furred Bigfoot! What could people possibly be seeing, and WHY Bray Road? I’ll be discussing these and other recent happenings in a free program hosted by the Walworth County Historical Society in Elkhorn, on Thursday May 11, 7-8 pm. I’ll also be selling and autographing several of my books, and welcome anyone who would like to share an encounter! Hope to see you there!

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A certain weird hayfield in SE Wisconsin threads its way throughout the pages of my latest book, Monsters Among Us; an Exploration of Otherwordly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena. Today I spent a few hours threading my own way through the weedy tree lines of that field with its owner, “Roy Smith,” who decided he would like to reveal his actual name and say a bit on camera. I’ll refer to him as Smith here, however, since that is the name used in the book. My video of his introduction may be found below, but first here’s an important postscript on one strange phenomenon in Monsters Among Us.

(All rights reserved on photos and video; may not be posted or printed elsewhere without written permission.)

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On April 29, 2015, one of Smith’s trail cameras caught a black figure silhouetted against the growing green field. At first we thought it was a blackbird or crow, but when we zoomed in (zoom view shown above), it looked more like the head, back and arm of some large animal presumably crouched in the hay. There were two other partial shots of it taken within one second that showed very fast progression across the screen from left to right.

I trudged out to what we judged to be the spot where this happened one dewy morning not long after, wearing a coat with hood, and Smith took photos from where the trail cam had been set up. We ended up concluding, based on comparison to trees in the background and to the original photo, that it was at least as big as me (five foot one) and much larger than a bird would have been from that distance.

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The creature’s shape also seemed to match the stance I took in my photo: crouched over, one arm reaching forward. I wasn’t able to crouch as well, but my lower legs were also hidden by the grass. It would have been heading straight for the treeline area where Smith had been noticing various wildlife carcasses, mostly deer, that displayed oddly munched and crunched areas or were carried off entirely by unknown predators.

Return of the Creature

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Skip ahead one year or so to early May, 2016, and a similar type of creature showed up on another trail cam in the same field, heading in exactly the same direction. It looked black, furry, and seemed to be in a kneeling position. There was an evident shadow around it in the grass.Unfortunately, book production was already well underway so there was no way to add it. But we still set up a comparison shot with Smith trudging out to the field this time.

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The 6-foot 3-inch tall Smith (left, in baseball cap) appeared almost the same height as the creature as he knelt in the hay, but only half as wide! Compare the sizes of Smith and the creature compared to the round-shaped tree at the right. Whatever this black thing is, it’s roughly human-sized or larger. Just one more mystery at this field of bad dreams.

Meet “Roy Smith,” otherwise known as Lee Hampel, a retired math and physics teacher from Illinois, and owner of the mysterious field featured in Monsters Among Us. Hampel had chosen that pseudonym himself, but has since decided to go public. I always feel the witnesses should be the ones to choose in this matter, and honor Hampel’s choice by posting this video taken Oct. 25, 2016 on site in the field.

 

 

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Believe it or not, Thursday was the 20th anniversary of my original news story on the creature I dubbed The Beast of Bray Road. Little did I know what it would lead to! And yes, although similar creatures are reported to me regularly from all over the US, the Beast is still spotted on Bray Road. The most recent credible report was from a middle-aged couple who saw it cross the road near Hwy NN and then easily hop a fence, all on two legs. They said its shaggy fur “flowed” in the wind.

My first book on the topic, “The Beast of Bray Road,” is now out of print but can now be had on Kindle (used book copies are quite pricey!) That was published in 2003, and fall 2012 will see my 5th book dealing with unknown, upright wolf-like creatures “Real Wolfmen – True Encounters in Modern America” from Tarcher/Penguin. No one is more surprised than I am at the creature’s longevity. 

Will there be more? That depends entirely on whether enough new cases come to me or if some truly amazing evidence comes to light. I am starting to wonder if the mystery will ever be solved, but I do intend to keep investigating. 

The year changes tomorrow as I enter my 21st decade of creature-seeking, and the hunt begins anew…

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