American Werewolf Follow-up: Michigan Dogman
Well, I got quite a reaction to the post phenergan wikipedia Seattle In light of some of the comments I’ve received here on the blog, via Myspace messages, via Twitter messages, and email, (I even had one fella email me and claim that he IS a werewolf!) I’ve decided to quickly revisit the topic and explore a few more points, as well as a bit of evidence that I missed previously.
An eyewitness snapped this photo, which they claim shows a beast resembling a Dogmansimilar to the Beast of Bray Road.
First of all, what is it about idea of the werewolf that creates such a strong reaction in people? Is it the animalistic nature of the beast combined with its connection to the human world? Do we see a reflection of our primal nature in the legendary tales of the half man, half wolf creature? I’d love for you to share your thoughts on what it is that seems to universally draw human beings to this beast.
Now, specifically regarding the supposed reports of real wolf-like creatures roaming the United States, I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t include a bit about the Michigan Dogman in the last post. Michigan is a bordering state with Wisconsin, and has had its own wave of reports of a creature similar to The Beast of Bray Road. In fact, there is even a controversial bit of video footage that purports to show the Dogman in action.
Linda Godfrey’s sketch of the Michigan Dogman
Recently on the website Phantoms and Monsters, a video featuring this sighting, as well as commentary was posted. I’m going to include the video as it was presented, and then we’ll analyze it together. It is important to note that the footage is still in the research stage, and that no conclusions of its authenticity have yet been reached.
This bit of footage, known as The Gable Film, can be seen in its entirety here: The Gable Film
Now, there are a few things I’d like to comment on in this video. The first point is that I was of the understanding that the Dogman, like the Beast of Bray Road, is supposedly an upright walking hominid. This video clearly shows a much more traditional animal in an all fours stance. It does look strange, with such a stocky body. My first reaction was, “Oh that’s a guy in a suit!” But, the movement of the creature seems to be a little odd, and would be difficult for a human to replicate. Then again, the video is very shaky and hard to see clearly (aren’t they always?) and makes an analysis by an untrained individual rather difficult. My biggest problem with the video is the way it ends. I have a very hard time buying the close up of the teeth and maw at the end. It seems a little too over the top. And what happened to the videographer? That remains a mystery. Hmmmm.
My other problem with the whole purported legend of the Michigan Dogman is how the experts in its research are trying to link the creature to the Native American legend of Wendigo. This is particularly bothersome to me, as one having a keen interest in Native American lore. Wendigo in Algonquian tradition is nothing like a werewolf or dogman.
Wendigo is a supernatural creature into which any human being can transform, according to Algonquian lore. Ojibwa and Cree tribes of the Algonquin nation are particularly tied to this legend, as they believed that human beings were susceptible to being possessed by the Wendigo, especially if they had engaged in cannibalism. Wendigo is a cannibalistic entity that is very malevolent, and has an appearance more like that of a tortured human being, not a wolf. Basil Johnston is an Ojibwa scholar, and describes the Wendigo as follows:
The Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody [….] Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.
Image of the Wendigo from and episode of the TV show Supernatural
I only include this information to point out how easy it is to get wires crossed when trying to rationalize a real world event with a historical legend. Pet peeve of mine I guess. Even the above video makes reference to Wendigo, and I really don’t know why they’ve connected this Native American lore to the Dogman sightings. They don’t coincide at all, in my view.
The point of this post is not to dissuade people who believe in the Dogman or Beast of Bray Road. I think that there is other compelling evidence that something is out there in the woods. But when it comes to the Gable video, they jury is still out, and my gut tells me that something is amiss with that footage. Generally I keep my opinions out of it, but this one I just had to comment on.
So, let’s hear it. What do you think about this additional information. Keeping in mind the polygraph verified eye witness accounts of the Beast of Bray Road, are you convinced that something mysterious is happening, or is it a case of mass hysteria? Let’s keep this conversation going.