Monday, 31 August 2009

Revisiting the Yeren

Central and Southern China northwest Hubei province is said to be the home of China’s wildman or bigfoot known as the Yeren.. The remote Shennongjia is an area of approximately 1,250 sq. miles, comprising steep, rugged mountains mostly up to 8,000 ft with the highest peaks at 10,000 ft. The Wildman has been a part of the folklore of southern and central China for centuries. Chinese literary works and folk legends for over 2000 years include references to big hairy manlike creatures which lived in the vast forests of the Quinling-Bashan-Shennongjia.

The yeren is described as bipedal and can walk upright. The height of the creature is estimated between five to seven feet, with the entire body covered with red to dark brown fur. The yeren has a large belly, but is reported to be able to move quickly and run fast. The facial region resembles a cross between an ape's and a human's. Large footprints, about 16 inches long, displaying five toes like humans, have been found.

A 17thC account from Hubei province reads: “In the remote mountains of Fangxian County, there are rock caves, in which live hairy men as tall as 10 feet. They often come down to hunt dogs and chickens in the villages. They fight with whoever resists.”

Regional officials have recorded nearly four hundred sightings in and around the region since the 1920’s; with a number of these sightings being reported by very credible witnesses. In 1940, biologist Wang Tselin claimed to have examined the corpse of a Yeren that had been killed in the Gansu region. He stated that the specimen was a female, over 6 feet tall, with features that appeared to be a cross between ape and human. Geologist Fan Jingquan reported seeing a pair of Yeren, what he thought was a mother and son, in the forests of the Shanxi province in 1950.

In 1961, a team of road builders reportedly killed a female Yeren in the forests of Xishuang Banna. Officials from the Chinese Academy of Sciences where called out to investigate the creature, but when they arrived the body had disappeared.

A 1976 encounter by several local bureaucrats brought the Yeren into the international spotlight. They reported that in the early morning of May 14, whilst on their way home they encountered a “strange, tailless creature with reddish fur” in the Hubei province. The driver pursued the creature with his car, forcing the creature to run up a hill. Roughly halfway up the hill it slipped and came to rest in front of the car. The passengers then left the vehicle and approached the creature to examine it . They described the creature as being over six feet tall, covered in thick brown and purple-red wavy hair, having a fat belly and pronounced buttocks. The eyes were human-like, but the face bearing much more resemblance to that of an ape. This lead to a group of scientists and the army mounting several expeditions into the forest. The searches did not bring back any solid proof, but at one point during an expedition a search party did encountered a Yeren, as they moved closer to capture the creature a solider reportedly shot himself in the leg, the shot brought expedition members from all directions to the location and the Yeren disappeared.

Solid physical evidence of the Yeren was supposedly discovered in 1980 in the form of the preserved hands and feet of an unknown hominid creature. Reportedly, villagers had killed the Yeren in the Zhejiang province in 1957, and a biology teacher had the foresight to remove and preserve the extremities. However upon examination of the hands and feet, researcher Zhou Guoxing, said that they had come from a large macaque monkey.

Another large scale expedition to find the Yeren was launched in 1980 and operated until 1985 near Songbai in the Shennongjia Forest. More than two hundred footprints were discovered and documented on Mount Quiangdao. These foot prints where roughly 18 inches in length with the average stride between footprints being 6 feet. Eyewitness accounts where also recorded but no Yeren was captured or photographed.

In 1999, a hunter reported seeing a huge fast moving creature covered in long red hair in the hubei province’s Shennongjia Nature Reserve.

You can see all the newspaper articles on the latest expeditions and sightings here:

The majority of Yeren researchers believe the creature is a surviving specimen of Gigantopithecus blacki, a genus of ape that lived in the area as recently as 100 thousand years ago. Some researchers believe the Yeren to be an undiscovered species of Orangutan which evolved over thousands of years to walk upright. Sceptics believe that sightings of the Yeren are nothing more than the misidentification of already known animals such as the rare golden monkey or gibbon whose face it thought to look quite human

Latest on Yeti Hair in China

Himalayan Bigfoot to undergo DNA testing

Michael Cohen

Making big news in China this week is a story about Himalaya's legendary Yeti or Bigfoot. For centuries rumours of a half-man, half-ape that roams the upper Himalayas have circulated. The creature said to stand 3 metres tall has been allegedly seen by many locals as well as hikers visiting the area. In Chinese Yeti is often referred to as 'Xueguai'.
A number of locals living near the Nepalese border claim not only to have seen the creature, but to have collected strands of its hair. Now, it has been reported that a team of scientists have collected these strands and have already confirmed that they do not belong to any local known animals.The scientists plan to do further testing on the hair strands.
One theory regarding the Yeti is that the sightings of the supposed cryptid are in fact that of a rare bear that lives in the area but is unknown to scientists. The scientists hope to settle this mystery with the DNA tests

Source: China News

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Belief in Big Cats.

I dream of tracking down Scotland's mystery animals, says Big Cat Diary host

Aug 28 2009 By Heather Greenaway

TOP wildlife expert Jonathan Scott dreams of capturing Scotland's mysterious big cats on film by using African trackers to locate their lairs. There are more than 120 big cat sightings in Scotland every year. Broadcaster and photographer Jonathan, 60, star of hit BBC series Big Cat Diary, is convinced they do exist. He said: "There is no doubt in my mind that there are big cats wandering around Scotland as cats are extremely clever creatures and can survive for years without being glimpsed by the human eye. "I would love to bring a team of African trackers over to Scotland. "They have lots of experience tracking lions, leopards and cheetahs and might be able to flush out these amazing and mysterious beasts. " It would make great TV if we could capture them on film for the first time." The British Big Cats Society has recorded more than 2100 sightings of pumas, panthers, lynxes and other cats in Britain, with 125 of those claimed to be in Scotland. There have been various photographs and video of alleged big cats, including the mysterious Beast of Braemar, but no conclusive evidence.

Read the full article here:

Maybe someone will take up the challenge and bring in some trackers. Of all the cryptids it seems most likely that a big cat will be found, though it may just be an escapee from a zoo.

A P.S. New big cat sighting :

Yeti in Poland?

This is on youtube at the moment. Apparently a yeti filmed in Poland. Have fun!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Kessingland Sea Serpent.

A sea serpent reported to be up to 60ft in length and very fast moving has been sighted at least four times off the coast of Norfolk. The descriptions evoke classic sea-serpent characteristics of small head, long slim body and diamond-shaped frill along the back.

The earliest written report appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine in their December 1750 issue:

"The creature was about five feet long from what could be viewed of it above the water, with a head like a dog and a beard like a lion. The skin was spotted like that of a leopard. It passed in a leisurely fashion, finally disappearing beneath the waves to the great amazement of all those watching from the shore..."

In the mid-1800s there were more accounts of "a creature with a head such as a serpent might have with humps behind."

There is a well-documented account about the reported sighting by the daughter of Sir Henry Rider Haggard, the author, who owned Kessingland Grange in Norfolk. Rider Haggard, was working on a novel at his home in Ditchingham, when he received the following letter from his daughter Lilias, dated 20th July 1912:

"We had a great excitement here this evening, and we are convinced we saw a sea serpent! I happened to look up when I was sitting on the lawn, and saw what looked like a thin, dark line with a blob at one end, shooting through the water at such a terrific speed it hardly seemed likely that anything alive could go at such a pace. It was some way out over the sandbank, and travelling parallel with the shore. I tore into the morning room and got the glasses and though it had at that moment nearly vanished in the distance we could make out it had a sort of head at one end and then a series of about 30 pointed blobs which dwindled in size as they neared the tail. As it went along it seemed to get more and more submerged and then vanished. You can't imagine the pace it was going. I suppose it was about 60 feet long."

Rider Haggard went to Kessingland Grange and his daughter’s story was confirmed by the cook and the gardener. Rider Haggard decided to write to the Eastern Daily Press to tell the story and seek further information. On Wednesday 24th July 1912 the paper duly printed the original letter from Lilias to her famous father, together with this note from Rider Haggard himself asking for some clarification or further information. However none was forthcoming.

In August 1923 a survey ship, H M Kellett, was taking observations off the Norfolk coast when Captain F E B Haselfoot and the navigator Lt Commander R M Southern observed something strange . Captain Haselfoot wrote:

"The time was about 9am. It was a summer day and the weather was calm and clear. I am not sure whether the sun was actually shining. I then observed rising out of the water about 200 yards from the ship, a long, serpentine neck, projecting from six or seven feet above the water. I observed this neck rising out of the water twice, and it remained up, in each case, for four or five seconds. Viewing with the naked eye only, I could not make out precisely what the head was like."

In July 1978 a holidaymaker walking on Kessingland beach was moved to write (although he asked to remain anonymous) to the East Anglian Magazine:

"The sea was quite calm when my attention was suddenly drawn to what I can only say looked like the head of a seal on a long neck sticking up out of the water. There seemed to be some humps behind the head, but the creature only remained visible for a matter of a few seconds before diving beneath the surface. I would be inclined to think that I had imagined everything if I had not read the story of the Kessingland Sea Serpent."

There appear to be no other recent sightings. However in the 1978 sighting by the anonymous man, he does state he knew about the story, which means it could have influenced what he saw. The men on the ship ,however, if they were seasoned sailors ,would surely have recognised any known sea creature ,yet did not recognise this one. It does sound like a ribbon fish, except ribbon fish do not swim like that and do not hold their heads out of the water . Another interesting story for the archive and to ponder over.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Monster of Martin Mere?

Martin Mere is located north of Ormskirk in West Lancashire, north-west England. It occupies part of a former lake and mire. The complex comprises open water, seasonally flooded marsh and damp, neutral hay meadows overlying deep peat. It's now a wildfowl nature reserve. Some years ago the manager at the site reported seeing something the size of a small car circling just below the waterline. Eye witnesses, there to see the wild fowl, were shocked to see a fully grown swan fighting against something that was trying to pull it under. Several swans were injured or missing so something had to be done to investigate the monster of Martin Mere. The CFZ did an expedition there in 2002 and you can see the full report here:

An extract from the report:

Whilst walking around the Mere`s edge Richard came upon a massive fish basking in the shallows. It`s black,oily, scaleless back bore a small dorsal fin . Disturbed the massive animal made off and dove in a tremendous swirl to reappear briefly further out close to a small island.. It dove again in amidst a huge disturbance. It`s length was hard to estimate as only the back broke the surface but if it was attacking swans the team agreed it would have to be around 8 feet long. Though we did not photograph the monster we confirmed it`s existence and are confident that it is infact a wels catfish.

The CFZ have a theory as to how it got into the mere so go and have a read.

Wels catfish are said to be man eaters and grow to huge sizes. Could Wels catfish be another candidate for lake monsters? The thought for the day there and certainly could be a possibility in some lakes.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wolf sighting in the UK

Police hunt wolf after sighting in Lothians

Published Date: 26 August 2009

POLICE are investigating a reported sighting of a wolf in West Lothian.

The animal was reportedly seen being chased through a field by a herd of cattle.

Keith McDowell said he witnessed the scene while he was walking along the edge of Polkemmet Country Park near Whitburn in West Lothian on Tuesday. Police, who sent a team of officers to investigate, say they have alerted local farmers at locations near the country park. Mr McDowell, 38, who is a manager at the government's Housing Access department, reported the sighting to police because so many children walk through the area. He said: "I was just having a walk alongside the park when I saw a bit of commotion with the younger calves in the field just across from me. "I saw something circling the cattle – but at first I thought it was only the farmers dog or perhaps a fox.

"But then the larger cattle began charging right down the field after this animal I think it had been after the calves. "It came right through the fence onto the road – the cattle were stamping their feet and roaring around behind the gate. "A small blue car came down the road and slowed down – if it hadn't slowed down it would have hit the animal. "I was about 30 yards away when I realised it wasn't a fox – and it was way too big for a dog.

"It was only when I saw the size of it I knew it was a wolf ."It was silver with a sort of black dark streak along the back and it and quite a bushy tail. "It was either a wolf or the biggest, strangest looking Alsatian I've ever seen." Mr McDowell was concerned after the creature escaped into the country park where families and children often to play. He added: "When I got home the only thing on my mind that was it was definitely a wolf."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed that they are investigating the sighting. He said: "One patrol car was sent out to look for the creature. "We've also spoken to the local farmer and made him aware of the sighting."

Richard Morely, Director of the Wolves and Humans Foundation, said: "It is unusual to see wolves in the wild – but there are a number of people who claim they have seen what they believe to be wolves. "I can tell you that to my knowledge there aren't any wolves living wild in the UK ."But if it is a wolf it's more likely to be escaped from a private collection or a zoo."


After the topics earlier such as the beast of bray road, wolfman comes to mind lol. There may be wolves that have escaped from a zoo that are breeding some where in the UK. The Scottish highlands would be an ideal place for them. I think it could be a real possibility unless there is a wolf/ dog hybrid, which seems more unlikely.

A P.S. both the Highland Wildlife Park and the Edinburgh Zoo have wolves. maybe one escaped?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Nessie on google earth?

Picked out by a Google Earth satellite, is this the Loch Ness monster... or just a boat?

By Cher Thornhill

Last updated at 1:41 PM on 26th August 2009

It promised the world views of the entire planet from their laptop. But could Google Earth have unravelled our favourite mystery of the deep?One internet fan claims he found the legendary Loch Ness monster in satellite images on the virtual globe.Security guard Jason Cooke said the 65ft oblong shape followed by thin strands is actually the highly contested creature supposed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

Well it looks a boat to me unless Nessie is a squid. Go and take a look for yourselves.

A possible explanation for bigfoot?

Odd Skull Boosts Human, Neandertal Interbreeding Theory

Brian Handwerk for National Geographic News

August 2, 2007

A human skull from a Romanian bear cave is shaking up ideas about ancient sex.

The Homo sapiens skull has a distinctive feature previously found only in Neandertals, providing further evidence of interbreeding between the two species, according to a new study. The human cranium was found during World War II mining operations in 1942, in a cave littered with Ice Age cave bear remains. Recently the fossil was radiocarbon dated to 33,000 years ago and thoroughly examined, revealing the controversial anatomical feature. The otherwise human skull has a groove at the base of the back of the skull, just above the neck muscle, that is ubiquitous in Neandertal specimens but has never been seen in the remains of a modern human, argues study leader Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri."I was frankly quite surprised to see it when I was looking at the specimen," Trinkaus said. "My first reaction was, that shouldn't be there."

Writing in the August issue of Current Anthropology, Trinkaus and his colleagues say that the skull supports interpretations of other remains found in France, Romania, and the Czech Republic that also have "archaic" or unusual features suggesting interbreeding.

Archaeological evidence shows that humans and Neandertals (often spelled Neanderthals) both lived in Europe for several thousand years after the arrival of modern humans about 35,000 years ago. (Learn more about human migrations.) But the relationship between the two species is hotly debated. Many researchers believe that modern humans killed off or simply outcompeted Neandertals until the latter went extinct. Trinkaus and others, however, have suggested that Neandertals became absorbed into Homo sapiens. (Related: "Neandertals, Modern Humans Interbred, Bone Study Suggests" [October 30, 2006].) Recent DNA research has cast doubt on this theory, suggesting that although humans and Neandertals share some 99.5 percent of their genetic blueprint, their last common ancestor lived some 400,000 years ago. (Related: "Neandertal Gene Study Reveals Early Split With Humans" [October 26, 2006].)

According to Trinkaus, however, the fossil record yields a pretty clear picture of the early humans who first moved out of Africa to populate the rest of the world. Neandertal features like the skull groove were either not present among those populations or were so rare that they've not yet been found, he said. "So when we find them in early modern humans in places like Europe, it's a probability statement—either they were very rare in ancestral humans but popped up in these humans or they were something acquired through some small level of admixing with Neandertals," he added. "We have enough of them now that with each trait the probability of it being just something we haven't seen yet in the early Africans becomes less and less." Some interbreeding shouldn't be surprising, he continued, because of the sparse populations of humans and Neandertals in ancient Europe."As for sex in the Pleistocene [Ice Age] ... I expect they had it," he said. "Neither humans nor Neandertals had a lot of mate choice and, well, that's what happens in the real world. People do what people do."

But the story of the skull is not so straightforward. Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, cautions that the groove feature might not be exactly the same as those found in Neandertals. It may simply be a type of unusual feature expected in a variable human population like the group that colonized Europe, he said."If you look at a thousand modern humans, you can often find one or two that have a bump here, or a groove or depression there," he said."That doesn't make them Neandertals or prove that there was a Neandertal in their ancestry some 30,000 years ago." Delson, however, did not rule out the theory of human-Neandertal interbreeding.

"[Individuals] may cross species boundaries in mating, and [in this case] we are defining the two different species by morphology—these are [all] people. People might see each other, for whatever reason, as potential mates ."But the genetic evidence is not in favor of hybridization, and this fossil does not convince me, nor do the several from Central Europe. I am still waiting for a 'smoking gun,' or perhaps in this case 'a bleeding hand axe.'"

So could bigfoot be a product of some interspecies breeding? It is an interesting thought and a possible explanation. Maybe a whole new species evolved from the interspecies breeding and there are still remnants around.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Brosno dragon or lake monster

The Brosno dragon or Brosnya is a creature believed to reside in Lake Brosno which is situated, in the Tver region, near the town of Andreapol in Russia It is a deep lake with a maximum depth, as discovered recently of 160 meters .Stories about a giant creature living in Lake Brosno have been around for centuries. . One of the legends says that the lake monster scared to death the Tatar-Mongol army that headed for Novgorod in the 13th century. Batu Khan stopped the troops to rest on the sides of Lake Brosno, when horses came down to the lake, a huge creature emerged from the water roaring and started devouring horses and soldiers. The Batu-khan troops were so terrified that they turned back, and Novgorod was saved. Old legends say that some enormous mouth devoured fishermen. Chronicles mention some "sand mountain" that emerged above the lake surface from time to time. Once, Varangians (Swedish mercenaries) wanted to hide stolen treasures in the lake. But when they approached the small island, a dragon came to the surface from the lake and swallowed the small island up.

The thought of the monster became fixed in people's minds over the 18th - 19th centuries. It was rumoured that the creature emerged on the lake surface in the evenings, but immediately submerged when people approached. Supposedly during WWII the beast swallowed up a German airplane. Numerous witnesses say that they have seen a head above water that looked like a dinosaur or a dragon head with a long thin tail. Other people said that the creature was covered with scales like a reptile .

In November 1996, the Karavan weekly (A Russian magazine) started an expedition to Lake Brosno in the Tver Region. The expedition consisted of writer and journalist from Tver Yeugeny Novikov, head of the Tver Regional Legislative Assembly's press-service Nikolay Ishchuk, journalist Marina Gavrishenko, photographer Anaida Jilavyan and editor-in-chief of the Karavan newspaper Gennady Klimov.

Gennady Klimov says: "The lake actually keeps some secret. When the depth of Lake Brosno was measured, it turned out that in some parts it was 120-160 meters deep. It means that Lake Brosno is the deepest in Europe. What is more, the lake belongs to the preglacial epoch that is why mysterious phenomena are quite possible in it. As for me, my concerns about the whole of the story are quite particular. The nature here in the Tver Region is wonderful and pure. There is a unique technology of making and using myths. These technologies will be extremely important in the future."

Marina Gavrishenko, the journalist who took part in the expedition says: "At first sight, the whole of the monster story looks like a fairytale. After the expedition to Lake Brosno, I do believe that the place is actually mysterious. Stories told by witnesses prove this opinion. We met with local people who were perfectly sane and adequate. What is more, all legends about the mysterious monster trace the roots back to the old times. I am sure that legends and rumours cannot arise from nothing."

Nikolay Ishchuk, the head of the Tver Regional Legislative Assembly press-service says: "I do not believe in wonders. What we chanced to see at Lake Brosno is actually mysterious and incomprehensible. If the phenomenon can be explained with the laws of the planet's life, I believe this is a miracle indeed. I recollect our expedition to Lake Brosno and our attempts to take pictures of the creature as a wonderful journey. This is wonderful that people may have such interesting adventures. May it be so that the expedition actually came across some miracle? Inexplicable things must exist in this world. When people do not understand some things they want to know more and reveal more new facts."

A tourist took a photo of something in the Lake in 1996 but it was blurry and inconclusive.

Experts of the Kosmopoisk research association went on an expedition to Lake Brosno together with Karavan in the summer of 2002 and did echo deep sounding. Vadim Chernobrov, the Kosmopoisk coordinator said in an interview to the Moscow newspaper Argumenty i Facty (Arguments and Facts): "Echo deep sounding registered an anomaly. There was a huge jelly-like mass of a railway car size , five meters above the bottom. The mass stood motionless. We waited for some time and then decided to make it move: we threw an underwater petard, a low capacity explosive device. When the device blew up, the creature started slowly going up. We starred at the water, and it was clear; there was nothing resembling a monster, however something unusual was still felt in the lake water."



By Nikolai Pavlov BENYOK, Russia, Dec 14 (Reuter) - Near the bottom of Lake Brosno, or perhaps deep in the recesses of man's imagination, a monster of huge proportions lurks. The evidence, much like that of Scotland's Loch Ness monster, is based on a single photograph and a few alleged sightings. The picture shows a panoramic view of Lake Brosno with an object floating in the foreground. As with the Scottish "Nessie," it is not clear whether the object is a large log -- or something more ominous from the deep. "I'm afraid," said one elderly woman, Varya, who lives in the small lakeside village of Benyok about 400 km (250 miles) northwest of Moscow. "I do not feel comfortable staying in this place. The monster could crawl into my house any day."

"It was big like this," said Tanya, another grandmotherly type who believes the creature hides from humans near the lake bottom. "I saw a head, like a fish -- and big." She sketched a snake-like head rising from the water with a large eye on the side. Tourists from Moscow camping near the lake added to the legend by taking a photograph after their seven-year-old son shouted out that he had seen a dragon monster. A newspaper in Tver, the nearest major town, recently published the photo, and the story was picked up in the local media. "It is completely possible that the creature which you see in this photo is a relative of the famous Loch Ness monster," wrote the newspaper, Caravan-1. Locals who believe in the monster -- and there are certainly a fair number of sceptics -- say it is much like a serpent, and one report estimated its length at five metres (16 feet).The alleged sightings are not prompting scientists to rush to the attractive lake surrounded by trees to conduct tests however ."It sounds like a country fairy tale, the kind of story told over the years in the countryside," said Lyudmila Bolshakova, an expert at Moscow's Institute of Paleontology. Regional media said there are written reports of sightings of the monster dating back to the 19th century, and the legend is even older. But a group of journalists visiting the lake this week saw no sign of the monster. Source:(c) Reuters Limited 1996

And more from Tanya:

Babushka Tanya (Grandmother Tanya) and her husband, whose house is metres away from the shore, claim to have seen the monster on more than one occasion. Tanya took a Reuters Television camera crew to the lakeshore site from where she claims to have seen the monster. "I only saw a head of this creature, so I was not scared at all," she said while trying to draw the beast. "It is now on the bottom of the lake, deep, and it is hiding from the winter cold", she explained. Local press reports describe a creature about five metres (16 feet) long living in Lake Brosno, 80 km (50 miles) northwest of the Russian capital, and have published photographs, though they are too indistinct to be convincing according to some experts. Natalya Istratova, Professor of Biology at Moscow State Zoo, says it is "absolutely impossible" to say what kind of animal the monster might be without examining it. However one Lake Brosno resident, Baba Nadya (Grandmother Nadya), is terrified of the beast fearing it will crawl out of the lake and into her house "any day." A local press report describes a creature about five metres long. It quoted a local palaeontologist, Nikolai Dikov, as saying the creature's alleged shape suggests an extinct order of reptiles with teeth like mammals. Recent palaeontological excavations at Russia's old lakes of the tectonic origin, like Lake Brosno, are reported to have provided evidence to a theory linking the Brosno monster to pre-historic dinosaurs. Near the Siberian lake of Shestakovo, palaeontologists are said have found the bones of a pre-historic creature, quite similar to the descriptions of Brosno's babushkas. source :

However, some people are sceptical and say that the creature may be a mutant beaver or a giant pike possibly 100-150 years old . Maybe it is a sturgeon? I am surprised no one brought that one up. The descriptions vary from fish to dragon but anyone with experience of eye witness testimony knows it is unreliable and what looks like a fish to one person looks like a fowl to another! It’s a wonderful story though and I would love to see some serious investigation there with a mini sub or diving bell. Certainly the legend has been around almost as long as the story of Nessie and should be investigated in two strands, one on the folklore and one on the biology of the lake.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The beast of bray road, werewolf or bear?

The Beast of Bray Road was reported in the 1980s on a rural road outside of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Bray Road itself is a quiet country road .There was a rash of claimed sightings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Beast is described by witnesses as being one of three things , as bear like, as a hairy biped like bigfoot and as a large wolf like creature able to walk on its hind legs It is said to be 7 feet tall on it’s hind legs and about 4 feet tall on all fours. The estimated weight is 400-700 lbs.

The sightings were often said to start in the 1980’s but there were reports of something before then. The 1980’s and after sightings were said to be attributed to suggestion by a radio hoax/ song about a dog man. However stories and sightings were reported before this time.

A French fur trader's diary from 1794 told of an encounter with "loup garou." (The were wolf.).

A letter from 1857 described a creature that stood upright like a man, yet "bore the countenance of a grey wolf."

1936: Mark Schackelman was driving along Highway 18, when he saw something digging in an old AmerIndian mound. The figure was covered with hair, stood erect and was over six feet tall. Its face was lupine.. He returned to the site the next evening, hoping to see it again. He did. It spoke in a three-syllable growling way that sounded like “gadara.” Schackelman was a religious man and after seeing what he believed to be an evil creature, he began to pray. The creature disappeared.

In 1938, Robert Fortney who was 17 years old , was fishing from the banks of the Muskegon River near Paris, Michigan. He was startled when a pack of what appeared to be large feral dogs emerged from the woods nearby. Fortney remained silent, but the sensitive noses of the dogs quickly picked up his scent .Fortney picked up his gun and fired a shot into the air. The dogs turned to slink back into the forest, all except one: a huge black dog with unusual eyes. The dog had blue eyes.

In 1964: Dennis Fewless had a sighting in the same area. He was driving home around midnight when he saw an animal running across the road in the beam of his headlights. It was dark brown, hairy and about seven feet tall. It ran across the highway, jumped over a barbed wire fence, then vanished.

In 1967, two friends were fishing from a rowboat near the south shore of Claybank Lake in Manistee County, Michigan when one of them spotted an animal swimming toward the boat. "At first I thought it was a deer," said one of the anonymous fishermen, And I thought 'how odd - why would a deer be swimming toward our boat?' Then as it got closer, it looked more like a man's face.". The animal , when it got closer did have the features of a man, but with an extended canine snout. Beneath the water, they could see four legs paddling like a dog "I don't know what I saw," one of the fishermen told a reporter from the Traverse City Record Eagle in 1987. "I don't want to go into it."

In 1972: A woman in Jefferson County called the police to report an attempted break in. a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources investigated. She stated that the intruder was a large, unknown animal with long, dark hair, about eight feet tall, walked upright, had long arms and claws on each hand. It went to the barn and attacked a horse, leaving a deep gash .

In 1987, the telephone rang at the Lake County Sheriff's office in Baldwin, about 10 miles southwest of Luther. A man described what he termed "an animal attack" on his remote cabin. The damage was significant enough that the caller wanted an officer dispatched to file a report. The ranger and the deputy filed incident reports later that day. Both of them listed the perpetrator of the attack as an "unknown animal."

In 1989: Lorianne Endrizzi was driving on Bray Road when she saw what she thought was a person hunched over by the roadside. She slowed down to take a closer look. She was no more than six feet away from it. Endrizzi clearly saw a beast with grayish brown hair, fangs, pointed ears and glowing yellow eyes

In1989: Scott Bray reported seeing a strange dog in his pasture near Bray Road. It was larger and taller than a German shepherd, had pointed ears, a hairy tail, a coat of long gray and black hair. He followed it to a large pile of rocks, but the creature vanished. He found huge footprints.

IN 1999: Pat ( not her real name): It was October this year, on Halloween. I was going down Bray Road, and it was kind of smoggy out, and my front tire got lifted off the ground. I'd hit something. So I kept going about 50 or 60 feet, right before Sitler Road, and then I got out of the car. I'm looking around the side to see what it was, 'cause I'm thinking I hit a small animal. I hit a bird the same night and so I'm thinking I just killed another animal. There was nothing on the road, no blood or anything. I didn't see anybody, and I felt like if I hit it, it should have stayed there. I walked to the end of the car, and here comes this thing, and it's just running up at me! You could see the chest of this thing because it was big, and it was hairy. It was fast, that's for sure, because I see this thing, I get in the car, and by the time I got inside the car the thing had grabbed hold of the car. I just put my foot on the gas pedal and I started going. Maybe after I got going I looked back, but at the time I was more interested in leaving. The way it was running, you could suggest that it was on two legs because you could see the chest so well and it was pulsating as it was coming toward me. It was hitting the ground hard. I've never seen a human run as fast as that and my uncle was a track star. (If he'd gotten me) I probably would have been dinner that night. It was bigger than any dog I've seen around here. We had a couple of Rottweilers and we had one that was a real big one, and this thing was bigger than he was. And he had more hair. It was brown. You could see the hair; dark colored. It wasn't black, though. Long straight hairs. Coyotes don't get that big. I've seen a coyote. They were suggesting it was a bear at my house but I told them it wasn't that big. But it was bigger than any animal I've ever seen around here. When the nails hit my car it was like, mmmph! (she clapped her hands together forcefully). It hit the top of the trunk and it slid off. The fog made the car wet. But when it was going down it scratched (the car). This did not look like a German shepherd. I swear to that.

And this: Barbara: I was driving home one night on Bray Road, and I saw this thing on the side of the road. As I came up to it in my car, its back was to me so I saw it had ears and the whole bit. It was kneeling! Its elbows were up, and its claws were facing out so I knew it had claws. I remember the long claws. And it was eating road kill or something, and as I drove by and I saw all this, it looked right at me and didn't run. It didn't get spooked or anything. And it had like glowing eyes, which probably were a reflection of my headlights. It was right on Bray Road, right before the Bray farm, on the curve. And I saw it. He was brownish-gray , and he had big teeth and fangs. And he looked at me. He turned his head to look at me. It was about the size of an average man, 5-foot-7 maybe, about 150 pounds. It was holding the thing it was eating palms up, with the real long claws and the pointed ears. He had a big long nose and a long chin, like this on this picture (she pointed to a drawing of a "werewolf" from a library book).This is exactly what I saw (the picture). This is it. This is what it looked like. This happened to me two years ago. And after I'd heard that Pat had an incident with it, I decided to go to the library. I looked through a few books they had for a picture of what it looked like, and I found that picture. The knees were bent in a kneeling position, like a human would do.

There have been sightings recorded as recently as 2005.See Linda Godfrey’s site :

Read more:

There was also a film made in 2005 about the sightings, called the Beast of Bray Road.

So hysteria, legend, mistaken identity , wolf or were wolf ? There are conditions such as hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth over the entire body) which would explain the human like stance, if it was a sufferer . The person would probably only go out at night for fear of ridicule or worse. There is also a mental disorder called clinical lycanthropy, in which an affected person has a delusional belief that they are transforming into another animal, although not always a wolf . It is a rare condition. Either would account for the human like appearance. The sightings have been going on for a long time thought so there can be no definite answer unless one is captured on film or hair samples etc found and analysed. A great story though!