Friday, December 06, 2013

In Search of...the Dogman


The Dogman legend has been a part of American Upper Midwest lore since the early settlers. Other researchers, in particular Linda Godfrey, and myself continue to receive reports on a regular basis. In this post, I have compiled a few of the more interesting accounts that I have received in the past few years. The following email from 'Mike' in 2010. He describes an encounter with an unknown creature in an undisclosed area near Cheboygan, Michigan (northern Michigan):

Hey, I'm Mike from the Cheboygan, MI area. This is true what I am about to describe. On November 24, 2010 me and two of my friends went out at night around 12 am. We were not hunting but had weapons. We were looking for a spot to set up our blinds for the muzzleloading season when we crossed from a field with tons of deer beddings. We came into another field with none whatsoever. We continued through this field and came across some kind of game trail. We decided to venture down this trail into the woods.

We got maybe 300 yards back in it and started hearing heavy breathing and snapping sounds in the thick brush to our right. We thought maybe coyotes but we got to a corner and were stopped in our track. In front of us, maybe 60 yards away, was something blacker than the woods standing on two feet and stood between 6'8" and 7'4". We slowly turned away and back tracked. Before we got to the field the same thing was in front of us again. We turned around for a second and then turned back...it was gone.

When we got into the field we noticed there were four or more of these creatures, one on each corner of the field just standing there. We saw one move halfway behind a tree. At this point we were freaking out. We made our way through the field and got to the edge and there was one standing directly in the middle of the trail entering the woods. We hauled butt back home and the whole way we felt like we were being watched and stalked.

We have been out every night since then. We have learned do not use lights because it comes closer than 60 yards. The closest it has been to me was maybe 25 yards and was moving closer. At that point I shot at it. There were five total that we saw the fist night and after I shot at one. We went out last night and there were only four and they seemed more aggressive. In the field, it seems they tried herding us into a corner.

You can believe this or not, but I am in the Michigan National Guard and I put what I saw on my warrior ethos and army values.


**********

In July 2009, I received the following emails in reference to at least 2 sightings of a supposed 'Dogman' in Baraga County, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. I contacted the witness who seemed very truthful and credible:

Last fall, my son and I were driving on US-41/M-28 towards Three Lakes in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (where I live). The beast ran across the highway near Tioga Creek. I had not heard of this before reading Phantoms and Monsters, but this is exactly what we saw. We are familiar with all animals living here. Moose regularly cross in front of drivers, so we watch the sides of the roads carefully. We were very puzzled and thought it might be some mutant wolf and could not figure out what we witnessed. It ran fairly fast about 50 feet in front of our truck. It was so strange because the front of it was much higher up than the back, larger than a wolf. Very strange to see it on your website.

NOTE: I contacted the witness and asked for any further detail of the sighting. This is what I received:

It did not look exactly like the video or drawings I saw, but VERY close. The side view shape of the animal was almost like an ape shape, with the front legs longer than the back legs which made it run funny. It ran like a bear runs, with the exception of the back legs being shorter if you can picture that. The front, from the angle I saw, looked like it must of had a wide chest. The head appeared wolf-like, but it definitely was NOT a wolf. The color was brown and black mixed. The hair seemed med-long, like a wolf, and I remember thinking it might of had mange, must of had patches of hair missing.

I was telling my son, who is 13, about what I had found on your site and asked him what he remembered. He gave the same description, how very strange and out of place it was. He said that this spring he saw the same type of thing on a logging road near our house (I do remember him telling me that at that time) and it was the same thing. He was riding his dirt bike (we live in an extremely remote area) and it ran across the trail. I know where he is talking about because I pick berries there and do get a weird feeling like something is watching me. A neighbor told me that area is "Bigfoot Central", which I did not know or believe. But after doing further research today, there are a lot of reports of strange creatures in this area that go back many, many years.

Who knows what it is, but as long as it's not hurting anything, I hope it is left alone. I am very familiar with the wildlife. I do hunt and know my tracks. I have not seen any strange tracks, but now will really keep my eyes open. Please keep me informed if you get any other reports from my area. Rhonda

**********

In April 2009, I received an account from Wisconsin, but with a different twist:

My girlfriend and I went out to feed deer for the hunting opener on Nov. 22, 2008. We were in the Chequamegon National Forest in northern Wisconsin. It was November 21, 2008 and the time was 12:10 AM, it was totally dark out and light snow was falling with an accumulation of about 1 inch covering the roads. The Temperature was 11*F and the wind was blowing from the northwest with a wind chill of 0*F. We made a U-turn to the left onto an unfinished ATV trail in one of our 4X4 Pickups heading towards last years feed pile.

I got to the bottom of the hill and backed in and parked. I got out my pistol and loaded it, I then put it in my holster, I grabbed my headlight with 3 LED bulbs and secured it on my head, I handed her a shaker LED flashlight and proceeded to the back of my truck where I had a 5 gallon bucket with just under 2 gallons of corn and 3 apples in it strapped down with 2 of my ATV straps. I put the tailgate down, unstrapped the bucket and put the tailgate up. I walked around my side and then in front of the truck to her passenger side as she was putting mittens on. We both started to walk together, her just behind and to my right side when we both noticed a fresh set of tracks in the snow heading down wind of us in the same direction we where walking.

At first it was not the size that caught my attention, it was "WHAT IN GOD'S CREATION MADE THESE TRACKS" immediately my skinned crawled as I looked around with my head to see if what we just had come up on was in sight. I glanced back down in disbelief at the tracks. I was in a slight stage of shock as I looked at her she looked at me and we both looked down at 4 well-formed footprints of some kind of scary tracks that either of us had ever seen before. I sized my shoe beside one of the tracks and realized it was about 3 inches longer than my shoe which measures 12 inches heel to toe, and about 1 inch wider than my shoe which measures 4 inches at it's widest width. Whatever we witnessed the foot prints of has 2 pointed talons on the end of it's foot that are isometrically the same with a rectangle shaped heel. The talons joined on the outside and at the same length in between the talons on each foot. They are 15 inches long and 5 inches wide with 64-inch strides. I have a 36-inch stride at 5'10" tall to give an idea of the possible size of this creature, running or not we do not know.

I believe we just missed seeing what caused these tracks and what ever made the tracks was still in the area and possibly watching us. My girl told me to load my pistol and keep it out, I did not argue. At first she wanted to leave right away but the sheer adrenaline and interest of what caused the tracks I believe is what kept us there. I said "okay let's get out of here" but again, interest kept us there looking at the tracks. My fear slightly subsided enough to think about the upcoming deer opener and decided I have the pistol and we will be okay. I started to walk the same way the tracks went up a hill on the trail when I stopped and looked back at her while she was still staring down at the prints. I said "come on lets get this over with" she caught up to me as we walked together, she said to me, "if this thing gets a hold of me put a bullet in my head" I thought about that as we kept walking. We went deep into the woods down a steep hill where I new the feed pile was from last year. We got to where I wanted the pile to be, I took the lid off the bucket and dumped the corn and apples out and stepped on the apples, I snapped the lid back on the bucket and said "let's go" We started to climb the hill when I realized we where off track and had to walk left to reach the trail to get back to the truck. I started to think that this was the scariest thing I have ever encountered and felt panic over coming me. I new where I was and finally we got back on the trail and walked down to where we could see the tracks of the creature again. We both stared at them for about 5 minutes. When we got back to the truck just 20 yards from the prints, she got in and closed her door. I went behind the truck, opened the tailgate and re strapped the bucket down and closed the tailgate. I got to my side of the truck and took the clip out of my gun and got in. I threw my head light off my head as we drove away thinking and then I said, "I am not coming back here" and she agreed. We where both scared and could not believe what just happened.

It was a month earlier and 1.1 miles walking through the woods from where we witnessed the tracks that a different friend and I where camping. I went to bed early and fell into a deep sleep. I woke up to the sound of my friend walking behind the tent and my first reply was "what are you doing back there?" I woke up a little more and realized my friend was sleeping, breathing kind of loud next to me. I sat up against my gear and grabbed my pistol and flashlight and sat there cold and scared in the dark. I woke my friend up and told him what I could hear and he said, "Ah it was probably a deer or something" The temperature was around 26*F. I looked out the flaps of the tent and could see the fire had died down and it was dark out there. I stood up and told my friend that I was going to the truck to warm up and get some sleep. I asked him if he wanted me to leave the pistol and he said, "no I'll be alright". I left the tent and walked to my truck about 80 yards away and started it up to get warm. I turned my lights on a few different times to see if what had walked by the tent was in sight. I did not see anything; I turned my truck off and fell asleep.

Whatever walked by the tent was bipedal and made 2 steps into my sound range and out again. I did not hear any other noise from what ever walked by. I looked around the next morning for footprints but leaves covered the ground and I did not detect anything. A little more than 2 years earlier. It was summer and I was at this same location riding my ATV alone, I stopped and got off walking down to a near by lake and was looking at the water and how clear it is when I could hear up on the hill above the camp ground we had stayed at a huge tree snap and hit the ground with a big thump as branches snapped off it and other trees as it fell. I got back to my ATV quickly at the time thinking a bear or buck was up there and I was not sticking around to find out. 2 months later that summer I returned to this spot again riding my ATV, I shut off the wheeler and stood around close by thinking about the last time I was there I was scared off by something. I was there about 5 minutes when all of a sudden I could hear branches snapping off of trees as what ever was breaking branches was coming down the hill closer to where I was. I got on my wheeler never to return until my friend and I camped there a little over 2 years later in October. My first 2 experiences with this creature while I was alone made me think it was possibly a bear or a buck deer, trouble with this theory is that I have come up on bear a dozen or so times and every time, the bear is running as fast as it can in another direction and what ever was making the tree sounds was not running any where. A deer also runs away at the first presence of a human. Now that we witnessed these creatures’ footprints I put the puzzle pieces together and realize that this creature is living in this area and it has probably been there for a long, long, long time. I have learned it means us no harm (yet). It only makes a sound when I am alone (tree breaking). It is always down wind of me (us). It is out in the day and or night. It can see in the dark. It uses the wind to it's advantage every chance it gets. It can hear well. It can smell good. It waits until we are vulnerable to approach us when 2 of us are together. I could possibly have smelled it and did not know what I smelled. I (we) have put 4,000 miles in this forest on my Grizzly ATV through deep desolate, thick wooded, swamp, lake areas and have now proved to ourselves that this undocumented at this time creature is in fact out there.

I know where this creature is living and plan on an expedition to prove its existence. I want to document this creature because I feel everyone that enters the forest has a right to know it is there and for other various reasons. I am open to any and all that would like to comment or ask questions in discussing my encounters with this creature(s).

*****

In March 2011, I received this interesting correspondence from a 'Beyond the Edge' Radio listener:

Hello Lon,

I am writing about something that happened to me about 20 years ago.

I live in a small lake area called Bohners Lake, just outside of Burlington, Wisconsin. At the time of this tale I lived on the opposite side of the lake of where I live now about a half mile away from a boy scout camp called Camp Oh-Da-Ko-Ta. This camp encompasses 185 acres of beautiful rolling hills and woodlands on Dyer Lake.

It was a beautiful summer day and I decided to take a walk with my dogs, a Golden Retriever and English Setter. I went a different way than usual and happened upon the back trail to the camp. It was chained off, but I chanced it anyway and hopped over to check it out.

The area indicated by the witness (noise came from largest building in middle of inset)

The trail was very quiet and peaceful and we walked a while enjoying ourselves greatly. After a bit we came upon some buildings. One was a large pole barn type that had it's doors chained shut. Curiosity overtook me, as usual, and I went up and pushed on one of the large doors allowing a crack of about 6 inches. I tried peering inside and couldn't see much but a floor and empty space.

I was shocked when an earsplitting roar came out of the barn. It sounded like a scream but deep, guttural and bearlike.

Well, my dogs took off running, and I took off running after them terrified. We ran back to my house and, shaking like a leaf and out of breath, I told my (now ex) husband what had happened. He of course told me that what I had heard was a crane........ I just stared at him incredulously. I knew better, but I wasn't going to argue the point with him and just pondered on it for a bit by myself, attempting to calm down.

The day went on and nothing else was said about it until just after dark when we both heard the same scream coming from the back yard!

The house I lived in at the time had a huge back yard. At the very back we had a garden by a small wooded area, and it was from there that we heard the scream. Well, my ex grabbed his rifle, and the dogs and headed down to the garden finding nothing.

He came back to the house, eyes wide, and acknowledged that what I had heard was not a crane.

After that we went about our night talking about it, with the dogs nervously prancing about, and eventually went to bed.

Being summer, the bedroom windows were open and about 3 am, I was shocked awake when "it" was just outside the window and screamed into it. The dogs didn't even bark, they just cowered, whining.

My husband again jumped up and grabbed the rifle and went outside, without the dogs as they didn't want to have anything to do with it,to investigate...again nothing.

Well the story would end here as we didn't hear anything after that, and I was too scared to investigate the building again, but it just happened that about 3 weeks later my husband and I went away for the weekend on a camping trip and my mother, younger sister, and her two daughters spent the night at our house to watch the dogs while we were gone.

The following morning my sister was in the kitchen cooking breakfast when my niece Sandra came in. She looked at the kitchen window and noticed a long smear mark on the kitchen window.

She was about 9 at the time and looked up at my sister and said, " I know what did that." My sister looked at it and asked Sandra what she thought made it.

Sandra replied, " Ooooo, it was the Swamp Monster"... My sister chuckled and asked her why she thought that.

Now, I was always teasing the girls with stories about a swamp monster that lived out by me so they just knew that there was a creature out there. This of course was before my own experience and it wasn't cute and funny anymore.

Then she said, "I saw the Swamp Monster last night."

My sister said chuckling still, "Oooooo, what did you see?"

Sandra just looked at her and said, "I saw a huge white hairy arm and it ran it's claws across the bedroom screen." (my bedroom)

My sister said, "Wow, what did you do?"

Sandra said, "Aw, I just rolled over and went to sleep, I knew it was Aunt Tina trying to scare me."

Of course, we were camping.

So, what did she see? I haven't a clue to this day. But I wonder, were they keeping something out there, or was there something living in that barn unbeknownst to them at the camp and did it follow me home?

Last summer my brother, sister-in-law and I tried going back there, but we got stopped by the person living across the road before we could go across the chain that is still there.

One more thing about that camp. Before this situation, a group of us had gone in the front entrance to the camp by car to check out Dyer Lake that is at the center edge of the camp hoping to sneak in some late night swimming. This was of course after dark and we of course were not supposed to be there.

We arrived at the trail to the lake and got out of the car with our flashlights to walk. We tried following the trail but ended up going off somewhere along the line. We went over a hillside and there, at the bottom of the hill was a beautiful raw iron gate about 6' tall. There was a hole dug into the side of the hill, and this gate was covering the opening.

We opened the gate, and found ourselves in a 12'x12' cave of sorts. Inside were candles, a dead rooster, and a sythe. There was nothing else. No altar or other signs of occult practices, just the things we found haphazardly laying about the room. My sister's now ex-husband took the sythe (which I told him to leave there) and we left and never went back. That is until I went for my walk that summer day. Tina C.

**********

I received the following in 2010 in reference to an encounter at Dyer Lake, Wisconsin:

Hi, just read your WI area story. I have a place in Adams County, Wisconsin by Lake Petenwell. It is a campsite of 5 acres. I was partying out there with 3 people around midnight two years ago. We had the stereo cranked up when something started to grunt/growl louder than the radio just out of sight behind a 35ft camper. It repeated the sounds 3 times. I was ready to run for my life! I got to the stereo and turned it off but did not hear a thing after that. I had my spotlight and could not see or hear anything move away either. it sounded similar to an extremely loud bull snort mixed with a deep growl similar to the werewolf sound in the movies. It was so loud that even the people in the camper heard it! Just before this happened the whipperwills where going nuts.

We no longer walk alone on the trails at night, only riding golf carts or STVs on the trails after dark. Then last year we had another incident. We went out for a cart ride and heard a loud bark. I thought it was the neighbors dog...but no! It was a white wolf! It seemed aggressive with no fear and was circling the camper with 1 other dog. I have hunted at night and lived here my whole life and never heard anything like this first encounter. It has changed all of us for life! There is definitely something unexplained out there! Name withheld

**********

The following account was forwarded by a witness in Minnesota (January 2012) who describes a bipedal canine cryptid. I have not discussed this incident with the witness so I'm presenting the sighting 'as is':

Hello - I was steered to you by a man I know up north from here. He said that you are interested in these things so I figured I'd send an email.

I live in Taylors Falls, Minnesota and I was driving north on Wild Mountain Rd. around 7 am. on Jan 2nd. I was heading for the ski area when I saw some kind of animal running in the field towards the river. I pulled off the road and grabbed my binoculars. It looked like a large wolf but it was different. By that time some guy in a truck pulled up and was wondering what I was looking at. I told him that I think there is a large wolf in the field. He got out of the truck and asked to use the binoculars. He said he didn't think it was a wolf and that it looked like it was chasing something.

We stood for a few minutes watching. It would run into the woods then pop back into the field for a bit. The light was getting better so I grabbed my parka and started to walk closer to get a better look. The other guy said he had to leave but did say again that he didn't think it was a wolf.

I was about a 1/2 mile from the ski area near one of the trail roads. I started to walk towards the river. I was about 100 ft from where I saw the animal from the road when I heard an owl screech coming from the woods to my right. On the edge of the woods this huge dog came running out of the trees. The best way to describe it was that it looked like a big hyena but it ran on two back legs and bent over. It had wooly black hair all over it's body and a long thick tail. It must have weighed 200 lbs or more. I've been in the woods all my life and have never seen anything like this. It looked over at me but continued to run from right to left in front of me. It also made a steady loud panting sound as it ran.

I turned on a pivot and ran out of there hoping this animal wasn't going to chase me. When I got to the car an old man had pulled off and standing there watching me. He wondered what I was doing. I yelled at him to "get the hell out of there" and said that a monster dog was out there. I think he believed me because the look on his face showed fear like he knew something was really out there.

I didn't go to the ski area, instead I went back home all shook up and asking myself what I saw.

I read the stories about the Michigan dogman and something you had about one being seen in Wisconsin. What do you think this was? It was no wolf or any other animal native to the area.

Please don't use my name if you pass this along. This is my work email, I can send you another later.

The guy who sent me your email address told me that there was a sighting last year just west of Duluth. He said it was a hunter that came across it while tracking a deer he had shot. I don't know the details but if it looked like the animal I saw I'm sure he got the hell out of there. Thanks - J

NOTE: In 2009, the 'Michigan Dogman' (Gable film) was proven to be a hoax...nonetheless, there have been continued sightings of this cryptid throughout the upper midwest. Is there an actual 'Dogman?' What are your thoughts? Lon

The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A. (Unexplained Presents)

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America

The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf

Year of the Dogman





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