; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hyena Sighting - Adirondack Park, NY

I received the following report last evening:

Five years ago (2010) in the southern Adirondacks of NY, in the Adirondack Park, to the amazement of many - America's largest wilderness Park - my wife and I saw what can only be described as a hyena chasing several deer across the road. The animal literally stopped dead in front of the car staring back at us for 10 seconds before it moved off. I have been in the woods my whole life, raised with a gun since childhood, and spent my summers on Lake Champlain. I have hunted, fished, instructed archery and rifle range, hiked, coon hunted at night, owned horses and ridden horseback through the wilderness, and presently live with all kinds of wildlife on my lakefront-creekside property... well, I thought I'd seen it all. BUT... I have no idea what this was, other than to say it was a hyena.

It was very large; 150-175lbs, long bushy tail, brindle, wirey, spotted, brown, black and gray coat, with a powerful predator build, thick lower jaw, rounded, diamond shaped, triangular head with rounded ears sitting high on the head, and what appeared to be a mane running down the back originating on the neck. Its hind legs were noticeably shorter than the front and much thicker and more powerfully muscled than the front - so that the animal sloped down in the powerful rear. I have seen countless Hyena on Discovery, in National Geographic and Wild Kingdom as a kid, and there is no other option then this strongly resembled a Spotted Hyena.

I immediately went home and searched it. Amazingly, it is said the 'Mountain Hyena' once roamed the Adirondacks/Appalachians... well, I have news...at least one still does. My wife and I - with me at the time - actually called NY EnCon at Ray Brook when we got home and... got laughed at... even receiving an errant email back ridiculing my report which was accidently sent to me instead of an EnCon co-worker. This really made me mad as I had made friends with my local EnCon officer who liked to use my property to catch poachers. Although we do have an animal park at the end of the lake, when I called, they assured me they have never had any Spotted Hyena.

It was only shortly after I saw the MonsterQuest episode describing a similar animal in Maine, while the Shunka Warak'in was well known to the Iroquois as the "Dog Killer," the supposed Shunka Warak'in famous mount seems far too small and pig-like to be what I saw. It legs are far too scrawny and it seems far less canine than what we saw... also possessing a longer straight coat and thinner snout.

Then a few days later, we saw it again doing the same thing. There is no doubt, this was not a Coyote, a Wolf hybrid or a Coydog... this WAS a Hyena. My property has a creek, cree kmouth and lakefront, with 4 fish spawns, plenty of deer, coyote, Red and Gray Fox, Fisher, Eagles, Turkeys, ducks, Blue Heron, owls, Osprey, geese, ducks, Turkey Vultures, and even the occasional Black Bear and this fall a yearling Moose, I've seen it all; especially riding horseback. You name it, I've seen it and can identify it... but have never seen anything like this. As close as I can come is the Spotted Hyena.

I have a very high IQ and have worked for two Emmy winners... but amazingly, this is the second "cryptid" animal I have seen in my life, but when you do, you just never forget it, suddenly you realize the world is far more amazing than many ever know. Just imagine what is lurking out there untouched expanses of Canada and Alaska, where few, if any, have ever ventured. BTW, in the spirit of honest disclosure, I do live in what many believe to be a UFO hotspot, and I have two UFO photos taken over my home that have gone around top Ufology sites. In 2009, I was featured on the cover of world famous UFO Magazine... but none of it changes what I, or many of my neighbors, have seen or experienced.

"There is far more to Heaven and Earth Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy." - BA

Here is a reference to the 'American Hyena':

In the Great Plains of the American West, from at least Montana to Nebraska, there have been reports of an animal that seems to be a hyena. With a sloping back and hyena-like features, this beast was known to the Ioway Indians as the shunka warakin. Similar creatures, with different names, were reported from the lands of other tribes. This animal was generally described as having dark fur, often black and sometimes red. The shaggy areas were distributed in a different way than on wolves. White settlers also thought they had seen this creature, and some were even mounted as trophies. Although the present wherabouts of these trophies is now unknown, one famous trophy had a picture taken of it, although it might have been a strange-looking wolf mounted by an incompetent taxidermist. Only DNA testing could settle the question.

As wild America was despoiled, these sightings almost died out. Today, there are still a few, but they are complicated by confusions due to folklore, apparent supernatural characteristics, and likely confusion with other reports of wolves, wild dogs, and dog-like cryptids of several sorts. It is possible that this creature survived all the way up to a hundred years ago, only for the last pockets of survivors to be exterminated before being officially recognized by science. Even if this is the case, it is still of interest to cryptozoologists. Cryptozoology is the science of unexpected animals, and that includes animals that happened to go extinct before we could identify them, if those animals survived thousands of years longer than they were supposed to. - New Animal

A Cryptozoological Study of the Shunka Warak'in

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

Monsters and Mysteries

Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History