Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Dogmen, wild beasts of legend
I've read "Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America" by Linda Godfrey. It highlights many unusual sightings of werewolves and unusual upright powerful canids that leave little evidence apart from a few frightened eyewitnesses. These reports of dogmen sightings (dogmen the preferred name instead of werewolf by some researchers) is highly popular among those fascinated with the subject. There's been dogmen/werewolves living among humans in secret since time began, for humans on earth. Native Americans have legends of the werewolves, positive and negative, and it suggests different types of werewolves exist.
Europe has it's centuries of historic werewolf and dogmen stories.
There are historic records like the following:
Werewolves of Greifswald, a chilling number of reports from 16th and 17th century Germany, account the city was dominated by a community of werewolves. They operated at night and citizens were too frightened to go outside after sunset. A group of brave souls decided to kill the werewolves but were overcome in a bloody street battle. Apparantly it was the idea of a little local boy to gather up as much silver as anyone could, smelt it and make it into weapons. The boy gained his knowledge from a wise relative. It proved to be a success and all the werewolves of Greifswald were slaughtered.
I can't go back in time and discover if that really happened the way it's said or not. I can point out something though. During the time Greifswald was under the werewolves terror, Germany had just recovered from the Thirty Years War and there was still hunger and poverty, and the lingering threat of bubonic plague. I guess many people were scared and suffering too much, and it could've manifested so much hysteria as well as horror. Later Swedish troops occupied the country and other bloody wars that followed, the Swedish-Polish War and the Swedish-Brandenburg War and the Great Northern War. The town of Greifswald was torn in the middle of battle. There was so much destruction and deaths caused by fire power (canons), the town was unable to withstand. Civilians were killed and old buildings including castles, churches and residential houses burnt to the ground. It was during the war ravaged period in the town that the stories of the werewolves emerged! I wonder if these werewolves might've been real, shadows or monsters feeding off pain or were really bloodthirsty soldiers that ruined the town? The wars going on there might've had a lot to do with the werewolf legend.
Gilles Garnier, a famous dogman/werewolf from Dole, France who lived in the 16th century. Living most of his youth alone in the forest, scavanging for food and making his own clothes out of animal furs, he finally wanted to settle down with a wife. He fell in love with a village maid and she ran away from home to be with him. It's likely they had children because after they were living together, in his forest den, many people started going missing. Many people were frightened of seeing a strange shabbily dressed man in the forest and fields, who took on the appearance of a wolf. He was found, arrested and jailed. At court he later admitted to killing people from a nearby village to feed his family. It was tragic and distressing for the loved ones to hear about what happened. Garnier was found guilty of lycanthropy and witchcraft, then excecuted in 1572.
According to the dogman and werewolf databases found on Facebook, message boards and articles, most of them look like upright walking tall, muscular creatures with dog/wolf heads. I can see a pattern in historic reports when there was plague, famine and war. In peace-time Europe, what gives? Dozens of reports appearing all over the UK, Ireland, Europe mainland and the Americas, Australia and Asia in recent years by people who've met dogmen/werewolves. Most of these creatures are seen on roadsides, in bushes, lurking around houses, sneaking in woods and forests and eating stray animals. Many of the sightings go little further but some do. People have been chased and attacked by these dogmen. Some feared for their lives and had to lock their car doors and take off at speed. Even people walking their dogs encounter these creatures, and remember feeling terrified.
It's possible that some of the people are making it up, hallucinating or simply mistaken? Even if these werewolves and dogmen are real, where do they go? where do they lives? why can't they be found? Apart from some grainy photographs and videos of supposed werewolves and dogmen, why would these isolated keep-themselves-to-themselves creatures play games with humans?
Are these creatures supernatural then? I don't mean phantoms or ghosts. I mean cryptids, or a species that coexists but may never be disovered or caught because they might pass from a different dimension and defy physics? Any other ideas is just mind boggling.
Interested in more?
DFRO (Dogman field research org)
Linda Godfrey (researcher and reporter of Dogmen sightings)
The Cloaked Hedgehog (map maker of Dogman sightings)