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The down to earth theories pertaining to mental-illness and clinical lycanthropy can clearly explain a small number of reports, and chiefly those from centuries-past, many of which have now attained undeniable folkloric status. That does not prevent Linda from seeking out the answers, however.
I sincerely hope Linda will actively pursue this latter phenomenon as her research and writing continues, since it offers a fascinating and seldom-discussed aspect of the puzzle.
EPISODE 2: Werewolf Community Board (Werewolves, part 2)
And, sometimes, far closer to home and civilization, too. A great job!
Nick Redfern March 26, Nick Redfern July 29, But werewolves? No way, that is beyond the pale, that's Lon Chaney and cult teen TV shows, isn't it? You cannot be serious? Well Linda Godfrey is and, I have to say, with good reason. Well witnesses, for a start, and this book has hundreds of them. Most of these are first-person accounts from the author's own investigations, and the witnesses are a pretty wide cross-section of society and seem as 'sane and sober' as any 'trained observer' reporting a UFO.
Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America by Linda S. Godfrey, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
The encounters are largely in the Michigan-Wisconsin-Great Lakes area of the US where the author is based, and was the location for her first book on this topic, The Beast of Bray Road, and possibly this geographic localism may be one of the reasons why the subject has not been explored more widely. There is a consistency to the narrative of the reports, which generally involve the witness es walking or driving along a country road usually in a forested area, and seeing a large animal, which at first they take to be a wolf or a big-cat, as there are quite a few native to this region.
Suddenly the creature rises onto its hind legs and is revealed to have a muscular human torso with long arms, usually held out straight ahead, with animal-like claws, the hind legs of a large canine and a wolf's head on broad human shoulders. Sometimes, but not always, the creature has a tail. Although the creature appears threatening and sometimes approaches the witness, there are few if any occasions where it is reported to have attacked the witness.
Although the creature appears threatening and sometimes approaches the witness, there are few if any occasions where it is reported to have attacked the witness. There seem to be no convincing photographs of the creatures, and in some reports we have the classic instance, familiar from UFO accounts, of a camera being at hand but not used for some reason. The problem is what some ufologists call the 'giggle factor' or the 'boggle threshold' - it just seems too silly to be worth the bother.
I think the main reason why that's the case is that there is no immediate popularly acceptable explanation. With UFOs is extraterrestrials, with Sasquatch it's a previously unknown hominid, with ghosts it's the spirits of the dead, with werewolves it's Godfrey examines a number of possible explanations.
True Encounters in Modern America
In the course of her three books she seems to have moved from a 'misperception' explanation, through paws-and-pelt creatures, to some sort of spiritual existence, and is perhaps a little too quick to link the phenomenon to Native American spirituality. Godfrey also looks at the possibility of hoaxing, by and on witnesses, and again finds a few possible instances.
In the end no explanation, even a sceptical one, really covers the phenomenon in its entirety, as is the case with any 'paranormal' phenomenon, and one just has to say, "sorry, I don't know".
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But one also has to accept that the 'werewolf' experiences of hundreds of people are as valid as UFO or ghost experiences, and that, despite Lon Chaney and cult teen TV, they cannot be confined to 'literary criticism'. Newer Post Older Post Home.
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