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Mysterious Dogman Sighting in South Africa May Explain Others

It’s not often that one witnesses a Dogman, especially outside of Michigan, which has had its share of sightings dating back to 1887. It’s even more rare that the witness gets a video of a Dogman (or any other cryptid, for that matter) that is not blurred like a pixelized X-rated scene on a reality show. Yet a video making the rounds this week out of South Africa shows what clearly looks like a half-man, half-dog running in all fours among a pack of dogs that appear to be all-dog. Is Dogman on a holiday?

One uploader of the video says the encounter took place in Limpopo, the northernmost province of South Africa that borders Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It’s one of the poorest regions of South Africa where the majority of the population lives in tribal areas. As such, comments on witchcraft, drugs, feral children and bestiality were predominant. However, little additional information on the sighting was given.

Fortunately, another site, Mzansi Times, had a better version of the video which hinted at the explanation for this Dogman. After acknowledging the same suggested causes, this site revealed that the video came not from Limpopo but from Uppington, Northern Cape, and the Dogman was not half-dog but an all-human named Phillip Oliphant who claims he shows his love of dogs by acting like one. Holding cans to protect his hand, Oliphant manages to move very quickly on all fours … until he either lies down or plays dead.

Case closed? As with doors, when one paranormal question closes, another opens. Could the sightings of Dogmen in other parts of the world also be a human on all fours who just loves acting like a dog? According to Dogman Encounters, most Dogman sightings are of the predominantly dog version, running on all fours with dog-style legs. The more scary upright version with a dog’s head are rare. Even more interesting, while witnesses claim to be terrified of whatever it is they’re seeing, only one percent of them report being attacked by the Dogman. The rest walked away unharmed.

Is the Michigan Dogman just a Wolverine version of Phillip Oliphant – a human acting like a dog? It’s a possibility. Is it a big dog acting like a human? Perhaps a little more likely, especially when seen on a dark night. Is it something else? That remains to be seen by a witness brave enough and calm enough to pull out their cell phone.

In the meantime, cheers to Phillip Oliphant for doing what he loves with man’s best friend and not worrying about the comments made by man’s worst friends.


Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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