Nov 29, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Sad Passing of Dogman / Werewolf Researcher/ Investigator, Linda Godfrey

Yesterday, I heard the very sad news that Linda Godfrey - the expert on Dogmen and Werewolves - has just passed away. Linda was a great lady and someone who was a good friend, and someone who always helped in the field of Cryptozoology. As well as that, Linda was a very generous woman when it came to the matter of strange creatures and bizarre events. With that said, I will share with you a complete interview I did with Linda a handful of years ago. It's a good way to to demonstrate how her work came along. Since 1991, the Wisconsin town of Elkhorn has been the lair and hunting ground of a terrifying creature that is the closest thing one can imagine to a real-life werewolf. And, just maybe, that’s exactly what it is. The monster has become known as the Beast of the Bray Road – on account of the fact that many of the initial sightings were made on that particular road. Without doubt, the expert on all-things of a lycanthropic nature in Wisconsin is author and journalist Linda Godfrey, who has penned half a dozen books on werewolves, and who I interviewed about her research into this malignant beast. Linda told me: “The story first came to my attention in about 1991 from a woman who had heard rumors going around here in Elkhorn, and particularly in the high school, that people had been seeing something like a werewolf, a wolf-like creature, or a wolf-man. They didn’t really know what it was. But some were saying it was a werewolf. And the werewolf tag has just gotten used because I think that people really didn’t know what else to call it."

(Nick Redfern) Me and Linda, good fun memories

Linda told me: “I started checking it out. I talked to the editor of The Week newspaper here, ,and which I used to work for. He said, ‘Why don’t you check around a little bit and see what you hear?’ This was about the end of December. And being a weekly newspaper that I worked for, we weren’t really hard news; we were much more feature oriented. So, I asked a friend who had a daughter in high school and she said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what everybody’s talking about.’ So, I started my investigations and got one name from the woman who told me about it. She was also a part-time bus driver. In my first phone call to the bus driver, she told me that she had called the County Animal Control Officer. So, of course, when you’re a reporter, anytime you have a chance to find anything official that’s where you go. I went to see him and, sure enough, he had a folder in his file draw that he had actually marked Werewolf, in a tongue-in-cheek way. “People had been phoning in to him to say that they had seen something. They didn’t know what it was. But from their descriptions, that’s what he had put. So, of course, that made it a news story. When you have a public official, the County Animal Control Officer, who has a folder marked Werewolf, that’s news. It was very unusual.

“It just took off from there and I kept finding more and more witnesses. At first they all wanted to stay private, and I remember talking about it with the editor and we thought we would run the story because it would be over in a couple of weeks. The story was picked up by Associated Press. Once it hit AP, everything broke loose, and people were just going crazy. All the Milwaukee TV stations came out and did stories, dug until they found the witnesses, and got them to change their minds and go on camera, which some of them later regretted. And which I kind of regret, because it really made them reluctant, and kind of hampered the investigation. They were all mostly saying that they had seen something which was much larger than normal, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four, with a wolfish head. Some described it as a German Shepherd-like head, pointed ears, very long, coarse, shaggy, and wild-looking fur. One thing they all mentioned was that it would turn and look at them and gaze fearlessly or leer at them, and it was at that point that they all got really frightened. Everybody who has seen it – with the exception of one – has been extremely scared because it’s so out of the ordinary. It was something they couldn’t identify and didn’t appear to be afraid of them. It would just casually turn around and disappear into the brush. It was never just out in the open where it didn’t have some sort of hiding place. There was always a cornfield or some brush or some woods. So, that was pretty much the start of it."

Linda continued: “Once that got out, I started finding other people who called me and got in touch with me and I sort of became the unofficial clearinghouse. And we called it the Beast of Bray Road because I’ve always been reluctant to call it a werewolf. The original sightings were in an area known as Bray Road, which is outside of Elkhorn. ‘Everybody seems to have an opinion about this that they are eager to make known and defend. I personally don’t think there are enough facts for anybody to come to a conclusion. I have a couple of dozen sightings, at least. A few of them are second-hand and they date back to 1936. And they aren’t all around Bray Road. Quite a number are in the next county, Jefferson. I’ve had a woman write me who insists it’s a wolf. And I think a lot of people subscribe to that theory; yes, it’s definitely a wolf and can’t be anything else. But that doesn’t explain the large size. We’ve had all sorts of theories; mental patients escaping or some crazy guy running around. A hoaxer is another theory; that it’s somebody running around in a werewolf suit. One or two could have been that, but I tend to have my doubts about that, because the incidents are isolated and not close together. One of the sightings was on Halloween, but that’s also one of the people who got a really good look at it and they’re sure it wasn’t a human in a costume. Otherwise, most of them have been in really remote locations where, if you were going to hoax, the person would have to have been sitting out there in the cold just waiting for somebody to come along. So, if it’s a hoaxer, my hat’s off to them. But I tend not to think that’s the case. I don’t rule it out completely because once publicity gets out, things like that can happen."

(Nick Redfern) Dogman / Werewolf: the Creature that Linda sought to find for so long

There was more: “Two hunters quite a bit farther north saw what looked like two ‘dog children’ standing up in the woods. They were too scared to shoot when they saw them. They were not tall; they were juvenile-looking, standing upright, which is what scared them. But, otherwise, it’s a single creature. Most of the sightings I receive aren’t recent, and so people can’t remember too well what the moon was like. But most of the sightings occur around the fall when the cornfields get big and there’s really good hiding cover. So, that’s anywhere from late August through November. And I’ve had some sightings from the spring. But there are other theories as well for what is going on.

“Occasionally I’ll get letters from people who say they are lycanthropes themselves and their theory is that this is an immature, real werewolf and it cannot control its transformation, and that’s why it allows itself to be seen occasionally. They are completely convinced of that. And there are people who believe it’s a manifestation of satanic forces, that it’s a part of a demonic thing. They point to various occult activities around here. There are also people who try to link it to UFOs. Then there’s the theory it’s just a dog. One woman, a medium, thought that it was a natural animal but didn’t know what it was. And there are a lot of people out here that do wolf-hybridizations, and I’ve thought to myself you’d get something like that. But that doesn’t explain the upright posture. Then there’s the theory that it’s a creature known as the Windigo or Wendigo, which is featured in Indian legends and is supposedly a supernatural creature that lives on human flesh. But none of the descriptions from the Windigo legends describe a creature with canine features.

“There’s another possibility: I think a lot of these people are seeing different things. And that when they heard somebody else talk about something, there’s a tendency to say, ‘Oh, that must be what I saw.’ There’s really no way to know. And there are differences in some of the sightings. I’ve had people ask me, ‘Are you sure this isn’t Bigfoot?’ Most of the sightings really don’t sound like what people report as Bigfoot. But a couple of them do. There’s one man who saw it in the 1960s in a different area of the county, who insists positively that he saw a Bigfoot, but doesn’t want anyone saying he saw a werewolf. And the terrain around here isn’t really the typical sort of Bigfoot terrain of forests where people usually report these things. We do have woods and a big state forest, but it’s a narrow band of forest. It’s a lot of prairie and is not what you would think a Bigfoot would live in. But you never know. I’ve also had the baboon theory, which I find extremely unlikely.

Of her first book on the subject, The Beast of Bray Road, Linda said to me: “Part of the angle of the book is looking at this as a sociological phenomenon and how something that a number of people see turns into a legend. And it has become that, a little bit. Personally, I’m still happy to leave it an open mystery. I don’t have a feeling that it has to be pinned down.” Decades after her investigations into the mystery of the Beast of Bray Road began, Linda's research and writing and research continues and the sightings of the unearthly monster continue. Her published works now include The Beast of Bray Road, Werewolves, Hunting the American Werewolf, The Michigan Dogman, and Real Wolfmen. Collectively, they demonstrate something incredible: werewolves may not be creatures of fantasy, legend and mythology. They just might be all too real. And Bray Road may be just the place to see them.

(Nick Redfern) Good friends, Lyle Blackburn, and Ken Gerhard, Defiance, Ohio

Linda told me another story, too. This one on Remote -Viewing and Dogmen. While there are numerous theories for what the Dogmen are (demonic entities, shape-shifters, a rare/unique kind of wolf; the list goes on) the strangest of all the theories is that which suggests the creatures are extraterrestrials. Yes, you did read that right. In 2005, Dogman expert Linda was contacted by a man – a military whistle-blower, we might say – who was an expert in the field of remote-viewing. According to Linda's’ Edward Snowden-like source, the U.S. Government has uncovered data suggesting that the Dogmen are a very ancient, alien race that closely resembles the ancient deity of the Underworld. And who might that be? It’s Anubis, that’s who. Linda’s informant also discovered – via remote-viewing – that the Dogmen can "jump" from location to location via portals or doorways in the fabric of space and time. That’s quite a story told to Linda: Dogmen from the stars that have a connection to Anubis. It was during a break at the Dogman Symposium on August 6, 2016, that Linda briefly mentioned her odd story; a story that she went on to expand as follows: 

"It was around 2003, a sunny and warm day, and I happened to be out on Hospital Road, which is just off Bray Road, and where a lot of sightings of Dogmen have taken place – on that particular juncture of the road. There were a couple of cameramen and two colleagues of mine that were with me, and we were all being filmed for a TV show. It was the turn of one of my colleagues to be filmed. The other one and I were just standing at the side of the road – waiting and seeing what was going on – when this very large, black sedan pulled up. And as the window came down there was an older woman in the car. Nobody that I knew. We looked at her as the window came down and she said, in an accent that sounded kind of like a Russian accent, but could have been eastern European; I’m not sure: “Do you need any help?” There was something about her mannerisms: it wasn’t as if she was tentative or worried about anything. She just stated this in a really almost commanding way. And my friend and I looked at each other and we just said: 'Thank you, no; we’re just filming.' And it was like she didn’t really understand what we she said, because she said again: 'Do you need any help? Can I help you?' We said, 'No, thanks,' again. She still didn’t drive away; she looked over at the cameraman who was filming the activity and she seemed a little reluctant to leave. But, there wasn’t any great reason she could think of to justify staying. So, she finally turned and stepped on the gas kind of slowly. And that was it. 

"But, it just struck me as so strange at the time. The woman was dressed in black, but it wasn’t a formal business suit or anything like that. The car was black and the interior was kind of dark. I would estimate she was probably in her sixties and she had a deep voice. Her hair was grayish and pulled back. There was a bit of exoticness to her. It was such an odd thing; it was out of the ordinary and stuck in my mind. She didn’t fit in with the local populace, put it that way. I couldn’t help but think that the presence of the black Cadillac-driving MIB at Defiance, Ohio in 1967, followed five years later by a werewolf outbreak in town, and Linda’s oddly synchronistic encounter with a WIB at Dogman-infested Bray Road, were all somehow connected. How? That question still bothers me. That's just a small portion of the data me and Linda shared. I hope Linda is at peace and her work will be forever remembered. Rest well, Linda. XX

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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