We live in the 21st century, surrounded by internet, social media, cars, technology, and higher education. Yet when confronted with the unknown, like Bigfoot or the Dogman, we completely fall to pieces.
Everybody knows Bigfoot, so let’s tackle the Dogman.
What is Dogman?
I heard the name and had to dig into this fascinating topic. According to Wikipedia, “The Michigan Dogman is a cryptozoological creature first reported in 1887 in Wexford County, Michigan. Sightings have been reported in several locations throughout Michigan, primarily in the northwestern quadrant of the Lower Peninsula. In 1987, the legend of the Michigan Dogman gained popularity when a disc jockey at WTCM-FM recorded a song about the creature and its reported sightings.”
This is similar to the Beast of Bray Road, about which Wikipedia says this:
“The Beast of Bray Road is described by purported witnesses in several ways: as a bear-like creature, as a hairy biped resembling Bigfoot, and as an unusually large (2–4 feet tall on all fours, 7 feet tall standing up) intelligent wolf-like creature apt to walk on its hind legs and weighing 400-700 pounds. It also said that its fur is a brown gray color resembling a dog or bear.”
Upon digging a bit deeper, I found some interesting eyewitness accounts.
From Phantoms and Monsters:
Last fall, my son and I were driving on US-41/M-28 towards Three Lakes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (where I live). The beast ran across the highway near Tioga Creek. I had not heard of this before reading Phantoms and Monsters, but this is exactly what we saw. We are familiar with all animals living here. Moose regularly cross in front of drivers, so we watch the sides of the roads carefully. We were very puzzled and thought it might be some mutant wolf and could not figure out what we witnessed. It ran fairly fast about 50 feet in front of our truck. It was so strange because the front of it was much higher up than the back, larger than a wolf. Very strange to see it on your website.
It did not look exactly like the video or drawings I saw, but VERY close. The side view shape of the animal was almost like an ape shape, with the front legs longer than the back legs which made it run funny. It ran like a bear runs, with the exception of the back legs being shorter if you can picture that. The front, from the angle I saw, looked like it must of had a wide chest. The head appeared wolf-like, but it definitely was NOT a wolf. The color was brown and black mixed. The hair seemed med-long, like a wolf, and I remember thinking it might of had mange, must of had patches of hair missing.
Another account from the same site:
I live in Taylors Falls, Minnesota and I was driving north on Wild Mountain Rd. around 7 am. on Jan 2nd. I was heading for the ski area when I saw some kind of animal running in the field towards the river. I pulled off the road and grabbed my binoculars. It looked like a large wolf but it was different. By that time some guy in a truck pulled up and was wondering what I was looking at. I told him that I think there is a large wolf in the field. He got out of the truck and asked to use the binoculars. He said he didn’t think it was a wolf and that it looked like it was chasing something.
We stood for a few minutes watching. It would run into the woods then pop back into the field for a bit. The light was getting better so I grabbed my parka and started to walk closer to get a better look. The other guy said he had to leave but did say again that he didn’t think it was a wolf.
I was about a 1/2 mile from the ski area near one of the trail roads. I started to walk towards the river. I was about 100 ft from where I saw the animal from the road when I heard an owl screech coming from the woods to my right. On the edge of the woods this huge dog came running out of the trees. The best way to describe it was that it looked like a big hyena but it ran on two back legs and bent over. It had wooly black hair all over it’s body and a long thick tail. It must have weighed 200 lbs or more. I’ve been in the woods all my life and have never seen anything like this. It looked over at me but continued to run from right to left in front of me. It also made a steady loud panting sound as it ran.
I turned on a pivot and ran out of there hoping this animal wasn’t going to chase me. When I got to the car an old man had pulled off and standing there watching me. He wondered what I was doing. I yelled at him to “get the hell out of there” and said that a monster dog was out there. I think he believed me because the look on his face showed fear like he knew something was really out there.
I didn’t go to the ski area, instead I went back home all shook up and asking myself what I saw.
From Cryptozoology News, a story from a woman familiar with the local Bigfoots, observed them interacting with these dogmen creatures:
“I saw them together at night a few times and at first, I thought they were all Bigfoots,” she said. “But they were more animal looking with protruding faces.”
At first, says Parker, she thought they were “young Bigfoots” because she was initially used to seeing Dogman individuals exclusively during daytime.
“They like to sun themselves usually every three days or the next sunny day after a rain.”
But according to the woman, this time was different. The two unproven animal species were sharing the same space, in what she says looked like some sort of symbiotic relationship.
“I got the impression they were tolerant of each other, although the Bigfoots seemed in charge. It reminded me of the relationship between hippos and crocodiles. The hippos rule the river and they share the territory, but both don’t want to mess with each other out of fear of being harmed,” she explains.
“I watched them as they peeked from the bush. They were visibly bold, easier to make out, than the Bigfoots. They were very unorganized when they moved. They moved as individuals without cover from the others. If one wanted to move, he would just move. They were also not experts in hiding although they too try to camouflage. Some liked to stand in the “V” part of the trees trunks and weave dead brush around them. The way they weaved the brush reminded me of a spider web. They were very alert to their surrounding and seemed to notice me when I tried to photograph them. That’s when they would freeze, point and stare.”
Parker described the animals as being the size of a man with pointy ears placed on the top of their heads. Their bodies were reportedly covered in a brown patchy hair and had “human-like fingers with thick claws”.
“I can’t be sure of how many fingers they had because they seem to have an additional appendage, it was on the top on their hand along the wrist area. They liked to point by raising their arm up and extending it in front of them, and they would use their index finger. They carried their arms a certain way, with their elbows against their sides and forearms in front with the palms facing down. The smallest I could see were about 2 feet tall. I think they were babies,” says the witness. “They must communicate but I don’t’ know how. Possibly through scents or nonverbal language.”
She believes that urban expansion is the reason these two purported species have been forced to tolerate each other. “‘One of the best places to live’, and the ‘fastest growing city in the state’, they cut large sections of forest, and with the closing of the mines, I had the feeling it was these circumstances that brought them together.”
This woman also took a video of one of the creatures–there’s not much to see, but you can see a large creature moving away into the trees.
Reactions to Dogman
People have all sorts of explanations for this creature’s existence. They are:
- Hybrid animal engineered by aliens
- Hybrid animal engineered by humans (based on sightings in the vicinity of secret animal research labs)
- Shamanistic projection
- Monsters from another dimension that phase in and out of our world
Every so often, you run across the brave soul who questions whether this might be some animal we thought was extinct and isn’t. But these are, oddly, in the minority.
For instance, from fossils, we know of this creature, called a Chalicothere:
This is a strange animal with the head of a horse, massive front claws, and could walk on two legs. It’s assumed to be a herbivore.
Now, if people were seeing a horse-man, the Chalicothere would fit the bill perfectly. But we’re seeing a creature with a dog’s head instead (and apparently they’re fond of roadkill, which is why people see them near roads).
Could this dogman simply be a creature unknown to science?
What amazes me is how quickly people jump to the most superstitious, mystical conclusions. Is it more comfortable to believe that this creature has supernatural origins, and therefore we will never be able to learn about it?
We live in an era of education and science–in fact, science is pretty much the only national religion left in America. Could it be that when people encounter something that science can’t explain, their thinking process falls apart?
As I was reading these accounts, my brain was spinning in all these same directions. What is it? What could it possibly be? I came up with some pretty weird theories, the more research I did. Then I began asking, how is a Christian to respond to unexplained creatures and phenomena?
Parsing God and Dogman
From Genesis, we have the lovely, simple account of the fifth day of Creation, when God made the land animals.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.
And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it. (Genesis 1:24-25, Amplified)
God also placed us in this fantastic world and built our brains with a thirst for knowledge. We’re still discovering crazy new stuff out in space, like all the stuff they’re learning about Pluto and Charon right now that is making NASA throw their previous theories out the window.
What makes us think we know everything there is to know about our vast northern forests? Most people in the US live in cities, and the cities are getting bigger every year. At the same time, attendance at the national parks is dropping.
If God put all this awesome stuff on Pluto, knowing that humanity wouldn’t even SEE it until 2015 AD, why wouldn’t he make creatures that blow our minds? Nobody believed in the platypus or the gorilla, either, until we caught live ones.
There’s a temptation to blow off people who claim they’ve seen weird creatures–say they made it up, say they were mistaken or looking for attention. But I think it’s best to keep an open mind. We don’t know everything there is to know about our world–and it’s arrogant to pretend otherwise. If they’re still finding new species of fish and frogs, why not some kind of wolf-creature with a strange, hyena-like build?