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Cryptid Casefile: The Michigan Dogman

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Type: Canine / Lycanthrope

Height: 6-7 feet

Appearance: Half man, half dog, brown to grayish fur, long snout

Abilities: Super speed, super strength

Location: Michigan, USA

There is a legend of a terrifying creature – one that is said to be half man, half dog, stalking the northwoods of Michigan. This creature, is known as the Michigan Dogman...

The earliest known sightings occurred in 1887 by two lumberjacks in wexford county Michigan. They reported spotting a creature with the body of a man, but the head of a dog. More accounts of the creature began to permeate the upper peninsula and people made note of dog-like tracks surrounding local horse carcasses, that allegedly died of fright.

The Dogman is said to be 6-7 feet tall, with broad shoulders and very muscular. It is covered in fur, sometimes reported to be brown or gray. It is also incredibly fast, able to leap across a stretch of highway in 2-3 bounds. The Dogman likes to be stealthy, but also seems to have a habit of running out in front of cars! Other stories tell of this creature enjoying stare downs with people. Perhaps as a threatening posture to warn people away. It is also reported to have a terrible human scream-like howl, sometimes also sounding like an infant. According to legend, the Dogman appears in 10 year cycles, seemingly on years that end in 7. Ie. 1887, 1987, 2017 etc. Starting in Michigan, sightings soon spread to neighboring Wisconsin, and then the whole United States.

On April 1st 1987, a local radio DJ, Jack O’malley and his production director, Steve Cook wrote & released, “the legend”, an April fools prank song about the myth of the Michigan Dogman aimed to stir up fear in their local audience, much like hg wells ‘war of the worlds’ broadcast in the 1930’s. However, neither of them would be prepared for the response they would receive a few days later from locals sharing their own stories of their encounters with the creature. You can listen to the song here.

Since ‘the legend’ first aired, the people of Michigan have poured out to share their stories of the Dogman. While many reports from people turned out to be hoaxes, there have been some anecdotes that are very intriguing and seem to defy a rational explanation. Take for example a man who recounted his fathers story of an encounter in 1961 while he was night watchman at a manufacturing plant in the town of big rapids, Michigan.

The manufacturing plant was situated near a large wilderness called the hay marsh. The watchman was provided housing right across the street from the plant and often times, conducted guard duty from his porch. He recalled times when he patrolled the plants perimeter fence at night, regularly hearing coyotes, bears and other strange sounds out in the darkness at night. Certainly that would be enough to put anyone on edge and want to hang out in the safety of your own porch rather than venture out. One night at 3am during a routine shift on his porch, he was alerted to a rustle along the perimeter fence near the rear side of the plant. He figured somebody was messing around, but he would soon find out The truth of the situation.

Drawing his gun, he observed the fence for a few minutes. A figure then emerged from the darkness. The watchman described this creature being covered in fur, and was much taller than a normal human and had very broad shoulders. To top it off, its face appeared canine with a long snout. The creature switched between being on all fours and on its hind legs as it made its way along the perimeter fence. Instead of firing his gun, the guard ran inside to grab his camera. When he returned, the creature was now prowling its way along the plants driveway, directly under a lamp post. It was then that the watchman managed to take a picture using a long exposure method due to the low lighting. After this, the creature retreated into the hay marsh. The picture above is the actual one from this night watchman took. What was this strange canine-like creature that stalked the grounds around this manufacturing plant all those years ago, an if real, does the creature still live today?

Possible explanations of the Michigan Dogman:

• Surviving population of direwolf

• A wolf/dog/coyote hybrid

• Underweight bear

Let me know what you think of the Michigan Dogman in the comments!

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