What is the Dogman? A myth? A legend? Maybe. Maybe not. There are a number of Dogman encounters that may change your mind on the reality of the being. Here are a few.
Rickie Sanchez stepped out of his house in rural Wisconsin into the cool night to look for a tool left in the backyard. Searching in the darkness, he was hit by an immense and nearly overpowering wave of primal fear. His senses sharpened as his fight-or-flight response went to full power. Something large walking on two legs came around the corner from his right rear. It ducked back and glared at him. As his pupils dilated, Rickie could see its long snout, pointed ears and massive frame.
Something told Rickie to quickly look to his front — he saw another. Scanning his surroundings, he noticed three more, all now maneuvering toward him.
Rickie, a corrections officer, has been through all the high-risk, high-threat training offered as a member of his prison’s emergency response unit. He also trains working dogs and maintains a kennel on his property. Better than most of us, he understands canine behavior and the predatory instincts of killers. Fortunately, for Rickie, that life experience kicked in as the five creatures surrounded him. He focused, calmed himself and assumed an assertive posture and mindset.
“Knock it off, I’m not running,” he said.
He spoke firmly and confidently, just as he would to an aggressive dog or inmate, and it worked. The creatures stopped and slowly retreated. So did Rickie — back into the safety of his house.
It wasn’t the first time he had seen a Dogman, nor would it be the last — but it was definitely the scariest of the 15 encounters he has had since 2010.
Many witnesses like Sanchez are credible, trained observers. Few are more so than two SWAT deputies conducting sniper/observer training in the swamps near Shreveport, Louisiana, last year, who reported their encounter to the North American Dogman Project website.
The deputies spotted an upright Dogman and watched it move in their direction. When the creature got too close for comfort, they broke cover and entered a creek bed to make their escape, at which time they were spotted by the Dogman, who had paralleled them from the bank above.
One of the deputies fired a round over the head of the Dogman in an attempt to scare it off. Far from having the desired effect, a second Dogman appeared and sniffed the air to determine where the shot came from, coming to within a few feet of the camouflaged and concealed men. The deputies froze and after about a minute, the second Dogman walked over to the first and the pair retreated calmly into the nearby woodline. The deputies waited another five minutes before they withdrew to their patrol vehicles and departed the area.
First time you have heard of a Dogman? Been spending all your free time researching Bigfoot instead? Then welcome to the cryptozoological phenomenon of the 21st century — the Dogman.
Reports of massive canids capable of walking on their hind legs have risen sharply in the U.S. since 2010 after the television series “MonsterQuest” aired two episodes on the search for the mysterious animal. Dogman researcher Linda Godfrey, who appeared on the show, broke a story about a sighting while working as a journalist in 1991. Godfrey has researched credible reports of the Dogman back to 1936 in Wisconsin and has written several books from the hundreds of witnesses she has interviewed.
Eyewitnesses are adamant they have not seen a wolf, nor even a Bigfoot. Most accounts come from forests, marshes or farming areas east of the Mississippi River and describe immense “wolf-like” animals that can stand on their hind legs to a height of seven feet and walk or run bi-pedally. They are covered in hair and have muscular upper bodies, long, powerful arms ending in what look more like hands than paws, narrow waists, a bushy tail, hind legs with rearward-hinging hock joints (like a dog’s), heads with long snouts full of sharp teeth and pointed, tufted ears set similar to a German Shepherd’s. And there are the eyes — intelligent, amber or yellowish eyes so bright in the dark they seem to be illuminated from the inside.
Dave Leidy drove slowly down a remote road in coastal North Carolina after 1 a.m. He and his wife Lisa were looking for a safe spot to park their truck and trailer and camp for the night. They were startled by the sound of a loud “thunk” against the rear of their Airstream. Dave was sure he hadn’t hit anything and stopped to investigate.
Moving to the back of his trailer, he noticed a large dent below the right taillight. Just then, the insect noises stopped and a strong sense of being hunted came over him. He unholstered his .357 Magnum as the sense of dread increased. He could hear something moving in the marsh just off the road. When his eyes focused on the area where the noise was coming from, his brain processed what he was seeing as a much larger version of one of his German Shepherds. Then it did something that still haunts him. Dave heard two loud popping sounds as it reared up and stood on its back legs.
The Dogman stared at Dave, growled and then looked to its right. Dave looked in the same direction and saw another on all fours creeping toward him. He immediately understood he was being flanked by the second Dogman as the first held his attention. Then the first creature stepped forward and bared its teeth. Now both were advancing on him.
Dave raised his pistol and fired, sure he had hit the first Dogman in the shoulder. It stopped and Dave used the momentary pause to break contact, jump in his truck and hit the accelerator. He looked in his side mirrors and counted two more standing behind the first pair. All four gave chase until Dave was nearing 40 mph, when he saw them slow, peel off the road and head back into the marsh. He kept driving and didn’t stop until they made it to a town and a well-lit parking lot to spend the night.
Undeterred by that experience, Dave now investigates Dogman sightings. He has had several more encounters of his own and told the story in an episode of the television series “Terror in the Woods.”
Several hundred people around the U.S. now consider themselves Dogman field investigators, and many more are what Rickie Sanchez calls “laptop researchers.” Also studying the subject, according to hits on the North American Dogman Project website, are employees of state and federal land management and wildlife agencies. Are they seeing something in the field and coming back to their offices to research what it was? Perhaps.
You can learn more about the Dogman by visiting Joedy Cook’s North American Dogman Project at www.northamericandogmanproject.com, Linda Godfrey’s blog at www.lindagodfrey.com and Riz Morricone’s YouTube channel, “The Dogman Narratives.”
Do some research, decide for yourself and keep your eyes and ears open in the outdoors. Trust your instincts and the hair on the back of your neck. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.