Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Call of the wild: Dogman
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Call of the wild: Dogman

Mardi Link - May 12th, 2008
Sightings of the unexplainable always seem to happen way out in the middle of nowhere. That scenario certainly fits the legend of Northern Michigan’s “Dogman,” a mythical seven-foot canine with wolf-like eyes who stalks people and walks upright. The upshot of this creepy story, however, can be found in some very populated areas. For example, bookstores, gift shops, radio station studios, and even on the Internet.
For a few creative people like WTCM radio producer Steve Cook and authors Linda Godfrey, Frank Holes, Jr., and David Walks-As-Bear, the Dogman has become something of a cottage industry. For $29.99 you can even get a Dogman hoodie.
“It used to be that the Dogman was just out in the woods,” said Holes, Jr., author of The Year of the Dogman and purveyor of Dogman merchandise on the Internet. “Now, he’s everywhere.”
How the Dogman legend began is debatable, depending upon whom you ask. It was either hatched in the mind of WTCM’s production director Steve Cook, born in a song inside a hollow log, passed down by generations of Native Americans, or is a real being and not just a legend after all.

MUSICAL JOURNEY
In 1987 Cook wrote a song about the Dogman, “The Legend,” to be played on the radio as an April Fools Day gag.
The song, which features Cook telling the story to the accompaniment of mandolin played by local musician, Don Julin, begins like this:
“Eleven lumberjacks near the Garland Swamp found an animal they thought was a dog.
In a playful mood they chased it around until it ran inside a hollow log.
A logger named Johnson grabbed him a stick and poked around inside.
Then the thing let out an unearthly scream and came out and stood – upright.”
Singles of “The Legend” went on to sell 50,000 copies, generate thousands of dollars for animal-based charities and stir up hundreds of reports of real Dogman sightings. This month, Cook put the finishing touches on a Collector’s Edition media pack of “The
Legend” and bonus features via his Mindstage Production Co.
“I’m planning to expand it into a lot of new markets,” Cook said. “New radio markets, we’re going to have counter displays for retail markets, and we’ve got a music video we hope to get played on Country Music TV.”
Inspired by his favorite scenes from the movie “Nightstalker” as well as the bigfoot and Jersey Devil stories he watched on television, Cook readily says that he “created this thing out of thin air.” After the song was played on the radio though, weird things started happening. People called the station and told him stories about their own Dogman sightings. Stories they’d been sitting on, sometimes for 50 years, and had never told anyone before. More than two decades later, people still pull him aside and tell him Dogman stories, and despite his skeptical nature, he’s considering believing them.
“If they don’t’ exist, there’s something out there that is causing credible people to see incredible things,” Cook said.

TALES OF THE WEIRD
One of those credible people is author Linda Godfrey. A former small-town newspaper reporter, Godfrey wrote Weird Michigan, part of the popular Weird series published by Barnes & Noble’s Sterling Publishing. She is the acknowledged expert on the Dogman, with three additional books published to date about the creature; The Beast of Bray Road, Hunting the American Werewolf, and Werewolves. Another title, Lake & Sea Monsters is forthcoming in July. In February, a television show about the Dogman that Godfrey produced aired on the History Channel as part of its “Monster Quest” series.
“This is not a career that I ever expected,” she said. “My degree is in art! I only went to work at the paper to see if I could draw cartoons for them. But people can’t get enough of it now.”
Today, writers, researchers, scientists and documentary filmmakers from all over the world contact her and request access to her decades of research. “I’m going to hunt the werewolf,” they write in their letters to her, “so send me all of your files.” Godfrey says her files are valuable and she prefers to keep them for her exclusive use. She doesn’t mind helping fiction writers out with sightings details to fuel their imaginations, however. Two such writers, Frank Holes, Jr., author of The Year of the Dogman and David Walks-As-Bear, author of the Ely Stone mysteries and Witiku:The Shapeshifter, have called on her expertise to infuse their fiction.
A preview of the new collector’s
edition of “The Legend” is available at www.michigan-dogman.com; Dogman swag is available at www.dogman07.com; and books by Godfrey, Holes, Jr., and Walks-As-Bear are available at
Horizon Books.
In its final stanza, Cook’s song cautions the listener, “Somewhere in the northwest dark a creature walks upright. The best advice you may ever get is ‘Don’t go out at night.’”
Mardi Link’s book, “When Evil Came to Good Hart,” will be published in July by the University of Michigan Press.
 
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