In Part 1 I discussed kangaroos and how they are a little bit scary, especially to someone living in the United States. In Part 2 I wrote at length about the possibility of a small population of kangaroos in the United States. I realize, of course, that this sounds absurd. But when confronted with the evidence, it certainly seems that there is indeed a population of kangaroos in the United States.
So, where am I going with this?
A Disturbing Trend
I have noticed a growing trend in the world of cryptozoology—reports of dogmen/werewolves. Sightings of bipedal, upright canine creatures are increasing at an alarming rate. In the past, I would occasionally hear of or read about a dogman or werewolf report from the Midwest; now, though, these reports are increasing. Worse yet, they are getting closer and closer to my home state of Virginia. Pennsylvania seems to be a hotspot for dogmen as of late. Well to the southeast, on the Virginia Peninsula, similar encounters have been reported. Unsurprisingly, West Virginia, renowned for paranormal activity, has also experienced recent dogman sightings. Moreover, a legendary wolf-like creature is also prominent in its mountain folklore.
“Within the confines of West Virginia folklore, werewolves exist alongside the legend of Bigfoot,” said West Virginia University’s award-winning storyteller Jason Burns. Burns claims that stories of a werewolf exist around the small town of Belington, in Barbour County. A supposed werewolf has been spotted there running alongside the highway.1
In the late 1930s and into 1940, Webster County was terrorized by a wolf-like creature that was nicknamed the Blue Devil. The monster was said to be the size of a pony and it looked like a wolf or coyote with blue-colored fur. The monster was responsible for killing several sheep and even a prized hunting dog. The monster was supposedly shot and killed, although the story didn’t quite end there.
As mentioned earlier, dogman/werewolf encounters are on the rise and they seem to be happening everywhere. Descriptions of the creatures are fairly consistent: a creature resembling a cross between a dog and a man wich stands about 6 feet tall; they are able to alternate between walking of two legs or four; elongated snouts; tall, pointed ears; shaggy fur, usually dark-colored; muscular arms and chest; large fangs; and long claws. At times, witnesses report seeing red eyes.
As crazy as it sounds, I believe dogmen are best explained by kangaroos.
In many ways, kangaroos match the physical descriptions of dogmen. For instance, at night, when light from an artificial source hits a kangaroo’s eyes, they appear red. Could this red eye-shine be the eerie red eyes associated with dogmen? Kangaroos have powerfully built chests and muscular arms—characteristics often attributed to dogmen. Standing on two legs, kangaroos can be as tall, or taller, than a human. Their pointed ears, tails, and elongated snouts appear dog-like. Kangaroos also have frightening claws. Given the physical attributes of a kangaroo, it seems plausible that they could be mistaken for dogmen—especially when sightings are brief and occur at night.
Another reason for believing that kangaroos are being mistaken for dogmen is their potential for aggression. Though kangaroos are normally not aggressive toward humans, incidents of attacks do occur. These encounters can be deadly. Kangaroos are known to attack dogs and males are aggressive toward one another during mating periods.
Recently, a video of a man punching a kangaroo went viral. The kangaroo had his dog in a headlock and was choking it. Had he not stepped in, the dog would have surely been badly injured.
In 2016, in Melbourne, Australia, Debbie Urquhart was jogging near her home when she was knocked over and viciously attacked by a male kangaroo. Urquhart’s first reaction was to scream; however, once she stopped screaming and played dead, the kangaroo ended the attack. Though her husband said she looked as if she had gone through a mincer, Urquhart felt fortunate to have survived the ordeal. The attack left her severely injured; she received stitches to the arms, shoulder, back, and buttocks.
Getting back to kangaroos in the United States, and their aggressive nature, one of the most often cited reports, which is often associated with devil monkeys (more on that later), occurred in 1934 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Over a five day period, a “kangaroo-like” beast was spotted by local residents. During the course of several days, the creature left a trail of carnage in its wake—dogs, including a police dog, ducks, and geese were killed. The strange animal was said to possess lightning speed and was spotted crossing a field in several bounds. Fed-up, armed townspeople formed a search party and tracked the monster to a cave in a mountain. The creature was never found.2
In summary, I am not sure how large the American kangaroo population is, but I am certain that at least a small population exists. In my mind, this adequately explains most dogmen reports. At least I hope it does; the alternative is absolutely terrifying.
- Amanda Deprospero, “Monster Myths and Legends,” The Dominion Post, October 25, 2014, accessed October 23, 2016. http://www.dominionpost.com/Monster-myths-and-leg–ends
- Eric Grundhauser, “Does America Have a Secret Kangaroo Population?,” Atlas Obscura, December 22, 2016, accessed January 25, 2017, http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/does-america-have-a-secret-kangaroo-population.