Some of you may roll your eyes, but there are many people in Wisconsin who claim to have seen something unexplainable.
Is it a werewolf? Bigfoot? An unidentified wild animal?
First, throw out all of your Hollywood preconceptions. It doesn’t change from a full moon, and no one’s shot it with a silver bullet.
But hundreds of people right here in Wisconsin are saying there’s something out there.
If there is something out there, popular culture has done it no favors.
Most people scoff at the idea, but some claim there are many rational witnesses who’ve come face-to-face with the irrational.
Reports in Wisconsin date back to the 1930s. And they keep coming.
“All I know it was something I have never seen before.”
November 2006: Holy Hill Road in Washington County: Steve Krueger, a DNR worker, is on his daily routes picking up deer carcasses. He parks his truck and throws a small doe in the bed. When he climbs back into the cab to fill out the paperwork, his trucks starts to shake.
Added Krueger, “At first I didn’t think anything of it and it shook a little bit more vigorously a second time. I just glanced up into the rearview mirror of my truck and I saw this big, hairy, black I don’t know what it was.”
Steve threw it in drive and slammed on the gas.
“It was big, it was stocky,” recalled Krueger. “It had big pointed ears on the top of its head, and a bigger snout than what a bear has. I guesstimated it was between six and seven feet tall.”
Steve filed a report of an aggressive animal to the sheriff’s department. It didn’t take long for the media to pick up on it.
“A Washington County man says he has spotted Bigfoot,” reported NBC-15 anchor Becky Hillier in mid-November 2006.
“I was pretty scared when I saw it.” Dillon Ruder and David Radeztsky lived on Holy Hill Road nearby. A few days before Steve’s encounter the young boys were jumping on a trampoline and saw something very similar.
“We saw just a hairy monster on the corner of the woods,” added Ruder.
In both reports the media called it Bigfoot or a werewolf. But author and journalist Linda Godfrey prefers the term man-wolf.
“I have been researching it, following it, investigating it, staking it out for 17 years,” said Godfrey.
Godfrey, a Wisconsin native who lives in Elkhorn, says she’s received hundreds of reported sightings. Many of them were just miles from her home along the most famous road in Wisconsin man-wolf lore.
The Beast of Bray Road was Godfrey’s first book on the mysterious creatures that roam the woods of Wisconsin. And now her work has spawned so much interest that seven more books have followed. So many people are willing to share their stories that she is getting one to three reports a week from all across the country, and all around the world.
“Whatever it is, there is more than one. It seems to be more of a scavenger that wants to frighten people. Maybe it’s territorial. It seems to want people to leave it alone.”
Godfrey’s best guess is that it’s a Timberwolf that has evolved or adapted to stand or even run on its hind legs. But, she’s not ruling out the supernatural.
“It’s very audacious to say we know all there is,” stated Godfrey. “We know that our five senses can’t hear all that there is to hear or see all light wavelengths. Maybe there are things out there we just don’t understand.”
According to Katie Zahn, it’s definitely of this world.
“I knew it wasn’t human,” added Zahn. “I just had no idea what it was.”
In the summer of 2003, Katie and some friends were walking through these woods in Rock County. At the edge of a creek she saw three wolf-like creatures drinking water.
“They would have been kneeling down on the side of the river here,” she remembered. “They picked up the water in their hands and drank it like a human instead of licking it and lapping it like a dog would. They stood up, turned around and we got terrified. We ran back, we’re falling up the hill to get back to our car.”
Zahn’s friends deny seeing anything.
“I think they just think I’m a little crazy for believing this and actually explaining my story to someone and having them believe me.”
At least one expert says she’s telling the truth. For the show Monsterquest on the History Channel, Zahn took a polygraph, and passed – twice.
“If they don’t believe me, that is their choice,” said Zahn. “But, I know what I saw. And I believe every word of it.”
“Personally I could care less if anyone believes me. My concern in life is not to sit there and make people believe what I saw. I saw what I saw,” concluded Krueger.
“I hope that maybe someday it will all become clear and apparent,” said Godfrey. “As long as I keep getting reports I will probably file them and keep trying to figure it out. But, I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers.”