Several times in the past decade, West Michigan newspapers have reported on a strange canine-like creature people claim to have seen in woodlands — not the legendary Chubacabra, but the Michigan Dogman.
The Dogman is reported to have a canine-like head, human-like body, reflective eyes and walks upright.
According to one Ottawa County resident, a creature fitting the description of the Dogman appeared in Grand Haven from 1993-94. “Ben,” who was a young teenager at the time, claims to have seen the creature not once, but three times. He believes each time he was seeing a different creature, in what could have been a pack taking refuge in a Grand Haven Township park.
What many have pointed to as the best evidence supporting the existence of a Dogman was the Gable film, a video transfer of what was claimed to be a mid-1970s home movie showing the creature. However, the film was proven to be fake in 2010 — even its creators admitted it was a hoax.
The story of the dogman seems to go back several decades. In 1938, Robert Fortney, is said to have encountered the creature around Muskegon River. While Fortney himself said he wouldn’t call it a Dogman, he did say it looked like a canine who walked like a man. However, this origin story, as far as I know, has not been well investigated.
I can’t find any unbiased views about the dogman. And there is no credible physical evidence. Just lots of stories.
The main documenter of dogman stories is Linda Godfrey (in Wisconsin). A former reporter, she has two collections on the subject, the Beast of Bray Road and a follow up. She started on the story of Wisconsin beasties in 1991.
The dogman stories are AWESOME. I love them. They are a creepy blend of werewolf and Bigfoot tales. In fact, it’s hard to distinguish between the individual archetype sometimes. But guess what there ARE in Michigan? Wolves. And the sightings of dogmen do seem overlap the wolf habitat according to a researcher I met at Dragon Con in 2012. How about that? Dogmen? No, I doubt that with good reason. It’s become popular because it’s a fun story and people tend to see what they want to see.