I recently got a link to this post on an email list that I subscribe to. The list is about the djinn, spirits of Middle Eastern lore that are, amongst other talents supposed to be shape shifters so I surmise that that the shape shifting commonality is what got the author’s attention.
One of my main areas of interest is the lore of shape shifters. I find this fascinating because of some of my own experiences in the Otherworld, both dreaming and journeying. Nick Redfern, the writer of the piece, mentions the author Linda Godfrey. If you are interested in things that go bump in the night, I recommend both Redfern and Godfrey to you but, if it is the real life, possibly running in your local woods werewolf you are interested in, read all of Godfrey’s books on the topic. Ms. Godfrey has been researching this topic for the twenty years since she happened to be in the right place at the right time to be involved with the so-called Beast of Bray Road.
Mr. Redfern, in his article, wonders aloud about the association of “werewolf” sightings with military areas. While the sightings he details and reports from Godfrey’s work are certainly interesting, I’m not certain that the correlation is with the military or even with warfare. I think that the deeper juxtaposition might be with death.
Cannock Chase – as Mr. Redfern notes, there is a large cemetery there for German POW’s from World War II. If I recall from one of Mr. Redfern’s books, he even employed magical ritual near or in this cemetery to bring forth exactly these sorts of creatures.
Afghanistan – all one has to do is watch the news to see that, especially during the time indicated, death stalked the country side of Afghanistan on a daily basis. IED blasts and ambushes were a daily part of life and so, unfortunately, were the casualties.
Camp Custer/Fort Custer – again, home to WWII POW’s, some of whom died and were presumably buried in the area.
Royal Air Force Alconbury – while there is no obvious cemetery noted in this sighting I would have to wonder,given the other examples, who might have died and been buried in that area. England is a very old country with a lot of battle sites and one wonders if this RAF base might not be sitting on one.
In his lengthy article Black Dogs: Guardians of the Corpse Ways Bob Trubshaw makes an excellent case for associating the dog/wolf with death and the dead. Linda Godfrey, in her books, notes the higher incidence of sightings of the manwolf in cemeteries or near ancient Native American mounds (which may have served as burial sites among other purposes). So, my conjecture is that the creatures being sighted are actually either harbingers of death, guides for the dead into the Otherworld (psychopomps) or perhaps even guardians of the dead or the places of the dead. All of these functions are supported by the lore.
As to what these beings are . . . given the massive outlay of energy required to change a human into a wolf like creature and back, I find it doubtful that the classic movie werewolf exists. That said, these creatures could be entities from the astral who are able, like the monster in my last post, to slip through into the etheric and gather enough substance to themselves to be seen (and perhaps even effect their physical environment). There is also a lot of magical lore about the faery and the djinn as shape shifters. Such beings could certainly account for some of the sightings. Many of the faerie and djinn belong to the “unseelie” side and hold no love for humans – scaring the life out of soldiers in the field might be good fun to them. Finally, there is also magical lore that would account for a magician traveling in the etheric form of a massive wolf or wolf like creature. For a really good discussion of this and the idea of etheric shapeshifting, read John Michael Greer’s Monsters and specifically the chapter on werewolves.
In any event, my caution to you is this – if you should encounter a creature that looks like what you would envision a werewolf to look like, keep your distance. Such an entity can be dangerous in a variety of ways and should be accorded the respect that its fore bearers engendered.