Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bipedal Canids – in Dallas?

As I am sure I have mentioned, I follow Lon Strickler’s wonderful Phantoms and Monsters blog. I was interested to see this fascinating article from an anonymous witness in the Dallas, Texas area. The events described in the witness statement happened 9 years ago but, as a lover of werewolf/shapeshifter lore, I could not resist commenting on this story.

There are a number of points that pique my interest in this story. Here are some of my thoughts as I read through the witness statement.

First of all, the diagram pictured in the article shows that the incident occurred not far from a crossroad. As I have noted in my post Come to the Crossroads, crossroads are inherently magical places that could certainly be “activated” by the use of magic in the area. There are plenty of pagans and other assorted magical practitioners in the Dallas area that could have opened a doorway and not done a good job of shutting it. In addition, you would be surprised at how many people are surreptitiously leaving offerings to their favorite crossroads spirit at intersections all across this land. Repeated use of a crossroad for such purposes might tend to weaken the veil between the worlds in these places and make incursions from other beings more likely.

Second, the witness notes that the eyes of the creature that she saw glowed yellow even when they were not being hit by light sources such as head lights or street lamps. While I am sure that there must be animals out there with bio-luminescent eyes, I have not heard of any wandering the Dallas area in the form of a bipedal canid. Glowing eyes are most often associated with paranormal creatures such as the famous (or infamous) Phantom Black Dogs which is often said to have glowing red or yellow eyes.

Third, the witness’ reaction to the phenomenon seems genuinely confused. On the one hand, she states that, while the creature was menacing, it was not as menacing as she would expect a werewolf to be. On the other hand, she and the man who later became her husband went back to his apartment and, rather than engaging in planned hanky panky, “sat there in silence trying to rationalize . . . “. While one can certainly make the case that seeing an unknown animal might produce a shocked reaction, I would suggest that this witness’ reaction went beyond shock. One does not forego the pleasures of the flesh and sit in silence with the object of one’s desire unless something truly strange and unexplainable has happened. This type of cognitive dissonance seems to me to be quite common in people who have seen something truly unexplainable. One might get this reaction from a sighting of an unknown animal but, to me, it smacks of an encounter with the Otherworld.

Fourth, the witness saw this creature in a “well populated suburb south of Dallas” and she states that she “did not get the sense that it cared that we saw it . . . “. This sort of brazen behavior is not something that one would expect from an unknown animal which, by its nature, should be elusive. If this episode were taken by itself, the witnesses might be said to have had a “one off” experience, a stroke of luck in spotting an elusive animal. One has only to look at the extensive work of Linda Godfrey to know that this type of incident happens all too frequently (although usually farther north) and that the same sort of brazen, “I do not care if you see me” attitude seems to characterize these beings, whatever they are. In many cases, the witnesses felt almost challenged by the creature. Fortunately, most people have an instinctive understanding that playing dominance games with a seven foot bipedal canid is probably not a good idea.

Finally, skeptics will immediately try to pawn this off as a sighting of a coyote or dog engaged in some sort of unusual behavior that made it stand on its hind legs for a while. I love these non-explanations. Canids are not set up to walk on their hind legs and can only do so very awkwardly. A dog or coyote on its hind legs can certainly not move as swiftly or gracefully as the witness remembers this creature moving, nor would any dog, no matter how large, be able to clear a four lane road in four steps as the witness describes. The same arguments would apply for an out of place bear walking on its hind legs (although finding a bear in that area would be almost as strange as seeing a manwolf).

I think that, excluding the possibility of fabrication, we can feel pretty certain that this witness saw something exceptional that night. Given the work that Linda Godfrey has done on the manwolf phenomenon, I would be interested to know if there was a cemetery or Indian mound or other Native site anywhere in the area since these creatures seem to be often associated with the dead or with Native American sacred sites such as mounds.

I realize that people are reticent about reporting these incidents but I do wish that we could get some fresher cases. I would love to do an etheric projection to one of these sites and snoop around on the Otherworld side while the “scent” is still new. I will be talking about my experiments with this type of “astral” projection in a future post so stay tuned.

The Benandanti

While I tend to focus on the things that go bump in the night in this blog and urge people to take those things seriously, I think that it behooves us to remember that there are those in the magical world who are actively working for the benefit of human kind. One of those groups, from history, are the Benandanti – a word which means something along the line of “good walker”.

Accounts of the Benandanti come to us from the records of the Inquistion so, as you might imagine, the historical record is somewhat skewed. The inquisitors viewed the Benandanti as just another sort of witch but these folk magicians were a doughty lot and were very vocal in expressing that the magic they worked was strictly for the good and that, in fact, they were out scrapping it on with the Devil and his minions. More than one Benandanti flung this assertion in the face of the Inquisition as though to ask what they were doing to fight evil. Needless to say, the inquisitors were underwhelmed but some of what they learned about this unique group comes through to us in these accounts.

The Benandanti were men, born, as were seers in Celtic countries, with a caul. When they turned 20, they became a part of a group that, upon the Ember Days, four times a year, journeyed out of body to do battle with the Malandanti, the “evil walkers” in an astral location called the Valley of Josaphat.

The Benandanti are sometimes cited in works on werewolves since some of them travelled, in the classic shamanic style, as animals. In whatever form, the forces of the Benandanti clashed with their enemies wielding only fennel stalks and sought to drive them back across the astral valley. The belief was that if the Benandanti prevailed, the crops and livestock would flourish, while if they were defeated, famine would grip the land. These men took this task with deadly seriousness, rallying under the banner of their Captain in the Otherworld, and calling to them allies from the angelic realms (it was said that two angels stood with the banners of the opposing sides – one an angel of Light guarding the Benandanti banner and the other an angel of darkness, a demon perhaps, that guarded the banner of the Malandanti).

If you would like to know more about the historical find that brought the Benandanti to our attention, you can read The Night Battles by Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg. Although some of Ginzburg’s conclusions have been challenged, his detailed account of the testimony given by this group is on my list of books to acquire once life settles down a bit.

Regardless, though, I have it on good report that the Night Battles still rage in the astral world and that men and women of good will still flock to the banner of the Benandanti on the astral. Here is a little snippet of a report that I received from one of these warriors:

I did not have a good visual on the enemy forces. It seemed to me more like a cloud of darkness rolling across the field as we charged to meet it. It was not until I entered the cloud that I encountered separate entities to fight. Some human and some very definitely not. It was difficult to see in the cloud but it seemed to me that our forces (and probably other groups) formed a spearhead and plunged into the dark warriors. I have a better idea what it was like to be in the midst of melee combat in the Middle Ages now; enemies on all sides, constant movement, one enemy combatant down and another takes his place, people (beings) slamming into you from all sides and a constant struggle to keep your feet.

I lost count of the number of opponents; I just know that I was using everything I ever learned in the martial arts. Stick, fist, foot, throw, break, etc.

Given the darkness that we see so much in our time, perhaps a return to that simple act of standing and spitting into the face of the darkness and calling it out is an act that more of us might want to consider. All discussions of ethics aside, there are some forces afoot in the world that, to humans at least, are simply evil. Edmund Burke is credited with saying “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” So often, we feel that there is really nothing that we can do.

Perhaps, if we are willing to stretch our minds and spirits a bit, there is at least one gloriously symbolic act that we can partake in. Hermetics tells us that “as above, so below” so who knows what effect the Night Battles might really have.

Encountering the Faery

There are many worlds other than our own. Some might call these dimensions or planes but, when you get right down to it, the magician and the physicist both understand that the reality that humans live in, the one that we touch and see and smell and taste, is but one of what could be an infinite number of other “places” in our universe.

I have posited, over and over, in these pages, the idea that it is entirely possible and, in my view, probable, that under the right circumstances some of those “places” might overlap with our physical reality and produce some of the high strangeness that is reported across this country and across the world. The people of the Celtic lands certainly believed this to be true. One has only to look at Evans-Wentz’ massive The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries to see that the ancient and not so ancient Celts understood that there were beings living amongst them from another “place” and that the interaction with those beings required the following of certain rules and rituals in order to establish and keep harmonious relations with that world.

Some folk, though, were not content with occasional interaction or even active avoidance practiced by many of the country folk of that age. They actually sought out interaction with the Faerie, summoning them or putting unguent on the eyes to be able to see them. For those in the audience who might consider trying one of these experiments, I strongly counsel against it until you have read and digested the Evans-Wentz book above and a copy of The Secret Commonwealth, preferably this one edited by faery seer R.J. Stewart. Remember, please, that the faery have no reason to love human kind and even less to love those who try to capture them or see them without their permission. Far better, I think, to seek a relationship with that world as described in the books and seminars of R. J. Stewart and Orion Foxwood. Also, one can seriously explore the world of Faery through shamanic work with Tom Cowan. No need, really for intrusive methods when relationship building will do the same thing and more effectively, in my way of thinking.

While Beachcombing, the author of this blog, seems to have his tongue firmly in cheek, I think that these excerpts from a 17th century alchemist’s notebook are not only historically interesting but show that even amongst the most educated elite (alchemy was not a poor man’s hobby) there was still a belief in the Faerie and the possibility of interaction with them. Perhaps it is time that we laid aside our “education” and took a page from these people who would go on to found the discipline of chemistry but who could still look at the Other Side with curiosity and include its beings in their experiments. Perhaps, if we accepted a more magical way of thinking, we might make some strides in understanding some of the puzzles that face us in the Fortean world.

The Citizen Hearing on Disclosure: Thoughts on Transparency

I recently had the opportunity to listen to the Mysterious Universe episode on the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure.  I am not as interested in UFO’s as perhaps I ought to be, given the subject of this blog, but I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what is going on in UFOlogical circles and the hearings were certainly the big news in that realm at the time.

Those who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am not a proponent of the little green men from outer space hypothesis regarding the UFO phenomenon. I do not think that we need to look into the vastness of interstellar space to find a solution for a phenomenon that has plagued humankind for centuries. In my view, UFOlogical phenomenon fall into two broad categories: what I call the Intruders, in one of their many guises, or top secret governmental experiments with aircraft and, perhaps, mind control.

One of the themes that is recurrent, in listening to this podcast and throughout the UFO community is that the government (usually referring to the US government but also taking in other world governments or even so called shadow governments) is hiding evidence of aliens and alien incursion into our societies. The UFO investigators, and there are many good solid people in the field along with some very questionable characters, maintain that humankind (the ubiquitous we) should be made aware of what the government(s) know and then go on to postulate reasons why this information is not publicly available. One of the primary reasons put forward by many researchers for this lack of forthrightness on the part of governments is the idea that humans could not cope with the truth.

This reasoning, of course, meets with scorn from the UFO community – a group of people who actively seek out these phenomenon and who have interviewed countless witnesses who seem to be quite alright despite their experience. I would argue, though, that the governments of the world may not be so far off base. A single human can cope with the seemingly insurmountable and find the wherewithal to truly overcome and achieve the impossible. Even a small group of people, when given sufficient motivation and cohesiveness, can work together and deal with situations that would boggle most people’s minds. Humanity as a whole or a large group though?

Stop for a moment and consider those around you. In the microcosm of your workplace or your neighborhood, of your town, village or even city, most people are living lives set along very rigid lines. They rise at a specific time, they do their morning routine, they go to their jobs, they come home, they spend some time watching TV or use other media and retire, only to begin the cycle again the next day. Change is something that occurs when they have a flat tire on the way to work or trip over a curb and break an ankle. It is an unwelcome intruder into their lives and they work hard to restore “normalcy” as soon as possible. Even weekends are patterned and scheduled to produce feelings of normalcy and comfort. I know that, even though I can hardly qualify as “normal” in any sense of the word, I have my schedule and like to keep to it when the spirits will allow it.

Imagine please what would happen in this world of enforced normalcy if the US government one day stepped to the podium and announced, unequivocally, that our world is being visited by beings from another dimension, that we have no effective counter for these incursions, that these beings may or may not have our best interests in mind (likely not) and that these “aliens” seem quite capable of plucking us from our homes and roadways, in some manner, to “experiment” on us. I predict that the fallout from such an announcement would fall into one of two broad categories in the greater population (i.e. not the UFO community).

The first group and likely the largest would be the “malaise” group. While being, perhaps, mildly interested in the phenomenon when it is first made evident to them, these folks would look at what was presented, determine that it had nothing to do with them, since they had not seen a UFO or been abducted, and file the phenomenon away as another potential danger that one faces in life along with mugging, internet scams and child abductions. In other words, the UFO phenomenon would fall into their category of “dangerous things to keep an eye out for but not to worry about too much”. The malaise group would fall back into their normal patterns quickly although they might be even less likely to go into remote or isolated areas (remember, these people have been trained to view nature as inherently dangerous by the media). The malaise group would, of course, sit idly by and watch as the second group stepped to the fore.

I call this group the witch hunters. Some of the UFOlogical community would join this group immediately since they have been convinced for some time that the damned government was hiding something and now, finally, their suspicions have been confirmed and the situation is as bad as they thought. The witch hunters would demand immediate action against the “aliens” and would form the sort of squeaky wheel minority that could move a government to attempt a response. I suspect that once the word was definitively out, these people would end up turning on fellow humans since the phenomenon itself is so unpredictable and ephemeral. The logical choice of target? The government that kept this secret for all these years. Given some good marketing and organized political lobbying, these people could easily develop a following of politicians who were willing to toady for them. It is not hard for me to imagine “witch hunts” in the McCarthy style as a result and a lot of politicians stepping to the microphone to announce their support for an increase in the military research budget to fight this new threat.

Of course, there would be voices for a more moderate and studied response but, in this age of polarization, it seems unlikely that the mass panic feared by some would ensue – although I am certain that there would be some astonishingly kooky apocalyptic cults derived from the announcement – but rather that a certain vocal sect of people would turn on the government and make life hell for them, at least for a time. I suspect the government lack of transparency in the UFO situation is the result, as mentioned in the above referenced program, of deeply engrained Cold War mentality but also of a sort of enlightened self interest on the part of governments involved.

Actually Finding Sasquatch

I have made no secret, in these pages, of the idea that I do not think that the Sasquatch is a creature of this world. While I realize that this will instantly make me unpopular with the folks who are tramping around in the forest looking for a relic hominid or new species of giant bipedal ape, my examination of the stories surrounding this creature has led me inexorably to the conclusion that Sasquatch is a visitor to our realm and not a permanent resident. My purpose in writing this little article though is not to debate the physical existence of this creature vs. the thought that it physically manifests from the Otherworld. My purpose is, instead, to propose some ideas toward having an experience of this creature for readers who are so inclined.

Now, please be aware that I have not done extensive field testing of these ideas but, given some of the . . . interesting methods I have seen on television shows and in documentaries, my method ought to work at least as well as spraying gorilla pheromones and leaving Reeses’s Peanut Butter Cups on a stump.

First note: leave the “team” and most of the equipment at home!! If you really want to have an experience of a being that has proven itself to be elusive in the extreme, the last thing that you need is to have a bunch of people tramping around in the brush looking for the creature. Remember, even if I am wrong and this is an actual physical animal, one is not going to get a look at it by going into the woods and moving around, talking , leaving human spoor all over the place and generally announcing one’s presence to the entire forest population. Keep the numbers down but do take at least one partner for safety’s sake.

The first tool in the Sasquatch hunter’s arsenal should be stealth. Before even attempting to look for this being, I would strongly recommend some time learning stalking, tracking and camouflage from someone with experience. And no, I am not talking about the guy down the road who goes into the woods every season looking for deer and manages to bag one because he is carrying a high powered rifle with a scope. I am talking about the individual who can sneak up on a deer and get close enough to touch it. Find someone like that and they will be able to show the Sasquatch hunter how to move in the woods with minimal noise, thus increasing the chances of encountering all sorts of wildlife, including the elusive bipedal Tall Man.

In addition to teaching stalking and stealth, such a person should also be able to give the would-be Sasquatch hunter lessons in primitive living skills, also known as wilderness survival. My theory is that, if one can walk into the forest with nothing but a knife and live there comfortably for a few months, one literally becomes a part of the forest and thus much more difficult to detect. Now, I realize that this is beyond the ability of most people but the idea here is to take a minimalist approach and to try to stay in place for a while. A weekend camping trip out of the back of a pick up truck with roaring fires and consumption of alcoholic beverages when one is not out “hunting” is not going to yield a large percentage of wildlife sightings of any kind unless the local wildlife is habituated to human presence. While there do seem to be some instances where Sasquatch have appeared around such camp sites, I have the suspicion that they are bringing their offspring to look at the humans and teach them how not to behave.

Once the basic skills of stealth, stalking and survival have been met, we come to the more controversial part of my little Sasquatch hunting program: magic. If one is practicing one’s wilderness skills in areas where Sasquatch sightings are common, then there is a chance that an encounter may occur simply because one has the skill to move well in the woods and stumbles across a Sasquatch. So, where does the magic come in?

If, as many Native Americans believe, the Sasquatch is a spirit being then one increases one’s chances of an encounter by the use of magical evocation. If you are not an experienced magician, then become one . . .

Just kidding, it is actually quite simple to develop a small ceremony of evocation that one can use prior to going into the woods on a Sasquatch quest. Check out Jason Miller’s excellent book The Sorcerer’s Secrets: Strategies in Practical Magick for a fairly accessible introduction to the practice of results oriented magic. The book rests on Miller’s notion that successful magic relies on a base of meditation, offering and invocation – in other words, practice, just as one would if one were trying to learn a martial art or master a golf swing.

Once those fairly simple basics have become habit, one could use some of the techniques learned in the book for creating one’s own Sasquatch evocation. Hint: look at the section on The Rending of Space in the Gestures section at the beginning of the book and then consider what one would like to bring through that “hole” in the Veil. Remember, please, to close that hole once the hunt is complete to avoid any untoward “critters” coming through at a later date.

As with all things mentioned here, this evocation will take some practice and tweaking before it bears much fruit but, if one is looking for an encounter with Sasquatch, I would think that one has developed some patience or one would have given up the search long ago. If the idea of doing a little evocation prior to going into the woods seems ridiculous, consider that the ritual itself, once practiced will take about five minutes. Even if Sasquatch is a physical being, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that animals are sensitive to psychic and magical currents. If Sasquatch is a physical being, it may still be attracted by the energy of the evocation. If Sasquatch is a creature of the Otherside, it will be attracted by the rite itself. This is a curious beast so one really has nothing to lose in trying to lure it out with magic.

Loup Garou . . . in America

Those who have been reading these pages for some time will have guessed by now that I am fond of folklore, seeing the old stories as being more true than many in the modern materialist culture give credit for. Folklore often gives the reader insight into that culture’s view of the Otherworld. In addition, as you can see from the previous post, I am a shameless aficionado of shapeshifter and particularly werewolf lore so the following appealed to me on both levels.

When one hears the words, loup garou, I would bet that my erudite readers begin thinking of the Old World and France in particular, of course. Most folks with even a modicum of werewolf knowledge know that this phrase is a French word that refers to the werewolf. Or does it? I was browsing the web some time back (ah, the wonders of keeping notes in Evernote) and came across this very interesting website. The site contains a set of stories, not from France, but from right here in America, Indiana, in fact. I was surprised to see that, though the term loup garou certainly applied to a human who became a wolf, it also applied to a number of other shape shifters, including a rather comical tale of a man who became a cow.

The other item that sets these stories apart is the idea that the loup garou, in whatever form it takes, is placed under a shape shifting spell for a limited period of time (more on that in a moment) and that the only way a person could be delivered from the curse was for someone to recognize them as a loup garou and somehow draw blood from the bespelled individual. Once blood had been drawn, the loup garou returned to human form but neither that person nor the person who freed him or her could speak of it for a period of time or the curse would return, and for a longer period.

There is something very otherworldly about these stories. The period of time that the loup garou is cursed (and we never really learn where the curse comes from) is always a period of time, usually a hundred days, plus one. We see this time + 1 motif in many stories of magic and of the faery where the extra day seems to be outside time and not owned by the day to day world; it is magical in its own right and serves as a doorstep into the Otherworld.

While the time + 1 day motif is certainly magical in and of itself, one must also note that the loup garou can only be freed from the affliction by the shedding of blood. Most folklorists would shrug their shoulders at this and then go on to list similar stories and motifs as a sort of “explanation” of this odd detail but I find it magically interesting. By releasing the blood, what many cultures consider to be the essence of life, the loup garou is made whole. In a manner of speaking, the individual literally has to turn themselves right side out, releasing the human part of themselves to the surface in order to regain full humanity.

Finally, the idea of silence weighs heavily throughout these tales. Magical thinkers believe that to know the True Name of something can actually call it to the practitioner. In this case, the victim of the loup garou curse, who has been morose and solemn and sickly in the day, likely exhausted from the night’s wandering, and his or her rescuer must keep silence for a very clear reason: to speak of the curse will call it back.

There is a power in silence that few people explore in our constantly yattering world. Whether we are talking about the monk sitting zazen in his or her zendo, the Native person on vision quest or the ceremonial magician working the magic of Abramelin, great power can be found in periods of silence – the power to contact one’s own inner guidance and learn to hear and listen to that guidance. Perhaps, this is the sub rosa lesson to be learned in these stories of the loup garou. Cursed with a shape that he or she does not desire, the loup garou, when finally released from that spell must keep their peace about the incident, looking within for the strength and inner guidance to prevent such a catastrophe from befalling them again.

The Morbach Werewolf

I follow a number of different blogs on the paranormal side and happened across this wonderful post a few days back. I have seen bits and bites of this story (probably also on Phantoms and Monsters) but this is the most complete version of the narrative I have seen.

Now, I love a good werewolf story. My work with a certain god form in my magical travels has led me to some interesting shape shifting experiences. While I have not wakened, of a cool, misty morning, naked and alone in the forest with blood on my face and hands, I have felt changes, presumably in my etheric body, which would correspond nicely to the effects described by John Michael Greer in Monsters: An Investigators Guide to Magical Beings. Not an experience for the faint of heart or the control freak **smile**

But, I digress. As I was saying, I love a good werewolf tale and this story has it all. The witness, though not named, is allegedly a retired Air Force Staff Sergeant. There is a back story . . . the incident occurs near the town where the last werewolf was supposedly killed in Germany. A shrine at the site is supposed to have a candle lit at all times, otherwise the werewolf will return. The security personnel in question laugh off the fact that the candle is out when they pass the shrine but are later confronted by mysterious howls and growls at their supposedly secure site followed by sightings of a “huge dark mass” clearing the nine foot perimeter fence. To add a further air of the eerie to the sighting, the witness reports seeing the creature, standing on its hind legs and breathing heavily, through his night vision equipment before the unidentified (and un-described) animal faded into the woods.

The story is written in the style of a soldier making a report. The sergeant tells the reader about how he moved his people and in what direction as they attempted to corner the mysterious visitor. He gives us an in depth look into why the report did not become more widely disseminated (the Flight Chief becomes the prime actor in this little drama). The end of the story bears quoting:

Some of us choose not to talk about it, but obviously some did. It really happened. It wasn’t some story to scare the jeeps. Jeeps are FNG’s, rookies, etc. Was it a Werewolf? Was it an endangered European Wolf? Was it a coincidence that the candle was out that night of a full moon? You decide. As for me…I’ll say this. The above statement is true to the best of my knowledge.

Those who read these pages know that I am far more likely to give credence to a monster sighting than the so-called skeptics out there but this story gives me pause. Lon Strickler, the author of the Phantoms and Monsters blog, indicates that he checked out the story to the best of his ability. I have no reason to doubt that but I still feel that this narrative sounds a little too much like a fictional horror short story written in the first person narrative style with plenty of military details thrown in to give a sense of authenticity.

My biggest problem with the story is that, though the witness says that he saw the creature standing upright in the forest, he does not tell us exactly what he saw. The narrator states that he had night vision googles on and that the range was 200 meters. He could see that the beast was breathing heavily but gives us no other details. I have never worn night vision gear but, if the witness could spot the creature’s breathing pattern and upright stance, then he should have been able to give some description of what he was looking at.

Even if we give this story the benefit of the doubt, what we have is a series of events that may or may not be related. One of the pitfalls that magical types have to look out for is seeing relationships between things that are not necessarily related. A happens and then B happens and one jumps to the conclusion that A caused B. We see this here with the candle incident – the candle was out and the legend says the werewolf will appear – and the subsequent appearance of an unknown animal on the base these men were guarding. Perhaps the two are related but it is far more likely that the wind blew the candle out and that the base had a visit from a wild animal than that a werewolf chose that particular night to come for a visit to those specific people. Personally, if I were a bipedal canid with human intelligence, I think I might avoid anyplace where people carried loaded M-16’s and night vision gear.

If we take the story at face value, what did those men see that night? Given what is included in this article, there is no way to know. It is always possible that an Intruder decided to have some fun with the security forces that night and took the form of a werewolf since that is what these troops expected to see, at least subconsciously. It is possible that these fellows had a real live werewolf on their hands (a person encased in an etheric shell made to resemble a wolf). It is even possible that the base had a visit from a time traveling dire wolf or other monstrous canid species (all those reports of mammoths in the far north give one pause). I think it is most likely, however, that the staff sergeant and his troops, if they indeed exist, had given more credence to the local legend than they realized and created a werewolf out of local animal. Perhaps they were, indeed, fortunate enough to encounter one of the rare European wolves.