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.