What is one to make of a sighting like this one made by cryptozoologist JC Johnson in the Four Corners area? I find this sighting particularly interesting since there are multiple witnesses, a fact that helps to cut down on the possibility of mis-identification (at least in my view, skeptics would of course fall back on the tattered mass hallucination ‘explanation’ if they did not boldly assert that this experienced outdoorsman had seen a bear and mis-dentified it.) While I am not at all sure what this group saw, I am convinced that they saw something quite unusual.
Now, the article is titled “Relict Dire Wolf Sighting” and I am able to accept the possibility that JC Johnson and his fellow paddlers actually saw an extant example of a supposedly extinct species. They were in fairly deep wilderness after all and, as much as we would like to believe otherwise, humans do not have a complete catalog of all the interesting critters running around this planet. Personally, I would not be at all surprised if the thylacine actually survived its alleged extinction and it would not surprise me to find that the dire wolf had been pronounced extinct prematurely. If the coelacanth can come back from its Mezozoic extinction then anything is fair game in my book.
When we look at the sightings of things that look like dire wolves, though, we also have to consider witnesses who claim to have seen everything from mammoths to sabre-toothed tigers. Any aficionado of Nick Redfern’s books will have come across some interesting tales about sightings of prehistoric creatures. If I recall, Redfern’s book Monster Diary actually had a whole chapter on sightings of prehistoric beasts that appeared to the witnesses to be ghosts or specters of some sort. I am minded, too, of the work of Linda Godfrey where, in her discussion of manwolves, she also reports on encounters with what she calls bearwolves and relates them to the prehistoric amphycyon.
So, in some cases, like the one we are looking at, the witnesses seem to see a solid flesh and blood animal while in other instances, the creature appears more spectral in nature. Sounds suspiciously like the Phantom Black Dogs of British fame – sometimes appearing as a dog so real one could reach out and pet it and at other times only manifesting as the sound of a dog trailing the witness or as a ghost hound that could be seen through. PBD’s are, very obviously, creatures of the Otherside but a wooly mammoth or a dire wolf?
As I said, I am not ready to say with certainty that these sightings are not examples of relict populations of some of these species but I would like to propose an alternative solution. Does anyone recall the BBC science fiction series Primeval? In that show, a series of anomalies opened throughout the British Isles (and later throughout the world) allowing creatures from both the past and future to access our time. While the show is pure fiction, we have talked enough about the premise of portals to the Otherside in these pages to look at the idea that portals might just be admitting more than the Intruders and other spiritual beings.
One of the things one learns very quickly, in doing magic, is that time is actually quite relative. I can not count the number of times that I have been in meditation or ritual and felt that I had been there for hours only to discover that only a few minutes had passed. Conversely, I have had the experience of thinking I was only spending a few minutes working an exercise only to discover that an hour or more had passed. Spirits are notorious for not “grokking” human time schedules – one of many reasons why you have to be very specific with spirits about the time frame for a working while at the same time using time referents they understand such as sun and moon phases or other natural cycles.
So, time has little meaning on the Otherside. In addition, you have to remember that almost all magicians are agreed that anything that has existed at any time has imprinted its energy on the “astral” somewhere – thus the talk about things like the Akashic records where all human actions are supposedly recorded. So, let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios . . .
Let’s say that Jane Doe is out for her morning run in Seattle. She is traveling along a marked path that leads through some dense brush. The run is going well, her body is flooded with endorphins and the rhythmic motion of her movement is putting her into a trance-like state. What Jane does not know is that she has a touch of clairvoyance from her Irish grandmother. As she sinks into a trance her inner vision opens – just a little – and she looks straight into the astral and sees what appears to be the shade of a saber tooth tiger, stalking through the brush. She is fully locked into the vision at this point, can actually “hear” the creature crunching through the brush and perhaps even smell it. Viola’, strange sighting report and very frightened witness.
In the case of JC Johnson, we have someone who is traveling along a river that has known Anasazi sites. These people were a mystery themselves since they seemingly vanished in a short period of time. There seems to be a good correlation between portals and Native American sites, particularly the prehistoric sites such as Anasazi ruins or the Midwestern mounds. We do not know, really, what triggers some of these portals or why they manifest certain creatures (stuff for serious magical research, actually) but, in this case, the portal in the area coughs up the fully manifest (i.e. it looks like a physical animal) dire wolf. Note that in the sighting, the dire wolf seemed to follow the paddlers for a while and then was lost to sight. Perhaps it went back to the portal, or perhaps, it simply lost congruence and disappeared.
Now, please remember this is wild conjecture on my part. I have never heard of any magician summoning a prehistoric animal into manifestation. But given all the strangeness out there, if we really stop to look, this idea of portals or window areas carries a lot of weight, especially when it is coupled with magical theory.