Sunday, May 3, 2020

Are Black Fairy Dogs from Faery? part 2

Alright; I am still bone ignorant but willing to demonstrate it publicly in a second post. I'm standing by my opinions in the previous posting that I can find decent evidence for the idea that large black dogs occasionally exhibit anomalous behavior by pacing pedestrians or cart or car drivers, with the anomalous fingerprint of instantaneous disappearances. This soft (humble?) conclusion is based upon around 40 or more sifted reports, even if the big majority of those were from two investigators only. 

Here's what I want to do in this second part: 
a.) give a few more cases that fit the pattern;
b.) make a couple of remarks about the difference between this study and the general literature;
c.) look at another data site on this topic;
d.) give a few higher strangeness incidents;
e.) an approach to the "fiery eyes" issue;
f.) a way-out crazy idea of mine aimed at a very few reports. 

.... and since, as usual, I'm winging it, so the above list will probably be violated by the time I'm finished. (It was. I got through only half of it.)

A. A few more cases:  as hinted at before, the Rudkin-MacManus cases amount to around two dozen, and I have extracted maybe 15-20 more which I believe to be defensible. 

CASE ONE: Edale, Derbyshire. 1930. A woman walking at 8pm sees a dog heading her way. The dog is the size of a very large collie and black. As it passed she attempted to pat it. Her hand passed through its surface with no sense of feeling anything material. As the dog walked on, it simply passed through an iron wire crisscross fence. She ran to the fence, but there was no further sign of the dog. (Source of this is the Graham McEwan chapter with no internal reference for this exact story. [@#$%^*%$###!!! to put it mildly.] There are several tales in his chapter associated with this area; some sound like "my" pattern; some sound slightly wilder.)
Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 1955. 
This one is my favorite among the non-Rudkin-MacManus group. It is that because of the high quality of the witness, John Stewart. He was not only a well-known highly accomplished piper, but also a local chief of police. Needless to say, we rarely even get a comment about the integrity of a reporter, let alone one this good (and by the way I had to find this out myself from "non-paranormal site" information. )

Stewart was walking at night and approaching was a large dog. The report does not say if the dog was black, but that is probably implied due to the nature of the article topic. This dog seemed to come through a fence. As it passed Stewart, he reached out to stroke the dog, but again his hand passed completely through the animal. The report does not say how Stewart lost sight of the anomaly. But it did say that he felt that he had seen the same animal seven years earlier in Kenmore.
CASE THREE: Pottsville, PA. early 20th century.  Case description is brief but it's strength is that it was written up by Jerry Clark (Unexplained!) so there is a real reference given --- thank you my friend Jerry! The report was given to an actual investigative folklorist and goes as follows: "One night when I was a boy walking with friends along Seven Stars Road, a big black dog appeared from nowhere and came between me and one of my pals. And I went to pet the dog, but it disappeared from right under me. Just like the snap of a finger it disappeared." Simple and clean. And note that this is the first solid non-UK case that we have.
CASE FOUR: Devonshire, UK. 1984. Similar situation to the previous --- brief case description, but Jerry Clark reporting so there is a good provenance. Witness originally talked to a known investigator face-to-face, so OK to that. The witness saw "this bloomin' great black thing .... I put on my anchors {brakes} and in the headlights it slowed down and walked right up to the car. I could see its eyes as plain as day, green and glassy they were, and he looked right over the bonnet [hood] at me, he was that tall, and then he went! ... like a light going out. I just couldn't see it anymore. It isn't real like an ordinary dog. I could feel the hairs on my neck standing up." Most notable thing here: 1984 is the latest date we have yet in this survey.
CASE FIVE: Chicago, IL. mid-20th century. Poor provenance for this case (FATE Magazine, November 1981.) BUT: the case is well told and the general narrative in most ways is appropriate to the phenomenon and to the simplicity of the witness experience and attitude. So, here goes: A woman was visiting a friend for support for the friend's recent successful pregnancy. She was walking from the friend's apartment to the elevated train station two blocks away. But it was late and Chicago had just had a nasty death of a young woman. She was scared even for the two block walk. She glimpsed a shadowy figure behind her which didn't help. Tearing up in the eyes, she didn't immediately notice that a large white collie had roamed up beside her. She almost fell in love with it and its timing, but the dog wouldn't let her get close enough for a hug, and strode out just ahead of her. In fact, the dog seemed to speed up to hurry her along. This seemed necessary as the shadowy figure behind seemed to increase pace as well. As it sped up, so did the dog, hurrying the lady along. Finally they were running to the elevated station. Reaching the safety of the waiting passengers and lights, she turned around to see a shadow duck back into the darkness. Looking for her collie companion, it too was no longer to be seen.  -----------  Well, I like the story for obvious romantic reasons, despite the weak provenance and the fact that her White Knight Canine was indeed white.
CASE SIX: Bouctouche, New Brunswick. c. 1980. Provenance is poor. Story appears as a response to a blog posting on a site called "At The Edge." The author of a major article seems to have gotten many e-mails on this topic and probably did as good as could be done by listing all of them on the site with whatever information they contained. This (excruciatingly) demonstrates the BAD situation that we are in due to the internet. This case almost assuredly involves a witness who would be willing to do a direct interview and even a site visit ... but no way in this long distance hit-and-run world. But here's the story: 

A young woman was having trouble sleeping on a warm summer evening. She knew that her mother would still be awake downstairs so she went downstairs to get some cooler night air. So, outside she went to sit on the steps. After sitting for a short time, she got a raising of the hackles on the neck type of feeling. Then, she saw a large black dog sitting just a few feet away, staring unblinking at her. Frozen in fear now, she stared unmoving. She started praying (The Our Father) and dropping her eyes for the merest moment, the dog disappeared. The dog seemed to be like a black lab, but unusually menacing for such a breed. The one really unusual thing she recalled was that she felt its eyes glowed (but not red.) 
CASE SEVEN: Suffolk county, Long Island, NY. late 1980s. Same provenance as above. Fairly lengthy detailed narrative. One day in summer a young woman was going outside to retrieve something from the family auto. The family dog sat on the porch. She saw "this enormous black dog-like creature" running from the woods at her right. The size of this thing startled her. She described it as significantly bigger than a mastiff maybe weighing 400 pounds. Its gait was odd in some way that she couldn't explain. She wasn't even sure that the thing's feet touched the ground. There were no sounds (what we in Ufology call The OZ Factor). Its path of running was in an abnormally straight line and the animal never varied in its gaze in just that one direction. And then, just as it would enter the woods on the other side, it vanished. The family dog was negatively affected by this encounter, snarling at the young woman when she tried to run inside. Her father ended up having to come out to the porch to settle the dog (a Rottweiler) down.

A likeable tale. Kind of believable. But a lot moreso now that we've seen a few dozen other tales having much in common with it. ... and also, a USA case.
That's enough of the non-Rudkin-MacManus cases to demonstrate that such DO in fact exist. 
I have a non-researched belief that there are at least another "full-set" of such cases out there somewhere (i.e. equaling my 60 case group) and probably currently reside ready for the picking in the more dedicated British researcher files (Knowing how good Janet Bord is, she probably has two to three times my numbers and with better provenance.) But I don't yet see them in the form (and sifting) that I would prefer. There IS one researcher whose approach to this topic has particularly impressed me --- a fellow, who I do not know, named Mike Burgess, who runs (ran?) the website SHUCKLAND. There are LOTS of things on that site which make me believe that he is a researcher that I'd very much like to sit around and talk with, and learn from. 

One further oddball activity by me: I wondered of course if I was making any sense with all my efforts above. There wasn't an easy way to do that of course, but I did try one weird thing. Many of you know that there is a site (rather a heroic site) which contains what is called a "paranormal database."(the name of the site.) This lists, for Great Britain and Ireland, cases upon cases of claimed anomalous encounters separated by each UK region/county. I, as is usual for my whacky way of feverishly seeking strange claims, read pretty much the whole thing. Yes ... I've done stupider things but I can't help myself. Anyway, I fortunately noticed that the site organizer has done a lot of useful work. To the point of this blog, there is a way to simply ask for all the Black Shuck related cases and they'll be sorted out without you doing all that yourself. So, Goldmine, right? .... here's what I found.

I plunked the magic button of the site and up came a vast number of references. (these are all REALLY brief by the way.) There were 355 (I think this is either right or very close) total Black Dog (allegedly) incidents. Well, WOW. But not so fast. I decided that it would be good to drop out all the cases which didn't even have ANYTHING of a date --- that is NOTHING. The word was "unknown." It felt reasonable to assume that if one couldn't even guess at a rough date, the case couldn't be a credible one. So how many cases had this problem? TWO HUNDRED and TWENTY FOUR of the 355!!!!! Good Lord! I'm talking about not even being able to state things like "late 1800s" or "1980s" or "mid-20th century." I accepted all of those. I was left with just 131 cases. 

Then I took those survivors and looked for things which at least said the creatures involved were black dogs. 99 of those 131 were not qualifiers even of that. THIRTY TWO alleged encounters ONLY left. Fourteen of the other 99 could be marginally added in if stretched. To say that this was disappointing hardly hits the proper tone. I got depressed enough by this that I bailed out on trying to find more about and analyze the 32 cases. 

I don't know what the message here is, except that it seems supportive of my feeling that there are not enough of these cases being in any useful sort of shape. 

I don't know if I have more to usefully say on this topic, and may well have written nothing that useful yet. But hope springs eternal, and I will try to finish this wild hunt of the Black Dog on the morrow or, more likely, the next day. 

Till then, stay healthy physically and spiritually, my friends.

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