Cryptozoology

Mysterious and Mythical Creatures, Hidden Texts, Secret Codes and Ciphers

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Re: Cryptozoology

Postby James Carlson » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:19 pm

You're right -- that is an extensive website! I'm sure I'll be exploring it over the next few weeks. I've finally set a date to buy the two 1765 newspapers I mentioned above IRT the Beast of Gevaudan: final payment will go through the week of April 17-23, so I should get them shortly thereafter. I am seriously looking forward to receiving them. Of course, my wife says, "not another newspaper -- when are you going to get the stack out of the living room, and don't say, 'when I've finished reading them.'" I happen to know, however, that she reads them as well, on occasion, so I just smile...
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Re: Cryptozoology

Postby James Carlson » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:54 pm

I have within the past few of months purchased two old newspapers from 1765, each of which contain articles published in London regarding the ravages of the Beast of Gevaudan that was believed responsible for literally hundreds of deaths across the breadbasket of France at that time. For those interested, I am publishing the articles complete. This is the case that was ultimately made into an excellent and very entertaining (in my opinion) movie, entitled Brotherhood of the Wolf, released in the original French in 2001, having been directed by Christophe Gans (who also directed Silent Hill), written by Stéphane Cabel, and starring Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel, and Mark Dacascos. You can read about the movie here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0237534/.

The following excerpts are from volume XVII of The London Chronicle : or Universal Evening Post, No. 1276 from Thursday, February 21 to Saturday, February 23, 1765. They are from the news parcel of Saturday, February 23: Yesterday arrived a Mail from France.

Montpellier, Feb. 8. On the 12th ult. [abbreviation of ultimo, meaning "in or of the month preceding the current one"] the wild beast attacked seven children, five boys and two girls, none of whom exceeded eleven years of age. The beast flew at one of the boys; but the three eldest of them by beating him with stakes, the ends of which were iron, obliged him to retire, after having bitten off a part of a boy's cheek, which he ate before them. He then seized another of the children, but they pursued him into a marsh which was close by, where he sunk in up to his belly. By continually beating him, they rescued their companion, who, though he was even under his paw for some time, received only a wound in his arm, and a scratch in the face. A man at last coming up, the creature was put to flight. He afterwards devoured a boy at Mazel, and on the 21st flew on a girl, who, however, escaped with some dangerous wounds. The next day he attacked a woman and bit off her head. Capt. Duhamel of the dragoons is in pursuit of him, who has caused several of his men to dress themselves in women's apparel, and to accompany the children that keep cattle. The King has promised 2000 crowns, as a reward to any one who shall kill him.
Paris Gazette.

A few pages further, in the Postscript section of the text, it states further (bear in mind that articles in Postscript were not often confirmed, and were in many cases, rumors or area gossip that was simply included at the end of the newspaper):

We still continue to hear extraordinary news concerning the wild beast. By a late letter from Paris we are told that a strong able man, armed with a good fusee [a type of flintlock musket equipped with a fuse, which when lit, fires off a lead or alloy bullet; even in 1765 this was an old-fashioned term], set out on the search of him. He suddenly appeared; when forgetting his resolution and his fusee, he cried out lustily until he brought those people around him who were within hearing, whose appearance frightened the animal away. There are numberless stories of this nature, which occasion universal terror. He rushed into a garden, where there were three children; he seized one, a girl of eleven years old, but there cries brought people to their assistance, when his prey hindering his getting over the wall, he quitted her. On the 22nd ult. this creature devoured a woman of the village of Jullange, at the foot of the mountain of Marguerite.

The following excerpt is from volume XVIII of The London Chronicle, No. 1373 from Saturday, October 5 to Tuesday, October 8, 1765. It is from the news parcel of Tuesday, October 8: Yesterday arrived the Mails from France and Flanders.

Paris, Sept. 30 Advice is received that the wild beast of the Gevaudan is certainly killed. He was discovered at the distance of fifty paces by M. d'Antoine, who was going to seize him; but a game-keeper belonging to the Duke of Orleans immediately fired at the creature, and shot him. It is said to be a wolf of extraordinary size. It is a male, and measured five feet and an half in length. As soon as the country people have seen it, it is to be brought to court.

On a somewhat associated, and yet unrelated topic, the following curious excerpt is also from volume XVII of The London Chronicle : or Universal Evening Post, No. 1276 from Thursday, February 21 to Saturday, February 23, 1765. It is also from the news parcel of Saturday, February 23: Yesterday arrived a Mail from France.

Stockholm, Jan. 24. A remarkable animal has lately been killed at Forshem in Westrogothland, which is described to be about a foot in length. His eyes were small, his ears very short, his upper lip cleft like that of a hare's, and he had a sort of whiskers about the mouth like a cat's. He had only four teeth, two above, and two beneath, an inch in length, and bent inwards. The fore-feet were very short, something like a dog's, and the hind-ones, which were something longer, like those of a goose. The toes were very long, and armed with talons, four before and one behind, and between each there was a fine membrane. The hind-feet were placed very forward under the belly. It is thought the creature was amphibious, and that he used his tail, which was about as large as a hand, in swimming.
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Re: Cryptozoology

Postby Luck » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:46 pm

James,
Thanks for posting the articles. It is an interesting snapshot from that time period.
I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)
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Re: Cryptozoology

Postby nablator » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:05 am

James,

A member of my favorite forum (SO) has been studying the serious literature lately about the beast of Gévaudan. He wrote a summary here:
http://www.zetetique.fr/index.php/dossi ... tegevaudan

If you have questions or want to discuss hard to follow aspects (there are many) we'll try to help.

The movie "le pacte des loups" is far removed from historical accuracy with its fashionable kung-fu fighting and video game-like filming... No one knows what really happened, and there are lots of unsolved problems and speculations.

Last year I had the surprise to see a large panel of beautifully decorated tiles on a motorway rest area, near the place where it all happened, that lists the victims. Gruesome. I have the pics somewhere.
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