The Legend of the Michigan Dogman

The Michigan Dogman first appeared in 1887 and is said to roam northwest Michigan. Two lumberjacks initially supposedly saw him and described him as a creature with a man’s body and a dogs head. There is no mention on how much ale they might have consumed that night at their local tavern.

The Dogman could well be Michigan’s answer to the Bigfoot legend as stories abound on this creature as living in the Manistee National Forest. He even has a song named after him called, The Legend.

In 2007 a digital film of an encounter with the Dogman was made. The entire film is 3.5 minutes long, and appears to have been shot in the mid to late 1970s. Early scenes are typical home movie fare: children riding snowmobiles, a German shepherd, a person chopping wood, etc. Toward the end of the film, the photographer is shooting from inside a moving vehicle traveling along a dirt road, when he spots what appears to be a gorilla-like animal moving in a field on the passenger side of the vehicle. The photographer exits the vehicle and seems to pursue the creature for several seconds. Then it appears again, facing the photographer from a ridge about 150 feet away. After a few seconds the creature charges. Rapid movement of the camera suggests the photographer is fleeing the attack. In the last five seconds of the film, there is a flash of teeth and muzzle, and the camera drops to the ground, laying on its left side.

After years of analysis and debate, the film was finally revealed as a hoax in the finale episode of Monster Quest on March 24, 2010. The Gable Film had been shot using vintage cameras, film, and period props by Mike Agrusa, a fan of “The Legend,” song. Monster Quest claimed their investigative team uncovered irregularities in the film, and then forced the hoaxers to confess to werewolf expert Linda Godfrey. However the Hoaxers say that they told “Monster Quest” from the beginning that the film was a fake and they fabricated the “investigation” to make a more interesting episode.

Still, the Michigan Dogman does make for good ghost stories around the campfire and who really knows what’s lurking in the forests of Northwest Michigan these days? Did I just hear a howl? Hmmm?

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