The Waheela and Beast of Bray Road

The Waheela, as the Indians called it, is one of the cryptids today that is not so fantastic as to be unbelievable. And unlike Bigfoot there may be evidence for it beyond mere claims and sightings. One piece of evidence introduced here is captured in photographs, and graphic images will follow. Specifically, this evidence may be contained within the deep vault of the “Cattle mutilation phenomenon,” especially in dead horses. There is one particular case in the far reaches of Canada, where the Waheela is said to roam.

“Cattle Mutilation” as a “paranormal” topic has its own narrative, and this has come to include almost any animal that is found dead that doesn’t fit the pattern of normal predation. Because of this the cases suggesting a very strong but unknown and ferocious animal have been buried under the lurid theories of alien experimentation and Satanic cults. It is time to probe into this vault with a more critical eye than that which dominates the campfire tale-spinners of modern cryptozoology.

Hazel-Dell-road
A lonely stretch of road at Hazel Dell

One of these cases occurred in Hazel Dell, Saskatchewan, in November 1984 to rancher Marlene Dyky. One morning in a wooded pasture she came across one of her horses. It had been overpowered somehow and its neck was stripped of flesh and skin. One of its forelegs had been torn off and cast several feet away and the other was barely attached. Aside from its neck cleaned of flesh, its lungs and heart were gone. The creature that did this tore at the neck so strongly it ripped the horse’s windpipe out. Dyky had never seen anything like this. Neither had the law enforcement constable who came to look. Eventually the gendarmerie opted to suggest that a coyote had done it, but Dyky was certain this was not so. “Even a 6 year old kid could tell no coyotes did this.”

This incident has appeared on History Channel as a case within cattle mutilations. But it doesn’t fit. The gruesome pictures, which Marlene Dyky had taken in 1984, are proof of how strange the death and carnage was. The death of livestock is frequent enough, but Dyky knew this was unusual enough to warrant taking pictures.

Warning Graphic Image

 

Hazel-Dell-1984

Coyote as an explanation was really more of a rationalization. The alternative was the spooky theory of cattle mutilations and with this some cult (which didn’t fit the evidence) or flying saucers, which also did fit and a theory few take seriously anyway.

So the case is closed.

But it shouldn’t be, not from a crypto-zoological point of view. And I mean crypto in the sense of really looking for undiscovered animals, not just spinning more folklore to satiate one’s fandom for a subject.

The horse’s killer could have been a Waheela.

Warning Graphic Image

 

Hazel-Dell-1984-2

Rare modern sightings, and old Indian descriptions, suggest that the Waheela could be the “dog bear” of which we have fossil skeletons. It was much bigger than any wolf and probably far more ferocious. In size and deadliness it was most likely also between bear and dog, and possibly shared features of both– hence its common name of “dog-bear.”

Like coyotes and wolves the “dog-bear” probably attacked its victims at the neck. The purpose is both to subdue it by choking it or getting the jugulars. The horse was clearly attacked at the neck and the predator continued to eat at that spot, ferociously tearing off the forelegs and even casting one several feet away. It got into the chest cavity and ate the soft, easy meat of the lungs and heart.

There is more than enough territory in Canada and the Midwest USA to conceal a  population.

Throughout the late 1980s descriptions of a ‘dog-bear” were given to law enforcement by citizens of Wisconsin regarding some bizarre wolf-like animal seen along Bray Road, near Elkhorn. It has become known as the “Beast of Bray Road.” Descriptions were so clear that a journalist (Linda Godfrey) from the Walworth County Week went on the search and believed the people had really seen some strange dog-like creature that could get on its hind legs. How very werewolf like!  . . . But bear-like as well.

Hazel-Dellmap
Wisconsin and Hazel Dell compared.

The Beast of Bray Road has sadly entered modern mythology as the incarnation of the true werewolf, and therefore it has been shunned as truly representing a genuine cryptid. In folklore it is the Wisconsin Dogman or the Werewolf of Wisconsin. But its descriptions are those of a “dog bear,” and had it been taken seriously perhaps ranchers and cattlemen would have paid more attention to their predated animals and taken note of those that just didn’t fit the pattern of the “usual suspects.” It must have a phenomenal appetite.

If Marlene Dyky’s horse was killed by one, and it was roaming southward, the Beast of Bray Road might be the same Waheela. It must have left a feeding trail, but alas few ranchers report their killed cattle, even the strange deaths.  They don’t want the hassle or they don’t want the UFO crowd looking for landing pods on their property.

There is nothing particularly sensational in a dog-bear still being alive, not like the proposal that Gigantopithicus as Bigfoot. Its discussion is not as sensational, granted. No missing link arguments are needed. But the Waheela might have remained undiscovered because any sighting of it is so rare and not so exciting as a “man beast” that we don’t hear of it. And the few times evidence may have existed of it having killed a large animal and dined upon it has been lost in the world of the more sensational cattle mutilation theory.

If we could only look at it from the point of view of being witnesses in a deep, lonely wood, then I think we could see the genuine sensation in this cryptid case. Like a bear it probably walks on its hind legs rarely, but imagine seeing a large wolf-like animal walking on its hind legs and snarling. You would think “werewolf” right away. But unlike a bear, it probably moves as swiftly as a wolf. Perhaps why there are few witnesses?

Looking at Marlene Dyky’s dead horse makes one wonder. No wolf or coyote did that. Dyky had to shrug and accept it happened. But there have been too many shrugs. We need clues, and the ferocious killing of the horse at Hazel Dell may have been the first solid clue to come to light. Sadly, it was never pursued.

*         *          *

Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

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