Friday, 17 June 2016

Old Stinker Is Back

This blog is never immune to a bit of 'Forteana' reporting and indeed has often posted stories before the 'The Fortean Times', the Bible on this subject e.g. the post on the sugar tidal wave. So this may also be something of a exclusive (well apart from the newspapers who carried the story) .... Perhaps the strangest part of the story is that its set in Hull, which is not a town you think of first, when it comes to the 'supernatural'.

Sightings Location Was Spookie In The Past ....

Anyway it appears from reports that there is a 'wolf-man' prowling the mean streets of Hull .... I should clarify, to be precise there have been reports of a creature, "half-man, half-dog" being sighted in Hull recently. I was particularly taken by the fact that its "half-dog" as opposed to 'half-wolf' ... I assume that's because everyone knows that there are no Wolves in Hull.

The creature (as we had best call it), has been allegedly sighted by a number of people, in fact seven, including one unnamed woman who claimed she saw the '8ft tall creature', 'turn from man to beast' at a place called 'Barmston Drain' .... which is apparently an overgrown ex-industrial area, frequented by dog walkers etc, but surrounded by industrial units. "It was standing one moment. The next it was down on all fours like a dog. I was terrified' .... it then 'vaulted 30ft over to the other side and then vanished over a wall".

Barmston Drain In The 1950s ... Stinky

Now, call me cynical, but maybe that's the sort of thing you might see after taking some adult candy, or one too many Newcastle Brown Ales .... however her claims were backed up by the account of a couple who also reported 'something tall and hairy' ... which was eating a German Shepherd dog. Not to be outdone, a dog walker came forward and claimed that she saw something 'half-man half-dog' which frightened her dog and stopped it in its tracks.

The bit that really made me laugh in the story, was when the report stated that 'Experts' ..... what was that? .. 'Experts' .... we have experts in wolf-men? .... said that the reports were similar to some made in Scarborough over the last couple of centuries. In those reports, the 'creature' was nick-named 'Old Stinker' (which doesn't actually seem that similar, as no smells were reported in the Hull story). A local historian (of Hull or Scarborough was not made clear) also got their 15 minutes of fame by stating that 'it is hard to ignore the possibility something might be there' ..... actually he is wrong. Its easy to ignore the possibility something might be there, because there isn't anything there.

According to a centuries-old local legend there is a foul-breathed creature that prowls the Yorkshire moors, and there have been reports of 'Dogmen' in the North Yorkshire area for a couple of centuries or more .... For example, just before Xmas 2014, a couple said they 'were following a trail through a forest, when they heard a strange howl but thought nothing of it as it sounded like it came from miles away. Shortly after they had the sudden feeling that something was watching them in the tree line. They reportedly never saw a creature head on, but they heard the footprints crash through twigs and leaves and even heard the creature brush against the trees. By this point they had even heard a howl that was even closer to their location, and they legged it to their car.' .... and so it goes.

Nothing seen .... just a presence felt, a noise heard, and a blind panicky run. Half a dozen of those sorts of accounts, and you get an urban myth and a local legend.

Mustela putorius - Old Stinker

Oh, and just for a bit of historical perspective, polecats, which were once common across all of Northern Britain and were reduced by the 1950's to just a population in west Wales, were also known as 'Old Stinker' by Yorkshire country folk (Mustela putorius. Putor in Latin means 'foul smell'). They have now increased in numbers to repopulate parts of Yorkshire. They also stand on their hind legs .... as well as their front legs if alarmed (the polecat can execute a hand-stand and from this position, elaborately squirt the scent from its ass glands, backwards into the face of would-be assailants) ..... I am just saying is all.

However its the 21st century not 19th, and it being Hull, not Scarborough, so it comes as no surprise to anyone to find that spoof video was posted on YouTube, and that it was also reported that an intrepid band of locals were planning to set up a Full Moon hunting party .... I don't fancy the creatures chances if it exists ... it will soon be a pelt hanging over a local pub bar if I am any judge.

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