October 11, 2009

Goatmen and Satyrs

The recent Texas conference on the Goatman (see Nick Redfern’s report) reminded me of all the other Goatmen and Satryrs tales I’ve heard down through the years. Goatmen stories have been told in cryptid circles from such high profile locations as Maryland-Virginia, near Washington D. C., and thirty years ago, from near Lincoln, Nebraska.

Nick Redfern wears a Sasqwatch.

A few years ago, I was on a radio station out of Bangor, Maine, and the hosts were discussing stories they had been told by their parents of a “hoofed horror” from the woods up in the County. But tales sometimes are merely foggy remembrances of clouded memories of attempts to keep kids in line, and only vaguely are based in reality, of course.

Nevertheless, I still remain surprised by Mark A. Hall’s 2005 attempt to categorize such sightings in a way that might be better understood. A hard pill to swallow perhaps, I thought, but at least worthy of being open-minded and reading about them. I’m not denying there’s a body of these reports, now what do we do about them?

You can find a definition for “Satyrs” in the sense of rethinking that Mark A. Hall is doing, at his Glossary of Living Fossils.

“Satyrs – A form of ape related to the Yetis. Their extraordinary physical capabilities have caused them to be called ‘goat-men’ out of a mistaken perception of their mode of locomotion….See ‘The Satyrs in Our Midst’ in Wonders for September 2005.”

Hall’s article is in Volume 9, No. 3 of his now-hard-to-find Wonders, and he did nicely pull together all the scattered reports in one place.

In 2005, I was at the Texas Bigfoot conference, being interviewed by a red-headed young man with a XL-1 video camera named Todd Partain. He was in the midst of shooting his documentary, Eyes In The Dark, about the eye glow experiences of field researchers, his own childhood experiences, and the veil of isolation and ridicule society imposes on cryptozoology. Sounded like a good project, so I did the interview, signed his release, and we began to say good-bye, as I began to move on to another conference activity. But Todd stopped me in my tracks.

Off camera, post-interview and casually, Todd froze me with a simple question…”Have you ever heard of people seeing a Satyr?”

I thought, now that’s an interesting cryptid name to use with me right now, considering what I had just re-read Hall’s work on the plane. Yes, I said, I’d heard about something like that, what did he mean, I asked him. He then briefly told me about a “thing” he’d heard about from Louisiana, his home state. Todd wasn’t aware of Mark’s article, and sent me the details after I returned home. Needless to say, I’ve done some more wondering about this whole subject.

So, for Halloween from 2005, here is Todd Partain’s account, which he gave me permission to share with you:


“The Plain Dealing Devil”

In 1993, some friends and I were sitting around swapping scary stories when a friend’s sister hesitatingly told us about a small imp or satyr type creature she encountered at a trailer park near Plain Dealing, Louisiana.

She related that she was outside when she heard a voice calling her name. Out of the darkness a pair of red eyes stared and moved closer until a small black hairy devil creature appeared and said, “I’ll follow you forever” then disappeared back into the forest. Later, a woman that lived in a nearby trailer home with whom she was friendly told her she was driving into the trailer home park one night and saw a small black Satyr type creature dancing on top of a fencepost. I have to admit that at the time I wanted to write that one off as being too far out there. But it wouldn’t be the last time…

In 1999, I was working on the side as a projectionist in an Imax theatre and while the movies played, the staff gathered in the booth, one day the scary stories started. A young lady with no apparent connection to the aforementioned young woman intimated that her brother had been home alone in Shreveport and had stepped out back to smoke a cigarette next to the family swimming pool. He heard something call his name, and at first suspected some local children were hiding in the bushes near the fence after sneaking in to trespass in the pool. Then he caught sight of a “hairy little man with horns” and retrieved a .22 caliber pistol from inside the house he tried firing at the creature a couple of times but it managed to evade him and laughed the whole time. It then leapt to the top of the fence, turned it’s head and smiled at him – revealing sharp teeth. The creature then bolted over the fence and apparently ran off into the woods.

I’ve since lost touch with both of these young women, the first actually told her story on tape reluctantly by my urging in 1993 but that tape [has been misplaced through a friend]. I’ve seen her since then and she flatly refuses to be interviewed and won’ t discuss it for fear of ridicule, “It was just too weird, I want to forget about it!”

The second individual saw “The Blair Witch Project” and became convinced that she would make a similar movie about the devil. I don’t think it ever happened.


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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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