Dracmoor: You just mentioned something that I planned to bring up eventually as my "X-factor" in this whole theory.
Imagine, if you will, a wolf / wolfhound cross displaying hybrid vigor. We would now be talking about a dog with mixed wolf and wolfhound features
that stands four feet tall at the shoulder, weighing 150 pounds, possibly more, that is fast, agile, and very powerful. It has all the predatory
instincts of a wolf, but no fear of man, thanks to its dog heritage. If it was left at just that, we would certainly have something dangerous, but now
imagine that someone has trained it as a war dog, or as a pit fighting dog. Now we would have something truly monsterous on our hands! Imagine that
running around the French coutryside!
Let's set aside the wolf / wolfhound hybrid idea for now however, and think of just a normal wolfhound.
At the time of the attacks, wolfhounds did exist in Europe, including France, but they were fairly rare. Only aristocracy, or other privileged
people, would have had them. Few other people would ever have seen them. If a large and unusual looking dog like a wolfhound was suddenly seen in the
countryside, there would be very few people who could recognize one, especially in a rural area like the Gévaudan region. It could only have been
seen as a monster. The fact that it was killing people would probably serve to confirm this identification.
With only 2500 characters left, I will quickly run through the scenerios I brought up in my last post.
Imagine that somebody intentionally raised a wolfhound as a war dog, and sent it out to kill people.
The simplest reason might be that the guy is psychotic. That's an easy explanation.
... it could have been for political reasons.
The year is 1764. The French revolution is only 25 years away, and the Gévaudan region is not fully part of France, despite being smack dab in the
centre of it. There are plenty of people who could potentially benefit from having a monster running around, and the mass hysteria associated with
The French government could have benefited. If a monster was set loose, it might encourage the region to finnish joining itself to France. If this was
the plan, then it backfired. The inept attempts to kill the creature just inspired animosity in the people.
Revolutionaries could have benefited. A murdering monster that could not be caught would raise animosity of the people against the aristocracy. It
certainly did that.
A certain group of priests (Jesuits?) could have benefited. They were under pressure from the French government. Like the revolutionaries, using a
monster to create bad sentiment against the aristocracy would have been useful.
The regular clergy could have benefited. As "a punishment from God", which la Bête was indeed described as, would drive the local population closer
to the church.
Some witnesses claimed they saw la Bête in the presence of a man. Could this have been its master? Could this be the person sending la Bête out to
Dog fighting is illegal in most areas of the world today, but that was not the case back then.
Imagine somebody obtaining some wolfhound puppies, and raising them for pit fighting. Wolfhounds are big and powerful. They would be ringers! This
person does all the things required for turning them into killers, including a lot of abuse.
Then the dogs escape.
There would now be a group of trained killer dogs on the loose. They are big, they are mean, and thanks to the abuse, they hate humans with a
vengence. Just as they would do against other dogs in the pit, they would go for the face of their victims, then tear them apart.
Similar to the above, but this time it is just straight abuse.
Somebody has a wolfhound or a group of wolfhounds, but treats them poorly. Eventually, the dogs get free, and they don't like people ...
I am running low on space once again. What are your thoughts on this?