The Beast Of Gevaudan - History's most terrifying and well-documented cryptid

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posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 03:13 AM
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A creature appeared in rural France in the 1760's that terrified the locals for 4 years, brutally killed possibly more than 100 people (mainly women and children), and forced the King of France at the time (Louis XV) to send in the army, and then the Royal huntsman to put an end to it's life. Seemingly, they all failed. Well documented and nationally well known in France, the story of The Beast of Gevaudan (La Bete - or 'The Black Beast") is still little known in the English-speaking world. Enjoy.








La bête du Gévaudan, or the Beast of Gévaudan, as we call her in English is one of the most enigmatic crypto zoological mysteries. Unlike stories about werewolves and big foots however, there is an astounding body of evidence that the Beast was real with over a hundred recorded deaths. Most of the historical data about la Bête is in French and the stories and legends have not been well documented in English until just recently thanks to the work of author and retired Flyer Officer in the Armanents Branch of the Royal Air Force, Derek Brockis.





There was the case of the girl, her little brother having been snatched away, who bravely rushed into the wood after him and found him peacefully lying there on his back, apparently intact but in fact lacking liver, entrails and blood. The girl who cried to warn her sister, "There's a big wolf behind you", turned and ran, only to see her sister's head bowling along the ground. The girl lost her mind. mooThe little boy who, on 21st July 1765 went to fetch the family cows from their walled meadow near the village of Auvert and simply never returned. At the time La Bête was being sought locally by the wily aristocrat M. Antoine, the King's Gun bearer, who posted his hunters in pairs on paths all over the district. There has always been a question mark over his policy. Why did he post guards at night, when, contrary to the behaviour of most werwolfish monsters, La Bête usually attacked in the daytime? The first thing the searchers found was the boy's shoes standing in the road, then all his clothes lying almost untorn in the meadow. Of the boy himself nothing was ever found.


labete.7hunters.net...




This creature was reported being as big as a large calf or young cow, it was covered with a fur that was reddish, the head was big and wolf-like, and more brown than the rest of the body, the jaws are always gaping, the ears are short and straight, the chest white and very broad, the tail very long and thick, the tip white, the back paws very big and long, according to some having hooves like a horse, those of the front were shorter and covered with a long fur, having six claws to each paw. Once when the creature was sighted crossing a river, it raised itself on its hind legs and waded over like a human being. Furthermore it was very agile and extremely strong. It was sometimes sighted in locations very far apart on the same day. When hunting it crawled almost with its belly to the ground. One shepherd claimed it could stand up on its rear legs and was strong enough to lift a fullgrown sheep with its arms. Dogs fled in terror from it as most other animals. One odd fact worth noting, is that some measurements of distances between footprints showed the creature could make leaps of over 28 feet on level ground, when running.


www.unknown-creatures.com...





The Beast is a quadruped about the size of a horse. It reminds witnesses of a bear, hyena, wolf and panther all at once. It has a long wolf-like or pig-like snout, lined with large teeth. The ears are small and round, lying close to the head. The neck is long and strong. The tail somewhat resembles the long tail of a panther, but it is so thick and strong that the Beast uses it as a weapon, knocking men and animals down with it. Anyone struck by the tail reports that it hits with considerable force. The feet of the Beast are the hardest to describe. Some say that it has cloven hooves, or that each digit is tipped with a hoof. Others say that the claws are so heavy, thick and formidable that they merely resemble hooves


www.newanimal.org...




The Beast of Gévaudan (French: La Bête du Gévaudan; IPA: [la bɜt dy ʒevɔdɑ̃], Occitan: La Bèstia de Gavaudan) is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan (modern day département of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from 1764 to 1767 over an area stretching 90 by 80 kilometres (56 by 50 mi).[2] The beasts were consistently described by eyewitnesses as having formidable teeth and immense tails. Their fur had a reddish tinge, and was said to have emitted an unbearable odour. They killed their victims by tearing at their throats with their teeth. The number of victims differs according to source. De Beaufort (1987) estimated 210 attacks, resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries; 98 of the victims killed were partly eaten.[2] An enormous amount of manpower and resources was used in the hunting of the animals, including the army, conscripted civilians, several nobles, and a number of royal huntsmen.[2] All animals operated outside of ordinary wolf packs, though eyewitness accounts indicate that they sometimes were accompanied by a smaller female, which did not take part in the attacks. The story is a popular subject for cryptozoologists.


en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 19-1-2012 by jimbo999 because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-1-2012 by jimbo999 because: (no reason given)
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edit on 19-1-2012 by jimbo999 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:00 AM
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It was said to be at the time a werewolf but they did capture a creature,i believe,and they thought they had killed it for good.They were wrong though and the killings kept occuring and to this day no one has an idea as to what the beast was.

One eyewitness,who was found under his table in shock,said that an upright being killed his livestock and then looked through the window before taking off.

Thats a lot of info to be found about this being or beings.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:07 AM
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My guess it was some kind of psychotic person, a mass murderer.

If you think about it, back then there were no forensics and a relatively smart, but crazy person could have gotten away with all kinds of crazy things.

Making it look like some kind of beast did it just took all the suspicion off the local populace.

If people are freaking, especially back then, it would have probably sufficed to walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head to make them think it was a beast.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by Viking9019
 


Yes, it's an interesting subject for sure. Apparently this creature had terrorized another nearby region for years before it appeared in Gevaudan. A few local wolves were killed that the authorities wanted everyone to believe were 'The Beast", but as you say, the killings continued. After it finally left the region for good, it appeared in another nearby rural area and began another killing spree. Supposedly the Beast was killing people in yet another rural French region as recently as the 1800's!




Her attacks should not be considered in isolation. Similar killings had taken place nearly a century earlier, at Benais in 1693 --in that particular periods of terrorization over 100 definite killings nearly all women and children, (though the toll was possibly as high as 200) were committed by an animal exactly resembling La Bête. Some forty years after the period we will be studying, fresh attacks began, in Vivarias, between 1809 and 1813, when at least 21 children and adolescents were killed by a similar beast. Another long period of years elapses and we find the savagings in I'Indre from 1875 to 1879. The killings seem to have occurred mostly in four year periods of terrorization. Odd savagings by wolf-like beasts have gone on ever since up until 1954.




labete.7hunters.net...



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:16 AM
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Originally posted by fedeykin
My guess it was some kind of psychotic person, a mass murderer.

If you think about it, back then there were no forensics and a relatively smart, but crazy person could have gotten away with all kinds of crazy things.

Making it look like some kind of beast did it just took all the suspicion off the local populace.

If people are freaking, especially back then, it would have probably sufficed to walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head to make them think it was a beast.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)


The problem with that theory is that there were many attacks that involved multiple witnesses that survived - and they all described the same creature. This thing was described as being as big as a young cow or bull - ie several hundred pounds. It's favorite technique was to instantly decapitate it's victims - just doesn't sound like anything a human being could pull off to me. But you never know...



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by jimbo999
 


Following distinct patterns such as targeting only women and children and sticking to "4 year killing periods" supports my case of it being a mass murderer.

Later cases that go on beyond the possible age of this person are either animal maulings or other murders blamed on the famous case that begun it all.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:20 AM
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Originally posted by jimbo999

Originally posted by fedeykin
My guess it was some kind of psychotic person, a mass murderer.

If you think about it, back then there were no forensics and a relatively smart, but crazy person could have gotten away with all kinds of crazy things.

Making it look like some kind of beast did it just took all the suspicion off the local populace.

If people are freaking, especially back then, it would have probably sufficed to walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head to make them think it was a beast.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)


The problem with that theory is that there were many attacks that involved multiple witnesses that survived - and they all described the same creature. This thing was described as being as big as a young cow or bull - ie several hundred pounds. It's favorite technique was to instantly decapitate it's victims - just doesn't sound like anything a human being could pull off to me. But you never know...


I agree that the one major problem with my hyopthesis is the fact that the creature was seen so often. But I am sure that there is an explanation to this such as mass hysteria or someone dressing up in a Big Foot outfit.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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Interestingly, the only animal in the fossil record that accurately resembles the creature so many people described in France at the time, according to cryptozoologists is the Mesonychid (the first pic in the OP above).

www.newanimal.org...




In the records of cryptozoology, there are indications that perhaps all land mesonychids did not become extinct. Things that sound like they might be hoofed predators are reported from places such as South America, where there is a beast called the tapire-iauara. The horned cats reported from islands near Java could be mesonychid predators. That region of the world is where many of the world's new animals are discovered, and islands are often known to preserve living fossils. In contrast to this, Europe is the last place we would expect to see a surviving mesonychid, but a strange hoofed predator was the object of an extended scare in France, this creature was dubbed the Beast of Gevaudan and was thought to be a strange sort of werewolf in local folklore.


Scary thought... but it certainly fits all the descriptions.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:26 AM
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reply to post by jimbo999
 



The biggest problem I have with it being an animal is just the fact that animals can be tracked relatively easy by professional hunters.

With an army at your back a good hunter can find and kill just about anything. There is a reason humans are the top predators on earth.

If it was a mesonychid it would have been easy to track by its strange prints. And dogs would have found its unique smell quite interesting too, and have no problem finding it after such a murder.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:27 AM
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Originally posted by fedeykin

Originally posted by jimbo999

Originally posted by fedeykin
My guess it was some kind of psychotic person, a mass murderer.

If you think about it, back then there were no forensics and a relatively smart, but crazy person could have gotten away with all kinds of crazy things.

Making it look like some kind of beast did it just took all the suspicion off the local populace.

If people are freaking, especially back then, it would have probably sufficed to walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head to make them think it was a beast.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)


The problem with that theory is that there were many attacks that involved multiple witnesses that survived - and they all described the same creature. This thing was described as being as big as a young cow or bull - ie several hundred pounds. It's favorite technique was to instantly decapitate it's victims - just doesn't sound like anything a human being could pull off to me. But you never know...


I agree that the one major problem with my hyopthesis is the fact that the creature was seen so often. But I am sure that there is an explanation to this such as mass hysteria or someone dressing up in a Big Foot outfit.


Maybe read the web pages I linked if you can - they are fascinating and well worth the read. If you can, check out the first one I linked - it's by a Frenchman (in English) and has tons of detail and reports from the period.
Cheers.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:30 AM
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...there was a movie (fictional) made on the topic, too, which is well worth a look if you're interested. I loved it - it's still among my favourite movies today...

www.imdb.com...



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally posted by fedeykin
reply to post by jimbo999
 


Following distinct patterns such as targeting only women and children and sticking to "4 year killing periods" supports my case of it being a mass murderer.

Later cases that go on beyond the possible age of this person are either animal maulings or other murders blamed on the famous case that begun it all.


It was certainly a mass murderer! I agree with you there. But I doubt it was a human somehow - none of the evidence seems to point to that conclusion for me. Again, read the reports from the period if you can.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:44 AM
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Originally posted by fedeykin
reply to post by jimbo999
 



The biggest problem I have with it being an animal is just the fact that animals can be tracked relatively easy by professional hunters.

With an army at your back a good hunter can find and kill just about anything. There is a reason humans are the top predators on earth.

If it was a mesonychid it would have been easy to track by its strange prints. And dogs would have found its unique smell quite interesting too, and have no problem finding it after such a murder.
edit on 19-1-2012 by fedeykin because: (no reason given)


There are a few problems with your reasoning here. As I said, this info is there for you to read at the links in the OP. But very briefly, here's the issues I find with your statement. This is a large, mountainous and swampy region in 1760's rural France. The Army of the period was woefully trained and failed to do their job at all apparently. The local populace was not impressed by their efforts. The Royal hunters were equally unsuccessful - probably because they were looking for a wolf. Survivors didn't describe a wolf - but a huge wolf-like creature. The weapons of the period were muskets. Poor range and not much stopping power at all. Testing has actually been done with weapons of the period, and then compared to the claims of people in reports of the time who claim to have shot at it....etc. Animals - particularly hunting dogs - were terrified of it.
It's all on the web site.
edit on 19-1-2012 by jimbo999 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:44 AM
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Hey jimbo, thank you for a good read, you certainly dug up a decent amount of info on this tale. However, the beast is not as unheard of as you might think, there is a French film that covers this (although it's mostly fiction it's based on the original legend) called Brotherhood of the Wolf, it was quite a popular film in the UK in the early Naughties (filmed entirely in French but available in subtitles or, for people like me who would rather not read a movie, dubbed in English, rather well too). I highly recommend it!



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by Awen24
...there was a movie (fictional) made on the topic, too, which is well worth a look if you're interested. I loved it - it's still among my favourite movies today...

www.imdb.com...


Yes, I saw it a few years ago - but I'd forgotten the title. Thanks! I'll have to try and pick it up one day and have another watch. I recall it being pretty interesting...

Cheers!



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:51 AM
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Originally posted by djz3ro
Hey jimbo, thank you for a good read, you certainly dug up a decent amount of info on this tale. However, the beast is not as unheard of as you might think, there is a French film that covers this (although it's mostly fiction it's based on the original legend) called Brotherhood of the Wolf, it was quite a popular film in the UK in the early Naughties (filmed entirely in French but available in subtitles or, for people like me who would rather not read a movie, dubbed in English, rather well too). I highly recommend it!


You're welcome! Yes, ironically I remember seeing the movie when I was in the UK
I'll have to find it again. It's a fascinating subject alright.

Cheers!



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 04:57 AM
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reply to post by fedeykin
 


Originally posted by fedeykin
My guess it was some kind of psychotic person, a mass murderer. If you think about it, back then there were no forensics and a relatively smart, but crazy person could have gotten away with all kinds of crazy things. Making it look like some kind of beast did it just took all the suspicion off the local populace.If people are freaking, especially back then, it would have probably sufficed to walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head to make them think it was a beast.

Your ‚explanation’ sounds like many of the ‚official theories’. Basically a blend of blaming just coincidences, just dumb „suspicions of a local populace“ and just „psychotic persons“ accidentally displaying extremely lunatic behaviour („..walk around with a bear or wolf pelt on your head“ - ...sure....ahemmm...UMPFFFF...). Come on fedeykin, just how dumb are WE?
edit on 19-1-2012 by giugliot because: spelling



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 05:00 AM
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reply to post by jimbo999
 


I read your post and found it fascinating.

It also struck a chord with me in regard to a thread I started many years ago about an unsolved event that occurred in France in the 1970’s:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

from which this is taken (see if it rings a bell with you too):


Claudette Souchon departed for a solo, two day riding trek into the Camargue region of southern France. She took two horses and her pet dog.

Three days passed and she had not returned, so a search party consisting of some thirty people was despatched to find her.

Two days later they discovered one of her horses, dead. It had been "savagely" ripped open.

The following day her spare horse was found. It was alive, but so frightened or traumatised that apparently it could not walk.

On the fifth day, the search party found some of Claudette's clothing scattered in a clearing that had been burnt out.

Another two days passed, and finally they found Claudette near the town of Rodez. She was sitting on the ground, immobile, and smeared in mud. Her dog was still with her, but could not move as it was completely exhausted. The woman had no obvious signs of assault, but could not explain her condition as "she had been turned into something approaching a zombie".

The reason I want to research this case is that there's something about this terrible episode that fascinates me.
As far as is known, the cause of her disappearance and subsequent condition when found is still unknown, and as far as I am aware, Ms Souchon has never spoken of it.


Is the “Beast” still active even to the present day…?



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 05:18 AM
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reply to post by Beamish
 


Thanks Beamish. Hmmm..interesting story. I've never heard of it before. Curiously, several survivors of attacks by La Bete went mad afterwards. I've looked at both the locations of the original Bete reports and your 1970's report, and they are not that far geographically from each other. Mt. Lozere and the town of Mende are where the Bete reports come from. The whole region (including your 1970's report) is heavily forested and mountainous, as I found out personally when I visited the area a few year ago.

You just never know do you? There are some strange things out there...as the villagers of 1760's Gevaudan could attest to if they were still here today I'm sure.
edit on 19-1-2012 by jimbo999 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 05:59 AM
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This one always fascinated me. Thank you very much




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