Tag: France

The Beast of Gévaudan

Courtesy of:  https://en.wikipedia.org

bgThe Beast of Gévaudan (French: La Bête du Gévaudan; IPA: [la bɛːt dy ʒevodɑ̃], Occitan: La Bèstia de Gavaudan) is the historical name associated with the man-eating wolf, dog or wolf-dog hybrid which terrorised the former province of Gévaudan (modern-day département of Lozère and part of Haute-Loire), in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France between 1764 and 1767. The attacks, which covered an area stretching 90 by 80 kilometres (56 by 50 mi), were said to have been committed by a beast or beasts that had formidable teeth and immense tails according to contemporary eyewitnesses.

Victims were often killed by having their throats torn out. The French government used a considerable amount of manpower and money to hunt the animals; including the resources of several nobles, the army, civilians, and a number of royal huntsmen.

The number of victims differs according to sources. In 1987, one study estimated there had been 210 attacks; resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries; 98 of the victims killed were partly eaten. However, other sources claim it killed between 60 to 100 adults and children, as well as injuring more than 30.

Description
Descriptions of the time vary, but generally the beast was said to look like a wolf but about as big as a calf. It had a large dog-like head with small straight ears, a wide chest, and a large mouth which exposed very large teeth. The beast’s fur was said to be red in colour but its back was streaked with black.

History
Beginnings
The Beast of Gévaudan carried out its first recorded attack in the early summer of 1764. A young woman, who was tending cattle in the Mercoire forest near Langogne in the eastern part of Gévaudan, saw the beast come at her. However the bulls in the herd charged the beast keeping it at bay, they then drove it off after it attacked a second time. Shortly afterwards the first official victim of the beast was recorded; 14-year-old Janne Boulet was killed near the village of Les Hubacs near the town of Langogne.

Over the later months of 1764, more attacks were reported throughout the region. Very soon terror had gripped the populace because the beast was repeatedly preying on lone men, women and children as they tended livestock in the forests around Gévaudan. Reports note that the beast seemed to only target the victim’s head or neck regions.
By late December 1764 rumours had begun circulating that there may be a pair of beasts behind the killings. This was because there had been such a high number of attacks in such a short space of time, many had appeared to have been recorded and reported at the same time. Some contemporary accounts suggest the creature had been seen with another such animal, while others thought the beast was with its young.

On January 12, 1765, Jacques Portefaix and seven friends were attacked by the Beast. After several attacks, they drove it away by staying grouped together. The encounter eventually came to the attention of Louis XV who awarded 300 livres to Portefaix and another 350 livres to be shared among his companions. The king also directed that Portefaix be educated at the state’s expense. He then decreed that the French state would help find and kill the beast.

Antoine_de_Beauterne

Source: Wikipedia

Royal intervention
Three weeks later Louis XV sent two professional wolf-hunters, Jean Charles Marc Antoine Vaumesle d’Enneval and his son Jean-François, to Gévaudan. They arrived in Clermont-Ferrand on February 17, 1765, bringing with them eight bloodhounds which had been trained in wolf-hunting. Over the next four months the pair hunted for Eurasian wolves believing them to be the beast. However, as the attacks continued, they were replaced in June 1765 by François Antoine (also wrongly named Antoine de Beauterne), the king’s harquebus bearer and Lieutenant of the Hunt who arrived in Le Malzieu on June 22.

On September 20, 1765, Antoine had killed his third large grey wolf measuring 80 cm (31 in) high, 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) long, and weighing 60 kilograms (130 lb). The wolf, which was named Le Loup de Chazes after the nearby Abbaye des Chazes, was said to have been quite large for a wolf. Antoine officially stated: “We declare by the present report signed from our hand, we never saw a big wolf that could be compared to this one. Which is why we estimate this could be the fearsome beast that caused so much damage.” The animal was further identified as the culprit by attack survivors who recognised the scars on its body inflicted by victims defending themselves. The wolf was stuffed and sent to Versailles where Antoine was received as a hero, receiving a large sum of money as well as titles and awards.

However on December 2, 1765, another beast severely injured two men. A dozen more deaths are reported to have followed attacks by la Besseyre Saint Mary.

Final attacks
The killing of the creature that eventually marked the end of the attacks is credited to a local hunter named Jean Chastel, who shot it during a hunt organized by a local nobleman, the Marquis d’Apcher, on June 19th, 1767. Writers later introduced the idea that Chastel shot the creature with a blessed silver bullet of his own manufacture and upon being opened, the animal’s stomach was shown to contain human remains.

Theories
According to modern scholars, public hysteria at the time of the attacks contributed to widespread myths that supernatural beasts roamed Gévaudan, but deaths attributed to a beast were more likely the work of a number of wolves or packs of wolves. In 2001 the French naturalist Michel Louis proposed that the red-colored mastiff belonging to Jean Chastel sired the beast and its resistance to bullets may have been due to it wearing the armoured hide of a young boar thus also accounting for the unusual colour.

In popular culture
Robert Louis Stevenson traveled through the region in 1878 and described the incident in his book Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, in which he claims that at least one of the creatures was a wolf:

For this was the land of the ever-memorable Beast, the Napoleon Bonaparte of wolves. What a career was his! He lived ten months at free quarters in Gévaudan and Vivarais; he ate women and children and “shepherdesses celebrated for their beauty”; he pursued armed horsemen; he has been seen at broad noonday chasing a post-chaise and outrider along the king’s high-road, and chaise and outrider fleeing before him at the gallop. He was placarded like a political offender, and ten thousand francs were offered for his head. And yet, when he was shot and sent to Versailles, behold! a common wolf, and even small for that.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_of_Gavaudan

Eliphas Levi

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

NPSGraphic

elilevi(Alphonse Louis Constant) was born in France about 1810, the son of a shoemaker. His parents soon decided that he should be educated for the life of a parish priest. Constant became a deacon, took a vow of celibacy, and seemed destined for a quiet life in the clergy. But then his life suddenly assumed a different course when he upset members of the church hierarchy for espousing doctrines quite contrary to those endorsed by the papacy. For one thing, Father Constant felt that somewhere along the ages the theologians of the church had confused Lucifer, the bearer of light, with Satan, the Prince of Darkness, and had judged him unfairly. Such a liberal attitude to the angel who led the revolt in heaven did not sit at all well with his superiors, and Father Constant was expelled from the church.

For many years after his expulsion from the Roman Catholic Church, Father Constant appears to have traveled throughout France and other European nations rather anonymously, and little is known of those years in which he lived in obscurity, collecting his thoughts, forming his political and spiritual philosophies. In 1839, he published a pamphlet entitled The Gospel of Liberty, which, because of its socialistic leanings, earned him six months in prison in Paris.

Once he served his term in prison, he put aside his vow of celibacy and married a 16-year-old girl, whose parents soon had the union annulled. It was after his painful separation from his wife that Alphonse Louis Constant assumed the identity of Eliphas Levi and began to devote his time to an intensive study of alchemy and the occult. Often his focus was on the Kabbalah and the tarot, believing firmly that the ancient cards depicted a concise summary of all the revelations that had come down to humankind through the ages.

Levi saw in the symbolism of the tarot cards the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the mysteries of Solomon, and the truths hidden in the apocryphal text of the Book of Enoch and the scrolls of Hermes Trismesgistus. To do a spread of the tarot cards, in Levi’s opinion, was to establish communication with the spirit world. To seek within the tarot might bring the serious magician a clue to the manipulation of the natural and divine energy that permeated all of nature. The existence of such a force, Eliphas Levi believed, was to discover the Great Arcanum of Practical Magick.

His Doctrine of Transcendental Magic was published in 1855, followed by Rituals of Transcendental Magic in 1856. Other works of Eliphas Levi include The Key of the Grand Mysteries (1861) and The Science of the Spirits (1865). Eliphas Levi died in 1875, esteemed by many and hailed as the last of the alchemists. Others have criticized certain of his writings by suggesting that his imagination may have in some instances surpassed his actual knowledge of the arcane.

I have provided a few link due to there are a few differences in wording.

http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/…/Magi-Eliphas-levi-c-1810-…
http://www.themystica.com/myst…/articles/l/levi_eliphas.html
http://www.foreverandaday.biz/Pages_info/EliphasLevi.html

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

The Father of Cryptozoology

by Scotty Rushing

The advancement of cryptozoology as a serious form of research can be credited to numerous individuals, but one man is widely considered to be the “Father of Cryptozoology.” That man is Bernard Heuvelmans.

Heuvelmans was born on October 10, 1916 in Le Havre, France. From a very young age, Heuvelmans was very interested in natural history. Like so many others, Heuvelman’s fascination with unknown animals can perhaps be traced to a fondness for the science fiction novels of Jules Verne and other popular authors. Bernard Heuvelmans never outgrew his interests, and he obtained a doctorate in zoology from the Free University of Brussels. The subject of Heuvelman’s doctoral thesis was a classification of the aardvark’s teeth, something which had not been previously accomplished. For several years after graduation, Heuvelmans wrote extensively on the history of science.

A 1948 article in the Saturday Evening Post would ultimately shape the direction of Bernard Heuvelmans’ career. A respected biologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, presented evidence for the continued existence of dinosaurs. The subject was of great interest to Heuvelmans and he began to pursue evidence in scientific and literary sources. Within a short period of time he had amassed a large amount of research. The end result of gathering all of this data was a book entitled On the Track of Unknown Animals. Heuvelmans’ book, published in 1955, became the primary text for budding cryptozoologists and it is still in print today. More than one million copies have been sold, including an updated version in 1995.

The word “cryptozoology” is believed to have been coined by Heuvelmans in his private correspondence with other interested researchers after the publication of his book. It is beyond dispute that he was the first to take the subject matter seriously in a scientific sense, and that legacy is quite possibly his greatest accomplishment. He remained active in the field until his death in 2001, writing and serving as the inaugural president of the International Society of Cryptozoology from 1982 until the organization disbanded in 1998.

The importance of Bernard Heuvelmans to cryptozoology rests in his academic and scientific credentials. His research was grounded in the scientific method, and his background in zoology gave credibility to his findings. The scientific community respected Heuvelmans’ scholarship even if they might not always have agreed with his conclusions. It is important for modern cryptozoologists to appreciate Heuvelmans’ place in the history of this fascinating field.