Dobhar-Chu – The Ireland’s Water Monster
Dobhar-chu also known as Doyarchu or Dobhar-choe (Dobharchú) is a large other like animal of Ireland that may be responsible for some sightings of Freshwater Monsters. The word is said to have connoted a mythical “king otter.”
The Irish word ‘madra usice’ (water hound) is more commonly used for the European otter. It also has various names such as Anchu, Dhuraghoo, Dorraghow. The creature physical appearance is like an otter but said to be about five times as large with white pelt, black ear tips and black cross on its back.
Its behavior is aggressive and dangerous. When Doyarchu is in danger it can call other water hound with a whistling sound. It also can break a rock with its snout. Doyarchu appears both in folklore and in various first-person accounts from the earlier centuries. Even though no longer reported, this creature was once considered a real and dangerous inhabitant of the Irish landscape.
In 1684, a book entitled ‘A Description of West or H-Lar Connaught’ was published. It tells the frightening story of Roderick O’Flaherty that happened at a lake in the west of Ireland called the Lough Mask:
“There is one rarity more, which we may term the Irish crocodile, where of, as yet living, about ten years ago had sad experience.
The man was passing the shore just by the waterside, and spied far off the head of a beast swimming, which he took to be an otter, and took no more notice of it, but the beast it seems lifted up his head, to discern whereabouts the man was; then diving swam under the water till he struck ground; whereupon he run out of the water suddenly and took the man by the elbow whereby the man stooped down, and the beast fastened his teeth in his pate [head], and dragged him into the water; where[upon] the man took hold of a stone by chance in his way, and calling to mind he had a knife in his jacket, took it out and gave it a thrust of it to the beast, which thereupon got away from him into the lake.
The water about them was all bloody, whether from the beast’s blood, or his own, or from both he knows not. It was the pitch of an ordinary greyhound, of a black slimey skin, without hair as he imagines.
Old men acquainted with the lake do tell there is such a beast in it, and that a stout fellow with a wolf dog along with him met the like there once, which after a long struggling went away in spite of the man and his dog, and was a long time after found rotten in a rocky cave of the lake where the waters decreased. The like they say is seen in other lakes in Ireland; they call it Doyarchu, i.e.water-dog, or anchu which is the same.”
Doyarchu also appeared in the poem “The Old House,” within a 1950’s anthology, “Further Poems”, by Leitrim poetess Katherine A. Fox. The lines read:
The story told of dobhar-chú
That out from Glenade Lake
Had come one morning years ago
A woman’s life to take…
It described the incidents which occurring two centuries ago, features a man called McGloughlan who lived with his wife Grace Connoly near to the shore of Glenade Lake, County Leitrim.
The evidence of Doyarchu from that poem can be found in a gravesite of Glenade, on the north side of Ben Bulben mountain, where a woman named Grace is buried. Her tombstone dated on September 24, 1722, and the interesting part, it portrays a carving of an otterlike creature being impaled by a spear.
Based on local lore, she was a victim of a water hound. She lived in a village with her husband. On that day, she washed her clothes near the lake. When she did not return, her husband went out to look for her. He was horrified when he found her wife is already dead and also shocked to see a water hound sleeping atop her bloody corpse.
The man returned to the house looking for a weapon, also asked his friend to help him to deal with the creature and retrieved a knife, which he then plunged into the creature’s heart. Just before the creature died, it gave out a whistling sound that alerted the other water hound nearby.
They fled on horseback, while the creature chasing behind them. When they realized that they could not shake it, they decided to confront it. It ran under one of the horses as it made to attack the men, but one of them was able to stab it to death before it could harm them.
In May 24, 1996, other water hound sightings occurs outside Ireland in Magalia, a small town in northern California. That morning, Sheila Charles was driving her son Shane to school when an otterlike creature suddenly darted out in front of her car. Swerving to avoid it, she lost control of the car and suffered an accident, fortunately resulted in no serious injuries.
She said that the creature’s appearance 4-5 feet long, generally doglike with reptilian eyes but with a sleek serpentine head set on a slender thirty-inch neck. It was covered with shaggy black fur or hair. Its hind limbs were long, its front limbs notably shorter, and it had no tail. The driver of the car behind Charles’s also saw the creature.
Dr. Daithi o’ hOgain described in his book “Myth, Legend and Romance: An Encyclopedia of the Irish Folk Tradition” (1990) as a large male otter called the king otter with its black ear tips and a black cross upon its back, and the creature never slept. Similar with werewolf legend, this one could only be killed with a silver bullet, and the killer would die no longer than 24 hours afterwards.
It is nearly impossible to verified these accounts, because they are not purely legend. They only share a little information about the creature’s appearance, and it bore at least a resemblance to an otter. Until now the existence of Doyarchu is still shrouded in mystery.
Sources: Mysterious Creature: “A Guide to Cryptozoology” by George M. Eberhart;nThe Beasts That Hide from Man: “Seeking the World’s Last Undiscovered Animals” by Karl Shuker; Unexplained: “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark
Bigfoot Researcher Leads Historic Expedition in Thailand
C. Thomas Biscardi, a renowned Bigfoot researcher with more than 50 years of experience, has announced
the launch of “Bigfoot in Thailand: The Definitive Expedition”, a
groundbreaking venture that aims to uncover proof of the legendary
creature in a country where it is known as Orang Pendek.
and his team of experts will collaborate with Thai government
officials, academic leaders and locals who have witnessed or encountered
the elusive beast in the remote jungles of Southeast Asia.
said that Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia have a long
history of Bigfoot reports, dating back to the 16th century, but they
have been largely neglected by serious researchers due to various
challenges such as weather, terrain, wildlife, culture and politics.
said that his team, which includes tracker Robert “The Swede” Holmberg
and researcher Chris Contrearas, has the skills and experience to
overcome these obstacles and conduct a thorough and rigorous
investigation. He also said that Buddhist Monk “Att” will be a vital
part of the expedition, providing access and guidance to the lands and
people associated with Bigfoot sightings.
expedition will be documented by cameras that will capture every aspect
of the historic journey, from interviews with witnesses and experts to
field investigations and possible encounters with the monster.
footage will be used for a new documentary that will showcase the
definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, as well as the
clear evidence that Biscardi hopes to find.
“I am confident that
this expedition will be informative and successful in not only creating
the definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, but will also
produce clear evidence of the monster,” Biscardi said.
“Bigfoot is no stranger to the people of Southeast Asia, yet the
legendary monster remains just that – a legend. To add some real
evidence to the centuries of stories surrounding the mysterious beast,
we need to go where no one has gone before.”
“The Swede” Holmberg, who will be in charge of the field crew, said: “I
have been tracking and hunting animals for most of my life, but nothing
compares to the thrill of pursuing Bigfoot. I have seen some amazing
things in my previous expeditions with Tom, but I am ready for a new
challenge in Thailand. I believe we have a good chance of finding
Chris Contrearas, who will be responsible for
collecting and analyzing information, said: “I have been fascinated by
Bigfoot since I was a kid, and I have dedicated my career to finding the
truth behind this phenomenon. I have studied hundreds of reports and
cases from around the world, but Thailand is a unique and intriguing
location. I am looking forward to working with Tom and his team to
uncover the secrets of this region.”
A photo of the Cornwall Owlman taken in 2019. Photo: Cornwall Live
The Cornwall Owlman is a Mothman-like creature spotted repeatedly since the 1920’s in a churchyard in the UK.
What is the Cornwall Owlman?
A sketch of the Cornwall Owlman
St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall, is believed by some to be home to a creature that looks like a mix of a man and an owl. This creature has been scaring the local people and tourists since the 1920s. The church is in a peaceful area surrounded by trees and a beautiful view of the sea.
The first sighting of the Owlman was in 1926. The Cornish Echo newspaper told a story about two boys who were being chased by a really huge, angry bird. The boys were extremely frightened, but luckily they were able to get away and find safety behind a strong metal grating.
St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall.
Another sighting of the Owlman of Mawnan Smith was reported 50 years later in April 1976. Two girls, June (12) and Vicky (9) Melling were on vacation with their parents They decided to walk to the old church for a look around. While they were on top of the church tower, they saw something they didn’t expect. It was a menacing creature that looked like a mixture of a bird and a man, with wings and feathers.
The girls were so terrified by what they saw that their father made the decision to end their vacation and leave Cornwall right away.
In July of that same year, two other 14-year-old girls chose to go camping in the woods surrounding the church. They also reported seeing a gigantic owl that looked like a human, and its eyes were glowing.
News about the sightings travelled quickly and even made it to the front pages of national newspapers.
Two years later, there was another incident where some people saw something strange. At first, they thought it was someone trying to prank them by wearing a costume, dressed as a very big bird that looked silvery-gray.
They quickly changed their minds however when they saw the creature actually fly up into the sky and vanish. After it flew away, they noticed a weird buzzing sound coming from the trees for a while.
In 1989 and then again six years later, there were more sightings of the owl man. This time, an American tourist was the witness. She described the owl man as being at least 5 feet tall and having enormous claws coming from its large wings.
At the end of the summer in 1995, she wrote a letter about her experience and sent it to Simon Parker, who was the night editor of the Western Morning News at that time.
Here is what she wrote:
I am a student of marine biology at the Field Museum, Chicago on the last day of a summer vacation in England. Last Sunday evening I had a most unique and frightening experience in the wooded area near the Old Church at Mawnan, Cornwall. I experienced what I can only describe as a ‘vision from hell’.
The time was 15 minutes after 9, more or less. And I was walking along a narrow track through the trees. I was halted in my tracks when about 30m ahead I saw a monstrous ‘Birdman’ thing. It was the size of a man with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears. It had huge clawed wings and was covered in feathers of silver grey colour. The thing had long bird legs which terminated in large black claws. It saw me and rose, floating towards me. I just screamed then turn and ran for my life. The whole experience was totally irrational and dreamlike.
Friends tell me that there is a tradition of a Phantom Owlman in that District. Now I know why. I have seen the phantom myself. Please don’t publish my real name and address. This could adversely affect my career. Now I have to rethink my ‘worldview’ entirely.
Yours very sincerely scared Eyewitness.”
Recent Sightings of the Cornwall Owlman
Another sketch based on sightings of the Cornwall Owlman
In 2019, a paranormal investigator in Falmouth claimed that he saw the Owlman, and that his friend was attacked by it.
Mark Davies, was in the graveyard with his friend Chris Power from Manchester. Suddenly they heard a hissing sound coming from the trees, accompanied by flapping noises. The sound seemed to pass right above their heads. At that moment, they saw a figure with horns on its head, which greatly alarmed them. They were carrying a meter used to detect electromagnetic energy, typically used for detecting ghosts. Surprisingly, they received coherent responses to their questions through the meter.
These occurrences indicated the presence of a demonic energy, which made them feel unsafe. Their friend experienced an attack in the form of scratches on his arm. Mark claimed that his camera broke during the incident. Although he didn’t see anything, he suddenly felt a surge of energy. It wasn’t until around half an hour later that he began to feel a burning sensation.
Mark and Chris managed to capture this photo that they claim may be the Owlman:
Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman?
The sightings of the Cornwall Owlman have a striking resemblance to stories of the Mothman, a legendary creature often described as a large, winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, known for its association with sightings of impending disasters and a sense of foreboding.
Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman? We decided to check if the reported sightings of the Owlman line up with any disasters in Cornwall’s history over the last 100 years.
There are a few disasters that the Cornwall Owlman could have been trying to warn us about.
The Accident at Castle-an-Dinas
Not long after the reported Owlman sighting in 1995, Cornwall’s worst ever traffic accident occurred.
On December 15, 1995, a digger’s arm, being carried on a lorry, swung out unexpectedly and hit the cars behind it, causing a devastating collision with shattered glass and twisted metal. Five people lost their lives, and others suffered severe head injuries.
The accident happened on a minor road at Castle-an-Dinas at 6:30 PM when the driver was returning the vehicle to the depot after a long day’s work. The companies responsible for the vehicle, Bazeley Plant Hire and Chepstow Plant Hire, were fined a total of £500,000 for not ensuring its safety.
The driver, who hailed from Fraddon, was found guilty of causing the death of five people due to dangerous driving. He was ordered to receive treatment at a psychiatric hospital due to mental illness linked to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression resulting from the accident.
The Camelford Poisoning
On July 6, 1988, a serious accident occurred at the water treatment plant near Camelford, Cornwall. Due to a mistake made by a relief lorry driver, around twenty tonnes of aluminium sulphate were dumped into the wrong water tank, contaminating the water supply for about 20,000 people in the area. This resulted in the water becoming highly acidic and filled with metals.
As a consequence, numerous residents experienced health problems such as stomach cramps, rashes, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, and joint pain. Some even claimed that their hair turned green due to copper residues in the water. Despite receiving numerous complaints about the quality of the water, the South West Water Authority initially assured the public that it was safe to drink. However, it took nearly three weeks before a warning was finally issued. The incident left lasting health concerns within the community for many years.
The Cornwall Owlman wasn’t sighted again until the year after the poisoning occurred, but perhaps it was trying to warn us about the ongoing affects of the poisoning.
Possible Explanations for the Cornwall Owlman
Shrouded Hand covers the Owlman of Cornwall
The reason behind all these strange events occurring near Mawnan church remains a mystery. Some people suggest that the sightings could be attributed to an escaped Great Grey Owl. These owls can have a wingspan of almost 2 meters, possess large talons, and reach a height of around 4.5 feet. The fact that the Owlman has been seen over such a long period of time makes it unlikely that witness are seeing the same owl.
Another theory proposes a connection between the stories and the church’s location within ancient earthworks. Some researchers also mention the presence of a ley line, an energy line in the Earth, passing through the site. Some visitors to the area have described Mawnan Woods as brimming with a vibrant energy. Is it possible that this natural Earth energy is somehow linked to the reports of the Owlman?
Some people are skeptical about many of the sightings in the 1970’s as they were connected to one man, a magician and paranormal researcher Tony “Doc” Shiels.
During that period, Doc Shiels gained attention and recognition for his involvement in a project dedicated to discovering and summoning monsters. He claimed to have witnessed the Loch Ness monster and even captured a photograph of it.
For a long time, he resided in St Ives before relocating to Ponsanooth. He has since departed Cornwall and moved to Ireland.
What do you think about the Cornwall Owlman? Tell us in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Owlman of Cornwall you might also be interested in of reports of a train hitting and killing a bigfoot or the Fresno Nightcrawler.
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