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  Columnist: Taylor Reints

Image credit: Wildgame Innovations

Of demons and aliens

Posted on Wednesday, 11 July, 2012 | 0 comments
Columnist: Taylor Reints

Creatures are believed to be real to those whom have seen them, but not to those whom haven’t. Creatures of odd affinities and unknown relationships not known to the rest of the world. Cryptids. We should be familiar with this term already. Some cryptids are stranger than others. For example, the Cherufe is a humanoid capable of withstanding the enormous temperatures of magma inside volcanoes. The Orang Pendek is a three-foot-tall version of Bigfoot. And the Rake — it is a bald, reptile-like humanoid. But is it creepypasta or cryptid? If the former, can it be a linked to a creature with a real identity?

The Rake is more of internet story-telling than anything. Web movies have been made about it. It is creepypasta, a short story originally posted on the internet to unnerve the reader. However, there are some hardcore believers in the Rake. Videos and pictures of encounters with Rake-like creatures are all over the internet. Alien-like creatures all over YouTube (most of them clearly faked), people claiming that what is depicted is nothing more than the Rake. Is there actually some good evidence, however? At 1:44 a.m., on November 30, 2010, a deer hunter captured the below photograph in Louisiana.

Some claim that what is in the image could be the Dover Demon, a cryptid not reported since April of 1977. However, there are proponents for the idea that this anomaly is a Rake. For example, in a YouTube video showing a news report about the photograph, the only two top comments read, “THE RAKE!” and “That was The Rake.” Could the Rake be a real animal (or alien)?

One explanation for the photograph was that it was a viral marketing campaign for Insomniac Games. One tweet by Insomniac Games said, “Whoops… looks like one got out. If you see a grim on the loose… please return to Insomniac Games, Burbank, CA [...]” with a link to a news article covering the mysterious picture.* One more explanation is that it was a marketing scheme for the upcoming film Super 8.

One blogger found that the photograph’s origins can be traced back to a thread on the ArcheryTalk.com forum. The supposed owner of the camera posted the image along with another. Both of these photos were taken at the same locale.

But there is something one comment on the thread highlights:

LOL…you guys are funny! look at the little tree (Bush) to the left…the image with the deer is supposed to be 9 days diff than that of the boogyman…yes in both images all the leaves are exactly the same…wind has not moved them at all or even ruffled them. case close…you can all put away your security blankets.

Additionally, a file decoding program yielded the fact that the image was edited. To add to this fact, another comment on the thread says this:

Download both pictures, although EXIF data is missing from both pictures you can clearly tell the mystery photo was manipulated as it’s pixel size is different.

The deer photo is 1797 x 1348 px.
The mystery photo is 1705 x 1279 px.

Digital cameras at a given resolution always capture the same size image. The file size may vary given JPEG compression but the image size should be a constant in pixels.

Next up, pull the photos into an editor, use the curves tool to blow up exposure. Notice around the head of the ‘boogey man’ has a black blur around it? That’s a blending job at work in photoshop. See how the deer doesn’t have that going on.

Creatures similar to the Rake that are actually based off of sightings and mythology include the Memegwesi, Mannegishi and the Dover Demon. The Memegwesi is a Chippewa (Ojibwa) creature of myth. It is described as being a small (even described as child-sized), hairy, large-headed water spirit. It is sometimes even said to have a narrow face and no nose and make a strange noise. The Mannegishi is myth of the Cree Indians in eastern Canada. It is said to be small, human-like and have slender legs and arms, of which two hands have six fingers each. It has a large, round and bald head with large eyes. Although, it lacks any nose, similar to some descriptions of the Memegwesi.

The Dover Demon is a cryptid with features most similar to the Mannegishi. This was first noted by Karl Shuker in 1996. The first sighting, made by three teenagers driving their car, yielded visions of a pale-skinned, hairless, large-headed, almost extraterrestrial-like entity with orange glowing eyes and slender arms and legs. It lacked a nose and a mouth. Another sighting occurred within an hour and another one the next morning. This time, the creature was described with green eyes, gray skin, and it was about as tall as a three-year-old. It cried a bloodcurdling sound, and those whom saw it said it was similar to both a hawk’s screech and a snake’s hiss. An odd call is also present in descriptions of the Memegwesi. There are no more than three sightings of the Dover Demon, of which all took place in Dover, Massachusetts between April 21 and April 22, 1977.

I am intrigued with the possibility that the Rake is actually based upon stories of the Dover Demon, Memegwesi and the Mannegishi. Foremost, the similarities between the Mannegishi and the Dover Demon are truly astounding and demand an explanation.

I’ve compiled a map displaying locations for where the Rake, Memegwesi, Mannegishi, and the Dover Demon live. Additionally, it shows where the hoaxed photograph mentioned earlier was taken.

View Where the Rake, Mannegishi, Memegwesi and the Dover Demon Supposedly Live And Where the Unknown Creature Photograph Was Taken in a larger map


• “The Rake”. Creepy Pasta Wiki. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Rake

• “Legendary Native American Figures: Memegwesi”. Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and promoting American Indian languages. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from http://www.native-languages.org/memegwesi.htm

• “Mannegishi”. Paranormality. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from http://www.paranormality.com/mannegishi.shtml

• Shuker, Karl P.N. (1996). The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Natural and Paranormal Mysteries. North Dighton, MA: JG Press.

Footnotes * The tweet was later deleted, Insomniac Games saying it was just a joke.

Article Copyright© Taylor Reints - reproduced with permission.

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