Adventure shows are hot right now on TV, and the Travel Channel recently launched its latest contender, Legend Hunter.
While mild-mannered, biologist-by-day, adventurer-by-night Pat Spain may not be a household name like Josh Gates or the late, great Anthony Bourdain, this guy is sharp.
He has already presented compelling alternatives to some of the world’s greatest mysteries — including a theory on the Beast of Bray Road that is hard to deny.
If you are obsessed with the Beast of Bray Road, Dogman, and even Chupacabra lore, you may want to go check out Legend Hunter: The Beast of Bray Road (S01E03) right now, because spoilers lie ahead.
In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and call the win for Spain in solving the mystery of the Beast of Bray Road.
What is the legend of the Beast of Bray Road?
Locals first reported a strange beast on the side of Bray Road in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, back in 1936, but it was the surge in reports from the late ’80s into the ’90s that put this legend on the map.
Witnesses claimed to have seen a strange, wolf-like beast eating roadkill along Bray Road, but this “wolf” would get up and run on two legs.
Witnesses also claimed to have been chased through cornfields and that the beast had red, glowing eyes.
The legend died down in the late ’90s due to a lack of sightings of the Beast of Bray Road. But sightings have started cropping up again, prompting Spain’s interest.
How did Legend Hunter find a new explanation for the Beast of Bray Road?
Did Legend Hunter unearth new evidence or match DNA to some unknown species to discover what beast has been haunting Bray Road? Nope. Spain simply deduced the most plausible explanation by using logic and an analytical approach.
Spain started by examining what natural wildlife inhabited the Bray Road area. Wolves had not been seen there for many years, but he considered that with an overall increase in the wolf population everywhere, it was possible some had migrated back to the Elkhorn area.
However, the lack of forest cover and available prey made that unlikely. He found some tracks that were odd, but no wolf prints.
The other major problem with the wolf theory is wolves are hunters, not scavengers, like the behavior exhibited by the beast scavenging roadkill. Witnesses of the Beast of Bray Road legend also noted the animal was usually squatted down, raising its prey up to eat, which is not a wolf trait.
However, bears do display this behavior. And can walk upright.
Now, bears aren’t supposed to be near Elkhorn either, but there have been bears spotted recently in the general area, making it feasible one could be near Elkhorn. But even if you consider there might be bears, how on earth could locals mistake a bear for a werewolf?
Spain noted one disease that explains that perfectly — mange. Bears with mange have huge hair loss and become emaciated, resulting in an appearance barely recognizable.
Can Legend Hunter’s theory apply to Dogman and Chupacabra legends?
There aren’t any confirmed photos of the Michigan Dogman or Chupacabra, but descriptions and artist renderings look similar to many photos of bears with mange. With hair and weight loss, the brown bear looks more dog-like, with the ability to walk and run on hind legs.
So it seems a natural conclusion this theory may apply to numerous alleged sightings of these two legendary creatures.
Pat Spain may not have the wit and profound insight of Bourdain (and no one ever will) nor the perfectly-balanced humor of Josh Gates, but he’s making progress on mysteries many shows and hosts have tackled before with nothing new revealed, with the exception of Gates.
Spain truly brings fresh information to his investigations, such as Legend Hunter’s coverage of
If you insist on having a foodie element in your adventure shows, in the Beast of Bray Road episode, Spain does check out the local cuisine and try a locally-brewed Beast of Bray Road beer while solving this decades-old mystery through science and sheer intelligence.
Perhaps Spain needs to make a trip to Oak Island?
Legend Hunter airs on the Travel Channel Tuesday nights at 10 pm ET.