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.
Mr. Brockis visited the actual locations in France and collected many original and almost one of a kind documents painstakingly translating them to English.
With all his research however there are tantalizing mysteries that may never be answered but no doubt took place.
The province of Gévaudan is now the Lozere/Auvergne area in France and is known for its rugged terrain of sharp rocks, rugged mountain faces, inhospitable climate and boggy soil in the lower regions. The monster patrolled a wide triangular territory of about forty miles. La bête liked the marshy areas and when pursued would lead her mounted pursuers into mires which left them floundering and with no other recourse than to turn back.
Her preferred time to hunt was dusk, “the time between dog and wolf”.
Towns people reported seeing la bête suck blood from victims. Some she decapitated and left the body still standing. She was said to be able to also spit blood over encroaching pursuers. Her specialty however was ripping throats out of women and children.
Above - Auvergne Countryside...
The paranoia and tension in the area that finally in the summer of 1764 the King Louis XV arranged a great hunt and assembled the greatest huntsmen outfitting them from his own royal stables, the men descended upon the area, but La bête eluded them. The chase would be called successful with a wolf killed – only to be met with more murders in the region.
"Because 'Bête' is a feminine noun in French, the beast is always referred to as 'she, and not as 'it'...Over a three year period she killed 15 women, 68 children and 6 men, wounding many more. Names, dates places and injuries are detailed for nearly all the victims." -- From Auvergne Ogre
The best research in English is assembled here for you to make your own decision. What was la bête? The documentation is well worth reading and now print friendly. – December 2008 Webmaster
Free - The Original French Pourcher Book Scanned In and Saved as a PDF (It's in French! :-P ) (right click and save link as - or it will probably open in your browser.)
If you need the book in an epub or mobi format download the program Calibre which will allow you to transform it into any format you need it in. Also check out Derek's English e-book translation which is only $3.99 from Authorhouse. Derek is a superb writer and it's a great read.