There are a group of individuals who I acknowledge that strongly assume that they are werewolves or that the notion of a human being transforming into a canid beast is possible. These individuals cite the werewolves of Poligny case as the ‘’*best evidence to support the existence of werewolves’’. *
These individuals appear to have a short attention span. I understand that werewolves are indeed impossible - but how can I explain this to them in a manner that they shall understand? They are approximately fourteen to eighteen years of age, and it irks me to no end that mythological creatures are passed along as fact on several websites and within communities.
Eh? Physical transformation? Bones re-shaping, hair growing, short human noses turning into long canine snouts, the whole schmear? Grotesquely impossible: the body simply doesn’t have the metabolistic energy to do that.
If you want to go in for some kind of symbolic lycanthropy, well, maybe. A group of guys, human through and through, who style themselves as a wolf pack, who perform various lupine rituals, who gorge on raw meat, etc. Whatever. Not impossible.
But man-turns-into-wolf? Where does the energy come from? What mechanism re-shapes the bones? What makes the fur grow? Nah.
It’s interesting that the 1941 Universal film the Wolfman, as originally scripted, left it open as to whether or not an actual transformation took place. There were to be no scenes of Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot slowly transforming through the magic of Jack Pierce’s makeup and shot dissolves. The only time you were to see Talbot as a Wolfman was to be near the end, when he looks into a pool while being pursued by the villagers and sees his monstrous reflection – but, again, it was ambiguous. Was Talbot seeing his real transformed self or what he only imagined himself to be?
The script as filmed still shows this interpretation. When people are asked if a man really could transform into a wolf, they hedgingly reply that he might imagine himself so transformed. Nobody ever says that it really could happen.
So the position of that first* Wolfman film is that actual physical transformation is not likely, but that it could happen in someone’s own mind. Of course, this didn’t fly with the higher-ups at Universal, who figured the public didn’t want this mumbo-jumbo, and insisted on an actual man-to-hybrid beast transformation, on camera, and more than once. They were probably right. A companion Universal film, She-Wolf of London, played a similar was-it-real-or-all-in-her-head game, never showing any transformations, and that movie is practically unknown except to film buffs. Too bad, in many ways. It starred June Lockheart as the titular character, years before she was Timmy’s mom or Mrs. Robinson in the Jupiter Five.
*If you don’t count the non-Chaney Werewolf of London, which starred Henry Hull. But that film didn’t play the same psychological game.
Skimming your website, most of the examples were from a time when people were tortured to confess to witchcraft. And on occasion lycanthropy apparently. I don’t doubt that there were wolf attacks during that era and it is plausible that a few serial killers may have put on wolf costumes. Ditto for opera singers.
But an actual human-wolf transformation? I didn’t see any eyewitness reports of that on the website.
Heh! If magic is possible, then anything is possible! (And if someone says, “No, magic has limits and rules,” then you only need to say, “Ah, but this other magic, here, doesn’t!”)
At this point, the only approach is to insist on proper documentation. Has anyone transformed to a wolf in front of a team of observers, with cameras running? Can the effect be duplicated? If not (obviously!) it’s just a matter of hearsay.
Depressing, but what can you do? I know a guy who saw a ghost once. That’s his story, and he sticks by it. To me, his story is full of holes (there was more than a little drinking involved!) but to him, it’s cold stone fact. He saw a ghost.
Besides, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in our philosophy!
You get bonus points for correctly quoting from the original 1941 script. In later films featuring the Wolfman, they changed the last line to and the moon is full and bright.. Interestingly, in the 1941 film, you never see the moon at all, and it is not sugested that the transformaion occurs during the full moon (although that as the case in later Wolfman films, and in the earlier werewolf of London)
The preponderance of conspiracy theorists who cling desperately to their fantasies in spite of mountains of contrary evidence would, I think, illustrate the point that those who believe in actual lycanthropic transformation are not likely to be swayed by any argument you might employ, no matter how logical.