Attila was believed to be the son of a dog and old woman. Other superstitions and beliefs involving confusion of species around individuals and races abounds in history. Sexual intercourse with animals would breed monsters with traits from both world, human and animal. Today, more than one on two people still believe that it is possible that a man makes pregant an animal and vice versa.
Plutarch, in his Lesser Parallels, says that Aristonymus Ephesius, son of Demonstratus, being tired of women, had carnal knowledge with an ass, which in the process of time brought forth a very beautiful child, who became the maid Onoscelin. He also speaks of the origin of the maiden Hippona, or as he calls her, Hippo, as being from the conection of a man with a mare. Aristotle mentions this in his paradoxes, and we know that the patron of horses was Hippona. In Helvetia was reported the existence of a colt (whose mother had been covered by a bull) that was half horse and half bull. One of the kings of France was supposed to have been presented with a colt with the hinder part of a hart, and which could outrun any horse in the kingdom. Its mother had been covered by a hart.
According to Pare there was born in 1493, as the result of illicit intercourse between a woman and a dog, a creature resembling in its upper extremities its mother, while its lower extremities were the exact counterpart of its canine father. This particular case was believed by Bateman and others to be a precursor to the murders and wickedness that followed in the time of Pope Alexander I. Volateranus, Cardani.
Lycosthenes says that in the year 1110, in the bourg of Liege, there was found a creature with the head, visage, hands, and feet of a man, and the rest of the body like that of a pig. Pare quotes this case and gives an illustration. Writing in 1557, Lycosthenes reports the mythical birth of a serpent by a woman. It is quite possible that some known and classified type of monstrosity was indicated here in vague terms.
Rhodiginus mentions a shepherd of Cybare by the name of Cratain, who had connection with a female goat and impregnated her, so that she brought forth a beast with a head resembling that of the father, but with the lower extremities of a goat. He says that the likeness to the father was so marked that the head-goat of the herd recognized it, and accordingly slew the goatherd who had sinned so unnaturally.
In the year 1547, at Cracovia, a very strange monster was born, which lived three days. It had a head shaped like that of a man; a nose long and hooked like an elephant’s trunk; the hands and feet looking like the web-foot of a goose; and a tail with a hook on it. It was supposed to be a male, and was looked upon as a result of sodomy.
In 1726 Mary Toft, of Godalming, in Surrey, England, achieved considerable notoriety throughout Surrey, and even over all England, by her extensively circulated statements that she bore rabbits. Even at so late a day as this the credulity of the people was so great that many persons believed in her. The woman was closely watched, and being detected in her maneuvers confessed her fraud. To show the extent of discussion this case called forth, there are no less than nine pamphlets and books in the Surgeon-General’s library at Washington devoted exclusively to this case of pretended rabbit-breeding.
Hamilton in 1848, and Hard in 1884, both report the births in this country of fetal monstrosities with heads which showed marked resemblance to those of dogs.
Modern investigation has shown us the sterile results of the connections between man and beast or between beasts of different species, and we can only wonder at the simple credulity and the imaginative minds of our ancestors.
In 1908, Professor Bernelot-Moens, a famous biologist and zoologist made the headlines on announcing a program of interbreeding between monkeys in Congo through new methods of artificial insemination. Even if he gets the help and credits needed, no one heards about his expedition any more. In 1935, his death in Morocco was reported in the Le Siècle médical. Professor Bernelot-Moens has been also seen in 1930 at the Luna Park in Paris presenting in a sideshow a “scientific proof”, the first monkey-woman. She was in her twenties and it was 22 years after the start of the project !. No additional proof can sustain this theory.
There was also a vast program of cross interbreeding between men and women and apes conducted by the soviet union in Turkestan, headed by Professor Elie Yvanoff. Shame on the communists when it was publicly unveiled to the world by Professor Howell in a conference.