|Posted on April 17, 2011 at 11:20 PM|
SO WHAT IS IT?
More Cases of Cattle Mutilation?
Despite the odd circumstances surrounding the creature deaths attributed to El Chupacabra, many authorities could only attribute the killings to a known predator, a fox, perhaps. Others, however, recognized the similarities in these deaths to the enigmatic cattle mutilations which had been taking place in the American southwest with increasing regularity. Was there a connection?
Cattle Mutilation, as the phenomenon is usually describeddespite the fact that ponies, sheep, dogs, cats and smaller domestic animals are just as likely to be attacked as cattle themselvesis a worldwide phenomenon which, justifiably causes quite a lot of concern to those individuals and organizations responsible for animal welfare. The bodies are often exsanguinated (totally drained of blood), but there is seldom any sign of blood on the ground below the corpse, which has also often been mutilated with surgical precision. The tongue and sexual organs are often completely removed and other parts of the body are often attacked, seemingly with a scalpel.
However, as the attacks have intensified they have become more bizarre than any cattle mutilation. For example, in August, 1995, as many as 150 farm animals and pets were killed by a mysterious predator in and around the Puerto Rican town of Canvanas. In most cases, like the sheep, the animals were drained of blood through small holes. A definite pattern of unexplained killing had developed. this day, the rampage of gruesome slayings has continued and spread to many parts of the world, including the United States, Mexico, even as far away as Australia.
The Gargoyle Connection
Based on reliefs found in Europe and Mesoamerica, some researchers equate the appearance of the chupacabras to that of a gargoyle, leading one to believe the creatures were also part of the history of Medieval Europe and linked to evil spirits. Is it possible that before El Chupacabras came to be known by its present name, it was known by those in ancient times as the Gargoyle? In contemporary fiction, gargoyles are typically depicted as a winged humanoid race with demonic features: generally horns, a tail, and talons. These fictional gargoyles can usually use their wings to fly or glide, and are often depicted as having a rocky hide, or being capable of turning into stone in one way or another.
Following is a summary of the Gargoyle Myth and how gargoyles were said to drive off evil:
They can stand guard and ward off unwanted spirits and other creatures. If they're hideous and frightening they can scare off all sorts of things.
They come alive at night when everyone's asleep (and you can't see them to prove that they don't) so they can protect you when you're vulnerable.
Those with wings can fly round the whole area and cover the village or town as well as the church. (And if someone does see something, who's to say whether it was just a bat or one of the gargoyles on the wing?)
They return to their places when the sun comes up (and no one can prove that they weren't out and about, and no one respectable who rises and sets with the sun is going to be mistaken by them for an enemy and be dealt with).
If you want to see an example of the kind of gargoyle that fits the myth, look at the ones on Woburn church.
The Mosquito Man Connection
Certain South American rain forest natives believe in the "mosquito man", a mythical creature of their folklore that predates modern chupacabra sightings. The mosquito-man sucks the blood from animals through his long nose, like a big mosquito. Some say mosquito-man and the chupacabra are one and the same.
One story states that in September of 2006, a hotel employee named Valerie Pauls of Albuquerque, New Mexico was startled by a hissing noise upon arriving for work at about 7:00 in the morning. She glanced up to the sixth floor roof of the Amerisuites Hotel. She saw two glowing red eyes peering down upon her. The creature resembled a gargoyle, and smelled of sulfur. The creature terrified Ms. Pauls as it continued hissing and flashing neon colors. She became dizzy and disoriented. She managed to return to her vehicle as the alleged Chupacabra descended upon her it. The creature broke the windshield before leaping back up unto the roof of the hotel and vanishing.
In 2005, Isaac Espinoza spent close to $6 million of his own money trying to track down the chupacabra. He lived in the jungles of South America for eight months with a team of researchers, video and print journalists and local guides. During the course of the expedition the team had several close encounters with a creature that the researchers were not able to identify. The team was able to capture several of their encounters with the creature on film and it has all been turned over to the University of Texas for analysis. Hugo Mata, a professor of cryptozoology at the University of Texas, has said the hair and skin samples submitted by the team do not match any known species for that part of the world.
A Carnivorous Kangaroo?
On the night of November 12, 1997, near Perth, Australia, two friends investigating what sounded like the squealing of a wild pig, encountered a creature with large, piercing red eyes, a body covered with stringy matted hair, large teeth, and a distinctive sulfur-like odor. "It was about three feet high when on all fours," said the witness, "and about five feet when trying to stand up. In its mouth was part of a kangaroo. Within a split second, it leapt straight up, dinner and all, as if it had springs for legs."
Could El Chupacabras be a surviving species of Australian megafauna, the "carnivorous kangaroo"? While the term ‘carnivore’ might seem to indicate that creatures such as Propleopus oscillans hunted, it merely means that they could eat meat. Studies of the fossils of this large rat-kangaroo suggest that it was an opportunistic carnivore and ate insects, vertebrates, fruits and soft leaves. The kangaroo-like Propleopus might have weighed 70 or so kilograms (154 lb.) while the rat-kangaroos of today are only 3 or 4 kilos (6-9 lb.) in weight. To call him a carnivore is not so bizarre when you think that the modern Musky Rat-kangaroo eats insects and the Burrowing Bettong sometimes scavenge sheep carcasses. Propleopus all had large shearing and very stout grinding teeth so they would have been able to cope with some meat in their diet. Whether they hunted for it is not certain.
Paleontologists digging in northern Australia claim to have found the fossilized remains of another carnivorous kangaroo, the ultimate fighting marsupial - a flesh eating "killer kangaroo" that had wolf-like fangs and once walked the earth thousands of years ago. The team from the University of New South Wales made the discovery along with 20 other previously unknown species in northern Queensland, including the carnivorous kangaroo, known as Ekaltadeta, and a large predatory bird described by the team as a "demon duck of doom".
The vertebrate paleontologist Sue Hand said the meat-eaters would have looked remarkably different from kangaroos around today. "These things had slicing crests that could have crunched through bone and sliced off flesh," she said.
Professor Michael Archer, another team member, described the remains of two kangaroo species, one with wolf-like fangs and another with long forearms that was unable to hop like a modern kangaroo. "Because they didn't hop, these were galloping kangaroos, with big, powerful forelimbs. Some of them had long canines like wolves," he said.
The animals' remains were found in the Riversleigh Fossil Fields, the World Heritage listed site in Queensland. Recent discoveries in the 50 sq. km area have included a club-tailed turtle with cow-like horns and a large flightless prehistoric bird.
Bizarre "Horned" Kangaroos
The first complete skulls of a bizarre "horned" kangaroo are the star finds in the cache of fossils newly unearthed from caves in the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. John Long at the Western Australian Museum in Perth and colleagues first excavated the site in 2002. They found an astonishing collection of megafauna fossils, including partial skull fragments of a horned kangaroo, and the first complete skeletons of the thylacoleo, a giant marsupial lion. The 2003 dig uncovered two complete horned kangaroo skulls and their partial skeletons, as well as two more thylacoleo skeletons and fossils of three species that the team believes are new to science.
"The kangaroo really is bizarre. It doesn't look like any other living or fossil kangaroo yet discovered," Long told New Scientist. "The bony projections right above the eyes stick out laterally, and it has a strange bulbous snout." The researchers suspect that the bony horn-like protrusions might have served to guard the kangaroo's eyes. "These animals might have lived in arid environments, eating fairly hard saltbush or spiky bush. So the projections might have been to protect the eyes, but that's just a theory at this stage," says Long.
The team also found fossilized remains of Procoptodon goliah, the world's biggest kangaroo, bandicoots, and unidentified birds, which are slightly smaller than a modern emu.
Phantom Kangaroos in the United States?
It's hard to believe that Australian kangaroos could be hopping around all over the United States. But what's even harder to imagine is that these out-of-place marsupials appear to possess "supernatural" abilities as they rummage through the backyards of bewildered people in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana, to name a few. Phantom kangaroos have been spotted in a variety of urban and rural settings and are said to be particularly hostile. They are described as being 3.5 - 5.5 feet tall with glowing eyes and ghostly characteristics. They have been blamed for slaughtering numerous dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and other small animals in areas with high kangaroo activity.
According to W. Haden Blackman’s Field Guide to North American Monsters, the first reported phantom kangaroo sighting was on June 12, 1899 in Richmond, Wisconsin. Interestingly, the phantom kangaroo activity appears to occur in waves in both urban and rural areas. Several witnesses in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, including a Reverend W. J. Hancock, spotted the creature in January of 1934. The sightings coincided with mysterious killings of a dog and several chickens. The Kangaroo was allegedly seen fleeing the scene carrying a sheep.
From 1957 to 1967, phantom kangaroos haunted Coon Rapids, Minnesota and were spotted by numerous startled witnesses who dubbed it "Big Bunny". Hundreds of people witnessed a phantom kangaroo in Chicago, Illinois, on October 18, 1974. It kept people away with viscous displays and vanished over a fence before police could capture it. In 1980, a kangaroo was said to haunt San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
On October 18, 1974, two police officers in Chicago answered a call from a resident who claimed that a kangaroo was sitting on his front porch. Patrolmen Byrne and Ciagi were astonished to find a 5-foot kangaroo in a dark alley around 3:30 am. Not knowing what else to do, Byrne tried to handcuff it. With this, the kangaroo suddenly started screeching and became vicious. It punched the officers in the face. Then Ciagi was kicked in the shins and the kangaroo escaped down the street. The officers backed off and awaited reinforcements. Additional squad cars arrived and the kangaroo hopped down the street, jumped a fence and vanished.
That was not the only sighting in Illinois. A couple of weeks later on November 2, in Plano, Illinois, two separate groups of witnesses reported seeing a kangaroo almost at the exact same time. Within another couple of weeks, sightings have occurred in Lansing, Illinois, and Rensselaer and Carmel, Indiana. Then on November 15, back in Chicago, a kangaroo was seen in a vacant lot. The witness said it was 5-feet tall and "black all over, except for the stomach and face, which were brown." The last known sighting took place on November 25 in Sheridan, Indiana, when a farmer, Donald Johnson, spotted a kangaroo on a deserted rural road. Johnson stated " It was running on all four feet down the middle of the road." When it noticed Johnson, it leaped over a barb-wire fence and into the field.
And a fuzzy photograph taken on April 24, 1978, shows a slumping figure (which resembles a kangaroo) in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The picture is admittedly not very good, but clear enough to make out the creature. The kangaroo was first spotted in Waukesha on April 5, 1978.
On April 24, there were other sightings at Pewaukee Township, Brookfield Township, and around Waukesha. Near Menomeonee Falls, two men had taken two pictures of a kangaroo, and it was said that this creature could possibly have been an escapee from a private animal collections or zoo, living wild.
Out-of-place animals, such as kangaroos, are rarely captured and they seem to disappear as mysteriously as they appear. It seems only a few citizens see them, and it is usually from a distance. However, in May of 1979, a kangaroo seen in Nashua, New Hampshire was caught and found to be a wallaby (an Australian marsupial similar to a kangaroo, but smaller) that had escaped from a carnival that had recently left town.
Other sightings of kangaroos, outside of their habitat, were also seen in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario, Canada; around Morange-Silverange in France, and on the northern border of Hungary. Evidence of these phantom kangaroos is severely limited. One of the mysterious marsupials was allegedly hit by a car and killed on August 31, 1981. However, both the corpse and the anonymous driver disappeared before they could be investigated.
So what are these phantom kangaroos? Are they ghostly apparitions of Australian wildlife? Or are they zoo escapees? The latter is the most likely explanation, but local zoos were contacted during a number of these mass sightings and none reported missing their kangaroos. The problem is that in all the cases, no kangaroos were reported missing, and known species of kangaroos do not act as these vicious meat eating creatures do, nor do they have the ability to suddenly appear and vanish as these creatures appear to have. Whatever these ghostly apparitions are, they have caught the attention of many Fortean researchers, startled numerous eyewitnesses, and avoided police officials who attempt to capture them.
A Conventional Predator or a Mythological Vampire?
In cases of Goatsucker attacks, people are always offering conventional explanations for the physical evidence left behind: the slain animals were most likely attacked by dogs, wolves, vampire bats, feral monkeys, or large cats. Some have even noted that Chupacabras sightings have migrated north along the same path as South American killer bee swarms.
Although the eyewitness accounts make it extremely difficult to categorize the creature as any known predator, the idea receiving the most credence from authorities is that the attacks are made by hungry, stray dogs. Yet it's an odd hungry dog indeed that doesn't eat its victims but merely lacerates them with its canine teeth and drinks their blood. Other authorities have ventured that chupacabras may actually be a large vampire bat. But vampire bats do not directly kill their victims; they stealthily creep up on their sleeping prey, make painless incisions, and lap up the dripping blood. Although they can infect their victims with rabies, they by no means drain even small animals of all their blood.
There have been stories of bloodsucking creatures in Latin America for centuries, long predating the European image of vampires. Their origins may partly involve the presence of real-life vampire bats in the region; the only three species of bats that do suck blood are all indigenous to the warm areas of Latin America. Encounters with these creatures could have inspired vampire deities and tales of man-sized beasts that feed on the blood of their victims.
A witness from the city of Canovanas described the animal as about four feet tall, and resembling a monkey with no tail. Local skeptics claimed that wild monkeys had attacked the livestock. There are no indigenous simians on the islands, but it is said that Rhesus Macaques (an Asian species widely used in medical research) have been liberated on the island and have quickly become established. Ironically, however, some of the more recent Chupacabras attacks have been on these monkeys themselves, and so the high strangeness continues.
If other, better known predators are in fact responsible for the deeds attributed to the Goatsucker, how can we account for the widespread mythology that surrounds the creature? There are a number of factors present in the Hispanic culture from which the Chupa was spawned, both historical and of recent vintage, that could explain how this particular legend came into being.
A Symbol of the Anxieties of Underdeveloped Societies?
Some anthropologists see a socioeconomic element to the bloodsucker mythology. They believe the bloodsucking creature symbolizes the anxieties of underdeveloped societies who feel exploited by wealthier nations. Like an unwelcome colonial intruder, the Chupacabras sucks out what precious little life there is in the local resources, and leaves nothing in return. The bloodsucker is often equated with the perceived evils of capitalism. Analysts acknowledge that this folklore has been a part of these cultures long before their modern economic hardships, but still believe that one reinforces the other.
In an explicit illustration of this theory, there are Mexicans who feel that El Chupacabras is part of a sinister conspiracy perpetrated on their nation from without. "It's from the neighboring country," one poor farmer has asserted, using a common Mexican term of derision for the United States.
In a similar frame of mind Professor Richard Grinker of George Washington University wrote:
"There are a certain number of these legends of bloodsucking animals in South and Latin America. They are usually analyzed as anti-capitalist, an unconscious means of rebellion by country people who believe that capitalism is sucking dry the earth and their entire being".
A more publicized Mexican view of El Chupacabras is that it is an invader not from north of the border, but from east of the Milky Way. Latin American nations have long been hotbeds of UFO sightings, and they are generally more accepting of the existence of alien life than many parts of the world are. The Goatsucker as an extraterrestrial is a reasonable scenario for a great number of Hispanics.
A final cultural situation that may be shaping the Chupacabras phenomenon is the spread of AIDS. Puerto Rico, where the creature seems to have originated, is one of the areas hardest hit by the virus. Some think that El Chupacabras may be a manifestation of collective fear of the blood-carried illness that has touched the lives of most people in Latin America. It is worth noting the predatory bloodsucker in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" novel captured the public imagination in the time of a terrible plague of syphilis.
A NASA Creation
Some people in the island of Puerto Rico believe that the chupacabras were a genetic experiment from some United States' government agency, which escaped from a secret laboratory in El Yunque, a mountain in the east part of the island when the laboratory was damaged during a severe storm in the early 1990's. The US military have had a large presence across Puerto Rico since the 1930's, with bases on the island used as Research and Development facilities (among other things) up to the present day. The lethal "agent orange" chemicals were tested by the US on the crops of Puerto Rico in widespread crop-spraying operations, all performed without notifying local people or farmers, and the efficacy and safety of contraceptive medicines was also secretly tested on islanders who had no knowledge of their "guinea pig" status at all. ("UFO's Strangest Mysteries", Discovery Science) This may explain some of this alleged paranoia.
Jorge Martin, editor of Evidencia OVNIPuerto Rica's UFO magazine stated:
"I believe there is a strong connection between the Chupacabras and UFO activity in this area. Many people who witness the Chupacabra also report some sort of aerial phenomena. These witnessesseparated socially as well as geographically, give remarkably similar UFO descriptions. I don't think this can be ignored when trying to understand the Chupacabra phenomenon. At first I believed these animals to be the result of some genetic or bionic experiment, but I now believe that they are not of terrestrial origin.
I have confidential sources that have informed me that two Chupacabras have been captured by the authorities here and are being studied in conjunction with U.S. investigatorsthere is a possibility that someone, somewhere knows exactly what is going on. Right now, I would say the situation is out of control. It's happening everywhere and government officials who are elected by us to solve our problems are not doing this at the moment".
Chileans Believe Chupacabras to be a NASA Creation. "The gringos had at least three genetic experiments run away from them and they've only been able to capture two of them," states Dagoberto Corante, a Chilean architect.
Residents of the city of Calama and nearby communities are blaming NASA, the U.S. space agency for the apparitions and attacks of the mysterious Chupacabras, which has caused ruin among farm animals in the region and in other parts of Chile. Several dozen goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits and other animals turned up dead in northern Calama and its environs last April--their bodies completely exanguinated and undevoured by the mysterious predator.
Among the Chupacabras' alleged characteristics are the ability of leaping over three meter tall walls and walking unmolested among dogs, while police and volunteer patrols who have set out after it only find some scattered footprints which are nearly impossible to identify in the areas desert terrain, some 1500 km from Santiago.
An investigation ordered by the authorities concluded that the slayings were the product of attacks by packs of wild dogs, but no one believed this version while claims of new Chupacabras attacks developed in different parts of central and southern Chile.
According to Dagoberto Corante, one such creature was captured by elements of a local regiment in an operation that resulted in the death of a soldier, but the military have allegedly refused to discuss the matter. "It is said that the captured animal was kept all day at the regiment's [barracks] until NASA experts arrived to take it away." observed Corante, who is well known and respected in the area in which the Chupacabras has feasted on blood and spread fear among the population. "The day that the events transpired, the military even closed the airport for several hours to enable the landing of a helicopter conveying American scientists." he added, "although no one is quite sure why they had to close an airport in order for a helicopter to functionthese are devices able to land anywhere, and the fact has given rise to much speculation and rumor." Mario Ramos, a respected resident of San Pedro de Atacama, where he owns a butcher shop, largely agrees with the Corante's story and concerns, and while he doesn't care to discuss the subject, agreed that a soldier had indeed perished during the Chupacabras' capture.
An Embodiment of Social, Political, or Moral Impoverishment?
Writing in 1996 Professor Rafael A Lara-Palmeros drew comparisons between the Mexican chupacabra and political terrorism in the country:
"Since its first appearance in the national media, the 'Chupacabras', has captured the attention of everyone, from musicians to intellectuals. Numerous references to the creature have appeared in Mexico's printed media presenting an entity which has been variously linked to Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN, with the myth of 'La Llorona' ('The Weeping One'), and to the poverty and lack of education affecting the country. The real 'Chupacabras', so to speakis the drought and the hunger affecting the country, along with the current political crisis, unemployment and lawlessness. Delirious minds have created their own myths and legends as a result of the privation which has engulfed Mexico as a nation".
Dr. Neftali Olmo-Terron MD, the Director of the Puerto Rican State Psychiatric Hospital noted,
"Chupa cabras. Female-goat sucker. In Spanish, the female goat is a name for promiscuous females, prostitutes included. In a time of AIDS, herpes, chlamydia, warts and other sexually transmitted disease even erotic fantasy could be considered dangerous. There really is no safe sex. The only acceptable way to chupar la cabra, and accomplish it with certain degree of primitive excitement is for someone else to do it..."
Fear of the Chupacabra has grown to such proportions, in Mexico, that some of the people have been trying to burn the creatures out of the caves, in which it is suspected they live. There is some concern that these fires could cause damage to the Ecco system around these caves.
The Mexican Government has taken the stand that the Chupacabra is the result of the over active imaginations of a frightened people. In spite of the numerous reports telling of the carnage wrought by the blood sucking beast government officials stand firm in their belief that the actual attackers are dogs.
Some of the information provided by the victims of the blood-loving predator is less believable than others (i.e., that it had come through an open bedroom window and attacked a stuffed animal). A more startling account came from a young woman who claimed she had been attacked by a creature with horns, and wings. She went to the local police station and showed them teeth marks on her neck she claimed were made by Chupacabra. However, the police doubt her story.
Due to the outcry from people of her village a 15 person team was set up to try and capture the vicious blood sucker. They went to a farm where it was thought that the Goat Sucker had visited. However, the only predators captured that night and taken in as evidence were a couple of dogs. In spite of the capture of the two dogs the citizenry of Mexico believes that Chupacabra does exist and is still roaming the mountains and valleys looking for more blood.
An Otherworldly Alien Creature?
Some cryptozoologists speculate that chupacabras are alien creatures. They are widely described as otherworldly, and, according to one eyewitness report, NASA may be involved with this particular alien's residency on earth. The witness reported that NASA passed through an area in Latin America, with a trailer that was thought to contain an incarcerated creature. UFOs have occasionally been reported seen where chupacabras have been at the same time. Others speculate that the creature is an escaped pet of alien visitors that wandered off while its master was visiting Earth. The Chupacabra does have a slight resemblance to the "Greys", which could mean that they are somehow related.
The Chupacabras. A denizen of intergalactic spacecraft? A symbol for the sexual repression of one country? An equally potent symbol of political repression in another? The work of terrorists? An unknown animal from the dark swamps of Puerto Rico? A zooform phenomenon? Something else entirely?
One thing is obvious: El Chupacabras originated as something peculiarly Hispanic.
Marvette Perez, curator of Hispanic History at the Smithsonian Institute notes the similarity between the chupacabras and the garadiablo, a mythical and devilish creepy-crawly from the swamplands of Puerto Rico:
"This seems to be a very Caribbean phenomenon, especially of the Spanish-speaking islands. It's part of our folklore. It's interesting that the chupacabras has not been found on the English speaking islands, but has migrated only in places where people speak Spanish".
However, since Dr. Perez wrote that in May 1996, the phenomenon has not only invaded the other Spanish speaking parts of the New World, such as Argentina, Venezuela and areas of mainland South America, but there have even been a few reports of what sound suspiciously like chupacabra attacks from Spain and its offshore islands in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, as well as from such faraway countries as Russia.
Meanwhile, sightings of the Goatsucker continue to come insome quite fascinating: the industrial complex that couldn't find any security guards to work the graveyard shift, because three Goatsucker-like creatures had been seen at the same time; the people waiting for the bus in broad daylight who saw the Chupacabras walking down the street; the driver waiting at a stoplight who thought a dog was crossing the street in front of him, only to realize that it was a creature he had never seen before; the woman who looked out the window in the midst of Hurricane Luis only to see the Chupacabras standing at a distance, impervious to the rain, wind, and lightning; the man with the machine gun who fired a hail of hot lead against the creature, but was too scared to report his case on account of his illegal firepower.
But what is it? The connections and the lexilinks are many and various, but only serve to confuse an already abominably confused subject even further. The chupacabras files present an unwinking visage of high strangeness, which stands out fearsomely even against the rest of what is, after all, a spectacularly strange science. While some may criticize the time spent on documenting the testimony of eyewitnesses with such a vengeance, others realize that the human component of the phenomenon is the only facet over which we can truly exercise any control, or claim any absolute knowledge. It is also better than returning home empty-handed after outfitting a massive hunt. Ultimately this article, like the chupacabras itself, will probably raise more questions than it answers.... but no one said it was going to be easy.