EL Chupacabras

These articles are posted in cryptomundo and include a large number of illustrations that will be well worth perusing once the text has been read and conclusions formed.  This is still a great deal of material to read.

It maps what we know of the creature we call ‘el chupacabras’ with some additional speculation.  The distribution is sufficiently broad that it is likely that several sub species are been described to add to the confusion.

Once again, the most important aspect of the creature is that it is nocturnal.  This immediately makes systemic observation and captures a problem.  We have already posted on several other such creatures and all are nocturnal.  The nocturnal aspect provides a completely separate ecological niche that easily avoids contact with humanity.  Tie that into woodlands with minimal human penetration and contact is at best sporadic and fleeting.

The most famous such creature is the Sasquatch where such direct contacts presently exceed 10,000 and has attracted faithful logging.  Others have also been posted on in this blog.

So we can approach el C with an open mind at least.  The present situation consists of many observations and many examples of this predator’s victims.  It is possible to construct a table of conforming evidence.

1                    Size and weight of a dog or around forty pounds.
2                    Powerful rear legs possibly allowing it to bound somewhat like a Kangeroo and obviously able to leap onto the back of a victim.
3                    Grey coloration predominant and some suggestion of a furless type.
4                    Narrow snout with two fangs at end that appear too be hollow and likely replaceable.
5                    Nocturnal predator that knocks down its prey and uses its fangs to open a vein or artery from which the blood is pumped by the victim.  Killing the victim is undesirable. Depending on access, most of the blood will flow into the attacker in as little as two minutes or so.
6                    The creature is apparently winged in the same way as a bat.  This part is somewhat troublesome because we have no experience with creatures this size that can fly using the flight methods of a bat.  However the size is at the same range as our largest birds and general lightness must be assumed.
7                    Yet in other locales the same apparent behavior is shown by unwinged dog like creatures that are hairless. And has odd more primitive jaws.  These have apparently been killed and inspected although it seems unremarked by specialists in taxonomy.  Most likely this is a case of unusual wild dogs been blamed for the victims.  The animals themselves need to be properly studied.

The speed of ingesting the blood is a huge advantage because the El C becomes both the first at the victim and is long gone before other predators show up.  In fact, other predators have every reason to merely sit back and let El C finish his quick meal because their interest is in the rest of the carcass about to be abandoned in any event.

It is possible that some meat may also be taken but the size suggests little if any.

It is worth recalling that pastoralists in Africa do harvest blood from their animals as a food source.  The animals themselves are simply too valuable.  It is just that we are not overly used to the concept.

I can now make some comments.  This animal appears to be very kangaroo-like and conforms to our knowledge of fossilized carnivorous kangaroos.  It is reasonable to speculate that this animal is a marsupial which frees it from maintaining a den for its young and provides continual mobility.  It can easily hole up in a different place every day and be very difficult to run down.  It does not need to be particularly territorial.  After all, how territorial are kangaroos?

The feeding strategy is not only effective and the victim is quickly overcome, but the blood is drained so quickly, that the creature can leave the scene long before any other carnivore shows up. That is a great survival plan.

The observations describe an animal that could be in some cases a reptile, in others a marsupial and also plausibly mammal.  After all a giant bat would be a mammal.

We come back to a giant vampire bat that is nocturnal and normally hunts deer by dropping down on them or even bounding on to them with its powerful legs needed for getting airborne on its wings.  It could well hunt with others which would explain the taking of quite large animals such as cattle.  Too many times far more blood was consumed than readily explained by one sole animal.  Thus a giant bat is our most plausible prospect.

The hunting method consists of sinking fangs deep into the neck area of the victim and preferably intersecting the main artery.  Also there is evidence that the animal first penetrates the cerebrum to kill the animal.  I would like to see a simple accessing of the artery while blood is still circulating.  If done that way, the victims own heart will swiftly pump out the blood.

Other reports claim removal of internal organs which is possible, yet unsubstantiated.  I am seeing little in the way of good technical work in areas with ample evidentiary material.  Animals drained of blood provide good bodies for autopsy.  Autopsy discovers missing organs.

This giant bat appears to have a distribution through the Americas but is not common in areas of human development which is not surprising considering how slow other wild game has been to interact.

Submitted by Javier Ortega on February 24, 2010.

Remember the “Chupacabras craze” of the mid 90s? Shirts, songs, cartoons and toys were helping the Chupcabras become a household word.

Originally reported in Puerto Rico, the news of this strange and scary creature spread like wildfire through the Americas. As the Spanish speaking media started to disseminate the first reports and detailed description of the creature, the reports came flooding in.

From Brazil to the United States, most of the reports came from farmers who inexplicably had found their livestock either torn apart, or had their blood completely “sucked” dry. Many theories sprang up as well. Could this be a case of mass hysteria and local predators to blame? Did it come from a UFO or were government forces to blame for a godforsaken project gone awry? Who knows. What is known is that most of the descriptions of this creature were similar. An animal that resembled a cross between a kangaroo, a rat, and some sort of reptile. Many reported big red eyes, forked tongue and “quills” running down its back. Not tall, the creature is supposed to stand a mere 3 feet in length and is bipedal.

The 90s are long gone and so are the flooding reports of the creature. What became of all the reports of Chupacabras sightings? Nothing really. Many unexplained animal deaths, some eyewitness accounts and random news reports is what eventually ebbed.

Reported sightings still occur, some as recent as a few months ago in Texas. After some proper research they all turn out to be wild dogs with mange.

Virgilio Sanchez-Ocejo from the Miami UFO Center has come forward with the results of a 10 year study on biological samples of an unknown creature thought to be the infamous Chupacabras. Virgilio released a PR statement on the popular website Rense.com

This month marks 15 years of the beginning of a wave of attacks by the so-called Chupacabras – an unfortunate misnomer – on February 1995 in Puerto Rico. The attacks continued on into the US. We subsequently received reports from Homestead and Miami in February 1996, followed almost simultaneously by reports from California, Texas and Mexico, also in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil. This also marks 10 years since the second wave of attacks began in March 2,000 in Calama, Chile, and continued on until the end of 2003. 

[Cryptozoologist’s Note: Calling the creature(s) originally sighted in Puerto Rico “El Chupacabras” (the goat sucker) is only a misnomer if one ignores the method of killing used in most of the attacks (the animals’ blood was drained) as well as the fact that goats seemed to be a predominant item in the creatures’ diet!] 

These attacks have left a toll of thousands of dead domestic animals such as chickens, ducks, doves, dogs, cats, goats pigs, and even cows (which) were attacked by the Chupacabras, leaving them all without blood…all removed through a small puncture, usually around the neck of its victims. Moreover, we received UFO sightings reports before, during and after the attacks. Also, we registered paranormal phenomena in most of the attack area. 

In our field investigations we have accumulated: witness interviews, photos of dead animals, UFO reports, autopsies on animals, hair samples, plaster molds of the footprints, a tooth, sketch by witnesses, etc. None of this would have been possible without the help of our associates in Miami, or without our contacts in Calama: Jaime Ferrer, Arturo Menay (EPD) who was director of Radio Coya in Maria Elena, Juan Vega director of the Montessori School, Claudio Castellon, director of the Museum of Maria Elena and local young people who joined us in our investigation. 

The laboratory analysis, of the collected samples, was done, first at the Autonomous University of Mexico by Dr. Zoar Gutierrez and Rodolfo Garrido Cotham, with the help of journalist Daniel Munoz. After several years, the samples were taken to the University of Granada by UFO researcher and writer J. J. Benitez. 

We received the final results of a tooth analysis in December 2, 2009 by the Laboratory of Genetic Identification, Department of Legal Medicine, it was signed by Professor José Antonio Lorente Acosta. As a result of a DNA process, it was determined that the tooth does not belong to any human being, making it compatible with an animal that could not be genetically defined. 

In conclusion, the Chupacabras is an unknown physical animal. 

The Chupacabra’s investigation was not easy. We had to surmount innumerable obstacles, including assertions by the authorities in different countries that the attacks were caused by stray dogs or known predators and the reluctance of some scientists to even analyze samples. In one case, they wanted to keep the sample because they were surprised by not being able to identify it, and so on. 

It took almost 10 years to receive the latest laboratory tests, a long wait. We suffered through periods of high…and low…expectations. It was not easy, but everything worked out in the end. 

We do not think of the work as finished, and we now have a database which clearly presents the characteristics of an animal as yet unknown to science. We have a solid guide for future scientific study…and/or of further attacks. 

Virgilio Sanchez-Ocejo
Miami UFO Center 

Virgilio was kind enough to forward me the faxed DNA results of the tested hair, tooth and skin samples of the “unknown” creature. 

From: sanchezocejov@bellsouth.net
To: Javier Ortega
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:48 AM
Subject Re: Chupacabras Article 

Attach(ed) is:
1) Lab. de Identificacion Genetica (Document in PDF)
2) Diente1 (The tooth)
3) Craneo (The tooth’s Skull) 

4) a) – DNA b) – DNA hair2 (Analysis of hair samples)

The first image is that of the tooth. 

According to Virgilio the tooth is naturally hollow like a hypodermic needle, which he says the animal uses to either inject or spray its victim with a toxin. According to the DNA test done by (the) Medical Dept. in the University of Granada, Spain (ugr.es) the extracted DNA from the tooth is neither human, nor from a dog or cat. The University did examine the tooth’s hollowness. According to what Virgilio said, the results of the examination were that the hole was not made by a drill and was natural forming.

The above document shows (in Spanish) the results from the DNA extraction test. It states: 

Through the process of DNA extraction we were able to extract genetic material, however, we were not able to match said DNA with any human DNA markers, therefore making it compatible with animal DNA. We were not able to map it genetically to a known animal due to not having a previous study so that we can properly compare the study in a more approximate manner. 

The results are obvious. It’s not human DNA, but it is animal DNA. Naturally we ask, “If it’s not human, then what kind of animal is it genetically mapped to?”

Well, here is where it gets vague and ambiguous. 

When I emailed Virgilio about the ambiguous results from the DNA testing, I explained that the University’s test only proves that it’s not of human origin. Meaning it could be from any of the other thousands of animal species on earth. Virgilio said that it was, in fact, compared against an animal database, but a database that included only dog and cat DNA. 

So excluding cats and dogs, it still leaves us open to thousands of other species. Running the DNA test amongst such a huge database would take a long, long time. 

So next we move onto the hair samples taken from the skull. 

Not surprisingly the results are as anticlimactic as the tooth DNA results. The hair samples also state that the extracted DNA is not of human origin. The skull itself has not been submitted to scientific study. Virgilio had told me that taking such an object outside of the U.S. proves to be a difficult process with U.S. Customs. 

So what does the “10 year Chupacabras Study” yield in the end? 

A strange hypodermic-like tooth and hair evidence, the DNA of which is not human, cat or dog’s. 

Virgilio has spent the last decade or so working hard in investigating these strange Chupacabras reports. Donating much of his own money and countless hours to his plight, only to end up with ambiguous evidence. The cryptic fields of science (paranormal / Cryptozoology) are not glamorous ones. There is a lot of hard work, research, disappointment and ridicule that comes with the territory. One must always stay on his or her toes when presenting evidence to the scientific community or risk facing public humiliation. 

I know Virgilio has done his homework in the investigation of the Chupacabras, but with such inconclusive evidence as his 10-year study has produced, one can’t help but to be upset that the results were not more concrete. 

In the end, Virgilio (as well as other Chupacabras investigators) can only hope that these results of “unknown animal DNA” could be from an animal unknown to science, but for now he must continue on with his sisyphean plight. 

Good luck!

[Cryptozoologist's Note: While the results of this study are interesting, they basically do nothing to enlighten us as to the identity of the first two kinds of El Chupacabras, which were originally sighted in Puerto Rico (see the links to my three blogs on El Chupacabras below). As a matter of fact, the author barely mentions the existence of more than one kind of creature having been identified by the same name. Nor, in my opinion, does it completely resolve the identity of all the dog-like creatures which have been sighted, often photographed, and even collected as specimens. As far as I am concerned, the most intriguing thing about this tooth is that, regardless of its DNA, its physical characteristics do not match the tooth of any mammal known to science!] 


Comment by Crystal

I cannot help but think that el chupacabra would debilitate by suffocation whilst injecting a venom or poison, since their activity seems to be performed in a relatively short amount of time.  I have noticed that many of the initial bite marks are on the neck or inner thighs, which suggests to me that the el chupacabra may have thermo receptors in the nose region and/or cranial infrared receptors to detect veins close to their prey's skin. 

I feel that it is possible that various animals that have been found dead and purported to be el chupacabra, may have been feasting on the carrion of the original attack, became ill and died due to contact with particularly virulent strains of bacteria or septic pathogens left behind by the el chupacabra that performed the initial kill and blood draining.  Has anyone in forensics been able to calculate the actual amount of time taken by an el chupacabra to kill and drain a victim?  Obviously, if the prey has been disturbed by other animal's contact, the initial body-line position for blood draining purposes will have changed, so I would consider that to be a detriment for a blood-drain timeline.

Feeding off of an original bite that still retained a possible active secreted venom and saliva combination containing several different toxic proteins that might contain functions that included anticoagulants that inhibit blood clotting, several compounds that prolong bleeding, compounds that prevent the constriction of blood vessels near the wound, lowering of blood pressure, muscle paralysis, and the induction of hypothermia, would lead to shock and loss of consciousness and eventual death.  The carrion feeding habits of other animals after the initial kill for blood, could describe a reason for  many of the mutilation scenarios.  Has a study been performed for these possible detections?  

If the tooth pictured here is a hollowed out incisor with injection capabilities, I would expect it to be razor sharp and lack enamel.  Unfortunately, this article does not state what material the tooth actually is, although they refer to it as being compatible to animal DNA.  I would think that residual venom or saliva samples would be present for further DNA testing.  I would think that the internal bore pattern of the tooth pit would also be of considerable value for further comparison with known animals whether considered extinct or not.

An intriguing article and well written, Randy!


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy
William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

August 25, 2002. The full moon rose above the mountain in the cloudless night, shining like a pale yellow lantern into the farmer's bedroom. But that is not what awoke him. It was the chickens. Their panicked cries had awoken him before, and it meant they were under attack. Wild dogs had gotten into the coop, the farmer thought, or perhaps a wolf. He leapt from bed, grabbed his shotgun from the bedroom corner and hurried outside. He checked the gun for cartridges as he jogged barefoot past the long, soft shadows cast by the moonlight toward the chicken coop. The predator will die tonight, he thought, as he pushed open the small door to the coop. He burst in and took aim. But he did not shoot. Instead, he froze, his senses overwhelmed by the sight before him. Several chickens lay dead in the dirt around the clawed feet of a creature the farmer had never seen before. This was no dog, no wolf. It stood on two feet at about the height of a small child. It had dark, scaly skin and a ridge of porcupine-like spines running across its head and down its back. In its short arms ending in sharp claw-like hands, the creature held a chicken to its mouth. It was not eating its prey, but seemed to be sucking the life from it. It turned to face the farmer, its red eyes blazing, and dropped the chicken to the ground. It hissed, baring its large blood-stained fangs. Then it screeched—an unearthly, terrifying noise that drove the farmer backward into the doorway. The creature, with its front claws dangling, hopped like some mutant kangaroo toward the farmer. Dumbstruck, he stumbled backward out of the coop as the creature hopped past him with another deafening shriek. The farmer was knocked to the ground, and he could feel rough, scaly skin of the creature as it passed, and felt the warm, sickening smell of its putrid breath on his face. The creature sprung onto the roof of the coop, spread short, dark, bat-like wings, and with two bounding hops flew away into the darkness. It was only then that the farmer remembered he had his shotgun. He brought it to bear, but it was too late. The creature from hell had disappeared with one last shriek that echoed off the distant mountains.

Although this might sound like some horror story fantasy, it is actually based on the eyewitness accounts and experiences of those who have encountered the enigmatic creature known as el chupacabras—"the goatsucker."


As I have written previously in these pages, not all the 'creatures' which are reported to me and other researchers around the world are truly flesh and blood in form, nor are they all really animate, at least in the conventional sense of the word. Such "creatures" are known as zooform phenomena and are often reported in conjunction with other, sometimes diverse, paranormal phenomena, including ghosts, poltergeists and UFOs. Consequently, they are often more in the realm of paracryptozoology, which deals with cryptids that don't seem to fit within the animal kingdom as we know it; or cryptids that exhibit "paranormal" attributes. This list includes the Chupacabras—at least with respect to two of the three forms in which it is commonly reported.

The Goat Sucker, El Chupacabra, is one of the most interesting of these "things" (as the legendary UFOlogist Ivan T. Sanderson used to refer to them), a winged phantom—originally of the Hispanic world—which is causing consternation worldwide amongst zoologists, UFOlogists and the farming community alike. It is my intention in this article to focus primarily on those sightings and reported forms which lend themselves to natural rather than supernatural or paranormal explanations.



Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean to the east of the island of Hispianiola (which contains both the voodoo republic of Haiti, and the slightly less fearsome Dominican Republic). It was discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus and has been a self governing "commonwealth" of the United States of America since the Spanish-American war of 1898. Although since 1917 its inhabitants have been U.S citizens, they are predominantly Spanish speakers of Hispanic or mixed race descent. Both politically and geographically, therefore, it is located midway between the Houngan-led, voodoo infested, high strangeness of Haiti and the long established Colonial ethos of the British Virgin and Leeward Islands to the East. This has established a sort of cultural schizophrenia which may be important when investigating the quasi-vampiric events chronicled in this article.

The "Moca Vampire"

During the 1970s there were a series of mysterious attacks on domestic livestock in the area around the town of Moca, Puerto Rico. Ducks, geese, rabbits and goats were attacked. Writing in The Hispanic magazine during August 1996, Lalo Lopez noted:

"In the 1970's the 'Moca Vampire' myth emerged as mauled carcasses of animals were suddenly being found throughout the countryside near the small town of Moca. The 'vampire' turned out to be real—sort of. Someone had illegally introduced alligators into the delicate Puerto Rico ecosystem. The alligators mauled animals as they approached watering holes. Because alligators weren't native to the island, residents had never seen these types of maulings and a myth regarding the 'vampires' was born". 
However, the descriptions of the mutilated animals do not sound like the work of crocodilians. All members of that family crush their prey with their huge jaws, or, conversely rip out chunks of living flesh from larger prey animals.

While at first it was suspected that the killings were done randomly by some members of a Satanic cult, eventually these killings spread around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. The killings had one pattern in common: each of the victims of El Vampiro de Moca (The Vampire of Moca) had two puncture holes around its neck.

During the 1975 wave, Salvador Freixedo observed that the smallness of Puerto Rico allowed any investigator to hop into a car and drive to the scene of the events in an hour or two—something that would be difficult to do in his native Spain, much less in the United States. It was this closeness that enabled him to be one of the first people on the scene at Moca. According to Freixedo, "two ducks, three goats, a pair of geese, and a large hog were found slain one morning on a small farm near the town of Moca. The owner was going insane, wondering who in the world could have visited this ruin upon him. The animals betrayed the wounds that have become typical of this kind of attack, and of course, they were all done with incredible precision. I did not doubt for one moment who could have been responsible for the crime... I got in my car and visited the area immediately, and realized what was filling the animals' owner with wonder and fear: there wasn't a trace of blood in any of the animals, and in spite of the fact that the dead geese had snow-white feathers, upon which the slightest speck of blood would have shown up immediately."

"Over the next few days, the newspapers continued reporting on the growing number of dead animals found in the region. No explanation could be found for these mysterious deaths. During one of my forays, I was able to see a black and white cow spread out in the middle of the field. I got out of the car and tried to reach the cow, which wasn't easy. The dead beast had characteristic wounds on its neck and on its head. Skin had been pulled back on one side of its head, as if by using a scalpel, and the opening to one of its nasal orifices was missing, although there was no indication of rending. In spite of the whiteness of its head, there wasn't a single drop of blood to be seen. The farmer who escorted me could not stop wondering what had caused his cow's death. He related how that very same night he had heard his dogs barking furiously, and that a blind elderly woman who lived on the edge of the field had told him that the cattle, which ordinarily spend the night outdoors, had kept her from getting a good night's sleep due to their frantic, maddened running from one end of the field to another."


As sightings intensified in the 1990s, the chupacabras' appetite seemed to grow. Researchers, investigating UFO sightings in Puerto Rico, stumbled upon reports by local residents of a strange, dog-like creature who would attack its prey and suck the blood dry. In some cases, farmers reported that literally hundreds of their animals were inexplicably slaughtered. Invariably, the animals were not eaten by any predator, but were horribly mutilated or drained of blood—hence the name, "Chupacabra", roughly translated as "goat-sucker." The name derives from its penchant for drawing the blood not only out of goats, but also rabbits, chickens and household pets, through small circular orifices in the animal's body. More often than not, the most important of these wounds is located on the hapless animal's head, where the creature's sucking organ pierces deep into the cerebellum, slaying its victim painlessly before consuming its vital fluids. In 1991, a male dog was found dead, with nothing inside. "It was as if all had been sucked out through the eyes," the report said. "It had empty eye sockets and all the internal organs had disappeared." As the concept of animal mutilations was being investigated at the time—and remains an ongoing mystery—they reported their findings to other researchers back in the US.

Known as both "chupacabras" and "chupacabra" throughout the Americas—with the former probably being the original word, and the latter a better regularization of it—the name can be preceded by the masculine definite article ("el chupacabras"), or the plural masculine article ("los chupacabras"). The term was supposedly coined by Puerto Rican television personality Silverio Pérez, who intended the name to be a joke. The actual meaning of the word "chypacabra" is goat eater.


Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Since the first sightings in Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, there have been reports from as far north as the Carolinas and as far south as Chile. Though some argue that the chupacabra may be a real creature, mainstream scientists and experts generally contend that the chupacabra is a legendary creature, or a type of urban legend.

Descriptions of the physical appearance of each specimen can resemble descriptions of other reports, or be completely different from other chupacabra descriptions. Differences in descriptions are too wide to be attributed to differences in the perceptions of the observers, causing cryptozoologists to speculate that chupacabra reports may in fact be attributable to several species. Although they have different appearances, chupacabra descriptions have several common traits. They are typically described as being 3 ft. (1 m) or taller, and roughly humanoid in shape.

Three Forms

Usually, chupacabras are said to appear in three specific forms:

The first and most common form is a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave a sulfuric stench behind. When it screeches, some reports note that the chupacabra's eyes glow an unusual red, then give the witnesses nausea.

The second variety bears a resemblance to a wallaby or dog standing on its hind legs. It stands and hops as a kangaroo, and it has coarse fur with greyish facial hair. The head is similar to a dog's, and its mouth has large teeth.

The third form is described as a strange breed of wild dog. This form is mostly hairless, has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, teeth, and claws. This animal is said to be the result of interbreeding between several populations of wild dogs, though enthusiasts claim that it might be an example of a dog-like reptile. The account during the year 2001 in Nicaragua of a chupacabra's corpse being found supports the conclusion that it is simply a strange breed of wild dog. The alleged corpse of the animal was found in Tolapa, Nicaragua, and forensically analyzed at UNAN-Leon. Pathologists at the University found that it was just an unusual-looking dog. There are very striking morphological differences between different breeds of dog, which can easily account for the strange characteristics.

Some reports claim the chupacabra's red eyes have the ability to hypnotize and paralyze their prey, leaving the prey animal mentally stunned, allowing the chupacabra to suck the animal's blood at its leisure. The effect is similar to the bite of the vampire bat, or of certain snakes or spiders that stun their prey with venom. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabras sucks all the animal's blood (and sometimes organs) through a single hole or two holes.

Many residents of South America have reported sightings of El Chupacabras, and although divergent, the descriptions share some significant likenesses. Many accounts include the visible inflation of the stomach region after El Chupacabras has been feeding. The appearance of the animal changes when an internal bladder-like organ fills with the blood of its prey. Furthermore, with almost all the sightings witnesses have reported large protruding fangs. These fangs are suspected to be hollow and be the vehicles for the blood on which it feeds.

The chupacabra is generally treated as a product of mass hysteria, though the animal mutilations are frequently real. Like many cases of such mutilations, however, it has been argued that they are often not as mysterious as they might first appear, and in fact, a series of tests showcased by the National Geographic Channel in a show about the chupacabra pointed to the obvious conclusion that every single "animal mutilation" can be explained by either people killing them or, more likely, other animals eating them. The loss of blood may be explained by insects drinking it.


Since a still-unexplained subterranean explosion in the Cabo Rojo area during 1987, Puerto Rico has been the site of numerous appearances of El Chupacabras. The legend of cipi chupacabra began in about 1992, when Puerto Rican newspapers El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia began reporting the killings of many different types of animals, such as birds, horses, and as its name implies, goats. The early months of 1995 brought more sporadic sightings and reports of the Goatsucker.

A police officer was sent to investigate an animal which had been found mutilated. When he arrived at the scene he discovered a mutilated sheep, and while examining the body, he became aware of something watching him from the shadows. He was staggered to see a creature about five feet tall with dark skin and orange-yellow eyes. When the creature left the scene the police officer chased it only to be quickly overcome with a severe headache and nausea. He soon collapsed.

But the situation did not pick up again until the focus of activity had shifted from the town of Orocovis, deep in the mountains of the island, to the coastal town of  CanovanasCanovanas is a prosperous community that benefits from its location on Route 3, which handles the heavy traffic between San Juan on one end and Fajardo on the other. The majestic, mist-enshrouded peaks of El Yunque are only a stone's throw away, and the excellent beaches of Luquillo attract thousands of local and foreign tourists. Canovanas also boasts the spectacular El Comandante, one of the finest race tracks in the entire world. It was this fortunate piece of real estate that the gargoylesque creature called the Chupacabras would select as its own.

In October 1995, Luis Guadaloupe walked into his local police station in the town of Canovanas. He had an unusual story to report to the police—while going about his normal business for the day, he had a strange experience. Luis had encountered a bizarre creature:

"It was really ugly, like a demon, around four to five feet tall with huge elongated red eyes. It moved like a kangaroo—jumping on its powerful back legs. It had a long pointed tongue which moved in and out of its mouth. It was gray but its back seemed to change colour—it gave off a foul "sulphuric-like stench".

Lucy Batista, residing in the Alturas de Campo Rico neighborhood, commented on the curious noises associated with the Chupacabras—inhuman screams resembling the combined sounds of a cat yowling and a goat's braying. Not only did it frighten her, it also caused all of her animals to panic. One night, she heard the sound of an animal running behind her house. She thought it was a horse until the terrifying cackle filled the air, causing her to fear for the safety of the children in her household. Other residents of her area refer to the creature jokingly as "The Rabbit" on account of the shape of its hind legs, or "The Kangaroo," for its ability to take prodigious leaps with its powerful legs.

In the light of all the commotion the creature's antics caused in Canovanas, many of the locals were surprised that no agencies aside from elements of the Civil Defense had chosen to look into the matter. "The Department of Natural Resources was called, but no one was sent to investigate. Perhaps they thought this situation was something cooked up by the townsfolk," one local grumbled.

The fact of the matter is that the witnesses were subjected not to the negative influence of MIBs or hostile government agents, but to the scorn of their own peers. A young woman named Mariane, interviewed by Martin, indicated that her husband's co-workers had taken to teasing him by calling him Goatsucker all the time. Other members of their family, who had also expressed their belief in the existence of this creature, or had seen it with their own eyes, had also been subjected to ridicule. "This creature isn't a joke," she said angrily. "I didn't make it up, either. It's real."

Canovanas' Mayor, the Hon. Jose "Chemo" Soto, could not have agreed more with the young woman's assessment of the situation, and decided to take measures aimed at capturing the Goatsucker: together with his band of cammo-clad hunters, a 200-man unarmed militia, the mayor patrolled his municipality at night in hopes of reducing whatever had been slaughtering the area's livestock. Mayor Soto and his cadres used a cage built from welded iron fencing with a goat as bait.

Mayor Soto was clearly pleased at the response elicited by his nocturnal patrols in search of the winged intruder: news of the Chupacabras and its nefarious deeds had made worldwide headlines. According to the mayor, one of his constituents had described the beast as a creature some three feet tall, which could increase its height suddenly, and was endowed with either a crest or horns on its head. It also had large hind legs resembling those of a kangaroo. This matter, stressed Mayor Soto, was a very serious one; his patrols served the added purpose of calming the citizens of Canovanas. His political opponent, Melba Rivera, hoping to unseat Soto in the 1996 elections, went on record saying that the incumbent mayor was doing his level best to discredit the city by his ridiculous antics.

Meanwhile, the Chupacabras' attacks were increasing exponentially. While its regular "beat" still remained Canovanas and the surrounding municipalities, the trail of bloodless animals led to sites on the other side of the island. It was then that people expressed the belief that there surely must be more than a single Goatsucker at work. By November 1995, the situation had reached a fever pitch—not a day went by without the elusive predator making its presence felt, as this chronology attests:

On Wednesday, November 1, 1995 the predatory gargoyle descended upon the community of Sabana Grande. A report filed by police officer Abraham Baez of the Sabana Seca police noted that a Nubian goat belonging to Jose Vega Lugo was found in a lot adjacent to Route 167, which leads to Barrio La Torre. The officer's report states that the animal was found missing an eye and displayed a curious wound on its neck. The carcass gave no indications of having been attacked by dogs, but the goat's innards were outside its body. The animal had also been rendered bloodless by it nameless attacker.

Jose Vega Lugo discovered that his goat had been slain at 3:00 p.m. in a lot near his property. Neighbors found several black hairs entwined in a barbed wire fence.

Lt. Medina, the interim chief of the Sabana Grande district, noted that the wounds inflicted on the hapless goat "were precise and without any rending." Perhaps to keep at bay the more fanciful explanations for the goat's demise, he promptly added that there had been reports concerning the presence of feral monkeys in the area. Three years earlier, an unknown assailant had decimated a flock of sheep belonging to a doctor from the nearby city of Yauco. The dead animals presented the same throat punctures and had inexplicably lost all their blood.

Mayor Jose "Chemo" Soto's paramilitary antics may have been scorned by his political opponents in Canovanas, but were hailed as pro-active by Carlos De Jesus, manager of "Junker Correa," an auto salvage lot located on the main highway running from Caguas to Rio Piedras. Mr. De Jesus insisted that the course of action taken by the mayor of Canovanas was neither foolish nor futile.

De Jesus' junkyard had just been the Chupacabras' latest lunch stop. Upon opening for business at 7:00 a.m., he was puzzled that the five sheep and four geese he kept on the premises had not come out to greet him, demanding their morning meal. Manuel Correa, the junkyard's proprietor, accompanied De Jesus in search of the animals, only to find they were all dead.

"The Chupacabras is a serious matter, not a cause for levity," De Jesus declared emphatically to reporter Ruben Dario Rodriguez from El Vocero. "The government should pay greater attention to this weird situation. Right now, only farm animals are being killed, but in the future, it could well be our own children or grandchildren."

On Thursday, November 2, 1995 the Goatsucker hit the big time. An Associated Press writer picked up the story and broadcast it on the news wires. This time, it was residents of Ponce who had the dubious pleasure of the visit. The Chupacabras feasted on four cats and five dogs in the Lajes and Bellavista neighborhoods of the city.

Angela Lajes told the press that she woke up in the morning and found that her dog, who had been put outside in perfect health the previous evening, was dead. Aside from a trickle of blood around its anus, the dog was described as being desiccated and with a few viscera exposed. Mrs. Lajes ran to her neighbor, her sister Angela Santiago, who told her that two cats on her property had been found entirely dry, as if they had nothing inside them. "I heard the sounds of a fierce fight last night, but I felt afraid to come outside, but the fact of the matter is that a number of animals have been slain without any explanation whatsoever."

Other reports continued coming in, including that twenty parakeets—hardly containing enough blood for a creature the size of the Goatsucker—had been found slain in the coastal town of Yabucoa, down the road from the prestigious Palmas del Mar resort. Not satisfied with killing the parakeets in their cage, the bloodthirsty creature topped the night off by relieving five goats of their vital fluids.

Mr. William Rodriguez's five goats were inspected by Officers Lozada and Ortiz of the Yabucoaprecinct, who noted that the animals had been slain in a manner identical to the other deaths reported all over the island.

Monday, November 6, 1995: So far the victims had only been animals, but the fear behind every single mind on the island was that the Goatsucker would give human hemoglobin a try. Two fishermen who had cast their hooks by the banks of the Canovanas River almost became an entree, according to Obed Betancourt, a writer for El Vocero.

The two men had been fishing buruquenas (a sort of Caribbean shad or sunfish) in the early evening (7:30-8:30 p.m.) in the Barrio Palmasola section of Canovanas, when they suddenly became aware of a sound in the vegetation behind them. Luis Angel Guadalupe and Carlos Carrillo, his brother in law, were convinced that the thing which interrupted their nocturnal fishing was none other than the Chupacabras itself. Guadalupe observed that it was "horrible—like the devil himself," proceeding to describe the creature as a having large ears, luminous oval eyes alternating between orange and red, claws, and wings. The nightmarish intruder stood between four and five feet tall.

This close encounter prompted both men to run faster than either of them had ever run, while the Chupacabras pursued them flying above the treetops. Upon reaching his house after the mad foot race, Guadalupe grabbed a machete and turned to see the Goatsucker, ready to pounce, perched on a nearby hutch. But battle wasn't joined—the gargoyle jumped to the ground, leaving deep prints in the earth, and dashed back into the woods, tearing down the hutch, fences, and other structures in its path. Perhaps it wasn't hungry. It was later learned that earlier that evening, the winged terror had slaughtered fifteen peacocks and a heifer belonging to one Miguel Dominguez.

Mayor Jose "Chemo" Soto and thirty of his "Ramboes"—the militia-like posse of fearless Goatsucker hunters—patrolled the areas in question in search of the creature. Mayor Soto expressed a belief at one point that the Chupacabras prowls the riverbanks to drink water after killing its prey.

The Chupacabras struck again: this time choosing to add a cat to its monotonous goat and lamb diet. Striking at a junkyard, it killed a cat, a sheep, and apparently swallowed an entire lamb, since the third animal being kept by the junkyard owner never turned up again.

The junkyard, known as "Junker Tito", was located on Route 1 between Caguas and Rio Piedras, a heavily-trafficked urban corridor. Perhaps the solitude that reigns over these used auto parts cemeteries is perfect for the creature's depredations, since this was its second strike at a junkyard. "Junker Correa" and the sheep it held were victims to the Goatsucker a few days earlier.

Victor Ortiz, owner of "Junker Tito", had this to say to the press: "We have no idea if it all happened on Sunday night or in the early morning hours of Monday. When we opened for business on Monday morning, we were surprised that the animals hadn't come looking for us as was their custom. A short while later, we found the dead cat, two almost-dead sheep and a missing lamb."

Ortiz went on to add that in spite of the muddiness of the junkyard's terrain, there were no footprints to be found anywhere. However, there were signs that a fierce fight had ensued between the animals and the attacker, who vanquished them in the end. The dead animals had the characteristic circular puncture marks around their necks.

The Chupacabras, now believed to be merely one of many creatures, continued its killing spree throughout the island's central municipalities, this time leaving fifteen guinea hens completely bloodless. The dead birds exhibited bizarre stinger marks, as if they had been attacked by a swarm of bees. This event transpired in the locality of Cidra, at a body shop owned by Juan R. Colon.

A few days earlier, a Cidra mechanic had seen a very strange creature land on a tree branch. Not willing to risk ridicule, he confided his experience to a cousin. The mechanic repeatedly stated that he had never seen anything similar in his life, and believed that he had quite possibly seen the notorious Chupacabras.

The undercurrent of fear caused by the Chupacabras spread throughout the city of Caguas and its outlying suburbs as a result of the mind-bending killing of a large horse and four goats belonging to Efrain Rojas, Jr. The animals, kept at Mr. Rojas' property off Route 183, which links San Lorenzo toCaguas, were found with deep incisions in their chests, one of them leading directly to the heart. No stains of blood spillage were found on the ground, nor was any blood left within the carcasses. Jonathan Rojas, a high school student, claims to have wakened from a deep sleep at 2:30 a.m. after hearing the noise made by the horse kicking the door to its paddock. Upon taking a quick look through his bedroom window, he was amazed to see an odd, pyramidal object some sixteen feet tall by twenty feet wide floating amid the heavy fog.

Rojas added that the object seemed to have a sort of entrance or doorway, and was hovering over a small brook some three hundred feet away from his house, as if supplying itself with water. He fell asleep once more, awakening at five in the morning to see the same object in place. This time he alerted his uncle, who was only able to distinguish an intense glow departing from the area as he looked out the window.

Thursday, November 9, 1995 it was reported that Mrs. Ada Arroyo, identified as the assistant director of the Mount Sion Nursing Home outside Barrio Turabo Arriba in the city of Caguas, fell victim to a nervous breakdown after seeing the infamous Chupacabras. According to the story, the event took place at 7 p.m. Mount Sion is a peaceful and inviting facility, equipped with a large and modern swimming facility.

Mrs. Arroyo was quoted as saying: "I heard screams similar to those made by a lamb being slaughtered. I went out to the patio and managed to see a strange hairy figure, grayish in color, covering its body with a pair of wings. It had a flattened, vulpine face, with enormous red eyes." Mrs. Arroyo added that the creature held her gaze with its mesmerizing eyes before taking off into the air, vanishing from sight immediately. It was later learned that the noises identified by the nursing home director came from a herd of cattle downhill from the place where she spotted the winged oddity. No dead animals were discovered.

Other animals in Rio Piedras weren't so fortunate: two sheep, a goose, and a turkey were found dead the following day. It was rumored that the Chupacabras had been active in the area only days before, when a 150 lb. sheep was found dead and drained of all its blood. No footprints were found around any of the victims.

Word on the streets had it that the Chupacabras was hiding out in the vast natural cave systems that riddle Puerto Rico like a piece of Swiss cheese. Hundreds of residents of the town of Aguas Buenas, famous for being the birthplace of Luis Munoz Marin, the Commonwealth's founder and first governor, believed that the renowned bat-infested caves of their region were providing shelter for the Chupacabras. Mayor Carlos Aponte, taking a page from Mayor Soto's book, decided to organize a posse and go after the creature, which had already left its calling card in Aguas Buenas. The entity appeared in broad daylight and killed a rooster and two hens at a private farm located at Barrio Camino Verde, before being scared away by the screams of local residents who witnessed its deeds. Those self-same residents allegedly saw it enter the gloomy caves. The police, members of the Civil Defense, and dozens of townsfolk headed to the cave area, but none dared venture into them for fear of cornering the creature.

Gun control is a non-issue in Puerto Rico. Not only is it a citizen's right to bear arms, but it is safe to say that one of every three island residents owns a weapon, registered or not. This freewheeling ownership of sidearms enabled farmer Elliot Feliciano to open fire against a nocturnal predator which turned out to be the hellish Goatsucker. On Saturday, November 11, 1995 it was reported by Feliciano that a large animal jumped the fence surrounding his home, prompting the armed response. While he cannot say for sure if he scored a hit, the farmer believes that the sizable creature may well have been the Chupacabras. He described the beast as being some 3 to 4 feet tall, endowed with large eyes, and with what appeared to be wings. Police report 95-5-050-15435, filed by police officers Gonzalo Tubens and Jose Toro, states that an animal making a noise that the complainant could not identify was shot at on the property. A search by both officers revealed no trace of the Goatsucker.

The El Rosario sector, located between Mayaguez and San German, was gripped by fear since the first sightings of the gargoyle-like creature began, prompting farmers to safeguard their animals. Elements of the local police found an eighty-pound goat which had been killed by means of strange wounds to its throat, and rendered bloodless.

A society raised on "Friday the 13th" movies, the exploits of Freddy Kruger, and splattergore films is usually immune to monster stories. But what happens when a creature that could well be an escapee from one of these celluloid nightmares sticks an arm through an open window?

Ask the wife of Bernardo Gomez, who lives in Caguas. According to a report on Wednesday, November 15, 1995, she saw with her own eyes how a clawed hand belonging to a long, thin, hairy arm entered through her bedroom window just as she was getting ready for bed. The claw seized a teddy bear sitting on a counter top and shredded it in seconds. Mrs. Gomez claimed to have hurled a coffee cup at the sinister appendage, which withdrew immediately. She managed to see a single red eye and the left side of the intruder's face, which promptly vanished into the heavily wooded area behind the house.

These events took place in the city of Caguas, directly south of San Juan. Agents of the police, Civil Defense, and the Municipal Guards responded to the emergency phone call, finding a slimy substance deposited against the torn window, as well as an unidentifiable piece of rancid flesh that had apparently been left behind as the creature beat a retreat. The Technical Services Division of the local CIC agency dusted the window for fingerprints, but were unable to find any. A thorough search of the nearby wilderness failed to reveal any sign of the mysterious intruder.

Thus far, city dwellers had felt safe from the attacks of this elusive creature or creatures. Yet the same evening that Mrs. Gomez underwent her harrowing experience, two hens and their chicks had their blood drained by a Chupacabras-like creature in the heart of San Juan's Puerto Nuevo neighborhood, a heavily built-up area filled with shops, restaurants, and main avenues. The owner of the slain hens had gone to nearby Dorado for the day, and returned to find the hair-raising scene.

This prompted the long-suffering citizenry to fight back. Neither monster, nor alien, nor gargoyle will ever crush the human spirit: the residents of Barrio Cain Alto in the town of San German chased the Chupacabras away as it was poised to kill three fighting roosters belonging to one of the neighbors.

 This foiled attack took place in the afternoon, when the people of Barrio Cain Alto heard the commotion taking place in the area where the cockfighting roosters were kept. Three of the neighbors ran into the nightmarish attacker, who appeared to hesitate at the sudden appearance of the humans, whose fear was overcome by intense rage: they began throwing stones at the Chupacabras, who rose to its full height and sprang upwards into the air, flying off in the direction of a nearby hill. The three rock-slinging witnesses described the intruder as being a grayish brown simian creature with large, almond-shaped eyes, an oval face, and small hands protruding from its shoulders.

In his regular column on UFOs, Julio Victor Ramirez, who reported most of the UFO incidents taking place during the 1991-92 sightings, observed that area residents did not link the Chupacabras with UFO activity. He pointed out that farmers in Western Puerto Rico linked the Goatsucker with giant vampire bats which may have been introduced deliberately or not from their habitats in South America.

Ruben Dario Rodriguez observed in a column that elements of the Department of Natural Resources had completed tests on a number of dead rabbits which showed deep puncture marks. They returned a stunning verdict: the wounds on the hapless bunnies could not have been produced by anything native to Puerto Rico. The investigators thought it strange that the dead rabbits had been found outside their cages, which showed no signs of having been forced open. One of the rabbits had punctures in its paws and was covered in a slimy substance (which would later be found at a number of sites). The slime also underwent analysis, but no report on the findings was ever issued.

Coincidentally (but perhaps not), the rabbit killings took place in the town of Gurabo, where the vampire bird had been discovered in 1989.

Reason enough to panic, yet no one did: The Chupacabras' depredations were coming closer to the urban sprawl of San Juan. This time it struck in Carolina, a municipality bordering the island capital. A small mongrel dog belonging to Demetrio Rivera was found dead.

According to Mr. Rivera's testimony, his dog was tied out in the backyard, as was customary, when it suddenly began barking furiously. But the barks soon turned to pitiful moans, as if something were suffocating the small pet. This prompted Demetrio and his daughter Ivette to turn on the patio lights and take a look. They purportedly heard the strong fluttering of a winged thing flying away: their dog, near death, was covered with a strange slime, like the goo found on the Vega Baja cattle. The canine was so terrified by what it had seen and experienced that it refused to let its owners come closer. After a while, the Riveras were able to pour water on their beloved pet and remove the curious slime that covered it.

Maribel Arroyo, a resident of the same neighborhood as the Riveras, also had a visit. Mrs. Arroyo, who runs a chicken farm, stated that she heard the cries of large birds over her farm. The following day she discovered that thirty of her hens had been slain and rendered bloodless. The unfortunate fowl had puncture marks in their throats and bellies.

According to a report dated Friday, November 24, 1995, the possibility that witchcraft could be at the root of these mysterious killings was aired in the media for the first time, just as a UFO connection to the Chupacabras situation was reinforced by a close encounter near Toa Baja. A resident of this town, less than half an hour from San Juan (in light traffic, that is), told the media that he had a close encounter with a creature about four feet tall.

A slight whiff of high strangeness accompanied this case in Toa Baja: policeman Jose Matos, sent to investigate, found a number of dead heifers lying in a perfect row down the middle of a lonely road in the Hoyos sector of Toa Baja. The oddity was that no heifers of the kind slaughtered can be found anywhere for miles around the area. No one claimed the carcasses, leading to the belief that they were slain elsewhere and deposited in Toa Baja for some reason. The eerie disposition of the carcasses was captured in a photograph taken by Baltazar Vazquez of El Vocero. It led many residents of the area to speculate about the possibility that a warlock or witch was making use of the animal's blood.

By Monday, November 27, 1995, the Chupacabras (whether singular or plural) had appeared once again, this time in Rincon, a small seaside town which may have been Columbus' landing site during his discovery of Puerto Rico in 1493 (an honor disputed by the neighboring cities of Aguadilla and Mayaguez).

Five goats, described as "costly" by reporter Tomas de Jesus Mangal, were found comatose and bloodless out of a flock of 29 such animals. One of the goats died, but as of November 27, the other four remained between life and death. A local veterinary had kept them alive by means of judicious injections of a coagulant known as Azium, which stanched the bleeding caused by the creature's trademark single puncture to the animal's jugular. The owner of the flock, Edwin Lorenzo Feneguez, was beside himself at his considerable loss.

Things took a darker turn when elements of the research group NOVA appeared on the scene. The leader of this organization declared that the remaining goats, the ones that had not been attacked by the Goatsucker, would die anyway. His questionable explanation? They had been injected with a poisonous substance that would bring about death within a matter of days. This hardly comforted Mr. Feneguez. The elements of the NOVA group aired their unfounded theory that the bloodsucking creature was one of twenty which had descended to Earth to conduct experiments with human blood in order to produce blood viruses aimed at eliminating humanity.

An official from the Commonwealth agriculture department, Hector Lopez, visited the Feneguez farm and asked the distraught owner to touch neither the dead goat nor the 4 dying ones until his agency had an opportunity to run a number of tests on them.
Proof of the Goatsucker's existence? Hardly. The papers reported the discovery of a footprint or handprint—the very first found since this rash of animal mutilations began—at the site of an attack near Vega Baja. Photographs showed a splayed, six-fingered (or six-toed?) print in the clay-like ground. More impressive was the viscous slime left around the neck of a wounded cow.

The bloodsucker was only steps away from becoming a victim itself. Police sergeant Jesus Medina Montes regretted not being able to take a few shots against a "being" shaped like a bird, which fluttered while making a loud noise with its mouth. The Chupacabras would have paid dearly for the wounds inflicted upon a number of steers, among them a large Zebu bull. Sergeant Medina told El Vocero that a local landlord, Anselmo Rodriguez, toured the property after the Goatsucker's attack, only to discover that much of his herd was bleeding from their humps. Some of the beasts were covered by a slime that could not be properly described. Irene Mercado and her 9 year-old niece allegedly saw the creature "fly away" from the area that night.
Some researchers have suggested that the Chupacabras are the result of some kind of covert genetic experiment conducted by the military. These points are valid because there is ample evidence of the US military using Puerto Rico for experiments involving illegal weapons and a whole variety of top-secret projects—such as Agent Orange and Thalidomide. Also experiments using "radiation weapons" have been carried out on the island.

Meanwhile Chupacabra events continued to be reported—Juan Collazo, a policeman, shot a Chupacabra at close range with no apparent effect. Jesus Sanchez, resident of Gurabo, discovered the dead bodies of his rabbits in his backyard and decided to mount a vigil, waiting for the creature to return. Several days later Sanchez found himself face to face with a Chupacabra. He dazzled it with a powerful flashlight and gave it two blows with his machete. He remarked "The blows sounded like I had struck a hollow drum". The creature escaped, apparently unharmed.

Update: 1996-1998

Whatever it is, chupacabras' appetite for blood had not been satisfied. From 1996 through 1998, reports of their ghastly attacks continued to make their way into the press. Sightings were made in the Dominican Republic, Tucson, Arizona, and continued on the island of Puerto Rico. Hardly a month goes by without an assault on some helpless animals by the chupacabras:

In November, 1996, a Mexican rancher near San Antonio, Texas, claimed to have captured the chupacabras with a coyote trap—and produced the photographs to prove it. The rancher had set the trap to capture whatever was killing his goats, chickens, and a donkey. What he caught was something he could not recognize. Allegedly, the body of the strange creature was taken to a major Texas university for identification, although this cannot be verified.

In November, 1997, chupacabras was back in its original stomping grounds where it killed two goats, bled another dry, and made off with a small kid from a small farm near Loíza, Puerto Rico.

Investigating police believe that attack took place around 2 a.m., about the time a farm hand heard the "flutter of wings" and saw frightened horses and cows running "as if the devil were in pursuit."

Thirty-four hogs were found dead with the trademark puncture marks on November 17, 1997, nearAricibo, Puerto Rico. The pigs were being raised by inmates of the Sabana Hoyos prison who had planned to feast on the animals for Christmas dinner.

Near Hesperia in Southern California, a creature matching the description of the "goat sucker" attacked another pig in December, 1997. "I encountered something trying to get to my pig that was unbelievable," said the owner. "When I came around the corner, it stopped and looked up at me. My dogs seemed to be afraid of it. It then disappeared into the bushes."

On January 26, 1998, chupacabras was blamed for the mutilation of three cats at the home of Melvin Rosado in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. According the report, "one of the cats had its skin separated by a precise, bloodless incision."

It would be easier to discount all of these accounts as peculiar attacks by a variety of different predators if it weren't for the consistent eyewitness descriptions of the chupacabras. Is it just possible that this is some kind of creature, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, that has not yet been classified by science? Or is it just another myth perpetuated by fanciful human imagination?

Epilogue: Government Calls for Action

The senseless slaughter of animals of all sizes prompted certain politicians—against the wishes of party leaders and the government currently in office—to call for decisive action to be taken against whatever animal or entity was responsible for the mutilated carcasses. On November 9, 1995, congressmen Jose Nunez Gonzalez and Juan "Kike" Lopez presented a resolution in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's House of Representatives calling for an official investigation into the matter. RC 5012 requested "an in-depth and thorough investigation of the unknown phenomenon and an accounting of the damages visited upon the country's farmers by the so-called Chupacabras."

 Congressman Lopez voiced his dissatisfaction with the apathy evinced by his colleagues on Jorge Martin's Ovnis Confidencial radio program:

"We're dealing with a situation in which hundreds of animals are turning up mutilated, dead, slaughtered... which is highly uncommon. If we all know that something unusual is going on, why isn't anybody doing anything about it? The government does nothing, the legislature does nothing, federal and local agencies do nothing. The Department of Agriculture has done nothing, the Department of Natural Resources has done nothing, yet this situation has already affected enough farmers who've experienced losses which may be considerable in the end... This cannot be. What are we waiting for?"



In April 2000 El Chupacabra was up and running again, this time in Calama, a mining town in northern Chile. Farmers woke up one morning to find their livestock had been decimated. Common sense blamed the puma, or any number of smaller predators that inhabited the wilderness bordering the town. But common sense can't hold a candle to El Chupacabras. Seasoned observers suspected Nasa involvement, even suggesting that El Chupacabras was some kind of eccentric field trial in genetic engineering. Though the Chilean government concluded that wild dogs were responsible for the attacks, it didn't stop the rumours. Three El Chupacabras "eggs" had been discovered in the desert.

But the most common of the reports described a creature known as a "Grey" alien humanoid, mainly because of the shape of its head and eyes, and what most eye witnesses relate as the body of a bipedal, erect dinosaur, but with no tail. Its head is oval in shape and has an elongated jaw. Two elongated red eyes have been reported, together with small holes in the nostril area, a small, slit-like mouth with fang-type teeth protruding upwards and downwards from the jaw. The creature has two small arms, each with a three-fingered clawed hand and two strong hind legs, again with three claws.

The Chilean chupacabra is reported to have a strong, course coat of hair, the color varying from sighting to sighting. However, the colors are consistent with the times of the sighting (same colors during the day, different colors at night). This leads many to believe the Chupacabra can change like a chameleon, to blend in with its surroundings and avoid detection.

The Chupacabra hunts mainly at night (although there have been several daylight sightings) and the attacks show that the creature exhibits some kind of intelligence beyond that of the average night stalker. Its victims have a regular pattern of wounds, a triangular series of punctures into the neck and jaw bone that pierce the brain and reach the cerebellum, which instantly kills the victim. This is a euthanasia technique. Less intelligent predators would not even be able to make these kinds of attacks with such precision. Also, the wounds are cauterized, some think to keep blood loss of the victim to a minimum. Some animals have identical punctures on their bellies, but other than these wounds, there is no other trauma, abrasion, scratch, or bruise to be found.

As one might expect, the Government of Chile has attributed this unusual and horrific find to a 'pack of wild dogs.' They explain further that the canines must have been separated from their normal food supply and ventured into unknown territory. Of course, this is always a possibility. However, this explanation does not account for the fact that the goats and sheep were not consumed, nor does it justify the reason all blood was drained from each corpse.

Another theory originates from a veterinarian, "Dawn Ramirez" who examined 15 of the dead stock. Her analysis? She feels this is the work of, "A mutated bat of great size." She added that in the 40 years she has been caring for the animal world, she has never seen anything like this. She contends that the possibility exists that this bat could be the end result of genetic and biotechnological creation.
Just what NASA doesn't need is a connection to this event in Chile. Some of the local population contends that the military and NASA are involved. NOTE: NASA denies any connection in this regard, totally.

In April 2001, local residents formed a neighborhood watch to protect livestock that was being attacked by these strange creatures. The farmers' dogs, which are usually fierce and do not hesitate to attack strangers, are afraid and would rather hide when the creature is near. It has also been observed that the "Chupacabra" is afraid of light and will run away if lights are turned on.

The following report took place in Calama—it has may similarities to other reports in the area. Initially the "Chupacabra" was observed on the roofs of houses adjacent to another property where domestic animals are kept.

Thursday, June 20, 2002. A "close encounter" with one of these mysterious beasts was reported by Maria Gavia, a local day care worker, living in the area of Manual Rodriguez—in the town of Calama. Maria lives in a housing complex on San Antonio street and was badly shaken by her experience which took place in the middle of the night. The creature was making loud noises and woke up a number of local residents, Maria remarked:

"It was not a man; it did not look like a person. It resembled an ape and it jumped all over the roof. It passed right in front of my window and then it came back making all sorts of noise. I didn't want to turn on the light because I was very afraid and my windows don't have screens. I was afraid the animal would break in. I cannot explain exactly what happened—all I know is I was very scared".

Twelve hours after her strange experience, Maria was still very nervous and concerned about the event and continued:

"It was after midnight. Suddenly I heard loud noises from the roof. The creature went by my window. It jumped a lot—making very long jumps, unlike the way a person jumps. Suddenly I saw my father coming out of the door on the first floor and the creature jumped. It jumped so far that it landed on top of the neighbour's house. No person jumps so long without running and gaining momentum. Then it finally left. I was able to listen to the neighbour yelling "There it is, there it is". It finally ended up across the street. I knew that because the dogs across the street began barking and howling. Moments later there was nothing but silence".

Maria's father is of the opinion that the creature could have been on their property for some time before they were aware of its presence. Much earlier their two dogs had been acting strangely—they failed to meet him in the entrance and, when they didn't come out to the patio, he had to call them. Her father said:

"One of the dogs seemed scared; it was hiding and did not want to go anywhere. The other one was nowhere to be found."

He also remarked about the strange creature:

"I have never seen anything like that, as if it was a monkey that jumped on two legs and sometimes three. It was about 1.5 metres tall, perhaps more, but it was stocky. It made a lot of noise. I could not sleep during the entire night".

Maria's father mentioned that someone had been seen chasing the creature as it was leaving but despite all the noise there was no damage to the sheet metal roof. He added:

"The noise was definitely made by something heavy but it left no track or trace of itself".

Although none of the farm animals were harmed, the local residents were left living in fear.


Hundreds of attacks have been reported in Mexico and in some cases more than 60 animals have been slaughtered—all of them had circular holes, usually in the neck. Whereas Chupacabra attacks in Puerto Rico were limited to animal mutilation, in Mexico it has been claimed that the creature has attacked people.

On March 4, 1996, Armando Gutierrez of Tampico, Tamaulipus State mentioned the puzzling attacks on dozens of hens, four goats and fifteen chickens in the tiny village of Altamira, located about 2km from Tampico. The animals had wounds on their necks and had been left completely drained of blood.
Teodosio Mendez Menza, owner of the Amecuaca Ranch, lost sixteen sheep, while at the same time, Bernadino Rodriguez of La Barranca de San Miguel experienced the loss of a further four from their pen. Barragan remained unmoved, repeating that some natural cause, (pumas, feral dogs etc), was behind these incidents.

By May 3, 1996, the death list had continued to rise, particularly in Tlalixcoyan, Veracruz. On May 3 six dead sheep were found with marks on their necks and in the vertebral region. According to a witness from El Nido, a dog like creature harassed his flock, and when he attempted to shoot the intruder, it crossed a barbed wire fence without either wounding itself or making a noise. This is frighteningly reminiscent of certain attacks on sheep in Cornwall during 1978.

Townspeople armed with rifles and machetes took to the countryside the following day in the hopes of finding the predator. No trace was found, but some witnesses claimed to have seen an enormous bat flying at a low altitude. Humberto Cota Gil, chief investigator for the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa claimed that the killings were the responsibility of a tiny Brazilian vampire bat and conveniently ignored all the eyewitness testimony to the contrary. In Los Mochis, Topolobampo , forty sheep were killed at Rancho La Remolacha This prompted a massive mobilization of soldiers and armed police equipped with infrared lights, shotguns, electrical equipment, helmets and riot shields.

Another report says that thirty sheep were slain by a Mandrill-like creature in the state of Hidalgo.

One strange evening the village of La Loma, Jalisco suffered a series of bizarre attacks. Ten sheep were killed and a local man named Jose Angel Pulido claimed to have been attacked by the "Chupacabras". He described the strange predator as a monster, over 80 cm (2 1/2 ft) tall, and weighing approximately 30 kg (66 lbs), with ashen-dark "feathers" and sizable wings.

In the spring of 1996 the first killings were reported from the mainland United States. A goat was killed in Donna, Texas on May 15 and at about the same time 69 goats, chickens, geese and ducks were killed in the heavily Hispanic Sweetwater district of South Miami.


El Chupacabras has succeeded in blazing a horrific northward migration: the mysterious predator originated in Puerto Rico, tore across Mexico in a bloody swath, and has now, with great fanfare, attacked the United States of America—as a wildfire icon of modern folklore, if not an actual menace of unknown taxonomy with a thirst for goat blood.

How the Chupacabra managed to migrate from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland is not clear—the two countries are separated by 1000 miles of water. But it is clear that descriptions of creatures seen in California are the same as the Puerto Rican Chupacabra. Full-fledged U.S. sightings of the Goatsucker have only been reported in recent years, although there are antecedents that some have retroactively linked to El Chupacabras. As long ago as the 1950s there were reports of a "vampire kangaroo" creature in the Southwest, the Midwest and the Southeast. This beast has generally been described as a large mammal with powerful hind legs, looking like a cross between a kangaroo and a rat, which kills animals and sucks out their blood—all in all, a remarkably familiar characterization. Variant descriptions of this creature as a flying, pterodactyl-like reptile have also circulated in the Southwest.

The first major American sighting of the Goatsucker took place In March 1996 in Miami, Florida. In the predominantly Hispanic south Miami neighborhood of Sweetwater, 69 various animals were slain overnight. The massacre included goats, geese, ducks and chickens, all of which had wounds that looked like bite marks. The livestock were not drained of their blood, though, and police and investigating zoologists felt that the attacker was a large dog. The animals' wounds were consistent with canine bites, dog hair and dog footprints were found, and an entryway had been dug under a fence just as a dog would do. Still, there was at least one eyewitness to El Chupacabras in Sweetwater. An elderly woman in the area described seeing a large, doglike creature. "It stood up on two legs and was hunched over like this with big arms and looked at me with these red eyes," she said before a phalanx of TV news cameras.

One young man saw Chupacabra from a balcony and gave authorities the common description of 3 to 4 feet in height, spikes along the spine, glowing eyes, wings and long fangs. Chupa had stepped in to the backyard of the young man's home and attacked and killed the family's goat. The goat had been gutted and drained of blood.

Some 15 people in and around the same neighborhood have reported sightings of Chupacabra. The reports have been significant enough that the local Hispanic television station devoted a full hour to coverage on the beast.

Although authorities feel that Chupacabra is alive only in the imaginations of frightened people they are still treating the reports of any sightings with monitored respect. The slaughter of goats, chickens and family pets has increased at an alarming rate in many areas. Until the perpetrator of these crimes is captured and identified one cannot rule out the possibility of the heinous creature known as Chupacabra.

In Coleman, Texas, a farmer named Reggie Lagow caught an unknown animal in a trap he set up after the deaths of a number of his chickens and turkeys. The animal appeared to be a mix between a hairless dog, a rat and a kangaroo. The mystery animal was reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife in hopes of determining what it was, but Lagow said in a September 17, 2006, phone interview with John Adolfi, founder of the Lost World Museum, that the "critter was caught on a Tuesday and thrown out in Thursday's trash."

In November of 2005 , A motocross racer named Kolt Jarrett spotted a medium-sized to small-sized creature in Floresville, Texas, At the Cycle Ranch Motocross Park. He was with seven other friends in a golf cart on trails near the back of the park. Kolt spotted it in tall grass and small saplings which it was folding over like it was as strong as an ox. Kolt described it as having spikes down its back with a wierd shaped head, with possibly having horns. It was a brownish red and had wierd shaped objects, possibly wings, on its sides. Kolt belived it to be the El Chupacabra.

In April of 2006, MosNews reported that the chupacabra was spotted in Russia for the first time. Reports from Central Russia beginning in March 2005 tell of a beast that kills animals and sucks out their blood. Thirty-two turkeys were killed and drained overnight. Reports later came from neighboring villages where 30 sheep were killed and had their blood drained. Finally eyewitnesses were able to describe the chupacabra. In May of 2006, experts were determined to track the animal down.

In mid-August 2006, Michelle O'Donnell of Turner, Maine, described an "evil looking" dog-like creature with fangs found alongside a road, apparently struck by a car, but it was otherwise unidentifiable. Photographs were taken and several witness reports seem to be in relative agreement that the creature was canine in appearance, but unlike any dog or wolf in the area. The carcass was picked clean by vultures before experts could examine it. For years, residents of Maine have reported a mysterious creature and a string of dog maulings.

On September 2006, the Lost World Museum acquired the remains of what may be a Chupacabra. Spotted, hunted and killed in late August 2006, 15-year-old Geordie Decker and 16-year-old Josh Underwood of Berkshire, New York handed over the bones of a small fox-like beast that hopped, had yellow eyes and an orange strip of hair going down its almost bald gray back, to Museum owner John Adolfi. Its bones are currently on display on the Lost World Museum's web site while further examination and investigation continues.

The Elmendorf beast is a strange, hairless dog-looking creature with a blue-gray color and strangely-shaped teeth. Macanally says, "First thing that came to my mind, is surely everybody's gonna think this is a Chupacabra. But it's so odd because it has no hair." One woman who saw a photo of it says it's exactly how her grandmother described the Chupacabras she saw.

When the rancher took the skull to experts at the San Antonio Zoo, biologists could not identify it. The zoo's Terry DeRosa said he thought "It may be one of the hairless dogs that perhaps you see in Mexico." Mexican hairless dogs are generally much smaller. This animal is believed to have weighed around twenty pounds. Some experts who have observed photos of the corpse feel that the animal was afflicted by sarcoptic mange, and had not originally been hairless. Another expert expressed the opinion that the animal's condition represented some sort of unrecognized environmental catastrophe, that other small predators with sarcoptic mange have been observed elsewhere in the country recently, and that the subject needs urgent study.

The condition of the Elmendorf Beast's jaw is not a result of disease process. John Gramieri, the San Antonio Zoo's Mammal Curator thinks it's a mix between a dog and a coyote—a coydog—with very strange teeth. He says, "It's clearly a member of the dog family, a family candidate. For whatever reason, this animal had a very poor fusion in the [jaw area]…so it allowed that lower jaw to spread in a way that is not normal for any mammal, actually…It apparently had some very bad skin ailment, and that skin ailment made it go bald except for the top of its body." Gramieri, as well as area ranchers, believes that there are more of the creatures out there. Area ranchers believe that they are breeding.

The jaw structure is not a deformity in the usual sense because it is symmetrical. It is not a mammalian jaw at all, but appears more akin to the jaw of a reptile. There is nothing in the genetic code of the mammal that would enable a jaw structure such as this. This raises the possibility that intentional genetic manipulation, or a highly unusual natural mutation, has been involved in the emergence of this species.

The rancher says, "I want this one to be a new species—or at least something that somebody has never seen in a cross between two different ones."

In October 2004, two animals which closely resemble the Elmendorf Creature were observed in the same area. The first was dead, and a local zoologist who was called to identify the animal noticed the second while she was traveling to the location where the first was found. Specimens were studied by biologists in Texas. The creatures are thought to have been canines of undetermined species with skin problems and facial deformities.

These sightings occurred only one-quarter mile away from the site where the Elmendorf animal was shot on October 8. It was at the Pollok, Texas, home of the Womack family. Mrs. Womack's daughter, Stacey Womack, lives twenty miles away in Lufkin where she worked for 20 years as a vet technician and three years in the early 1990s as a zoo keeper at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin. Today she is a dog breeder. Stacey has a lot of experience with animals around Lufkin and Pollok and could not understand what her mother meant when she called Tracey in a very emotional state on Friday afternoon, October 8, asking her daughter to come help because there was a strange animal under the house.

Report from Stacey Womack, dog breeder and former veterinarian tech assistant, Lufkin, Texas:

"My mother was just sort of hysterical because they had killed something under the house and they did not know what it was. I thought, 'This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.' They don't know whether it's a coyote or a dog?! I told my mother I would come out there and bring my digital camera. About one-quarter mile from my mother's house, I had to hit my breaks because an animal crossed the road in front of me and it was running with its head down and its tail down and it did not have any hair. It was a strange looking sight and my daughter-in-law was with me and she wanted to know if it was a wolf. I told her it wasn't a wolf and it was too large for a fox. So, we went on to my mother's house and went around to the back and there was the same animal an animal identical to what ran across the road. It was on the ground after they had just killed it and there was almost no blood. It was just red where the shot had went in (the eye). I was just totally dumbfounded when I saw it. At first glance, you would think of a deer's head on a kangaroo's body. The ears were real thick and large. It did not have any hair on it. The skin tissue was necrotic. It was just awful. I did not know what it was."

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, A 42 year old woman (Rebecca Tuggle) was on the way to her car when she heard a mysterious hissing noise. As she turned around she was terrified to see a creature partially resembling a lizard, a kangaroo, and a bat, with "rainbow-colored" spines running down its back. The creature stood 3-4' tall and grunted at her. The creature's hissing noise nauseated her and she nearly fainted. As with other sightings, the eyes were said to glow red and the animal smelled of a sulfuric substance.

The chupacabra has often been spotted in Michigan. A recent sighting occurred in Grand Haven, when a 42-year-old man claimed he saw it suck the blood out of a cat.

A famous appearance in the city of Varginha, Brazil, (the "Varginha incident") is sometimes attributed to the chupacabra, although cryptozoologists more frequently associate the incident with extraterrestrials. In 1997, an explosion of chupacabra sightings in Brazil was reported in Brazilian newspapers. One report came from a police officer, who claimed to get a nauseous feeling when he saw a dog-like chupacabra in a tree.

Recently, there has been a surge of chupacabra sightings in the United States, specifically in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and outside of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. However, controversy exists whether these chupacabra sightings are legitimate. To this day, its 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 Goatsucker reportedly struck Texas's Rio Grande Valley in early May. A goat belonging to Sylvia Ybarra was found dead with three puncture wounds on its neck. It was the pet of 19-year-old Ybarra, who called it Nena. Ybarra had recently seen news reports of El Chupacabras and was convinced that it was responsible for the killing, although no one saw the creature in this case. A veterinarian who examined the goat believed that it was killed by a dog.

Soon afterwards, in the predawn hours of May 9, the Espinoza family of Tucson, Arizona reported encountering El Chupacabras at their home. Joe Espinoza claims to have found the creature outside his door, gesturing and mumbling and smelling terrible, "like a wet dog." It then entered the house through an open window and briefly sat atop Espinoza's seven-year-old son. The Chupa did not harm the boy, nor any animals, but the Espinozas claimed to find its footprints afterwards. Tuscon police, brought to the scene by a 911 call, believed the prints were actually those of one of the young Espinoza boys.

Other notable sightings in the United States include one reported by multiple eyewitnesses in Calaveras County, California, and at a recent birthday celebration of a Development Team member of a local charity in Houston, Texas. According to these reports, the creature was sighted for the first time in the early to mid 1990s, harming animals of different species. However, it is now thought that the people did this themselves.



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 described—despite the fact that ponies, sheep, dogs, cats and smaller domestic animals are just as likely to be attacked as cattle themselves—is 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 Canóvanas. 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 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 ofAlbuquerque, 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.

Notable sightings in the United States include one reported by multiple eyewitnesses in Calaveras County, California, and at a recent birthday celebration of a Development Team member of a local charity in Houston, Texas. According to these reports, the creature was sighted for the first time in the early to mid 1990s, harming animals of different species. However, it is now thought that the people did this themselves.

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 posses 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 to be 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 andCarmel, 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 aroundWaukesha. 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 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 OVNI—Puerto 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 witnesses—separated 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. investigators—there 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 function—these 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 speak—is 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 in—some 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.



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