Yes, yes, I know this cryptid has been done to death but, after spotting this link on one of the blogs that I follow, I had a sudden thought that I wanted to follow up on. Before I begin though, let’s note that I am not referring to the rash of mangy coyotes that have been called by this name in Texas and other parts of the U.S. but to the seriously creepy, alien looking cryptid that has haunted Puerto Rico and other parts of Latin America.
According to Wikipedia, the most common description of this creature is:
a reptile-like creature, 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 was reported to hop 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue, and large fangs. It is said to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave behind a sulfuric stench. When it screeches, some reports assert that the chupacabras’ eyes glow an unusual red which gives the witnesses nausea.
Theories about the chupacabras have run rampant ever since the creature first appeared in Puerto Rico in 1995. This strange being has been attributed to everything from a mass hallucination brought on by the movie “Species” to a type of alien incursion to the result of a genetics experiment escaped from a secret facility deep in the heart of the Puerto Rican rain forest. I think that, indirectly at least, the presence of a secret government lab in El Yunque, the dense Puerto Rican rain forest, contributed to the birth of the chupacabras.
Let’s explore this thought more deeply. So called skeptic Benjamin Radford theorized that one of the primary witness statements of the original chupacabras “flap” was influenced by the fact that the witness had seen the movie “Species” and had described the creature that she allegedly saw in terms similar to the creature Sil in the movie. While Radford’s devotion to debunking has provided us with a jumping off place for this discussion, I think there is far more to these cases than a sort of mass hysteria triggered by a movie.
Honestly, if I were going to look for the genesis of the chupacabras in fiction, I would have to go back to Dean Koontz’s 1987 best selling thriller, Watchers. In that book, an ex-Delta Force operative and his wife are pursued by a monster dubbed the Outsider, a creature genetically created from a baboon that was bred to be a sort of super soldier. Of course, the experiment, which also produced a golden retriever with near human intelligence, goes horribly wrong, since the Outsider is mentally unstable and determined to hunt down and kill the dog (and anything else that gets in its way). When I first read a description of the chupacabras and the theory that it was the result of genetic experiments being carried out in the rain forest of Puerto Rico, I instantly flashed on this book and its hunched, fearsome villain.
Now, am I am proposing that the Outsider or perhaps the alien Sil has come to life and is haunting Latin America? Perhaps. One of the basic tenets of magic is that thoughts have a reality on the astral plane. Most of the time, our thoughts remain on the astral but, in the hands of a skilled ritualist, a thought can actually be “ensouled” and brought onto this plane. In most instances, these thought forms are not visible and are only granted “life” for a specific period of time and for a specific function before they are dissolved. In some circumstances though, for example when a magician wants to defend a certain area, the thought form may come into visible form. Janet and Stuart Farrar record such an instance in The Witches Bible Compleat when their coven set out to create a thought form to prevent the killing of seals on a certain island. Witnesses attested to seeing a figure similar to the one that the coven had meditated on, wandering the island.
That is all well and good, you say, but where is the ritualist in this case and why would they create something like the chupacabras to terrify innocent villagers? I think that it is quite possible for human beings to create a thought form without recourse to ritual. In this case what you need is a solid image that resonates with a lot of people and really stays with them and that image has to have a lot of emotional impact. For this event, since at least 1987, there existed in the popular culture a short, hunchbacked being, with little to no hair and a terrifying, predatory appearance. The horrible creature has a back story (creation in a government genetics lab) that resonates with the instinctive distrust that many people feel toward the government (particularly strong in a place like Puerto Rico where there is a strong movement toward separation from the US and distrust toward the US government). Take a monster existing in popular culture (a strong channel for the energy) and then add the impetus of a movie like “Species” and you have the ingredients for creating a powerful thought form and the energy (fear and anger/distrust) to pull it through into manifestation.
One of the things about the chupacabras that has frustrated investigators is that the beast never seems to be described the same way twice. Following the idea of the chupacabras as an uncontrolled manifest thought form, this makes sense since the being is going to continue to morph each time it moves into this world, with new features being added on and others being deleted as the public perception of the “monster” changes. I would not be surprised if there is not a mangy coyote variant of the thought form out there given the press here in the US.
As with all things, the truth of the chupacabras is going to lie along a continuum. While I doubt there is a genetic mutant wandering the forest of Latin America, I expect that some reports are the result of overactive imaginations and some sightings are known animals that have been misidentified. I do not doubt, though, that some of the sightings are the result of a manifest thought form that seems to be feeding itself on the blood of livestock.