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Saturday, 26 March 2011

'Chupacabras' before Chupacabras

Up until recently the name 'Chupacabras' did not refer to the bizarre cryptid it is defined as any more. Recently, Benjamin Radford explained what he took to be the 'Origin of the Chupacabras' in a Puerto Rican woman's recollection of a recent horror film at the time. Because of the H. R. Giger-inspired monster in the movie, that woman produced a sketch Radford claims became the template for all the other 'Chupacabras' sightings from then on.

The Radford Explanation: witness's sketch above and the monster "sil" from the movie SPECIES.

Only there is more than one thing being called a chupacabras, as I have explained before on earlier CFZ blog entries. And because of that we have more than one origin story.

Chupacabras-dog such as is the common type in Texas: and Mexican Hairless Dogs

Here is the passage I posted in the group when I first found out about the reptilian-chupacabras being folkloric in Mexico, posted in October of 2009 (before I found it I thought it had been 2008) I later reprinted the entire text from the site and I am still looking for that message. One of the names as I recall was Timbo. There is also an exactly equivalent tradition in Northern Argentina.

I always regretted NOT posting the illustration from the originating site, but it was very small and attempts to blow it up did nothing for the quality of the photo.

... I saw a Mexican Folklore page (in Spanish) where the Reptile-Chupacabras was called by the name of a traditional "Grave robber". That would have been the first version I had heard of in connection to animal mutilation[sheep, in Navajo country] cases in the SW in the 1970s, and in fact it has separately become a standard monster in the Dungeons and Dragons FRPG game, as the "Bonesnapper", another small-dinosaur representation. Until I saw the Mexican Folklore page I had no inkling that the creature was actually out of documented Folklore.

And then last night I had an important additional piece of information, which I added to the original message:

I did a little more research and I found out that the name does not originate in Mexico but in Texas, and it is a Comanche word meaning "Hairless." Hence it was an appropriate name for a hairless dog as well as a reptile. I am not certain how widely circulated the name was in earlier days, but I assume it was once synonymous with the creature sometimes called "Mountain Boomer" (The first proper name I knew for the creature, but actually a mis-applied name for the collared lizard, which likewise runs on its hind legs)

So anyway that nails down that particular loose end.
Best Wishes, Dale D.

(Common mountain boomer or collared lizard. The cryptid version is said to stand up 2-4 feet high on its hind legs and to have exaggerated crests down its back. The cryptid version was being blamed for cattle mutilations back in the mid-1970s, Personal Information.)
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