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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Chilean Gargoyles and Maryland Snallygaster Phoenixes

I am indebted to postings on the Global Warming and Terraforming Terra site for the following three news items, all connected to unusual flying creatures such as we have discussed here before. The first two involve sightings of the ChupaBats in Chile and described as gargoyles. Unfortunately the name 'gargoyle' was originally used to described a type of long-necked dragon and the name is pre-empted. The name 'devil bat'seems to be the common-usage term in many places. The text from the site also mentions the large bat Vampyrum spectrum; while I think we are dealing with a larger form of Vampyrum, I do not insist it belongs to the same species. Indeed, the rear legs would seem to be longer and more developed in the new species as compared to the known species V. spectrum.

The links in the highlighted text are integral and should take you back to the originating site.
One statement commonly repeated is that the chupacabras creatures are actually blood-sucking vampires. This seems not to be the case where tests have been made: tests generally show that in the dead animals most of the blood is still in the body but settled down after death. The animals would generally have bled to death but not have been sucked dry; in fact animals that feed on blood such as the much smaller vampire bats allow their victims to bleed freely and then lap up the flowing blood. And there are some diseases in which it seems that sick dogs will ONLY drink the blood from a victim and not touch the rest of the corpse. The dogs do not suck blood, once again they allow the animal to bleed and then drink the blood normally. This is reportedly true in some stages of/some types of rabies, at which point normal swallowing is difficult. I have printed statements from veteranary experts before stating this, and I have printed allusions to the test results which say that most of the chupacabras victims' blood is still in the bodies when tested. And once again I do have statements that the Vampyrum bats are believed to be at least occasionally blood-drinkers, although the reference sources generally deny this is so; possibly this also refers to rabid bats.

And now to the reports:

Posted: 27 Dec 2011 12:02 AM PST

Slowly but surely others are waking up to the reality that the Chupacabra phenomenon and the medieval Gargoyle phenomenon are plausibly one and the same as I argued some months back. I find it noteworthy that they seem to like open desert as hunting areas so attempts to associate them with forested areas is possibly a mistake or an artifact of observation.

The mixing of the mangy dog in the South West with the known evidence is mostly evidence of scavenging on already blood drained corpses and certainly not evidence of vampirism by dogs.

The scientific question that must be properly answered is whether blood is drained from the corpse and how much is drained from the corpse. This is not a trivial question. A downer will have all its blood quite intact and the meat will make that obvious. It is why we expertly drain the blood from slaughtered animals immediately so as to prevent coagulated blood from causing spoilage of the meat and ruining its appearance.

My point here is that a drained carcass is only possible if the blood is drained while the heart is still pumping unless the animal is immediately hung and drained. A large vampire bat would work as perfectly.

Thus all tales of cattle mutilation and blood removal is clear evidence of a large vampire bat and not of a lucky dog who may well have taken some of the soft tissue.

Since such a bat can fly over a vast natural range, the actual events appear to be quite far apart and unconnected.

This report describes four of the creatures and finally makes the kangaroo like legs well witnessed and explains the creature’s necessary launch equipment. There is no particular need to run to launch and it certainly allows it to land on a victim, swiftly drain the blood and as the prey collapses, leap back into the air and take off.

The Gargoyles of Chile

The deep, shadow shrouded jungles of South America are rife with carnivorous predators rarely seen by the human eye, but as intimidating as the creatures lurking in the dense rain forests of this mysterious continent may be, the arid plains of northern Chile are said to harbor a colony of chillingly bizarre beasts, which are quite unlike anything supposed to be living on the Earth.

Situated in the northernmost portion of Chile , less than 12-miles away from the port city of Arica , is a sprawling swathe of red sand desert known as Pampa Acha. The only real nod to the existence of humanity in this desolate region is the Pan-American Highway , which twists through this barren wasteland like an asphalt serpent.

It was on this lonesome stretch of road that in July of 2004, an army sub-officer with the “Cazadores” regiment named Carlos Abett de la Torre, his wife Teresa, their three children and a nephew would have a harrowing encounter with a group of fantastic creatures, which seemed to jump straight out of the pages of an ancient bestiary.


At approximately 7:00 pm. on the day in question, the Torre family packed into Carlos’ pick-up truck and departed from their quarters in Fuerte Baquedano, which is located in the military community of Pozo Almonte, heading toward Arica to visit some relatives.

Knowing full well that he was in for long and monotonous drive with a car full of children, Carlos gamely threw the truck into gear and began motoring down the same highway he had been traveling for the better part of 25 years.

About two hours into their journey, Carlos was cruising at about 65-miles per hour through the Pampa Acha approximately 20-miles south of Arica . The road ahead was illuminated not only by the pick-up’s headlamps, but the bright moon that hovered above them in the cloudless sky. That was when Carlos’ eldest daughter, Carmen, noticed a pair of extraordinary entities through the back window of the vehicle. According to Carmen she was astounded to see two creatures leisurely “floating” in the skies above. In her own words:

“I was traveling in the backseat with my brothers, talking, and suddenly everything went dark. Then I told my brother what I was seeing and he told me to keep quiet, because Mom gets nervous. Later I looked through the window and saw some things that looked like birds, with dogs’ heads and back swept wings. My father said they were like gargoyles.”

Carmen later estimated that the strange airborne critters that flew over her father’s pick-up truck were at least 6-feet in length and she admitted that at first she wasn’t sure if the creatures had wings or legs, but that the appendages were angled toward the rear of the creatures.

Carmen and her brother watched as the outlandish animals paced the truck, afraid to speak, lest they panic their anxiety prone mother. But their efforts were wasted as Teresa, who sat next to Carlos in the front seat, would catch sight of the peculiar avian duo through the windshield just moments later.

From her vantage point Teresa was afforded the best view of these anomalous animals, which the press would quote her as saying resembled “dog-faced kangaroos.” She claimed that the “gargoyles” seemed to match the speed of the truck, occasionally slipping ahead, then falling back, never traveling more than 60-feet from the vehicle.

By this point Carlos and the rest of his frightened brood were all stealing skyward glances and catching glimpses of these soaring evolutionary nightmares. He accelerated the truck, praying under his breath, terrified of the fate that might befall him and his family if these creatures decided to swoop down and attack their vehicle. The Torre family was in such a state of shock that none of them spoke. Carmen described the scene:

“We were speechless for some ten minutes [then] my Mom told us to react, and then we started discussing what we’d seen.”

Just when the Torre family was growing accustomed to the flying fiends above, another pair of the same species leapt in front of the truck on strong hind legs, which were shorter than their upper legs. Carlos managed to avert a collision with these land bound “gargoyles” and increased the pick-up’s speed, eventually leaving all four of the beasts behind.

When Torre family safely arrived in Arica they told their relatives about their bizarre sightings, but swore them to secrecy, concerned that the public ridicule which might follow the unveiling of their tale would somehow damage the military career of the family’s patriarch.

Although their sojourn with their extended family was enjoyable, it goes without saying that the entire Torre clan was anxious about the trip home.

Teresa even conceded: “We were terrified to go back,” but, much like every other journey Carlos had taken through Pampa Acha, the expedition proved to be mercifully uneventful.

Once back on base in Pozo Almonte, the Torre family honored their oath of silence, but when another sub-officer, Diego Riquelme, claimed to have encountered a dinosaur-like creature on the same stretch of road a few weeks later they decided to come clean.

Needless to say it wasn’t long before the press got wind of these bizarre stories and began churning out articles about the monsters seen on the Pan-American Highway .

Soon after the story broke Scott Corrales of the Institute of Hispanic Ufology translated the story for the English speaking world.

The usually open minded Chilean press was quick to claim that the eyewitnesses were likely seeing nothing more than ostriches, which must have escaped from a local breeder.

The fact ostriches are flightless and that none of the birds were reported missing in the area was ignored by the media.

It also seems unlikely that seven individual eyewitnesses would confuse ostriches for either on the wing gargoyles or prehistoric reptiles, regardless of how unbelievable the alternative may be. So if these observers were not bearing witness to bird refuge escapees, then the question remains…


It’s a fair question considering that the list of dog headed, bat winged, kangaroo legged and potentially reptilian creatures that stand over 6-feet tall is not a large one… In fact, nothing like that should exist, [a vampire bat should not exist but it does and evolving from that into a larger version is very plausible if not inevitable - arclein] nevertheless let’s keep an open mind and look at few of our options here. I have to admit that when I first stumbled across this report my initial thought was that the eyewitness descriptions were akin to reports of the infamous…


For reasons difficult to discern the description of the notorious blood sucking chupacabra — it’s name is Spanish for “goat sucker,” which was initially said to be its favorite prey — has varied wildly since the first reports of these beasts emerged from Puerto Rico in the mid-1990s.

Nowadays many people believe that the mangy coy dogs so often videotaped near the Texas/Mexico border represent chupacabra, but these sickly canine creatures are nothing like the classic depictions of these ferocious fiends.

Initially chupacabra were described as being semi- reptilian beasts with Kangaroo legs, upon which it could leap astounding distances. These creatures were also said to have canine (and occasionally feline) features, large fangs and, very often, bat-like wings. A forked tongue and porcupine-like spines were also commonly seen attributes. All versions of this creature were said to live on the blood of animals.

The above description sounds a lot like the “dog faced gargoyles” described by the Torres and Riquelme. In support of this hypothesis is the fact that since 2004 there have been sporadic reports hailing from South America regarding similar varmints, some of which have been allegedly spotted near scores of bird carcasses that were discovered to be devoid of blood.

While many people are of the mind that the late blooming, so to speak, of the chupacabra phenomenon is the result of it being either of alien extraction or the product of an American genetic experiment gone terribly awry, the thought that these gargoyles might be the origin for tales of the enigmatic chupacabra is an intriguing one. It’s also worth considering the fact that these critters seem to look a helluva’ lot like the…


Although it is said to have hooves rather than coiled marsupial legs, the bat winged dog-like description of these gargoyles also seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to eyewitness accounts of the New Jersey Devil.

Nevertheless, the fact that the Jersey Devil is an ostensibly supernatural rather than traditionally cryptozoological entity, combined with the lack of any significant eyewitness accounts from outside the Pine Barrens, leads me to believe that this is just a farfetched shot in the dark.

Okay, so removing both the cryptozoological, paranormal and potentially ufological elements and look at some of South America’s indigenous fauna to see if we can come up with a culprit. There are a handful of options, but the character that seems to most fit the bill is…


Vampyrum Spectrum — also known as the Spectral or false vampire bat — is native to both South and Central America . This nocturnal predator ranges from Mexico to central Brazil and Peru . It is not only the largest bat found in the “ New World ,” but it is also the biggest carnivorous bat on the planet.

With its elongated nose and 3-foot wingspan it’s not entirely unreasonable to deduce that the Torre family spied a small group of these animals and assumed the worst. Granted the arid deserts of northern Chili are nothing like the prototypical habitat of deciduous forests and swampy areas where bunches of five Vampyrum Spectrum nest in hollow trees near bodies of water, but it is not that unusual for small colonies of creatures to occasionally stray from their usual environment for a variety of reasons.

One could also argue that a pair of gargantuan non-indigenous bats that are seen at night by young and inexperienced eyewitnesses may well appear to be larger than they are. Still, as convenient as a rogue population of bats might be in explaining away these events, they cannot account for the leaping, winged, kangaroo-like creatures that temporarily blocked the Torre’s path in full view of their truck’s headlights.


So what is it that we are dealing with here? It seems fairly evident that if we are not contending with a mistaken identification or outright hoax, then these gargoyles must be either a variety of unknown flying mammal or perhaps a colossal species of heretofore undiscovered bat.

Strangely enough, according to both Carlos and the Carabineros — the uniformed Chilean national police force — there were no reports of strange creatures on the well traveled highway until 2004. Does this suggest a migratory pattern for these beasts or might we surmise that jungle deforestation or some other manner of likely human encroachment has forced these critters out of hiding and into the public eye?

Until one of the Chilean gargoyles is shot, captured or convincingly caught on film this mystery will no doubt endure… and if you ever find yourself traipsing around northern Chili at night, look to the skies… you never know what you’re going to see.

-I post this in deference to the owner of the blog Global warming and Terraforming and as a representation of his views, which are not necessarily the same as my own. My views are parallel but not identical. And so these are some conclusions, which he draws on that other blog:
Posted: 28 Dec 2011 12:02 AM PST

Yesterdays post on the gargoyles in Chile has given us an excellent eye witness report that has been missing in other similar reports which were often glimpses or over ridden by the initial shock of observation. This report lasted for many minutes because it appears that two pairs of gargoyles were actually playing with the moving vehicle just as we might.

They tested their own flying speed against the car running at sixty miles per hour and a pair even hit the ground running to see how they fared in their bounding along side. This was playful and exhibited curiosity but was not an overt threat. Of course the occupants were scared and soon hit the pedal and were in fact able to out run them and speed away.

We can characterize the gargoyle as follows:

1 The excellent carvings on cathedrals from the Middle Ages were modeled from real bodies of these creatures.
2 The creatures feed on blood and have been caught draining blood from a large number of chickens in a chicken coop and can obviously be blamed for the many cases of blood drained downers found on the Great Plains . They are thus clearly able to exploit a wide range of prey and like a weasel will tackle a cage full of chickens.
3 They do hunt in social groups and this readily explains the occurrence of more than one victim at a given site of so called cattle mutilation. Chile showed us two pair working together.
4 Their flying speed is easily sixty miles per hour and they certainly have soaring capacity. Put that together and we have a creature that can travel in a two hundred mile radius from its den on a given night when it is tied to the den for raising young and also able to travel five hundred miles every night if it is looking for a new range.
5 This range of movement allows the creature to easily establish dens throughout the world and the existence of examples in Europe from the medieval period pretty well assures us that this has happened.
6 They are obviously nocturnal and may be members of the bat family which has a sequence of vampires. This then suggests they use caves where they can go to den up. This may also serve to restrict the number of locales in which they operate.
7 It also appears that they are now expanding their range, This is likely because the danger from human landholders has hugely abated over the past half century. They are clever enough to avoid humanity itself as that has surely meant a blast from a shotgun until recently.

Capturing one of these alive is a tall order and locating an active den when the residents only leave at night is equally difficult. Thus our best hope is that the population will increase enough to make shooting one of them rather likely.

We have now had enough individual observations to nicely describe and confirm individual observations as been other than unique. What is missing is a mass of observations, although we do have a mass of observations confirming the draining of blood from cattle in particular. A hunting pack of gargoyles solves that in short order.
As to the sightings, smaller vampire bats are known to do a sort of rocking-horse bounce between the forelegs and hindlegs when making short jumps into the air and the characterization of the creatures as making "Kangaroo hops" could be compared. One other possibility might be that the creatures are poorly-observed condors at night, making "Gooney Bird" landings. I do not think the description matches that possibility as well. While some big bat reports in NW Argentina and Chile might be due to mistaken observations of condors, some sightings specify exactly "Bats the size of condors."

And now for the third item:

Posted: 26 Dec 2011 12:01 AM PST

This is a one off event describing a creature seen in Maryland over a couple of years. Since this creature is clearly diurnal, it has to be a transient and may have come up from South America . No such creature has actually been reported in North America .

What is troublesome is that none of the descriptions described the beak at all. That pretty well eliminates an over specialized shape such as a raptor or its like. If any thing the weight of the descriptions is toward a bulkier bird able to eat grubs and some vegetative matter.

One report noted that the wings were leathery. In fairness, bird wings are also leathery but covered with feathers. This bird is a solid flier with obvious pin feathers. The whole observation allows us to rethink the available possibilities for large birds. Purportedly the pterodactyl lacked feathers but that seems less and less likely. However a membrane wing covered as needed with small feathers makes sense on the pterodactyl configuration.

The Chinese and Asian reports suggest a homeland for this particular transient. Yet I am still seeing a large diurnal bird with a very long apparent range. Perhaps it relies on fishing like the pterodactyl. We have to get it here some how.

In the event this is at lest a very rare solitary bird that travels great distances and avoids humanity by roosting in forests and possibly flying high. Yet flying low may actually be a better route for a bird that does not hunt and perhaps fishes and is comfortable in the forest.

The forest in which the observations were made is a river valley and is well penetrated by human activity. Observation may well have been inevitable there.

Winged Enigma


A few weeks ago I was thumbing through old investigation files when I came across notations I had made in regards to a unknown bird-like creature. The sightings were reported in 1985 and continued into 1987. It was an odd situation because I knew a few of the witnesses and I was also employed nearby at the time of the sightings. Cryptid investigation was new for me since my main focus was researching spiritual hauntings, but I had studied local Bigfoot encounters and wanted to expand my paranormal focus.

During the afternoon of May 5, 1985 I received a telephone call from Alfred M., the initial witness. He and 2 other men had seen a large bird-like creature perched in a hickory tree while driving south on Thistle Rd. toward River Rd. adjacent to the Patapsco State Park in SW Baltimore Co. Maryland. Alfred stopped the vehicle and watched the creature for several minutes. It eventually flew out of the tree and landed approximately 50 ft. from the road where the witnesses were able to get a keen observation of the creature. Albert stated that it stood 4-5 ft. high and was greenish-blue in color except for the head which was bright red. The wing span was enormous...he estimated it at 15 ft. or more tip-to-tip. The legs were thick and long with distinguishable talons. The eyes were also noticeable...slanted and large with a bright yellow hue. It also made 'clucking and cackle' sounds. After a minute or so, it unfurled its wings and took flight towards the east. Alfred said it reminded him of a hybrid 'dragon and peacock', which he thought was crazy but he stuck with the description.

At the time, I thought that the creature was either a large turkey buzzard or maybe a peacock someone may have had as a pet. In fact, a peacock farm did exist in the area back in the 1950's according to people I interviewed. I went to the location but found no evidence supporting the sighting.

Later that year, I had heard a rumor of a large bird being seen near the Hilton Area of the Patapsco State Park on Hilltop Rd. After several inquiries I was able to locate the witness, Darlene M., who confirmed the sighting. She and her daughter lived nearby and had been walking along Hilltop Rd. when they observed a huge bird flying towards them. Darlene stated that the creature got within 20 ft. of them then suddenly changed direction and flew into the woods. She said that they were terrified...she was sure it was going to hit them. She had gone to the library to see if she could find a picture of the creature. She found an old illustration of aFung Hwang, or Chinese Phoenix and said it looked very similar to what they observed. She described the head was a vibrate red with fierce eyes.

The wings were leathery and tipped with large green feathers. It flew by so quickly she was unable to get a better description.

This is the image Darlene showed me - In 1886, Charles Gould reproduced this picture of the Fung Hwang, or Chinese Phoenix . In fact, the male was called Fung, and the female called Hwang. Just as dragons could be auspicious, so could these birds, said to tower over most people and enjoy music.

Once again I was stumped by the sighting. I talked to two ornithologists who basically thought I was delusional. I also contacted the state park service and asked if they had heard of any strange reports. Nothing...though they were amused by the questions.

The Phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians.

On the morning of April 29, 1986 several employees at the local paper mill observed a large bird standing in the loading area. According to the witnesses, this creature fit the description of a very large peacock...but there were some oddities. The head was red in color and it didn't have the long plumes. Other than those anomalies the overall description pointed towards a peacock. Could there be a breeding population in the state park?

In January 1987 a truck driver (Robert S.) was heading south on Thistle Rd. and was startled by a huge bird that flew across the road in front of his vehicle. I was able to interview him by telephone a few days later (he lived in Edison , NJ ). His impression was that it 'looked like a dragon'. There was snow on the ground and the creature silhouetted well enough to get a quick but detailed look. Robert stated that it was 'as long as his truck was wide' and 'was powerfully built'. He also confirmed it had a red colored head and greenish-blue body and wings.

At this point I had nothing more than anecdotal evidence. There was no natural explanation for the existence of this creature. Even today I have little to go on because I simply have not come across another cryptid that matches the description.

The Gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.

The final sighting, as far as I know, took place on June 30, 1987. The witness, David, was a Baltimore Gas and Electric employee who, along with his partner, was working along the power line that runs north to south through the state park. At a point north of Hilltop Rd. near the old mill village is an abandoned church graveyard. The former church was razed in the 1930's but the graveyard was left on its own...thus, it was severely overgrown by the woods. (I do think that the graves have been relocated since). David observed a large bird-like creature that he described as a 'gryphon'...though he admits that he didn't get a very good look at it. He only noticed the creature after hearing a rustling sound which he thought was probably deer moving through the woods. He said the creature raised up from a rock, spread it's wings and vanished. David admitted that the sight of this beast was a shock and that he did not want to go back to the location.

I really wish I had more to offer. I kept the notes and vowed to go back and investigate the encounters if more sightings were reported. The witness Darlene may have been on to something...maybe this was a mythical firebird with the ability to be reborn from its own ashes. Unfortunately I have not heard of other incidents. Lon

-In this case, the dimensions are in the Thunderbird range although on the modest side (10 to 20 foot wingspan is the lower end of wingspan estimates and some estimates go up to a 35 foot wingspan or more. 15 to 25 would be seen more often and would definitely seem the more likely estimates of the size) but the colouration seems a mite gaudy. The ordinary reports would say simply black wings and a red head, but the feathers are also sometimes said to have a sort of irridescent sheen to them and could look bluish or greenish from that. Oddly enough, the more colourful Thunderbird reports nearly always emanate from the EAST Coast. Some reports say leathery wings and others say feathery; these reports DO say feathery. In the case quoted above, the suggestion it was a peacock seems too forced; it was like a peacock except for the head and tail does not leave any distinctively peacock features in between. The fact that the shape of the beak is not specified of course in itself means nothing; but then it is difficult to judge how sharp the edge of a bird's beak is from a distance. The large talons are on the other hand suggestive of a predatory bird. In this case we seem to have a more or less ordinary large condor-like bird from the description, only the fancies of observers attribute pterosaur or dragon features onto it. Or even phoenix or peacock features.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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