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Thursday, 22 March 2012

'El Chupacabras del Sur America'

This photo of a very large bat has been circulating around the internet lately. It has a confusing perspective, but it looks as if it is about the depth into the photo as the man closest to the front. I have seen the photo referred to as "El Chupacabras del Sur America" or "The Chupacabras of South America." Part of the problem in identifying the bat is that the head has been damaged. I make an estimation that the wingspan as about eighty inches or seven feet across, the size of a big flying fox bat (for comparison see at Left) but the conformation of the body and wings are not quite the same. If this is indeed South America, then there is no bat of comparable size that is supposed to live there and it is indeed at the right size range to be our basic ChupaBat, the outsized False-Vampire one. It would be helpful to have a better view of the head but from what I can tell at this distance, it would seem that the ears have been removed and the creature de-fanged at the very least. The wings are slightly different in structure and the one at top seems to have longer fingers than in the wing of the flying fox, and a broader span of the mobile wingtip area as a result. If this is indeed South America then this creature is the original for the local vampire stories under the names of "Chonchon" and so on.

There is something of a parallel to the Thunderbird photo in that there is an element of forced perspective in the photo , but it is likely not top be a deliberate attempt at deception; rather, it seems to have been just an ambiguous positioning of the elements when the photo was taken.

At  5 Am on 3/24/2012, I received the following update from Quinton R. Godsell:
hi dale.about the s.american bat pic. i am in manila at the moment,my filipino friends informed me the pic was taken in the south of the philippine islands.they called it a tik tik.

Dale Drinnon replied
That is a vampire name. Thanks for the info. Any other particulars on it?

Quinton R. Godsell
yes they believe its a giant vampire bat.possibly mindanao.low level war going on down there.filipino soldiers in photo.
...If I get any additional information I shall add it on here.

In the meantime, I also found a recent reference to an older ChupaBat type creature from Texas called The Blood Beast and subject to scares about Vampires in the middle of the 20th Century: This is mentioned in pasing on a more frivolous internet Chupacabra site together with the illustration here. The illustration is profoundly interesting in that it shows a large bat very like the False Vampire bat, our candidate-model for the ChupaBat. The wingspan would be about six feet, or a man's armspan


  1. If that dagger stuck into the plank directly over the bat's head is a foot long then maybe it has a wingspan of 3 feet?

  2. Or it could be a sword very much larger than a dagger with a correspondingly greater wingspan. But I don't know if the dagger/sword/bayonette is real either, it could be some painted wooden sign since the texture seems to match the wooden beams.

    Best wishes, Dale D.

  3. To Thomas Mind: you haven't proved a thing if you can't even prove it's really a knife, and there are good reasons for saying it's a piece of painted wood

  4. The surface of the sword or knife or whatever is not consistent along the whole "Blade".The bottom third or so of the object is mych darker than the "blade" immediately above it, like a paint job that does not match.At that same point, it seems not to be completely straight but have a bend in it, and the upper part of the "blade" does match the lower part in colour or texture, either. Besides the basic colour of the object is very close to the wooden beams next to it otherwise.

  5. That means nothing - shiny things reflect, and we have no idea what there was to reflect behind the camera, but likely there was wood. The width of the knife grip gives a narrow range of possible wingspan, about 40 hilt-widths = 40 - 100 inches, most likely about 60 inches, 1.5m.

    Perhaps a more accurate measurement could come from the cigarette the bat appears to be smoking.

  6. Saying it means nothing cuts both ways, for it means nothing either for or against the assertion it is a normal dagger of known size. We have yet to do so much as say it is a known type of dagger or sword of a known size or design, even assuming it actually is a sword or dagger andnot a painted representation of one.
    And the "thing in its mouth" is neither a cigarette nor a cigar but another chunk of wood. The head itself is so damaged that the features cannot be made out.

    The debate has closed here, by the way, and has moved on to a more recent updated posting. Pehaps you should post there next time.

  7. FYI: In this photo is the Philippine Flying Fox, aka. Foxbat. Native to Panay Island in the Philippines.
    The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is a rare megabat[2] and one of the largest bats in the world.[3] The species is endangered and is currently facing the possibility of extinction because of poaching and forest destruction. It is endemic to forests in the Philippines.[1]

  8. FYI the statement made by an expert in the followup article "Re: Giant Bat Photo" distinctly says this is NOT that bat because the bat in the photo does NOT have the distinctive golden-coloured head. A lot of the subsequent dismissals of the photo do identify it as that bat, but it is not that bat. The exact species of bat in the photo is still unidentified and for that much, the mystery still goes on.

  9. @Dale Drinnon: Dear Sir, This photo was taken by a serviceman of the Philippine Army stationed in Panay Island. Furthermore, the object on top of the creature's head is an 'army bayonet'. You may also notice that the bat is mounted on a "bamboo" frame, a plant indigenous to Asia not to South America. Nuff said.

  10. @wttp: And I reiterate to you that none of that actually matters. What matters is that the exact species of bat is unidentified and that it is NOT the bat which you named. That means simply that your identification was wrong and the bat still remains unclassified. Which is the only point which concerns us here.

  11. @Dale Drinnon: Sir, I am really so sorry if you still can't get it. Most often, people pretend to be obstinate and steadfast in their beliefs if they really don't have confidence and solid facts to support their own hypothesis. May I suggest for you to take advantage of the Internet and its vast and extensive collection and source of information to enhance and advance yourself. You may find it really useful. Good luck!

  12. Wttp: I am genuinely sorry that you cannot understand a flat statement of fact. The bat in the picture does not have the characteristic golden coloured head and cannot be the species of bat which you said it was. That fact was recognised by expert opinion and posted on this blog within two days of the original posting. The bat is NOT of that species and is thus of an unidentified species. That is the ONLY thing that I am concerned with here. And if you choose to make a reply I would thank you to acquaint yourself of the facts in this case before insinuating any further innuendo.

  13. Unfortunately the same poster came back and reiterated exactly his same statememnt as before. He was quite incapable of seeing that all of that he is saying is irrelevant, the only thing we are concerned with is the biological identity of the bat used in the photo, which remains unidentified and is NOT the species of bat which he named! I really don't know how going on and on about the other features of the photo affects a discussion of the biological identity of the bat, and on that topic the poster is evidently entirely ignorant. No more postings on the matter will be entertained until the poster can focus on the problem we are concerned with, which remains the classification of the bat

  14. "Wttp" tried to continue the same argument by submitting a link last night. He still cannot read a direct statement: no matter what other circumstances surround this photograph, the bat shown in this photograph is NOT the bat he has named and we have the overruling opinion by a bat expert living and working in the area on the matter. The species of bat is still unidentified and thus warrants further attention. That is ALL we are concerned with, the other details do NOT modify that situation. It does not matter that the photo was taken in the Philippines, we alreay knew that. It does not matter that the photo is deliberately deceptive annd taken in forced perspective. We have known that from the first and stated that from the first. It is a sort of bat in the family of Flying Foxes. Yes that is obvious and we have said THAT from the onset as well. BUT IT IS NOT THE COMMON GOLD-CROWNED FLYING FOX BAT KNOWN IN THE AREA AND LACKS THAT BAT'S CHARACTERISTIC COLOURATION. THE TYPE OF BAT SHOWN DOES NOT AGREE WITH ANY BAT KNOWN IN THE AREA AND THEREFORE REPRESENTS A NEW UNIDENTIFIED SPECIES. Now until you have definite authoritative proof that overrules the testimony of our bat expert previously printed on the matter-and that means specifically getting a printed, signed and certified contrary statement made by a recognised HIGHER-ranking zoologist specializing in bats and working in the Philippines-the matter is CLOSED.

  15. "Wttp" has fallen back on simple name-calling. I have noticed that the inarticulate drunks and name-callers come out on Fridays and Saturdays. Well on this blog we have certain standards: You do not repeat unsubstantiated assertions and expect to get a hearing. Ypu do not continually argue beside the point and evade an issue. And you do not resort to name-calling and insults and expect to get printed on the blog at all. No go away and sleep it off.

  16. I am interested in how people respond to things and I am amazed on how small people are giving this bats proportions. The sword on the top is not a dagger look to be some kind of army bayonet and as well the bats ears have not been cut off you can clearly see them rising above it's head and the tips are hidden behind the board. What would give a better answer to this amazing specimen would be to find out what that blue wrapping is that binds the creature to the board and the typical dimensions used. As well looking through known designs of blades etc to identify the model for sure from that region and then we might be able to have a better understanding of the true size of this bat. I know one thing it is not remotely as small as some of the guesses here even though it was taken in a blown up fashion. A good way to get a better idea of it would be to check out the typical board sizes cut and dimensions of them locally and then you could make a scale more precise likely although not proven it would at least give a better understanding of it likely.
    As well the type of trees in the background and there typical width and heights of them also would provide better clues. I will do some research and see if I can find more about some of the objects and trees then with this information you might be able to show it is of much larger size then any known bat. I highly doubt it is the Philippine flying fox do to the head as mentioned above although one thought came to mind they may have dragged it through the ground etc to get it up there and it may have been covered with some kind of ground to camouflage the color. Even at that it seems to be a monster specimen of one if that occurred and obviously to me it is larger then the largest size known of the species even with the close blow up taken. Could you imagine that creepy thing flying over you? lol. I would rather run across a band of mean Bigfoot any day then that thing although I would love to see it in the wild but from a far distance lol. I am interested in giant bats and many types of unusual animals do to I am a witness of a huge North American bat that had wing span near the size of a typical large seagulls do to they were flying right beside it. I watched this beast with two other witnesses for about 5 minutes. I cannot find any known North American bat that remotely has the wingspan or body size that we saw. I have witnessed many bats over the decades night fishing and at dusk and dawn and normally when I see them fly by seagulls they look like a little blob this creature did not and was by far larger then any bat in Ontario known. It looked near identical to a typical brown bat species. The largest known bat is the Hoary bat in Canada with a maximum wingspan of around 16 to 17 inch range this creature had double + of that easily the wing span beside the Ring-billed Gulls flying around was at least 80 to 95 percent of there wingspan as many flew right near the thing of different sizes and they were not small gulls and typical size of the species and they have wing spans of over 48 inches with even much larger specimens recorded and typical is at least 45 inches or more full grown adult which these seem to be. So all I know is that what ever species this was it was either off course or there is a unknown mega Ontario bat not listed. So even if this photo is blown up etc and it ends up being smaller then thought I do know one thing for sure in my case because the bat often was right beside the gulls and flying at same heights a very good size prospective was able to be achieved and was clearly seen and at fairly close range. for a fair length of time. I also saw in the seventies near the same location a huge bat as well similar color however there was no seagulls to match it up with to make a good scale however I recall being amazed by it's size. I have angled in this area since a child and only twice see this type of thing yet been there thousands of times.

    1. I reiterate, please be aware that I am not saying the bat is as large as the photo represents, what interests me is that the SPECIES of bat seems to be unidentified. Therefore it is a Cryptid, by definition. People are continually missing the point when I say that.


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