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Friday, 2 November 2012

ChupaBats in Texas, and More on Big Bats

 While doing a photosearch re colour photo indicated above turned up as an unue creature from Texas. It was an anonymous piece of artwork used to  illustrate Kark Shuker's blog about an unusual "batman-big bird creature" seen in 1976:
"Sitting in his mother-in-law's backyard at Raymondville, Texas, on the evening of 14January 1976, Armando Grimaldo suddenly heard a strange whistling, and a sound that reminded him of flapping bats' wings - a highly pertinent comparison, as it turned out. For just a few seconds later, he was attacked by a man-sized monstrosity with the face of a bat or monkey, a pair of large flaming eyes but no beak, dark, leathery, unfeathered skin, and a pair of huge wings yielding a massive 10-12 ft wingspan (i.e. twice that of any known species of bat). Swooping down at the terrified man, the creature snatched at him with its big claws, but, happily, Grimaldo was able to flee inside before his aerial attacker had inflicted any serious injuries. Nevertheless, his encounter was just one of several on file from this particular region of Texas during early 1976, all documenting sightings of a similar entity

As soon as I saw the illustration I saw theresemblance to my reconstruction for the Chupabat, a giant False Vampire bat reported the size of a medium-sized dog when running on all fours on the ground, and with a wingspan as large as the largest known bats or even a moderate-sized eagle; six or seven, maybe even as much as eight feet ( ten or twelve feet would be closer to half again than to double the size) which is said to predate upon livestock occasionally in Mexico and Central America, so finding one in Texas or New Mexico would not be too unusual. The real resemblance in the illustration is with the shape of the head. The black and white illustration shown above is clip art of the known (Smaller) False Vampire bat. A scaled-up version could easily have fanged canies more than an inch long.

 "Chupacabras-like depradations occur in the Southwest USA on occasion and could be linked to such Chupabats or Gargoyle Bats. Sheep mutilations, victims severely wounded and gutted without leaving much evidence of spilled blood on the ground, are reported from the 4 Corners region of New Mexico and thought to have been done by a large ChupaBat such as implicated in similar cases in Mexico: JC Johnson 1 year ago
Typical protocol in this situation,- the tribe insists that all of the animals be put down in case of rabies. No other recourse I'm afraid. The injured sheep were being shot as we were leaving the scene.

JC Johnson 1 year ago We don't know for sure what did this

1stofer 1 month ago in playlist More videos from cryptofourcorners sounds like the jersey devil

Heyoka Ha 2 months ago Very peculiar indeed. The hoof (foot) prints were in pairs, that is what you mean by bipedal? In any of the sheep injured, Was there any indication that the blood could have been taken first and then the animal attacked again? I am thinking there was more than one of these creatures.

brjames06 4 months ago lmao!!.. @ 3:05.. the shit didnt come out... [Ordinarily when an animal is slaughtered, the bowels dump]

OziBushMysteries 4 months ago thats not 'horse shoe prints ' i'd have to tell u? [Jersey Devil prints? the footprints were irregular ovals and I could not tell what they were. I would guess they were blurred sheep tracks]

The example above was from August 2011: the one below is from April 2010

Special thanks to JC Johnson for pointing out the videos.

Mixed in with the other reports of Giant bats are reports of an even larger but flatfaced bat, also seen in Texas in 1976. They seem to be a northen extension of the American equivallent of the Ahool, in Mythology known as Camazotz.

Monkeyfaced "Big Bird" of Texas 1976. Obviously the artist is confused about the arms and the legs and the wings. They have drawn a birdlike instead of a batlike body plan A policeman seeing one of these creatures hiding in the branches described the face as looking like that of a gorilla


The Ahool is the latest addition to the InCryptid Field Guide!
    Mayan "Death Bat"
  1. Cave Demons and Giant Bat-like CreaturesLarge bat-like creature sighting in California
  2. Normally, only UFO and extraterrestrial sightings are reported to MUFON but on Saturday, June 5, 2010 an interesting account of a bat-like creature, purported to have been seen near Lodi, California was reported:

    MUFON Case 23617
    2010-05-14 at 02:45
    Lodi, California

    “I had taken my dogs for a run early in the morning - about 2:30 on May 14th 2010. I was southeast of Lodi on Live Oak Road where the road to the winery intersects. There are outside lights and I saw something crouched in the road which I thought at first was a coyote eating something. Then it stood up and was about 4 1/2 feet tall so I knew it wasn’t a coyote. It stooped back down and appeared to gather up whatever it had been eating; gave a little hop and soared away over the grapevines in an up down, up down motion. The wings sort of glistened in the light and did not seem to have feathers. I thought it looked like a gigantic bat, but have never heard of a bat that big. The dogs seemed to be frightened and jumped into the car. I was so amazed at what I saw.”
  3. What are they?
  4. According to mainstream science, the world’s biggest bat is the Bismark flying fox, an animal that never gets larger than six feet from wingtip to wingtip. According to cryptozoology, mainstream scientists might be wrong. Many sightings from seemingly reliable people suggest that this might not be the case.
  5. Giant Bat People or Just Giant Bats of Lore?
  6. Sightings of mysterious human-sized bats have been reported in all corners of the world. They are described as having black or gray fur, a monkey-like face, clawed feet and a 10-15 foot wingspan.

  8. In Brazil they are called “bat people.” The rainforests of Java echo the cries of a bat creature called the “Ahool” because of its distinct “a-hool” vocalization.

    The island of Java, not very far from the Bismark flying fox’s home of New Guinea, is supposed to harbor this cryptid bat with a twelve-foot wingspan. The Ahool eats fish and has gray fur and a flattened face with huge black eyes, with its head overall looking like a monkey’s head. It is not attributed with supernatural powers, and seems like such a plausible animal that it has drawn the attention of naturalists. If a giant bat lived anywhere, the dense rainforests of Java would be a likely place.

    In Vietnam they are known as “night flyers.” These winged humanoids are generally 5 feet tall with eerie feminine features. They are known to swoop down on their victims and attack several times.

    Another plausible place for an undiscovered giant bat to live is Cameroon, a country in Africa where scientists have reported seeing a very similar bat. This creature is apparently called the olitiau by locals. It also has a twelve-foot wingspan with thin membranous skin and a monkey-like face, but its fur is pure black. The beings are described as terrifying to look upon, with what looks like a mixture of human or monkey and bat-like features in the face. Long, wild, disheveled, hair around the head, much like a mane, with pitch black fur covering the entirety of it’s body. The body of the fearsome creature stands about the size of a human being upon clawed feet and it’s teeth which can clearly be seen, are razor sharp, pointed daggers. It is regarded with a great deal of superstition and fear. It is not improbable that both of these bats might have monkey-like faces. Bats have a notoriously wide variety of head shapes, and many known species have heads resembling different animals such as foxes, dogs, lemurs or even horses!

    Another possible African giant bat is the kongamato, which has also been interpreted as a pterosaur by some people. This creature is not quite so large, has reddish fur, and has a long snout instead of a flattened face. Madagascar, a large island just off the coast of Africa, has tales about a bat called the fangalabolo, with a wingspan larger than 5 feet, bigger than any other bat known to live in Madagascar.

    The Guiafairo of Senegal in West Africa is described as a giant bat that is very smelly and often manages to terrify people by making its way indoors. It is hated very much, and its name translates to “the fear that flies by night.” The Guiafairo is mentioned in Karl Shuker’s “The Secret Animals of Senegambia” in the November 1998 issue of Fate Mag where it is described as having a human face and is said to be able to appear behind locked doors.

    The mlularuka of Tanzania is perhaps the most tame and ordinary of undiscovered African bats. Like known species of giant bats, it is a fruit-eater and thus is mainly spoken of as a pest to agriculture. It is described as being the size of a dog.

    Other giant bat reports sound less plausible and shade off into an area where it is nearly impossible to separate the few facts that might exist from the masses of folklore and the paranormal that these alleged facts are buried in. One such creature is the sasabonsam from Ghana in Africa. Depicted in folklore as a bearded human with bat wings, the one known body (which has sadly disappeared, along with the only photograph of it) was described as being far less human than the legends say. It was an animal like a huge bat, with a twenty-foot wingspan and stiff black-and-white spotted fur. It had huge teeth and heavy ridges over its eyes.

    The Indonesian orang-bati is even more mythical. These human/bat monsters live in an extinct volcano on the island of Seram and abduct children. Still, some researchers working in the field of cryptozoology think that a real bat may be hiding behind these fantastical tales.

    Giant vampire bat reports are generally kept separate from giant bat reports, mainly because the giant vampire bat is large for a vampire bat, but still medium-sized when compared to bats in general.

    In Mexico, an ancient Mayan cult worshiped the “death bat.”

    Around 100 B.C., a peculiar religious cult grew up among the Zapotec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. The cult venerated an anthropomorphic monster with the head of a bat, an animal associated with night, death, and sacrifice. This monster soon found its way into the pantheon of the Quiché, a tribe of Maya who made their home in the jungles of what is now Guatemala. The Quiché identified the bat-deity with their god Zotzilaha Chamalcan, the god of fire.

Gouache on paper. Cryptozoology assignment. Marissa Louise.


  1. 121
    The ahool is a legendary giant bat, or by other accounts, a pterosaur or flying primate. Named for its distinctive call “A-hool”, it is said to live in the deepest rainforests of Java. It is described as having a monkey/ape-like head with large dark eyes, large claws on its forearms approximately the size of an infant, and a body covered in gray fur. Possibly the most intriguing and astounding feature is that it is said to have a wingspan of 3 m 10 ft. This is almost twice as long as the largest known bat in the world, the common flying fox.
  1. The Island of Java, formed mostly as the result of volcanic activity, is the worlds 13th largest island, and the 5th largest island of Indonesia. Java is one of the most densely populated regions on earth and with a population of roughly 124 million is also the most populated island in the world. It is because of this overpopulation that the rainforests of Java have all but disappeared in recent times, the Gunung Halimun National Park is one of the last remaining stretches of lowland forest on the island. What remains Java’s once great rain forests supports a wide array of wildlife including over 23 mammal species, over 200 bird species, over 500 forms of plant life and according to the native population of the forests is the home to a large unidentified winged creature known as the Ahool.
  2. The Ahool, named after its call, a long ahOOOooool, is said to be a bat like creature, and is described as the size of a one year old child with a gigantic wing span of roughly 12 feet. It is reported to be covered in short, dark grey fur, have large, black eyes, flattened forearms supporting its leathery wings and a monkey like head, with a flattish, man like face. It has been seen squatting on the forest floor, at which times its wings are closed, pressed against the Ahool’s body, its feet appearing to point backwards. It is thought that the Ahool is a nocturnal creature, spending its days concealed in caves located behind or beneath waterfalls; its nights spent skimming across rivers in search of large fish upon which it feeds.
  3. One account of the Ahool occurred in 1925 when naturalist Dr. Ernest Bartels, son of noted ornithologist M.E.G. Bartels, was exploring a waterfall on the slopes of the Salek Mountains when a giant unknown bat, the Ahool, few directly over his head. Two years later in 1927, around 11:30 pm, Dr. Ernest Bartels encountered the Ahool again, this time he was laying in bed, inside his thatched house close to the Tjidjenkol River in western Java, listening to the sounds of the jungle when he suddenly heard a very different sound coming from almost directly over his hut, this loud and clear cry seemed to utter, A Hool!

    Grabbing his torch Dr. Bartels ran out of his hut in the direction the sound seemed to be heading. Less than 20 seconds later he heard it again, a final A Hool! which floated back towards him from a considerable distance downstream. As he would recall many years later, he was transfixed on the sound, not because he did not know what produced it but rather because he did, the Ahool.
  4. At one time, Bartels had suggested that perhaps the creature was not a bat, but some type of bird, possibly a very large owl, but this theory did not sit well with others and was greeted with passionate denials by his friends, who assured him in no uncertain terms that they were more than capable of distinguishing a bat from a bird.
  5. Bartels accounts of the Ahool were passed down to cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson by Bernard Heuvelmans, and after much research Sanderson concluded that the Ahool is a form of unclassified bat. Sanderson took special interest in the Ahool because he too had met with such a creature, but not in Java, his encounter took place in the Assumbo Mountains of Cameroon, in western Africa. Sanderson thought that the Ahool could be an Oriental form of the giant bat like creature he witnessed in Africa; this creature was known by the African natives as the Kongamato.
  6. Some researchers have suggested that the Ahool may be a surviving population of pterosaur, a flying reptile thought to have gone extinct around the time of the dinosaurs, some 65 million years ago. Indeed the description of the Ahool does match what we currently know about pterosaur species, including large forearms supporting leathery wings. The majority of investigators seem to agree however that the Ahool is more than likely a form of unknown giant bat, looking to the creatures reported facial features as evidence against the flying reptile theory. A third, less popular theory, also based on the reported facial features of the Ahool is that this beast may be the worlds first reported case of a flying primate.
  7. Regardless of which theory you may subscribe to it may only be a matter of time before we find out exactly what the Ahool is. With the continued destruction of Java’s rainforests the Ahool’s habitat continues to shrink which may lead to more encounters with the creature by modern man as we encroach further on its home. Unfortunately the destruction of the Ahool’s home may also lead to its extinction before we even get a chance to fully understand its identity.
  8. The Evidence
  9. There is currently no physical evidence to suggest the existence of a creature like the Ahool living in the rainforests of Java.
  10. The Sightings
  11. In 1925, naturalist Dr. Ernest Bartels, son of noted ornithologist M.E.G. Bartels, was exploring a waterfall on the slopes of the Salek Mountains when a giant unknown bat, the Ahool, few directly over his head.
  12. In 1927, around 11:30 pm, Dr. Ernest Bartels encountered the Ahool again. Bartels was laying in bed, inside his thatched house close to the Tjidjenkol River in western Java, listening to the sounds of the jungle Bartels suddenly heard a very different sound coming from almost directly over his hut, this loud and clear cry seemed to utter, A Hool!

  13. From Wiki:

    The ahool is a flying cryptid, supposedly a giant bat, or by other accounts, a living pterosaur or flying primate.

    Like many cryptids, it is not well documented, and little reliable information - and in this case, no material evidence - exists. Named for its distinctive call A-hool (other sources render it ahOOOooool), it is said to live in the deepest rainforests of Java.

    It is described as having a monkey/ape-like head with large dark eyes, large claws on its forearms (approximately the size of an infant), and a body covered in gray fur. Possibly the most intriguing and astounding feature is that it is said to have a wingspan of 3 m (10 ft). This is almost twice as long as the largest (known) bat in the world, the common flying fox.

    According to Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark [Quoting Sanderson], it was first described by Dr. Ernest Bartels.

    Bartels published regular accounts of his work while exploring the Salak Mountains on the island of Java.

    One speculation on its existence by the cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson is that it might be a relative of Kongamato in Africa. Others have suggested it were a living fossil pterosaur, on account of its supposedly leathery wings. As is known today, most pterosaurs seem to have had wings that were covered with a downy fluff to prevent heat loss; this may or may not have been necessary in a tropical environment depending on these animals’ metabolism. On the other hand, there might be an entirely mundane explanation:

    Two large earless owls exist on Java, the Spotted Wood-owl (Strix seloputo) and the Javan Wood-owl (Strix (leptogrammica) bartelsi). They are intermediate in size between the Spotted Owl of North America or the Tawny Owl of Eurasia, and an eagle owl (horned owl), being 40–50 cm (16–20 in) long and with a wingspan of perhaps 1.20 meters (4 ft). Despite this discrepancy, wingspans are usually overestimated[verification needed]in flying animals not held in hand (see also Thunderbird), especially by frightened observers.

    Size nonwithstanding, the Javan or Bartels’s Wood-owl seems an especially promising candidate to resolve the ahool enigma: it has a conspicuous flat “face” with large dark eyes exaggerated by black rings of feathers and a beak that protrudes but little, and it appears greyish-brown when seen from below. Its call is characteristic, a single shout, given intermittently, and sounding like HOOOH!

    Like most large owls, it is highly territorial in breeding season and will frighten away intruders by mock attacks from above and behind. Its flight, being an owl, is nearly completely silent, so that the victim of such sweeps usually becomes aware of the owl when it is homes in snarling and with outstretched talons (held at “breast” height to the observer), and would just have time to duck away. The Javan Wood-owl is a decidedly rare and elusive bird not often observed even by ornithologists, and hides during day. It is found in remote montane forest at altitudes of probably around 1,000-1,500 meters, and does not tolerate well human encroachment, logging and other disturbances.

    From its appearance and behavior, the Javan Wood-owl matches the characteristics of the ahool surprisingly well, despite the cryptid at first glance giving the impression of a mammal. Observer error due to the circumstances of being dive-bombed in a remote gloomy forest by a fierce snarling and clawing bird may well account for the apparent discrepancies. Notwithstanding, the wood-owls of Java are not generally mentioned in cryptozoological discussions of the ahool, and most authors of cryptozoologial works seem to be entirely unaware of the birds’ existence.

    Be that as it may, it is not resolved how well the owls are known to locals, especially the local name - if any - and whether they are present in locations of ahool reports would seem to be highly relevant.


  1. Dale,

    Excellant research and write up here! Been waiting for someone to put it all together in a form that makes sense. Thank you!

  2. Great summary. I have always been fascinated by these big bat reports. Finally people aren't calling these sightings of pterosaurs anymore.

    I only wish Ivan T. Sanderson was still alive to see that artists impression of him being knocked into the water by a bat-winged King Kong. He would have laughed himself sick! That picture made my day.


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