We’ve already had the pleasure of talking about El Chupacabra here once and twice. We found several odd points in this whole story. Now Benjamin Radford, editor of The Skeptical Inquirer, says that he solved the mystery around El Chupacabra. He makes a really strong case by examining every mention of El Chupacabra in the media, starting with its first sighting in Puerto Rico in 1995. It’s neither an animal nor an hoax. He states that the original description of the mythical animal was unconsciously taken from a very famous movie.
An eyewitness of the first sighting described the Chupacabra as in the picture above: a bipedal creature, four to five feet tall with spikes down its back, long, thin arms and legs, and an alienlike oblong head with red or black eyes. For the following five years, this description was associated with the Chupacabra and it was sighted everywhere from Florida to Latin America. In 2000 the stories fell down, just to resurface in 2004, when something happened in Texas. The pictures of one shot predator became very well known throughout the internet. It was however just a coyote with mange. From then on, everything mysterious was called Chupacabra, be it a coyote, a dog, a racoon or even a dried fish. And even if the newer victims like the older were never vampirized, the legend of the goatsucker was widely believed.
After Radford traced all the sightings back to that one eyewitness report, he also realized, that just before the sighting a very famous movie hit the theatres – “Species”. Have a look at these pictures at the blog Monsters and Beasts and compare them to our little friend up there.
I hope it’s visible, that there are several comparable features in both designs. The linked article tells even more. “When [Radford] spoke to Tolentino [the eyewitness], he asked her if the thing that she saw could have been inspired by the film. Indeed, she had seen the movie in the weeks prior to making her description.” That means, that she unconsciously gave the creature she actually saw, the looks inspired by the movie. This is something that happens quite often and not very surprising to a psychologist such as Radford.
There are some other very interesting points about general logic of this myth, but overall it can be said: “The question then becomes which is more likely, the astronomical chance that this creature looks exactly like the one from ‘Species,’ or that the film is just where she got the depiction?”
I doubt, that this will bring an end to claims and reports about the mysterious creature, given the wide spread of the story. But the internet can also work the other way around: in favor of enlightenment and education.