In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

From Mysterious Universe:Startling Chupacabra Kill, or Merely Another Varmint Vanquished? | Mysterious Universe

Micah Hanks writes on the chupacabra: Startling Chupacabra Kill, or Merely Another Varmint Vanquished? I've posted here and on my Sasquatch blog Frame 352 about the trigger happy people in the U.S. who happily blast away at creatures they think might be the "chupacabra." Of course, as I and others have pointed out many times, the chupacabra is a spiny backed, red eyed, high jumping creature of the Fortean kind. Stories of the blood sucking cryptid came out of Puerto Rico, migrated to Mexico, Florida, elsewhere in the states and South and Central America, retaining its eerie high strangeness nature. No one spoke of mange ridden canines, or other mundane animals. Until, it seems, maybe three years ago or so, where reports of the latter creatures came in, mainly from the southwest but other states as well. People persisted in calling these poor creatures "chupacabra" and killed one as soon as they saw one.

So now the meme has been firmly planted: chupacabra of the true cryptid high strangeness variety, with all its conspiratorial theories -- government projects gone horribly awry, alien pets, inter-dimensional travelers, etc. -- are forgotten, and blue-gray skinned, hairless canine type creatures, probably foxes and or coyotes, etc. with mange or some type of disease have replaced the chupie of legend.

The fear persists however. Fear at seeing something unfamiliar. And so naming it with a handy pre-labeled moniker (chupacabra) and insisting the creature is unknown, a strange interloper, gives one justification for kill first, ask later.

As Micah correctly points out, the media that gladly reports on these stories, and the people that shoot away, are the same ones who laugh at the subject of cryptids, cryptozoology, and the like. Hanks quotes from a recent Fox "news" segment on a recent killing of a "chupacabra"

The legendary chupacabra has been spied, shot and killed — will bigfoot be next?
And rightfully points out the disgusting exploitative implications:
Wonderful to see that some odd-looking little creature (likely a possum, or perhaps a varmint of some sort, as we’ll get to in a moment) has been shot and killed, rather than the diminutive, lizard-like little monsters from the early Puerto Rican reports back in the 1990s. To be clear, this is not a “chupacabra” in the truest sense by any means. However, before we go any further with the report from today, is it too much to ask also that the word “Bigfoot” be capitalized? To quote Loren Coleman, author of Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America, since “words like Sea Serpent, Nessie, Bigfoot, Yeti, and related forms all have not been technically ‘accepted’ by systematic zoology, as of this date, the capitalized form (should) be employed.” (Curiously, the same does not typically apply to the use of the term chupacabra in Fortean literature, hence my use of the lower case… but I digress)

Startling Chupacabra Kill, or Merely Another Varmint Vanquished? | Mysterious Universe
Thank you Lesley at The Debris Field for link.

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