Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good day for conspiracy theorists

Yesterday was a banner day for fans of conspiracy theorists as news broke of two different legendary creatures: bigfoot and chupacabra. You all know the bigfoot story: a very tall, big, and hairy ape-like upright walking creature. The chupacabra is a said to be a creature that kills animals -- apparently first goats (hence the name). Its killing method is a bit odd -- it literally sucks the blood of the animal (the name chupacabra means literally goat sucker -- one that sucks goats -- in Spanish).

There's a video of a dog- or wolf-like creature along the US border with Mexico here. While the animal is perhaps a bit odd-looking, I don't see any reason to see it as the fabled chupacabra. Besides, the stories of the chupacabra range from Puerto Rico to Central America, Mexico, and the border with the United States. How did it get across the Gulf of Mexico to Puerto Rico -- or vise versa? The animal in question is larger than the rats or mice that have spread throughout the world as unwelcome passengers on ships. I am very skeptical -- plus the video looks like it could have been altered; I do not trust the closeups in particular.

One of the problems with the bigfoot myth is the lack of a cadaver. If such a creature exists, why haven't people ever come across a carcass? (The same applies to the Loch Ness monster; apparently the famous photo has been revealed to be that of a bathing elephant from a circus.) But this story is the finding of such a carcass. While I am skeptical of bigfoot stories in general, the discovery of a cadaver and the apparent running of DNA tests to prove that it is something that we have never seen before could be smoking gun evidence. I suspect it is an elaborate hoax, but am willing to examine the evidence (especially when others are doing the hard part). This website has details on the finding and a press conference has been scheduled for this coming Friday (August 15) at noon (PDT; 3pm EDT). I'll be happy to hear what they have to say; but I won't be watching the press conference -- I'm too much of a skeptic.

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