Goat Sucking for Fun and Profit
Arecibo Puerto Rico - Most people know this section of Puerto Rico from the giant land based radio telescope that has been seen in such films as "Contact" and some Charlie Sheen movie that I forgot the name of. Hector Lopez hopes that soon people will know Arecibo as the home of the mini mule.
"My mini mules are the best mini mules in the world." says Hector as he guides me around his large farm. "They are the smallest and the smartest!" But mini mules aren't the reason I'm here at the Lopez farm. I'm here because of what Hector saw taking a chunk out of a mini mule one night a month ago; a chupacabra.
The great chupacabra (Spanish for 'goatsucker') scare first started in Puerto Rico around the Spring of 1995 when sheep were being killed near Orocovis. A police officer sent out to investigate saw a humanoid creature 3 or 4 feet in height. When the officer tried to get closer to the creature he was struck down with a case of intense nausea. Reports of the small creature continued over the following months with it being described as having large black or orange eyes, a chameleon like appearance with long claws and spikes running down the back of the spine. By 1996 the numerous reports of the monster was attracting world wide attention and even the New York Times had an article about the mysterious attacker who preyed on livestock.
Hector Lopez with a drawing of the Chupacabra that he saw
Hector Lopez's incident of November 8th is typical of most reports:
"I was in my house when I heard the dogs begin to howl. I looked out the window and could see that the mini mules were upset so I quickly put on my shoes and went outside with a flashlight. As soon as I got outside I smelled something bad in the air, like meat that had gone rotten. I went closer to the pens were I keep the mules at night and I saw that one of my animals was laying on the ground. I shined the light a little higher and then I saw the Chupacabra. He was crouched over the mule so I couldn't tell exactly how high he was but he looked smaller than me. His eyes were huge and red. His skin was like a lizard's and dangly sharp hooks draped across his back. When I shone the light onto him he looked up at me and growled in a high pitched voice. I admit that I screamed and ran back into the house. I got my gun but did not go back outside. Instead I called the police."
Sergeant Arizo Wahotco arrived at the Lopez farm sometime around 12:30 that night. He confirmed that Lopez was very upset and that a mule had been killed. "The mule's guts were strewn across the dirt but there was very little blood." Wahotco told me "We looked around and found that part of the wood fence had been torn down. That seemed strange to me since the fence was not that high and if it was a human who had done this then why not just step over the fence?"
Attacks on livestock also occurred at the Federal prison of Guaynabo on November 10th. Captain Inglashe spoke with me about the attacks experienced there.
"During the night of the 10th someone entered the prison's pigpens and killed all 12 animals. Since the pens are set up outside the prison grounds they were not heavily guarded and we did not discover that the animals had been killed until the 11th. It I believed that it was done by feral dogs that roam the area."
Another guard who didn't wish to be named had a different recollection of the event.
"I was on wall watch and at around 11 pm we heard the pigs squeal. I thought that locals were trying to steal the animals so me and one other guards went over there and shined our flashlights. By then the pigs were all dead but both of us saw a short figure running back into the woods. Inglashe is saying it was dogs to cover his ass. It was the chupacabra."
Tales of nighttime monsters who kill livestock makes for a spooky tale but while I was on the island nothing unusual occurred. In fact, in the daytime the farm seems very innocent. The pens are neat and Lopez employs a husband and wife to see to the animal's needs.
"See this?" Lopez ask me as he points to wire running across the top of the fences. "Electrical wire to protect my mules. After the first time I spent a lot of money to get the fences wired against the beast. After I did it I found a spot where it had been bitten through. Electrical fence, bitten through! I went and got thicker wiring and so far it has kept the mules safe. But who knows?"
THE CHUPACABRA FREAK-CAM
Lopez has agreed to allow Freakylinks to set up a web camera that is trained on the mini mule pen where the attacks took place. The camera refreshes at a rate of one frame every minute and is automatic. If anything unusual is spotted please save the picture and forward it in an e-mail to me at email@example.com.
Click here to see the Chupacabra Live Freak-Cam!
interview with Hector Lopez, December 10th, 1999
interview with Captain William Inglashe, December 11th, 1999
interview with anonymous guard at Guaynabo Prison, December 11th, 1999
"Will the Real Chupacabra Please Come Forward" by Richard Berson, Enigma Magazine vol. 23 issue 3, September 1997
photo courtesy of "Ray of Light" magazine