Books that feature librarians or libraries will be reviewed here.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore - by Benjamin Radford
I lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas from 1994-1997. Nicknamed "the Magic Valley" it sometimes did seem that it had more than its share of unexplained phenomena. I was there in the summer of 1996 when reports that the "chupacabra" (goat sucker) was terrorizing goats, cows, chickens, and other domestic animals by sucking them dry of their blood, and leaving them dead appeared almost daily in the newspaper. The reports from eye-witnesses who claimed to have seen the monster were pretty consistent in describing a creature with spikes on its back that was some cross between a kangaroo, a vampire, and the aliens who abuducted so many folks back in the 1980s . This is the true, and original chupacabra, which is why I don't cotton at all to this newer hairless, blue-gray "canid" model that some claim to have captured.
"Imposter" say I!
Radford explores sightings, and rumors of both kinds of chupacabras in his work, and discusses his own research and quest to find the mythical beast. He interviews eye-witnesses, and scientists, as well as going into the Nicaraguan rainforest. While he never completely rules out the possibility that the chupacabra exists, he, not surprisingly, finds no credible evidence that anything has ever sucked any goat (or any other animal) completely dry of blood.
The author acknowledges "all the librarians, experts, and chupacabras eyewitnesses who shared thier stories..." and includes visits to "harshly lit library archives" as important stops in his pursuit of the mysterious being.
Find out more about the chupacabra at the Skeptic's Dictionary. Or, If you happen to be in McAllen, Texas you can ask at the McAllen Memorial Library (where I worked) if they still have a newsclipping file on the elusive creature.