Over the years, numerous photos and film-footage have surfaced that purport to show chupacabras. Much of it is faked – and not particularly good fakes, I might add. But, the most intriguing imagery – in my view, anyway – was that which surfaced in the aftermath of an August 2008 encounter in DeWitt County, Texas. It’s hardly surprising that the imagery caught people’s attention – and that of the nation’s media, too – since it was taken by a police-officer. There’s no doubt that it showed a creature very much like that shot and killed by Devin McAnally in 2004, and that which fell into the hands of Phylis Canion, three years later. There was, however, one thing about the DeWitt County chupacabra that really stood out prominently – and I do mean that literally, as you’ll now come to appreciate. As the sun was setting, on the early evening of August 8, Deputy Brandon Riedel was routinely patrolling the rural roads near Cuero – with a trainee deputy – when he got the shock of his life, as his on-board dash cam demonstrated. While driving adjacent to a fence-line on a dusty road, Riedel and his partner encountered something very strange. It was a hairless, four-legged animal racing ahead of them. Riedel quickly switched on the dash cam. They closed in on the animal, only to see something remarkable: the animal had a muzzle of epic proportions. “Huge,” barely comes close. Ken Gerhard offered his opinion to me that it was very much like the snout of a pig. Ken was not wrong.
When the film hit the Internet (after it was first shown, and widely discussed, on CNN), I studied it extensively. As the animal bounds along the road, and while clearly aware it is being followed, it suddenly turns its head to the left. It’s then that Riedel and his colleague get to see the head of the creature, from a side-on perspective. To say that the muzzle dwarfs the rest of the head is not an understatement. It is massive. There was something else, too: Riedel, like so many other witnesses to such beasts, noted that there were significant discrepancies between the lengths of its front limbs and back limbs. In days, the footage, and the attendant story surrounding it, had gone viral. It remains one of the most fascinating pieces of film of what is purported to be a chupacabra.
Somewhat less well known was the encounter that occurred just a few weeks after Deputy Riedel’s sighting and specifically in the nearby town of Terryville. It was August 30 when the next development in the saga of the DeWitt chupacabra surfaced. The location was the ranch of the grandfather of a man named Paul Jones, who was visiting with a few of his friends, Brian Wilborn, Cannon Simons, and Jason Marburger. The reason: to mow the fields in preparation for the upcoming deer season. All thoughts of deer, however, quickly evaporated when a certain, strange beast appeared on the scene. It was quickly shot and killed by Jones. A few hours later, a second, near-identical animal was taken out of circulation by the guys. Jones mused on whether or not the dead animals could be chupacabras. Marburger was sure of one thing, as he focused on the first, slain beast: “I’ve seen pictures of coyotes. It doesn’t look like any coyote or mixed breed I have ever seen. It looks like it ain’t from around here,” he told the press.
It’s important to note that the Texas chupacabras have no connection to the original chupacabras of Puerto Rico. The only connection is the fact that the name is the same. For the most part, the Texas animals are coyotes; DNA analysis has proved that. But, they are not what you would call normal coyotes. Their almost complete lack of hair makes them look very weird. And, there are good reasons for thinking that the hair loss is not due to mange, as might be assumed. Incredibly, the animals seem to be developing in a hairless fashion. Also, there are changes in the lengths of the limbs too, something which results in some of the animals running in a kind of kangaroo-type hop. Add to that huge overbites, and strange pouches on their hind limbs, and you have a very odd-looking animal. So, what’s going on? In my view, Ken Gerhard (author of A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts; Big Bird!; and Encounters with Flying Humanoids) has possibly solved the riddle. You can find the story – and Ken’s assessment of the situation – at this link.