Dec 27, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Making Monsters: Strange and Bizarre Projects of Government Agencies

You may well know that one of my favorite subjects is that of Cryptozoology - the study and investigation of the likes of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopgo, the Dog-Men, Alien Big Cats, the Abominable Snowman and the list goes on and on. Some of these creatures, I believe, are genuine unknown animals. Others, though, I'm also sure, are of a paranormal nature. But, I'm fine and comfortable keeping all of them under one, large banner. There is, however, a very strange aspect to Cryptozoology that many people may not know anything about. It's this: the reasons for why government agencies have made monsters of their very own. And, I do literally mean making monsters. We'll begin with a "creature" known as Paddler. Situated in Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille is a huge expanse of water that extends in excess of forty miles in length and 1,000 feet in depth. And, it might accurately be said that the lake is the home to a creature not unlike Loch Ness, Scotland’s legendary Nessie. On the other hand, however, Lake Pen Oreille’s lake monster might be something even stranger.

Sightings of the prehistoric-looking thing date back to the 1940s and have continued for years. While monster hunters are content to suggest that Paddler (or the Paddlers) is either an unknown animal or one from the Jurassic era that survived extinction, there is another explanation for the presence of the monster. It’s a very alternative explanation, too. Patrick Huyghe is someone who has undertaken extensive research into the saga of Paddler and he has noted something that be of deep and relevant significance: "The very first mention of Paddler came straight from the Navy’s own Farragut Naval Training Station, established on the southwestern end of Lake Pend Oreille in 1942." Built in response to the terrible and tragic events at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the FNTS was created at Lake Pend Oreille and though which around 290,000 servicemen and women passed, as the hostilities with the Axis powers grew. What is particularly interesting, however, is that in the post-war era – that’s to say, after 1945 – the Navy presence on the lake began to change.

The one arm that began to play a more substantial role was the Navy’s Acoustic Research Department. The ARD says of its work: "Unique experimental hardware and floating platforms have been developed" at the naval facilities on Lake Pend Oreille, noting too that, "future plans include continuation of sonar dome development and submarine silencing and target strength reduction experiments using large-scaled models." One has to wonder if some of these "unique experimental hardware," "floating platforms," and "large-scale models" may have been responsible for at least some sightings of what the witnesses believed was Paddler. It’s not at all unlikely – or unfeasible – that the U.S. Navy secretly spread tales of lake-monsters, such as Paddler, to divert people from learning the truth of what was really afoot deep in Lake Pend Oreille; namely the covert testing of new sub-surface military vehicles of a highly classified, experimental nature.

How about vampires created by the U.S. military and for the U.S. military? Here's the story: It was in 2003 that I began digging very deeply into the strange world of one Major General Edward Lansdale and his ties to the world of the vampire. Lansdale was a man highly skilled in the field of what is known, in military circles, as psychological warfare. Back in the early 1950s, Lansdale – who rose to prominence during the Second World War, while working with the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA – spread rumors throughout the Philippines that a deadly vampire was wildly on the loose. Its name was the Aswang, a blood-sucking monstrosity, of which the people of the Philippines lived in complete dread. The reason for Lansdale’s actions was as bizarre as it was simple. At the time, specifically 1952, the Philippines were in turmoil and chaos, as a result of an uprising by the Hukbalahap – or Huks, as they were also known. They were vehemently anti-government rebels and did their very best to oust the president of the Philippines, Elpidio Rivera Quirino, with whom Lansdale was friends. And when the major general was asked by Quirino to help end the reign of terror that the Hukbalahap had generated, he quickly came on-board.

One of the first things that Lansdale noted was that the rebels were deathly afraid of the vampiric Aswang and its nocturnal, blood-drinking activities. So, he came up with a brainwave, albeit a grisly one. It was a brainwave that was kept secret for decades, until Lansdale, himself, finally went public, long after his prestigious military career was finally over. As the major general recalled: "To the superstitious, the Huk battleground was a haunted place filled with ghosts and eerie creatures. A combat psy-war squad was brought in. It planted stories among town residents of an Aswang living on the hill where the Huks were based. Two nights later, after giving the stories time to make their way up to the hill camp, the psywar squad set up an ambush along the trail used by the Huks." That same psywar squad then did something that was very alternative, but which proved to be extremely effective. They silently grabbed one of the Hukbalahap rebels, snapped his neck, and then – using a specially created, metallic device – left two, deep, vicious-looking puncture marks on the neck of the man. But that was barely the start of things: they then quietly tied a rope around the man’s ankles, hung his body from a nearby tree, and let just about as much blood as possible drain out of the body. After several hours, the corpse was lowered to the ground and left close to the Hukbalahap camp, specifically to ensure it was found by his comrades. They did find it. And they fled. That, of course, was the plan.

Interestingly, on my many trips to Puerto Rico - in search of Chupacabras - I've heard stories of occult organizations sacrificing animals in the island's El Yunque rain-forest and draining their bodies of blood. And, after that, they spread rumors that it was all down to packs of blood-sucking Chupacabras. The location aside, this sounds very much like the strange kind of thing Edward Lansdale got up to decades earlier: making monsters.

Chupacabra cover spread 570x416
(Nick Redfern) It's not impossible that some Puerto Rican Chupacabra/vampire cases were faked

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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