An unusual video of what appears to be a huge, long-armed Bigfoot in Tennessee is making the rounds this week, while a mysterious sighting in Amarillo, Texas, in June of 2022 of what many people claimed was a bipedal Chupacabra is still unsolved and is now the subject of an intense investigation. Both sightings and videos are interesting, strange, questionable, unsolved and good examples of how tough it is to be a professional or amateur cryptozoologist these days. Let’s take a look at each of them and see if we can help.
“Bigfoot filmed on my friends property by Daniel Whitehead (my friend- property owner) in broad daylight- just inside the tree line.”
A video of what is said to be a Bigfoot filmed in Baxter, Tennessee near Silver Point on October 26, 2022, was uploaded to YouTube by Clay Shiner (watch the video here). Baxter is a small town in Putnam County near the center of the state, and Silver Point is an unincorporated community in Putnam County about halfway between Cookeville and Smithville. The heavily wooded area would make a great hiding place for Bigfoot … if indeed that is what Daniel Whitehead recorded. A number of mainstream media sites picked up on the video, including LADBible, which calls it “a huge black figure with super-long arms moving about in a wooded area.”
“Do you see that?"
The witness doesn’t have much to say in the brief and blurry 27 seconds long video. There is definitely a tall dark bipedal creature with extremely long arms – longer in proportion than a gorilla or similar great ape – that seem to grab two separated tree trunks to illustrate just how long they are … if they are real. The creature seems to walk upright without a problem and moves through the trees away from the witness until it disappears and the witness turns away – sounding concerned or frightened. The video was seen by the Bigfoot investigation site Bigfoot Input, which contacted the witness and received a detailed update.
“Long arms and I noticed the broad shoulders that you will see a Bigfoot having that a hunter in a suit does not have!”
Most comments on social media note the long arms, which seem to convince many this is not a person in a costume. However, the witness told Bigfoot Input he suspected it was a pre-Halloween prank, so he returned took his daughter, who was also outside, back into the house, then grabbed a gun and his dog and returned to the location, but saw nothing more of the Bigfoot or hoaxter.
“Lots of pixelation, so hard to say for sure. First couple watches, it looks CGI. The black is very black compared to the background and it seems to have a computer image type flow to it.”
While many social media commenters swung to the “it’s a real Bigfoot” side, others pointed out that the black image seems much more solid than the blurry background, which suggests it is a CGI image. Bigfoot Input disagreed, indicating initially that this could be a legitimate video of a legitimate, very large and very long-armed Bigfoot.
“Ugh. The plot thickens.”
And then … someone checked a social media page of the witness and found a photo of him standing with a person dressed in what looks like a tall Grim Reaper costume with very long arms. (View it here.) Bigfoot Input seems to have quickly changed sides on the validity of the video, especially after it says attempts to contact the witness again for comment had failed. While the photo definitely calls the authenticity of the Bigfoot video into question, this is another case of “kind of looks like” creature being invalidated by a different “kind of looks like” thing – an argument that would not stand up in a court of law nor a class on logic. The needle on the Bigfoot video meter is pegged solidly in the “probably not but good try” section.
Moving on to the Chupacabra case in Amarillo …
“It looks very bizarre. You see one at night at dusk or dawn; it’s probably a pretty scary-looking creature.” (Texas A&M Veterinarian Terry Hensley to station KEYE)
In May of 2022, that could be said of a mysterious "object" caught on a surveillance camera standing close to but outside of a fence around the Amarillo Zoo in Texas. The photo didn’t get much attention until June when the city of Amarillo admitted it was at a loss and asked for help figuring out what the creature might be.
"Was it a person with a strange hat who likes to walk at night? A large coyote on its hind legs? A Chupacabra? It is a mystery – for Amarillo to help solve."
While calling it an Unidentified Amarillo Object (UAO) may have lent some ‘tongue in cheek’ aura to that pronouncement, the city and local residents were still concerned – even though no animals or individuals were harmed and there were no signs of criminal activity or vandalism. The city didn’t do itself any favors by linking the photo to the Chupacabra because that legendary cryptid is another mystery which has caught the attention of the media in Texas in recent years. While the original Chupacabra was first reported in Puerto Rico as a goat-sucking upright-walking, lizard-like creature, the Texas version looks more like a hairless or mange-ridden coyote or dog, which Texas A&M Veterinarian Terry Hensley points out to KEYE can still look scary in dim light. Because of the many reports of Chupacabras in Texas and the recent link to the mysterious photo in Amarillo, scientists at Texas A&M University have decided to join in with an investigation.
“The current physical description if you will, kinda the basic concept of what these look like shows up in Puerto Rico in the 1920s. It originates there as best as we can tell.”
Texas A&M Wildlife Specialist John Tomecek tells KEYE that the original Puerto Rican Chupacabra lacked a concrete description, which added to the fear of it. Farmers often found mutilated livestock and imagined what kind of beast could to such a thing. Texas has a lot of livestock, so any unusual creatures showing up about the time of unusual deaths of livestock are sure to be linked together. In addition, the state has a lot of coyotes and stray dogs and a lot of places where they can hide when they are sick and fearful of humans. Also, being sick and hungry, they are forced to kill pets and livestock because they can’t catch wild prey. Put all of that together and the legend of the Texas Chupacabras falls into place.
“What looks like a terrifying beast of legend is actually a pretty sad sight to see. Most of the time when folks report a Chupacabra, it’s actually a coyote with very advanced stage mange. They've lost almost all their hair except for the little bit between their shoulder blades, which sticks up. Their skin is gray and scaly and looks quite gaunt."
As veterinarian Terry Hensley told KEYE, seen at dusk or dawn, that could be “a pretty scary-looking creature.” However, is that what was captured on the Amarillo Zoo surveillance camera? That creature has a dog-like head but is standing on two legs and appears to be bigger and better fed than a skinny coyote or a sick dog.
The Texas A&M report on Chupacabras doesn’t solve the mystery of the Amarillo Zoo creature, so the city still needs help. The photo of a person in a Grim Reaper costume doesn’t prove the Tennessee Bigfoot video is a fake, but it hurts its credibility. For now, we’re still skeptically speculating on both.