Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 12:25:24 -0700 Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for May 16, 1996 nn nn AAN
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 12:25:24 -0700
Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for May 16, 1996
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org, AMERICAN.ATHEISTS@listserv.direct.net
nnnnnnnnnn AANEWS nnnnnnnnnn
#40 uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 5/16/96
In This Edition...
* A Special Report on CHUPACBRAS (Part Two)
CHUPACABRAS TAKES OVER WHERE SATANISTS, ALIENS NO LONGER TREAD
(Part Two of Two)
(Reports of the "Chupacabras" or "Mexican bloodsucker" hit much of the
American newsmedia yesterday. This beast, said to resemble a cross between a
giant dog and a reptile, supposedly has been attacking men, women and farm
animals in northern Mexico. Gangs of farmers and police are reportedly on
the prowl for the ferocious beast, which is also said to drink the blood of
its prey after sinking its fangs into the flesh. But the "Chupacabras" may
be less of a genetic mutant, and more of a folk-legend which happens to mesh
neatly with widespread social anxieties and fears. "Chupacabras" may turn
out to be just one of a whole stable of mythical creatures feared to be
stalking the countryside -- and the human imagination -- as we approach the
While reports of the Chupacabras originally came from rural areas, the
"goat-sucker" is quickly being fitted into the tapestry of new age
pseudoscience invented by urbanized California-consciousness types.
Renderings of the beast now show it to be a creature stringly similar to
Hollywood-ET's -- a large, oval head with prominent bug-eyes. Indeed, one
theory suggests that the Mexican bloodsucker really IS an alien, drawn first
to Puerto Rico by the presence there of the giant radio telescope at Arecibo.
While the Chupacabras is, then, distinctly a high-tech freak, it still lurks
in barnyards gobbling up raw chickens, goats and other stock. (The
alien-Chupacabras was theorized by one Jorge Martin, publisher of a UFO
magazine known as "Evidencia.")
Latin American television picked up the Chupacabras story, and the folk
tale made its way to Miami, Florida. There, a Spanish-language TV chat show
called "Cristina" publicized the story of the bizarre creature in early
March. The Chupacabras then apparently lost interest in the Arecibo
telescope, and -- by means unknown -- promptly made its way to South Florida.
Reports on mutilations of goats, chickens and other animals began to
proliferate, and were quickly blamed on the peripatetic monster. There were
also claims that two bizarre aliens were involved; one witness said they had
"big black eyes, fangs, a pair of huge wings, a spine of thorn-like objects
on its back and a long tail with a hook at the end with which she watched it
(sic) grab her animals and suck their blood." Posted on a "Chupacabras" page
on the net (http://www.princeton.edu/~accion/chupa) were other claims as
* "We are very much afraid this little monster is visiting us here in the
miami Area (sic). Today we go the second report that 46 domestic animals
were killed in their Locked pen (sic)."
* "This is the third mutilation in one month here in Miamai, just watch in
the news 'Primer Impact' somewhere in the vicinity of the N.W where 24
chickens and two goats were mutilated almost exactly like the ones in Puerto
Rico with the two incisions near the right upper neck with no trace of
Claims presented by Jorge Martin in "Evidencia" appear to fueled even more
imaginary speculations about the Chupacabras, much of it creating a meshwork
with other pseudo-science, even religious artifacts. Martin wrote that
victims of the goat sucker not only had been drained of blood, but that
"Reproductive, sexual organs, anus, eyes and other soft tissue have all been
removed." It sounded remarkably like earlier claims about "satanic cattle
mutilations." He also mentioned the possibility that a "religious or satanic
sect may be responsible," although ,"the sheer number of cases appears to
negate this potential."
As with other claims about UFO's and aliens, the Chupacabras began to look
more and more like a "Hanger 18" or "Area 51" spoof than an authentic folk
legend. "Evidencia" seems to have borrowed the story line from some old
scripts of "The X-Files," telling readers that "It has been brought to my
attention that at least two of these creatures have been captured (!) by
Government officers, both from the U.S. Federal Government and the
Purertorican Government (sic)," and that "Luminous oval or pyramidal shaped
UFO's have been seen in the vicinity where animals have been mutilated and
found to be without blood."
A Suversion Myth
Social scientists have observed that many tales about UFO abduction, cattle
mutilation and even "Satanic cult sacrifices" are all forms of
subversion-mythology; a community is 'threatened" by sinister outsider
(spies, communists, aliens, homosexuals) who are often pictured as having
almost-supernatural powers. Martin suggests that "Puerto Rico has been the
site for much experimentation by the United States on the island's population
and territory for decades," and then details alleged use of "Talidomida and
anti-conceptive drugs on our women, which caused the birth of many malformed
children in the 1950's (sic)." Agent Orange is also listed, and Martin then
states, "The ABE's (now dubbed 'Anomalous Biological Entities') could be the
result -- and has gone awry -- who knows? Perhaps the creatures have escaped
and that someone has lost control of the situation? (sic)"
Several themes of pop-cultural pseudo-science converge here, furthering
embellishing the stature of Chupacabras. First there is the fear that
unknowing populations have been victimized by sinister biological experiments
affecting women and children. A shorthand is adopted to describe the
creatures involved; instead of "ET," we are now dealing with "ABE's.
Biological conspiracy theories, of course, have been used to explain
everything from AIDS and cancer to the elusive etiology of Gulf War
Syndrome. The notion of a genetic mutation or hybrids is rampant in
conspiracy scenarios which describe collusion between aliens and U.S.
government officials ("Area 51"). But there is the even more-revealing fears
that "our women" are being victimized -- if not by aliens, then perhaps by
the blood sucker?
Subversion mythology creeps into the Chupacabras story in other ways, as
well. A whole line of Chupacabras products is reportedly being sold,
including tee shirts. Many depict the goat sucker, but with the face of
Mexican President Carlos Salinas; indeed, it has become almost an official
pastime for government officials to use their time in office to extort large
sums of money from the national treasury, or in the form of bribes. Salinas
joins a long line of former PRI Presidents who reportedly enriched themselves
to the tune of billions of ill-gained dollars and pesos.
There are also accusations of government cover-up. U.S.- based UFO
enthusiasts have provided their counterparts south of the border with
considerable speculative materials concerning alleged covert American
activities. But paranoia and suspicion quickly get out of hand;
UFO-Chupacabras "researchers" are apparently starting to turn on each other.
One paranormal publication asked, when told that a "crop circle"
investigator had arrived to hunt for information about the goat-sucker: "Has
this prestigious researcher been recruited by Stateside UFO research
oreganizations or governmental agencies to invalidate the serious nature of
the investigations being conducted on the island?" Perhaps the crop-circle
investigator is really a Chupacabras in mufti?
Other themes surround the evolving tale about the Chupacabras...
* The story of the goat-sucker is exciting and unusual. Songs are being
recorded, and the Chupacabras -- like the alleged Roswell-UFO crash -- is
becoming a bit of a tourist draw. The "home page" for the goat sucker
informs readers that Chemo "Jones" Soto, Mayor of Canovanas, has "undertaken
a quest to capture the Chupacabras before it sucks the entire animal
population dry." Chemo is running for re-election, apparently, has has
reportedly viewed all of the Indiana Jones movies at least twice, "and was
last seen buying a leather whip at tyhe local Sears." He's also purchased a
crucifix in case the Chupacabras turns out to be an authentic vampire.
* Along with fears of biological imperialism or extra-terrestrial
hanky-pank, other expressions of subversion mythology abound. The Los
Angeles Times, for instance, quoted a Puerto Rican veterinarian who
speculated that "It (the Chupacabras) could be a human being who belongs to a
religious sect, even another anirmal," or, "It could be someone who wants to
make fun of the Puerto Rican people."
* Newspaper editor German Negroni suggests that the "obsession" of the goat
sucker exists "among islanders troubled by over population and high rates of
drug use and crime." He adds that "people are probably looking for something
to relieve stress."
Pre Millennium Jitters?
With the year 2,000 just a few pages away on the calendar, some observers
aren't surprised by the widespread popularity Chupacabras is receiving. The
phantom blood sucker has certainly held his own in the news limelight along
with Princess Di and O.J. Simpson. But elements of the Chupacabra hysteria
-- subversion mythology, fears of epidemics or other biological calamities
("The Hot Zone", AIDS, Ebola), the steady erosion of rationality as a
mechanism for explaining how the world operates, crank-pseudo-science
scenarios involving horny aliens and genetic freaks -- all constitute
integral parts of pre- millennium hysteria. By itself, the goat sucker
would be just a folk tale based on a wolfe or a coyote; but in the
emotion-charged, electronic media-boosted cultural environment of the
pre-second millennium world, Chupacabras joins a circus of other artifacts
which are suddenly endowed with new existential vitality and cosmic
significance. The goat-sucker becomes "linked" to cavorting aliens in
Nevada, secret tunnels leading to the center of the earth (another twist in
the Chupacabras tale!), mysterious cults and sects and the exotica of
conspiratorial obfuscation. Throw in some warnings from the Virgin Mary, a
prophecy or two from Nostradamus, word of an unusually cold winter, and we
have all the ingredients for a perfect brain-salad of pseudo-science and
That should make New Year's Eve, 1999, even more interesting than a party
in Times Square!
About AA NEWS...
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total, absolute separation of government and religion. As Atheists, we are
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