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Lair of the Beasts: Manipulating the Monster
Vampires and Government Cover-Stories
By Nick Redfern
March 26, 2011
Monster or Manipulation?
Few people, whether they have a deep interest in the realm of Cryptozoology or not, will be unaware of the strange phenomenon known as the Chupacabra: a vampire-like entity rumored to roam the island of Puerto Rico since the 1990s. I have been to this mysterious and fascinating locale on a number of occasions, and have collected a large amount of reports, data, and sightings of the blood-thirsty beast in the process. But, is the Chupacabra a real beast at all? You may well wonder where I’m going with this, so, I’ll tell you!
Most fascinating of all to me was the theory of a man named Orlando Pla, my guide while on Puerto Rico in late 2005. Orlando told me of a theory that the Chupacabra was actually some form of “social experiment” created by the government to: (a) act as a convenient cover to hide dark and dubious things that the Army was secretly doing on the island; and (b) determine how rumors spread, and the way in which those same rumors could be controlled and manipulated for psychological-warfare purposes.
As far as the grisly mutilations and deaths of animals on the island were concerned, Orland said firmly and concisely: “We must first point the finger at the government.” As we continued on our drive and the scenery grew wilder and greener, Orlando mentioned that stories had been quietly circulating among the island’s inhabitants for years to the effect that there were some distinctly strange things going on deep in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque rainforest at a “Primate Research Center.”
So the story went, biological warfare tests, genetic manipulation and more was the order of the day, and some of the unfortunate animals that had been experimented on had escaped from their confines and were now running wild on the island. Sightings of at least some of those animals, it was suspected, could have been responsible for the tales of the exploits of the Chupacabra. This was a theory that I had come face to face with in the previous year, too, while trekking around Puerto Rico.
Similarly, in my book Strange Secrets I revealed how American psychological warfare planners, in the 1950s, had spread utterly-fictitious tales of blood-sucking vampires in the Philippines uprising to scare superstitious, enemy rebels. It did not take long for me to learn there was a lot of distrust on Puerto Rico about governmental activities. As a result, tales such as this about the Chupacabra being the result of Frankenstein-like experimentation undertaken by government people, proliferated.
Neither Orlando nor I believed that even the best scientists of the government had the skills to mutate a friendly little monkey into a rampaging, blood-sucking killing-machine with glowing eyes, razor-sharp claws, and vicious-looking spikes running down the length of its back – physical characteristics all attributed to the Chupacabra.
But there was no doubt that bizarre things of a genetic nature were afoot deep in the forest. Such a “Primate Research Center” most assuredly did exist. In fact, several years earlier, a number of monkeys had escaped from the center and were now wildly running riot and breeding in the woods. But most disturbing was the fact that some of the original escapees had been used in experiments to try and find a cure for Aids.
In other words, HIV-infected monkeys were on the loose in Puerto Rico, and in the exact areas in which we would be trekking. It was highly possible, Orlando theorized, that some attacks attributed to Puerto Rico’s most famous vampire were really the result of the predations of a “very aggressive monkey” that had escaped from such a laboratory.
And arguably, he added, that would be a very good reason for officialdom to create tales about the Chupacabra: it would act as good camouflage in the event of any truly horrific attacks on local livestock, or worse still, on people. And it would also hopefully help deter people from roaming around the areas where the wild monkeys lived.
Sometimes, a monster may not be a monster, after all. It might be even stranger.
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including the forthcoming The Real Men in Black.