Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mexico: More on the Michoacán Chupacabras Attacks

Mexico: Chupacabras in Parácuaro, Michoacán
By Arq. Claudio Mora, La Esfera Azul
(With thanks to journalist Martha Flores Rodríguez for her cooperation)

On March 1st, 2012, an event took place in the Mexican town of Parácuaro, Michoacán, whose characteristics can be catalogued as uncommon, if not outright extraordinary.

On that day, Antonio Rosiles, an animal caretaker, was faced with the unpleasant surprise that the pen in which several sheep were kept, 35 of them were dead, and others injured. All of the dead sheep shared the same characteristic: practically little or no blood, an incision to their necks, traces of scratch marks (made by three-fingered claw) and most importantly, signs of apparent fang-marks on their necks.

Antonio Rosiles himself stated something that was as revealing as it was intriguing. He claimed to have been an eyewitness to the creature itself, describing it has having wings, fangs and claws, and that several sheep were found dead and exsanguinated outside their pens. This pen – as stated by Agustin Carrillo, the owner of the property – has a two meter tall cyclone fence which betrayed no signs of damage or openings through which an assailant (or assailants) could have entered, thus accentuating the mystery surrounding this case.

The case was covered at the time by Miguel Estrada García, a renowned journalist from Michoacán with over forty years of experience in the field. He reported the case in an extremely professional manner for CuasarTV, Michoacán’s news agency. Furthermore, he mentioned during the course of a phone interview with us, that he was specifically summoned to the case by German Gil Uribe, a veterinary zootechnologist with SAGARPA (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Foods).

It should also be mentioned that in a case of such magnitude, involving characteristics of so-called “Chupacabras”, had not taken place in our state of Michoacán for some years now, and it was based on this that the La Esfera Azul Group took it upon itself to investigate and hold friendly chats with parties who were present on-site, in an effort to learn all of the details of the case, and have the journalist speak openly about his experiences while on assignment.

So it was that journalist Miguel Estrada Spoke with this author [Claudio Mora] during a broad and detailed phone interview – an exclusive for La Esfera Azul – where he discusses the case in a professional manner.

A case that in of itself, as I have said, marks an interesting precedent on the presence of the “predator”, as the creature has come to be known, in our country. The aim of this report is to stimulate thought in our readers so that they may reach their own conclusions

Transcription of Telephone Interview With Journalist Miguel Estrada, Conducted by Arq. Claudio Mora, La Esfera Azul, Regarding the Parácuaro Chupacabras Incident.

Mora: [...] We are in the middle of a telephone interview that Mr. Miguel Estrada has kindly decided to give us. We will be talking to Mr. Miguel Estrada about the very interesting case involving the Chupacabras, appearing only a few days ago in Parácuaro Michoacán. What is commonly known as Chupacabras, he had the opportunity to conduct research in this regard. Good morning Mr. Estrada, how are you?

Estrada: Good morning, arquitecto. I’m here at your disposal

Mora: Many thanks, many thanks indeed, Mr. Estrada. First, we’d like to know how it was that you learned of this event and well, everything that happened around it.

Estrada: Well, [garbled] I’ve been involved in the profession of journalism for some forty years, shall we say. [garbled] and I received a call that day from veterinary Uribe, who was inviting me to accompany him to Parácuaro Michoacán to look into a matter of which he had firsthand knowledge. In a sheep pen, they had found a considerable number of animals attached by an animal, about 30-35 dead sheep.

Mora: This thing you’re telling us is truly interesting, Mr. Estrada, because as far as we know, your state of Michoacán had never had any cases of such a nature. And we’d like to know more about the highly polished and professional video you made in which you also interview the possible witness, who claims seeing the strange being, describing it in a way that is interesting and intriguing.

Estrada: Of course. In such cases I’m very respectful of the people being interviewed, and I simply record what they saw, what they felt, and what actually occurred, or that they supposedly saw in such a case. Personally, I have to abide by what these people have told me, as I cannot very well contradict them. Those people experienced the situation at the moment, and I didn’t. Our job is to be aware, to glean the information, how it was seen in this situation, resulting in the deaths of 35 male and female sheep by an alleged predator. That’s as far as I’d like to go, as part of my work. But what really struck me was that within the premises where the pen was located, there were others, even pig pens. The entrance to this complex of animal pens is at least one hectare wide. Some enclosures held beef cattle, others contained horses. It surprised me that with such a wide variety of animals present, only sheep should have been attacked. What’s more, the perimeter, which runs about a quarter of a hectare, has a cyclone fence at stands at least two meters tall. While talking to the owner, Agustín – I’m forgetting his last name, I think its Carrillo – we toured the fence and could not find any part that was deteriorated or with an opening that would have allowed any animal to go through. I was further surprised to find in the sheep pen that there was no way that any animal could have walked or dragged itself in. The cyclone fence has a small door, measuring a meter and a half tall, was closed and secured, so how did the person or animal responsible [for the slayings] get in? I was also surprised that in parts of the animals skins – specifically the ram, found some 30 meters away from the pen – showed signs of a claw, but not an even claw, showing claw marks running – how shall I say? – up and down. The wounds displayed were three, but cross-shaped. Imagine that you were extending your hand and making a “peace and love” symbol with your fingers. Now put your fingers on your desk, run them up and down, and you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

Mora: This is very compelling, Mr. Estrada. You’ve given us something to think about. Given your long professional experience, you certainly have the wherewithal for opining on this case from the journalistic standpoint, and as you say, we can’t say if the witness is telling the truth or not. But given that you were at the scene of the events yourself, we can state that were a facing an interesting and intriguing case. Furthermore, it would also be interesting to know, throughout all your long and distinguished years in journalism, if you had ever heard of anything similar to this case.

Estrada: Well, what can I start with, here in the Tierra Caliente region, about 20-25 years ago, there emerged a rumor or belief among the population about the animal I spoke about in the beginning. I never had the chance to be present at any of these attacks on animals...or even on birds! But yes, the entire region was aware, and [garbled] reminiscences of those attacks emerged again as a result of this. Some 8 or 9 months ago in Apatzingán, at the municipal meat storage locker or in its vicinity, a farmer suffered similar attacks to his livestock. I did hear remarks from people who work at the abattoir who said that thirty something sheep had been attacked by an unknown creature. This was some 8 months ago, I tell you. So if you check out the accounts of other witnesses, you’ll learn that five years ago, another resident of Parácuaro had an experience that was similar to the present attack we’re discussing. Five years ago, this person had his sheep taken away and devoured, leaving traces of some of the ones it had carried away. But up to now, that’s the extent of the record that we have.

Mora: Very interesting, Mr. Estrada. So we can say with regard to this case that there are differences with the previous case that you’ve told us. In this present case, no remains of eaten sheep have been found. Can we speculate as to what the unknown animal in this case could be, Mr. Estrada?

Estrada: Well, in this case I will stress that that I’m startled by the fact that some sheep were left alive, but I’m startled that [the attacks] were directed against the animals jugular veins, I don’t know how to describe it. I’ll send you the photos as soon as we’re done with this conversation so you can form your own opinion based on the images. Personally, I repeat, I respect [what I was told] and cannot say to what extent it was true or false. But what we cannot dismiss is that over 35 sheep were slain at that location.

Mora: In closing this interview that Mr. Estrada has so graciously given us, I’d like to make one final question [garbled – asks interviewee if a case of full exsanguination versus partial blood remaining in the carcasses would’ve made a difference]

Estrada: Well, no specimens were found lying in a pool of blood. There was blood visible at the site of the injury and nothing more. No, there was no blood in evidence in the ground where they lay.

Mora: And that’s another mystery to ponder. I want to thank you for your great willingness to be interviewed, and is there some closing statement you’d like to leave us with?

Estrada: I’d like to thank you for your interest in the matter and for contacting me, and I remain at your service.

(Translation & Transcription (c) 2012, S. Corrales, IHU, with thanks to Arq. Claudio Mora)