In 1995, around the Puerto Rico towns of Morovis and Orocovis, locals became terrified following the unnatural, overnight slaughtering of their animals. In most cases their animals were discovered with strange marks on their necks and a notable lack of blood left remaining in their carcasses.
Many of those animals found so horrifically mutilated happened to be goats and so, with no other explanation for their killer, or killers, forth-coming the attacker was given the name 'chupacabra' which is Spanish for 'goat sucker'.
The Beast is Revealed
Around August of that same year a resident of Canovanas came forward with a description of a creature that she had unexpectedly encountered moving around close to her mother's home.
The creature that she described was completely unlike anything that any other islander recognized for she said that it was about three feet tall, bipedal and walked with a strange, hopping motion.
She also said that it had large, black eyes, bony fingers, particularly long arms and legs, with a kind of feathery line running down the spine of its back - though another witness who saw the creature up close at the same time described the feathers as being more like sharp spines.
Over the next few years reports of attacks by this strange and demonic creature spread with reports of its continued attacks in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and even as far away as Russia.
A Monster Hunter is Born
Celebrated monster hunter and paranormal researcher Nick Redfern explains in the opening to his book 'Chupacabra Road Trip' how his interest in the enigmatic and illusive goat-sucker fitted into his deep fascination with the paranormal - one that he has had since the age of just six years following a holiday he spent at Loch Ness with his parents.
Since then he has traveled the world reporting extensively on the myriad of strange animals, creatures and beings that are being increasingly reported.
His work has led him to write over thirty books on the subject.
As a consequence of his research Nick was invited in 2004 by a YV documentary team to fly out to Puerto Rico to host a programme exploring the mystery of the chupacabra.
His book is a personal account of his research as he traveled through the country with his fellow researcher Jon Downes from the Center for Fortean Zoology and members of the film crew.
The Elmendorf Beast
Whilst Nick was visiting Puerto Rico the vampiric beast reared its very ugly head ut some way away in the Texan town of Elmendorf, some seventeen miles from the city of San Antonia.
It was there that a local ranch owner lost over fifty chickens to an unknown predator whom it was later believed to have been an odd canine creature the rancher witnessed on several occasions but which bounded away before the rancher got time to fire his rifle.
The Mystery Deepens
In 'Chupacabra Road Trip' Nick Redfern offers his own hands-on research not only reports of various animal deaths that appear to connect to the chupacabra but also to other related vampire style birdlike creatures with fangs and the same propensity towards feeding on the blood, rather than the flesh, of their victims.
Inevitably, when solid evidence regarding the existence of a phenomenon fails to manifest, conjecture and speculation become rife so in the third part of his book Redfern explores some of the conspiracy theories that surround the chupacabra.
He also strays into other paranormal fields that appear to be related to the chupacabra mystery. These include secret government research, UFO crashes and so-called whistler-blowers who have contacted the author over the years once knowledge of his interest in the Chupacabra became widely known.
At the conclusion of his trip through these diverse strands of research related to the blood sucking beast of Puerto Rico Nick Redfern concedes that no definitive explanation appears to explain the multifarious threads of mystery and intrigue that surround the phenomenon.
It is, as he sees it, a complex question which will continue to receive his attention fir some time to come.
Our Review of ‘Chupacabra Road Trip’ by Nick Redfern
Many look to Nick Redfern as an authority in the paranormal and hope to receive from him quick and easy answers to their questions. If you were expecting a definitive explanation of what exactly the chupacabra is or how it kills with so little regards to normal process of hunting for food then you will be disappointed by this book.
What you do get, however, in Redfern's book is a rip-roaring, up close and personal, perspective of the strange life and dedication by an open-minded and articulate paranormal researcher.
This book works because it is honest in its approach to the subject and for unravelling a mystery that does not so much pertain to the chupacabra as such as to the process that tends to occur when you begin to delve into any aspect if the paranormal - and cryptozoology in particular.
Redfern, of course, is in the fortunate position of being a well-known researcher and so some if the most interesting and compelling material finds its way to him. This does not mean that he sits back and acts merely as observer for, as this book clearly shows, a lot of thoroughly unattractive leg-work is required to write a book as richly absorbing and detailed as this one.
So, if you enjoy a good paranormal story - one peppered with the additional confusing threads of ideas added to the mix by a handful of attention-seekers who invariably attach themselves to anything that gleans media interest, and you have a rip-roaring tale that simply leads you to surmise that the life of even a noted celebrity researcher is quite as attractive as it initially appears to be!
In 'Chupacabra Road Trip' Nick Redfern opens the doors to his world as a paranormal researcher and once again clearly shows through his writing why he is a popular TV presenter and one of our foremost investigators of the bizarre and irrational.