EPISODE 14 El Chupacabra: Lady Gardens and Evil Santa

Well here we are at episode 14. This is should be a light journey through the weirdness that is The Puerto Rican Yeti. The Chupacabra is a relatively new phenomenon as far as cryptids go. This legend can only be traced back to 1995. I find that fascinating. While I an a pretty firm skeptic, it’s always interesting to hear what people believe based on the limited evidence they’re provided. In this show we talk about all the possible explanations for what people have witness. As usual, this got me thinking.

A lot of evidence is usually a solution to a problem, unless you’re a moron and still believe the Earth is flat. No evidence is good too. For the most part, no evidence of something solves it’s existence pretty consistently unless you’re a moron anti-vaxxer. However, where there’s a little evidence and there’s no way to corroborate it or test it scientifically, that’s when the real problem starts. I could try and explain this but it might be easier for me to give you an example of a personal experience of mine, so here goes…

I used to attend Cub Scouts in a little church in Quincy Massachusetts. My father was my scout leader. After the meetings, he would hold meetings with the parents. I would play outside with some of the other kids while he held court. One winter night, I was having a snowball fight with my friend when we found some strange looking footsteps in the snow. They looked like regular tracks except for the tips of the foot. They looked like someone was walking barefoot. The snow had iced over due to light rain in the afternoon which then froze when the temp dropped again.

Anyway, off in the distance, at the end of the foot prints, there was a large Elm tree. At the base of the trunk, there was a shape that looked very much like a body huddled against the tree. My friend and I were terrified. Our minds raced with the sinister possibilities. We immediately ran inside and got our fathers.

It took our fathers roughly five seconds to ascertain that the form we saw was an inordinately large knot at the base of the trunk. The footsteps were harder to explain but my father is pretty smart. It turned out that the footsteps were nothing out of the ordinary. The reason they looked different was due to the rain. We discovered that not every footprint looked like it was from someone walking barefoot but the one I saw did appear that way. It turned out to be an effect caused by the rain. The drops fell and chipped away at the footprints.

That night, I realized that out of context, what I saw was scary but with context, it was a perfectly normal experience. As I grew older, I referred back to that lesson many times. The hard truth is that our eyes and minds can deceive us. There’s no shame in that. It’s easy to be confident in what our minds tell us. Our whole view of reality is based on our perception of it. However, perception is subjective. Sometimes it takes a community to alter our perception from fear of the unknown to an understanding of our mind’s interpretation of the unknown. The trick is being open to someone else’s perception. Sometimes that’s easier said than done but it doesn’t hurt to try.


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