Monsters in Our Midst – Part Two

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There were no further reports (published, at least) about the presence of this fiery, vanishing manimal. Sightings of other strange entities became common in Puerto Rico later in the same decade – diminutive Bigfoot-like creatures collectively referred to by the singular “El Cangodrilo” (literally “kangaroo-crocodile” but having the same effect as “jackalope” in English) were reported throughout the island. In August 1975, during the depredations of the “Moca Vampire” — predecessor to the Chupacabras – reports of a “mysterious, 7-foot-tall giant appearing during the night and knocking on people’s doors” filled residents of Maunabo’s Barrio Emajagua with fear. Jacinto Leon, Civil Defense director for the Maunabo area, combed the area with members of the police force but found nothing. Despite official assurances that everything was normal, many area residents chose to move rather than take a chance with the unknown giant. Local residents claimed “seeing the giant descending from the hill belonging to the Melendez Neco family, but upon pursuing the entity, it ran away swiftly and jumped into the sea.” (The area sits above the towering cliffs that look over the Caribbean Sea, specifically the Roosevelt Roads – Radas de Roosevelt). After its spectacular plunge, the Cangodrilo was never seen in the area again.

(Continued from Part One:

Another hirsute manimal was reported in June 1984 in the municipality of Villalba, north of the city of Ponce. A young man was allegedly attacked by “an enormous, hairy thing” which proceeded to jump on the fellow, who ran home screaming that “a monster was trying to grab hold of him.” Other locals complained to the police that some unknown animal was destroying their banana trees, shredded as if by powerful claws. Area growers noted another curious detail – despite an abundance of tropical fruit to be had in the area, the intruder was only interested in eating the fibrous hearts of the banana and plantain trees, but not in their fruit. Police officers visited the area and listened to detailed complaints from locals who were now “afraid to go out in the dark, in case that thing is around,” and as another neighbor added: “It has claws”.

A South American Monster Flap

Beginning in January 2004, newspapers in Chile and Argentina began reporting on enigmatic creatures in the wake of the “Chupacabras” wave that hit both countries in 2000-2001. These reports involved a beast with a kangaroo-shaped body and a muzzle resembling that of a wolf. One of the main locations for these incidents was peak known as Cerro Cullipeumo, whose abandoned gold mines were considered an ideal lair for what was dubbed the “Viluco Monster”, whose existence was known to old miners and local residents.

Two bus drivers, identified only by their nicknames “El Dinamita” and “El Fena”, workers for the Buin-Maipo Bus Company, told journalists that former employees of the mining company firmly believed in the existence of a strange creature lurking in the galleries of the forgotten gold mines. “Old timers who’ve worked there all their lives always say that strange stuff goes on in that mountain …they even say that those who poke their noses in too deep never come back,” said “El Dinamita” to the local media, adding that shadowy presences could be seen running up the mountain’s slopes and vanishing into the mine for decades.

Alberto Urquijo, director of the paranormal research organization known as GEO, believes that the earliest reports on the Viluco Monster are from the 18th century, but the most recent sightings kicked off in 2000 with the Chupacabras wave.

“It was an animal I’d never seen before,” said one of the bus drivers with the Buin-Maipo line who had a chilling close encounter with the entity. “It was tall, well over a meter and a half, standing at least 1.80 (5 ft. 9 in.) and its eyes weren’t red (as local tradition maintained) but black. The driver had a seemingly endless 20 second opportunity in which to look at the intruder. “When I saw something had crossed my path, I hit the brakes. The animal was on the right side of my vehicle. Its muzzle was longer than that of a wolf, it had a small hump on the back of its neck and carried a creature in its maw. It looked at me, crouched in a fetal position, and then jumped, vanishing instantly.”

In early February 2004, Roberto Ayar and his wife Maribel would have a chance to see the Viluco Monster for themselves as they returned home early in the morning.

“It was horrible,” said Roberto. “I swear to you that I’d never seen anything like it. It wasn’t a dog, rabbit or any other known animal. It was halfway in the middle of the road, standing on two feet. It was completely covered in hair and had red eyes.” Maribel Ayar concurred, adding: “It was bent and had a hump on its back. It had the body of a kangaroo, with two small hands that it moved quickly, as well as deep set eyes. In fact, it looked at us, and seemed just as scared as we were! It ran off, jumping into the bushes.”

Meanwhile, thousands of miles to the north in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, dozens of searchers combed through the semi-tropical vegetation for a singular monster: a “wolfwoman” described as a hairy being, 1.5 meters tall (4 ft. 9 in.) with red eyes, “sometimes running on two legs.” Benito Canul, a local resident who had managed to fire a number of rounds at the entity as it brazenly stood outside his house, wasn’t sure if he’d managed to hit it. Describing the creature as “dog-shaped and with glowing eyes”, Canul joined the hundred-man posse organized by the commissariat of Huncuná to apprehend or kill the “wolfwoman”. No further reports on their progress were ever received.

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