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Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore Paperback – March 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826350151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826350152
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Radford is thorough in his investigation; interviewing eyewitnesses, providing creepy photographs of otherworldly creatures, serving up DNA analysis, and contemplating theories of mass psychosis....this objective probe will appeal to readers interested in exploring and exploding modern mysteries. --Library Journal

The most comprehensive dissection of the chupacabra phenomenon that I have ever read. Ben Radford leaves no stone unturned in his tenacious, unrelenting pursuit of precisely what is--and, more to the point, what is not--behind this veritable celebrity of modern-day cryptozoology. Is the chupacabra a bona fide mystery beast, or is it just a media-hyped monster of the imagination? Read this compelling book, which combines healthy skepticism with objective investigation throughout, and judge for yourself! --Dr. Karl Shuker, zoologist and author of The Beasts that Hide from Man and Extraordinary Animals Worldwide

A wonderful adventure into the quirky legend of our newest popular monster. Radford manages a very rare feat of balancing the excitement and magic of the monster hunt, with the rational skeptical approach of the scientist. I really enjoyed it. --Dr. Stephen Asma, author of On Monsters and Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Scholar at Columbia College

From the Inside Flap

Combining five years of careful investigation (including information from eyewitness accounts, field research, and forensic analysis) with a close study of the creature's cultural and folkloric significance, Radford's book is the first to fully explore and try to solve the decades-old mystery of the chupacabra.

More About the Author

Benjamin Radford is managing editor of "Skeptical Inquirer" science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics, including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking, and science literacy.

He is author of five books: "Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking" (with Bob Bartholomew); "Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us"; "Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures" (with Joe Nickell); "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries"; and "Tracking the Vampire: Chupacabra in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore" (out in 2011 from the University of New Mexico Press).

Radford is a regular columnist for LiveScience.com, Discovery News, and Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Radford created Playing Gods: The Board Game of Divine Domination, the world's first satirical board game of religious warfare. He is also a filmmaker, and released two short films: Clicker Clatter (2007), and Sirens (2009).

Radford is one of the world's few science-based paranormal investigators, and has done first-hand research into mysterious phenomena including psychics, ghosts and haunted houses; exorcisms, miracles, Bigfoot, stigmata, lake monsters, UFO sightings, reincarnation, and crop circles, and many other topics. He is perhaps best known for solving the mysteries of the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost in 2007, and the Hispanic vampire el chupacabra in 2010.

Radford has appeared on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, the Learning Channel, CBC, CBS, BBC, CNN, and other networks with three letters. He also served as a consultant for the MTV series The Big Urban Myth Show and an episode of the CBS crime drama CSI. Radford has appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Ladies' Home Journal.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The other great thing about this book is it's fun read.
kitz
Ben Radford's book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore is arguably the greatest cryptozoological book ever written.
Matthew F. Crowley
All of these questions are considered, thoroughly investigated, and answered in this book.
Joshua M. Hunt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Jase on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wouldn't have thought it possible to identify the original inspiration for the chupacabra but Ben Radford has done so & used the most important witness' own testimony to prove it. To blazes with all the mangy mutts! The original chupacabra was...

(sound of gunshot followed by sound of body slumping to floor)

Hey, I won't be a spoiler - get this book & read it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason Korbus on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I was about 17 years old an animal began knocking over the garbage cans in my family's backyard during the night. It quickly became a regular occurrence and, though we figured out pretty fast that it was a raccoon, I told my little brother it was a Chupacabra. We decided to make a game of it. For the next few weeks, we would camp out in the yard with our flashlights and have stakeouts, waiting for the "Chupacabra" to make an appearance. It was all in good fun. I didn't actually believe the now infamous "goat sucker" was knocking over our garbage cans. But it was a goofy way for me and my brother to scare each other, while simultaneously waiting to catch a glimpse of a nocturnal animal.

Of course, the story of a previously unknown beast that was decidedly not a raccoon and, in fact, was said to be a blood sucking monster that fed on goats and chickens, was just starting to take its hold of popular culture at the time. We had all heard the eyewitness accounts of the Chupacabra, seen an artist's sketch, and otherwise just wondered what in the heck this creature was that had seemingly come from out of nowhere. In Benjamin Radford's latest book, "Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore," he aims to answer that very question. And, in my humble opinion, he has done just that.

Granted, I am biased. I count myself as a Ben Radford fan. He is one of a handful of people I regularly credit with having helped turn me from a paranormal true believer to one who exercises much more critical thinking skills when approaching paranormal mysteries I find in my own studies.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FilmFan on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Tracking the Chupacabra is both a fascinating detective book, and an insightful pop culture analysis of the third most famous unexplained creature. Radford tackles this phenomena with scientific discipline, but doesn't lose sight of the wonder of the unknown. Highly recommended. And, by the way, he really does solve the mystery of the chupacabra. Right on page 129.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lee Murphy on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cryptozoology (the search and study of hidden animals) is a favorite topic of mine. Has been since a I was a child a looooooooooong time ago. Part of the charm relies on a great deal of sensationalism and admitted tabloid journalism. Some of which I myself am guilty as an author who writes cryptozoology-based fiction.

The Chupacabras (or Chupacabra as Ben Radford puts it) is one of the flashier, better-known cryptids ranking right up there in popularity with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. And it is a fun and exciting mystery-- a reptilian, blood-sucking night creature haunting ranches and farms, killing livestock and family pets with wreckless abandon, leaving blood-drained carcasses in its wake. For me, this is great stuff for my next book.

However, if we are to take this field of study seriously, in order for there to be any true progress and real discovery, then we need to be willing to look into these mysteries in the light of intelligent, scientific study. We have to allow for level-headed researchers to be able to hold any suspected evidence to a high standard that may very well bring about the end of the mystery in question. There are many people who are threatened by that very idea and will oppose the arguments made in books such as this.

Ben Radford has done the kind of research that should be done for all cryptid animals. In the case of the Chupacabras he has left no stone unturned and shown that there is little to the legend beyond folklore and mass hysteria. And that's okay.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joshua M. Hunt on April 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mr. Radford has placed a stake squarely over the chest of the Chupacabra and hammered it into its heart. How many people can say they have definitively solved a mystery? Not many. One of them is Ben Radford, though. Ben Radford answers four crucial questions about the Chupacabra mystery.

1. Where did the Chupacabra come from?

2. What are all of those four-legged creatures that keep showing up dead in Texas and elsewhere?

3. Are the victims of the Chupacabra really being drained of blood?

4. Could the Chupacabra really be a vampire creature?

All of these questions are considered, thoroughly investigated, and answered in this book.

My favorite chapter, and they were all great, was chapter 4. This chapter details Radford's search for the Chupacabra in Nicaragua. Radford actually sets foot in the jungle to find the vampire beast. How cool is that? This book not only details an investigation, but also details an adventure! Throughout this chapter you feel like you're riding shotgun with Radford as he sets out to find this elusive creature.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! As a budding scientific paranormal investigator myself I hope that I can one day say that I have definitively solved a mystery. Until that time comes, we can definitely say that Ben Radford has definitively solved the mystery of el Chupacabra!
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