Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore Paperback – March 15, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
Top customer reviews
(sound of gunshot followed by sound of body slumping to floor)
Hey, I won't be a spoiler - get this book & read it!
Fans of forteana should not be turned away by the negative outcome. Some skeptical works come off as abrasive, particularly in fringe subjects where "believers" are prone to be ridiculed for their claims. Correctness aside, I find that such an approach detracts from the readability of what may otherwise be a credible argument. Thankfully, Radford avoids appearing unfairly biased in his writing. He makes his case based on first hand investigation, including direct interviews with supposed witnesses and experts in relevant fields such as wild game and veterinary medicine. He even treks deep into a Nicaraguan jungle in search of the creature, which serves to further distance his efforts from those any "armchair skeptics." My impression after reading was that this work was balanced and open minded, regardless of outcome. Rather than simply rejecting witness claims out of hand as implausible, each case is explored and only invalidated once it can be conclusively shown to be based on false assumptions, incorrect data, or inaccurate reporting. Some of the cultural connections he makes to the earliest sightings are particularly inspired, and are definitely are worth a look.
I don't believe that I've ever so thoroughly enjoyed a debunking as I did reading Tracking the Chupacabra. It's always a bit sad to see a popular cryptid being taken down a few pegs (the mystery tends to be at the core of the enjoyment), but it's only fair to give credit where credit is due. The research and presentation here were so complete and seemingly conclusive, that it really is hard to find fault with this book. Radford addresses everything from the local culture that helps birth and promulgate tales of monsters, to regional vampire lore, to the relevant biology and zoology, as well as the role of the witnesses and media. In some form or another, all facets of the mystery seem to be covered.
All in all, possibly the most definitive work on the Chupacabra available, and well worth a read for anyone with interest in the topic.
At the start of the book he discretely leads the reader to believe that he is skeptical about the existence of the Chupacabra, but he does not let his skepticism get in the way of his research. He starts of with the history of how the monster came to be; the legend began in Puerto Rico and spread over the years to other Latin American countries and eventually the United States. While talking about each of the different places where the Chupacabra has been seen he mentions that the differences in the descriptions of the creatures differ greatly which he applies to the fallacy of eyewitness testimony. His examination of eyewitnesses throughout the entire book proves as his main point as to why it is difficult to believe that a monster like this truly exists. To delve even deeper into the history, he takes his time and researches into the history of vampires and how the Chupacabra has affected popular culture. This is the first time he brings up the point that the Chupacabra is an explanation for people to explain why bad things are happening in their communities. For example, the Chupacabra conveniently began during a period in Puerto Rican history where there was much stress and great crisis. In regards to pop culture he classifies the general public into three categories: the believers, the skeptics (the ones that believe that something is doing this) who make up the majority of the population, and the non-believers. He also brings up a good point by saying that many of the people who believe in and are scared of the Chupacabra are the people who could potentially be affected by the monster, such as people with large ranches.
Something that makes him stand out from the typical skeptic is that instead of just stating the facts from the past, he himself traveled into the into the jungle of Nicaragua to try and find the Chupacabra itself. In the book he gives a day-by-day description of how his search progressed. They found multiple footprints that were thought to be from the Chupacabra but ended up being explained by the guide as various jungle creatures. While there, his guide debunked his theory of Puerto Rican famers believing in the Chupacabra because he says that the local farmers are not scared of the Chupacabra nor are they believers that a monster like that even exists. Despite this disappointment, he continues his journey with the mindset that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
After a failed journey on his own, he goes into a detailed account of the most significant Chupacabra sightings and talks about what went wrong with each individual’s “sighting.” This method is effective because he not only is able to take the most credible accounts of the Chupacabra and lists the reasons why it could be true and why it is most likely false. Most of the reasoning for why it is false relies on eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence from bodies that were found. The common bodies that were thought to be Chupacabras included raccoons, dogs, and coyotes. He goes into particular detail into one of the closest encounters to a Chupacabra. The woman in this encounter claims to have seen a Chupacabra and then found its body weeks later in her driveway. She convinced herself that because it did not look like a normal coyote then it must be a Chupacabra. Radford goes into detail about all of the steps and processes that took place in this story because there were many people who truly believed that this woman had found a Chupacabra.
The final section of this book truly distinguishes it from other researchers on the topic. Instead of just ending the book and stating that Chupacabras are indeed a myth, Radford delves deeper into the topic and gives his honest opinions and beliefs on not only why the rumored beast continues to spread but also what animal or reason could be behind the murder of all of the animals that died. He talks about fact that eyewitness testimonies are not credible because many times, especially during times of stress, people will fill in the blanks of what they cannot remember with the things they expect to see. He also talks about the mechanics behind why observers thought their animals had been drained completely of blood. From influence by the United States Government to a creature sent from heaven as a sign of the apocalypse, Radford does and excellent job of completely taking apart piece by piece the face, fiction, and folklore of this infamous monster. I recommend this book to anyone who has any remote interest in learning about the Chupacabra or who is planning on going on a search for one on his or her own. This book does not necessarily completely rule out the possibility of the existence of the Chupacabra, but proves it to be highly unlikely.