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

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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.
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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: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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