Interview with Ben Radford – Solving the Mystery of the Chupacabra

You can’t seem to turn on the television anymore without seeing a paranormal themed show propping up average joe’s as science-minded investigators.  Shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, along with Destination Truth and Fact or Faked have created a dozen seasons between them of doing just that.  The problem is, the cast members frequently use unsound scientific techniques because they generally just do not have a background in science or investigation.  And to top it off, they never actually seem to solve any mysteries.  Ben Radford, however, does.  With a degree in Psychology, and applying legitimate scientific methodologies, Radford has investigated and solved the 1997 Pokemon panic of Japan, the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost, and The White Witch of Rose Hall, among others.  He is the managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and the “Bad Science” columnist at Livescience.com  He has published several books, most recently “Scientific Paranormal Investigation,” and “Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore” which offers a detailed history of the creature and claims to put the mystery to rest once and for all.  To learn more about Ben, check him out online at WWW.RADFORDBOOKS.COM

To listen to this interveiw go to: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show139_hour2 (right click and save target as.)

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Chupacabraccoon

About two weeks ago there was hairless creature found in Frankfort, Kentucky.  The mysterious creature which was found by Mark Cothern was quickly dubbed the ever elusive Chupacabra.

The Chupacabra is said to inhabit Mexico, parts of The United States and Puerto Rico (where it originated).  The name means “sucker of goats” and it is a product of legend and folklore.  It is said that this creature is responsible for draining livestock of blood. 

But cryptozoologists and paranormal enthusiasts don’t get excited yet; its origin is not supernatural, at least not in the case of the Kentucky “chupacabra”.  Thanks to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, biologist Steve Dobey says, “The anatomical features of it, the skeletal features, the general appearances, particularly in this instance the paws, it gives it away. That it is in fact a raccoon.”

What is even more interesting is this isn’t the first time biologists have seen this hairless raccoon.  In 2007 the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife actually caged a live specimen.  However biologists are still interested in studying this dead animal.  Dobey says, “Not to determine the species. We know it’s a raccoon, but to determine what the cause of this is. It’s likely some form of obvious hair loss.”  

Biologists say it is not mange, which has been the case out west with the sudden outbreak of “chupacabra” sightings, most of them turning out to be coyotes with mange. 

In the case of the raccoons this disorder seems to be something similar to alopecia in humans.  Biologists say there are many reasons why a raccoon may lose its hair, for instance it could born without it, it could be some sort of disease, shock or a genetic disorder.

Whichever way you want to look at why this raccoon lost its hair, it is still a raccoon.  So I would like to extend a sorry to the cryptozoologists and myth mongers out there, sorry guys, maybe next time.