Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 26th, 2008
There needs to be a check of the region south of Hachita, New Mexico, USA, in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, for the reported survival of a third (?) species of Bison, according to Cryptomundo correspondent Ann U.
Once known by the Conquistadors as the “Cibola,” it was said to be extremely wisent-like. Reportedly, it is now “thought” to be extinct. There have been more than just a few credible sighting since the 1990s. One was by a Forest Service employee.
Spanish explorers in North America who first saw the shaggy bovine called it Cibola, which was also their name for the general region where they saw it: the seven pueblos in today’s northern New Mexico–the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola. Other Spaniards called it bisonte, said to be related to the Old Teutonic word wisand, or the Old English wesend.
The Governor of Mexico City listened to an Indian slave named Tejo recount tales of trading expeditions that he and his father had taken for years. He also claimed that during his travels with his father, they had seen seven cities where gold and silver were used in every day life for jewelry and decorating homes. That is what started the quest for the Seven Cities of Gold or Cibola (map, below).
When Juan Oñate, the first governor of New Mexico, initially encountered the Apache on the Southern Plains, he described them as people:
…who live in tents of tanned hides among the herds of Cibola [bison]. The Apiches [sic Apaches} are infinite in number….They live in rancherias, and from the few days I spent in their area, I have discovered they live like the people who live in pueblos. One [rancheria] located about 18 leagues from here has 15 plazas [presumably, he meant 15 extended family groups].
Tee-shirt by Sena.
[The term “cibola” is not to be confused with “chibola,” which is a Peruvian slang term for “chica” (“girl”), “nena” (“baby”), and “bebe” (“sexy woman”).]
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.