Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 2nd, 2007
Photograph by Sonny Long, Victoria Advocate.
A new creature report or series of sightings has turned into a “flap,” this time in Cuero, Texas. A flap is the term (with origins in the Air Force treatment of groups of ufo sightings) where there is a great deal of official and media attention, in this case related to a “monster,” such as happened in Texas during August, and now moving into September.
What is part of the popular culture outcome from this out-of-control interest in such a beast? A new cryptid tee-shirt, of course. You’ve seen multiple examples of this recently.
The popularity of cryptozoologically-themed tee-shirts is reflected, even at birthday parties, as with this pictured festive event for Lux, an associate of Boing Boing.
It is no surprise then that the recent Texas affair has produced another one for the tee-collection.
Entitled “2007 The Summer of the Chupacabra Cuero, Texas,” they are turning up all over the Southwest and beyond.
You will find “The Summer of the Chupacabra” shirts sold in the carcass discoverer Phylis Canion’s store in Cuero, Texas.
It was Canion’s brother-in-law, David Boyd of Goliad, who convinced her she should do a tee-shirt. She sold out of the first 75 she had made in less than a week in mid-August, and just kept ordering more and more.
Canion’s 15 minutes of fame has resulted in her appearing on radio talk shows, via phone interviews, in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Chicago, Albuquerque and El Paso, according to Sonny Long’s survey article “Cuero store owner scaring up big sales after finding mystery creature.”
Such is the popularity of cryptozoology and cryptid tee-shirts tied to specific flaps. The Cuero tee-shirts have been purchased to send all around the world, to countries like Japan, Australia and Brunei.
Hers was not the first, nor will it be the last.
The “Maine Mutant” by Mike Lemos, graphic artist in Ventura, California, was first announced on Cryptomundo during the summer of 2006. A new summer, a new monster.
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.