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Giant Bat “Hoax” Flies Again

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 5th, 2012

Just in case you didn’t catch it in March 2012, there’s a dramatic photograph that has been making the Internet rounds. And here it is – yes again – this week (in October 2012). The new websites and forums are several, including ones who have posted it cold, as if the “mystery” hasn’t been already solved. But as Red Pill Junkie has shown me, a simple search (here) demonstrates this has spread far and wide since March.


This photo (Muercielago Gigante), again, has been falsely labeled as from Peru of a “giant bat” that might be a Chupacabras (as noted on a Spanish site).

But it is not from Peru. It is not a new South American bat. It is not a Chupacabras.

That is the same old story. On the web, things do live on forever.

So, just in case you see this again, here’s what this is and where it was taken: It is an Asian bat, a flying fox, also called a fruit bat, and the photo location origin is the Philippines. Add in forced perspective, and you’ve got another web wonder.

There are other large (supposedly) “flying” mystery animal pictures floating around, so readers/viewers beware. These all too seem to be from Asia, not South America. Not Africa. Above is not a bat, for example, but it is a colugo or flying lemur (Dermoptera); thanks to Karl Shuker for id. (FYI, they glide, and do not fly.)

Flying fox/fruit bat. Zazzle public domain photo.

One mystery with this “Giant Bat” photo does remain. Why did these apparent Filipino soldiers hang a sword over the bat, like the hanging Sword of Damocles? Anyone know if there is a cultural answer why they would hang that apparent sword there? Or was that a clue to the hoax?

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


6 Responses to “Giant Bat “Hoax” Flies Again”

  1. Big Steve responds:

    Hi.

    Looks to me like a well framed shot. A photo like this could be easily taken with a wide angle lens (especially like those on mobile phones). So I would believe this bat is nothing unusual size wise, and will be their dinner! It’s shame the soldiers weren’t holding the bat as a good size reference.
    The only decent size reference would be the “sword” which to me looks more like a bayonet or fighting knife, and I would guess at the blade being no more than 8″-10″ max. This knife will probably be used to carve the tasty critter once cooked.
    Have a go with your mobile and see the kind of similar picture you can take.
    Also to note is the apparent lack of interest of the soldiers. I’m sure a giant bat would have yielded some good pictures with the soldiers in various poses!

    What do you think?

  2. Big Steve responds:

    Sorry. One more thing to note. Is that bat smoking a cigarette?

  3. Dr Kaco responds:

    That’s a cigar man, get it right. It’s a disguinshed bat! ;p

  4. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    Yes, the “sword” is a clue that it is definitely NOT a “giant” bat. First of all, it is not a sword at all but a combat knife which has a standard total length of less than 12 inches. This shows you the actual size of the bat. It only looks giant because it is closer to the camera than the soldiers. It’s analogous to taking a picture of your hand beside a full moon; in the resulting photograph, your hand will look bigger than the moon because it is closer to the camera :)

  5. mandors responds:

    Whatever it is, it is NOT a flying fox. I have seen them close up, that is not a flying fox’s head. The giant flying fox at rest looks like a red tailed fox–with odd yellow eyes–draped in a leather overcoat when hanging upside down. They are actually–if you’ll excuse the expression–pretty cute.

    This thing looks like Godzilla with wings.

    Okay, we have a giant fake bat, that with the cigaret, the knife, military personnel all wearing the same uniform–my guess is it’s a special forces camp. The shorts in the uniform speak of British influence, so I’ll guess Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia…

  6. Alamo responds:

    The former Subic Bay naval base is (used to be?) full of flying foxes… some with wingspans easily over 3 feet… I watched tens of thousands of them fill nearly all the trees in a valley. The trees were chock full, to the point that they were bare of leaves, leaving only strange, furry fruits.

    Looks like they turned him into a company insignia of sorts (think of it as a patch)… cigar smoking bat under a combat knife… not unusual for the Scout Rangers to have some sort of unique identifier for their particular group:



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