Need $250? Take Ben’s Chupa Challenge!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 26th, 2011

Need a quick $250 for your fieldwork or research fund?

Then take on, meet and defeat Ben Radford’s reward challenge regarding Chupacabras.

Sure it is a publicity stunt waged to get the mainstream media to mention his new book, Tracking the Chupacabra. But there’s nothing wrong with that, if it can send some funds in your direction, right?

Ben Radford feels that Chupacabras, in the form we know it today, came on the scene in 1995, after the “first eyewitness” viewed the film Species.

Is Radford correct? Here is what the editor of the Skeptical Inquirer says about his challenge to Chupacabras researchers:

Just because I didn’t find any references to a vampiric “chupacabra” before 1995 doesn’t mean there aren’t any. I’m a pretty thorough researcher, but no one’s perfect, and I might have missed an earlier reference. Surely if a chupacabra was widely known and discussed as far back as the 1950s, there should be plenty of written references in newspapers, magazines, books, folklore journals, etc., dating back decades. It seems there are none….it seems quite possible that people who are certain they grew up hearing tales of the bloodthirsty chupacabra beast may be merely incorrectly remembering the dates and details of when they first heard about it. The irony is, of course, that it was a Puerto Rican eyewitness’s faulty memory that confused a film monster with real life and essentially created the chupacabra.

Mass error, or incomplete research? Let’s find out! I’ll offer a public $250 reward (plus a signed copy of my book Tracking the Chupacabra) for the first verifiable written evidence of a blood-sucking monster called the chupacabra (or chupacabras) that dates before 1990. It must be a published, dated reference; I can be contacted via Discovery News.

Let’s see what turns up!Are Chupacabra Recollections Real?

Ben sends along a private note reinforcing what he has written, at the link above, by saying: “I’m offering a $250 reward (and signed copy of Tracking the Chupacabra) for the first verifiable written evidence of a blood-sucking monster called the chupacabra (or chupacabras) that dates before 1990. It must be a published, dated reference (and not a reference to the whippoorwill bird!). “

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

53 Responses to “Need $250? Take Ben’s Chupa Challenge!”

  1. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Hi there

    Well, I love museums of all kinds, and try to see as many of them as I can. As you point out, Smithsonian has a lot of crypto-related exhibits in their collection (though not all of it may be on display at any given time, of course), including giant squid, Stellar’s sea cows, Ivory-bills, plesiosaurs, etc. I even found Grover Krantz’s skeleton!

    I didn’t arrange an interview with anyone there about the chupacabra specifically, because the information I needed (for example on vampirism and forensics) was readily available from other sources. So it’s a mix of purpose-driven research and an archive of thousands of photos taken over the years in the course of my research.

  2. Benjamin Radford responds:

    @ crowmagnumman: Thanks for your comments. Re: Any pre-1990 references to a vampire “chupacabra.” It’s only a very small point in the book, and has no bearing on the other 99.9% of the book, or its research or conclusions. Even if there are references to it from the 1950s or 1960s, it does not invalidate anything else I wrote, but I’d be interested to clear it up, since so many people have independently insisted it dates back so much earlier. I’m eagerly awaiting the results of PhotoExpert’s research!

    I recently found out that news of my $250 reward for pre-1990 published chupacabra references made it to Puerto Rico (a woman there asked me about it). By now, thousands of Puerto Ricans surely have heard about it, and so far no one has come up with anything. Surely some Puerto Rican librarian or student or newspaper employee has spent an hour or two searching to collect $250.

  3. Benjamin Radford responds:

    PhotoExpert: Any progress yet on the journal-searching for an early “chupacabra”? I don’t want to rush you, just checking to see if there’s any updates.



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