Pretty much everyone has heard of the Men in Black. But: what about Women in Black? And what is their connection to strange creatures?
For years, sensational and sinister stories have surfaced from the forests and lowlands of Puerto Rico that tell of a strange and lethal creature roaming the landscape by night and day, while striking overwhelming terror into the hearts of the populace.
This is not at all surprising since the animal has been described as having a pair of glowing red eyes, powerful, claw style hands, razor sharp teeth, a body not unlike that a monkey, a row of vicious spikes running down the length of its back, and occasionally, and of deep relevance to this particular chapter, a pair of large and leathery bat-like wings.
And if that is not enough: the beast is said to feed on the blood of the local animal - and predominantly goat - population, after puncturing their jugular veins with two sharp teeth. That's correct: Puerto Rico has a monstrous vampire in its midst. Its name is the Chupacabras, a Latin term, very appropriately meaning Goat Sucker.
Theories abound with respect to the nature of the beast, with some researchers and witnesses suggesting that the monster is some form of giant-bat; others prefer the theory that it has extraterrestrial origins; while the most bizarre idea postulated is that the Chupacabras is the creation of a top secret, genetic research laboratory hidden deep within Puerto Rico's El Yunque rainforest, which is located in the Sierra de Luquillo, approximately forty kilometers southeast of the city of San Juan.
On several occasions, I have traveled to the island of Puerto Rico to try and seek out the vampire-like Chupacabras for myself, and, perhaps one day, even to determine its true nature. On one particular occasion, while roaming around Puerto Rico in 2005 with Canadian film-maker Paul Kimball (we were there to make a documentary titled Fields of Fear
), I had the very good fortune to meet and interview a man named Antonio, a pig-farmer who had an unusual experience in 2000 that led to a decidedly strange visit from a Woman in Black/Man in Black duo.
As Antonio told me, one of his animals had been killed, after darkness had fallen, by the now familiar puncture marks to the neck. In this case, however, the animal exhibited three such marks, rather than the usual two. In addition, a number of rabbits kept on the property had been slaughtered in identical fashion.
At the time that all of the carnage was taking place, a considerable commotion was, quite naturally, being made by the rest of Antonio's animals. As a result, upon hearing this, he rushed wildly out of his house with a machete in his hand, and flung it hard in the direction of the marauding predator. Very strangely, he told me, the makeshift weapon seemed to bounce off something that seemed distinctly metallic in nature.
In fact, Antonio suggested that what the machete had made contact with seemed armor-plated in nature. Due to the overwhelming darkness, however, he had no idea what the creature may have been. But something deadly was most certainly prowling around the property. The machete was later given to Antonio's cousin for safekeeping. The most confounding aspect of the affair was still to come, however. That's right: Antonio was about to get a visit of the type we have encountered time and again in these pages.
Shortly after the killing of the pig and the rabbits, a man and woman - dressed in typical, official-looking black regalia, on a stifling hot day, no less, and who announced they worked for NASA - arrived at the farm and quickly proceeded to ask Antonio a wealth of questions about what had occurred, what he had seen, and the way in which his animals had met their grisly fates.
When the conversation was over, the pair thanked the bemused farmer, in a fashion befitting both the Women in Black and the Men in Black - wholly unemotionally, in other words - and left without uttering another, single word. How the dark duo even knew that the attacks had taken place, and why on earth NASA would be dispatching personnel to his farm to investigate them, Antonio had no idea at all.
One thing that Antonio told me he had held back from informing his two mysterious visitors was that on the morning after the attack he had found strange footprints on his property that were spread quite a distance from each other; and he formed the opinion that whatever had made them, had the ability to leap considerable distances, in a fashion similar to that of a Kangaroo - or, perhaps even, he mused, it had the ability to fly.
Leaping or flying monsters, Men and Women in Black and mutilated animals collectively suggested that something highly strange was, and perhaps still is, afoot on Puerto Rico.
Nick Redfern's new book is
The Pyramids and the Pentagon: The Government's Top Secret Pursuit of Mystical Relics, Ancient Astronauts, and Lost Civilizations.