Death by Chupacabra! | Center for Inquiry
Airing on April 14, 2011, an episode of the popular forensic-based TV series Bones featured a skeptic who—on a search for the mythical chupacabra (or “goatsucker”)—was found in the wilds of West Virginia apparently killed by one: his body punctured by fangs, drained of blood, and otherwise yielding traces of a “cryptid” (an unknown or hidden animal). A goat, tethered nearby and obviously intended as bait, was unharmed. As we learn more of the victim, we find he hosted a television show—Kill the Myth, that debunked pet psychics, crying statues, and, of course, cryptids.
In a bit of ironic mischief, the skeptic is named “Lee Coleman”—obviously after Loren Coleman, America’s best-known cryptozoologist. Indeed, the episode does feature a cryptozoologist, who is a rival of Lee, named “Terry Bemis.” As it happens, the skeptic was actually killed by a careless hunter, after which the “chupacabra” effects were hoaxed by the owner of a financially troubled lodge.
One wonders: Was the skeptic’s character meant to suggest—as Rebecca Watson, skepchick.org, insisted (at her excellent talk the following night at CFI headquarters)—yours truly? To make the case, one could cite my book, The Mystery Chronicles, with chapter titles bearing the words “pet psychics,” “weeping icons,” and “cryptids,” notably, one titled “The ‘Goatsucker’ Attack.”