The whole notion that government bodies are deeply interested in certain facets of cryptozoology, and may have actively covered up specific events is not a new one. There are, for example, tales of official agencies in the US having secret knowledge of the true nature of Bigfoot.
Mysterious "Government Officials" are rumored to have confiscated the bodies of "Big-Cats" found dead in the British countryside.
And there are stories of military groups secretly using tales of crypto-creatures to possibly hide their own clandestine activities (such as the infamous tale of Paddler, as told by Patrick Huyghe).
And this is a subject I have been doing much research on lately, and which I'll be revealing far more about in the near future. In the meantime, here's two such cases that you may not be aware of.
This one - my latest Lair of the Beasts column over at Mania.com - delves into the strange tale of a Chupacabras encounter on the island of Puerto Rico, to which are attached curious "Men in Black" overtones...
Then there's the following, which is beyond any shadow of doubt one of the strangest stories I've ever heard - and, I can say for certain, I've heard some very strange ones!
A couple of weeks ago, I gave a Saturday morning lecture at the Emily Fowler Library in Denton, Texas on the subject of my book co-written with Ken Gerhard, Monsters of Texas. As is usually the case when I do lectures, I allow time for a Q&A, and audience interaction.
LONE STAR STATE BEASTS:
And, on this particular day I got a couple of interesting stories about large, exotic cats seen around Texas, a tale of a giant-catfish, and several more accounts of out-of-place or over-sized animals in the Lone Star State.
However...the strangest of all flummoxed even me! That is was linked to the infamous Roswell, New Mexico UFO crash of July 1947 only makes things even stranger!
As anyone and everyone with knowledge of Roswell will be aware, when the event occurred, certain materials found at the crash-site were flown to Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, bounded on the north side by Lake Worth - and which, in 1969, became briefly infamous for its sightings of a strange "Goat-Man"-type beast. But, I digress!
CARSWELL AIR FORCE BASE:
The story told at the Emily Fowler Library, as both I and the rest of the audience listened, was, I believe, second or third-generation. So, yes, we are delving into near friend-of-a-friend territory. With that in mind, the story was that when the strange debris was flown to Carswell, so was "something else" that was found among the wreckage.
That "something else," we were told, was a pack of large, rat-like animals, that appeared to be very intelligent, moved and acted in group-fashion, and that were highly vicious and very weird. And that was about it: a fragmentary story of truly weird proportions.
Whether or not the story has even the merest grain of truth to it, or if it's just some weird folkloric tale, I have no idea. But, for what it's worth, that was the tale!
It's interesting to note, of course, that theories for what really happened at Roswell aren't just focused on tales of UFOs or secret "Mogul" balloons of the type that the the Air Force stubbornly insists came down at Roswell.
My very own Body Snatchers in the Desert book, for example, suggested that the affair had far more to do with secret, high-altitude balloon experimentation - involving human guinea-pigs - undertaken in the New Mexico desert.
BODY SNATCHERS IN THE DESERT:
And, there's another thing: we know, too, that the military was testing all manner of vehicle (including captured German V-2 rockets) at the New Mexico-based, ultra-secret White Sands facility. Some of those early flights had payloads that included monkeys, mice and other animals.
Could it be that at least a part of the Roswell legend was born out of the secret launch and crash of such a craft of down-to-earth, and non-alien proportions, and that had a payload of rats aboard?
Given what we know about the early years of experimentation to place animals into high-altitude states, and near-Earth orbit (click here for more details, from NASA, on the mice, monkeys and other animals that preceded the astronauts of Russia and the United States), maybe this tale of strange, rat-like animals taken to Carswell AFB in the summer of 1947, was based upon distorted memories of real rats taken to the base after the crash of a secret device, with such critters aboard.
DARKLORE AND ROSWELL:
And there's one final thing on this issue: in Darklore Vol III (published in 2009 by Greg Taylor of The Daily Grail website), I wrote an update to Body Snatchers and included a summary of a series of previously-classified FBI documents I had secured via the terms of the Freedom of Information Ac. Those files told the story of how a young boy had been killed some time in the late 1940s by a rat-bite in Lincoln County, New Mexico - which just happens to be where the Roswell debris was found.
Not only that: there were fears on the part of the FBI that the boy had died of "plague," and that the plague may have resulted from the actions of Japan's notorious Unit 731 (whose actions also feature heavily in my Body Snatchers in the Desert).
Even more intriguing: the official FBI files on this young boy's death from a rat-bite right in the heart of where the Roswell crash occurred, were shared with Air Force Intelligence, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the CIA!
And that's about it, for now! Strands of a larger puzzle, or simply strands of rumors, legends, tales and not much else? Was something truly strange afoot near Roswell that involved Unit 731, plague-infected rats, and the launch of some secret device? I have no real idea, but, whatever the truth - and, granted there's a high degree of speculation here! - if anyone has ever heard of anything even remotely resembling this curious story told to those of us at the Emily Fowler Library a couple of weeks ago, do let me know!