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Death by cryptid?

  • Written by NICK REDFERN
  • Published in Mysteries
  • Read: 235

A FEW nights ago, I was interviewed on a radio show to promote my new book, Chupacabra Road Trip.

During the course of the interview, we got into a discussion of claims I have heard time and time again, while on Puerto Rico. They are claims suggesting the Chupacabra has allegedly slaughtered more than a few people over the years. We’re talking about death by cryptid and widespread cover-ups quickly put into place by Puerto Rican authorities. It was this issue that led us to get into a deeper discussion of additional claims of strange, monstrous beasts killing people in violent fashion.
   
So, with that in mind, I figured it would be a good time to share with you some of those cases. We’ll begin with one of the world’s most famous cryptids, the Loch Ness Monster. I’ve been to that mysterious and huge loch on many occasions -- the first time being when I was 6 years old. And although there’s certainly not a long and winding history of the Nessies attacking and killing people, there is one famous case that dates back centuries. “Infamous,” perhaps, would be a better word to use. Chiefly because it’s a case that ended in violent death.
   
It was way back in the 6th century when a certain St. Columba spent time in the vicinity of Loch Ness and the River Ness, the latter being a twelve-mile-long stretch of water at the loch’s northern end. The life of St. Columba was chronicled by yet another saint: St. Adomnán. In the words of Adomnán himself we have the following:
   
“….when the blessed man was staying for some days in the province of the Picts, he found it necessary to cross the river Ness; and, when he came to the bank thereof, he sees some of the inhabitants burying a poor unfortunate little fellow, whom, as those who were burying him themselves reported, some water monster had a little before snatched at as he was swimming, and bitten with a most savage bite, and whose hapless corpse some men who came in a boat to give assistance, though too late, caught hold of by putting out hooks.”
   
Adomnán continued: “The blessed man however, on hearing this, directs that some one of his companions shall swim out and bring to him the cable that is on the other bank, sailing it across. On hearing this direction of the holy and famous man, Lugne Mocumin, obeying without delay, throws off all his clothes except his under-garment, and casts himself into the water.
   
“Now the monster, which before was not so much satiated as made eager for prey, was lying hid in the bottom of the river; but perceiving that the water above was disturbed by him who was crossing, suddenly emerged, and, swimming to the man as he was crossing in the middle of the stream, rushed up with a great roar and open mouth. Then the blessed man looked on, while all who were there, as well the heathen as even the brethren, were stricken with very great terror; and, with his holy hand raised on high, he formed the saving sign of the cross in the empty air, invoked the Name of God, and commanded the fierce monster, saying, ‘Think not to go further, nor touch thou the man. Quick! Go back!’”
   
And, finally, we have this from Adomnán: “Then the beast, on hearing this voice of the Saint, was terrified and fled backward more rapidly than he came, as if dragged by cords, although before it had come so near to Lugne as he swam, that there was not more than the length of one punt-pole between the man and the beast. Then the brethren, seeing that the beast had gone away, and that their comrade Lugne was returned to them safe and sound in the boat, glorified God in the blessed man, greatly marveling. Moreover, also the barbarous heathens who were there present, constrained by the greatness of that miracle, which they themselves had seen, magnified the God of the Christians.”
   
Of course, the skeptic might say that this story -- and the accompanying death by a lake monster -- is nothing but a piece of folklore. However, it’s very intriguing that if the whole thing was merely someone’s idea of a hoax -- or a means to promote the power of the Christian God -- they should have chosen, of all possible places in Scotland, the River Ness as the site of the action and death.                                            MU