Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Living Dinosaurs of Northern Chile - Part 1

South America is home to many very unique cryptids. One of these amazing creatures is a dinosaur-like beast that was seen numerous times near the town of Arica, Chile in 2004.

The first sighting occurred at around 9:40 p.m on Thursday, July 29, 2004. Dario Riquelme was driving a vehicle from Iquique to Arica. Chilean Army official Hernan Cuevas, his wife, and his two young children were with him in the car. The sighting took place about 17 kilometers South of Arica.

Riquelme and the Cuevas family had left Iquique at about 6:00 p.m. They were only a few minutes away from arriving at Arica, when something strange darted across the road in front of their car. Riquelme then stopped the vehicle.
A few minutes later, a second one crossed the road. This time, Hernan Cuevas and his 12-year-old daughter, Tania, could clearly see the creature. They estimated that the creature’s height was around 2 meters.

Riquelme stated that the creature “looked just like a dinosaur, walking on two legs”, and that it had “very large and noticeable thighs”. He also described it as being “grey and hairless”.
Cuevas’ description of the creature was very similar to Riquelme’s. 12-year-old Tania said that the creatures were very similar to dinosaurs, and that they had relatively short arms.
All of the witnesses were amazed at how fast the creatures crossed the road, and the length of the strides that they took as they walked across. All of the witnesses have yet to find a satisfactory and logical explanation for what they saw on that day.

In addition to this sighting, several other motorists have also come forward to report encounters with strange creatures resembling bipedal dinosaurs in late July 2004.
For example, about 2 weeks before this incident, the Abett de la Torre Diaz family also had a similar strange encounter of the cryptozoological kind. They were driving on the exact same road, at around the exact same time of day, when they had a similar sighting. This sighting apparently involved a group of 4 creatures.
At first, 2 creatures jumped over the car. Then, a few minutes later, 2 more creatures ran across the road in front of the car. The eyewitnesses described the creatures as "dog-faced kangaroos" which closely resembled "gargoyles". One eyewitness, Carmen Abett de la Torre Diaz, said that she wasn't sure if the creatures had wings or legs, but that the appendages were angled towards the back.
At first, the family kept their sighting a secret, in order to avoid humiliation and ridicule. However, after the Riquelme & Cuevas sighting was reported to the press, they decided to report theirs, as well. 

These sightings soon became so popular that, in 2009, the Syfy show Destination Truth launched an expedition to search for these creatures. The team interviewed the local eyewitnesses, and talked to a paleontologist at the University of Tarapaca named Caodero Santoro. Santoro has been investigating accounts of these strange creatures for years, and he feels that a large predator could remain relatively undetected in the caves and canyons which dot the Atacama Desert, as long as there is vegetation, prey, and a source of water. Afterwards, the team went out into the desert, looking for evidence of this creature. However, their findings were inconclusive.

My hypothesis about these remarkable creatures is that they are not native to the Arica region. This is because they were only sighted for a brief 2-month period in 2004. I haven't heard of any other reported sightings either before or after. Also, there is probably not enough food and water in the Atacama Desert to support such large creatures. Therefore, what I think is that these cryptids probably live in the forests and canyons of northern Chile and southern Peru, and that a small population travelled to the Atacama desert of northern Chile in 2004. Afterwards, this population either died out, or moved on to someplace else.

When it comes to the identity of these animals, I cannot think of any other creature that would fit the bill  besides a theropod dinosaur. The bipedal stance, the large, muscular thighs, the sharp teeth, and the reported speed and methods of locomotion remind me very strongly of these prehistoric creatures. I know that many people would consider this idea to be unlikely and somewhat far-fetched, but to me, it appears to be by far the most logical explanation.

As you can clearly see, South America is a very interesting place to visit, in pursuit of wonderful cryptozoological mysteries such as this. In my next post, I will write about some more South American cryptids. See you then.


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  2. I strongly suspect they are prehistoric deinonychus raptors. They fit the bill: They look prehistoric. Smooth grey skin. They do not have feathers. They are designed for speed. They are bipedal. They have a dog/reptile like head. I believe you are correct it is a pack of raptors...