Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Puerto Rican Bigfoot
Recently at Mysterious Universe, Nick Redfern wrote about what he has learned of the oft-neglected legends of a hirsute hominid roaming the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, which is to say not much. To be fair, there isn't much on this strange and elusive creature. Fortunately, I spent several years there talking to locals and researching the island's many tales and can give you what little more I have learned on the topic.
Comecogollos (roughly translated as one who eats the hearts of edible plants) is the term applied to the fabled bipedal primates similar to Bigfoot that are known to destroy guinea (a small, sweet type of banana) crops by devouring the top portion of the tree - hence the name.
Ironically, however, witnesses say that the creature is after the sap found in the trunk and not the guineas themselves. Witnesses have described this creature as hirsute, short, and bipedal with a quick step. It has been witnessed in areas of increased UFO activities such as the El Yunque National Rainforest.
This fabled cryptid is little known in the annals of cryptzoology and, I dare say, is known to few outside Puerto Rico. Frankly, many long-time Puerto Ricans have never heard the legend.
As I mentioned, I lived there for three years and spent that time researching the island's myriad accounts of UFOs, chupacabras, the Moca Vampire, and other strange beasts. Of all those stories, the tale of the comegollos has to be the rarest and most insubstantial. What few reports and analyses exist on the topic have been mostly documented by local researchers publishing in Spanish language media.
One investigator presented the image above as photographic evidence of this strange beast. I have juxtaposed it against another image that will better elucidate my concerns over the authenticity of this Comecogollos photo.
The image above of the "creature" standing higher than the surrounding vegetation in the El Yunque National Rainforest is at odds with the dimensions described by witnesses. For this image to be true, this creature would have to stand between 40 and 60 feet tall, as can be seen when we use the tower image [left inset above] for scale reference. This tower stands approximately 60 feet high. So, it gives us a good scale for the average height of the surrounding (and quite ubiquitous) vegetation. The same trees you see by the tower, are the same you'll see on the mountain in the Comecogollos image. In fact, I dare say the Comecogollos image was probably shot from the vantage point of this tower since landmarks visible from it are clearly in frame here as well.
In many respects, this image reminds me of the many images of Sasquatch that depict these animals protruding well above a mountainside covered with pine trees towering more than 100 feet. It is the (willing) mind taking indistinct blobs of light and shadow in a photograph and seeing what it is they wish to see.
With so little documentation of the Comecogollos, and virtually no trace evidence, it is hard to accept the legend as anything more than a delightful folktale - one of many surrounding the mysterious El Yunque Rainforest.
Gracias a Herminio Salgado por todo su ayuda! This was originally posted on my blog The Island in January 2008. --CH