Grab your foil hat and add your best guesses to the growing lists on Twitter and the Amarillo Globe-News. A mysterious beast seen outside the zoo has been called an upright coyote, the famed Texas Chupacabra, or Ted Cruz. No one knows what or who it is but cameras at the Amarillo Zoo caught the hat-wearing being strolling near the gates.
It’s nicknamed the Unidentified Amarillo Object or UAO and seems to be gaining a cult following. The mysterious entity has won national and international attention and has inspired a contribution from tech friends. Wyze, a Seattle-based company that specializes in smart home products and wireless cameras, has donated 80 Wyze Cam v3 cameras to the Amarillo Zoo. The hope is when the UAO returns, they’ll get a better picture.
This is one undocumented visitor that Texas wall-builders can’t contain---they’d have to find it first. The City of Amarillo released an image of the so-called UAO on June 8 with a grainy black and white photo of its 1 a.m. stroll. The photo shows a dog-like creature with long arms standing upright like a human in grass along the perimeter fence.
The city is asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery, but so far, none of the responses have proved true. The high vote-getter, for now, is Ruckus, the roaming mascot of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the city’s Minor League Baseball team of the Texas League and Double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ruckus is known for wearing a cowboy hat.
UFO sightings began long ago on this soil.
In 1639, John Winthrop, governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay gave an account of an unusual event.
He wrote that earlier in the year James Everell, “a sober, discreet man,” and two others saw a great light in the night sky while rowing a boat in the Muddy River, which flowed through swampland and emptied into a tidal basin in the Charles River. Over the course of two to three hours, they said that the mysterious light “ran as swift as an arrow” darting back and forth between them and the village of Charlestown, two miles away.
The governor wrote that when the strange apparition finally faded, the three Puritans in the boat found themselves one mile upstream—as if the light had transported them there. The men had no memory of their rowing against the tide, although it’s possible they were carried by the wind or a reverse tidal flow. Some called it an alien abduction.
The first Sasquatch footprints were discovered by British geographer and fur trader, David Thompson, in 1811. For decades, Big Foot sightings have been reported though no claims of its existence, verified.
Nearly 30 years ago, the Chupacabra myth started after a wave of livestock killings in rural Puerto Rico. The Texas sightings followed. The killing of a goat in the Rio Grande Valley in 1996, was believed to be the mark of the Chupacabra--- three puncture wounds in its neck. A Bexar County man claimed he shot and killed a Chupacabra on his property in 2004. A few years after that, a carcass of a creature resembling a Chupacabra was found in a ranch outside the small town of Cuero, but lab biologists at Texas State University-San Marcos concluded the animal was a coyote.
All Joking Aside…
Alien abduction stories were not new in the 1960’s but became more popular back then. Those who experienced abductions swore they were kidnapped and examined by visitors from other planets, but again, there has never been concrete proof.
Top Pentagon officials told a House panel there are now 400+ reports in their database from military personnel of possible encounters with UFOs, an increase from more than 140 reported last year by the U.S. intelligence community.
The military calls them UAPs or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and as I read their comments, I sense a hint of ambiguity regarding these sightings. Floating pyramid-shaped objects, and flying things? Whose things? What objects? A Navy official is confident the pyramid-thingies were drones. I guess we should hope he’s right.
There’s less of a stigma these days for those in the military to report these sightings. And, Indiana Rep. André Carson, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee called these UAPs a potential national security threat and they need to be treated that way. Rep. Carson said, "For too long the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did."
I believe there is much more to the Universe than we know, and more to the definition of living beings than we can understand.
Deputy Director of Navy Intelligence Scott Bray didn’t go that far, but he did say, "I can't point to something that definitively was not man-made, but I can point to a number of examples which remain unresolved." The Pentagon is establishing an office to speed up the identification of previously unknown or unidentified airborne objects in a methodical, logical, and standardized manner.
So, maybe they’re on to something in Amarillo by making the UAO famous. The strutting figure could be a passenger from a UFO or UAP, part of a hoax, a brazen animal, or a runaway politician. But until it shows up again, we’ll never know. This whole thing makes me wonder; isn’t it arrogant for us to believe we’re the only intelligent life in the Universe? Lately, I’ve realized it’s ridiculous to assume intelligence is a universal human trait.
But no matter what the UAO is or isn’t, I hope it returns. It makes for a fun story, and I love a good mystery!