These fascinating remains have been at the center of a raging controversy ever since they were discovered and photographed on a lonely, sun bleached stretch of Louisiana highway.
In 1996, a woman named Barbara Mullins, while cruising down a dusty patch of hot Louisiana asphalt known as Highway 12, noticed something odd at the side of the road. Unlike so many other eyewitnesses who have only their memory to corroborate what they say, Mullin’s — who was luckily equipped with a camera — decided to stop and investigate. The resulting photographs have made for some of the most compelling and controversial images ever to have emerged from the cryptozoological quagmire.
Mullin’s described the unusual animal captured in these snapshots as being approximately as large as an adult Saint Bernard and covered with a thick coat of dark, wooly hair. It’s most notable attributes, however, were its decidedly simian features, extended (and distinctly un-paw-like) feet as well as its small pointed ears.
On September 25, 1996, The Dequincy News published the first reports of this creature and even went so far as to suggest that the remains might be none other than those of the notorious, goat-sucking fiend known throughout the southern hemisphere (and now the rest of the world) as the Chupacabra. It has also been suggested that it might be the remains of the notoriously aggressive Devil Monkey, which has been reported throughout the central portions of the United States.
In the article, Mullin’s herself claimed that at first she thought the carcass was likely that of a dog, that was until she saw its baboon-like visage. It was precisely this trait — along with the animal’s elongated feet — which have led many researchers to conclude that the animal is more likely to be related to primates than modern canines.
That is not to say that the skeptics have not aired their opinions regarding the subject of the Derrider Roadkill. These observations include the official statement by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries whose representatives, after studying the photographs for a negligible amount of time, came to the dubious conclusion that the animal depicted in the photographs was nothing more than your average Pomeranian dog.
Almost four years after the photographs were taken, independent researcher Roy Young became intrigued by the images and began an investigation of his own. Young surmised that the animal depicted in these photographs may actually have been a biological example of what the Cajuns have for years referred to in their folklore as the “Loup Garou” or the Cajun werewolf. Legends of this beast date back to the first Spanish settlers to the area and have also been associated with the Skunk Ape and the legendary Honey Island Swamp Monster.
Young was said to have obtained further evidence of the creature’s reality in the form of pieces of what were purported to be the beast”s skeleton. These bone fragments were reported to have come from an anonymous man who hailed from Lake Charles, Louisiana.
As encouraging as the arrival of this evidence initially seemed, it now appears to be unlikely that the remains Young received were authentic, as a dermal ridge expert who examined the bones claimed that they were definitely canine in organ.
This has led some researchers to conclude that the Lake Charles specimens are either the product of a hoax or that the man who gathered them (admittedly after the animal had decomposed) had unwittingly stumbled upon the carcass of a wild dog in the same general area. Plans for the DNA testing of these remains are anticipated for the near future.
The lack of definitive answers notwithstanding, Young, along with numerous other fortean researchers, remain convinced that the corpse found rotting on the side of Highway 12 — and fortunately captured in Mullin’s extraordinary photographs — is one of the most significant cryptozoological finds of the 20th century.