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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Decemystery (2021) 1: Tyrannosaurus Rex Sightings in Texas

 

Hello, hello, dear reader. It’s that time of the year again. Presents are being bought for kids, people are shoveling snow, and I am hunkered down in my bedroom writing…


Nah, just kidding. At the time of writing this, it’s August 2nd. My thinking was that if I can get this done early, I would have the month of December to spend with my family and friends since normally, I’m disconnected from them because Decemystery consumes a lot of time and a lot of energy, and I’d like to actually spend the holiday season with them for once. So the early bird gets the worm—the several months early bird anyways. In actuality, I am not in my bedroom, but I am rather decorating a Christmas tree and likely having a grand old time with my family. Hooray for getting things out of the way early!


Anyways, this year’s Decemystery is going to act as something of an apology for last year’s rather lackluster outing. While I’m sure there are some out there who really enjoyed the stories, it wasn’t what I’d hoped for. Unfortunately, a wave of depression overtook me partway through the month and I couldn’t be asked to do the stories I have wanted. This is also admittedly part of why I’m doing this in August; I’m feeling really energized and I want to take advantage of that energy. So this year’s going to be bigger, better, and more awesome than last year. At least, I think so.


My plans are mostly to have stories that’ll stand out and be exceptionally cool. So when picking out the story to kick things off, I wanted something that would truly stand out and be eye-catching; something like Golf Rumors. There were a few ideas that floated through my mind, but the one I went with was one that I think is equal parts absurd and truly fantastical. Down in Texas, the Lone Star State, there are reports of dinosaurs. That, on its own, isn’t exactly something novel; there have been reports of dinosaurs in a great many areas. However, it’s the specific dinosaur that I think makes it worthwhile.


The Tyrannosaurus Rex. The king of all dinosaurs; arguably the most iconic of its kind. Big, brutal, and really dang awesome if you’re like me and you think that dinosaurs are wickedly epic. It was kinda like that thing from that product you really love, only it’s been dead for something like 66,000,000 years, and it would have eaten you.


Kentucky Fried Human anyone?


Anywhoozle, as one may surmise based on the bleedingly obvious title of this write-up, there are Tyrannosaurus Rex sightings in Texas. What is the truth to such an insane claim? Well, let’s find out together; Decemystery 2021 begins with us going dinosaur hunting!

The Prehistoric Story


To start off, I’m going to be extremely honest. When I first heard about this story last year, I thought this was going to be a case of a single report that nobody took seriously. I mean, if you came up to me and told me you saw a T-Rex, I would think you were on drugs, drunk, or mistook another animal for it because it was dark and its shadow looked a bit odd.


Though surprisingly, there are actually a few reports from around Texas of people seeing T-Rexes. However, while one may think they’re the giants that roamed the Earth millions of years ago, that isn’t the case. These creatures are nowhere near as big as their ancestors. Rather, they’re said to be 2–7 feet (0.6–2.1 meters) in height. The former figure is the most common, which I’d still say would be quite scary given it’s still a dinosaur. Its mouth is no doubt filled with really sharp teeth, its jaw is likely powerful enough to rip off my arm, and also: it’s a dinosaur. I really don’t want to be stuck in a dark alley with it at night—or in an empty field.


I digress though. The reports I could find can mostly be found on Mysterious Universe, a website dedicated to cryptids, aliens, and other enigmatic things related to our world. The article is entitled “Bizarre Accounts of Living T-Rexes in Texas” and has a few stories from various eyewitnesses who claim they saw everyone’s favorite* dinosaur for themselves.


* Favorite status not guaranteed.


For the sake of this write-up, I’ll be sharing the reports that the eyewitnesses claimed, so all credit goes to Mysterious Universe. I won’t shamelessly copy and paste what they have though. Instead, I’ll convey it as I see fit since this blog is nothing if not an outstanding example of how not to convey eyewitness reports. This more or less means that you’ll be getting the highest quality idiocy from your favorite blogger on the Internet. Dab dab dab.


Our first reported sighting listed in the article comes to us from Hebbronville, Texas, a place with a population of about 4,500 people. That’s as of 2010 anyways, but I digress. I simply wanted to make note of this because the first thought I had when reading about reports of T-Rexes in Texas is, “Wow, it sure is odd that a state as large as Texas could house such a creature without anyone seeing it”. As it turned out, most of the locations have very small populations (barring one, but more on that later).


Anyways, the story was told to another blogger by the name of Lon Strickler, who writes on Phantoms and Monsters. I actually go to that blog from time-to-time and it’s definitely worth checking out if you like this blog; it has some great content, though this isn’t the time for advertising. No, it’s time for storytelling, and this story comes from someone who refers to themselves as “MR”. You see, back in October of 2013, MR claims that a friend of his saw a “bipedal theropod dinosaur” run across the street when she was driving. That on its own is pretty dang weird, but it doesn’t end there. If it did, I would be pretty disappointed and my day would be ruined.


Instead, the story actually brought back memories for MR. A few months earlier, he had an experience that sure as heck ranks up there as one of the oddest things I’ve ever stumbled across. You see, MR stated that he heard a loud screech at roughly 1 or 2 in the morning. After this, he heard whatever made that screech run by his apartment window; it isn’t stated if MR was on the first floor or if the creature was just that tall, but given later stories I’m inclined to think it’s the former of those two guesses. Anywhoozle, it appears that’s where the story ends, which I find extremely weird given nobody else appears to have talked about hearing an unfamiliar screech in the middle of the night. Though perhaps everyone there is just a tight sleeper and didn’t really care about hearing screeching, or maybe some of the residents have really weird sex.


“Hey baby, I’mma do to you what the asteroid did to the dinosaurs.”


I have no idea how to respond to the very thing I wrote; that may be the dumbest pickup line in history.


Anyways, the second story on Mysterious Universe’s article is also from Phantoms and Monsters. About 18 miles (28.9 kilometers) east of Hebbronville, over in Falfurrias—which has a population of about 4,800 people (as of 2018)—our second T-Rex sighting is reported. This one comes to us from someone who refers to herself simply as “LM”, and makes the really ballsy claim that the area is becoming a hotspot for dinosaur sightings. So I guess if you want to visit Jurassic Park, take a trip to Falfurrias and go exploring.


Also, as a side note: Mysterious Universe refers to LM as male initially, then as a female. Phantoms and Monsters, however, doesn’t state the person’s gender whatsoever, which leaves me not knowing anything. For the sake of consistency though, I’ll be referring to LM as a woman. If I’m wrong, oh well, I guess I suck at research.


LM’s claims begin big—though not literally. She states that, in December of 2012—her world was rocked. Not because Nibiru came by and wrecked us all, but because she and a neighbor both saw a pair of dinosaurs—or “creatures” as she put it. They were dark-brown in color and ran across the road. I would like to briefly state that this description truly helps me narrow down which dinosaur this was; it allows me to go from believing it to be every dinosaur to almost every dinosaur.


Okay, not really, I firmly believe it to have been a Velociraptor since they hunted in packs and the T-Rex, as far as I’m aware, didn’t hunt with anyone, but that’s for the theories section. For now, let’s get back on track. All told, LM says the account lasted 20 seconds; she also states that for nights after, she heard “shrills” coming from the brush at the end of the road. That’s actually a legitimately unnerving scenario and if this story is 100% legit, I’d probably move out ASAP.


I digress though. LM goes on to state that a family member of hers from Mexico reported seeing a “big lizard” once when visiting her. This family member had been near McAllen—a city with a population of about 143k (again, as of 2018)—when he saw a 2–3 foot (0.6–0.9 meters) creature with a large head and long tail. Before I continue, I want to say that I have no idea where in McAllen this took place, but I like to imagine it being in the middle of the city and nobody really paid much mind to the child-sized lizard running around on two legs. There’s something about that that really makes me question everything I know about how we as a species react to weird things.


The craziness doesn’t end there though. Sometime after all of that, LM’s son told her that he and his friends had found “many quail feathers and deer bones” near the aforementioned brush. Wildlife officials blamed coyotes (though LM didn’t tell them that she had seen a living dinosaur and its pal waltz across the road like they owned the place). In response to the concept that coyotes were behind these inconceivable attacks, LM’s husband built a large steel-link fence around the yard so nobody would become like the lawyer from Jurassic Park.


At the end of all of this, LM puts forth the idea that it could have been the infamous El Chupacabra, the blood-sucking vampiric menace of the night that loves to prey upon farm animals. However, I want to make a serious interjection here and say that absolutely nothing about this story sounds anything like our old pal, El Chupacabra. While yes, there are reports of shrieking, bipedal variants of the creature, I’ve never heard of one which eats its prey. Maybe I’m wrong, but that idea seems kind of silly in my eyes.


However, I don’t want to sit here and ramble about things like that. That’s where LM’s story ends, but it isn’t the end of the reports. Another witness, a woman who goes by “MG”, had her own encounter with these bite-sized Tyrannosaurus Rexes. You know, I have to wonder: with the number of reports, do you think these creatures are having a lot of Tyrannosaurus Sex?


Eh? Eh? Anyone? Anyone!?


Fine, I’ll stop making bad jokes… no I won’t.


MG’s story occurred at some point in 2011. She was walking down a road on her way home from work. The time: somewhere around 5:45. It was a simpler time in life. There was no COVID, no Swine Flu, no Avengers, and no TikTok. Life was a lot better, except it actually wasn’t. I had no girlfriend, barely any friends, and I also didn’t have this blog.


Well, anyways, MG’s gender changed during this walk because Mysterious Universe proceeded to use the pronoun “he”, so I’m guessing that our intrepid walker stepped through some sort of incredibly weird portal in reality. Before harps on me about poking fun at pronouns: this isn’t a joke. Mysterious Universe’s article outright changes MG’s pronoun in the same sentence, which really frustrates me because I can’t tell what the actual gender of this person is. If they had stated they were genderfluid, that’d be one thing, but this is like one of those bad parodies I see where people poke fun at people with gender dysphoria.


Seriously, if you’re going to write any sort of article, hire a damn editor!


Anyways, MG stated that as she was walking home, she saw “plumes of dust” being tossed into the air. Then, out of nowhere, she saw a roughly 2–2-and-a-half foot (0.6–0.7 meter) tall T-Rex. Its color was different from the one we spoke of above; this one was “light reddish-brown” as opposed to dark brown. Just like that one, however, the creature didn’t appear to take much interest in the eyewitness. It instead simply ran across the road and into another field. Look at him go, lads! Running like he’s a shark on land.


MG went on to say the obvious: that there was “no way” this lizard was native to the area. Personally, I think one could argue that a bipedal lizard that’s about the size of a child is one that hasn’t been native to Earth for millions of years, but who am I to question? I am but a humble blogger, tending to his third-rate writings like a great plains farmer, tending to his crops (and run-on sentences). I digress though: MG followed up this assertion that she saw a dinosaur by saying that it resembled a toy she saw a picture of on the Internet. Yes, I’m serious. While I know some toys can be very good replicas of real-life things, I find the citation of a toy dinosaur to be rather amusing.


Alas, not all were convinced: MG’s immediate contacts—which is my way of saying “friends and family”—posited that she mistook it for another lizard. I’m not even going to bother questioning that level of skepticism; MG was undeterred by this however. She went on to say that her ex-husband and “others” had seen large birds and “walking shadows” on a ranch. It’s on this ranch that cattle would randomly vanish, which led to her ex never staying there at night (though presumably, the sight of what I can only assume were pterodactyls would make one not want to stay there).


Aaaanywhoozle: it’s time to move onto the next sighting that Mysterious Universe’s article has in store for us. It comes to us from an episode of Coast to Coast AM—the show that was hosted by the late Art Bell. Back in October of 2014, a man who called himself “Dan” called in and told a very interesting story. Back when he was teenager (side note: Dan never gave his age, so I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this was probably between the late 1980s and mid 1990s) in Midland, Texas. For context: Midland had a population of 142,344 in 2018.


It was on this dateless date that Dan and his friends went out doing what they loved to do: dirt biking. However, one day, they saw a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex. It went roar xD and then dabbed away.


Actually, no it didn’t. The entire event went as followed (credit to Jamie Brian who transcribed this call; I have not changed any of the grammatical errors):


I remember seeing this thing and it was probably about two feet high. It stood up on its back legs. It didn’t have, like, fingers or like you’d normally see a T-Rex in the movies with three or four fingers. It only had one claw. And now I remember, we were running our motorcycles around and scared it off, I guess. It was greenish-yellow, I think, in color and never really thought about it. I just assumed it was some weird, you know, lizard but I remember… It was about 2 or 2 and a half, maybe 2 or 2 and a half feet high when it stood up. When it stood up, it had this egg shaped dome… The only thing I can say is that it did look like a T-Rex. It had an egg shaped face or head. (caller talks about an old Art Bell show where a caller described an encounter with T-Rex) There was four of us. We were about 13 or 14 years old at the time. We saw, it was crawling along on all fours and as we rode up on it, it reared back and it had these little tiny arms. It looked like a little T-Rex. So I honestly thought, I missed it or it was standing or I didn’t see it right until years later when I heard that call on Art’s show. It was angry. It wasn’t happy that me and my friends were riding our dirt-bikes in that area.


That’s unfortunately where that account ends; the caller called in and told of his encounter, then that was that. As such, it’s time to move onto our final encounter, one that comes to us from the website Frontiers of Zoology. It’s there that an unknown eyewitness was interviewed by a site contributor named Phillip O’Donnell. The witness stated that he saw a “baby T-Rex” in southeast Texas…


Or should I say, “baby”.


The witness stated that this creature was a staggering 6–7 feet f1.8–2.1 meters) tall. He added that it was “about the same from tail tip to little arms”. I don’t quite know what the witness means here, but I’m guessing they mean that the distance between the tip of the tail and arms was also 6 to 7 feet, which would make this thing one weird looking freak of nature. I digress though, the person went on to say that the king of the dinosaurs was “forest green” and sported an “iridescent look” that was akin to oil. Prior to all of this, the creature had fled into the woods, so it presumably didn’t bother chasing the person who saw it.


Now for something rather anticlimactic: that’s where the article ends. There’s a lengthy conclusion to it that goes over other information, but I don’t want to parrot it because it’s more or less the author’s own thoughts on the stories, and I’m not going to give the opinion of someone else as this blog is more or less meant to be me conveying information and then giving my own thoughts.


In spite of that, I did attempt to find more, but the reports appear to be limited in nature and the only places that have reported on them are the ones mentioned on this write-up. Sure, there are some YouTube videos, but they cite the aforementioned articles. As such, we’re left with what I have provided. Sorry, dear reader, we’re not getting any more prehistoric action. At least, not until later this month. Until then, let us hop into the theories!


Theories


1. Mistaken identity


The first theory we have is the one I think most would go to if someone said that they saw what looks like a living dinosaur: they mistook another animal for something else. A commenter on a video from William DeFalco suggested it could be a vulture. Meanwhile, Mysterious Universe suggested roadrunners, but immediately countered the idea by saying that these animals would be “familiar” to the locals.


Truth be told, I have no idea exactly what sort of animal would resemble a creature like a miniature Tyrannosaurus Rex, let alone any sort of bipedal dinosaur. Most animals would stick out like a sore thumb at such a close range, and a dinosaur would stick out like a clown amongst ninjas. Seriously, you’d be really hard-pressed to find anything that looks like one of those things, but I’m repeating myself.


Besides the two animals I mentioned before, I don’t know of any other suspects. I also sadly don’t know enough about animals to be able to pin the sightings on. So if you can help me out here, I would appreciate it. Until then though, I think we best move on.


2. Hoaxes


A theory that’s even harder to pin than the previous one, the idea that these were all hoaxes is one that I contemplated on nixing because it would either require the folks at Phantoms and Monsters to have been fooled by a coordinated effort to report living T-Rexes, or for them to have made up the reports themselves. The latter is honestly more likely, but besides not wanting to come across like I’m defaming them, I also can’t prove that. As far as I’m aware, in their time existing, they’ve never fabricated any sort of story and I don’t get why you’d make up something as fantastical as living T-Rexes when the Burrunjor is said to exist.


So where does that leave us with this? Well, if you’re a hardcore skeptic, then you’d probably be less hesitant than I am to cry “foul” on the concept that the original reports aren’t fake. After all, the notion of living dinosaurs is absurd! Though it’s also strangely not uncommon for them to be reported from around the world. So clearly, that means there are a lot of fools out there and you’re the smartest person on Earth. Everyone clapped and where the heck am I going with this?


Anyways, back on track. This is likely to be the most popular theory of the most skeptical of people. However, I can’t really provide any evidence since I don’t have some sort of means of checking to see if Phantoms and Monsters has ever fabricated anything. In my time reading them, they haven’t, but that would likely not satisfy some people and that’s okay. Not everyone needs to believe everything they read.


I, on the other hand, do, because I am a gullible fool, and believe a lot of what I read. Oh hey, I just read that President Biden is a lizard! :O


3. They’re really dinosaurs


The third and final theory is quite easily the most controversial: these living T-Rexes really are as advertised: living Tyrannosaurus Rexes. Woo boy, this is a ballsy claim, and one that I could probably sit here and dissect for ages, but I’ll try to keep it short.


The concept of living dinosaurs is by no means something new; there are a fair number of cryptids from around the globe which are said to be living dinosaurs. Heck, in the US, there’s the Georgia Raptor and Oklahoma Raptor (which I mentioned much earlier in this write-up). However, those two aren’t quite the same as a living T-Rex. The Velociraptor, at the very least, was an intelligent predator, and could organize its attacks. If you wanted to name any sort of dinosaur that could have survived into the modern day, I would personally put money on them. I wouldn’t put it on the Tyrannosaurus Rex.


Like, I know it’s kind of dumb to just go off on a tangent given that this section is meant to not be biased, but the thought of a T-Rex surviving into the modern day is really hard to grasp. Those things were massive and they would have required so much food to survive. It’s like with the Megalodon; their entire life would have been spent hunting and preying upon other animals. How on Earth could they survive if most life on Earth was wiped out? It just doesn’t make sense to me.


But I digress. What evidence is there for this theory? Well, beyond the sightings of other dinosaurs, I can’t really find anything. These are, pure and simple, just sightings. Nobody’s bothered to take any plaster casts of possible tracks, though I would hazard a guess and say that someone out there would point to the aforementioned Burrunjour as proof that large, carnivorous dinosaurs may exist. It doesn’t exactly scream “credible evidence”, but it’s something.


On one final note, some have also skewered this theory and claims that the dinosaurs are “survivors of the Great Flood”. If you don’t quite know what that is, it’s the flood as described in the story of Noah’s Ark. I saw one person in the comments section of William DeFalco’s video mention it and I wanted to mention it here now. I really have nothing to say about that theory because it left me quite speechless—and I’m very religious myself.


Well, I really didn’t keep this “short” at all. Oh well, better than going on for another 25 paragraphs.


3a. They’re descendents of dinosaurs


A minor offshoot of the above theory, this one simply posits they’re some sort of evolutionary descendent of dinosaurs. There isn’t really much to say about it other than: bipedal lizards that are small/compact and probably still quite ferocious. Better hide your puppies or they’ll be eaten!


My Take


The thought of the Tyrannosaurus Rex surviving into the modern day is, on the surface, really goofy. However, given what this story describes (much smaller creatures roaming around), a part of me can buy into it and think that yeah, maybe there is something out there that we don’t know about.


With that said, I sincerely doubt that this is a T-Rex. Based on what’s described, these creatures sound closer to the Velociraptor than a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Unless the T-Rex evolved over time to adopt pack tactics and shrunk down a considerable amount, these sightings describe raptors and not the King of the Dinosaurs.


The idea of the Velociraptor surviving into the modern day isn’t even some novel concept either. There are two cryptids in the United States known as the Georgia Raptor and the Oklahoma Raptor (which I mentioned earlier when I said I’d mentioned it earlier), both of which are, well, y’know, Velociraptors. These creatures were a part of the only family of dinosaurs which hunted in packs; they were extremely deadly and would attack even the largest of dinosaurs. The idea that they survived into the modern day is…


Okay, I won’t deny: the idea of them surviving for millions of years without anyone knowing is extremely bizarre and ridiculously unlikely, if not impossible. However, if any dinosaur were to survive a mass extinction event, I would put money on the Velociraptor. However, with that said, do I think that these sightings are legitimate?


That’s… hard to answer. Unless every report is made up, I can’t help but scratch my head at what these people saw. I don’t know of any creature that quite resembles what they’re seeing that could explain it all. As I said earlier: I saw one commenter on a YouTube video by William DeFalco who posited that it could be vultures walking. Though as far as I’m aware, vultures don’t walk/run that fast. However, the height does match up somewhat well and at night, you could perhaps mistake even the most innocuous creature for a dinosaur if you’re tired.


Still, I can’t help but feel like the explanation isn’t satisfactory. My only other course is that it’s some unknown species of animal. I truly don’t think a dinosaur has survived into the modern day; that just screams silly. Though if they did, then… wow, I really don’t know what to say. We’d need to rewrite the books on what can and cannot survive even the most cataclysmic of events.


Well, except for cockroaches. They’ll survive anything.


Conclusion


Well, that ends day one of this year’s Decemystery. I hope you all will return tomorrow morning for more mysterious goodness. Until then, have a wonderful day and remember to stay happy and healthy!

2 comments:

  1. I've heard of a few places with stories about "mini-rexes" or raptors running around, no idea what to make of them but the common factor seems to be desert. The American ones seem to go from Texas north through Colorado, Utah and the Four Corners nexus of weird. Then there's the Arica creature in the Chilean Atacama Desert (which might just be a rhea), and the burrunjor in central-northern Australia. Strangest part is, other than the Arica thing, none of them ever have feathers - which we know a lot of theropod dinosaurs did.

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