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Monday, December 20, 2021

Decemystery (2021) 20: The Arboreal Abomination


I would be lying like a snake oil salesman if I said I didn’t pick this story partly because its name sounds really cool. Admittedly, that’s also probably really dumb of me because that means I’m going in completely blind and hoping that the story is interesting enough to work with. Lucky for me, the only prerequisite for a vast majority of the stories I cover is that they end up being at least 1,000 words long, so it all works out in the end.

Known as the Arboreal Abomination, today’s story is one that takes us down to the nation of Peru. It’s also one of the more obscure and lesser known stories involving an extraterrestrial. So come along, it’s time to talk about our friends from the stars once more.

The Story

For starters, I want to get one minor (or major—I guess it depends on who you are) detail out of the way. The word “Arboreal” means “living in trees”. So the name of this creature is, more or less, “The Abomination That Lives Among the Trees”. Really original.

With that out of the way, finding information on this story was remarkably hard. While I know that not every encounter with a UFO or alien is going to become as big as, say, the Roswell Incident or Zanfretta’s Aliens, I would’ve thought this one would have more to it. There are pages on the Cryptidz Wiki and the ObscUrban Legend Wiki, though both pages have the exact same information and they’re as barebones as you can get. Meanwhile, has considerably more information, so I’ll be primarily using that as the source (it also mentions the Gargantuan Globulous in the article).

At some point during the evening of August 29, 1965, two men—Antonio Chávez Bedoya and Julio L. de Romana—were driving along the Pan-American Motorway, which is in southern Peru. According to Cryptopia, during their drive, the pair came across something standing smackdab in the middle of the road.

Not wanting to potentially be held responsible for vehicular manslaughter, the upstanding citizens swerved before stopping to investigate the mysterious loiterer. What they saw was a sight most peculiar; what I would argue to be one of the most peculiar looking things imaginable.

Standing at roughly 31 inches (2.5 feet/78 centimeters), the duo saw what they said was a “strange being, a Martian”. They went on to say the creature “resembled a shrub”. This entity sported a “golden eye” on what they assumed was its head—unless the eye was actually its head. Either way, the creature was cycloptic in nature—kind of. More on that in a moment.

Moving on, the tree-alien’s body was orbited by “gold and silver strips”, which were similar to tinsels. Topping things off, the two men also stated that there were “other smaller [also gilded] eyes located all over its body”, which naturally threw the “cycloptic” description out the window. All of this, according to Cryptopia, led to the creature being compared to a Christmas Tree. However, I don’t know exactly where those comparisons originate from (probably local newspapers).

As a little addendum, before we move on: I want to note that this description sounds almost nothing like the image I used as the header for this write-up. While it is used in both wikis and Cryptopia, it’s also been used on other sites that don’t talk about the Arboreal Abomination. At the same time though, the wikis state that it is a sketch of the creature. Whether or not this is misinformation or the truth, I unfortunately cannot say with any certainty. If you can confirm or disprove that, do let me know.

Anywhoozle, let’s carry on. Only a few seconds after Antonino and Julio saw the creature, they saw a flying saucer fly over their car. Lucky for them, it didn’t stop to abduct them; instead, it just flew off to some other place. As for the two men, they presumably put the pedal to the metal and got the heck out of dodge.

After this, the story ends—at least, I believe it does. One Tumblr user who operates “cryptids of the world” states that the two men went to the police to report their encounter. I cannot verify this as no other website/blog mentions this (not that I know of anyways), so I would take it with a grain of salt. Though regardless, one other thing did happen—and both the aforementioned wikis and Cryptopia mention it.

Some 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) away, a UFO was reported flying close to the ground. Whether this was the same one that Antonio and Julio saw is obviously up for debate, but it is an interesting coincidence nonetheless and could plausibly be used to verify their story.

Rounding things off, Cryptopia states that two days after the pair’s encounter with what would become known as the Arboreal Abomination, newspapers reported on their encounter. I sadly can’t seem to find any archives of it, but as stated earlier: I’m guessing that that’s where the comparison to a Christmas Tree came from. If it isn’t, I’m very disappointed because it’s easily the funniest comparison I’ve heard in a while.

With all of that said though, that’s where the story ends. It’s disappointingly short in my eyes since I was hoping to make some botany jokes, but I guess not everything can work out the way I want it to. So, without any more dilly-dallying, let’s head into the theories and see what we’ve got to discuss!


1. It was an alien

The first and most obvious theory is that the creature was an alien. This is the most popular among alien enthusiasts (or at least the few that have heard of this case) and probably has the most evidence backing it up. This is primarily because it doesn’t appear that there’s been any attempt at disproving it and as such, the idea that it’s an alien begins and ends there. Those who believe this theory say that the UFO that flew over the duo’s car was the ship the creature arrived on, and it was headed to some other location.

For those looking for hardcore proof that this was an alien—like corroborating witness testimonies, pictures, or anything else of that sort: you’re out of luck. As far as I can tell, this creature left nothing behind after it was seen—at least it appears that way. I don’t think any investigation came of any of this, so we’re only left with Antonino and Julio’s statements. In spite of that, as I’ve said, it appears that those who’ve heard this story believe it.

2. It was a hoax

Next up, we have the theory that it was all a hoax. As is the case with any accusation that something’s a hoax, there’s always an underlying motive. In this case, I cannot seem to think of one, let alone find any reason that’s been put forward by any skeptic. Given that Antonio and Julio don’t appear to have done any major interviews in the wake of their encounter, I can’t imagine they were doing this for fame/fortune. If they had been attempting to get famous off of this, it failed spectacularly and I feel almost bad for them.

Alternatively, there is always the possibility that they made the entire thing up for laughs. This isn’t entirely implausible, but it seems like a fair bit of effort for what amounted to extremely little. I could think of a few other ways to spend your time pranking the locals than saying you saw a tree-alien. For example, you could go cow tipping, make prank calls, or tap at people’s windows while wearing scary masks. Though that’s just me; I guess these two gentlemen could’ve been shooting for the big time.

3. It was something else entirely

Last, but not least, we have the theory that the Arboreal Abomination was something else entirely. Cryptopia makes a point at the end of their article that the creature could have been something called a “hybrid beast”, which appears to be exactly what it says on the tin: a creature that’s a hybrid of two things. In the case of their article, they compare it to something called the “Moss Man”, which has an article on Mysterious Universe.

I wasn’t in the mood to read the whole article, so I skimmed the Cryptidz Wiki entry. Apparently, this creature is also known as “Peremalfait”, and is speculated to be a Bigfoot-type creature that’s covered in moss, while skeptics argue that it could be a swaying plant. Whatever side of the argument you fall on, it appears that the idea presented here is that the Arboreal Abomination was perhaps some sort of weird hybrid of a humanoid and plant—or perhaps an alien experiment that fused those two together. Or maybe a government experiment (though that’s me spitballing ideas).

This is certainly not something that I would immediately dismiss—at least in the interest of good faith. While certainly a really far-fetched idea, if we’re to at least take into account the numerous stories of alien abductions where the abductees claim to have had semen and egg samples taken, you could I guess argue that extraterrestrials did some weird experiment to try and make a plant-man. For what reason, I couldn’t tell you, but hey: if I had the chance, I’d do it for fun. Who’s to say that ETs don’t wanna have fun?

My Take

This is a story that I honestly had an extremely hard time rationalizing. With a lot of supposed alien encounters, I can chalk it up to a hoax or a case of misidentification. I mean, that’s natural; I’ve mistaken a bear for a cat. When you only catch something out of the corner of your eye, you aren’t immediately going to recognize what you see for what it actually is. In the case of the bear, I only saw the paws and my immediate thought was, “it’s a local cat out and about”. I’d never seen a bear outside of a zoo (I think) and on videos, so I wasn’t going to automatically know it was one. However, when I turned my head more, I realized that it was, well, a bear.

So with this story, I tried to think of what Antonio and Julio might have seen; what they could’ve mistaken for an alien. At first, I gravitated towards the idea it was all made up. However, I had a tough time trying to explain their encounter with the UFO, only for the reports to come out 12 miles away. While Cryptopia states that local newspapers reported on the incident on August 31, I don’t know if the reports of the UFO sighting[s] were before or after the report was published. If it was after, and the two men read that, they could’ve plausibly conjured up their report. If it wasn’t, then I highly doubt that.

The next thing I thought was that it was some weird decoration someone put in the middle of the road. However, I can’t explain the orbiting tinsel-like objects, nor can I think of any realistic purpose for someone doing that. While an art project comes to mind, that seems really outlandish and pointless since I doubt anyone would stop to gawk at it. Also, it would likely cause a car accident.

Another thought I had was it was someone in a costume, and the UFO sighting was a pure coincidence. While that’s I guess possible, I can’t imagine that there are many people who are that small who are willing to stand in the middle of the road and risk being struck by a car. So I quickly dismissed this thought and went back to staring at a wall.

Okay, I didn’t actually stare at a wall. No, in the end, I honestly found myself coming back to one conclusion: it was an alien. I’m open to the idea of it being a hoax, but without me being able to find any information on the later UFO sightings and being able to verify if Antonio and Julio immediately went to the police (and if the cops took them seriously), I can’t think of any other explanation. Also, I hope nobody thought that the ET was a Christmas tree and didn’t try to chop it down to take home. That would really suck.


If I’m to be honest, I had a lot more fun than I expected with this story. I thought that going in blind would result in me being lost, confused, and frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely perplexed and had trouble trying to rationalize it, but it proved really fun doing something from what I guess could be considered a grab bag of stories. In a way, it makes me want to do more write-ups like this in the future.

Though that’s for the future. For now, we’ve got some stuff lined up that I’m more familiar with. So until tomorrow, stay happy and healthy!

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