Kia ora, hi everyone. Tahuti mai, welcome! It’s wonderful to have you here with me. Today we’re going to be looking at cryptozoological creatures and monsters, things that go bump in the night and haunt your dreams. These are creatures of our nightmares and sometimes our waking hours. But, are these creatures of the night that terrorize us as kids, and perhaps as adults, merely the results of nightmares and overactive imaginations? Or, the results of a parent’s using cautionary tales to keep their kids safe? Or is there a reality behind them?  Certainly, most cultures world-wide have their store of legends and myths that persist in many places in the world, up to this very day. Legends, or are they really cryptozoological beings like the Bigfoot, Yowie, or New Zealand’s own Moehau Man? Are these genuine beings or merely cultural legends passed down from generation to generation?

Today we are going explore this part of the shadowlands, but, south of the border, down Mexico way – as the lyrics of a very old song tell us. To discuss with my guest, cryptozoological researcher & author, Robert Bitto, the creatures, the legends, and experiences of people from the Mexico region. It’s possibly a wee bit scary for some of my listeners, particularly those from near the borders of Mexico and the USA and those living in the region, for some of whom, these are not legends, but reality. So the question as always is – are you willing to walk with me into this part of the Shadowlands, and see what awaits us there?  So make yourself comfortable, make sure your lights are on and your door is locked, and let’s begin!

My guest Robert Bitto, is host of a popular podcast called Mexico Unexplained. Robert has had over 30 years of experience in Mexico, as a student, as an employee for a large multinational corporation and as an owner of an imports business – Sueños Latin American Imports – since 1999.  He was a professional researcher by trade from 1990-1993, and in addition to his MBA and BBA, he holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico.  From 2015-2016 he served as the San Diego chapter president of Mensa. Robert has written two books:  Mexico Unexplained and Mexican Monsters.  My guest Robert Bitto

Robert Bitto

Robert, thank you very much for joining us today. I’m really grateful for your time and really excited to talk to you about your studies and your experiences and your interest. So perhaps for the sake of my listeners, we could, you could begin by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got into a particular area of interest.

OK, well, I concentrate mostly on Mexico and I’m an American, and how I got involved with Mexico was first 30 years ago, over 30 years ago now, I was a student down there. And when I was studying there, I was in a very artistic area. And that was alwayssomething that I was, that I had on the side. I was collecting arts and crafts as a as kind of a side hobby. And I went back to the United States and I got my formal education. And when I got my education all finished, I was hired on by a large U.S. multinational corporation and they stationed me in Mexico City and also in São Paulo, Brazil. And I got to travel all over Latin America. And I collected these arts and crafts and, you know, esoteric type things. And then when I was tired of corporate America, I quit. And that was 1998. And then the following year, I started an import company where I was importing arts and crafts. And I’ve been doing that ever since. And what I do is I go to really small towns out of the way places because I’m searching for unique merchandise.

And one of my, one of my store reviews, someone called me the Indiana Jones of Arts and Crafts. Because I go to the wild, you know? Unheard of places to go and find that stuff, you know, that no one else has. So over the course of my travels, I run into a lot of really strange and interesting things, interesting stories, legends. And I remember when I was back on the plane going from Guadalajara to Phoenix and I was nestling in my seat with a magazine called Muy Interesante which translates to very interesting. And it’s a magazine in Mexico about the paranormal and about UFOs and unexplained things and stuff. And I was flipping through it and there was an article about crop circles.

And I thought, you know, this analysis I’ve never heard before. I’ve never seen these pictures before. I wonder if there’s a lot more to investigate with that topic and everything else. And so I still own my business. I still travel a lot, and I’m going down to Mexico all the time and I’m uncovering different things. And I’ve had a podcast for five years now, and I’ve written two books on the subjects of cryptozoology, the paranormal, unexplained mysteries and all of that in Mexico. And people would be interested to know that Mexico has a counterpart for almost everything paranormal that’s famous in the world, like they have their version of the Bermuda Triangle. They have two Bigfoot creatures. They have a Loch Ness Monster, all sorts of things. They’ve had black eyed kids. They have crop circles, all that stuff. It’s all down there. But nobody really was putting it into English and putting it into, you know, out there on the Internet or, so that it could reach a broader audience. So then that’s where I came in and filled the niche. So that’s my elevator speech. I guess three minutes.

So what are the names of your books?

The first book I wrote is the same name as the podcast, and the YouTube channel is called Mexico and Explained, and then the second book is called Mexican Monsters, and it just focuses on the cryptid and legendary creatures of Mexico. And people would be surprised. There are a lot of them down there and there are a lot that you don’t ever hear about, like I said, because the literature is in Spanish or doesn’t even go outside the country, but because, Mexico has had very complex civilizations for thousands of years, there is a lot of material actually from ancient records and all the way through the colonial times and into the modern age. So there’s a lot of stuff out there

Right, right. There is actually, yeah. And of course, because it’s in Mexico, most people wouldn’t have access to it, like you said, very interesting. So, in your travels and visiting all these places, which would be absolutely wonderful. I’m so jealous, so jealous. I spent a little bit of time in Guatemala three years ago, decades ago. And I absolutely loved it. I loved it. I think about a year there. But I would love to visit some of these little places that you go to and see the real culture, not the tourist side. You know, you miss it so much, I think, on seeing real culture and experiencing the reality of life outside of the tourist destinations. So, in your travels, have you ever experienced anything yourself that  you can’t explain?

Well, you know, it’s interesting because one of the chapters in my book, the second book is about La Llorona and I don’t know if you’ve heard of her before?

The weeping lady.

Yes, wow! I thought I saw her not in Mexico, but in New Mexico. That’s where I grew up. I grew up in New Mexico, which is in the United States is in the U.S. It’s the forty-seventh state admitted to the Union in 1912. And I grew up in the deserts of New Mexico. And the legend is very strong there.

And when I was nine years old, I thought I saw her and I saw her with a bunch of other kids when we were crossing an arroyo. An arroyo is just a big dry creek bed. And they, through the modern city of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, has over half a million people. It’s the largest city in New Mexico. There are arroyos going cutting through the city. So they serve, you know, to abate the flash floods that come down from the mountains, you know, because it’ll rain. And I’ve seen this as a little kid. It’ll rain 20 or 30 miles away. It’ll be sunny where you are. And then a big wall of water will come down the arroyo. And so that’s a lot of people say that that’s where the whole La Llorona legend comes from. It’s to scare the kids, to keep them out of the ditch.

There’s also another Mexican and Southwestern legend called the Hairy Hand,  La Manno Petrona, this hairy hand that comes down out of the sky. If you wander away, too far away from your house, it’s  kind of the same thing, it’s a cautionary tale. Don’t play in the ditches or whatever. But there’s also a very interesting connection that I have with the modern day with La Llorona. There was a movie made about her, I don’t know if you saw that? It’s called –  I believe it’s The Legend of La Llorona

Well, I was all excited to go see it. And I went to the movie theatre and I’m there in the theatre, you know, just watching the movie like a regular person. And I notice that there’s some of my merchandise, from my business in the movie. And yes, only products that are manufactured for me. These are my pieces. And then I had remembered that a year ago, a year before I had gotten a requisition faxed to me from a Hollywood studio for their prop department. I get a lot of orders and stuff like that. So it was like way over a year before. And I remembered the movie was called The Children, but it was a working title for the La Llorona movie. But when I was in the theatre watching this, La Llorona movie about something that I have seen before, I thought as a little kid –  there’s my merchandise. It was so bizarre. But, that’s a weird connection yet. So, yes, the La Llorona I thought I saw – all the other creatures and stuff – So far I haven’t had any encounters with the Lake Monsters or the Bigfoot creature or anything like that. But, hey, you know, if I keep going down there, who knows? I might bump into one of these things

Who knows? Tell us about your experience seeing this weeping lady. I’m a bit scared to try and pronounce it, because I’ll butcher it.

No, that’s ok! It actually, llorona means, comes from the Spanish word, llorar, which means to cry. So what was happening is, in the fifth grade our teacher gave us a treat. We can go to teacher’s house, to her swimming pool. But New Mexico is a very poor place and there’s no funding for school buses or whatever. So we had to take like three city buses to get to her house. And her house is in near the South Valley, where there’s lots of woods and ditches and old trees that are three hundred, four hundred years old, big cottonwood trees. And between bus stops, we had to cross over a bridge. We had to cross a bridge – crossing over what they called the Juan Arroyo. And one kid yelled out and pointed and said, look, it’s the La Llorona! And we saw a woman. An older Hispanic woman climbing up the side of the ditch. This woman looked like she was 80 or 90 years old. What she was doing there?, We but, you know, it was so scary but so exhilarating. At the same time, we ran away. I got a glimpse of her. So did everyone else. We ran away laughing and we tumbled over each other. It was just like I never ran so fast in my life. But I was laughing. We were all like laughing because we couldn’t believe that we saw what we saw. But that was that was the extent of it.

Right, so did she appear solid? Was there anything about her that made you think it was a woman?

Well, she was dressed all in black from head to toe. And like I said, she was in her she was in her 80s. I’d say she was a very old woman. There would be no way that she could get down there. She could not get to the bottom of the ditch because the bottom of the ditch was probably about, I’ll say it, about nine feet or three meters down. So there would be no way that a woman of that age or anyone of that age could probably get down there and climb up. And she was going back up the side of the arroyo and that’s when we saw her. We saw her climbing out. And now there was no way there were many canyons. So, yeah, there were it was impossible. But we all got a vibe too from this. We felt scared. I mean, there was this vibe associated with it and like I said, we just ran, I never ran so fast. But then we were laughing at the same time because we couldn’t believe what we were we saw.

Right. Of course, and being kids. Yeah. So I wonder because she’s attracted to children, do you feel in hindsight that, she felt the presence of all the children crossing the bridge and responded to that?

That’s possible. I mean, that would go straight in line with the stories, wouldn’t it? Because she’s looking for according to your listeners, in case they don’t know the story, we should have prefaced this before. But according to the story briefly, there was a young woman in colonial New Spain, Mexico or even New Mexico. Sometimes, you know, New Mexico used to be part of Spain and then it was part of Mexico, then it was part of the United States. So it has this long history that kind of blends in with Mexico at one point. So this legend is in different parts of Latin America, too. So it always starts in colonial times when there is this beautiful young woman and she’s married to a handsome soldier or someone from  Spanish nobility, depending on the story. And then he is messing around behind her back and she hears the gossip in the village or whatever. And then to get back at him, she drowns her two children.

It’s always two children. She drowned her two children when she throws them in the rushing water. And like I said, these ditches, the water can just move so fast, in an instant. So she throws her children into the rushing water. And then at the very last minute, she has regrets and it’s too late. She can’t save her children. And so the legend goes. She’s walking along the creek beds, the arroyos, the canyons, the acequia, you know, little channels for irrigation. She’s walking along these water paths, I guess, little waterways or where there could be water, dry canyons, too. She’s walking along these areas looking for her children and any other children will do. So yeah, maybe. You know, that’s an interesting thought that I never really thought of the presence of children. If you are to believe this story, the presence of children could have evoked or invoked whatever ,whichever word could have brought forth this presence.

Yeah. That was the immediate thought that came to me.

That’s good. Yeah.

Yeah. It’s a very interesting story. So in your research, what is of all the cryptids that you’ve researched, what is the one that stands out the most to you?

Well, ever since I was a little kid, I was a big fan of Bigfoot, you know, and so there are two Bigfoot creatures in Mexico. There’s one that’s a kind of skinnier maybe six feet, seven feet tall, two meters tall creature that’s kind of shy. And he lives in the jungles. So in Guatemala, they also have that. It’s called the Sisimito.  And Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan Chiapas and also Tabasco, Campeche, those states of Mexico. This creature supposedly lives in the forests and the ancient Maya, believed in this creature, they saw this creature as a forest animal, like a deer or a peccary or something like that. And so to them, it was a natural forest creature, just a regular creature.

Now, then there’s another Bigfoot creature that is much like our North American Bigfoot. It’s big, bulky, hairy, you know, just this – the jungle one is skinnier and a little bit smaller. This one is just like the North American Bigfoot that you might encounter in the northern part of the state where I’m in now, California, and it’s called the Cuatlacas. And a lot of people don’t know about Mexico that it has unending pine forests in the mountains. There are three glaciers in Mexico where it never the snow pack never melts. And on to two of those peaks, I know for sure, Popocatepetl, and Iztaccíhuatl. Now spell those.

Yeah, I was just thinking that

Those two peaks are very – they’re next to each other and they have permanent snow pack. And they have they have an Alpine rescue team that’s been trained in Switzerland, because, it is so snowy and the weather is bad up there. And that’s where most of the Cuatlacas sightings have happened. And also in the state of Puebla, where the north eastern part of the state really wasn’t even explored by non-native people until the 1950s, because of the pine forest is so dense there. And so that’s the territory of the Cuatlacas and it’s cut off from any Bigfoot sighting territories in the United States by about a thousand miles of, you know, more desert type terrain, you know.  Because where the borders meet the United States and Mexico, it’s very desert. It’s not Bigfoot country.

No. Not at all.

But when you go when you go south into Mexico, a lot of people don’t know this. If they’ve watched a lot of spaghetti Westerns, you know, with Clint Eastwood or whatever, Mexico’s always a dry, dusty place, you know. Yeah, you would never think that there are glaciers there or pine forests. But you go south, the elevation goes up. So you have your higher elevation and then you have those pine forests. And a lot of them are so dense, that parts of them are still probably unexplored. And the Cuatlacas, those sightings have only been recently, that –  The name is a native name and it goes, I forget which language. It’s not Aztec. It’s not Nahuatl, now what that’s the main language of, you know, of ancient Mexico and Central Mexico. It’s one of the other fringe languages on the fringe of the Aztec empire. But that I think it means something like Harry Forest Creature. It’s descriptive of the creature. And, but, that was more part of the mythology of those people. But now with modern people going into these areas for logging and there are squatters who go in there just to live too, becoming more and more in contact with them. So, yeah, I that’s been kind of interesting to me, some of my favourite researches to look into, the Bigfoot creatures. Because I had never heard of it before. I’d never heard of a Sisimito or the Cuatlacas before I started looking into this, before I heard it when I was down there. So . . .

Right. Oh wow. And of course, it’s found all over the world. In New Zealand we have several names for him. The most common being The Moehau Man. But there are other names.  In Australia, it’s called the Yowie. But it’s the same creature, the same basic description. So, is the Mexican version, is he? I’m presuming that the latter one you talked about, I’m not going to try and say that name.

Cuatlacas

Cuatlacas?

Yeah, there you go. See, that was good.

You’re just being kind. Is he aggressive towards humans?

He is very aggressive. The Cuatlacas is very aggressive. And that’s the one in the pine forest in the, in the higher alpine regions.  The one the Sisimito, the skinny one in the jungle, is very shy. But the quiet Cuatlacas will throw pieces of lumber.

Rocks?

No!  He’ll throw like a tree at you!

Oh yeah, like Bigfoot does in the States as well?

Yeah. Yeah, he’ll get really, really aggressive.  He destroyed a lumber truck. Someone was cutting timber illegally, in this vast protected area. And he totally destroyed –  he or she not to confuse pronouns. We don’t know. So the Cuatlacas destroyed the truck completely and they had to hike out of there. And, yeah, so that, that creature’s very aggressive. The Sisimito in the jungle is more elusive. And I think the Sisimito has had more contact with humans for a longer period of time. So that might be the reason.

Right. That’s probably why it’s so shy.

You’re right. It’s like a deer. And like I said, the ancient Maya just saw it as a creature in the forest. So to them, it wasn’t like a mythical being. It’s part of the zoology. There were other creatures that are more mythical, too. But yeah, that, they believe that that was an actual creature.

Right. So certainly the guy who had their track destroyed knew it was a real creature!

Yes

How scary would that have been? Yeah, and how long ago did that happen?

That was only I think it was within the past 20 years. It was recent.

Yeah. That’s pretty recent.

Because, you know, the population in Mexico is increasing. I think the average age of, of the people, the average age of a person in Mexico is 15. So they have this big, young, growing population. And so the population is pressing into these areas that were previously untouched. And like I said, a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a lot of wilderness in Mexico. In fact, there’s also a legendary cat that maybe we can talk about later called the Mexican Onza That may be a real creature that hasn’t been discovered yet because it lives in a very remote part of the mountains. So there could be, you know, there could be creatures that we still just don’t know anything about.

Right. Well that’s very interesting. So onza, onza, coming from one? Onza?

Well, the, the root there’s in English. We have a word for small wildcat that’s not used much. It’s called an ounce, like the measure of weight, and that’s like old, old English. And so it comes from that same Latin root. Yeah. So, yeah, that’s where the Onza. And in Spanish and also Portuguese. Portuguese. Well, I lived in Brazil, so I know that language. In Portuguese, the Onza is like a wildcat, but it’s just a term they use. But it’s with a c with a little squiggly line under the c and that’s how they spell it Onca. And if you’re nobody’s friend in Brazil, they say mega de onca, you’re a friend of the Wildcat. And you don’t have any friends, just those cats in the jungle are your friends.

Oh, wow. Poor people.

But yeah, the Mexican onca, they believe people who are investigating this. And there is a body that’s actually –  there’s a carcass that’s actually being tested right now, in Texas. And yeah, they believe that this could be the remnants of an extinct prehistoric North American cheetah. And yeah – and it was interesting, because, when the Spanish first arrived in Mexico, in Mexico City, they didn’t come and just obliterate everything. They were they were invited to the capital city of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan. They were invited by Emperor Montezuma as guests because Montezuma had heard of these strange people who were wearing metal. And they were riding gigantic deer, had arrived on these big houses that were moving across the water. And he had heard about that when they landed on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, sent emissaries out to greet him and said, come to the capital city as our guests. So for about six months, the Spanish were there in the capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City, and they were guests of the emperor.

Emperor Montezuma had a massive zoo and in the zoo, he had a couple of different wildcats. He had a bobcat. He had a mountain lion that has many different names, Puma, Cougar, Mountain, lion, same thing. And then he had this third cat that was. described by the Spanish as a – it was described as a cougar, but with long legs. Kind of like a cross between a cougar and a cheetah. And that was an early reference by these conquistadors who kept really good diaries. And they wrote letters back home because they were there for about six months before everything went sour. So Montezuma gave a tour of the zoo. And that was the first time that the Spanish had seen a North American bison. They didn’t know even what the heck it was, because, it was captured in what they think is southern Texas now in the United States. And brought, you know, a thousand miles to the capital city. So he had this, Montezuma had this massive zoo of all these animals.

And in there was this cat that people now think is this onca. And people have sighted this cat for a long time and there have been bodies. And like I said, there’s now one. I believe it’s somewhere at a Texas university being analysed. And so it’s very interesting. It could be a completely new animal, but it goes back to what I was saying. There are still remote areas in Mexico, as there are throughout the world. You know, a lot of people think the United States is a big developed country with big modern cities. And that’s true. But once you leave the cities, oh boy, you can get lost and who knows what’s out there?

So let’s go on and talk about the Chupacabra. What can you tell us about the Chupacabra?

Well, that’s an interesting creature, because, we don’t hear much about this creature anymore. It was really popular in the 90s and then it kind of fell off the radar, which. . .  That kind of makes me believe that it might not be a real creature. I don’t know? Or it could be some sort of thought form mass hysteria. I don’t know? But it started in the Caribbean islands in Puerto Rico and somehow he jumped all the way to Mexico. But what would happen? What how the Chupacabra became known throughout the world, it’s from a  – it first became known on the talk show out of Miami called Cristina. And it’s yeah, it’s hosted by a Cuban American woman named Cristina and it’s broadcast throughout Latin America. It was like the number one show, you know, throughout the hemisphere, the Spanish speaking world and even into Brazil to she was shown there.

But, she started talking about the Chupacabra. And once she started to talk about it, all of a sudden, curiously enough, he’s the Chupacabra started showing up in Mexico. But was it people were imagining it? Was it mass hysteria? Or was the Cristina show? Did that give people the permission to talk about it publicly? You see what I mean? I mean, did they now people say, OK, now it’s safe for me to tell people what I’ve seen. So it seemed like in the late 90s, right after that show, there was a big, massive interest in this creature. And since then, there haven’t been very many sightings. There’s been there have been a lot of cases where there have been mutilated animals. And that has been attributed. Those have been attributed to the Chupacabra. But as far as sightings go, there haven’t been a whole lot of them since the 90s.

That’s interesting. Very interesting. I wasn’t aware of that. I know, I had seen photos of –  that people had claimed were the Chupacabra, but were probably dogs with mange?

Right. Yeah. So far, there hasn’t been an actual body, you know, from what the – that meets the description. Because, the description when it first came on the Christina show was this kind of scaly, spiky-backed creature, that may or may not have had hair. But by the time it got to Mexico, it became this hairy creature, almost like looking like a werewolf. So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, the whole concept of a tulpa imagining a creature into existence or a person, could that be at work here? I don’t know. I mean. . .

That’s an interesting thought. And for those listeners who aren’t aware, a Tulpa is a Jewish terminology, isn’t it?  For . . . a Tulpa originally was a creature. Now the X Files did a program on this. And in the  X-files – Do you remember the X Files?

Yes

And in the X-Files, the Tulpa was a creature made of dirt. He was a thoughtform given life, but he was made from dirt.

Oh, interesting.

And he was controlled by the person who created him.

Yeah, you know. There have been people who’ve tried to create tulpas throughout history, and supposedly have been successful. And someone who almost well, who, who claimed he was creating one and was actually seeing the faint image of who he was creating, was Philip K. Dick. Who was the author of a lot of different sci fi novels. He wrote Blade Runner and a couple of other things. And he was going to Disneyland here in Southern California. And he had one of those year passes you can buy a year pass. I don’t know how much it is, but you can go unlimited times.

So he was going every day and he was sitting at a cafe and he was trying to create a Tulpa. And then someone asked him, why do you go there? And you stare and you – and they asked him, what are you doing? He says, creating a Tulpa.  But the guy said, what are you trying to do, create Mickey Mouse? And he said, No, Walt. He was trying to conjure up a Tulpa of Walt Disney himself. And apparently he almost made it. He was seeing images of Walt Disney, but it never came to a full form of the person. So interesting side story.

And I read somewhere, oh, there was an experiment that was done on. Kind of along the same lines, but it was a group of people got together and decided that they would create a spirit, as an experiment. And they gave him a back story and they put this energy into him and he started to manifest.

Was that the hat man?

No, no, not the hat man.

OK, so people said that’s what was happening there, too, with those kids.

Are you talking about the Slenderman?

Slenderman. Right. OK, right.

No, that’s totally, totally a made up fictional urban legend.

And one thing I would like to say is people sometimes ask me about my conclusions, about things. I have theories about things. And to me personally, if if the mystery remains, that’s OK. I don’t need answers. If i it’s still a mystery and it’s still out there – Well, that kind of, to me, makes the world a little bit more wonderful of a place. So I don’t really I mean, I like investigating this stuff, but a lot of people really try to press me for conclusions. And a lot of times they say, hey, you know, I’m not going to give you what I think or, you know, I don’t know a lot of times. So and that’s all right. It’s OK to say that we don’t know.

Absolutely!  I actually like that. And I like the idea of doing some mystery, because, mystery makes it exciting for people. Makes them want to get search and research and understand. So it’s a good thing actually. It’s a good thing, if it makes people curious and it makes people question and it makes people educate themselves. And that’s not a bad thing in my mind., at all So, of all your, of all the cryptids that you’ve researched, what are the apart from the Bigfoot type one – What are the ones that are most commonly talked about in your experience that you’ve come across, talking with local villagers and stuff?

I would say aluxes, chaneques and naguales, OK, now the aluxes and the chaneque are almost the same thing. They’re little elves that live, little people who live in the forest, and you have to be nice to them. You have to ask their permission. They’re almost like fairy folk in the British Isles, you know, that you’ve, you might be familiar with, but they’re little people who live in the forest and you don’t want to get on their bad side. They’ll come in your house and steal your keys. They’ll, you know, do all of these different things. And the chaneque is in central Mexico, the Aztec empire, those and the peoples, they were subjugated. They believed in the chaneques.  The aluxes is the Maya. And it’s interesting because there was, there was a concert that was at Chichén Itzá – the ruins, the main ruins in the Yucatan. And the stage was I think it was Sarah Bright and  – gosh, I don’t know.

The opera singer?

Yes, OK.

Sarah Brightman, the opera singer?

Yeah, I think so. I’m not sure. OK, but there was a there was a concert and the stage kept getting destroyed at night. Mysteriously, some people said it was the winds and all this. But the Maya elders in the region said no, it was not the wind. It’s not natural causes. It’s the aluxes.  It’s the aluxes that you didn’t ask them permission to build that, all the concert stuff. So that’s why it’s getting destroyed. So they brought in some of Maya elders to make a ceremony and give offerings of cigarettes, alcohol, you know, little things like that, and then ask permission and say, I’m really sorry. And so. Yeah, then they built the stage. They rebuilt the stage and everything, and then from that point out, they didn’t have any problems.

The same thing happened with a bridge near the airport. And this is very curious. And you can go by the bridge in by –  it’s near the Cancoon Airport and one of the busiest airports in Mexico because of it’s by the tourist areas. There’s the bridge kept on falling down during the construction process. And local people said the aluxes. The Aluxes are doing this in the middle of the night because you didn’t ask them permission. So they brought someone in. And when you’re driving – they brought someone in this ceremony, gave the offerings to the aluxes, whatever, made them happy. And this is another thing they did. You can drive underneath that bridge today and you will see a little house made out of stone that’s under the bridge. So they made a little house to make the aluxes happy. And ever since then, no problems with the bridge.

That’s really interesting.

So those are two little people, creatures. And then the third one on my list, that I said was the most common thing that I’ve heard when I’m down there, is the naguale. And the naguale is a shapeshifter similar to –  and I’m sure, I’m sure you’re familiar with this because I’ve heard you talk about it on one of your shows.

Ah, the Skinwalkers!

Exactly. So it’s somebody who is spiritually inclined, good or bad, and they turn into an animal. And so there are villagers who absolutely believe in it. They can be total Catholic, Christians, whatever, but the narwhal is part of their reality. And yeah, you, you’ll will hear that everywhere you go. Oh, That older woman over there who lives on the outside of town, you know?  So it’s like whatever culture you’re in, it’s some older person, or a marginalized person who’s living on the outside of town. Right? And so that person’s a naguale. Stay away from that road. Don’t go down there because, a naguale is there.. You know?  I’m like, OK, whatever. But so that is that’s a big part of their reality. The shapeshifter, naguale.

Very interesting. And are the naguale, are they like the skin-walkers where they can create evil and havoc on people?

Yes. Same thing.

Yeah. Oh well, it would be. Because, actually, most of the skin-walkers are like around New Mexico, Arizona. It’s all the same region isn’t it? Well sort of the same, sort of like Four Corners, right?

Yeah, right.

Now in New Zealand, we have our version of the fairy folk. The native Maori call them – there’s two names. The Patupaiarehe, which are the land ones and the Pona-Turi, which are the sea ones.

Now you’re not going to get me to pronounce those?

I’m struggling to pronounce them. I hope I pronounced them correctly? Yeah, so that’s their version of the fairy folk. But they’re all over the world. So, isn’t it interesting that there’s a consistency throughout the mood of these beings? That says a lot doesn’t it?

That really is it makes you wonder, I mean, what is the phenomenon behind this? Is it all thought? You know, like I said before, mass hysteria. Tulpas being created. Or is it really, you know, are these creatures?

Exactly. Exactly.

Even Queen Victoria of England, when P.T. Barnum did a show at court, he introduced two midgets from the Yucatan and introduced them as a aluxes. As, as part of the mythical fairy folk. And in Queen Victoria’s diary she even wrote about it, and she was very amused. You know, the queen was amused at the performance. But, she wrote in her diary, that they must have a most miserable existence. But they weren’t really aluxes. They were small Maya, who were, you know, P.T. Barnum, the showman extraordinaire, just did this. But it’s funny, they made it all. – The whole idea of that made it all the way to the English court, in London.

Very interesting. Very, very interesting. Now, I don’t know if you’ve studied this at all, and I’m not even going to I have no idea how to pronounce the name the Island of Dolls. Do you know what I’m referring to?

Oh, the Isla de las Munecas. The island of the Dolls in Mexico City. OK, I’ve never been there before, but I’ve heard about it. Yeah, I’ve heard of the stories. I’ve never done a show on it or a chapter in my book. But yeah, I know of its existence and the next time I go down there, definitely I have to visit that place. But from what I understand, it was just some little girl who started collecting dolls, who was the daughter of some guy who I don’t I’m not sure about this complete story. Maybe you might know more than I do?

I do. I do actually. I was hoping you might know something about it.  Ok, so apparently this chap lived on the island in one of these canal things, because, it’s a series of canals. And he saw a little girl drown and he couldn’t save her. And her doll washed on shore. And so he hung the doll up. And then to appease her spirit, he kept hanging dolls around the island. So the whole island is covered with dolls. And some of those dolls are said to have spiritual attachments.

In fact, there was a television show done –  a ghost investigation show that actually went there. And it actually –  I don’t know if it was set up for television, who knows?  But it actually showed one of the dolls making a noise, like talking.  And they turned it around immediately after it happened. And it didn’t have any like bits in the back that would cause it to make the sounds. It used to have one of those squeezy things that make a sound, but it didn’t. Yeah, it was quite, quite an interesting story. And then it was said that he drowned. That’s how he died. In the same place where the girl drowned. And there was some sort of theory that there was some spirit under the water that caused him to drown.

Well, you know what? It’s interesting about Mexico, because, they’re all –  it’s kind of like, well, I guess ancient Europe, ancient Europeans believed that there were spirits attached to places. And that’s what they believe in Mexico. I mean, the true indigenous of Mexico believe that there are spirits attached to places. So and, you know, like I said, Mexico is a place of civilizations that go back thousands of years. So we have, we’ve had complex civilizations there for a long, long time. And these beliefs have been around for a long, long time.

Absolutely. Absolutely. And part of the reason he hung the dolls was for the girl, and to appease the spirit in the water. And on the subject of water, what? In New Zealand, we have the Taniwha, which is the river cryptid. What water cryptids have you come across?

Well, there is, there is a Mexican component to the Loch Ness Monster, and it’s called the Ahuízotl. And it was such a powerful creature that there was even an emperor called Ahuizotl. And he expanded the empire and he was, you know, this tough guy. He was physically strong and he commanded all these armies and conquered all these people. But he was named after this ferocious water creature. And a lot of people don’t know that Mexico City was built in the middle of a lake.

And the Aztecs, when they first got to the Valley of Mexico, they built a city where their prophecy was fulfilled. They were a wandering people until they got to central Mexico. And their prophecy said that they would settle down and build a city, build a temple where they saw an eagle, on top of a cactus, eating a snake, which is now the national emblem of Mexico. And it’s in the center of their flag, the scene of the eagle, on top of a cactus, eating a snake. So on an island in the middle of a lake called Texcoco is where they saw this scene. So they decided to build a city in the middle of the lake. So, yeah, the lake was pretty big and it was runoff from the mountains is in a basin, basically a valley.

And the Spanish, when they conquered the Aztecs and started bringing settlers and the population started growing, they were having flooding problems. They decided to drain the lake. So the habitat of this lake creature, the Ahuizotl was supposedly living in Lake Texcoco. It disappeared. But, the Spanish – the Spanish colonial documents have eyewitness accounts of this creature. And what it is, is some people think it’s a gigantic river otter because it had some fur to it. But you had to be careful if you were out in a boat because according to the legend, it would capsize your boat. It had a big, prehensile tail – that would come and swoop over and it would knock you out with its tail, and then take you to its underwater lair. So it was this ferocious creature that existed in this central lake.

And like I said, some people think it’s a river otter, possibly a holdover from a prehistoric type creature. You know, they were all bigger back then, right? So, yeah, the Spanish there were some eyewitnesses in the 15 and 16 hundreds. But once they drained that lake, the habitat was gone. So no more.

Interesting. They must have been exceptional engineers to be able to do that?

Yeah. Yeah, they drain the lake, but the Aztecs, too, were really good engineers before them. The Aztecs were. And also then the Spanish and they when they drain the water ,because like I said, the population of the city was growing and it was the capital of new Spain or their empire in North America basically. And so they just had to they needed more living room. So they just drain the lake, which it’s the strangest place to put a city. There’s like 25 million people living there. It’s on a dry lake bed. It still gets muddy, you know, really muddy. You know, during the, the rainy season, it’s in a dry lake bed on a fault line. You have earthquakes and then there are volcanoes that are right there. Popocatepetl When I was down in Mexico City in 1995, he was smoking. And right now right now, it’s, it’s erupting too. A little bit off and on.

And I’ve done a show on my YouTube channel and on my website about how UFOs are connected to these volcanoes. So that’s another interesting topic. And that ties into the Cuatlacas, too, because there have been some quiet lockers, the bigger, more aggressive Bigfoot. There have been some sightings of the Cuatlacas, in conjunction with UFO sightings on these big volcano mountains. So, yeah, it all ties together.

In Australia, the same thing. I was speaking with a Yowie researcher in Australia. And he was saying, that quite often the UFO sightings are in conjunction with the Yowie. So that actually ties in very nicely. And I knew I remembered the name of that volcano, I’m not going to try and pronounce that for a reason. Because there’s  often videos of UFOs entering and exiting it. That’s right.

Well, the Mexicans, they’ve shortened it to –  they’ve shortened the name of the volcano to Popo.

Popo.

So that’s easy because it’s Popocatepetl. You have to put the accent on the tepetal. That means mountain. Yeah, so Popocatepetl. And it’s next to Iztaccíhuatl.

And that’s not spelled  anywhere near the way it’s pronounced, is it?

Right. And because the volcano has been erupting, because Popocatepetl has been erupting, the snow pack has melted off of it, but the mountain next to it Iztaccihuatl. That’s been a dead volcano for many, many years. So the glacier is still there, on that one.

Oh, that’s really very, very interesting. So is Mexico prone to flooding then? Mexico City? One would think it would be, given that it’s a – Given it’s in a valley like that!

Yeah, yeah, it floods there. Yeah. Quite often, actually, and then, and then with an earthquake, with the unstable ground, I mean, it’s  a recipe for disaster. But some of the earthquakes have been really bad. There was one in the mid 80s, and you can still see buildings that  – I was eating in a restaurant where the tables were all angled and the chairs, because, the building was leaning over. And yeah. So they did everything they could to stabilize the building. And I think the building was made in 16 or 17 hundreds. So there weren’t going to demolish it. They just try to do the best they could do.

That would have been freaky experience.

Well, you know, I’m in Southern California, so we see earthquakes every once in a while. I was once in a high rise in downtown San Diego and there was a small tremor and the building went [ makes whooshing sounds], it just like whipped to one side and went right back into place. It was weird.

We get a lot of earthquakes here in New Zealand.

Oh, you do, too.

What was your first book about? What was it called again?

The first book is Mexico Unexplained, and it has all of the different categories that a little bit of everything in that book since it was my first book. So it has cryptid legendary creatures. It has religious curiosities. It has obscure history. It has ancient mysteries.  So, it runs the gamut. The second book is the one about the monsters, and that’s more specific, cryptid and legendary creatures.

In your monsters book, what is – what stories have people told you? Let’s get onto some stories.

OK, the most popularly referenced story, I think in the Monsters book –  there’s a creature called the Lechuza, and that’s a gigantic owl. And there is a story that goes way back into Mexican history, of witches who shape shift into gigantic owls and swoop down and kill people, take their dogs, whatever. And if you shoot the Lechuza, then she’ll turn back into this haggard-witch you know, but it could be a cryptid.  And in fact, I had one of my listeners say, come down to south Texas. There are a lot of sightings in south Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. Come down in south Texas, go Lechuza hunting, or we’ll go Lechuza watching, because, we see these all the time. Gigantic owls that are six feet, two meters, six, seven feet, two meters tall, and they whistle and they make other sounds to lure you outside. And then, that’s when they attack you.

Right. And so, in northern Mexico and southern Texas, that is probably the most popular show that I’ve had. That has the most comments about from eyewitnesses. Oh, yeah. We’ve seen this. This attacked my truck. It’s unbelievable, actually, which leads me to believe that, you know, the legend of the witch turning into the owl aside – If we just put that aside for a while, there could be a real creature. A real bird that’s that big!  In North America, North American Indians through even through Canada. They’ve had this idea of a Thunderbird, a gigantic Raptor, you know. So could there be a huge bird that lives in northern Mexico and southern Texas? Probably. There’s a lot of uninhabited land. The mountains are very, very remote. It would be easy, like we said before, with other creatures, it’d be easy for Big Bird like that to live, undetected.

Yeah absolutely, absolutely. And in New Zealand, we had what was called the highest eagle, which was a massive, massive bird. It’s extinct. But It was a physical, a physical animal that was here at one time. And it was a massive bird,  with a wingspan of  I don’t know how big? And it apparently could lift up small children and you know, small sheep and stuff like that. No worries about taking it off. So I’ve got no doubt that these animals existed as animals, legends aside. I think that’s the thing, when you’re looking at cryptozoology, isn’t it? That you have, you have to take away the emotive aspect of it and just look at it like an animal that, that existed or perhaps still exists.

Right! Yeah. Like I was saying in this case, you have to take the witch part out of it. . .

Yeah, correct.

and say, OK, what are people seeing? You know, that I think was the first cryptid that I talked about where I actually thought, hey, this could be a real creature.  You know, that was one of my earlier shows. But I kept on getting messages and comments and my comments section on YouTube about I mean, you can go to that show and read what people have been writing. It’s amazing. Someone even said that they saw one here in Southern California near the San Onofre nuclear power plant. And his eyes. . .  When he was a little kid and his dad said the owl, the owls grew really big because they were eating radioactive rats that were coming from the power plant. But yes. . .

Oh that’s as good a theory as any I suppose?

Yeah, add that to the list. quite well, you know, isn’t it? And Spider-Man became Spiderman, right? High radioactive spider.

Oh that’s quite fun – aw I shouldn’t laugh. Well you know, isn’t that how Spider Man, became Spider man? Got bitten by a radioactive spider.

Well, you know what? It’s a modern twist, right? It’s i what we would say now. I mean, a thousand years ago, they said it was a witch. A marginalized woman, who was shunned by the community. That was the reason. Now it’s radioactivity.

Yeah, exactly. it’s very, very interesting. And an owl actually popped up in the Skinwalker episode that I did, in the first episode of the Skinwalkers. This person was visiting Arizona and some in some village ruins in Arizona. Where Skin-walkers were known to inhabit, and she saw this owl. A big owl, on, on – a huge owl. And she said she felt funny and, and a bit dizzy or something like that. And then she went to the Ranger station for something, and she was telling them about the owl she saw. And they immediately set her down, gave her some herbal tea that was a spiritual thing. And said this is what you experienced.

Wow. Well, you know what, some people think, too, that it’s a screen memory that’s implanted later, that from the Greys, the nefarious Greys, and so, there’s that connection too. So I don’t know?

There’s actually  – when you brought up the owls,  that popped into my mind. That it is often used as a screen image, by that particular species, but not always. So of everything that you’ve researched and you’ve studied and you’ve about what is. Your very favourite.

Wow, well, well, what is my very favourite? Geez, that’s a tough question. Well, probably the Bigfoot creatures, you know, like I said, I would love to go down there on an expedition. I know you interviewed a Bigfoot hunter once. That was a very interesting show, by the way.

Oh thank you.

But there hasn’t been any sort of Bigfoot research in Mexico that I know of.

That would be interesting.

Maybe there is, but I don’t think so. But I think I would really like to go down there on an expedition and actually look for one of these creatures. But I think that’s probably my favourite either or of those too big for creatures that are down there.

Right. And do you hold the theory that some do, that Bigfoot section and a dimensional creature, because he can appear and disappear?

And there are no bones

And there are no bones.

Well, I don’t know. I mean, geeze, are there different dimensions? I mean, we can go down so many roads. Is it all a projection of your thoughts? Once again, is our is our mind more powerful than we think it is?

Good question!

Are these creatures really projections of something? I don’t know. There was. . . It was interesting in April of this year, 2020, I know your shows are evergreen, but I will say this year, 2020, April of this year. There was a small town in Mexico called Coita that was plagued by werewolf’s. And it was a European type looking werewolf, that whole thing from ancient Europe. It wasn’t it wasn’t anything from Mexico’s ancient past, the indigenous peoples folklore, nothing. They were seeing werewolves. And there were Mexican psychologists and psychiatrists who were theorizing that, that was near the beginning of a really strict lockdown for covid-19 in Mexico. And this town, they were thinking because they were all stuck at home and they were all scared, that they were collectively manifesting these creatures and just yeah, I mean, that happened April 2020.

That’s something recent. And it plague this town for about a week, these werewolves. There were tracks. There were a lot of people who had had sightings. There was no photography, no fur, you know, nothing, just the tracks. And I think someone recorded some sounds, but. Yeah, that was, that was interesting. I don’t know, like I said, is it manifestation? Or could this have been like a big fat creature, whatever that went into the town and people just assumed it was a werewolf? You know? We don’t know.

Good point,  because people are in lockdown, so the streets were vacant of people,

Right? Yeah.

Like in so many videos in towns, where there are lockdowns. And I forget what it’s like for you guys, because here in New Zealand, we’re very isolated geographically. And so we just pretty much living our lives as normal. Pretty much.

That would be nice to see you, because right now in California, it is not like that, believe me. Oh, my goodness. Luckily my business of twenty one years is all online.

Oh that’s fortunate.

I had a store. Yeah, I had a store for ten years and then I closed the store down because I was realizing I was selling more things online than I was inside the store. In fact, one day I, I was looking at my sales figures and I said I sold more in Australia than I did to people who walked in the door. And then so I closed the store down after ten years. And I’ve been exclusively online for eleven. But yeah. So, I’m still working and everything, but everything else, everything around me is shut down and businesses are closing and everything is in pretty bad news.

It is bad news. And so there’s a lot of fear out there for people And so it’s understandable. One last subject, are there any like, Mexican stories of vampires?

Yes, there is a very old story, and it’s a story from a small corner, of a small state in Mexico. The state is called Tlaxcala and it’s near Mexico City. There are 32 states in Mexico and one of the smallest, if not the smallest, I think, is Tlaxcala. And in the 50s, there was a functionary, someone who was working in the government offices in the capital of Tlaxcala city. And he was noticing on the death certificates that were crossing his death, his desk, the death certificates were saying cause of death to cupola por la bruja, sucked by a witch.

And he told his superior, he says, what is this cause of death sucked by a witch what is, what is this all about? And then so his supervisor said, we’ve got to send some people to these rural areas to investigate. And so they went out to these rural, areas and they found that there was an indigenous legend that goes back thousands of years of a vampire that goes after new-borns and toddlers. And it’s called the Tlahuelpuchi, I won’t get you to say that. 

And so it’s a shapeshifter, once again. That goes out at night just like a vampire. And then it will get access to your house by turning itself into another creature like a fly, and fly in some crack in your door, the keyhole or whatever, and then appear in the baby’s room. And then, you know, do the vampire thing and then leave. And then there are marks left on the neck, just like a classic vampire. And so that was, that was being listed as an actual cause of death. Up until, you know, through the 50s and people still believe that that goes on, that there are these blood sucking witches, basically, that can shapeshifters.

And they only affect children, not adults?

Not adults, always children. Usually children who are like, under the age of two. But then some people have said, well, this is just. This just explains crib death or death syndrome, you know, whatever?  But, it’s based on a legend that goes back to, you know, like I said, thousands of years.

But crib death doesn’t leave marks in the neck, right?

Right, yeah. So who knows.? Theory here once again.

Very, very interesting. So where are you going from here? What’s next for you, once covid’s all sorted?

Well covid. . . Well, the whole covid thing has put a stop on my travels. OK, I had a lot of travels planned for this year, 2020, but I almost made it back to Brazil in May. But then they pulled the plug on that flight and they locked down Rio and all of this stuff. And so I couldn’t travel. I was going to go to Guatemala, too. And then another Mexico trip, central Mexico. All the trips were cancelled, the flights were cancelled, everything. But that didn’t stop me from doing a weekly show, because, I have two hundred and twenty shows out there now. And there is a never ending supply of material.

True, true

Never ending. Because, like I said, a lot of this stuff is purely in Spanish and a lot of it has not even left Mexico. You can’t find it on the Internet or anything, so. . . There is a never –  I mean, what’s in my future for this? I don’t know, 2000 more episodes because there’s always something else, there’s. And when I’m researching things, I’ll stumble on other things.  And then I’ll have people send me people who are living in Mexico, or Mexican Americans who’ve gone back and forth. Because, the border is very, very fluid. It’s not a lot of people don’t think of it that way.  But people who have their family born on this side of the border, half of their families are born on the other. They spend five years there, ten years here. They go back and forth, whatever. Citizenship doesn’t matter.

So I have a lot of people who are, who go and travel across the border.  And go to these little towns and stuff, and contact me and say, well, you know, I spent the summer with my grandma and she told me this. And, you know, then that sets me down another path of discovery. And so there’s, there’s a narrative. There’s never ending material. I don’t know what I’m going to be talking about three weeks from now. I could be, I could find something incredible.

Like, you know, for example, I stumbled on the case of a woman called Marla and she lived in the late 60s and early 70s. And she was in experiencer. She was a contactee She was the most famous Mexican contactee in the history of Mexico. And the only way I found out about her, is because I stumbled on to some pulp magazines from the 70s. The early 70s, some pulp magazines from Mexico written in Spanish. And her face was everywhere, interviews with her and stuff. And it’s like, why haven’t I heard of her on the Internet anywhere? And so that was my source material. And she was mentioned a little bit here and there. Nothing in English. That’s something I stumbled on. And this was like a gold mine of information.

So I don’t I don’t know what I’m going to be finding, but that’s what keeps it interesting. And I’m super, super busy with my business. Everybody’s in lockdown, so everybody’s ordering things online. I’m having the best year of twenty-one years right now, because, I which I, I’m very, very lucky and very fortunate. Very, very grateful, because, I know that most people can’t be saying that, especially here in Southern California, unemployment is 20 percent or whatever. But despite the fact that I’m so busy with my business, I still manage to have time once a week to make a show because there’s so much interesting information and it’s never ending.

And so I suspect is another book coming as well?

Yeah. You know, the last book took a lot out of me, so . . . I did that. That came out two years ago, so I was yeah, that took a lot out of me. In fact, I was on a show I was interviewed like a few days after the book came out, and they asked me, well, when’s your next book? And I just like I let out a big sigh. And I said, no, I don’t know if I want to do this again, but I will. It does take a lot to put together a book. But it’s in me, you know, I’m going to probably do another book. I don’t know what I’ll be doing. Maybe something about ancient beliefs. You know, the aspects of my tie it all together, I don’t know.

It’s actually it’s a great idea.

Yeah, we’ll see. There’s, like I said, unending material.

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.  Well, that’s kind of the same with my podcast, because, I cover all those areas. It’s just never going to run out of stuff to talk about. Never going to run out.

Yeah. You’re never going to run out. Never going to run out. The world is a big mysterious place.

Isn’t it!

Thank goodness it makes life so much more interesting. I mean, if I had to work seven days a week just doing my business, I love what I do. I deal with arts and crafts mostly with my import business. So I’m surrounded by lots of really cool merchandise. And, you know, like I said, I get to travel and everything, but the whole Mexico Unexplained thing, it really gives me a lot of spice, you know, and it’s I’m learning all the time. I’m learning along with my, my listeners and viewers. And you know what? I love the comments section on YouTube, because, you know? I have the right to learn too. And I learn a lot from, from people contributing and sending me and stuff and everything. So I really appreciate that part of it.

I also find that I learn so much from my guests and from the research that I do for the shows. You know, it’s really I, I really enjoy the learning and I soak it up like a sponge. I love it. I love it. I think it’s a curious mind. You know, you’ve got to have a curious mind, I think, to, to do what we do. And a desire to share that with other people. So where can people –  where can my listeners find you now? I will post links to all the social media into websites on the same page on the podcast Web site, which is www.walkingtheshadowlands.com Where can people find you?

It’s really simple. Mexico unexplained dot com That’s a place where you can go and you can see all of the –  all the episodes are for free, there’s no pay wall or anything. You can order books from there. And then there are links to the YouTube channel. The YouTube channel is basically a slide show set to the podcast. So you’ll get some visuals there. And it’s the same name, Mexico unexplained. So that’s all you’ve got to really do is plug into your favourite search engine, Mexico unexplained. And I’ll pop up.

Brilliant, and are you on Instagram or Twitter?

I’m on Twitter and I’m also on Facebook. I’m not on Instagram. I had to draw the line somewhere.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Social media is so hard. Everyone I speak to says oh social media, but. . .

But OK, so it’s an age thing, I think. I mean, I’m not twenty five years old. So that’s you know, that’s part of the problem, I think.

Yeah. My kids do you know, is no trouble for them. But honestly, I find it such a struggle. So, your Facebook page is the same as your website?

Yes, it’s Mexico Unexplained, yes.

So it’s very easy for people to find you. So Robert, I really enjoyed my conversation with you. You’re a very interesting chap and I am aware that is taking time away from your work – I can see all your work piled up behind you, on your desk.

It’s such a mess! This is my office and the warehouses, is that away. So all of the crafts and stuff, mostly I have thousands and thousands of pieces of stuff and it’s. Yeah, it’s all over there and yeah.

So what’s your business website?

My business is called Suenos Latin American Imports and you can find me on Amazon, eBay, Etsy. And then I also have my own website called Suenos Imports Dot com, but most of my merchandise is either on eBay or Etsy, so those would be good places to find me. So yes, Suenos imports there. and Suenos means dreams.

Oh thank you. That’s just what I was going to ask you.

Yeah. So because everything that I sell was once a dream, once an idea of an artist or crafter,

Oh that’s lovely.

So, it was once a dream. And now it’s a, now it’s a physical thing that I sell. So, yeah, that’s where it comes from. It was always a dream of mine to start a business like this, and it’s been going now for twenty one years.

And you’re doing really well?

Surprisingly. I’m just very grateful. I really am grateful for, for everything this year. It’s turned out to be a good year for me.

Surprisingly, yeah, considering you just – that attitude, I believe, in the time of adversity makes such a big difference.

It’s really strange, though, because, in other times of recession or near depression, you know, the housing crisis, the dotcom bubble, whenever anybody had –  whenever the population as a whole have, when they have less money, they don’t buy what I sell. I’m not selling bread, eggs or gasoline. I’m selling extras. But it turned out that this year, because people were stuck at home, they wanted to brighten their apartment, brighten their home. And then especially the first few months, I sell a lot of religious items. I was selling a ton of religious items. And in April, May and also I had a really huge back stock of the Mexican bingo game called Loteria and people because they were home, they were looking for things to do. And I had such a back stock, but I was the last one standing in the entire country that had any of these bingo games left in the hundreds of them in back stock. And so I was selling more games. I’d say I was selling more bingo games in a month than I would in three years.

Wow. That’s fantastic!

Because people were rediscovering I’m playing this this game probably from their childhood or whatever in Mexico or their grandma used to play with them or whatever. It’s a picture bingo game. So it’s selling a lot of those bingo games and a lot of religious things like rosaries and things. I think people were praying a lot.

Wow, understandably. And just. . .

Yeah, but I was very surprised because when the first lockdown’s happened, I said I, I’m probably finished because people are not going to have any money to buy the things that I’m selling. Because, like I said, they’re extras. But during this time people want the extras, the colourful little sculptures,

Yeah, they want the comfort. . .

the happy skeletons for Day of the dead, that sort of stuff. They wanted these things to brighten their homes. And I always included an insert, to try to brighten people’s days, too. You know, in these the things that I pack, the orders that we ship out here, I have a nice little uplifting insert.

How nice!

Because, what I noticed is I was having people who were stuck at home or who were affected by all of this in a very tragic way. Were reaching out to me, after they were buying from me. And they were telling me how much this thing that they bought from me meant to them. And, you know, it, it was actually amazing to me, just the feedback I was getting from people, from all the little things that I was selling. I had no idea that something like this would ever happen, you know.

Oh, wow. That actually – I was going to close, but it actually brought me onto another thought. Have you ever had an item that’s come into your possession, that’s haunted?

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, one time I – Well, you know, I had a woman who was selling to me when I had a retail store. And she was the granddaughter of a witch. And she had all of these healing properties and stuff like that. She was a very weird, strange character, you know, someone who would live on the outside of town like we were talking about. But she said, you need to be burning incense in this place. There’s, there I can feel the energies of these, of some of these things. These dolls that you have, these sculptures, they were made with feeling and meaning. And you need to be burning sage and you need to be doing all this stuff. And I’m like, yeah, whatever, blah, blah, blah, whatever!

And then a few weeks later, I opened up the store with an employee, so I have a witness. There was one piece of merchandise, there was a sculpture was a storyteller, sculpture was a woman, a seated woman telling stories with an open book with cats. She was a cat lady that had like six cats, one on her show, two on her shoulders, you know, and just the cats were like listening to her read write that sculpture had moved on the shelf about one foot. And it had. Moved all of the other pieces, clay pieces on the shelf away, and there were some on the floor, OK? Yeah, there was stuff on the floor and my employee was like, what are you doing? You’re trying to trick me or whatever. I said, No, you just came. You came in when I did right here.

I didn’t do this. And it was as if something happened in the middle of the night to move the sculpture and to knock out the others that were on the shelf. And then I said to him, You think I’m going to ruin merchandise like this? This costs me money. There’s stuff on the floor that’s broken. You think I would do that just to scare you? No, but then that wasn’t the first time to I’d have things fall off the wall and yeah, some things did happen. But, you know, like that woman, the granddaughter of the witch said, you know, you don’t know how some of this stuff was made, you know? With what intention is behind all of this. And she said, you need to be burning some sage and doing some things to clear out all the bad stuff that might be in here. So, yeah, that’s an interesting question that you asked. That’s a good question.

I can’t explain any of this stuff falling off the wall, the thing’s moving and, you know, just weird things. There was one –  I had a Virgin Mary sculpture made out of wood that turned colours. It was it turned red and green. And I mean, it was just some bizarre stuff. It happened. Yeah. So, yeah, more unexplained stuff.

But that was actually a very valid point that, that woman made about, you don’t know the intent that it was made with. And that’s one of the things that I, I discussed is that very, very often spirits can be deliberately attached to items. Most often, it’s ceremonial masks. Like is it the Zuni people? The Zuni Native Americans who have the Sunni mosques and when they wear them, they take on the character of the entity that the mosque is made for.

Yeah, you know, and I’ve had my share of masks, too, and I had a woman come in, I had gigantic masks that were made from this tree, huge old trees that were all cut down in central Mexico. So the masks were pretty rare. There were massive. You couldn’t wear them. There were huge. And a woman came in –  See, I have had a lot of customers in my store who were very intuitive, or psychic. Or in the case of this woman, had a lineage of witchcraft or whatever, you know, alternative healing and things like that. And a woman came in and she said, you’ve got to get rid of these masks. There’s just such a bad vibe from these masks. You’ve got to get rid of them and you’ve got to make sure that you get rid of them permanently.

And it was like, well, what do you mean by that? She said, they can’t come back to you. And I didn’t understand what she meant. And it was funny because the person who bought them all, there were fourteen of them. Some guy came in, some hotshot finance guy. This young guy, came in and bought all of them. And then two years later, he got a divorce and he had to move out of his house. And his wife didn’t ever like those masks. And so they came back to me. He sold them back to me for half of what he paid for them. So I put them back up again. And then I sold them to another person, a guy in Canada, and I sold all 14 of them. They never came back to me after that though.

But yes, some people would come in and tell me. One woman came in and said, you know, you’ve got to move out of this store because I feel like whenever I come in here, she said.  I really like your merchandise and everything, and you’re a cool guy to talk to and stuff and everything is cool. But there’s something about this building. I feel like the walls and the ceiling are coming down on me when I come in here. And it’s a little bit colder in here than it is outside. There’s something evil about this building. And, let me tell you, I moved out of that building and it was six months, I waited until my lease was up, I was held up at gunpoint and almost killed in that building. And I was tied up and a customer found me and stuff.

And I then moved to another location that was brighter and had sunlight and everything. And that woman came back and she said, I’m glad I found you. She said, I’m so glad you moved out of that building because it was just such a terrible vibe. And then I said, you know what? You were right. Something really bad happened to me. And I told her about the armed robbery and all that stuff. And she said, well, you know what? That doesn’t surprise me, because that’s the feeling that I got from that building.

Apparently, the tenant who is before me in that building, a homeless woman, came into that business and said, you all need to leave, there’s something bad here, there’s something bad. You all need to leave. You’re all going to die. This is a terrible place. Yeah. And then she left and I heard that from the previous owner. So I don’t know if there was something bad attached to that building, but I. I don’t know, I know, so very interesting.

That’s a bit scary and it might not have been the building. It might have been the land it was on?

Yeah, that’s true. It was in central Phoenix, there was something else that happened at that building, too, which was the weirdest thing. I was being visited by an eagle that had one foot. That would roost in the billboard that was above my building. And I called the animal control people and I said, there’s an eagle. I mean, this is in Phoenix is America’s seventh or sixth largest city. Yeah, it’s a big city. It’s millions of people there. Why is there an eagle in the middle of the city? And I called them and they said, well, there’s nothing we can do. I mean, that’s kind of unusual. It was a golden eagle and it had one foot. And so I guess it was eating roadkill or something, but it would be on that billboard.

And then it’s then it just went away one day and I was like, gosh, you know, that was I really liked coming into the store and seeing that eagle, you know, whenever I could. Sometimes it would land in the parking lot, too. It was huge. And it had one foot. And something weird happened. There was another – there was a customer I had who is Native American, she was Yaqui and she told me, she said, I’m going to send you the eagle again, because it hasn’t been there for a year. And her name was Ginnette. I’m going to send you the Eagle. And I said, oh, yeah, right, ha ha, ha, whatever.

And so I had a fountain in the middle of my store and I had the door open. And the next day after I had that phone call from Janet. I’ll be darned. What happened is a pigeon came limping through the door and hopped up onto the fountain and took a drink and. The pigeon was injured and then it just hobbled back out the door, and so I called up Ginnette and I said, ha, ha your fairy wand is is not working properly. I didn’t get an eagle got a pigeon with, I think, a broken wing or an injured foot. And then she said, well, that’s close. And then I hung up the phone or whatever. The next day the eagle was back. I know it was weird. And I have witnesses. I have witnesses to that, too. So, yeah, a lot of strange stuff. And what do you do with that? You just enjoy the wonder. Yeah.

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Wow. That’s really it’s really interesting. So whatever happened to that ornament that moved the things? What did you do? Did you cleanse that? Did you cleanse your building? What happened? Did was it just the one thing what did I do, you know?

What did I do? Well, I had him, the a teenage boy working for me. I had him clean up the mess and then we just rearranged the shelf. I didn’t do anything with it. I you know, I really didn’t even think twice about it. Oh, I don’t know. And, you know, it’s kind of weird.

And nothing else happened?

It’s kind of weird thinking back at it now that I didn’t do anything with it. Yeah.

That is true.

But, I guess I was you know, I’m in business. It’s a store. I was thinking about money, whatever, you know. You know, where that where that sculpture ended up. I know in my inventory now I don’t have any more of those storytellers with the cats. Those were very popular. So I know I still don’t have it here. So it didn’t come with me.

It’s really interesting that –  well of course you wouldn’t be looking for anything paranormal because it’s not on your radar. It’s just – but it’s interesting that. Nothing else happened after that ,that you were aware of any way.

Connected to that sculpture? No, not as far as I know, but those were popular little sculptures so quickly. So it just sold, you know, probably within a month because they had a whole shelf of similar items like that.

Right.  Really, really interesting. Oh Robert, you’re such a fascinating man to talk to.

Oh, well, thank you. It’s been really nice talking to you, too. Yeah. I feel like we’re kindred spirits in a way.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I kind of feel like that, too. I actually enjoyed our conversation and stuff. And thank you so much for being on the episode today. I’ve really enjoyed hearing your knowledge about cryptozoology, and monsters, and mysteries. It’s just been pretty exciting. I’ve enjoyed it.

Well, it’s been my pleasure. I really appreciate you having me on today.

Thank you so much.

I want to thank Robert so much for taking us South of the Border with this fascinating journey. Honestly for me, personally, it’s only made me more curious and interested to find out more, and to want to visit these areas for myself. Be sure and check out Robert’s website www.mexicounexplained.com for more information on the cryptids, legends, and monsters we’ve discussed today. Or go and purchase his books Mexico Unexplained and Mexican Monsters. Both are a great read and are available from most online retailers. I’ve read them and found them so fascinating. One of the great things about doing this podcast, is that I get to read some amazing books written by some of my guests. I love it!

Just a note about most of the episodes in this series, and the first few in season 8. Most of the interviews for the episodes were recorded before Christmas. This was because I’m currently dealing with some family issues that require me to be available for my particular family member. So I didn’t want our podcast to be disrupted or to suffer.

I generally try and record 3 episodes in advance as a general rule, to allow for sickness or some emergency situation, so the podcast is covered and there’s no disruption for you, my listeners.  However, because of this situation, I worked really hard and  recorded most of this season’s guests, with the exception of a couple of the episodes, before Christmas. That’s why Robert was referring to 2020, in parts of the conversation. I then edit our conversation and record the intro and closing remarks, before I upload them in queue for your listening. That’s also why there is a discrepancy in the sound quality between the intro and the conversations with my guests – my old computer was dying when these were recorded, and I had to get a new one, whose sound is so much better.

Today’s bumper music is called: Mexican, from Texas Brother.

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