Director: Tucker Gates
Mulder and Scully investigate when a young Mexican woman, Maria Dorantes is found dead in a Migrant Workers Camp in the San Janqui Valley. Eyewitnesses report three loud booms, a blinding light and a sudden downpour of hot yellow rain just before Maria's body was discovered. Evidence that Mulder recognises as Fortean events, strange occurrences often linked to alien encounters. One witness an elderly woman, Flakita believes El Chupacabra, a hairless creature from Mexican folklore is responsible.
Scully is sceptical especially when it turns out that Maria was involved in a love triangle with two brothers, Eladio and Soledad Buente. Scully believes that one of the brothers killed Maria out of jealousy, until she autopsies Maria's body and finds it covered in a green fungal growth. Mulder interviews Soledad, who blames the killing on his brother Eladio, who has been missing since Maria's death. With the help of immigration agent Lozano, Mulder manages to track down Eladio, he has been taken in to custody by the Immigration service.
Eladio is segregated from the other immigrants as they are fearful of him, believing him to be El Chupacabra. On questioning Eladio denies killing Marita. Scully informs Mulder that Maria was killed by a fungal infection which seems to clear Eladio of blame. However Eladio escapes from custody and goes on the run. As Mulder tracks him, he discovers more fungus covered bodies and begins to wonder if the fungus is extra terrestrial in origin.
This episode had some delays during production. The migrant worker's camp was built from scratch in the middle of a large waste ground, unfortunately a storm dumped several inches of snow onto the sunbaked 'San Joaquin Valley'. Crew members had to scurry ahead of each camera setup, melting down the snow with hot water and blow dryers.
The references to El Chupacabra are based on an actual urban legend, myth or true story, depending on which version of the tale you believe. First sightings were in Puerto Rico in the late 1980s and it seems to be a creature mostly confined to Latin American communities. Literally meaning 'goat sucker' it is supposed to be a creature that preys on livestock. Descriptions vary widely, from a doglike form to a lizardlike being with spines.
Skinner: You would think that with the resources we have, we'd be able to find these men. I'm not hearing a good explanation why this hasn't happened.Scully: Well, Sir, they have a way of being almost invisible.
Mulder: The truth is... nobody cares.
Scully: Did he tell you what happened?
Mulder: A flash of light, yellow rain, Maria! MARIA!
Scully: Mulder, I know you're not going to like this, but I think the aliens in this story are not the villians, they're the victims.
Mulder: They think he's the Chupacabra.
Lozano: That may be. But I will tell you with a tremendous degree of certainty this guy is not Erik Estrada.
Episode Number: 84
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday January 12, 1997
Production Code: 4X11