Whether it’s the giant Guagua, the Blue Llama or alien beings, monsters of the Cajas won’t go away

Sep 25, 2023 | 0 comments

By Liam Higgins

A new documentary film by Cuenca resident Daniel Osorio, featuring a cast of Cuenca expats, recalls the sightings of alien beings in the Cajas Mountains. The Blue Llama, Secret Message, follows the journey of nine expats in November 2020, led by guide Patricio Tipactocta, in search of extraterrestrials at Devil’s Wart Mountain.

Who knows what lurks in the higher elevations of the Cajas Mountains.

Equal parts serious and tongue-in-cheek, the Blue Llama is the latest addition to the legend of monsters in the higher elevations of the Cajas that date back generations. The film screens in Cuenca on Tuesday, October 3, at the Sala Carrasco at the Casa de Cultura. See details below.

Whether it’s the Blue Llama or other strange creatures, Cajas National Park and University of Cuenca officials and scientists, continue to maintain there is no solid proof of alien beings — or the so-called Monstruo de las Cajas — in the highlands above Cuenca.

A three-man television crew from the U.S. was in town in 2021 interviewing witnesses and filming high-altitude areas of Cajas National Park where a monster has reportedly been sighted on several occasions. The crew was accompanied by Quito tour guide Carlos Castro, who took video of the alleged creature in 1997. The video has aired on several television programs over the years.

“We talked to two retired park employees, one whom has seen the monster, as well as local people who know about it,” said Castro, who assisted the Los Angeles-based crew. “We asked to see the evidence kept at the University of Cuenca but they continue to deny that it exists,” Castro said. “However, we were able to talk to a former university employee who took pictures of plaster casts of the footprints and who has prints of some of the photos they keep locked in their files.”

A University of Cuenca biology professor who asked not to be identified, describes himself as a monster skeptic. “I am not saying that the witnesses are lying or that they didn’t see something up there, but I think most of the evidence is suspicious,” he said. “I have seen one the videos and two photos but I can’t determine their authenticity. Maybe yes, maybe no. What can I say?”

The professor added: “I explained my feelings to the U.S. television people [from the syndicated program Monster Quest] in 2009 but they seemed to think I was lying. I also told them that the area where people say they saw these creatures is often foggy and sometimes snowy and that the high elevation can affect people’s judgment.”

A supervisor at Cajas National Park refused to discuss the monster. “This is something we do not talk about and as far we are concerned the Guagua does not exist,” he said, referring to the name Guagua Grande, used by people who live in the Cajas to describe the monster. “There may be something up there but I haven’t seen it.”

The most recent “sighting” was in April 2016, when two British hikers and a Cuenca guide claimed to have spotted the creature during a three-day trek. The three said that they watched the over-sized humanoid for several minutes in a remote area of the park.

“I have no idea what it was other than to say it was quite large, with light-colored fur and had human characteristics. It was able to stand on two legs but also came down on all fours,” said Sean Worthington, one of the hikers. He added: “I am a scientist by training and not prone to making fanciful claims, but I cannot deny seeing the thing.”

Worthington and his companion, Roger Chrisma and the guide, reported that they watched the creature for several minutes from a distance of about 100 meters. The sighting was reported by a Quito television station and one of the pictures that Worthington took appeared in a London newspaper in November 2016.

The monster first made headlines in July, 1988 when a Scottish hiker claims he was attacked by a “rather massive creature.” Robert Burns, who sought shelter in a cave from a late afternoon snowstorm, says he was mauled by the creature and tossed from the cave. Burns was treated for a broken arm, deep lacerations and bite wounds at a Cuenca hospital. His story was reported on television as well as in newspapers in Cuenca and Edinburgh.

In 2009, two Swedish hikers say they saw the creature and reported that it stood between seven and eight feet in height and weighed 300 to 400 pounds. Their story, along with a picture that they claimed to have taken, appeared in a Stockholm newspaper in July of that year.

Except for the fur color, most descriptions of the creature are similar to those of the alleged Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, in the U.S. Northwest.

According to Castro, many Cajas guides are aware of Guagua, either from personal contact or through reports from hikers. “Most people don’t like to talk about it because their friends think they are crazy,” he says. “Even if they haven’t seen it, many hikers have seen the footprints.”

A retired national park service biologist, who worked in the Cajas Park when it was established in 1996, agrees that there is an official policy of denial and that park employees are told not to discuss the monster. “It does not exist. That is what we told anyone who asked about it.” He also says that the science department at the University of Cuenca does, in fact, have some “objects” and photos connected to Guagua, but these are off limits to the public.

The Blue Llama, Secret Message, at the Sala Carrasco, Casa de la Cultura, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.

We are thrilled to invite you to a special event that promises intrigue, laughter, and an unforgettable experience. Join us for a screening of the mockumentary film, “The Blue Llama Secret Message,” which will take place at Carrasco Theater in Cuenca, Ecuador, on October 3rd at 7 PM. Film is in English with Spanish subtitles.

This event is particularly significant as it marks the last opportunity to watch this engaging no-budget film in Cuenca. We are screening it for a vital cause – fundraising to support our next exciting project. Your presence and support would mean the world to us as we embark on this creative journey.

Event Details:

– Title: “The Blue Llama Secret Message” Mockumentary Film Screening
– Date: October 3rd
– Location: Carrasco Theater, Cuenca, Ecuador
– Language: English (with Spanish subtitles)
– Duration: 90 minutes
– Cover: $10

We kindly ask for your assistance in spreading the word about this event. Sharing the news with your friends and acquaintances would be immensely helpful in achieving our funding goals.

Film Synopsis:
In November 2020, amid the global pandemic and lockdown measures, a group of nine adventurous retired North American expats embarked on a journey guided by Patricio Tipactocta into El Cajas National Park. Their quest? To uncover the secrets of a mysterious mountain known as the Devil’s Wart and to search for extraterrestrial beings.

During this paranormal expedition, every participant had a unique perspective. From the skeptics who maintain they witnessed nothing out of the ordinary to the believers who claim to have made interdimensional contact of the third kind with a race of Blue Llamas and other foreign creatures.

We promise that “The Blue Llama Secret Message” will take you on a ride filled with humor, suspense, and a touch of the otherworldly.

Your presence at this event will not only support our artistic endeavors but also guarantee you an evening of entertainment and intrigue. We sincerely hope to see you there!

To reserve seats, please contact Daniel Osorio, osoriomolinad@gmail.com, or call 098 392 9233.

Film Cast

John Foote
Ann Fourt
Luis Gonzalez
Tina Hatzenbuehler
Edison Juca
Ray Lewis
Olga O’connor
Regina Potenza
Barbara Snow
Darla Thomas
David Thomas
Karina Urgiles
Cherrie Windfieldt
David Chirnside
Deborah Degamo

Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Director and Editor, Daniel Osorio; General Producer and Sound-recordist
Adriana Varela


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