|Posted on July 4, 2011 at 9:23 PM|
SKUNK APES: HAIRY HUMANOIDS OF NORTH AMERICA'S SOUTHERN SWAMPS AND ELSEWHERE - PART 4
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLORIDA SKUNK APE SIGHTINGS, CONT'D
Fishermen from Placida, Florida, Gulf of Mexico.
Shrimp boat crew tells of seeing Yetis swimming as much as 20 miles out in the Gulf . Captain says he has seen one swimming under water.
Cayo Pelau, Florida.
At 3 am one of two men saw a creature and cried out. The other man Mr. Osbun rolled out of tent, saw big man with no neck, body covered with hair, it turned and ran off. Left horrible smell. Footprints measured 17 1/2" by 11 1/2" cast. Found various other prints since. H.C. "Buz" Osbun was President of Peninsular Archeological Society and board member of the Miami Museum of Science. Other sightings reported; include Henry Ring, Broward County Rabies Control Officer, claimed to be legends of "Skunk Ape".
Allen Carter , Brooksville, Florida, 9 miles north of Brooksville, May.
Five-year-old boy playing with trike; large Sasquatch came out of woods with baby Sasquatch and stood watching. Young one climbed the fence, boy ran, older brothers and sisters came and saw baby Sasquatch with the trike, spinning the wheel. It went back over the fence, mother hid the trike under a bush. Later they left. The mother Sasquatch was 7', dark hair, except its face. No neck, pungent odor.Tracks were followed to swamp, she had been eating young tea roots.
Terrence Craig Smith of Nobleton, Florida July
Craig Smith says he and his father, at dusk in a 4 wheel drive truck, thought they saw a man fishing and approached him. The thing was 7-8 ft. tall, it raised up, hairy on arms and legs, chest bare, huge muscular chest and shoulders. It ran towards him then jumped over their truck and went on into swamp. Immokalee Police cast five toed 15" footprints, says another was seen at a horse ranch on January 9,1974, at night. Ripped head off of pony, jumped fence and ran.
3:30am Smith called Florida Highway Patrol and said he had hit a two legged creature resembling a gorilla which then took off in the brush, on State road 27, near Krome Ave. UPI dispatch says another call came to Dade County office about two hours later, saying the same thing was seen limping 5 miles south on 27.
Richard Smith was driving on January 9, south on US Hwy 27 at 12:30am when he unintentionally hit somebody that looked like a large black man standing in the road. After stopping and getting our of the vehicle, Smith was surprised to see that what he had hit was manlike, covered in black hair and 7-8 ft. tall. It looked as if the creature was in pain and angry. Smith got back in his car and sped away as the thing was growling. Smith's vehicle showed front end damage and blood stains. Officer Robert Hollemayal was sent to the area. Hollemayal came across a manlike creature standing in the road. He stopped his unit and hollered at the creature twice. On the second time the creature charged at him. The creature ran off into the swamp when Officer Hollemayal fired his gun at it. In the mean time, more phone calls were coming into the Police Station from motorists reporting a hairy manlike creature. Next morning channel 7 News was covering a large manhunt. The channel 7 News helicopter spotted a large hairy creature running in the swamps. The creature was described by channel 7 News as wide at the shoulders, covered with black hair as it ran on two legs into the dense swamp thickets not to be seen again.
Polk County, Florida. Several witnesses near Green Swamp at Polk City.
15" tracks found in orange groves. Boy claims he hit a Sasquatch carrying an armload of corn on a dirt road. Woman saw it in her back pasture , said it had long flowing hair on head and shoulders,ran crouched over, and faster than a horse.
Miramar, Florida, Kim Dunn, January 23, 1975
Dunn, a rookie policeman, reported seeing Skunk Ape loping across a road at the edge of town.
Grove City , Florida June
Charlotte County Deputy Sheriff saw Skunk Ape appearing to try to catch fish in shallows at edge of pond. It remained hunched over.
Ft. Meyers, Florida. June 6, 1976
John Holley, 43, North Ft. Myers, Florida, his brother Bill and a friend. Driving on dirt road, Rt. 31 in the evening, saw an ape in a clump of pines about 10 yards from the road, standing upright, about 6ft. tall, long black hair. Deputy Warren Vallier found tracks in wet dirt 2-3" deep, crossing ditch to fence. The tracks were sent for study. Holley saw it walk away into woods with long strides.
Grove City, Florida June 15, 1976
Tom Williams is a Deputy Sheriff . Had spotlight on large animal bent over in pond, drinking or trying to fish. It loped off into brush on two legs 4-5 ft. high. Hairy all over, hissed and growled but seemed non- aggressive.
Delroy Beach , Torry Pines. Feb. 1977
Man with CB radio reported that in a dense wooded area called Torry Pines a few miles from Delroy Beach at 8:30 pm a large, hairy , upright 7ft. creature jumped in front of his car, then disappeared. Police Lt. Lorenzo Brooks said there were several reports in the same week, all the same descriptions. First one on golf course west of town, the course superintendent told County Animal Regulation Director John Street, that he saw a creature down, drinking from lake near second par, creature was 7ft. had black shaggy hair.
Port Richey, Florida Feb. 16 or 17 1977
Moon Lake area, near Port Richey, Florida . Saw three creatures come into their yard. Faces like gorillas, hairy all over, largest 10ft. tall or more, eyes reflected red. they left three sets of tracks 22", 17-18" and 8-10" their were several sighting. One creature shook Wilson's trailer. Neighbor named Percy saw one in late January, and school children saw one from the bus in the early morning. Police saw tracks and chased one. The Big one laughed like hysterical man.
Ft. McCoy, Florida, Ocala National Forest, Oct. 1977
Rev. S.L. Whatley , 67 , was cutting firewood off of Hwy 19, drive down dirt road and saw creature 7 1/2 to 8 ft. hairy creature. Dark but lighter than black, not much hair on arms and none on face, which was flat, with a flat nose and deep sunk eyes. Standing in middle of palmetto bushes. Whatley is Pastor at Ft. McCoy Baptist church. Parishioners say he is sober and level headed. Rev. Whatley was getting ax from truck when it left.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Aug. 1977
Wiggins says his uncle, a police corporal with 17 years experience, was driving Alligator Alley on the out skirts of Ft. Lauderdale, towards Ft. Meyers, when he hit a Skunk Ape doing considerable damage to the car. He said it towered over the car, had a bad smell, and left hair and blood on the car, which could not be matched. He lost his job, but stuck to his story and later was rehired.
Venice, Florida, Mike Corridino newsman, January
Corridino says he has logged 78 Skunk Ape sightings in the past 2 years. Refers to 18" footprints found where rabbits were killed in barn; 9ft "hairy man" seen by a busload of people headed for the Everglades; construction crew site in Scrubby Pinelands awakened a Skunk Ape in the early morning, with their heavy equipment. It ran shrieking into the swamp. Venice residents saw a pair of apes frolicking outside the city limits.
Jacksonville, FL. Feb. 25 1979
Four motorists near Jacksonville, Florida, stopped with mechanical problem on interstate 95, motorists told State Troopers of encounter with 8ft. hairy white humanoid that went through underbrush like a tank.
Lake County, Florida, May 1980
In a story about Altoona footprints (June 1980), Sgt. Dee Kirby, Lake County Sheriff's Dept., quoted as saying "Just last month someone spotted a huge, hairy creature crossing the main highway near the two of Eustis, that's only about 10 miles from here." Also quotes district fire ranger RIck Morgan as saying the creature was spotted recently near the Everglades, and "The last report I heard, someone saw it crossing a main highway in Ocala Forest."
Bardin, Florida - many witnesses
Group standing out near a church scattered when something described as immense and ape-like approached. Story from Palatka, Florida was picked up by National wire service.
Bardin. Florida . Rand Medlock and Ronny Cone.
Medlock saw a thing come out of the woods and walk 30 ft. in front of his car. It was big and hairy and looked like a bear, but had a pug nose and walked upright with its arm swinging, just like a man, it looked sideways at them and kept walking. It went back into woods slapping pine saplings out of the way like they were nothing. Tracks on hill bigger than Medlock's size 13's and stride more than he could stretch. He is 6'2"
Guide states that some residents of Bardin, near Palatka claim to have seen a half-ape/half-man creature measuring over 7ft. tall. Pacella phoned several newspapers but could learn only that Bardin residents did report such sightings to police between 1984 and 1985. Bardin borders on Ocala National Forest.
Art Dandridge, Titusville, Florida, Jan. 5 1993
Ten milies south of Titusville, Florida, Dandridge, a Lockheed Systems manager at Kennedy Space Centre was driving SW on SR 407, a mile past I-95, when he saw something lurching around on a bridge ahead, hit brakes and just missed approx. 6ft. figure, entire body bristled with dark hair, seemed favoring left foot, turned car, watched it about 30 seconds then left. Phoned police on car phone at 8:04pm
Jan. 5, 10 miles south of Titusville, Florida
Two miles east of Dandridge sighting, 8:30 pm driving north on Tulsa Blvd. something up ahead stepped into lights. Maybe 7ft., long arms and legs, hairy, and taking slow wide steps, almost in a crouch, not anything like a bear, more like an ape, seemed to ignore vehicle. Leitner called Police, did a u-turn, but it was gone, area by road is forest, entrance barred by spikey palmettos. Jeff Leitner is a Nasa engineer, Michelle Leitner and daughter, Cassandra 8, were also witnesses.
Apalachicola State Forest, Florida. Jason Valenti
The following story was written by Jason Valenti whose life was changed after the close encounter described below. At the time of the sighting, Jason was studying theology at a seminary to become a minister. A couple of years after his experience, Jason moved to North West Washington State to study and do field research in this area. I've known Jason for about a year now and can truly say he is tenaciously sincere in his pursuit to have another encounter with what dramatically changed his life, in his own words.....
In April of 1996, a former business partner and I were coming back from a meeting in Pensacola, Florida on a weeknight, heading for home to Largo, Fl. We left Pensacola around midnight. We arrived in Tallahassee approximately 4:00am . I stopped and asked a policeman at a convenient mart to give me directions to a road that would take us from interstate 10 to U.S. 19, so that we could avoid the rush hour traffic that we would have encountered later 8in the morning if we had continued via the interstate. Approximately 15 minutes into the ride out of Tallahassee, going south bound on a road that bordered the east side of Apalachicola State Forest is where this experience took place and I was traveling on the wrong road but the right one to have this experience.
I had just reached down to turn off the radio, because the stations were out of range for good reception, when I saw something on the right side of the road. At about 200 yards is when I first saw it and we were traveling at about 55 mph. I immediately took my foot off of the accelerator and "covered: the brake in case it was an animal that might move onto the road. My first impression was that it was a small deer or a dog, like an Irish setter or Cocker Spaniel, because of the light color I saw. I then clicked my high beams on and this thing lifted its head from a downward position to look our way. It was squatting behind the top of a pine tree that had fallen in the forest. The tree was perpendicular to the road and right up next to the road. My guess is that it might have been picking through something like a bird's nest.
In the next moment, at about 100 yards, she stood up and put her hands in front of her face to block my headlights and that got my attention immediately because they looked so human. I remember seeing a dark purple coloring to the pads of her fingers and thumbs, which was also on her nose. What I could see of her face was just for a moment and it seemed she had a terrified expression. I had a couple of clear shots where I saw that her mouth was open and I even saw saliva glistening from the headlights. Her coat of hair was blond in appearance, at least in the lighting of my headlights. It definitely was not like fur. It was patchy and I could see her white skin in places where the hair was sparse. Her head seemed unusually small for the size of her body and was set low in between her very broad shoulders, almost as if she didn't have a neck. Her face was like a cross between a chimp and a pit bull, sloping forehead and a mouth that stuck off of her face with no chin and I could clearly see skin around the eyes, forehead and cheekbones. I couldn't see any color to her eyes,but they glowed like a cat's eyes (orange reddish) when light is shown in them and they were very large in diameter. She did have a classic hour glass figure. Very small waist in relation to chest and hips. And it really was amazing how big her hips were, about as wide as her shoulders. Not very much body fat, in fact she seemed very defined in her muscles. I remember seeing straitens of muscle in her forearms, upper arms and shoulders. Her arms weren't really big, just very defined. When she was walking backward, I noticed that her gait seemed to have a waddle to it. As if she were squatting a bit and knock kneed, kind of like how Groucho Marx would do that goofy walk, but just backwards. I'm 6'4", and I know she was at least 7' maybe closer to 8'.
As I was coming to a complete stop, just a few yards past her, we were so close to her, that if Denis had had the window rolled down, he could have reached out and grabbed her arm. That's how close we were! I passed her at about 20 mph before we stopped. As we passed her, Denis got a view of her that I didn't get to see, since I was driving and the topper on the back of my truck was blocking any view I could get through the rear window. He told me that a few seconds after we had passed her, as he was looking through the passenger window, he witnessed her leaping from a standing position approximately 20-30 feet horizontal, 10-15 feet vertical and then landing into a full blown sprint through the sand pine forest. The reason Denis had such a good view of this was because my rear taillights were illuminating the forest from having the brake on, and sand pine forest in Florida don't have much undergrowth over 2 feet high, and the branches on the tree don't start until around 20-30 feet off the ground. So, he said he had a very clear view of this creature, he also told me that he had never seen anything run that fast!
Big Cypress National Preserve , July 1997
There were two sightings on this July morning in the Big Cypress. These two witnesses, who live near each other, have homes within the Preserve because their properties are "grandfathered" in from before the area became federal government property as a National Preserve. Thus, their home—and their routes to work—are surrounded by pristine Everglades landscape. The first witness was Mrs. Jan Brock, a well-known real estate agent whose office is in the Everglades City Hall building. It was some time before she finally consented to be interviewed, as she had become jaded by the Florida media attention paid to her sighting. She described a tall, robust biped covered with shaggy dark-brown hair. She also described a whitish or lighter-colored area on its chest. She said that, despite its size, it walked with a certain fluidity, and was certainly not a bear. She has seen may bears on and around her property . She has also hunted in Africa, and is well acquainted with all kinds of wildlife. Mrs. Brock readily admitted that she believed in the existence of the Skunk Ape . She could only describe what she had seen, she said, not what it was.
The second witness was Vince Doerr, and he was also driving south to work on the same road a few minutes after Mrs. Brock's sighting. He was going at about 25 mph when he observed the entity crossing the road from east back to the west several hundred feet ahead of him. When he reached the crossing point, Doerr stopped his truck and observed the entity from the roadside as it walked northeastwards and then eastwards into the swamp. At one point, he shouted at it, and it turned and looked towards him. Mr. Doerr, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer in Germany, was chief of the Ochopee Fire Control District, a Collier County agency and the largest rural fire district in Florida. he always has a 35mm camera in his District truck to document road accidents and firers. He had grabbed the camera as he got out of the truck and he took a photograph of the entity as it walked westward into the swamp. The entire sighting lasted about 4 minutes. The photograph below was taken by Vince Doerr Moments after the entity crossed the road.
From the Orlando (FI) Sentinel: Woman says 'skunk ape' stood up beside highway
By Linda Florea/Sentinel Staff Writer, Posted November 20, 2004
Lakeland—Urban legends are supposed to be legends and that's all. But if you ask Jennifer Ward about the Florida Skunk Ape, she will tell you it stepped out of the mist of myth and into reality. " I never thought anything like that was out there before," Ward, 30 said Friday, "but I know there is now." Ward's encounter with the hairy creature came in August, about a week after Hurricane Charley, along a rural stretch of Moore Road as she was driving home from a friends house. Her daughters were asleep in the back seat and it was approaching dusk. "I noticed something in the ditch. I looked over, and I guess it noticed me. It rose up," she said explaining that the animal had been crouching when she first saw it. "Its eyes went from serious, maybe it was getting frogs—it was focused on something," she continued. "when he saw me, he was as surprised as I was. I slowed down to almost a stop; I didn't stop because I was scared. It was almost dark, but I could see it and get a good look." Ward said the creature was 6 to 8 feet tall and covered with hair about 2 inches long. There was white around the eyes, but she not notice a nose or ears. She said the lips were full with texture of a dog's paw pad. Its hands were drawn up next to its body. At first, Ward only told friends and family about what she saw. She acknowledged that it took considerable time for her to decide to go public.
Sept. 6 , 2004 near Ocklawaha, central Florida on edge of Ocala National Forest
Not wanting to be identified, a woman and her son were awakened by something tapping on her window. Something terrified the dogs, three pit bulls, which are usually aggressive. "Me and my son went to check out the noise and there was a smell like something was dead, when we seen this huge manlike creature run into the woods. We were both scared. This thing was as tall as our orange tree, about 8 ft. Distance - about 20 yards; color-brown; on two legs the whole time.
IN CONCLUSION: FINDING BIGFOOT
The Bigfoot enigma—what a strange puzzle it is. What is the nature of this beast that it can appear (and smell) so distinctly to so many good eyewitnesses, yet completely evade capture, clear photography (with the possible exception of the Myakka photos) and high-tech detection equipment? Is the Myakka Skunk Ape a figment of the imagination? Or is it an intelligent creature that has shown great skill (or luck), so far, in keeping its identity secret from those bothersome humans out there?
There have been thousands of reported sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures over the decades, many by highly credible witnesses. Yet virtually every one of those sightings happened spontaneously—that is, unexpectedly—by campers, motorists, loggers, hunters, hikers, farmers, etc. Often, those who go out expressly to find the creature never see it. There are footprints, hair samples, and controversial photos, film and video. Yet park rangers and others who routinely patrol the areas where sightings are said to occur almost never seem to encounter them. On the other hand, of those programs which air on television about expeditions to find "Bigfoot", the researchers who attempt to confirm these legendary creatures may exist are ALSO almost always trackers, campers, veterinarians, photographers, park rangers, and journalists.
While we must applaud their enthusiasm and dedication, the bothersome question arises: where are the real experts? The ranks of courageous and dedicated cryptozoologists aside, where are the professional biologists, anthropologists, zoologists, and other scientists? Why don't they participate in these finds? No matter how highly improbable scientists may consider the existence of species such as Bigfoot, it would seem that even the slight possibility of these creatures roaming remote wilderness areas should draw scientists like ants to sugar, but they do not. Being scientists, we would have to wonder why they are not out in the forefront to discover whether these creatures exist. Why is that?
Simply said, these scientists, their institutions, and their contributors do not want Bigfoot found. They hope the many enthusiasts trying to track these incredible life forms will not discover any indisputable evidence. Institutions have historically shown they do not want the creatures verified. Those institutions have, in the past, activated their propaganda machines to dissuade and dispel any previous finds as either inconclusive evidences or purely hoaxes. Why is that?
These scientists and institutions do not want these creatures discovered because "Bigfoot" and similar species do not represent the "missing link" evolutionists always allude to; rather "Bigfoot" would prove there are no links at all. These elusive creatures around the world would turn out to be a separate distinct species which have been around us all along and throughout our long history. What institutions fear most is that if these species are found, their biological specimens retrieved and analyzed, the artifacts supposedly dating back millions of years will prove renowned scientists (especially evolutionists) have been misleading the public with their theory of evolution.
I am convinced these creatures have been around for at least several million years and are the ancestors of those so-called 'missing links' which have been found throughout the world: 'Lucy', 'Peking Man', 'Java Man', etc. This is why scientists are not rushing in droves to find the elusive Bigfoot, Yeti, the Jersey Devil and other of these creatures because these scientists' precious theory of evolution would fall apart if they did.
[Cryptozoologist's Note: Or, these creatures have existed alongside the other species mentioned by the author since the world began and are entirely separate species. Either way, their existence seriously contradicts the theory of evolution, and pits mainstream scientists against cryptozoologists and other seekers of the truth.]
While the integrity of science should demand them to seek out these species in hiding, in order to distinguish a connection (or disconnection) between past and present species; yet there seems no drive at all for any confirmation. My suspicion is the institutions will not support any such endeavors because they like the status quo; they want everyone to believe evolution is science; because it fits into the social conditions they have set for us. Evolution is the concept most often accepted by elitists. They are the ones who established it from its inception in our society as a science and have supported its foundation through funding and fabrications ever since.
Elitists believe this ideology because it justifies their sense of control over our society. We are coaxed into believing it like sheep. The truth about whether we have another species among us is irrelevant to those in control, especially if it represents a potential distraction of that control. As long as scientists do not set out to seek the truth, and their institutions will not authorize such expeditions, and their contributors will not offer any support, and the media will dissimulate and suppress the truth, these mysterious enigmas will most likely remain only legends.
All things considered, we must ask: Why swamps and why monsters? Swamps represent remote, unexplored regions, which have traditionally been the domain of legendary creatures. As the noted Smithsonian Institution biologist John Napier sagely observed, monsters "hail from uncharted territory: inaccessible mountains, impenetrable forests, remote Pacific islands, the depths of loch or ocean. . . . The essential element of the monster myth is remoteness."
Echoing Napier in discussing one reported Honey Island Swamp encounter, John V. Dennis states: "In many cases, sightings such as this one are inspired by traditions that go back as far as Indian days. If a region is wild and inaccessible and has a history of encounters with strange forms of life, chances are that similar encounters will occur again—or at least be reported." And while the major purported domain of Bigfoot is the Pacific northwest, Krantz observes: "Many of the more persistent eastern reports come from low-lying and/or swampy lands of the lower Mississippi and other major river basins."
Monsters may play various roles in our lives. Cajun guide Robbie Charbonnet offered some interesting ideas about the Honey Island Swamp Monster and similar entities. He thought that frightening stories might have been concocted on occasion to keep outsiders away—perhaps to protect prime hunting areas or even help safeguard moonshine stills. He also theorized that such tales might have served in a sort of bogeyman fashion to frighten children from wandering into remote, dangerous areas. (Indeed he mentioned how when he was a youngster in the 1950s an uncle would tell him "booger tales" about a frightening figure—a sort of horror-movie type with one leg, a mutilated face, etc.—that would "get" him if he strayed into the swampy wilderness.)
Suitable subjects for booger tales (re: The Honey Island Swamp Monster) are numerous Louisiana swamp and bayou terrors, many of them the products of Cajun folklore. One is the LETICHE, a ghoulish creature that is supposedly an abandoned, illegitimate child who was reared by alligators, and now has scaly skin, webbed hands and feet, and luminous green eyes. Then there is JACK O'LANTERN, a malevolent spirit who lures humans into dangerous swampland with his mesmerizing lantern, as well as the LOUP GAROU (a werewolf) and the zombies (not the relatively harmless "Voodoo Zombies" but the horrific "Flesh Eaters").
By extension, swamp creatures are also ideal subjects for horror fiction. The Fouke monster sightings, for example, inspired the horror movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. That 1972 thriller became a box-office hit, spawning a sequel and many imitations. About the same time (1972) there emerged a popular comic book series titled Swamp Thing, featuring a metamorphosing man-monster from a Louisiana swamp. Interestingly, these popularized monsters predated the 1974 claims of Ford and Mills. (Recall that their alleged earlier encounter of 1963 had not been reported.)
Reportedly, Harlan Ford believed the swamp monsters "were probably on the verge of extinction". Certainly he did much to further their cause. It seems likely that—as long as there are suitably remote habitats and other essentials (such as campfires around which to tell tales, and good ol' boys looking for their fifteen minutes of fame)—the legendary creatures will continue to proliferate.
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