Florida Skunk Ape Encounter in the Everglades

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 27th, 2017


Source: schweizercomics

Cryptomundian BigfootBeliever71 shared the following Skunk Ape encounter of his father’s in response to this post: Florida’s Skunk Ape.

The FL skunk ape is the reason I believe that Bigfoot can exist. In the late 70’s my dad and two of his friends had a small hunting shack in the Everglades, and two to three times a year they’d go down to hunt and fish (depending on the season). The shack remained empty and when they went down there, they’d bring in food, water, toiletries, etc. for the week.

I remember him leaving on a Sunday, but they returned Monday afternoon. My mom was questioning why the trip was abbreviated, and he said he didn’t want to talk about it right now, but later that night I overheard their conversation. His story was extremely brief.

When they arrived Sunday around noon, they parked the car, loaded the swamp buggy, and drove to the hunting shack. After loading all their gear, food, etc. in the shack, they decided to do some fishing to catch dinner. Upon return, they noticed that shack door was broken off the hinges and heard noises inside. One of my dad’s friends thought it might be a be an intruder or a bear and fired his pistol several times in the air. Immediately afterwards, my dad said that two apes ran out the door with food & fruit in their hands, grunting and huffing. He said their speed was incredible and in no time they were crashing through the hammock of trees that surrounded the shack.

He then told my mom that all three of them were in shock and it took a few minutes to wrap their heads around what they just saw. Eventually, they entered the shack and the apes had ransacked the cabinets and coolers looking for and eating food. He said the worst part was the smell that permeated the cabin–a wet dog garbage smell is how he defined it.

Needless to say they left shortly after packing what was salvageable, as they were too freaked out to remain there.

To this day, all three still talk about the occurrence, and when my dad recants the story, he still gets spooked by the incident. He’s never believed in Bigfoot till that day, but his story certainly made me a believer.

Years ago I showed him the Myakka skunk ape photo when it came out, and he said the apes they saw looked nothing like that–they were more human in the face.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


9 Responses to “Florida Skunk Ape Encounter in the Everglades”

  1. NMRNG responds:

    I’m not surprised that there wasn’t much resemblance to the subject of the Myakka skunk ape photo. I have always thought that the primate in that photo was either an orangutan or an elderly chimpanzee, escaped from or released by some private zoo or individual who thought it would be “really neat” to live out a fantasy from BJ and The Bear.

    BigfootBeliever71, you should be a little more careful with your choice of words – “recant” means to disavow or deny the truth of a previously told statement. I don’t mean to get pedantic on you and don’t typically engage in semantics games, but in this case, using “recant” instead of “retell” or “repeat” can have a very unintended meaning.

    However, before I forget, thank you for sharing that interesting story with us. Imagine how broad and rich the collection of cryptid accounts would be if even half of the eyewitnesses from prior generations had come forward with tales of their encounters from the days long before the rise of hoaxers and the emergence of so much reality TV and internet jack*ssery.

    While none of my family members have reports of cryptids, I do have two stories in my family of snakes that reached, if not monstrous, then certainly record size. My grandmother and great-aunt told a story from their childhood at roughly the time of World War I when they lived in rural Michigan of a snake they saw when they were walking home from school one spring. A black rat snake (or at least an all-black snake) crossed the road in front of them and it was so long that several feet of its head and tail extended on either side of the road while its body was in the middle of crossing the road. Now I have no specific idea of how wide this farm road was, and while children can be unquestionably inaccurate when it comes to measurements, I think that unless they were really talking about a path rather than a road, my elder relatives were describing a snake that had to exceed the length record for a native North American snake, which is 9’2″ for an Eastern Indigo snake, per Wikipedia, by at least several feet.

    My grandmother’s younger brother, though, had them beat by many yards and this one I can verify personally (albeit, with perhaps somewhat cloudy recollections from when I was around 12 years of age). My uncle served in the Philippines during WWII and he became friendly with a village of native inhabitants who were still largely dependent on hunting for their foodsource. They took him on a python hunt and the villagers bagged a python he thought would have broken the world record [currently a 25’2″ snake living in Kansas City named Medusa, but the longest shot in the wild was 32’10” shot in 1912). My great uncle showed me several photos of this snake, one hanging from a SeaBee crane that I believe was a 25′ crane (judging by the soldier next to the crane in the photo) with at least a few feet dangling at the top and about 8-10 feet of the latter portion and tail of the snake lying on the ground. A second photo showed a villager carrying a portion of the snake, chopped in log-like lengths, across his shoulder and that segment of snake was probably 14″ in diameter, definitely larger around than the photos of Medusa on the Guinness World Records website. Of course, as seems to be the case with all such photos of this sort, I never thought to ask my dad to look out for these photos when he was handling my great uncle’s estate and they have been lost to posterity. It is a shame because I think the photo of the snake dangling from the crane could have established the snake’s size to within a foot or so of its true length, by reference to the crane and the soldier in the photo.

  2. Goodfoot responds:

    Two apes! Did they steal any bananas and/or coconuts?

  3. mandors responds:

    What the F is a “hammock” of trees?

    If you’re going to write (bad) fiction, at least have the decency to acquire a vocabulary.

  4. Craig Woolheater responds:

    From Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

    fertile area in the southern U.S. and especially Florida that is usually higher than its surroundings and that is characterized by hardwood vegetation and deep humus-rich soil.

  5. fritoking responds:

    A ” hammock” is a common term used to describe the higher ground in the Everglades ecosystem. Maybe you should be the one to expand your vocabulary. A quick search and you would have found your answer.

  6. NMRNG responds:

    Mandors, if you are going to post scathing criticism, at least be accurate when you attempt to correct others. In between mouthfuls of crow, I hope you can manage to be enough of an adult to apologize for that rather misplaced comment.

  7. BigfootBeliever71 responds:

    NMRNG–thanks for the response and correction of the word “recant.” I meant to say recall and unsure why I used that word. I also enjoyed your snake stories. I shared them with a friend of mine who breeds snakes and he was taken aback about the size of the them.

    GoodFoot–lol–I used the word apes because that’s the way my dad described them. Bananas yes; coconuts, no; they also took apples and Saltines.

    Mandors–really? It’s easy to attack someone via computer messaging, ergo you’re a coward. Maybe pick up a dictionary as hammocks are more than a recreational lounge. The everglades are full of hammocks. Their shack was nestled b/w them.

    I never asked for my dad’s story to be posted. It was simply in response to the “Florida Skunk Ape” post, and I felt compelled to retell my dad’s story. The only way his story is fiction is if he was lying, but I’m certain that he wasn’t. I’m glad that two other people corrected your ignorance, and you should be embarrassed by your post.

  8. NMRNG responds:

    BigfootBeliever71, no problem at all and thanks for the follow-up comments. If you are anything like me, I suspect that the culpable party is Father Time. In my youth, I rarely needed to proofread what I wrote as I had very strong abilities with spelling and grammar, but as I have become more firmly entrenched in middle age, words that I once typed out in a fraction of a sentence and needed not look at twice suddenly look oddly spelled for me and I have to double-check them on dictionary.com. Additionally, my brain seems to want to spell more phonetically these days, as I chronically find myself using the wrong homonym (“their” instead of “they’re,” “meet” instead of “meat,” etc…), even though I certainly know the difference and would have no trouble whatsoever if I was asked out loud to spell the words I was using. I think I need to start taking some Ginkgo Biloba or other mental alertness supplements, but sadly, and rather ironically, I keep forgetting to look into them and buy some.

  9. NMRNG responds:

    Holy crap – how illustrative of what I was saying – “typed out in a fraction of a sentence” when I meant “fraction of a second.” Dohh!




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