Breaking News: “Gorilla” Seen In Alabama

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 12th, 2012

North American Apes (Napes), Swamp Apes, Boogers, or Gorillas in Alabama, whatever you want to call them, are soon to be in the news again. A reporter I know in the state has informed me that a major investigation is occurring this week of new accounts coming out of Perry and Hale counties, Alabama, of encounters with “gorillas.”

UPDATED: I learned overnight that the 10:00 pm newscast at the Birmingham ABC affiliate broke the story last night, after interviewing my contact Travis Vaughn’s editor, John Allan Clark. Here’s what ABC 33/40 reporter Erin Toffler wrote:

Hale County, AL –
The Hale County Sheriff’s Office says they are searching for at least one gorilla. A gorilla was last spotted near a store on County Road 61 in Newbern.

A dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Office said a crew consisting of the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department, police department, as well as Sheriff’s deputies were searching for the animal.

Currently, it is unknown how many are loose or in what direction they are headed.

ABC 33/40 has a crew in Newbern and will provide more information as it becomes available.

The investigation continues today.

BTW, “gorilla” is a word used to describe what people are seeing. Think outside the box.

As examples of past “gorilla” sightings from Alabama, let me share two historical review articles:


Gorilla Family Hunt Is In Vain

Anniston, Alabama, April 15 (UP) ~ Sheriff W. P. Cotton dismissed a posse of “wild man” hunters today and reported that an all day search for a strange gorilla like family in a Choccolocca Valley swamp was in vain.

Cotton led a group of farmers and citizens into the swamp after rural residents reported seeing a man, woman and child whose bodies were covered with hair and at times walked on all fours.

The Modesto Bee, Modesto, California; Friday, April 15, 1936

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Bigfoot sighting reaching Silver milestone

By Jason Cannon
The Clanton Advertiser

CLANTON – Many things have changed in Chilton County. Things have come and gone, including what could be Chilton County’s first and only documented ‘Bigfoot’ sighting.

It’s been almost 25-years since the original report was filed in the fall of 1960 but that hasn’t stopped Bigfoot spotters and researchers from around the country as citing the events around Walnut Creek as a legitimate and marvelous occurrence.

“There’s a Southern version of Bigfoot that is much like a chimpanzee,” said Bigfoot researcher and [fulltime researcher and adjunct] professor at the University of Southern Maine, Loren Coleman. “It runs around in the bottom lands and is much more connected to the creeks and swampy areas.”

Two years ago, Coleman penned a book about Bigfoot and has devoted a portion of it to the uniqueness of the Clanton sighting.

“At a time where people in the 50s and 60s were talking about Bigfoot being just a giant that looked like a human, this was extremely important because it shows they were more ape like creatures in the south.”

Coleman said the prints left behind at the Clanton scene proved the creature was more ape than man.

“It’s a very general kind of creature that’s much different than the Pacific Northwest Bigfoot that’s 8-to 9-feet tall and stands upright.”

Also, the southern version is often referred to as a booger, a swamp ape or a skunk ape and only stands around 4-feet tall.

According to reports, including those of witness Reverend E.C. Hand of the Refuge Baptist Church, the creature was seen along Highway 31 where it crosses Interstate 65 – just south of town. A few more were filed from two-miles west.

The report said, “Large and small tracks were found as if there were at least two individual animals.”

Then Sheriff T.J. Lockhart and Deputy James Earl Johnson investigated the scene and according to the report, described the prints left behind as “the strangest things I’ve ever seen.”

Lockhart and Johnson also took a concrete mold of the prints.

The prints were described as “about the size of a person’s foot but looking more like a hand.”

The cast was on display at the courthouse for many years but in August 2002 the Sheriff’s Department discarded it.

“That’s why the cast was so unique is that is actually proves that the southern ‘Bigfoot’ was much more like a chimpanzee than a human.”

Coleman said one theory is that the chimpanzees were brought over during the African slave trade and allowed to run wild.

He added there have been reports filed about similar creatures for about 250 years across the south.

However, there have been no other documented sightings in Chilton County since 1960.

This is the tenth anniversary of the discarding of the valuable evidence that was the alleged footcast of the Clanton “ape.” I searched and searched for the concrete cast for years, and to finally hear that it was sitting at the Sheriff’s Department, then was thrown away, was frustrating and heartbreaking.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

10 Responses to “Breaking News: “Gorilla” Seen In Alabama”

  1. DWA responds:

    What keeps North American apes secure from science is that nobody thinks anybody sees them…then laughs at everyone who does.

  2. Jonathan Poulsen responds:

    Why would someone throw that cast away? It makes no sense whatsoever.

  3. Hapa responds:

    On the Monsterquest Episode dealing with the Ohio Grassman, there was a handprint shown that was found in the woods, looking like the handprint of a Gorilla. On that show Jimmy Chilcutt could not rule out either sasquatch or Gorilla for that print.

    Most likely, I’m guessing most sightings dealing with quadrapedal apes are animals escaped from research facilities or private (and illegal) ownership. However, if there is a population of actual Gorillas Orangs or Chimps living in the US, or a species of ape unknown to science found in Alabama of all places, that will be an explosive find.

    Normally I am for a shoot to kill policy on Cryptids, but due to the fact that this might indeed be an actual Gorilla I think it would be horrendous to use bullets; Gorillas of all subspecies are endangered. This is one they do not need to shoot. Tranquilize it, yes. Trap it, yes. Kill, no. We don’t want a repeat of that situation up north where Lions and Tigers and Bears were let loose and shot, despite the endangered status of the Big Cats let loose.

    If they do kill a Gorilla, I hope and pray they take sperm/ovaries and DNA samples to aide in breeding the creatures in captivity.

  4. Reinhardt responds:

    Aww. I wish we had cool cryptid sightings here in Finland too…

  5. Hapa responds:


    “Aww. I wish we had cool cryptid sightings here in Finland to…”

    Alien Big Cats (i.e. large felines sighted, killed or captured far from their native habitat, i.e. a Lion in the Andes Mountains, a Cougar in Antartica, etc) have been seen in Finland (Imatra, Kekaleenmaki, Kristinestad, Ruokolahti (Lioness-like, seen 1992, named “Elli” by Media, left tracks and a Moose corpse), Vaasa).

    Lake monsters have been spotted there too, in lakes Langelmavesi (1945), Loukusajarvi (1963. described as a white log-like creature nearly 2 meters in length with a Salmon-esque cranium)

    Source: Encyclopedia of Crypto-zoology: a Global Guide, by Michael Newton, pages 16, 148, 157, 255, and 275

  6. Reinhardt responds:

    Oh… Well at least that’s something. But the big ones are still exclusive to other parts of the world, and that’s a shame. Even Sweden has it’s own lake monster. Well, at least we get UFOs and ghosts.=D

  7. Desertdweller responds:


    I am generally opposed to the killing of harmless animals, cats in particular.
    But it will probably take a dead Bigfoot to prove the creature exists. The taking of one individual, to prove and establish the species, could well result in the saving of many more.

    One of the cardinal rules of hunting, or shooting in general, is to be sure of your target. If an armed person sees a Bigfoot, and does not know what it is, then it would be a violation of that basic gun safety rule to shoot it. On the other hand, if that person knows what a Bigfoot is, and is tempted to shoot it, how can he be sure it is real, and not a human being? It all comes down to a problem of identification. As long as there is a chance of mis-identification, that chance makes it too great to risk shooting one.

    If the Bigfoot is threatening the person’s life, then killing one could be justified, even if turned out to be a person. But what person would attempt to kill a frightened, armed individual?

    If Bigfoots are real (and I think there is good evidence that they are), then they certainly have the capacity to kill people. Consider what chimps are capable of doing. And they are much smaller than Bigfoot.

    If a person would be attacked by a Bigfoot, gorilla, or whatever, preservation of the creature’s gene pool would hardly be a priority. Preservation of one’s own life ought to be the priority.

    If Bigfoot is real, it must be peaceful in relation to humans. There have been plenty of situations where Bigfoots have had the opportunity to kill humans and have not. I think this says a lot about the nature of the beast.

    Would I kill a Bigfoot if I had the opportunity? Only if it was threatening me or someone else. Same goes for a gorilla.

    Would I kill a loose chimp if I had the chance? Beyond a doubt.

  8. TheForthcoming responds:

    Chad Arment talks about gorilla sightings in his books on Cryptozoology and even has one dedicated to historical ape and gorilla sightings as does Loren Coleman in some of his books as well on Cryptozoology and Bigfoot.

    I’m sorry to hear that the cast was thrown out btw.

  9. eireman responds:

    It didn’t make the news down here in Mobile 🙁 I wouldn’t have known about this were it not for CM.

  10. Hapa responds:


    “But it will probably take a dead Bigfoot to prove the creature exists. The taking of one individual, to prove and establish a species, could well result in the saving of more.”

    Agreed. I am one of the biggest “Kill” supporters on the site here. Its just in this situation, where “Gorillas” are sighted, I’m hesitant due to the possibility here that this case could very well be a escapee Gorilla. If the news report was “Bigfoot” i’d say kill. But since people were calling it a Gorilla in this case, I’d hate t plug one.

    But yes, without a body, you have no proof.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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