Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 17th, 2009
Pat Rance, Bipedal Primate Reseacher holds a cast of a Bigfoot Wednesday, December 18th, 2007 in the Ocala National Forest taken from the Green Swamp in Florida in April of 2006. Bill Mitchell / Daily Sun.
Cryptomundo correspondent Steve Summar passes along word that “Pat Rance, aka ‘skunkape,” from Orlando, suffered a near fatal heart attack Monday night [June 15, 2009] after returning from a week in the field squatching. Pat called me last evening after undergoing a successful interventional angioplasty yesterday. He is expected to be discharged and convalescing at home this week. Pat is an engineer and well known field researcher, specializing in thermal imaging, who has appeared with myself and many others on numerous BTR radio programs. He has worked closely with Diane Stocking, JL Johnson, myself and many others over the years including Wally Hersom and Matt Moneymaker.”
“We were finding dozens of footprints,” reporter Gary Corsair, Daily Sun quoted Pat Rance in 2007. The independent primate researcher from Longwood, Florida, told Corsair he briefly saw a “Skunk Ape” in the Green Swamp (a 110,000-acre labyrinth of wetlands, flatwoods and cypress domes in Florida).
Pat Rance looks very much like a successful owner of a Longwood business until he dons night-vision goggles, turns on his ultra-sensitive audio recorder and steps into the woods in search of Bigfoot.
Rance’s determination to prove Bigfoot exists has taken him to Mississippi, Oklahoma and throughout Florida. North Carolina is next. But it was right here in Central Florida, in the Green Swamp shared by Lake, Sumter and Polk counties, that he saw Bigfoot in April 2006.
”We were finding dozens of footprints, which isn’t surprising because there’s a long history of sightings down there,” Rance says.
”I really didn’t know what to think until I got into it and started finding different footprints, different sizes, different strides,” Rance recalled. ”I found some that looked like it was walking because they were about five feet apart. There were other prints where it looked like it was running. Those were nine feet apart and the dirt was pushed up on the sides of the print like it had come down hard. And then I found prints where it had jumped across a ditch. They were 26 feet apart.”
Rance and his friends, who call themselves ”bipedal primate researchers,” measured and photographed the prints. They poured plaster in the most defined prints.
There were so many prints, the researchers staked out the area, leaving apples, pancakes and a jar of peanut butter as lures.
”We set up video cameras and watched areas at night. Wed hide in the woods and try to get video, trying to see something,” Rance said. ”The next morning, there would be tracks right where we had been looking.”
Days passed without a sighting, so Rance changed tactics.
”I decided to go down a small trail, and set up my tent down there and pretended I was going to camp. I put a camcorder and tripod in the tent, pointed it out of the opening and left.”
On his third day at his ”pretend” camp, something visited the main camp, ate the pancakes, took 10 apples (and smashed two), and absconded with the peanut butter jar, leaving only the lid. After investigating the scene, Rance retrieved his camcorder from the other tent.
”We got there, and packed it up,” Rance said. ”We didn’t go 50 yards when something appeared on the trail in front of us. It went sideways into the palmetto and palm trees.”
A startled Rance turned to see the creature watching him from the dense foliage at the edge of the trail.
”It was dark, but I could see the outline. Its shoulders were this wide,” says Rance as he extends his arms about 18 inches from his sides. ”It was in the palmetto leaves, 30 or 40 feet away. I started to raise up my night-vision goggles and it took off.”
Did he really see Bigfoot?
”I saw it for five or six seconds. I know it wasn’t a bear. It was upright, dark and shaggy looking,” Rance said. ”I know what I saw, and there’s no doubt in my mind.” ~ Gary Corsair, Daily Sun, 2007.
“I believe JL Johnson of Grendel films profiled Pat in his Keeping the watch DVD,” recalls Summar. “I know Diane Stocking, Johnson, Jim Grant and myself have all been in the field with Pat.”
“I have introduced Pat to many “habituators,”” writes Summar. “He is well regarded in that ‘community.’ Chris Noel has worked with Pat, [and he is] referenced in Chris Noel’s recent Impossible Visits book and DVD.
Steve Summar would asks the Cryptomundo “readership to include Pat in their prayers.”
Pat Rance in his “false camp and thermal imager,” at an undisclosed habituation site, in Oklahoma, a few years ago; taken by Steve Summar. Used with permission.
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.