Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 20th, 2007
This is David Wright. I happen to be the “Know-It-All” to whom you referred in your article on Cryptomundo.com. concerning the Florida ape.
Please allow me to set you straight concerning this story and it’s culmination. First of all, I am a very active BFRO Investigator in N. E. Florida. Feel free to peruse my actual investigations on our site. We (BFRO) were made aware of this story early Wednesday, the 14th by somebody in the western U.S. who saw it on the Fox News website, and I was notified by another Investigator who knows this is my geographic area, and took up the investigation. Secondly, the speculation of this being a possible juvenile Bigfoot was already afoot in the area (no pun intended), so I was not the origin of this speculation as you smugly imply, “throwing around terms like juvenile Bigfoot.” In GOOD investigative form, I contacted the regional office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was put in touch with FFWCC spokesperson, Karen Parker. Typically, it is GOOD form to identify one’s self when conversing with law enforcement officials as to why you are making an inquiry, and is generally a requirement for an investigative conversation to go forward. She gave the impression that she had heard of the BFRO, and enthusiastically put me in contact with the FFWCC officer that investigated the sighting, Ken Holmes. He was out of town on a case, but contacted me at my home that evening. He was very receptive of the animal being a possible juvenile “skunk ape” and even stated as you see in your own posting, “I can’t confirm that it wasn’t Bigfoot, that’s one possibility.” I also contacted the Baker County Animal Control office, only to find a recording stating that they were all at an animal control meeting or convention or something, and would not be available until 11/19/07, today.
In GOOD investigative form, I did not sit on my butt and take the story at face value like so many do, but got into the field to further my investigation by trying to find the actual witness, which I did on Saturday, the 17th, accompanied by another BFRO Investigator. And by the way, that was NOT the original reporting witness in the news video, as you wrongly stated in your article. I personally interviewed the original witness. It was in this face to face interview that I discovered that when the witness made his initial sighting, he saw a very distinct 2.5′ long tail on the creature as it “ran” through the trees. Upon retrieving his binoculars and viewing the animal’s face looking directly at him, he stated that it was the face of a monkey. Based on the size of the animal as described being 3′- 4′ tall, and running and leaping through the tree tops, that pretty much rules out the lethargic orangutan, and the long tail certainly rules out a possible juvenile “skunk ape”, leaving the most likely culprit to be a spider monkey. Monkeys on the loose in Florida are not uncommon, as being escaped exotic pets or more likely, wild descendants of monkeys imported to Florida for the early Tarzan movies.
So, you see, sir, it is precisely the good form of tenacious BFRO investigators going into the field to conduct face to face investigations and interviews to get to the bottom of a story with national attention, not sitting in the seat of the scornful, persecuting those who actually carry out such real investigations, that has proved to solve the likely identity of this previously unknown creature.
Feel free to publish this account on your website.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.