Skunk Ape Footage? Something Stinks…

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 9th, 2005

I don’t know of anyone who has seen "The Ochopee Skunk Ape", the documentary about David Shealy’s quest for the skunk ape, the Everglades variety of Bigfoot. In an article in the Marco Island (FL) Sun Times, the film is described as "basically Shealy’s true-life story and his experiences with the skunk ape during that time." Basically being the key word here.

The article even states, "Adding to the suspense was a 15-second sighting of the skunk ape as it ran through Shealy’s campground three weeks ago. A University of Minnesota faculty member captured the ape on film and gave Martin (the filmmaker) a still photograph of the incident."

Other than in this article, I have never seen nor heard of this footage. The article was published January 6, 2005, so the footage would have been shot mid-December. The article also states that the movie features Shealy’s footage of the shunk ape. I’ve seen his footage, as have many others on Unsolved Mysteries. I wonder if it includes the recent footage shot by the university faculty member?

Shealy\\\'s Skunk Ape

So I ordered a copy of the "The Ochopee Skunk Ape". I will let you know if the new footage is there. That’s gotta be worth $30, don’t cha think? I mean this film was going to make the rounds "to the various film festivals such as the World Film Festival in Naples, Sundance Film Festival, and Cannes, France". Sounds like it will be a bargain at twice the price.

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.

12 Responses to “Skunk Ape Footage? Something Stinks…”

  1. bill green responds:

    hi craig & everyone ive never seen this florida sasquatch documentary. does anyone here have the dvd. thanks bill :)im sure more sightings will come out florida about sasquatch.

  2. scmarlowe responds:

    I stopped in at Shealy’s “Skunk Ape Museum” in Ochopee back in May intending to get a copy of his new “documentary”.

    The clerk told me that the DVD/VHS was only being sold over the Internet.

    Several people I know ordered the flick, but never received their order. Did you get your copy?

  3. Craig Woolheater responds:

    I ordered it on October 8th and have not as of yet received it. I will keep folks informed as to my order status. I just sent an email to Shealy inquiring about the status of the order. Let’s see what happens…

  4. scmarlowe responds:

    Craig and everyone else, we’ve begun putting together a database of Florida Swamp Ape sightings on the Pangea Institute website.

    Our intent is to geo-tag the entries so that we’ll be able to plot the location of each sighting on a geographic information system for the state.

    If you have any sighting data in your files that you would be willing to share, please send the information to us so that we can include it in the GIS study.

    Of course, anyone having had an encounter, in Florida only please, with the Swamp Ape or a Bigfoot creature is invited to add their sighting to the database as well.

    Just click on the “Cryptid Sightings” link appearing in the top menu of our homepage to begin entering your information.

    Many thanks!

  5. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Well, lo and behold, in yesterday’s mail there was a package from the Skunk Ape Research Center. I wonder what the mailman thought, delivering a package addressed to the Texas Bigfoot Research Center coming from the Skunk Ape Research Center? I’m suprised that the Men In Black haven’t shown up to see what was in the package. I haven’t watched the DVD yet, but I will soon and give an honest appraisal. The package is pretty slick and even includes a soundtrack CD!

  6. scmarlowe responds:

    Craig, please let us know after you’ve reviewed the footage if there is anything new or interesting contained in it or if the material is just another collection of Shealy’s hoaxes and ego boosts.

  7. longrifle48 responds:

    on the subject of david shealey..he is our local skunk ape hoaxer..absolutely no one that is considered a local..pays any attention,to anything he says!!how convienient,in broad daylight the skunker.tip toes thru the tulips,in shealey’s own backyard and cavorts for the camera..puhleeze..shealey’s antics are and always have been,an effort to attract tourist dollars to his failing campground..of note to all outsiders who continue to give this clown coverage?? his brother jack? strange as it might seem..fits the physical makeup of the so called skunker in his video..hahaha but whatever believe what you must..

  8. scmarlowe responds:

    Craig, over Easter Break, I took a small group, including a student from FKCC, on an investigation of the Ochopee sightings.

    I’ve also spoken to Ronnie Roseman and Peter Byrne about the Ochopee sightings. Peter and Ronnie believe that the sightings by Vince Dorr and his neighbor are genuine.

    However, one member of our expedition who lives in the area told us that he personally had met the seamstress who concocted the Skunk Ape suit worn in these sightings.

    Byrne and Roseman’s contention is that it would be too hot for someone to wear a heavy suit for as long as those two sightings durated. The answer, however, is that the suit had a cooling fan built into it as do many mascot costumes for football games and other sporting events. Perhaps that’s why the “animal” didn’t get too close to the “eyewitnesses” — the fan’s noise would have been detected.

    We did find, two Seminoles in the area who had credible encounters that they acknowledged. They would not talk to us at that time about further detail as they consider it bad luck to discuss Shaawanoki — their name for the Swamp Ape.

    We also found that the sightings in Collier County in the Corkscrew Swamp and the 10,000 Islands areas are credible. The 2005 Marco Island sighting along route 92 is not credible and is the case for all the Ochopee area events along Turner Road and for Dorr and his neighbor.

    LongRifle’s assessment of the attitude of local residents towards Mr. Shealy is accurate. We interviewed a lady who lives on his compound and she had quite a bit to say about his activities. Those comments are not appropriate to repeat here.

  9. longrifle48 responds:

    Thanks to scmarlowe..for backing up my opinion of David Shealey…I have lived in naples, for 5 yrs..and met shealey in person, and know him enough not to believe anything he says!! I believe Vince Doerr (also a good guy) was an innocent tool in the Turner Road staged skunker sightings. Vince was known to travel Burns Rd. at the same time everyday (and not carry any weapons) and was the local fire dept.chief (what a great impartial witness) as was the town hall woman (also living on Burns rd. one street further east of Turner rd.) As far as Turner rd. was a well used area for the tourist buses to take european visitors to see wild alligators along the roadside waterway. Anyone wishing to seek the skunker in this area, must beware! At any time, there’s likely to be upwards of 40 gators who don’t know where the taco ends and the fingers start! Seeking in this area after dark is extremely dangerous. I am sure mister skunker is also aware of the dangers of swimming with gators, so it’s unlikely you’ll encounter a skunker there anyways! But I only live here, what would I know…eh??

  10. longrifle48 responds:

    Anyone with a skunk ape sighting should report the incident to scmarlowe immediately. I met scmarlowe, he’s a good man, and honest in his search and research of the skunkape. That Shealey movie was shown only on Marco Island (far as i know) and was another attempt to ego boost himself and draw in more tourist money to flim flam people into paying to reap his non-existant expertise, (cuz you’ll only see the skunker if you pay to camp at his campground!!!!) I guess Shealey and the ochopee skunker, were cell mates and have a connection!

  11. scmarlowe responds:

    Much appreciation for the vote of confidence.

    Personally, I do not have any opinion of Mr. Shealy as I have never met the man.

    I am, however, annoyed at the use of photography and evidence obtained by my research team (used in the latest Discovery Travel production in which Shealy appeared with Loren and Craig) to support Shealy’s story.

    It was inappropriate to use material from a research project taking place 100 miles away from Ochopee to bolster “Skunk Ape” activity in and around Collier County. In as much as Mr. Shealy must have, given his “20 plus years experience” in tracking his animal, considerable evidence of his own such that the use of our material should be unnecessary. Moreover, he has a museum which should ostensibly be stocked with exhibits suitable for the job.

    However, this issue may be more related to the production outfit looking for filler than Mr. Shealy. On the other hand, the production company may have had to resort to this inproper conduct as material was not made available by Shealy for some reason.

  12. NevynTheNomad responds:

    I just came back from the yearly Skunk Ape New Year’s festival at Shealy’s place and I gotta say, some of you people are taking this forum thread a bit too far. His campground is not “failing” so much as it is a place many would not want to visit. Ever been to the Everglades?? I was born here in FL and have been here for 30 years and I gotta say, it’s not my favorite place to hang out when it’s warm. I have been going there for the New Year’s celebrations for 5 years now and it seems as busy as ever; lots of fun.

    As for the Skunk Ape, I do not believe it. Dave was kind enough to let me borrow his DVD last year and I copied it onto my laptop (sorry, Dave) but I would not suggest anybody buy it. I have known Dave for 4 years now and have to say, he believes it. He truly does. He’s really passionate about it too.

    Please do not berate the man for what you believe is an attempt to bolster his business. You do not know this for sure. He may truly believe in what he is saying and I don’t see how it’s your place to claim otherwise.

    As for his brother being the same size as the footage/costume, this is true. He is the same shape and size as the figure in the footage. This is all I have to say on the matter though and will not likely return to this site as I only wandered in here by chance but I leave you with this word of what I believe to be wisdom: Believe in what you want, as you will anyway, but let others believe what they want as well; it is their right.

    Personally, I think you’re all crazy but good luck just the same. =~)

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