International Cryptozoology Conference 2018

Florida Skunk Ape is a No-Show

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 13th, 2006

David Shealy

Campground owner and festival organizer David Shealy greeted festivalgoers from near and far at the main gate.

I know that it’s probably going to come as a shock to most of you, but the Skunk Ape was a no-show at David Shealy’s Skunk Ape Festival on June 3rd.

The Marco Island Sun Times reported last week that at the fourth annual festival, but actually the fifth ever, there were no sightings of the Skunk Ape.

As for Skunk Ape sightings of late, it’s been almost a year since anyone has reported seeing Southwest Florida’s version of the mysterious Bigfoot.

"I believe it was last summer," said Shealy. "Two people saw one near the Fakahatchee Strand and that was on The Discovery Channel. They’ve done a special that they’ve shown four or five times recently called ‘Weird Travels.’"

In addition, Shealy noted that "X-Testers" is a new show that will be premiering very soon on The Learning Channel. The Skunk Ape will be featured on their first episode.

Of course, those two people who had the sighting last summer were on their way to visit the Skunk Ape Center. Coincidence?


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.

5 Responses to “Florida Skunk Ape is a No-Show”

  1. scmarlowe responds:

    Not a surprise to me and our investigators. Craig, you may recall that I did a Field Study of the area around Ochopee during Easter Break for my Florida Keys Community College class. Our group could not confirm ANY of the sightings in that area going back to the British Tourist sightings of the 1970s. All the locals we interviewed told us that the sightings associated with Shealy were bogus. One even explained how they were accomplished. Even the 2005 sighting along Route 92 at the Goodland Bridge was tainted by association with him.

    That said, we did talk to one Seminole man who confirmed that he had had a sighting in Big Cypress, but would not elaborate on the event — presumably because the Seminoles consider discussion Shaawanoki bad luck.

    I also declined Linda Martin’s request that we look into sightings in the Immokelee area north of Big Cypress. There is also apparent activity along the route 31 corridor north of Lehigh Acres and US Route 80. We have not investigated the 10,000 islands (due to debris from hurricane Wilma) and didn’t have time to check out those in the Corkscrew Swamp — where there have been new sightings since our field work was done.

    Thank you for referring to Shealy’s animal as the “Skunk Ape” to differentiate it from our “Swamp Ape” in the Lakeland area and to make the credibility distinction between the well-known hoax and the apparently genuine animal.

  2. Sassafrasquatch responds:

    Did anyone bother to book The skunk ape or call his agent?? I mean ya gotta let the guy know he is in demand.. post some flyers in the swamp..hire a plane with the flying billboard or something!

  3. DivaJ69 responds:

    Very interesting. I used to live and work in Naples and never heard of Shealy or his “ape”.

  4. twblack responds:

    If it was that easy we would have zoos full of BF’s by now!!! Yes a little pun their.

  5. longrifle48 responds:

    Only outsiders and seasonal transitory residents (snowbirds) lend any credence to the ramblings of dave shealey! The skunkape festival is another ploy to draw tourist money into the panther campground, if not for the beer and bands, no patrons would attend. Swatting skeeters is local pasttime, so the fest does break the routine of ochopee life!

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