Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Skunk Ape" in Sarasota?

Since the 1960s, Florida's own version of Bigfoot - known as The Skunk Ape - has been reported roaming the swamps of the Sunshine State. And now, the latest sighting has been captured in video and still images by numerous eyewitness. Something was seen slogging with an apelike gait across the marsh in Sarasota's Myakka River Park, maybe a Skunk Ape, maybe a bear, maybe some drunk dressed in black motorcycle gear, I dunno.

The audio portion of the video below, taken from a Mysterious Universe podcast, is interesting, as it contains a discussion of people trying to photograph the creature being harassed by park rangers who literally give them the "move along, citizen, nothing to see here" treatment.

In 2000, two photographs seeming to depict the Skunk Ape were anonymously mailed to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department. They were accompanied by a letter from a woman who claimed to have photographed what she thought to be an escaped orangutan in her back yard, and that the creature had returned to her home four times to steal apples from her back porch. Consistent with Skunk Ape lore, the woman said:

"I judge it as being about six and a half to seven feet tall in a kneeling position... It had an awful smell that lasted well after it had left my yard. The orangutan was making deep "woomp" noises."

The creature in the anonymous photos is clearly not an orangutan, yet seems genuinely simian and feral, with matted hair and a patch of grey around its muzzle. Fortunately the woman used a flash for the photo which illuminated many details of the creature perfectly. Two clues point to the whereabouts of the woman's yard: the woman in the letter stated that she lives near I-75, which just happens to run along the very southernmost portion of Myakka River State Park, and paranormal researcher Loren Coleman managed to track down the developer source of the photos to the Eckerd Drugs photo lab at the intersection of Fruitville and Tuttle in Sarasota.

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