I’m a believer by nature. So when I had the chance to walk in the very steps of the Skunk Ape how could I refuse? For those unfortunate enough to be unaware of Skunk Apes, sit back, move your chairs into a fully reclined position, and enjoy the show.
Basically, the Skunk Ape is the smelly Florida relative of the better known Bigfoot. I’ve never been fortunate to be in the Pacific Northwest to be able to do some real squatchin’ myself, but I’m a dedicated viewer of “Finding Bigfoot” and yes, I’m a dedicated believer in Bigfoot. Make fun of me if you will (and you will) but there are too many eyewitness accounts and evidence finds for there not to be something to the big guy.
Before you scoff in your scoffy way that you scoff, hear me out. There are new species of animals found all the stupid time in out of the way places, and there is no reason that Bigfoot (and all of their relatives in the world) can’t be some kind of hybrid human/ape super race that’s just monitoring us to see how we figure out how to get out of this global warming crap we’ve put ourselves in. Many famous people believe in Bigfoot and have gone squatchin’ to try to find them. Prime example, Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox (http://nesn.com/2014/01/dustin-pedroia-explains-his-belief-in-bigfoot/) has admitted to doing his own searches.
I started believing in Bigfoot when I was growing up in Indiana. We visited my grandmother in Missouri one hot crazy summer in the 70’s and all I had in my bedroom was a scratchy AM radio listening to the mighty KMOX 1120 news. The story I remember hearing? Stinky. There were a rash of reports in the 70’s coming over the airwaves of a smelly, Bigfoot-like creature named (probably a nickname, I can’t imagine his parents naming him this) Stinky. It was down in the Lake of the Ozarks in Southern Missouri, but to a young boy he may as well have been climbing into the stupid window of my bedroom.
Next was a viewing of the movie “Legend of Boggy Creek”. If you ever want to scare the large intestine out of yourself sit in a dark room and watch that movie. You’ll be cuddling your own ankles so quickly it will make your head spin. By the time that movie was over I was a true and certified believer in all things Bigfoot, Stinky, Yeti, Skunk Ape and all of his other smelly cousins.
Flash forward to last month. We decided to take a trip to the Everglades while in Florida and see some alligators. Success. But little did I know that we would drive right by the official Skunk Ape Research Headquarters. I didn’t even know about it until we were a few miles from it and the kind lady at the Everglades Travel Center informed us of its proximity. This is what I expected to pull up to:
Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is actually what it was:
Fair enough. They don’t have much of a budget. Anyway, I didn’t stop there because frankly, I never saw it from the road. But I knew where the sightings happened over the last few years and we were taking the exact same dirt road through the Everglades. Eyes were peeled. Senses were heightened. And then it happened.
I totally embarrassed my wife and kids. That’s right. I took my best Bigfoot learning (from “Finding Bigfoot” of course) and made several loud, whooping, Bigfoot-like calls.
Then I did some random tree knocks. Because that’s how they communicate.
But I left that road satisfied that I had done my part to let the Skunk Ape know that I knew of his whereabouts. He would NOT go to bed that night thinking he was alone in his knowledge of himself. I knew he was there. I think we’ll forever share that bond.
Back in Virginia, I got to thinking about the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters. I called them up. Yes….this reporter did a REAL LIVE INTERVIEW. I even got to talk to the founder of this research center himself – Dave Shealy. Dave has seen and photographed the Skunk Ape several times and is now rightfully obsessed with it. We had a fabulous conversation of about a minute where I inquired about possibly getting a coffee cup or a sweatshirt. Unfortunately – neither one were in stock. They’d be coming soon. That’s the type of hard-hitting interview that I do. But Dave was an EXTREMELY nice and gracious gentleman and invited me back to Ochopee, Florida to explore the swamps with him. INVITE SAVED!
This blog would have ended perfectly with my picture of the Skunk Ape that I snapped, but unfortunately there will be none. If you were a super hyper-intelligent creature that didn’t want to be found, would you sit up by the road on a stool waiting for your picture to be taken? Yes….believe it or not, there COULD be things living on this Earth MORE INTELLIGENT than human beings.
I realize that will be a shocker. How could there be ANYTHING more intelligent on our own planet than us here people watching “The Bachelor”, “The Kardashians”, and “Jersey Shore”???