Rumors and stories swirl around the mysterious skunk monkey, a legendary monster said to exist in the deep swamps of South Florida.
The creature, also known as Florida’s Big Foot, is back in the news as a new movie has been released following a documentary crew investigating the mystery.
The skunk monkey has reportedly been spotted several times by Florida residents, and all have given it a haunting description.
Similar to Bigfoot, the skunk monkey is said to walk on two legs and resemble a massive primate-like creature.
The approximately 2.10 meter tall ape with broad shoulders and brownish hair sounds like a frightening sight.
Even more chilling, however, is how the skunk monkey earned its namesake.
Said to have a terribly pungent odor, the creature hangs around what is now South Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve.
One of the earlier well-publicized sightings happened back in 1957, according to Unknown Explorers, when two hunters claimed the monkey had invaded their camp.
Several sightings have since been reported, including Shealy’s second, in which he claimed to have seen giant four-toed footprints near his hunting camp inside Big Cypress.
The only problem is that all respected scientists have scoffed at the description and reported sightings, saying there is no concrete evidence to pin its existence.
“People report seeing this mythical creature from time to time,” Bob DeGross, the reservation’s public affairs officer, told Smithsonian Magazine.
“But there has never been a substantiated sighting of the skunk monkey that has been verified by National Park Service officials.”
Though DeGross is debunking the rumours, some vehemently claim to have seen the skunk monkey and are more than willing to share their unique stories.
One of the most notable whistleblowers is Dave Shealy, who says he was 10 years old when he first hunted the creature in the Everglades.
“It ran across the swamp and my brother spotted it first,” Shealy said.
“But I couldn’t see it over the grass – I wasn’t tall enough.
“My brother picked me up and I saw it about 100 meters away. We were just kids but we had heard about it and knew exactly what we were seeing.
“It looked like a man but was completely covered in hair.”
Shealy, who is now 50, has spent his life relentlessly tracking the creature since that day, and now he says he’s seen the skunk monkey on three other occasions.
In July 2000, he even captured one of the encounters in a chilling video that has since gone viral.
The footage shows a massive, hairy figure loitering around some palm trees until, motivated by an unknown trigger, it broke into a run behind the tree line.
Despite the grainy footage, experts claim there is no real empirical data to prove the Florida legend’s existence.
“I know what I saw,” Shealy said.
“For someone who hasn’t come here and put in the time to say something else, I don’t really care.”
True or false, the story surrounding the skunk monkey was rich enough to inspire filmmaker Ryan Justice to create a horror film about the terrifying mystery.
The Wild Man: Skunk Ape follows a story of young women going missing in South Florida without a single suspect in custody.
A young journalist named Sara convinced her crew to start an investigation in the small town of Ochopee, but they discover it’s a lot scarier than they thought.
The film can now be rented or bought on several streaming platforms.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6378248/inside-hunt-for-skunk-ape-florida-creature/ Inside hunt for “Florida’s Big Foot” the skunk monkey with “sightings” including “enormous footprints” dating back to the 1950’s