Are There Apes in America?
A Sampling of Sasquatch
Arkansas has had many reports of giant ape-like creatures dating back to 1955. The one that first made the news was in the town of Fouke in 1971, when a couple was terrorized at their home by what they initially thought was a bear. The wife saw the arm of the creature reaching in through the screen of a window. Later, the husband was seized while on the porch and thrown to the ground. Another incident involving a bigfoot-like creature frightened residents of a trailer park in Springdale. It apparently hammered dents in the sides of mobile homes and dug up vegetable gardens. Reports streamed in for the next few months, then subsided. The creature was dubbed the Fouke Monster, the Arkansas Ape-man, or the Boggy Creek Monster (after the 1973 movie that was made about it). Then the sightings began again in the region in 1978, recurring in 1991, 1997 and 1998. In 2003, police received calls of a large ape in the Decateur area, although reports of the beast’s size varied greatly. The Texarkana Gazette ran an article in 2001 detailing the 1971 incident, “The Fouke Monster 30 Years Later” (http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_article.asp?id=259)
The forested swamps of Southern Georgia and Florida are home to what the locals call the Skunk Ape or Stink Ape. It gets its name from its distinctive and powerful rotten egg smell. The creature is reportedly similar to Bigfoot and appearance but leaner and slightly smaller – only about 6 ½ to 7 feet tall. Sightings date back hundreds of years and the Native Americans of the area have their own names for the animal. The Valdosta Daily Times ran an excellent article on it in April of this year, “Planet of the Skunk Apes” ( http://valdostadailytimes.com/local/x1612554511/Planet-of-the-Skunk-Apes )
Texas is often thought to be an arid place, no doubt due to many old western movies that portrayed it that way. However, a large part of the state is heavily forested and there have been many reports of sasquatch. In 2002, residents of Sabine reported a gray ape-like creature in the woods. In 2008, a truck driver saw a light-colored sasquatch cross the highway in front of him. What impressed him the most was its sheer size -- and when something looks big from the seat of an 18-wheeler, it's really big. For a complete collection of credible incidents, check out the website of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy ( http://www.texasbigfoot.org/ )
Alaska is the biggest state of all and it has its share of bigfoot stories, some dating back hundreds of years. In the Great State, the creature is often called the Hairy Man, the Uraluyi or Nantiinaq. In the 1950s, the entire village of Port Chatham was abandoned due to the malicious presence of a Nantiinaq! The Homer Tribune recorded the memories of one woman from that village. (http://homertribune.com/2009/10/port-chatham-left-to-spirits/ )
Color by Area?
In the majority of reports, the ape creature’s coloration varies from light brown to reddish brown to almost black. But there are accounts of unusual colors, and researchers say the color appears to be regional, meaning light or white colored bigfoot are more likely to be sighted in the eastern or southern areas of the US. In Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, New York State and Washington State, sasquatch with gray-white, cream and off-white fur have been reported. On the west coast, a few have very dark hair that is silver-tipped. Some researchers feel that coat color changes with age, just as it does in humans.
Occasionally some sasquatch sport distinctive markings, such as Old Yellow Top in Ontario, Canada. This brown bigfoot had a thatch of blonde hair on its head – perhaps an old wound caused the hair to grow in differently than the rest, or perhaps it was a natural variation. Whatever the reason for the color, sightings of Old Yellow Top date back to about 1906 and the last reports were in the 1970s, which seems to suggest it could easily be the same individual.
Is There A Bigfoot Hiding in YOUR Woods?
In any conversation about the Sasquatch, the number one question is always How could such a large animal remain hidden for so long? In answer, consider the gorilla, which remained a character in rumors and stories until the discovery of some bones in 1847. The first sighting of a live lowland gorilla by a Westerner didn’t occur until 1856. It was 1902 before the mountain gorilla was discovered. Now consider that in 2008 – just two years ago – a population of 125,000 (yes, that’s 125 THOUSAND) western lowland gorillas was discovered living in the forests of the Republic of Congo. This country’s land mass is one-quarter the size of the US. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26016923/ ) If researchers and biologists can miss that many gorillas, it stands to reason that a few sasquatch should have no trouble eluding them.
Your turn – Any Bigfoot stories in your area? Do you think it’s possible that they exist? (Be sure and vote in my poll in the dark gray column on the right of this blog.)
Posted by Dani Harper, AUTHOR