Brabant in Miami
A campsite owner in the Florida Everglades is calling on the state government
to enact new laws to protect a creature known as the yeti of the swamps,
bigfoot or skunk ape. Researchers say they have received
credible evidence from indigenous Indians living in the swamp that such
a creature exists. And they want to examine a video taken by the campsite
owner, David Shealy. (which is not a photo of a "real skunk ape aka Bigfoot)
He says the tape proves the skunk ape's existence.
Skeptics believe its an elaborate hoax.
According to South Florida folklore,
the skunk ape is the long lost cousin of the abominable snowman, so-named
because it supposedly smells like rotten eggs. Swamp guide David Shealy
has the most incredible knack for being in the right place at the right
time. He doesn't own a video camera. But he says he borrowed one to film
some Everglades deer ... and lo and behold. "There was something
tall and black standing there, about seven feet tall. As I zoomed in on
it, I could see arm movements," he reveals. "That's when I realized
immediately that I was photographing a skunk ape" he adds.
Bill Bang, an enthusiastic hunter, is one of the skeptics who believe
this latest sighting is another hoax. I've spent 30-plus years splashing
around out there, I've never seen any evidence of anything like it," he says. But it is not the figment of David Shealy's imagination, according
to anthropologist Bob Carr, who together with tracker Ted Riggs has been
collecting evidence about the skunk ape for
a quarter of a century Both are convinced that there is at least some
kind of unidentified creature out there.
Ted Riggs points to the enormous amount of strength a creature would need
to be able to bound through the swamp as shown on the Shealy tape. But
Carr warns that although he believes there is some kind of creature out
there, hoaxes only make it all the more challenging to track down the
Seemingly only a corpse can finally prove the existence of the shadowy
beast once and for all - but that's an idea that horrifies David Shealy.
© BBC News, London
Friday, 21 July, 2000
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