Bigfoot Encounters

The Skunk Ape, over the years... Hoaxed cast...

The Naples Daily News Neapolitan
September 22, 2005

Opinion: ....the photograph on the right, which also accompanies the related article link cited below - allegedly depicting a skunk ape footprint cast in the hands of Shealy is half-crocodilian, maybe half human heel imprint and half- tampered-with four digits,
it fools no tracker and the onsite videotaped proclamation that the skunk ape loves lima beans says more about rumor and speculation than fact.

It is just another wild-flung statement by Shealy whose original interest was promoting his gift shop in Ochopee, FL.....

- ---
The 1960s

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission begins to keep a file on skunk ape sightings, although other sources report unrecorded sightings going back much further. One man reports to the commission that he lived with a family of skunk apes for six months.


A group of archeologists, working in Big Cypress swamp, is reported to have had their camp invaded late one night by a mysterious 8-foot creature. A skunk ape?


David Shealy and his brother Jack are out hunting in the Everglades when they spot a skunk ape. Shealy goes on to become Collier County's most outspoken skunk ape research advocate.

July 1997

Vince Doerr, then the fire chief of Ochopee, snaps a photo of what is labeled a skunk ape. That same month, Everglades guide Dow Rowland says he saw a skunk ape along Turner River Road with a band of tourists in tow.

June 1998

Shealy is interviewed for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Over the years, Shealy has taken his expertise on the skunk ape to several media outlets, including the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News and the business world must-read The Wall Street Journal.

August 1999

In a 4-1 vote, the Collier County Tourist Development Council OKs a $44,000 tourist-tax grant for skunk ape research and promotion. Shealy says the money will be used for expeditions and a multilingual skunk ape hotline.

September 1999

County Commissioners turn down the tourist-tax grant when it comes before them. An angry Shealy says that he feels led on.

February 2001

The skunk ape becomes Florida's Bigfoot. Sightings often happen in the Everglades, but range all over the state: Loren Coleman, a part-time professor at the University of Southern Maine, claims to see a skunk ape east of Interstate 75, near the Myakka River State Park.


Shealy's skunk ape quest lands on the front page of the Miami Herald in an article that is promptly picked up by wire services and appears in several Florida papers.

"The Ochoppee (sic) Skunk Ape," a locally-produced documentary, is made about Shealy's life,2071,NPDN_14939_4098815,00.html

Back to Bigfoot Encounters What's New?
Back to Newspaper & Magazine Articles
Bigfoot Encounters Home/Main

Portions of this website are reprinted under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law as educational material without benefit of financial gain.
This proviso is applicable throughout the entire website.