Those of you interested in the seemingly never ending “search for Bigfoot” may be fascinated by this little tale from my youth.
I was born and raised in Florida, living in central Florida mostly. When I was about 12 or 13, I went out on a trip with my church’s youth group. The trip was mostly to play Capture the Flag and Manhunt. One of the churches most respected members of the congregation had a massive farm, full of “safe woods” for us to play in. I had been on similar trips to the area before, so I felt safe, wondering around alone in the woods at night.
(Regardless of all the obvious “YOU IN DANGER GIRL!” messages and “Didn’t you see Evil Dead?! Those trees are gunna kill you!” thoughts I would probably be thinking of if I were to try and recreate the events today.)
Anyway, so we are all in the church’s van driving through the woods to get to our base camp to set up the game, when all of a sudden there’s a LOUD thud and an impact from the side of the van. Of course, the side I was sitting on. My youth pastor slams down the breaks, we all start screaming. I look at the window and see a giant hairy figure, hobbling away from the van.
“It’s THE SKUNK APE!” my youth pastor screams. And struggles to get the old van back up and running. Everyone in the van, between ages 11 and 15 are all basically losing their minds. “Go after him! Chase him down! We’ll be famous!” one of my friends yells. So my youth pastor makes a rather decent attempt to drive after him, till he hobbled too fast off the road and out of our sight.
Then my youth pastor just brushed it off like it was nothing and continued to drive to the camp. I look to my friend in the seat next to me and ask, “Did we just see Bigfoot?! WHY IS HE SO CALM?!”
Now…whether or not this story was a “true” sighting, or just a prank one of the congregation was playing on the youth group, I may never know. For years I blew it off as just a prank, but then when I did some research before writing this article…I was shocked to find out that it wasn’t just my youth group that had heard of the Skunk Ape. (Also known as the Swamp Ape.) I found a website for you curious cats who want to discover for yourself.
All I know is that later that night, even though I was once completely at ease in those woods, I was the first to volunteer to stay at the base camp instead of hiding in the woods. I’m full of Floridian superstition.
You check out the website, and decide for yourself! 🙂