Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Dade County > Article # 690
Media Article # 690
Article submitted by Investigator R. Monteith
Wednesday, January 9, 1974
'Skunk Ape" on Prowl? Glades Creature Sought
By By Ian Glass and Jon Hall
'Skunk Ape' on prowl?
Glades creature sought
Police and wildlife officers searched the Everglades in northwest Dade today for a mysterious eight foot tall man-like creature that was reportedly hit by a motorist before dawn on State Road 27.
The reported sighting stirred the interest of those who have long sought evidence of the existence of the "Skunk-Ape," Florida's equivalent to the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas and "Bigfoot" of the Pacific Northwest.
Two police helicopters with powerful searchlights were dispatched after a caller reported seeing such a creature limping along SR27 near the Dade-Broward border.
That call, at 3:30 a.m. to the Florida Highway Patrol, followed by about three hours a call to the FHP by a motorist who said he had struck a two-legged creature on SR27.
The creature took off into the brush, the motorist, Richard Lee Smith of Hollywood, told the FHP.
Trooper M. E. Johnson, however, said he found no evidence of a hard collision on Smith's car. An FHP spokesman said the car showed only "a kind of brush mark" on one fender.
The call at 3:30 a.m. came from Saler's Truck Stop at the junction of Krome Avenue and SR27, and troopers and Dade sheriff's deputies converged on the scene.
FHP Dispatcher Stuart Wallace expressed skepticism about the "Skunk Ape," or creature, and remarked, "This happens annually, you know it's a full moon."
However in daylight, searchers found mysterious things in the area.
A large area of brush was trampled as if by a large bear, and a large holly tree was freshly uprooted, its sap still running.
And there was a mongrel dog found whimpering with four fresh puncture wounds, as if from teeth, in its throat.
Hialeah Gardens Patrolman Robert Holmeyer, acting as liaison officer for the daylight hunt, said he had arrived at the scene while it was still dark, and saw a "shadowy, dark, 8-foot tall creature thrashing off into the underbrush."
He said he wasn't sure what it was, but it made a lot of noise thrashing about, and he didn't feel he should go in after it in the dark.
The dog, believed to be a hunting dog, had been seen loitering for about a week in the vicinity of two fishing camps in the area, camp operators said.
This morning it was found crying from throat wounds. Danny Fernandez, one of the camp operators, said the dog was "terrified," and he said the bites looked as if they had been made by a large-jawed human rather than some wild animal.
In one of the helicopters over the area this morning was Robert Morgan, local member of the American Yeti Expedition. Yeti is the Nepalese word for the Abominable Snowman.
Morgan, who said he also is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation, said he was convinced the creature reported today was similar to the Yeti.
He said the hunt would continue in an effort to capture the creature for study and later release. He said the creature was probably traveling through the vast Glades with its family and had been injured by the car.
He appealed to the general public not to try and catch it. It is not aggressive, he said, unless it feels threatened.
There were no reports that the creature being sought today in the Glades emitted a noxious, overwhelming odor, which has in the past been given as an attribute of the "Skunk Ape."
Captions of the photos in this article:
"Whimpering dog is lifted into blanket by rescuers"
"Bob Morgan (right) talks with patrolman Robert Holemeyel"