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COUNTY: Broward County
LOCATION DETAILS: Sunshine acres, University Rd.,106th & 111st, Griffin Rd.
NEAREST TOWN: Davie
NEAREST ROAD: University Rd.
OBSERVED: In 1974 I was 12 yrs. old visiting my sister M and her family in Davie FL with my cousin A who was 15 at the time. One night we were sleeping on a pull out couch in the sitting room. When we smelled something like a skunk only worse, we asked my sister what it was she said it was the Skunk Ape and he comes around in the hottest summers. We didn't believe her so we asked our friends and they said it was real. One night while we were sleeping we seen a huge shadow come across the picture window. Then it turned looked at itself and let out a blood curdling scream that scared us half to death. Then it turned and walked to the side of the house and we followed it by going in the side bathroom. There it squatted down to eat a wild watermelon then it went to the back of the house to a man made lake, squatted down and drank some water. A few nights later the beast attacked a wild horse in its coral but the horse got away by jumping over the coral and ran off into the pasture. The rancher came out and took a few shots at the beast but it got away. When the horse came back it had finger prints on its hind quarters, not scratches but finger marks. A few nights later the beast came back and killed a farmer's bull. The farmer took a few shots at the beast but missed it. At the same time my sister and her husband J were coming home from a night out and the sheriff and his deputy were on patrol. We jumped into Joe's car and followed the Deputy when the beast stepped out of the darkness and was hit by the police car. The beast went down and when it got up it looked into the police car and let out a blood curdling yell. We were about 10ft behind the Deputy car when the beast hit the police car with both hands and the back of the car came off the ground. Then it limped off into the swamp. When the Sheriff got there the car looked like it hit a utility pole. Just then the farmer came over and told the sheriff that his prized bull was dead. This bull was huge at least a ton with it head ripped off and thrown across the pasture. That's when they called in the state police with their horses & dogs & helicopters, they searched the swamp all night but found nothing.
ALSO NOTICED: Underground caverns in the swamps off the banks of the canals.
OTHER WITNESSES: 4 in my family
OTHER STORIES: yes on the Skunk Ape website in South Florida
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 1 am, flood lights on all the corners of the house, sensor lights.
ENVIRONMENT: Everglades Swamps
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
This report is very interesting to me because I grew up in the area and the Skunk Ape stories from the summers of 1971 and 1974 is what got me interested in the Bigfoot subject. Much of the activity was confirmed in newspaper (see below) and television by animal control, law enforcement, and even police chiefs.
The activity and reports from this time in South Florida was unperceived and has not happened again. Speculation could only explain why. Development was happening quickly and South Florida was experiencing a severe drought (1970 to 1975) receiving less than half of the yearly rainfall it normally does. In 1974 Lake Okeechobee's water level was the lowest ever recorded.
A Skunk Ape is the regional term of a bigfoot or sasquatch in Florida. Many researchers believe they are the same species, perhaps the only difference being that they may be smaller due to Bergmann’s rule. Other regional terms would be the Grass Man of Ohio, Fouke Monster, Mole man, Wood Booger, etc.
I spoke to this witness several times on the phone. I am familiar with the street they lived on and at that time it was the western edge of the development occurring at the time in the county. It is now more or less the center of the county; so much has changed.
When he went to visit his sister that summer he heard strange screams in the yard. His cousin explained to him that it was just, “skunk apes.” The bad smells coming through the window at night was also blamed on the skunk apes. Being from New York and never having heard of a skunk ape, he was unsure if his family was teasing him or not.
One night in July, the boys were up late and noticed a large shadow through the curtains in the picture window, they were watching TV in the dark. The witness looked under the curtain to see what was there. About 10 -20 feet in front of the window in the spot lights stood a tall ape-like creature. It was looking their way and seemed to them that the animal saw its reflection in the window and then screamed loudly. When it screamed it flexed its body “as a body builder” would. The witness remembers its face as it was so close to the window. Sketch artist and BFRO Investigator Sybilla Irwin has recreated what he saw:
Here is a google earth image of the area along with some labels:
It walked along the outside perimeter of the property’s 6 ft. chain link fence; they could see it was at least 3 ft. higher. They followed it through the house looking out the windows; they watched it walk past the house to a small pond on the adjoining property. Along the way they watched it squat down and pick up a watermelon with both hands. It ate it like an apple. Then it walked to the pond, squatted again, and using its right hand, scooped up water to drink. The entire time it walked and ate, it had its head turned toward the house. The skunk ape then continued on in the 45 degree angle from the house onto a wooded trail. The trail was a well-used path the boys used on their dirt bikes and others hiked on.
He describes the skunk ape as being about 9 feet tall, its body covered in dark brown or black hair. It was very broad shouldered, walked bi-pedal and resembled a man and an ape. It had long arms that hung past its knees.
About 2-3 nights later, the family had heard about a horse a few streets away that had been attacked. It had jumped the corral and the rancher had fired at a dark shape. When the horse was found it allegedly had hand-like marks on it.
The witness’ sister and brother in law was stopped by a sheriff on their street as they returned home that night, and told of a possible skunk ape in the area. The ranch manager had fired shots at the creature and it could be injured. The brother-in-law returned home, picked up the boys in the car, and followed the deputy through the neighborhood. While driving they saw the skunk ape run from the east side of the road, hit the deputy’s car, bounce off into the street sign knocking it over, then run into the woods/swamp. The ranch manager showed up at that time claiming his bull had been killed. An intense search did not reveal the creature.
His sister confirms the witness' statement. Unfortunately her son, his cousin, has passed away.
The bull he speaks about being killed is a story I heard about the summer of 1974, as well as the story of the injured horse and later a pony that was killed. (The witness had returned to New York and was unaware of a pony being killed. It was just a few streets over from his location.) This August 11, 1975 article in the Miami News mentions the pony:
The summer of 1971 saw confirmations of a juvenile and adult skunk ape in a nearby trailer park. The story was picked up in these local papers:
August 3, 1971 Boca Raton News -
August 13, 1971 St Petersburg Independent -
August 16, 1971 Ocala Banner Star -
August 18, 1971 Palm Beach Post -
August 19, 1971 St. Petersburg Times -
Even in the August 30, 1971 edition of Sports Illustrated.
My uncle was a police officer during this time and recalls the incidents at the trailer park. He was called out on a “prowler” call. He and his partner arrived to see a very large, muscular, hairy bipedal shape looking into the window of a trailer. It ran away as they approached it, leaving behind a very strong “pungent, ammonia, horrible B.O.” smell. He explained to me that since a crime had not been committed only an incident report would have been filed, not an official police report. The incident reports were not kept and filed. He assumes such is the case with this witness' story as well.
This Palm Beach Post story dated November 19, 1975 quotes Hialeah Springs Police Chief Ray Bennett stating that a juvenile skunk ape was caught and transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami:
Please contact the BFRO with any information that can help collaborate these Skunk Ape accounts.
About BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
Re Monteith has had a life-long interest in Bigfoot and has an extensive background in outdoor land and ocean survival as well as mountaineering. She has tran-sailed the Atlantic, backpacked in remote places throughout the world and has climbed three of the seven summits. She studied International Relations at Florida International University, and is a Financial and Real Estate Consultant. She has participated in many private expeditions as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 BFRO North Florida Expeditions and the 2013 BFRO UP Michigan & Alabama Expedition. She also organized Florida's 2017 Town Hall Meeting. She was an Executive Producer of the documentary film, "Skunk Ape Lives" and featured as a Crypto Expert on The Science Channel's television show, Strange Evidence for seasons 2 - 5.
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