When we think about mysterious apes in the United States, we think of Bigfoot. Of course! But, what if there were (and, perhaps, still are) more than just the Bigfoot apes? What if there were other types of ape in the U.S., too? And, what if some of them were significantly different to the Bigfoots? That's the theme of today's article. Let's get going: In 1900, the Curry County, Oregon newspaper reported on an amazing story. It went as follows: "The appearance of this animal is almost enough to terrorize the rugged mountainsides themselves. He is described as having the appearance of a man – a very good looking man – nine feet in height with low forehead, hair hanging down near his eyes, and his body covered with a prolific growth of hair which nature has provided for his protection. Its hands reach almost to the ground and when its tracks were measured its feet were found to be 18 inches in length with five well formed toes." A fascinating story, but the words stating that the thing had "the appearance of a man" doesn't sound like a Bigfoot. Rather, it sounds more like a primitive human. Now, onto another odd type of American ape.
The origins of Anniston, Alabama date back to the height of the American Civil War. It’s a city, in Calhoun County, of around 23,000 and which is dominated by the huge, picturesque, Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1938, however, it was something else that was dominating the people of Anniston: a strange and distinctly out of place ape. It was in April 1938 that sightings began, in the Choccolocco Valley, of what was quickly referred to by the local press as "a hairy wild man." Rather notably, the beast – which apparently had a hatred for dogs - would walk on two legs, but then drop down onto all-fours when it wanted to run – which was usually when it was being pursued by frightened and enraged gun-toting locals. Most fascinating of all, the beast was not always spotted alone. On several occasions witnesses reported seeing it with a female and "a child," both displaying thick coats of hair and both having the ability to move around in bipedal and quadruped mode, as the mood took them.
Interestingly, one of the main reasons why the Alabama wild things were not killed was because those hunting them backed off from taking definitive shots, due to the eerie human-like appearances of the mysterious beasts. One of those was Rex Biddle, a farmer, who told Sheriff W. P. Cotton that: "He was about five feet tall and had hair all over his body. He was unclothed. Despite his beast-like appearance, his nose and other features indicated he was human." The issue of the creature running in "quadruped mode" isn't very typical when it comes to Bigfoot. So, perhaps, this wasn't a Bigfoot at all, but a yet-to-be-classified American ape. Here's another example:
"Dear Sir, My name is James Meacham, I read the article that you wrote for True Magazine," began Meacham in a 1960 letter to Bigfoot investigator, Ivan T. Sanderson: "I have met a few strange things in my life; as I am still young, there are many more I will probably see. I would like to know if you can tell me anything about a creature that looks like a small ape or a large monkey that has hair the color of fur a reddish orange color. I saw such a creature when I was 15. A friend was with me but did not see it. Whatever it was did not have a tail like a monkey but it did swing like one by its arms." This, too, sounds something far removed from Bigfoot. It sounds like an ape, but the "reddish orange color" suggests the thing was not a Bigfoot.
Now, we come to yet another mysterious creature. Its name: the Skunk Ape. When the word "Bigfoot" is mentioned in conversation, for most people it prompts imagery of gigantic, bulky, eight to nine feet tall, man-monsters roaming the frozen mountains and massive forests of the Pacific Northwest. Certainly, there’s no shortage of such reports. It should be noted, however, that – as incredible as it may sound – Bigfoot might not be the only cryptid ape that calls the United States its home. In Florida, and particularly so in the state’s swampy, wooded areas, there lives a beast known as the Skunk Ape. It’s a creature whose territory also includes Arkansas and North Carolina. It’s the wilds of Florida, however, where the beast really dominates. There is a very good reason for suggesting that the Skunk Ape is a distinctly different creature to that reported on the west coast. Predominantly, it’s the difference in height and bulk that suggest the Skunk Ape and Bigfoot just might not be one and the same. Are we faced with the mind-boggling possibility of at least several different types of apes living in the United States? We just might be, as incredible as the scenario sounds.