Monday, June 17, 2013

Skunk Ape Sighting: Hoax

Experience has taught us that when we come along videos claiming to be "100% real, actual footage" proving the existence of any paranormal phenomena, especially cryptids, we're most likely in store for some blurry footage of something that can't be identified.  Although footage shot recently claims to have captured Florida's elusive Skunk Ape, a southern cousin of Bigfoot, the Lost Creek cyptozoology department didn't find anything other than a couple Roger Patterson wannabe's.

Mike Falconer uploaded the footage, shown below, to YouTube after recording it on March 2nd at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota County.  The description describes seeing the creature while driving with his son and stopping to capture the footage with his iphone. A local news station picked up the story, and it made it's way around the internet. 

In the comments section Falconer adds that when you hear them talking about two of them, there are deer apparently visible, in addition to the skunk ape. We didn't see any deer, and sure didn't see any Skunk Ape.  

Here's some of the problems we have with this 'evidence.'  Some people were obviously seeing something, or all the other cars wouldn't have pulled off the road, and the one lady wouldn't have gotten her camera out.  There could have been a couple deer they saw, and this cameraman couldn't quite focus in on.  If I was standing on the side of the road witnessing what could possibly be a critter unknown to the world of science, I would be a little excited.  These onlookers don't looked too thrilled.  Some of them are actually walking off, while the creature is still supposed to be in sight.  We're not buying it.  

Clearest shot of Falconer's Skunk Ape

When Falconer watched his video and realized you couldn't make anything out of it, the notion obviously crossed his mind to try and convince people something else was there.  That would account for the cuts in the video before he and his son 'pursue' the skunk ape.  Then he stops shooting video, to go to shooting still pics? Cmon now.  Even then we still don't get a clear picture, just a few far off blurs that could be anything. It would have been nice if after allegedly photographing the skunk ape, if the father and son could have provided some reference shots, so the creature's size could have been determined. 

Since the infamous Patterson film, the first alleged recorded footage of Bigfoot, was shot in 1967, hoaxers the world over with nothing better to do with their time have been building their own visions of the Fiji Mermaid to try and earn money and notoriety, or both.   With everyone and their grandma capable of shooting and uploading video to YouTube by just pressing a couple buttons, we're drowning in hoaxes, from adults with sheets over themselves giggling claiming to be ghosts, to CGI effects produced by a 1 year old on their laptop.  At least the CGi has entertainment value.  There's nothing we hate more than wasting 3 minutes of our lives on claims of paranormal evidence that isn't evidence at all. These guys didn't even have someone in a gorilla suit...

It should be noted that Myakka was also the location for what are probably the most circulated photos of the alleged skunk ape.  They were sent to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department anonymously by a woman who had taken them in 2001.  Many dismissed the pics as of being an orangutan while others say they are the most important evidence to date.

2001 Myakka Skunk Ape

The Skunk Ape is commonly reported being sighted in the Everglades of Florida. They reportedly stand 7 to 8 feet tall and give off a smell that has been described as methane mixed with rotten eggs, hence it's name.  Theorists believe it comes from the same species as bigfoot. 

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