So you decided to come back and read the finish of the my special Okefenokee scare? Remember to go and visit my new friends, Steve, Jo and their black cat Tequila at Okefenokee – tell them that Bacon sent you for a hello. They gave me special permission to use their stories and pictures from the Okefenokee Pastimes Inc. – just in time for my 31 days of Spook. Be prepared to be spooked, frightened and perhaps even sleep with a nightlight on again tonight. Remember these are true stories from deep in the swamps. You never what might go bump in the night or splash in the swamp.
Today, I want to bring you tales of a creature that goes by many names such as Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Skunk Ape, Yeti and such. Tales of this huge creature have been seen all over the world in remote places. In the southeast corner of Georgia, Okefenokee has it’s own creature. Here are some true reports from the Okefenokee X-Files. Are you brave enough to read them?
A SWAMP THING
The Okefenokee Swamp was truly a land of mystery in June 1829, when the Milledgeville Statesman published a bizarre story about it. The tale was related by a John Ostean, “residing on the borders of this swamp in Ware County,” and others who lived on the opposite side in Florida. Locals had long heard from Creek Indians of an enchanted island inhabited by “mortals of super-human dimensions and incomparable beauty.” The story goes that two men and a boy had taken advantage of a long dry spell and pushed deep into the swamp for two weeks to seek this island. However, “their progress suddenly arrested at the appearance of the print of a foot-step so unearthly in its dimensions, so ominous of power, and terrible in form,” that they paused. The print was eighteen inches long and nine inches across, the stride of this giant over six feet. The party hastily returned and spread the tale of the “Man Mountain.”
Hearing the story, nine Florida hunters ventured into the swamp. After several days’ journey, they found a similar print and others. The men followed the tracks for several days and had camped on a ridge when two of their members “simultaneously discharged at an advancing and ferocious wild beast” whose screams made the swamp “reverberate with a deafening roar.” The creature came “full in their view advancing upon them with a terrible look… Our little band instinctively gathered close in a body, and presented their rifles. The huge being, nothing daunted, bounded upon his victims, and in the same instant received the contents of seven rifles. But he did not die alone; nor until he had glutted his wrath with the death of five of them, which he effected by wringing off the head from the body.” The four surviving men examined the prostrate giant as it died, “wallowing and roaring. His length was thirteen feet, and his breadth and volume of just proportions.” Fearing the struggle might have alerted similar beings; the men gathered their comrades’ guns and fled for home.
A BOY AND HIS BIG FOOT
This report was forwarded to the Georgia Swamp Ape Research Center, GSARC and detailed an encounter in the Okefenokee Swamp. While a fourteen-year-old boy and his family were camping on the West side at Stephen Foster State Park in 1972, the boy was walking along a waterway when he heard footsteps behind him, drawing closer. He assumed it was his siblings. “I figured they were going to scare me, and I decided to let them sneak up and I would jump out and scare them.” Moments later “a thing that looked like a cross between a chimpanzee and a little man” approached along the path. “It saw me and let out a sound like from hell,” then crouched down and nimbly sprung on the boy. “It knocked me down and tried to get its teeth in (to) my neck. I screamed. I thought I was dead.”
Fortunately, the youngster’s parents heard the scream and shouted back. “It raised up real slow and sniffed the air for a few seconds,” he continued. “Then it just got up and walked into the canal and swam across to the other side,” disappearing into the woods.
THE PIG MAN A.K.A. SASQUATCH SIGHTINGS
It has been many years since a sighting, but old swampers would call him the South Georgia Pig Man. Over the years reported sightings have persisted in and around the South Georgia swamp areas, especially deep in the remote recesses of the Okefenokee swamp.
Reports describe the creature as a large ape like being, that walks upright, has abundant hair and a nose similar to a pig. Observers have commented on a skunk like odor that has accompanied the sightings. There have been no reports of hostility or aggression, in fact the creature was referred to as timid and shy with sad expressive eyes.
These Okefenokee area sightings have many details in common with creature sightings documented in the Everglades. A very similar missing link referred to as the Florida Skunk Ape. Could it be possible these beings are related genetically?
Before development transformed Florida, these man like creatures might have migrated. One of their routes could have been by way of the Kissimmee River Valley up along the Lake Wales Ridge to the extensive game rich swamps associated with the St. John’s River Basin. The migration would have passed right by what is today the city of Jacksonville onward to the Okefenokee and beyond. Who knows? Maybe I’m related somehow in some fashion or form to this Pig Man? It could happen… we could have matching snouts.