Mississippi Skunk Ape?

johne1618

Active Member
YouTuber Josh Highcliff was hunting on his property and came across this creature.

Date: october 24 - 2013
Where: about 9 miles west of Tunica, Mississippi.
Time: about 6pm

If you turn the sound up at 0:21 you can hear the creature break off tree bark with its hands. It seems a lot stronger than a man in a monkey suit. Also as it stands up at 1:57 it seems to have longer legs than a bear and broader shoulders.

Could it be a gorilla that has escaped from captivity?

Source: https://youtu.be/xb9YcIlkl_c


Sit.jpg

standing.jpg
 
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johne1618

Active Member
Please validate your assertion that it is not a bear because it looks like one to me.
At 0:21 you can see and hear it pull bark from a tree. You can see its right elbow go out as it pulls the bark. It must have a much better grasp of the bark than a bear could manage with its paws.

Here's a video of a bear using its paws. At 0:30 it tears the bark with its claws using its weight rather than getting a good grasp and pulling it like a primate.

Source: https://youtu.be/h__dcD_UK54
 
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Ravi

Senior Member.
Ugh.. The camera person did his absolute best NOT to make a clear picture of the "beast" not that far away. So obvious, and being scared is a poor excuse. Nothing indicates the person is honestly scared. It all looks set-up: man in suit.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Questions I have:

1. What's a skunk ape?

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2. Are there bears in Mississippi?

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3. Are there bears near Tunica?

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Since it looks like a bear and acts like a bear and is the same colour as a bear and there are bears in the area I'd say it's most likely a bear, rather than a fantasy creature that probably doesn't exist.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Also, 9 miles west of Tunica puts him right by the Mississippi River - and bears like rivers:

Where do bears live in Mississippi?

Bears are woodland animals and can be found mostly in and near large tracts of bottomland forests and mixed hardwood forests along the Mississippi, Pearl, and Pascagoula Rivers. However, they are very adaptable and can be seen passing through many different habitat types.

Most of the bear sightings and known resident bears in Mississippi are in the Delta, southwest, and southeast portions of the state. Bears swim the Mississippi River from Arkansas and Louisiana, where nearby breeding populations occur. Recent research has shown that breeding habitats occur in the Mississippi Delta in portions of Bolivar, Sharkey, Issaquena, Warren, and Wilkinson counties.

https://msbear.org/bear-info/bears-in-mississippi/
Content from External Source

The counties mentioned there are, like Tunica, counties that border the Mississippi. Here's a sighting map for 2007, with Tunica County labelled as frequent:

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https://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/black-bear-program/photo-album/bear-maps/

If you still think there's something in it though perhaps you could send the video to the Mississippi bear people and see what they think:

info@msbear.org

(Easier to make out version here.)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
google Lettuce Lake skunk ape...or ill do it later when im at my real computer. pretty sure that one was shown to be from florida. what lettuce lake has to do with the bear necessities i don't know, but i remember the name and the song. think it was a guy in suit.
 

Ann K

Active Member
The video of a bear shows heavy shoulder muscles, and I don't see its action of tearing away the bark to be noticeably different from that of the unidentified thing.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
There is a known large primate that is very common in Mississippi. It has a known propensity for staging fake videos. Pretty sure we are seeing the work of a couple of those.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
couldnt find the old blog i saw, but i remember something about palmetto trees seen in OP vid and Tunica being outside their range. <that would need to be fact checked, i never looked up what a palmetto looks like)

but there seems to be a lot more chat about in sasquatch circles. basically some people think it is these guys:
https://web.archive.org/web/2018071...a-group-of-serial-bigfoot-hoaxers-in-florida/


the above footage isnt in that thread on the hoaxers, but they are linked too to the op footage by some.

this photo is an example photo of Lettuce Lake, Florida where the above linked hoaxes took place. granted all swamps look the same if you ask me...but it's an avenue to explore. (i also dont think it moves like a bear)

https://images.toptentravellist.com/blog/2014/06/tree-root-2-.jpg
1653265640206.png
https://www.top-ten-travel-list.com/blog/exercise/lettuce-lake-park-walking-amongst-florida-swamps/


edit add: ok maybe he was talking about these things?
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Rory

Senior Member.
i also dont think it moves like a bear

Have to admit, when I watched the enhanced video it didn't look much like a bear - particularly when it stands up. But then again, it's not like I'm an expert on bears, and a quick check shows that bears can move in some pretty unusual ways sometimes, like so:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk-HHyGRSRw

i remember something about palmetto trees seen in OP vid and Tunica being outside their range

There's Reddit discussion here about that:

www.reddit.com/r/bigfoot/comments/k2pghh/palmettos_in_tunica_county_ms/

Conclusion seems to be that there could be palmettos in Tunica County. Probably saw palmetto, dwarf palmetto or needle palm would be the likeliest candidates (tolerant down to 0, -5 and -10 degrees Fahrenheit respectively).
 
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Ann K

Active Member
@Rory
The walking bear in your clip appears to have an injured forelimb, and seems to limp when he is on all fours. So it's obvious that they CAN do it when necessary, even if they usually don't. The original clip was too poor and too obscured in line-of-sight to exclude a bear (known to exist) and include an unproven critter.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
, like so:
yea he does have a pretty straight back there. that's what made me think "not a bear", so you did maybe change my mind. still a bit odd that an armed hog hunter would be so scared of bear :)

edit..nope watched it again. the squat position and arm positions dont seem like a bear to me. i'm sticking with hoax :)
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
ok now i'm really sticking with hoax because if it is a lonesome hungry young male scrounging for grubs before winter, it's breaking my heart :(
Article:
2012 MDWFP biologists currently estimate the Mississippi bear population at 40 to 50 bears in the entire state and that's being generous.

Most of the bears in the state are found along the drainages of major rivers such as the Mississippi, Pearl, and Pascagoula, although bears can and have been known to show up just about anywhere. Most of the bears found in the state are believed to be transient males that have wandered across state lines. They are the dispersing products of breeding populations of bears that border our state in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama. So how can Mississippi have such few bears and no documented reproduction while populations continue to grow just across our borders? The answer is simple. Mississippi is lacking in female bears. Female bears generally establish a home range partially within or adjacent to their mother's home range and, therefore, are less likely to disperse across state lines like the males.
 

johne1618

Active Member
At 0:38 the "creature" holds a piece of wood before dropping it in the water. I don't think a bear could hold a piece of wood.

wood.jpg
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Really? Here's a bear holding - and playing - a horn:
yea but swamp bear is doing it one handed. more likely, if it is a bear (although the shoulders still seem out of place) it just got stuck on his claw. as old dead tree bits will tend to do if you are trying to break them apart with a crowbar or a (i assume) a claw paw.
 

johne1618

Active Member
When the creature breaks off a vertical strip of wood from the right-hand side of the tree hollow at 0:21 you can hear quite a crack. Humans can snap a reasonably thick branch with that sort of crack but they have to use some leverage. The creature seems to break off the strip of wood without using any leverage.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member

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tinkertailor

Senior Member.
Actually, bears are totally capable of doing that, as Rory has demonstrated with video evidence.

Case in point, albeit circumstantial: My father was camping once in the '70s when he was awoken in the middle of the night by a bear in his campsite. My dad looked out of his tent to see a bear was standing on two legs with my dad's bottle of tequila in one hand and a box of Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese in the other. My dad witnessed the bear drink the tequila and eat the cheese powder from the boxed macaroni and cheese, all while standing. For what it's worth, my dad was sober: The bear drank all of the tequila.

Bears are quite handy and dexterous, despite what the Bigfooters claim.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Given that information - and the way the so-called "creature" is seen to move in the enhanced video - I'd lean more towards hoax.

The YouTube channel only has this one video and a generic banner of some geese.

The Facebook profile has zero friends, zero posts, a banner photo taken from the wikipedia page for the Mississippi River - but as stated actually Lake Itasca in Minnesota - and a generic deer photo for a profile pic. It also looks like it's only been used to spread word of this video on Bigfoot groups:

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Also to note: October 24th, 2013 - when it was supposedly filmed - was a Thursday, so not "the weekend". And this debunking video points out that the light is much brighter for a video claimed to have been filmed 15 minutes before sunset.

Forget bear, I think I'll shift my chips to hoax - and Justin Arnold seems like an extremely good bet for this.

A great example of how easily some people accept things:

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Rory

Senior Member.
Could I also suggest this thread be moved back to the relevant section? It's kind of old and silly but not particularly rambly and contains all the necessary information required for a debunk.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Could I also suggest this thread be moved back to the relevant section? It's kind of old and silly but not particularly rambly and contains all the necessary information required for a debunk.
you need to tag the moderators or they likely wont see your comment. it is weird it got moved to Rambles, maybe a mistake.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
And this debunking video points out that the light is much brighter for a video claimed to have been filmed 15 minutes before sunset.
where in the video? does he do forensics? because the light looks ok to me.

Also to note: October 24th, 2013 - when it was supposedly filmed - was a Thursday, so not "the weekend".
maybe he's a good ol boy who drinks alot. thursday, saturday...same difference :) i'm more interested in the phone video. my phone didnt take video in 2013 ...i know some people had fancier phones but... 50 yards sounds pretty far. i'm horrible with distances.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Article:
Hunter Orange: Persons hunting wild hogs during any open gun season on deer will be required to wear, in full view, 500 square inches of solid unbroken hunter orange, unless they are hunting from a fully enclosed stand.


wayback only goes back to 2017 (so possible different law in 2013?) https://web.archive.org/web/2017052...-program/wild-hog-regulations-in-mississippi/

Article:
I was out hunting hogs, just sitting in a part of the swamp i have heard em before...it is not too far from a road. I was wearing hunting camo and just sitting dead still waiting for it to get dark, cause thats when the hogs come out.


Article:
A hat only contains about 100–150 square inches of material, so you cannot wear only a hat. A vest will usually contain from 500–800 square inches of material. A jacket or shirt will usually have more than 1,000 square inches of material.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Let's think about this...

The thing is foraging by pulling bark off a tree, with no tools.
No tools have ever been found.
No constructed habitations have ever been found.

Skunk Apes live in an inhabited area. But after hundreds of years it's an unknown species. But very elusive species such as mountain lions and bobcats can be tracked, hunted and successfully killed. But no skunk ape has ever been tracked? Not even with dogs?
True Believer: But they hide!

So do mountain lions and bobcats.
True Believer: But Skunk Apes are smart!

So are chimps and gorillas, but they can be found in remote areas of Africa if one looks.
True Believer: They're smarter than chimps and gorillas.

But they make no tools or even the simplest habitations?
True Believer: They hide their tools and habitations.

That well? If they live in a constructed habitation how do they hide it that well? What about tools? They never once lose a tool, or abandon a broken one?

True Believer: They're smart enough to know that humans are bad news, so they really try.

So they're really smart... But they pull bark off trees with their bare hands? They don't practice agriculture or hunt with weapons or use fire to cook food or fashion even the simplest clothes.
True Believer: Well... yeah! They're one with nature!

So they're really smart and take super elaborate precautions against being seen, and hide their habitations and tools... and they let a random guy watch without running away.
True Believer: This one got caught by surprise.

So they can be caught by surprise, but just once in awhile?
True Believer: They get seen lots of times. My uncle used to see them all the time.

But they're super elusive, right?
True Believer: Right!

What about dead bodies?
True Believer: They hide their dead!

Oh yeah? How? Where? They bury them? They'd get dug up by scavengers or long dead bones would get dug up by construction equipment. They burn their dead? But they only use fire for this one thing and we never see a Skunk Ape cremation in progress? Come on. And Skunk Apes never get hit by cars, drown in a river and float downstream, etc., etc.?
True Believer: But my uncle saw them all the time.

Dude.
 
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johne1618

Active Member
Redditor u/BandmassAchtMeter claimed that the video might be a marketing ploy by the series “Beasts of the Bayou”. The information allegedly comes from u/TheWeirdTalesPodcast who contacted the actor Richard Bosworth who played Josh Highcliff. See "Beasts of Bayou" paragraph near the beginning of the following Reddit post:

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/bigfoot/comments/snvv5y/regarding_the_josh_highcliff_i_think_i_saw_a/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

At the end of the post in a final edit u/BandmassAchtMeter states:
We have a conclusion: The video is debunked! Its not a marketing gag, but with super high certainty a hoax.
 
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purpleivan

Member
Here's a stabilised version (also slightly adjusted levels to improve contrast a bit) of a large chunk of the video of the "skunk ape" in the OP. I removed sections with a lots of rapid camera movement, or where there wasn't much going on bear/human/skunk ape wise.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68knL0ILDAQ

To my eye the movement could be consistent with either a bear or a human, although when it stands upright (end of video), there's something very human looking about the motion. Not saying a bear wouldn't do that (not seen many stand up from a crouch pose), but humans definitely look like that when standing up.

Regarding the movement when it stands up, there's a slight shift in pose, prior to standing (at 00:42) that looks really human to me, perhaps moving from kneeling on both legs, to placing one foot flat on the ground, prior to standing. Additionally when the creature actually stands up, the length of the legs relative to the torso looks a bit too great for a bear and more like human proportions.

However between 00:24 and 00:30 it seems to take something from inside the tree and bring it too it's face, possible to eat it, which makes it look more bear like.

As for the strength required to pull the part of the tree trunk off. Whatever is pulling the piece of wood off is giving it a good couple of yanks to achieve that, along with quite a lot of upper body movement to apply extra force. If I was going to fake something like this, I'd just whack a few dents with a chisel or large knife into the wood, to create a weak line for the peice to break along, before having my "ape" tug at it while the camera rolled.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Regarding the movement when it stands up, there's a slight shift in pose, prior to standing (at 00:42) that looks really human to me, perhaps moving from kneeling on both legs, to placing one foot flat on the ground, prior to standing. Additionally when the creature actually stands up, the length of the legs relative to the torso looks a bit too great for a bear and more like human proportions.
At the end it really looks like a guy squatting in a suit that then stands up. So just as it looks the most human, the camera stops. Of course it does.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Let's think about this...

The thing is foraging by pulling bark off a tree, with no tools.
No tools have ever been found.
No constructed habitations have ever been found.

Skunk Apes live in an inhabited area. But after hundreds of years it's an unknown species. But very elusive species such as mountain lions and bobcats can be tracked, hunted and successfully killed. But no skunk ape has ever been tracked? Not even with dogs?
True Believer: But they hide!

So do mountain lions and bobcats.
True Believer: But Skunk Apes are smart!

So are chimps and gorillas, but they can be found in remote areas of Africa if one looks.
True Believer: They're smarter than chimps and gorillas.

But they make no tools or even the simplest habitations?
True Believer: They hide their tools and habitations.

That well? If they live in a constructed habitation how do they hide it that well? What about tools? They never once lose a tool, or abandon a broken one?

True Believer: They're smart enough to know that humans are bad news, so they really try.

So they're really smart... But they pull bark off trees with their bare hands? They don't practice agriculture or hunt with weapons or use fire to cook food or fashion even the simplest clothes.
True Believer: Well... yeah! They're one with nature!

So they're really smart and take super elaborate precautions against being seen, and hide their habitations and tools... and they let a random guy watch without running away.
True Believer: This one got caught by surprise.

So they can be caught by surprise, but just once in awhile?
True Believer: They get seen lots of times. My uncle used to see them all the time.

But they're super elusive, right?
True Believer: Right!

What about dead bodies?
True Believer: They hide their dead!

Oh yeah? How? Where? They bury them? They'd get dug up by scavengers or long dead bones would get dug up by construction equipment. They burn their dead? But they only use fire for this one thing and we never see a Skunk Ape cremation in progress? Come on. And Skunk Apes never get hit by cars, drown in a river and float downstream, etc., etc.?
True Believer: But my uncle saw them all the time.

Dude.

Please can you do one of these for all the 9/11 building collapse threads please? :cool:
 

Woolery

Active Member
Some bears photographed from a similar angle.
797AEC91-FD18-494D-9845-ABC5D0FECCCA.jpeg5A972672-FC43-4E4A-B92C-7974383A708D.jpeg
A bear has a much larger head and neck relative to its torso than a person. They also have relatively narrow, drooping shoulders. The subject of the video appears to have a small head and short neck. The subject’s shoulders also appear perpendicular to the neck. I also see no ears. I don’t think the video shows a bear. I think it’s most likely a person in a suit. The only reason I don’t think it’s a skunk ape is there is no physical evidence on record that a skunk ape is a thing, not because of anything evident in the video. There is however substantial evidence that people sometimes fake videos of hairy beasts in the woods.

This illustrates how easy it can be to jump to conclusions. I at first thought it was a bear. I now think I was likely fooled and demonstrated confirmation bias. If on further analysis, it turns out to be a bear filmed at an odd angle, then I will have been fooled twice.

If it's a man in a suit I think it’s a good fake. I can see how someone would think it could be a skunk ape if that person failed to consider (or didn’t know) that skunk apes as huge living things would need to leave behind some physical trace of their existence, which they never have.

I don’t think the video has been debunked yet as much as the notion of a skunk ape has.
 
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Murray

New Member
Ugh.. The camera person did his absolute best NOT to make a clear picture of the "beast" not that far away. So obvious, and being scared is a poor excuse. Nothing indicates the person is honestly scared. It all looks set-up: man in suit.

It's a complete coincidence that he stopped filming when his buddy...err...I mean "the skunk ape" stood up.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
FWIW, I've taken about 100,000 photos of bears over the years
(4 weeks from now, I'll be fortunate to be back in Katmai in Alaska, taking another 15,000)
and that just isn't what a bear--in my experience--looks like from behind.
Without going into an in-depth analysis of the clip, I'll just put my two cents in with those who say
the transition from torso to head resembles a man much more than it does a bear...brown or black.
 

purpleivan

Member
At the end it really looks like a guy squatting in a suit that then stands up. So just as it looks the most human, the camera stops. Of course it does.
Regarding most of the video I'm on the fence regarding bear vs human, but that part of the video where it stands up just screams "guy in a furry suit", as it just looks so human like in movement.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Regarding most of the video I'm on the fence regarding bear vs human, but that part of the video where it stands up just screams "guy in a furry suit", as it just looks so human like in movement.
Agreed. Especially in the stabilized version.

The shoulder to head area doesn't look like a bear.
The hand/paw movements look a lot like more like a guy trying to act like an ape.
And, for me the biggest tell, is the way it/he stands up at the end. Look at the legs. It's not a bear rearing up on it's hind legs, it's a guy that has been squatting standing up. It stands up like a bipedal creature, which I guess would be accurate if it was a Skunkape, but I doubt they exist, so I'm going with dude in a suit as the most likely.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Regarding most of the video I'm on the fence regarding bear vs human, but that part of the video where it stands up just screams "guy in a furry suit", as it just looks so human like in movement.

It was saying "not bear, more like primate" until the standing up bit, which screamed "definitely primate, probably human". The limb/torso proportions seem wrong to me for any known bear species, even the entirety of carnivora. Primates at least can have broad shoulders and long legs. However, I'm nearly as inexpert in this field as it's possible to get, I just enjoy watching BBC's nature series.
 
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