|The woods around Lake Conway where |
Skunk Ape has been seen.
The sightings started in early 1970. People began calling in to game wardens and police to report strange observations of something that looked like a man, but obviously wasn't. The witnesses reported the creature as being between 7 and 8 feet tall and ape-like. It was most often seen emerging from the woods to wade in the shallow areas of the lake, evidently looking for food. One thing was common with each of the sightings - the brute was always accompanied by an incredible stench. It was soon given a name - "Skunk Ape."
|Near the site where Lee reported his frightening |
encounter with Skunk Ape
The creature caught site of Lee and seemed to be just as surprised to see him as Lee was to see the creature. The two locked eyes for about five seconds, but it seemed like forever to Lee. Suddenly the beast started moving closer to Lee and his boat, grimacing and making deep-throated, angry growling sounds. Totally frozen with shock and fear, Lee couldn't move or make a sound. All he could do was watch with horror as the beast came closer and closer, never taking its eyes off Lee. When the creature got within about 15 feet of him though, an horrendous stench hit his nostrils and shocked him into action. He turned to grab the .22 pistol he always carried in his tackle box, but as he turned back around with his gun outstretched, he found the monster had quickly covered the distance between them and with a single vicious swing of his powerful arm, knocked Lee out of the boat.
The last of the fish was quickly consumed and the beast began rummaging around in the boat, slamming stuff around, looking for more food. When everything turned quiet for several minutes, Lee could stand it no longer and slowly pulled himself up to peek over the side. As he did so though, the creature was still there and saw the top of Lee's head poking up. Obviously angered, the brute lifted the 300-pound boat clear out of the water as if it was nothing and Lee found himself once again staring into the eyes of the monster!
Fearing for his life, this time Lee reacted at once and began half-swimming and half-running through the chest-deep water as fast as he could for the shore about 75 yards away. As he got near the water's edge, he turned once to look behind him and became weak with fear as he saw the monster was coming after him! Just 10 yards from the shore, but knowing he couldn't outrun it, Lee thought of his family and began screaming at the top of his lungs for help. Somehow he safely made it the last few yards. Running a short way into the trees, he didn't hear footsteps behind him so he turned once again to look. The creature was nowhere in sight. The only evidence it had even been there was the overturned boat floating in the water in the moonlight.
|The area of Lake Conway where several sightings |
have been reported.
So what exactly is the Skunk Ape? The scientific name is hominid cryptid - hominid means "great ape" and cryptid means "a creature that has been suggested, but cannot be scientifically proven to exist." To many around Lake Conway though, that the creature exists is a fact. In certain parts of the lake, most locals will not even go outside after dark. The monster may not yet be proven, but for sure, something is definitely out there.
Reports of sightings still come in several times each year. So if you are brave, or perhaps just foolhardy, break out your fishing gear and head to Lake Conway after dark... and hope the only thing that tugs on your line is a big bass.