An odd lot of mystery PRIMATES reported
mostly in the southeastern and midwestern
Etymology: Term used by Loren Coleman
since the 1960s to distinguish these creatures
from BIGFOOT or HAIRY BIPEDS. Abbreviated as
Nape (Napes, plural).
Variant names: Abominable chicken man (in
Oklahoma), Brush ape, Fouke monster,
Knobby (in North Carolina), Little red men of
the Delta, Manimal, OLD SHEFF, SKUNK APE,
Physical description: Chimpanzee- or gorillalike.
Height, 4–7 feet. Brown to black hair, occasionally
gray or white. Green eyes. Long arms.
Behavior: Nocturnal. Stooping gait. Walks
bipedally as well as on all fours. Can leap 20–40
feet in a single bound. Swims readily. Call is a
trumpeting howl or a high-pitched screech.
Tracks: Length, 7–11 inches. Up to 7 inches
across. Some show an opposed big toe, set at
nearly right angles to the smaller toes. Others
are just knuckle prints or are three-toed.
Habitat: Swamplands and riverine forests.
Distribution: A partial list of places where
North American apes have been reported follows:
Alabama—Clanton, Walnut Creek.
Arkansas—Cash, Central, Fouke, Hamburg,
Florida—Anclote River, Brooksville, Everglades,
Illinois—Decatur, Elizabeth, Enfield, Gum
Creek, Prairie du Long Creek.
Indiana—Boone County, Hardin Ridge Recreation
Area, Harrison County, Lake Monroe.
Iowa—Humboldt County, Lockridge.
Labrador, Canada—Traverspine River.
New York—Huntington, Mineola.
Ohio—Gallipolis, Lorain, Risingsun.
Oklahoma—Calumet, El Reno, Lawton.
Pennsylvania—Adams County, Blair County,
Downington, Penn Hills, Snyder County,
Verona, York County.
Significant sightings: In January 1869, near
Gallipolis, Ohio, a “gorilla” attacked a man riding
in a carriage.
Gorillas were reported in Snyder, Adams, and
York Counties of south-central Pennsylvania
from December 1920 to February 1921.
In June 1931, a 4-foot gorilla was reported at
a Lewis and Valentine’s nursery near Mineola,
Long Island, New York. Armed posses combed
the woods but found only some apparently
bipedal tracks with an opposed big toe. Scattered
reports continued in the neighborhood
In the summer of 1941, Rev. Lepton Harpole
was hunting along Gum Creek near Mount
Vernon, Illinois, when he saw a baboonlike animal
jump down from a tree and walk on two
legs toward him. He struck it with his rifle and
fired shots to scare it away. For the next few
months, residents heard terrifying screams at
night in the woods along various creeks in Jackson
and Okaw Counties, but hunting parties
failed to find anything but occasional tracks.
In 1957, James Meacham saw a small ape
with reddish-orange fur in a tree near Jackson,
Tennessee. He watched it for five minutes before
he fired fourteen rifle bullets into it at close
range, most of which apparently hit. The animal
did not budge until Meacham walked toward it,
then it quickly moved off through the trees.
In the spring of 1962, Loren Coleman discovered
an apelike footprint in a dry creek bed
near Decatur, Illinois. It was 10 inches long and
had a fully opposed large toe.
Ralph Chambers, of Elfers, Florida, saw an
apelike animal several times along the Anclote
River in 1966 and 1967. It had a putrid odor
that alternately terrified and enraged his dogs.
Late at night on May 1, 1971, Mrs. Bobby
Ford of Fouke, Arkansas, saw a hairy, clawed
hand reaching through the front window of her
home. She screamed, and her husband ran outside
and took a potshot at something that
walked on two legs. The local policeman arrived
and found some catlike tracks. Later the same
night, the 6-foot, black-haired creature returned
to lurk around the house and grabbed Bobby
Ford, who panicked and ran inside, knocking
down the door and knocking himself unconscious.
Three-toed tracks turned up on June 14
in a soybean field southeast of town.
On April 25, 1973, Henry McDaniel and his
wife, of Enfield, Illinois, shot at a grayish, monkeylike
animal with short arms and pink eyes
that jumped 50 feet in three leaps.
Some local boys were riding motorbikes on
trails in the Penn Hills area outside Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, on September 22, 1973, when
they heard something large moving in the
woods nearby. The next day, a father of one of
the boys, named Baird, found some fresh, apelike
tracks, 11 inches long, with an opposed toe.
On January 30, 2002, Penny Howell and
three friends saw a shaggy, black-haired, apelike
animal about 5 feet tall and standing in a crouch
south of Lake Monroe, Indiana. It had a patch
of white fur on its head and neck. When it saw
them, it turned and moved into the woods. It
left four-footed tracks with claws, about 5
Present status: Distinctions between North
American apes, DEVIL MONKEYS, HAIRY
BIPEDS, and BIGFOOT are nebulous and possibly
arbitrary. In general, North American apes are
tailless and resemble chimpanzees; DEVIL MONKEYS
are tailed and resemble baboons; HAIRY
BIPEDS cover a wide range of descriptions from
apes to wildmen and paranormal entities; BIGFOOT
is a robust, tall hominid with a range that
seems restricted to the Pacific Northwest.
(1) Feral Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
escaped from zoos or traveling circuses or
transported to the United States on slave
ships in the nineteenth century. However,
chimps and other apes do not swim, and
they avoid water.
(2) Feral pet monkeys, though these would
have tails and would not run on two legs.
(3) A misidentified American black bear
(4) A surviving Miocene ape, Dryopithecus,
as suggested by Loren Coleman.
Dryopithecus was a European primate that
lived 13–9 million years ago in several
localities between Spain and the Caucasus.
Recent evidence indicates that it diverged
from the primate line shortly before
Gigantopithecus and the ancestors of the
Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). It had robust
limbs, a small stature, and an undeveloped
browridge. Its appearance in the New
World would require an anthropological
According to noted cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman, these bipedal (and occasionally violent) chimp-like primates can be found throughout the American south.
The term NAPES, which was coined in the 1960′s by cryptozoologist LOREN COLEMAN, is an acronym for North American Apes. Not to be confused with atypically large, bipedal Hairy-Hominids such as BIGFOOT and SASQUATCH, these chimpanzee-like primates appear to dwell in the swamplands and forests of the American Mid-West and South-East.
The mystery surrounding these creatures, which have often been associated with theDEVIL MONKEY and Florida SKUNK APE phenomenons — as well as the legendarily aggressive FOUKE and HONEY ISLAND SWAMP MONSTERS — has been reignited in the opening years of the 21st century with sightings of chimp or even some orangutan-like animals like Sarasota, Florida’s MYAKKA APE. Still others like the ARKANSAS APE MANand the TENNESSEE MYSTERY MONKEY were both sighted during the autumn of 2003.
Coleman — who was part of the party to the discovery of NAPE tracks near Decatur, Illinois in 1962 — believes that these creatures may be specimens of the genus Dryopithecus, which are an extinct group of semi-erect apes, whose fossils have been discovered in Africa, Asia and Europe, and who many scientists believe may be a direct ancestor to both modern apes and man.
In the 1960’s cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the term Napes as acronym to North American Apes, a species of chimpanzee like primate thought, by some, to inhabit the swamplands and forests of the American Mid West and South East. In 1962, Loren Coleman, as well as a few other researchers, found a footprint complete with an opposable left toe, a characteristic of the footprint of a mountain gorilla or a chimpanzee, in a dry creek bed near Decatur, Illinois. Similar prints have been reported all over the United States, including Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Reports of Napes can be traced as far back as the 1800’s and are still reported to this day. One of the best known examples of an encounter with a nape occurred from 1967 to 1970. Howard Dreeson of Calumet, Oklahoma, left out bananas and oranges in an attempt to capture an animal he described as a chimpanzee. Also during 1979 residents of North Carolina witnessed a primate like creature which they eventually named Knobby.
In August 1971 sightings of two chimpanzee like apes where sighted several times in Broward County, Florida. A rabies control officer investigating the reports stated that he “found nothing but a bunch of strange tracks, like someone was walking around on his/hers knuckles. Of course, as Loren Coleman pointed out in his book, Cryptozoology A to Z, this is far from “nothing”, knuckle waking is exactly what we would expect an unknown anthropoid ape to do.
A theory proposed by Loren Coleman states that these footprints which have been discovered in so many different locations around the United States may belong to possible specimens of the genus Dryopithecus. Dryopithecus was a genus of apes that lived in Eastern Africa during the Upper Miocene period, from 12 to 9 million years ago, and which come researchers believe could have been the evolutionary ancestor of modern man. It was 60 cm and was similar to modern orangutans and gibbons. Through there own independent research into comparable evidence around the world, Bernard Heuvelmans and Mark A. Hall have come to much the same conclusion as Loren Coleman’s theory.
The Evidence Outside of strange footprints and eyewitness accounts, there is little evidence to support the existence of Napes, North American Apes.
The Sightings 1967 – 1970, Oklahoma resident Howard Dreeson left bananas and oranges out in an attempt to capture what was described as a chimpanzee looking animal.
In 1971 two chimpanzee like animals where sighted several times in Broward County Florida.
In 1979 a chimpanzee like creature, which became known as Knobby, was sighted several times in North Carolina.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Primate • Size: Roughly that of a chimpanzee • Weight: Roughly that of a chimpanzee • Diet: Vegetation • Location: North America • Movement: Possible four legged movement, using the knuckles of the front hands. • Environment: Closed canopy deciduous and mixed forests of North America, also some reports have come from swampland areas.