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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.