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David J Castello

The Skunk Ape – Florida’s Bigfoot

Skunk Ape

For centuries, Florida’s Seminoles called them the Esti Capcaki (Tall Man). Today, they are known as the Skunk Ape and Palm Beach County has had its fair share of sightings. Understandably, most people are skeptical that such a creature ever existed. Sightings peaked in the 1970s as residential construction began …

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The Ashley Gang – West Palm Beach History

The Ashley Gang by David J Castello

How terrifying were the Ashley Gang? Between 1915 and 1924, they robbed over forty banks. One Florida official said they were the greatest threat to the state since the Seminole Indian Wars. Their appetite for revenge was insatiable. No matter how long it took, once you crossed them they would …

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The Barefoot Mailman

The Barefoot Mailman

In the mid-19th century, the sixty-eight mile stretch of coastline between present-day Palm Beach and Miami had remained largely untouched since Ponce de Leon sailed past in 1513. Local Native American tribes such as the Jeaga and Tekesta had disappeared in the early 1700s, but it was still wild country …

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JFK’s Doomsday Bunker on Peanut Island

Kennedy Bunker - Peanut Island

On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the aircraft carrier USS Randolph and eleven destroyers detected the Soviet diesel-electric submarine B-59 in the Windward Passage between the southern-most tip of Cuba and Haiti. They began depth charging totally unaware that the Soviet submarine was carrying a nuclear torpedo …

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When A German U-Boat Attacked Palm Beach County

When A German U-Boat Attacked Palm Beach County

At 1pm on the sunny afternoon of May 4, 1942, the master of the 9,767-ton British tanker Eclipse was horrified to see a torpedo speeding toward him from the shore near the Boynton Beach Inlet. Incredibly, the 220 foot-long submarine U-564, commanded by German ace Reinhard “Teddy” Suhren, had been …

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The Jeaga – Palm Beach County’s Indigenous Tribe

The Jeaga

In late April 1519, Juan Ponce de Leon made landfall at the Jupiter Inlet (Rio de la Cruz) with two ships, the Santa Maria de la Consolacion and the Santiago, to replenish water and firewood, and wait for a third ship, the Cristobal, to rejoin them. They were met by …

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The Providencia – The Ship That Named Palm Beach and West Palm Beach

The Providencia - West Palm Beach History

On January 9, 1878, the 175-ton, square-rigged, Spanish brigantine The Providencia, bound from Trinidad to Havana to Cadiz, Spain with a cargo of logs, Cuban rum & cigars, animal hides, beans, garlic and Trinidadian coconuts, ran aground on what was then known as the Lake Worth Country (named for Major …

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