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COUNTY: Gilchrist County
LOCATION DETAILS: IT WAS A VERY DESOLATE AREA AND SEEMED TO BE IN A SWAMPY AREA.
NEAREST TOWN: FANNING SPRINGS, FLORIDA
NEAREST ROAD: ROUTE 26 EAST
OBSERVED: WHEN I WAS LIVING IN PERRY, FLORIDA IN 1998, I WAS DRIVING FROM PERRY ON ROUTE 19 & 98 TO FANNING SPRINGS. THEN I DROVE ONTO ROUTE 26 HEADING TO GAINESVILLE. AS I WENT AROUND A BEND IN THE ROAD, MY HEADLIGHTS HIT UPON THIS LARGE, BLACK OBJECT AND IT SEEMED TO BE STARTLED BY THE LIGHTS. AS I WAS COMING CLOSER TO THE OBJECT, I COULD SEE IT WAS STANDING ON THE EDGE OF THE ROAD AND IT HAD HUNKERED DOWN SO I COULD NOT SEE ITS HEAD BUT IT WAS STANDING UP RIGHT. NOW AS I GOT CLOSER TO THE OBJECT, I COULD SEE GLISTENING, WET , BLACK FUR. I SLOWED DOWN AND IT TURNED TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD AND DISAPPEARED INTO A SWAMPY AREA.
ALSO NOTICED: NO
OTHER WITNESSES: NONE
OTHER STORIES: NO
TIME AND CONDITIONS: MIDNIGHT TO ONE A.M.
ENVIRONMENT: SWAMPY AREA NONE
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
The observation was brief. He had just driven around a bend in the road near Fanning Springs, going about 40 mph when his headlights fell on the animal standing on the immediate side of the road. This witness assumes the figure was over six feet tall, but he stated it was hard to tell because the head was hunkered down a bit behind a shoulder, as if it was trying to shield its eyes and face. He got the impression that the waist and torso were relatively thick.
About BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
- Worked as an Assistant to a Circuit Court Judge in Florida for thirteen years
- An avid outdoorswoman, growing up in the UP of Michigan on a family-owned fishing and hunting resort. Currently lives in the Hiawatha National Forest
- Certified Visual Tracker, Level 1
- Attended and assisted with numerous public and private BFRO expeditions
- She and the Florida BFRO organized South Florida Expedition 2008, North Florida Expedition 2008 and Central Florida Expedition in 2009.
- She and the Michigan BFRO organized the Lower-Michigan Expedition in 2011, Michigan UP Expeditions in 2012, 2013 and 2015. She will be co-organizing the 2016 Michigan UP Expedition in October.