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COUNTY: Sarasota County
LOCATION DETAILS: Southeast corner of Acorn circle; Just below and to the right of the star on this mapquest URL:(*Note - Honore Ave went through years after this incident)
NEAREST TOWN: Sarasota
NEAREST ROAD: Proctor Road & Acorn Circle
OBSERVED: Me and my brother and our cousin (11, 10 & 12 years old at the time) used to frequent a neighborhood across from ours called Acorn Circle. It was a heavily wooded area that only had about three homes at the time. On the Southeast side of this neighborhood there were no homes at all and was especially a favorite spot of ours to play since it had a few curiosities about the area. Just to describe the location a bit; this wooded area had a nice canopy of trees and was somewhat darkened even in the bright daylight. There was this large mound of eroded dirt that had a patch of sunlight directly coming through the tree canopy. About 15 feet away there was a large drainage ditch that was about five foot across and four foot deep, someone at one time had placed a log across this ditch in order to cross it. On the other side there was an old VW bug and van that had been there so long that small trees were actually growing up and through them. Further back from this was the scarce remnants of a burned down house, we rarely explored back further than this due to the increasing darkness, heavy foliage and swampy ness.
On the day this sighting occurred my cousin and myself were playing on the dirt mound with our matchbox cars while my brother explored just a short distance away to the left of us and the VWs. Suddenly we were jolted to the sound of a loud crack as if someone had stepped on a stick; we immediately looked to the direction of the VWs where the sound came from. There approximately 10 feet to the right of them was a large human like figure. I roughly estimate that it was around seven feet tall; its color was not really distinguishable due to the poor lighting. Its right side was slightly obscured by some small trees on the bank of the ditch. We stared at it for about a minute or so and then started conversing with each other wondering who or what this thing was that was just standing there watching us. I remember one of us supposing it was a bear standing up but that was quickly batted down since shoulders were clearly visible, it simply looked like large hairy man. None of us recall seeing a face or any other clear details considering that all that was really visible was a jagged hairy silhouette against the dimly lit woods. At one point I remember saying “I bet it’s Bobby (an older teenager that lived in that neighborhood) trying to scare us” I shouted: “Hey Bobby stop playing around, we know it’s you!”… but no response. Then one of us yelled out; “ok ok you can come out now, stop trying to scare us whoever you are”… again no response. As we continued to stare it slowly moved slightly to its left fully exposing itself from behind that small clump of trees, as it moved it raised its left hand up and outwards in order to grab a tree branch while at the same time leaning forward as if to get a better look at us, my brother said that when it did this that from his particular angle he could see long hair dangling from its arm. At this point we all ran as fast as we could and have never returned.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: Three witnesses including myself, we were all playing together.
OTHER STORIES: None
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was mid afternoon and was a bright and sunny day
ENVIRONMENT: Densely wooded area, swampy in some spots
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with all three witnesses by phone.
Each witness gave me their own account of what happened while they were playing in the woods. The older brother stated that they heard a branch break and they looked up to see a seven foot tall, broad shouldered, dark figure watching them. When the animal repositioned itself the boys took off running.
The cousin remembers that the animal appeared to be very tall. He said it was brown in color and very unkempt looking. He thought they were maybe thirty-five to forty feet from it. He had recurring nightmares for six years about their experience.
The little brother was on the same side of the creek as the animal and about thirty feet from it. He stated that being the little brother he was always being teased and left. So when his brother yelled to leave the area he was determined not to fall for that "old trick" and he stayed put. He remembers watching the animal grabbing the tree and looking at him. He described the color as being cinnamon and brown, "similiar to a grizzly bear." He said it was built heavily, like it was wearing shoulder pads. He also believed the animal to be over seven feet tall. Only after seeing the animal did he also make a hasty retreat.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org