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COUNTY: Marion County
LOCATION DETAILS: Rainbow Springs State Park FL. Dunnellon, FL is a small town about 100 miles north of Tampa.
NEAREST TOWN: Dunnellon
NEAREST ROAD: I can't remember, but the state park is right next to it
OBSERVED: A few years ago I was visiting friends in Dunnellon, Florida. It was New Years Day 2000. There is a state park called Rainbow Springs State Park. I went to the park that morning simply to bird. This is a fairly large state park but only a small fraction of it is open to the public. That morning I wanted to go outside the public areas of that park, just find a trail and keep walking.
The ground was white sand and there were no human foot prints anywhere. I remember this distinctly because I was IDing foot prints of animals and insects. I had a pair of binoculars with me and I was looking for birds as I went along. I figured I was about 2 miles into the park when I came to a clearing, and a stand of White pines on the edge of a field of Saw palmettos.
The pine closest to the edge of the clearing had a wood duck box mounted on it. I noticed that right away. It made me laugh because the river or nearest water source was over a mile away. I figured a wood duck that used that nest box would have to be desperate. I decided to look at the box through my binoculars hoping I would see a screech owl using it considering I have seen this quite often. It was then when I noticed something gripping the tree trunk well below the wood duck box. I thought I was seeing things but it was a reddish brown hairy arm. I raised my binocs to get a better look. What I saw still bothers me today.
That arm was attached to something that can only be described as a bigfoot. I got a very good look at it. It was hugging the tree its face pressed to the back of the tree outta sight from the front. It would peek out to look at me then pull back.
It had grayish black skin around its face. It was pretty much hairless. It had a human like nose, with a slight nose bridge and a nose more typical of people of African decent. It was not like an apes nose at all. They have flat noses with upturned nostrils.
You could not see its nostrils. It had no white to its eyes.The eyes where all brown with black pupils. I could see them dart back and forth, very similar to how a terrified or trapped animals eyes look.
Its lips were thin and it appeared that they were long for its mouth
looked rather big. There was very little hair around the face. It pretty thick on the sides and top of the face/head. I couldnt see any ears. It appeared to have a very short neck with the back of the neck kinda fading into its shoulders. It had a small cone shape to its head It looked very muscular but not blulky. I moved several times to my right and left to get a better look and it moved just like a squirrel does around a tree trying to avoid you.
I can't say how long this actually went on but it had to be several long minutes cause I was busy running thoughts through my head as to what I was seeing. The closest thing I could come up with was this had to be an orangutang. The color may have been right but after that, forget it. I decided to move forward, just to get a better look I took two steps toward it (it was about 100 yrds away) and it ducked down and ran like hell. I didn't see it as it ran away but it left a sea of moving palmettos in its wake. I didn't make any other noice and I didn't smell anything.
ALSO NOTICED: Yes, its hands and fingers. I couldn't see a difference between its and a human's, except the nails were very short and worn and yellowish in color. Hair hanging off it in losse strands. It had thumbs. It seemed rather thin but muscular and I'd guess it was 6 foot tall or a bit bigger.
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: Not that I know of.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around 8 a.m. very bright and sunny.
ENVIRONMENT: Mixture of white pine and saw palmetteo, just a mile from the Rainbow River. No homes or human development for several miles.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke at length with the witness and can not add any additional details to the report.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions and travels throughout Illinois giving presentations on "Bigfoot In Illinois". See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com