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COUNTY: Collier County
NEAREST TOWN: Ochopee
NEAREST ROAD: North side of US 41
OBSERVED: We were driving eastbound on US 41 to go fishing off of Turner River Rd. about 11 AM. at approx. 1/2 a mile east of the I 29 and US 41 intersection. My girlfriend looked to the north side of the road and said "Jerry, I think I see something." I looked immediately and saw the creature turn approx. 90 degrees take 3 steps and kneel straight down into the grass like a human would. Judging by the height of the grass, we guessed it was about 8 feet tall and by the size of the torso it weighed probably around 400 pounds. The creature was about 50 yards north of US 41. The whole sighting lasted around 10 seconds considering we were driving around 60 mph.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2; driving eastbound. Just east of I 29
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11 am, sunny, partly cloudy
ENVIRONMENT: Saw grass field, near a hammock of trees
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
Jerry and his girlfriend Brittany were driving to go fishing in the Everglades. When he stated it kneeled he wanted me to understand that it was not like a bear going down on all fours, it was actually going down on one knee similar to the way a football player would. Once kneeling its head was still visible. They base the 8 foot tall estimate on the height of the grass. Jerry is 6 foot tall, 200 pounds and Brittany explained to others that it made Jerry appear small in comparison. The color was dark brown and reddish in spots and he described it as massive, thick, muscular and healthy looking. Its build reminded him of the Patterson video. The body looked proportioned and arms seemed to hang just above the knees. Didn't notice length of hair or facial features due to the distance but its hair appeared to be dry. They were the only ones on the road except for a car one mile ahead of them. They did not see it again when Jerry turned the car around for another look. A canal alongside the highway discouraged him from going to the exact location.
At the time, there was no question in his mind they were looking at a bigfoot. Jerry has grown up in Florida and has fished the Everglades most of his life. While fishing there have been times when the birds and frogs suddenly go quiet and an uneasy feeling will come over him.
Very credible witness, able to remember details as if it happened yesterday.
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.