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COUNTY: Dade County
LOCATION DETAILS: US 27
NEAREST TOWN: Homestead
NEAREST ROAD: US 27
OBSERVED: My parents had a full-sized house trailer in Key Largo during the 1960s and 1970s for weekends and summer vacations. At that time we lived north of Miami and would drive out SR 820 to US 27 to US 1 to get there. After I got my own car and driver's license in the late 1960s I began making the trip down there ahead of the rest of the family usually leaving about 4am each Saturday.
On one particular Saturday in '71 or '72 I had made it down US 27 to about 200th Avenue(outside of Homestead in the Redlands)when I spotted red flashing lights ahead. Obviously it was a wreck and it looked like it just happened - only there was just one damaged car just off the road. The LE present were from the FHP and the Dade County SO. I stopped my car on the side of the road, people did that back then, and got out.
I noticed what I remember as an American mid-sized car with a very crumpled left front quarter panel. Just about that time a trooper and deputy sheriff emerged from a very densely wooded area at a right angle to the road. That part of Dade County was very rural at the time and US 27 was generally the dividing line between anything that passed for civilization and the Glades. I then also noticed that a man who was quite upset talking to them.
One of the LEs was shaking his head and saying no one could have walked away from impacting a car at that speed and walked away let alone run away. The other said he never saw a bear move like that. Then a P/U truck stopped and another car. The trooper told us there wasn't any need for us to be there and it was dangerous to be on the side of that road (traffic-wise it was one of the most dangerous in Fl).
I never saw the creature or talked to the witnesses but I had this wierd feeling that you get when someone is staring at you - even before I knew what was going on. I left and went on my way. Well this wouldn't mean much to anyone except later that day I heard on a radio news broadcast that a man said he hit the Florida Skunk Ape and that he claimed that two LE Officers had given it chase into a dense thicket.
I hadn't thought of much of this until about 15 years later I moved to another part of the state and got acquainted with hunters that claimed to have seen the creature, heard it, found its scat, and tracked it. This being mostly in Lee and Collier Counties. I just heard another story this last week and decided to tell what I know of an "almost" encounter.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3, that I know of. See text above.
OTHER STORIES: I have heard from hunters that some have heard wild screams and "nonsense chatter" like men talking backwards or something coming from the darkness during overnighters in hunt camps. One was a LE friend who loved to hunt. In South Florida the only hunting areas are the hammocks in the Glades. He told me after one such incident he wasn't going back ever again.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Incident may have occured about 5am in the predawn. Perhaps it was a little misty.
ENVIRONMENT: Very rural at the time, tomato, beans, and strawberry fields nearby. The edge of Everglades at the time. Typical South Florida brush and trees - very dense and nasty to navigate.
Follow-up investigation report:
The Following comment came into the BFRO in reference to this report. [BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona New Jersey]
1/8/2008 6:00:06 PM
Category Feedback on a posted Report
Subject Artical # 1719
Comment I remember when this happened, I was around 9 my family
Lived in Dade county in the 70's We live on Marine Drive
My Dad was in the Navy and was stationed at Homestead
NAS. I remember coming outside one night around maybe 7:30 Pm or 8:00 P.m And there was Dade county Sheriff cars riding around the neighborhood and helicopter's flying around. For 2 or three days. I remember hearing on the news that someone had hit " A Skunk Ape" not far from where we lived. And smashed up the car pretty good. There used to be an old fish hatchery at was abandoned right behind or house threw a short span of woods. I suppose the police where looking there the helicopter's where using spot-lights shining the woods.
And the patrol cars where riding around.Shining there lights between the house's The woods at this time extended around the block from or house.
I could see that the patrol cars where shining the woods
There they had just started to build a subdivision at the time And there used to be dirt roads around this area.
So they where driving around all over.
I saw this report and decided to give my remembrance.