|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
COUNTY: Lake County
LOCATION DETAILS: SR 46 west. The park is south of SR 46 just past the Wekiwa River and north of the main Wekiwa River State Park. Trail is on the west side of the main park road approximately 1/4 mile past the main gate.
NEAREST TOWN: Mount Plymouth
NEAREST ROAD: SR 46
OBSERVED: To this day I cannot honestly say this was a sighting or not. I will leave that conclusion to those with more knowledge of Sasquatch behavior to decide. At the time my knowledge of Sasquatch, Bigfoot or the skunk-ape was limited only to what I had seen on t.v. or read in the papers rarely. In fact, I was under the belief that the Patterson tape had been debunked and bigfoot was probably a myth. It was a clear March day and I being off from work decided to take a day hike in Rock Springs State Park. The park is not heavily used I think mainly because its reputation for a healthy black bear population keeps city dwelling day hikers well clear of it. I have hiked many time in bear country and the idea of a bear encounter wasn't a worry. I decided on a loop trail approximately 2 miles in length basically as a warm up then planned on hiking different parts of the area. The woods very basically slash pine and palmetto with clear scrub meadow and shallow swamp areas a little deeper in. A well defined trail led through the palmetto. About 1/2 a mile in I noticed the woods had become very quiet and I began to feel as if I was not alone but being watched. In the middle of the trail I came upon a very large of very fresh scat. It was directly centered in the middle of the trail and the stools were incredibly large and long approximately 3 having lengths of between 9 and 11 inches. This was not bear scat as I have seen piles of that before and never saw continuous lengths of stool such as this. Again feeling that I was not alone I developed the strangest feeling that this was there for me to find and that it was meant as a warning not to go further. The fear I felt became almost irrational but I had no doubt I should turn around and leave this area. I have spent many hours in the woods but had never felt this type of flight or fight feeling. I now know that primates have used scat to mark territory and warn others away. Could this have been a warning left by a primate to me? I honestly don't know.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10:00 AM, sunny and very clear. Weather was cool approximately 72 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Slash pine/palmetto. Well marked trail through palmetto. Approximately 1/2 mile there are large clearings of younger undergrowth filling in previous burn areas.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Wright:
This witness was interviewed for nearly an hour by phone on 12/18/07. He was found to be intelligent, articulate and expressive. His encounter occurred in Rock Springs State Park, in Lake County in a pine flatwoods environment. According to the witness, "This area serves as a wildlife corridor between the Wekiva Springs State Park to the south and the Seminole State Forest to the north." About 1/4th of a mile from the park entrance is a pull off at the trail head of the trail where this encounter took place. About 1/2 of a mile down the trail is where the witness began to experience what he described as "weird feelings". He noticed that all the normal animal sounds including birds, cicadas, and the like, had ceased. These feelings included a very strong sensation of being watched. It was immediately thereafter, just a little farther up the trail where he encountered the scat in the middle of the trail. In addition to his reported description concerning the size of the scat, he stated that it was very dark in color, and contained no visible, identifiable contents, such as undigested plant matter, berries, berry seeds, fur, or acorn shells, as one might expect if it were bear scat. It was at this time that he was overcome with an extreme feeling of dread and trepidation, as though something was saying "get the heck out of here!" He did exactly that, terminating his hike.
He stated that he had 30 years of experience in the woods hiking, camping, and hunting and had encountered bear scat numerous times. He stated that this specimen was very, very much larger than anything he had ever encountered.
About BFRO Investigator David Wright:
- Certified Florida Master Naturalist (U. of Florida)
- Visual Tracker, Level 1
- Teaches Biology, A.P. Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Science at a rural high school SE of Jacksonville
- See local TV interview with D. Wright
- Participated in the 2007 Private Florida Expedition [Click the video link on that page.], the 2007 South Carolina Expedition, the 2008 South Florida Expedition and assisted with the organization of the 2008 North Florida Expedition. Assisted with the organization of the 2009 Central Florida Expedition.