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COUNTY: Marion County
NEAREST TOWN: Salt Springs, FL
NEAREST ROAD: state hwy. 19
OBSERVED: It's been 4 years and I have never told anybody about what I saw. I worked in the Ocala National Forest. I maintained 117 miles of forest roads, for logging trucks. It was 95 degrees that day. I thought I had seen everything in that forest, as far as wildlife. But I was wrong. 200 yards in front of me there it was. A large dark brown animal, standing on the side of the road, about 6 and a half feet tall. It looked at me, and then crossed the road. I drove my moter grader to where it crossed,and there they were--the tracks, about 12 inches long. I had no radio, and figured I best keep this to myself. It crossed the road in 3 steps. I had a job to do, and finished grading the road. This is the first time I ever told anyone. I know what I saw, it was real.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Wright:
This witness was interviewed for approximately 30 minutes on 2/4/08. He was driving a road grader in Ocala National Forest at the time of the sighting and was deep into the forest, far (about 5 miles) from any human habitation. He could not recall the exact location, but stated that he was somewhere in the North East quadrant of the forest. The following account summarizes his written report and the personal interview.
The sighting occurred in June of 2004 at around noon. As he was grading the road, he looked up and at a distance of about 200 yards, and saw what he described as a dark brownish-black creature of about 6.5 feet in height standing in side profile with its head turned, looking directly at him. He stopped his grader, and for 1 - 1.5 minutes the creature stood staring in his direction, seemingly undisturbed by the sound of the idling machine. He stated that at the end of that time, the creature turned its head back forward, and proceeded to cross the 16'-18' wide road in 3 steps and then disappeared into the woods with little apparent regard to being seen. The witness resumed his grading and arrived at the location of the crossing within 3 minutes and stopped and got out to investigate. He noted that there were two visible tracks, both left footprints in the road; the right print was not apparent on the harder packed dirt in the middle of the road. He described the tracks as being at least 12" in length proportionally similar to a human, but much larger, with a width of about 7" and showing 5 toes. He noticed broken tree branches along the path the creature took into the woods. He called out to it that he was leaving food and water there, which he proceeded to do. He resumed grading the final 3 miles of the road, and upon his return on the other side of the road, he stopped again and noticed that the food and water had not been touched.
He described the creature as follows;
-The creature's height was about 6.5 feet.
-It was covered with dark brownish-black hair all over.
-Its head appeared to be set forward on its shoulders creating a hunched posture, with no visible neck, and its head was proportional to its body size.
-Its arms were long, possibly longer proportionally than those of humans, and they swung when it strode across the road.
-He described the creature as having a heavy body, stating that "...it was twice as husky as me - bigger and bulkier."
The witness stated that he never told anybody about the sighting because he didn't want to jeopardize his job. He stated that he was 100% sure of what he saw, and offered that he would be willing to take a lie detector test about his experience.
This witness was found to be very serious and forthcoming with his account and answers to my questions and gave no indication whatsoever that he was reiterating anything other than an actual experience, exclaiming several times, “This is for REAL!”
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.