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COUNTY: Pasco County
LOCATION DETAILS: At edge of Cypress Creek Well Field. A 7,400 acre conservation area. Water is piped to St. Pete while the land is open to hikers, horses, and bikes. Flatlands, swamp, and creeks during the wet season.
NEAREST TOWN: Land O Lakes
NEAREST ROAD: Ehren Cutoff
OBSERVED: One day, my son and his friend ran out of the woods next to the house out of breath and scared. They said they had seen "something big". I asked them what color and my son said brown. I assumed it was a deer or wild pig as there are many around, just told them to be careful, and brushed it off.
A month or so later, there was a show about Bigfoot on TV and my son came to me and asked if there were Bigfoot in Florida. I told him no and that they stay up North. I didn't want him to be scared of the woods. I didn't tell him about the Florida "skunk" ape sightings.
About 6 months later, my neighbor called me to ask if I or my family had ever seen anything unusual in the woods. I was sitting in the car with my son waiting for school to open. My neighbor told me about the sightings he and others had last fall. My son heard the conversation and started interrupting, telling me he saw it.
My neighbor heard him over the phone and started giving me questions to ask. Height? Very tall, taller than parents. Color? Reddish brown. Was there a bad smell? Yes. I asked him what did the ears look like, were they pointy, rounded or what? He said he didn't see any ears, just head
My son and friend were playing in the woods when he saw something moving in undergrowth. He saw the back of something that looked like it was on all fours. As the back was large and tall, he decided to move closer to the house. He felt very nervous. As they were leaving, it seemed as if the something was moving toward them. He also remembers sticks being thrown. He urged his friend to move on. Then at one point, he turned to look and he saw this large thing looking at him from behind a tree about 10 ft back. It was standing up and very big, tall. The tree was at least 2 ft in diameter yet it had wrapped one arm all the way around it. There were many vines and branches on the trunk so he didn't get a good look at the body, but he insisted it was standing on two feet, not hanging on the trunk. He said the eyes spooked him. He started running and his friend followed. That is when I saw them coming out of the woods, all out of breath.
I asked him why he didn't tell me he saw Bigfoot when he came out of the woods, instead of saying something big. He said that he didn't know there was such a thing as Bigfoot. Then when he saw the show on TV, he asked me if they were in Florida and I had said no. So he filed it away until my conversation with my neighbor reminded him.
OTHER WITNESSES: My son and his friends, both approx 10-11 yrs were playing in the sighting area. They liked to eat tangerines and play on vines, trees and logs. The friend didn't see, but he realized my son was upset.
OTHER STORIES: A neighbor was telling me about sightings he and others in the area had during same period. When my son overheard, that is when he told me of his.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Afternoon, Sunny, Warm. Swampy area was covered overhead by thick tree and vine growth so it was dark underneath.
ENVIRONMENT: Swampy area approx 50 yds from home. Area is between home and rest of well field. Some palmetto areas. There are many wild tangerine trees left from when land around it had some orange groves 50-70 years ago. Swamp has some dry areas with large puddle "creeks" all over.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
The witness, JG, is my 14-year-old nephew and after I interviewed him he had these details to add…
-JG, 12 years old at the time, and two friends, a 13-year-old and his younger brother, were playing in the woods near his house. The woods border a large conservation area and are comprised of swamp, oak forests and piney shrub land.
-While playing and making the usual sorts of ‘boyish ruckus’ noises, the boys heard sticks breaking and the sounds of something large approaching them through the thick undergrowth.
-Feeling apprehensive, the two older boys began to move slowly back towards the house, while the youngest boy ran home.
-JG reported that at this point he turned around and saw something tall behind a tree. He exclaimed to his friend, “What’s that?” But the friend didn’t look back, instead choosing to keep up his retreat.
-JG states that what he saw was a ‘man thing’ that was peering from behind a large tree from about 25 feet away. He says that it was covered in hair and that most of its body was hidden behind the tree. He does not recall much about its body except that it was sort of ‘humpbacked’ and ‘tall’, much taller than his 6' foot tall father, and that it was definitely standing on two legs.
-He stated that its head was ‘sort of roundish’ and that its head sat squarely on its shoulders. He only saw one shoulder, which he described as being ‘huge’ and ‘really buff’.
-When asked about the hair, JG described it as being ‘darkish brown’ and that it appeared well groomed.
-What JG recalls most vividly was the creature’s face, particularly its eyes. He gave a detailed description of it having blackish lips, no ears, a ‘sort of gorilla nose’ and that the hair on its head was like a cross between ‘people hair and animal hair’. But when asked to draw a picture of what he had seen, JG only drew the eyes. He states that they were brown and piercing and that it is what he remembers most about the creature.
-JG remembers the sighting as having taken place about 1pm and that it only lasted about 10 seconds, or less, before he also turned and ran.
-Although the witness is my nephew, he had experienced this sighting long before I had started doing investigative work with the BFRO. JG is adamant about what he had seen and I believe that what he had witnessed was a bigfoot.
As a side-note to this report, JG had recently had another possible encounter in July, 2008.
-While riding his dirt bike around a dirt track that was carved out close to where the first encounter took place, JG thought he saw something ‘large, black, hairy and on two legs, in his peripheral vision, running into the swamp. Not sure of what he had seen, he immediately reported the incident to his mother.
-His mother, the author of this report, took her camera and went back into the swamp with her son to where he had spotted the creature. She stated adamantly that she was very cognizant about where they stepped and scanned the area carefully before progressing onward.
-They found and photographed several ‘possible’ tracks of foot prints in the mush, between 12”-14” long, as well as a possible hand impression. There were no identifiable details to the tracks and the tracks were not sequential, so there was no way to measure the stride.
-What was interesting however, was that near the tracks, in a large patch of featureless mud, there was a freshly uprooted saw palmetto that had been moved, and then peeled apart with some of the ends seemingly chewed until the fibers were separated. The mud close to the palmetto leavings was such that it could not hold any viable tracks. When I visited the area my boots sunk so deep that my prints became mushy and indistinguishable. But the saw palmettos were freshly dropped and scattered about the area, something which none of the local fauna, except for a human, could have achieved, which is unlikely. A saw palmetto is extremely difficult to uproot, even with a shovel. And according to the author of the report, and the witness, nobody that they knew of had been back in this particular area for some time due to the mucky conditions and because of the thick mosquito population. And as far as the possibilities of someone trespassing through there, it is highly unlikely because of the sheer difficulty of trudging through that area when they could just as easily have traveresed the motorcycle track, only about 20' away, or have gone further East, which is higher ground.
See pictures below...
'Saw palmettos that had been recently pulled up, separated and scattered about.'
'One of the bulbs, 'the edible part of the saw palmetto' that was found separated from the main husk.'
'One of the bulb ends that appeared to have been chewed.'
'A possible print.'
The area near JG’s house borders the Cypress Creek Well Field, part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which includes around 7,400 acres of wetlands, forests and plains. Although there are trails open to the public, much of it is inaccessible because of its rough terrain. It is also part of an established natural corridor that extends for hundreds of miles throughout the state of Florida and is known to have other reported sightings.
Report #15361 occurred during the same year and in the same area.
About BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
Cathy has been a nurse for over 27 years and currently works in a busy ICU. An amateur naturalist, Cathy has been intrigued by the bigfoot phenomenon from an early age.
Attended the following expeditions:
- The 2006 Florida Expedition
- The 2007 North Carolina Expedition
- The 2008 South Florida Expedition
- The 2008 North Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Central Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Utah Expedition
- The 2010 TN Survey Expedition
- The 2011 East Texas Expedition
-The 2012 North FL Expedition
-The 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition
For more information, please see the Florida BFRO