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COUNTY: Polk County
LOCATION DETAILS: Exact directions omitted.
NEAREST TOWN: Zephyrhills
NEAREST ROAD: Orange Lake
OBSERVED: I went to a hunting spot to see what was happening, just around the time the sun was getting low. I arrived at a spot that i knew had a persimmon tree to see if i could see any deer in the area, about 15 minutes after arriving i noticed an animal standing up and getting persimmons and going back to the ground about 75 yards away, i thought this was a bear. I watched it for about 20 minutes and was getting ready to leave because it was starting to get dark. Just as i was getting ready to stand up and leave this animal did just that, stood up and left. I watched it get up on two legs and walk away, i observed this for at least 40 yards and it disappeared into the thick growth.
ALSO NOTICED: This animal was 5 to 6 feet tall
OTHER STORIES: Last fall Turkey hunt, my partner and i heard a sound in the same area that we have never heard before and we spend a lot of time in the woods and swamp. It was a cross between a howl and a gutteral growl and was very loud. A guns off of safety moment.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Evening, around an hour before sunset.
ENVIRONMENT: Swamp and old growth mixed
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Wright:
This witness is an acquaintance of this investigator whom he called a few weeks after the incident. His delay was due to the significant reluctance on his part to be associated with such a startling experience. After conversing with the witness several times concerning his identity being secure with the BFRO, he was convinced to file a report. The official interview took place on 12/31/08 and lasted about an hour. As stated, the witness is known by the investigator and his credibility is a known entity and was (is) discerned to be impeccable. The witness was asked to reiterate his account which he did, and further information from the original report was gleaned in the interview process. That information is as follows.
•On one prior occasion, during the previous turkey season (spring) this witness and another witness experienced what he described as a “horrible” guttural howl/growl that lasted around 5 seconds. He stated that this sound was so terrifying, that “It resulted in two grown men and experienced hunters clicking their safeties off on their shot guns and getting the hell out of there!”
•The observation took place at a distance of about 75 yards and lasted about 20 minutes.
•The observed creature repeatedly stood up, picked persimmons from the tree, and then went back to the ground with them. The witness, first thinking this was a bear, imagined that it was going back down to all fours. However upon further questioning came to the realization that the creature was actually squatting when it went back to the ground.
•The witness did not actually observe the creature actually putting persimmons to his mouth, presuming that is what he was doing when he went to the ground each time.
•As the witness was preparing to leave, he notice the creature stand back up onto 2 legs, and turn and walk from the witness’ right to left, where he watched him walk a distance of about 40 yards, perpendicular to his directive of view. During this time the witness became completely perplexed by the fact that this couldn’t be a bear at all because bears don’t “walk” upright, and this creature’s entire exit was made bipedally without going to quadrepedal locomotion at all.
•The creature appeared to be 5’-6’ in height, and appeared to weigh at least 200+ lbs.
•The creature was described as being thick and stocky with more upper body than legs.
•The creature was seen entirely in profile, so the witness did not see a frontal or posterior silhouette, ergo could not estimate shoulder width, except that it appeared thick chested.
•He described its covering as being more fur than hair and that it appeared neat, not matted, and its fur appeared dark with a reddish tint or highlight.
•The witness described no facial features and no visible neck.
•The creature was described as having stocky lower thigh length arms that swung when it walked. He described its gait as long striding and that it seemed to pick up its feet/legs proportionally higher than a human would. He stated that the legs seemed proportionally shorter than humans with respect to its height.
•Realizing this was not a bear but some unknown creature, the witness was NOT interested in investigating the area for tracks, but more in vacating the area without haste.
•Finally, the witness spoke of conversations with a fellow hunter, “an old timie Florida Kracker” who had told him of seeing 4’-5’ “monkeys” walking on 2 legs in the Green Swamp. This contact is being actively pursued by this investigator.
• Habitats within the Green Swamp River System includes a mosaic of cypress, hardwood, and pine flatwood forests, interspersed with sand hills and wet prairies, along with their associated fauna and flora. These habitats are replete with food and water resources that are fully capable of supporting populations of large game animals, including deer, hogs and bear. Wildlife management areas within the Green Swamp maintain these populations through regulated seasonal hunting. This witness was participating in this wildlife management at the time of this sighting. There is no reason to conclude that this habitat could not support a small population of Sasquatches and this report was nothing but supportive of that hypothesis.
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.