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COUNTY: Alachua County
LOCATION DETAILS: Very swampy area.
NEAREST TOWN: Gainsville, Florida
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 441
OBSERVED: I am subitting this true report for my Cousin who I am very close to and keep in touch with regularly that lives outside of Gainsville, Florida, in Ocala County. She has told me this amazing story several times before, and she is a very trustworthy person. I strongly felt that this amazing encounter of hers should be reported, and she agreed. As she told me, it was a very clear morning. My Cousin was driving her and her younger Son to town on a narrow stretch of road near Gainsville, Florida, early one morning around 7:00 AM. She may have been taking her Son to school but I cannot remember. The narrow road she was on had swamps on both sides of it and looked messy. As she was driving along all of a sudden a hairy upright creature walked right up out of the swamp on one side of the road and continued walking out in front of her car, and then it just stopped. She immediately stopped the car just a few feet away from this thing not wanting to hit it, and just stared in shock at what she and her Son were seeing. The "manlike" creature had stopped in the middle of the road and was turned around looking directly at them, and they got a very good look at the whole body of the creature. The creature walked upright like a human with a gait and looked like a "caveman," is the way she put it to me. The creature had hair all over its body except for around the eyes, nose, and mouth of its face. The most astonishing feature that she noticed though was that the creature was wearing some kind of "animal skin" for protection or something. She was in shock. This creature had to be intelligent to create and wear its own hand-made animal skin. The creature showed no aggressive behavior, and after a couple of minutes or so just casually walked back into the swamp on the other side of the road. The thing looked half human and half ape! The creature was about 7-8 feet tall as well. When she got home she told her Husband what had happened, and at first he didn't believe her. For further reference I can give you my telephone number so you can contact her in Florida. I am a true mystery writer, and just had to share this amazing story with you. I do know that these amazing creatures really do exist!
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing. She just was amazed and shocked at the detail of the creature she was seeing; especially wearing the animal skin She said he looked just like a caveman.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two. Her Son has down syndrome.
OTHER STORIES: Yes. Read many stories about the famous Floria Skunk Ape. The state's version of Sasquatch. My late Grandmother had a close sighting in Kentucky back around 1996. I reported it as well to BFRO.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning around 7:00 AM while on her way to town. Clear day.
ENVIRONMENT: Early morning and a clear day. Cousin was driving her car ona small road with swamp land on both sides of the road. The creature came up out of the swamp in full view of my Cousin when she stopped her car to let the creature cross the road in front of her. The creature turned and looked directly at her in car and then went on.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to the submitter of this report, DS, and he put me into contact with his cousin, the witness, RC.
RC was very matter-of-fact in explaining the details of her encounter. Her story to me did not deviate from the story she related to her cousin.
10 years ago while traveling by car through Payne’s Prairie on Hwy 441, RC saw a hair-covered bipedal figure cross the road in front of her. The time of day was around 6am in the summer and the sun high enough to provide good lighting. Her grandson was in the car with her but he would have been too young to have remembered anything.
This is a summary of the phone conservation and details added by RC-
-Hwy 441 is a four-lane highway that is bisected by a grassy median. RC first saw the creature as it crossed over the opposite lanes, heading towards her lane of travel. It stopped on the median and this is when she started to slow her car down. ‘When it got to the median, I really didn’t know what to make of this thing,’ recalled RC. ‘This is when I got close enough to see it, probably about two car-lengths ahead of me.’ At this point she became frightened. ‘I didn’t know what it was going to do. I was afraid that it was going to come after me, or attack my car. I was really scared. But it didn’t do anything like that. It kept its face looking away from me and then it sort of stopped and glanced at me quickly before I got up to it. Then it walked into the road in front of me, crossed the road and went down into a ditch, or ravine. It must have hunkered down then because I tried looking for it but couldn’t see it.’ RC stated that the foliage on the side of the road was not that thick, or tall, so that’s why she assumed it must have been trying to hide. RC stated that the whole encounter only lasted for about 10-15 seconds and that there were no other cars in sight.
-RC explained that she creature was covered with brown, scraggly, course hair. The hair on its head and forehead looked longer than the hair on its body, which she described as being ‘scraggly, matted, dirty and course’. ‘I’m not sure, but the hair might have been wet.’
-When it ran, it moved quickly and held out its arms, ‘like a muscle man’. It ran on two legs the whole time, but with a hunched-over posture. ‘It looked like how a monkey would run if it was on two legs’.
-According to RC, the figure was about 6 foot tall, or maybe taller. ‘I had the impression that it wasn’t old. But it was stocky, muscular and very stout. When I asked her to compare the body-build to a human, she replied, ‘I have never seen a person that was this muscular. It was tall, and very, very stout.'
-RC could not recount its facial features. ‘It only glanced at me quickly before it took off.’ But she did take note of its feet, which were bare-footed. ‘Its feet looked big and thick. All I could think of at the time was that its feet looked like Fred Flintstone’s feet.
-'What was so strange', admitted RC, 'was that it was wearing a crude-looking covering. It looked brownish-tan, a lot like burlap material that was very worn and frayed at the edges. It was sort of draped over the shoulders, or one shoulder, over its back and it hung down to about its waist’. RC could not be certain, but she thought that the creature’s arm and head went through a hole in the material. ‘The part that hung down looked unraveled and the whole thing looked dingy and worn-out.’
-RC admitted to me that she was just not sure what she had seen. ‘I thought I had seen a caveman’, she stated with a laugh. ‘But I know that it wasn’t a caveman, or a bear, or a human. I just didn’t know what it was until I told my cousin, DS. After I talked to him about it, I think that it might have been a skunk ape. I have always thought of the creature I saw as a ‘Monkey Man’, or, a ‘Human Monkey’.
RC also admitted that the encounter, although over 10 years ago and lasting only 10-15 seconds, has been firmly imprinted in her memory. ‘For a long time afterwards’, related RC, ‘I stopped driving down Hwy 441. Seeing that thing really scared me.’
Payne’s Prairie Reserve State Park was the first Preserve established in Florida in 1971. Made up of 21,000 pristine acres of flatlands, it mainly consists of fresh water marshes and wet prairies. The only major roads that bisect the Prairies, I-75 and Hwy 441, provide a fleeting vista into the vast array of this mainly inaccessible, yet richly diversified habitat.
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