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COUNTY: Sumter County
LOCATION DETAILS: take hwy 50 west till baylake on left drive till you hit the woods drive till you hit the 4 way take a right follow till 2nd camp on left.
NEAREST TOWN: groveland
NEAREST ROAD: baylake
OBSERVED: hi my name is eric and i felt i needed to write this.me and 3 friends were camping in richlom wild life management area on labor day weekend we were just sitting around the fire when all of the sudden i noticed it got very quiet and all the bugs disappered then we haerd what sounded like a tree being up rooted so we grabbed the spotlight and started searching what it was we found a good sized pine tree half pushed over then we sat back down and as soon as we did we haerd a very very odd growl then we stood back up and started panning the spotlight when we saw a very hairy 11ft object we stood motionless as we looked at it then it darted off and then thats when i left camp site and went home my number is *** *** **** if you have any questions thank you.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3
TIME AND CONDITIONS: at night it was muggy and hot
ENVIRONMENT: a mix between forrest and swamp area
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
This witness was interviewed by phone on Sept. 13, 2010 for approximately an hour by BFRO investigator David Wright.
In addition to his brief account in his report, he stated that they heard the tree uprooting sound and went to investigate. He stated that the sound they heard were the roots of the tree popping as the tree was pushed over. He stated that the tree was over 6" in diameter. After investigating the tree, they returned to the fire and sat back down. Shortly thereafter, they heard a scream followed by a loud, low growling noise and stood up to investigate with a light a second time. Thinking it was likely a wild hog, he scanned the area again on the ground and saw the lower legs of the creature. When he panned the light upward, he saw the creature at full height, which he said was 9'-10', maybe taller. He stated that it was covered with hair which he described as "like beard hair". After the sighting, they immediately vacated the area and returned later after regaining their composure and found nothing different than when they had left. The following additional information was gleaned from the interview;
- The duration of the actual sighting was 5-7 seconds.
- The distance from the creature was about 20-30 yards.
- The creature's height was described as "I'm 6'1" and it had 4' on me!" He could not estimate the weight.
- The creature was described as being very muscular, very tall, and very wide, with a shoulder width estimated at 4'-4.5'.
- Its hair was described as dark, matted, curly, and tangled and was described specifically as hair, not fur, "like ZZ Top's beards, but nasty".
- Concerning facial features, the witness could not define a nose in the darkness, but did describe large, oval eyes on a large, rounded head. No ears were noticed in the frontal presentation, but the witness stated that he saw what appeared to be ears when the animal turned to leave the area.
- No visible neck was identified.
- Arms were described as very large "big and muscular, like my thigh" and within human range of length relative to torso, but "probably slightly longer".
- Its legs, being the first part of the creature that the witness saw when he pointed a light at it, were described as "very muscular, rounded, long, and thick". He stated that the creature’s waist would have come to his own armpits on his 6'1" frame.
- No odor was noticed.
- When the creature left the area, it walked bipedally, angling away from them.
This witness is a firefighter. At no time did he give any indication whatsoever of exaggeration or fabrication. It is the opinion of this investigator that this witness had a Class A encounter with a Sasquatch.
Cathy Betz, BFRO investigator, was able to meet with this witness at the exact location of his encounter.
The witness was able to point out exactly where he and his companions first sighted the creature using a spotlight.
He then showed me a downed tree just off into the wood-line that he believes is what was the source of the ‘crashing’ noise they heard just before they sighted the creature.
After the incidents in question, this witness called the father of a friend to come as fast as he could to pick him up.
The campground in question sits on the northern end of the Richloam Wildlife Management Area, which comprises approximately 56,000 acres of pristine wetlands, swamps and occasional hardwood forests.
Used primarily for hunting and other recreational activities, the majority of the area is unexplored and inaccessible.
After speaking with this witness and hearing about his encounter, I would have to concur with David Wright. He was very forthright and sincere in relating the events of that night. I also spoke to the third party that was called to the campgrounds to pick the witness up. According to this individual, the witness was ‘freaked out’. And having known the witness since he was a youth, the individual was surprised by his reactions. ‘He was raised in these woods and he’s never been scared of anything out there, except for that night.’
This report is very close to another Class A sighting, Report #28200, that occurred within a few miles and just under a year ago in Sept 2009.
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