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COUNTY: Charlotte County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near Charlotte Harbor
NEAREST TOWN: Community near Charlotte Harbor
OBSERVED: Just got up for work and was walking the dogs outside my home. I looked toward the end of the street and it looked like a truck or something in the middle of the road. I turned away for a few seconds and looked back again. It had covered a distance a person couldn't cover and stopped as soon as it saw me looking.
The wind was blowing toward the creature so the dogs did not pick up on it till after we were in the house.
So we started this little game where I would look away and it would move quickly forward. When I would look toward it again it would freeze. It didn't growl or make any noise.
It finally hit me that this was not a game, I was not seeing things and that it was moving directly for me and the dogs. Frankly I really didn't want to believe what I was seeing.
Judging by the posts, mailboxes, trees etc. that it stood by it was probably between 8 to 9 feet tall, had long hair, long arms, very muscular, big chested and was HUGE! It was built like a brick building so to speak. I have never seen an animal that big that could be so agile and move so fast and quietly.
As soon as I knew I was not seeing things I carefully manuvered the dogs to the house and shot into the house. After we were in the house the dogs barked as it followed me up the driveway!!!!!!
I think it came right up to the front screened door as the motion light kept going on. Frankly I was too afraid to look out the windows and cowarded with the dogs in the kitchen till I thought it was gone.
The odd thing was that for the next 3 mornings (same time)there was a very strong musty or poopy odor outside the front door that hung like a wet blanket in the air. As soon as I opened the door and smelled it I shut the door because I felt it was in the yard.
As a result of this encounter I would only go outside after daylight and when I heard other cars moving in the neighborhood. I started going to work late (had an hour and 1/2 ride to Bonita Springs) but wouldn't tell my boss why I was coming in late. My step-dad was sick so he thought it had something to do with that. He would NEVER have believed me if I told him that I saw a Skunk Ape and was afraid of it!
My neighborhood had a variety of wildlife in it: Bobcats, rabbits, birds, gators etc.
ALSO NOTICED: It almost appeared to be playful. It would move quickly to a new spot on the street and stop and watch me and I pretended not to see it. But it appeared to know I was watching it. It would stand perfectly still in the middle of the street or step into the shadows of the trees at the side of the road. Also for the next 3 mornings when I would step out the front door around the same time there was this incredible musky smell that hung in the air like a wet blanket. As long as the smell was around I would not go outside. So I started coming outside later in the morning in daylight because I was afraid. Going to work late was a better option than running into this thing again.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1 adult and 2 dogs.
OTHER STORIES: I had heard of several incidents near Naples. However while working with some newspaper carriers about a year before this event happened several had told me that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should I get out of the car at night especially near Mangroves, The Peace River or the Englewood area. They were very afraid of something but would not tell me what they were afraid of. They probably thought I would think they were crazy if they told me. At the time I didn't push the issue. I asked one woman if it was a panther and she just starred at me and said no. I said is it bigger than a panther and she just kept looking at me and finally said much bigger and walked away. Then one of the men came in and warned me to NOT get out of the car. He was a very big rugged guy but he was definitely afraid of something.So I have a feeling we all saw the same thing.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning - apx. 5:30 AM. Just before dawn - light enough to see the creature but the sun had not come up yet. No fog - very clear and bright.
ENVIRONMENT: Residential neighborhood.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to the witness, Ms. L, over the phone for over an hour and found her to be sincere, forthright and articulate about the details of her encounter.
Ms. L lived in a retirement housing community near Charlotte Harbor. She described the neighborhood as being quiet, and unusually so during the spring and summer months when most of the residents moved north until winter.
While walking the dogs just before sunrise, about 5:00 - 5:30 AM, Ms. L saw what she thought was a pickup truck in the middle of the street, about 200 feet away. She explained, “I initially thought it was a truck because it was so big. At the time I really couldn’t get my mind around it being anything else. But it didn’t take my mind long before I realized that it was a massive, hair-covered creature that was standing on two legs.”
Ms. L turned towards the house, not sure what the creature would do or what it was capable of. After taking just a few steps she looked back and to her amazement the creature had moved towards her about 50 feet or so. “When I looked back, it froze. I knew for certain that I was seeing a bigfoot. I turned away again, took several more steps and when I turned back, it again froze and was only about 100 feet away and hugging the side of the road where there was some trees. I never even heard it move!”
Feeling worried that this bigfoot might be interested in her dogs, Ms. L began to feel alarmed and quickly walked several more steps. When she turned back it was about 40 feet closer but on the other side of the street near some trees, and it again froze. “It was dark out at the time but there were some streetlights on so I could get a better look at it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I know that it wasn’t a person. It was a bigfoot.”
Although it was dark at the time, the streetlights on the road enabled Ms. L to see the creature clearly, except for facial details.
“It was huge!” Stated Ms. L. “Back where I come from we would describe something like this as a brick house. Judging by the mailboxes and posts, it was over eight foot tall, maybe weighed about 800 pounds and had dark brown hair all over it. The arms hung down low and it held its arms at its side the whole time. The legs were shorter, but very stocky. It was hard to make out the shape of the head because there was a lot of hair on it, but it wasn’t exactly round. It might have had a bit of a point to it and it sat right on top of its shoulders. The shoulders and chest were very broad and wide. I couldn’t see its face, but I could see the reflections of dark eyes. I really couldn’t tell for sure, but I had the impression that it was a male. I also had the impression that it was incredibly fast, and that it was intelligent by the way it moved.”
As soon as Ms. L got close to the house she moved around a corner and bolted for the door. “I moved so fast I think I almost choked the dogs in order to get into the house.”
Once inside, the dogs began to bark and then to whimper. Ms. L held on to them and managed to quiet them down, fearing that she would wake her elderly parents or that the bigfoot would hear the dogs. “I stood in the kitchen and saw that the outside motion sensor light came on. So I knew that it was in the yard, close to the window.” Ms. L stated that the window drapes were closed so she could not be 100% sure that it was in the yard at that time.
“I did not have the feeling that it wanted to hurt me.” stated Ms. L. “But I was still scared. I think I stood, petrified, in the kitchen for about 20 minutes until I was pretty sure that it was gone.”
Ms. L did not recall the bigfoot making any noises except an occasional footstep. “That’s why I think it was intelligent," recalled Ms. L. “It seemed like it knew when to make its presence known by making loud steps at some times, or keeping its steps quiet.”
Ms. L did not recall any odors from the initial experience. However, the next three mornings in a row Ms. L smelled a very strong, overwhelming, musty, stinky odor in the yard and did not dare venture outside until the sun was well up. “The smell was unmistakable and seemed to hang in the air like a blanket. I don’t know why, but I think it came back for some reason. I really don’t know if it was interested in my dogs, or if it was interested in me.”
Much later, when she finally told her father about her experience, he only stated that he keeps the drapes closed because ‘it’ would sometimes peer into his window. When Ms. L tried to get more specific information on what ‘it’ was, if ‘it’ was maybe an intruder, her father would not give her anymore details.
Although the area of Ms. L’s sighting took place near a subdivision, the area is very close to several large wilderness preserves like Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, Deer Prairie Creek and Myakka River State Park. It also borders several smaller wildlife sanctuaries that are home to an abundance of wildlife, fresh water creeks and estuaries.
From past reports we know that it is not unusual for a bigfoot to visit the edges of urban developments in order to take advantage of small garden plots, untended pet food, bird feeders, garbage cans/dumpsters or other easily available food sources. We also know that it is not uncommon for bigfoots to peek into dwellings if they know they have nothing to fear from the occupants. This is not an aggressive or dangerous behavior, but merely a way to satisfy their innate and intense curiosity of human behavior.
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