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COUNTY: Palm Beach County
LOCATION DETAILS: Northlake Blvd and St Rd 710, south on Northlake Blvd to Grassy Waters Preserve. On the left maybe two miles.
NEAREST TOWN: Lake Park,
NEAREST ROAD: Northlake Blvd
OBSERVED: A friend and I had towed my canoe from Okeechobee to Lake Park to paddle the water catchment area EQQ. It was early morning before 8AM. We were told we had to rent a canoe and couldn't go out by ourselves, had to go one a guided trip. I grew up in the area and had covered on foot, horse, swamp buggy, canoe, etc. But they ranger still wouldn't let us go. So we walked the boardwalk and I looked out to the cypress heads and squatting down at the base of a cypress tree was a dark figure. It would dig a little in the mud at the base of the tree and stand up and put a hand to it's mouth. I asked a Ranger for binoculars and she came out to look. The humidity was so high the binoculars fogged over and were useless. We watched the figure squat down and repeat, dig around, stand up and it did it over and over. Another Ranger came and my friend and I watched this motion for about five to seven minutes more then left.
I have no idea how long the rangers watched it or if they saw it leave. If it turned out to be a bear that would thrill me too. No bears had been seen in Palm Beach County since 1979. But I'm sure it wasn't a bear. It stood too straight and bent at the waist and squatted at the knees like a human. A Bear doesn't bend the waist.
I had forgotten about it until after I had a sighting in Okeechobee Co. I filed a report on the Okeechobee sighting and spoke with and went out to the area with an investigator. I've decided to report the first sighting because of the way Fish and Wildlife handled a sighting here in Columbia County, Fl where I now live. Big joke, lots of laughs. I take offense to that attitude. I've spent a life time in the swamps and woodlands of Florida, put in 12 years as a wildlife rehabilitator in Palm Beach County. It's pretty safe to say I know what I'm looking at.
My friend and I talked about the sighting in 2006 and she said if that's what I thought we saw she was happy with it because she didn't know what it was either. I should mention she is a Veterinarian nurse, pretty familiar with animals too.
Since the second sighting I've been putting a lot of research into the subject and would like to discuss ideas with other people but haven't found anyone to carry on a serious conversation with. Since the Finding Bigfoot program came on air and as more information comes out I hope to get past the jokers.
The funny part is Grassy Waters is almost across the road from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission headquarters. Wonder if they had a visit?
ALSO NOTICED: no
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend and I and two Park Rangers. The Rangers were just starting their day, unlocking gates and the visitor center.
OTHER STORIES: As a youngster 40 to 50 years ago the skunk ape had been seen in the general area before development came in. As it is there is still an enormous undeveloped area around and connects with the Corbett Wild Life Management area which connects with the Dupuis Wildlife Reserve which connects to a greenway to PalMar Preserve. Probably 150,000 acres altogether.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning, low fog but clearing, bright enough to see clearly from the boardwalk, damp.
ENVIRONMENT: The area is a water catchment preserve. It now has a boardwalk, visitor center canoe rentals, etc. Swampy area with cypress stands, mixed with palmetto, cabbage palm, pines and some exotic shrubs.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to JC over the phone about her sighting and found her to be very engaging. JC was born in Florida and was raised close to a swamp, which she delighted in exploring while growing up. She later became a geologist and wildlife animal rescuer and intimately knows the native fauna of Florida.
JC described the creature she saw from approximately 50 yards away as…
…Standing on two legs and over 7 ½ foot tall and weighing approximately 300 lbs.
…Covered all-over with evenly dark hair that was well kept and short. She described its hair as ‘very form fitting and neat, like a dog after it had been groomed'.
…Muscular, but with a slim build. ‘A well-formed body’.
…Having a roundish head, with its head resting on its shoulders.
…Unusually long arms and human-like hands.
JC did not get a look at its face because of the distance, but she could accurately describe the activity it displayed. “The thing was standing in shallow mud and it didn’t pay any attention to us. It might have known we were there, but it didn’t act like it. I saw how it would squat down, paw around in the mud, stand up and then roll its fingers around until the mud fell away and then put something into its mouth with its fingers. It did this several times before we left.”
I asked JC if her friend would be willing to speak to me about this incident. JC stated that although her friend grudgingly concedes that what they saw was a bigfoot, she doubted that her friend would consent to an interview.
Although JC stated that two park rangers were present during the sighting, it is also highly doubtful that they would agree to an interview based on failed past attempts to interview park rangers about bigfoot sightings.
This sighting took place at the Grassy Waters Reserve, over 20 square miles of wetlands that are considered the ‘Historical headwaters for the Everglades system’. This reserve links with the Corbett Wildlife Management Area, over 60,000 acres of pristine wilderness, as well as the 11,000-acre Everglades National Park.
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