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COUNTY: Hillsborough County
NEAREST TOWN: Not disclosed at this time
NEAREST ROAD: I-75N
OBSERVED: I was leaving saint petersburg with the intentions of hitch-hiking to asheville, nc. I had a friend drop me off at the I-75N XX exit around 11 pm. there was a lot of construction going on and since it was getting late I decided to camp for the night. I walked to the bridge that crosses the XX river. I was planning on sleeping under the bridge, I walked down underneath, got myself comfortable then I heard a couple of noises to the left of me (coming from the southbound bridge)I played it off as a possum or raccoon, then I heard it again.. so I decided to move closer to the river and hang my hammock in between two trees. I was texting people, then called my friend and talked to her until about 2:30 then we got off since my phone was about to die. I went to sleep pretty quickly afterwards... but not for long. I woke up to a noise down by the river to my left. it was a weird cough/grunt that I can't really explain. I can't mimic the sound but I only heard it once. 10-15 minutes later I hear another sound, this time a low whistle from my right, next to the tree line. it lasts 5 or 6 seconds. I continue to lay there in silence. another 10-15 minutes go by and I start hearing rocks being thrown at me, this happened 5 or 6 times, every couple of minutes or so. then more silence... not sure how long it lasted but it was followed by the loudest crash I have ever heard. I thought the tree I had tied my hammock to cracked. I almost fell out. it sounded like thunder/gunshot/dynamite going off in my face. after that I made up my mind to leave, quickly packed up my hammock and headed back up the hill. crossing the bridge, I caught a quick whiff of a skunk like smell and can feel a set of eyes on me. after that I decided to catch the bus back to NC.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night, cool, windy.
ENVIRONMENT: river side, forest, bridge, interstate.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
This witness originally called in his report and left a voice message. I was able to call him back, interview him, and had him report his encounter via the website. The witness was hitchhiking from St. Petersburg, FL to North Carolina. A friend gave him a ride to a location and dropped him off at approximately 11 PM. Having a backpack and hammock, he walked further up I-75 and found a location under a bridge, thinking he would stay there for the night. It was after 2 AM, and while speaking on his cell phone, he heard a very low whistle. He thought it unusual to hear a bird at that time of night. He attempted to recreate the sound to me, but concluded it was at a much lower tone than he could imitate. He heard other noises and thinking they were raccoons, moved to the other side of the bridge and set up his hammock and went to sleep. He awoke to a sound that he described to me as sounding like “the Raptor coughing in the kitchen from Jurassic Park.” (Gary Rydstrom, the man who created the Raptor sound for that movie, got the sound from his neighbor’s dog that had been surgically “de-barked.”) The witness was concerned as he had never heard that sound in the wild before. Shortly after that, there was another whistle. More silence, then he realized something was throwing what seemed to be golf ball sized rocks towards him. Suddenly he heard a very loud tree knock. It was so close and loud the witness thought one of the trees his hammock was attached to had broken. He compared the sound as loud as a gunshot. At that time, he felt very threatened, packed-up and left the area. While leaving he smelled a skunky odor and like so many other witness’ describe – felt as if he was being watched as he left. The witness was so intimidated by the encounter; he decided to travel by bus for the remainder of his journey. He wanted me to know that he has backpacked many times throughout his life and never experienced a night such as this.
BFRO Investigator Marian Gant and I inspected the area two days after the encounter. We found evidence of two sasquatches, however not all found evidence discovered will be shared at this time, in this report. The area is surrounded by miles of forest. A power line easement is very close to this site. (It is thought that squatches make use of the clearing of these easements to travel along.) Several prints of two sizes were found, and there were several tracks of prints. One measured 16 inches long, the other 13 inches. We saw an incredible amount of wildlife in the afternoon; and this level is usually only active in the morning or evening. We saw huge supplies of other food sources for sasquatches too. We did not find any rocks in the area that could have been thrown, but found several large apple snail shells that were probably thrown at the witness. Behind where the witness’ hammock was is a huge “Big Boy Trail.” (This is a game trail that is much TALLER than what a normal game trail is. When something as tall as a squatch walks through the woods, the branches and trees are bare and broken up high to accommodate them.) Marion and I agree that the witness was preventing one or both of the squatches from traversing to the other side of the bridge, thus leading to the acts of aggression he experienced. While collecting more evidence we will continue to conduct ongoing investigations here. Disclosing the location will disturb the ongoing investigation that BFRO will be conducting, so it will not be disclosed at this time. This report will be updated at a later time. I want to add that BFRO Investigators David Bakara and Cathy Betz are also helping in the investigative process on this site.
The trees the witness strung his hammock to. The footprints were found behind the trees:
The 16 inch long left footprint:
The 13 inch long right footprint:
The 13 inch long, 8 inch wide left footprint.
About BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
R. Monteith has had a life-long interest in Bigfoot and has an extensive background in outdoor land and ocean survival as well as mountaineering. She has tran-sailed the Atlantic, backpacked in remote places throughout the world and has climbed three of the seven summits. She studied International Relations at Florida International University, and is a Financial and Real Estate Consultant. She has participated in many private expeditions as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 BFRO North Florida Expeditions and the 2013 BFRO UP Michigan & Alabama Expedition. She also organized Florida's 2017 Town Hall Meeting. She was an Executive Producer of the documentary film, "Skunk Ape Lives" and featured as a Crypto Expert on The Science Channel's television show, Strange Evidence for seasons 2 and 3.