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COUNTY: Volusia County
LOCATION DETAILS: Down by a post office is a sign saying left to cassadaga but there is a way to just keep going straight and we missed the cassadaga turn so we ended up going straight to the location.
NEAREST TOWN: Cassadaga Florida
NEAREST ROAD: Interstate 4
OBSERVED: Driving through Florida and saw two large eyes about 6 feet off the ground. He was hiding behind a tree. We saw it when I turned on my high beams around midnight. We didn't get a good look at it but it was big.
ALSO NOTICED: No.
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend Clint was in the car with me and he saw it before me and he yelled so I looked and saw it.
OTHER STORIES: I have not.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Midnight and it had rained earlier in the day. It was pitch black until I turned on my high beams.
ENVIRONMENT: Forrest/swamp. Country road
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
I spoke to the witness by phone. He lives in Indiana and was visiting Florida at the time of this sighting. He and his friend were driving through the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp and the Lake Helen Area in Volusia county around midnight. The sighting was literally on the line of Lake Helen, a small rural city established in 1888 for growing citrus and timber, and the 57 acre camp with old growth forest. The camp was founded in 1894; the community is now more like a small old Florida village of Psychics and Mediums.
The men were in a doorless Wrangler, and were laughing about the low fog on the road since it seemed to play into the scary side of the spiritualist community. They made a wrong turn and ended up on a dead-end street. As they turned around, the headlights caught eye-shine behind a large tree. The driver’s friend spotted it first and brought it to the driver’s attention. The shadow seemed brown behind the tree and more than 6 ft. high. The eyes seemed to be more than 4 inches apart. The eyes reflected a “greenish” color. It frightened them, especially since the car did not have doors.
Map of the location:
I arrived on the location two weeks after the sighting. I spoke with several neighbors about the incident, and with permission from one I was able to walk the property which has a lake and a citrus grove bordering it. I was warned of a bear in the area, and found footprints and a bedding area for it. I saw trails of where it had been going through the brush. I then received a phone call from the owner asking me to return to her house, there was something she wanted to discuss with me. Upon returning, it was explained that at this time last year they had started hearing strange noises at night. The entire household was guessing at what could be making the loud, growling, and screaming noise. One night at around 2 AM, they heard a loud bang that shook the house. The dog ran under the bed, and the cat ran into the closet. It woke everyone up, and they couldn’t figure out what it could have been. Looking around outside, they discovered that the siding on the house had been damaged.
Photo of damaged siding:
The siding was broken outside the back bedroom window closest to the woods. The damage is 7.6 inches high. There are no trees near the house, and there is nothing that could explain what could have done this. It is about the size of a large hand.
Building slapping is a very typical sasquatch behavior, as is the tree peeking which is what the two original witnesses described. The old growth trees and low density population in the area would contribute to sasquatch activity, as would the orchard, lakes and animal food sources.
Trekking into the woods, which borders the orchard, I found several trails that had branches broken at the 6 – 8 ft. level. Clearly, something tall and wide has walked through there, but not recently.
There is GA Report #33985 from a paranormal investigator that did not initially report the bigfoot activity because they felt it was a haunting. It wasn't unitl they had a Class A sighting did they realize it was not a haunting. I suspect that this could be happening in Cassadaga.
On 8/28/2012, a follow up investigation lead to a story from the same time last year. I spoke to the woman who works in a city office. She stated that last July/August she woke up to her horse screaming at 1 AM. In 19 years it was the second time in two weeks she heard her horse make this noise. She went outside with a flashlight and saw what she thought at the time was the biggest bear she’d ever seen. Standing 50 yards away, it was hairy, black, and standing upright on two legs next to the stable. When she put the light on it, it dropped down and ran off much faster than she thought a bear could move. She grabbed her horse and walked it closer to her house. She said she’d never thought it could have been anything else until she read the flyers I had left in the community. It should be noted that following Bergmann’s Rule, Florida black bears tend to be smaller than northern bears. (According to Bergmann's Rule, equatorial animals are smaller, while northern animals are larger.)
The witness stated that the creature’s head while standing was just under the 8 foot roof of the stable. It had its hand on the roof when she flashed the light on it. She also shared that two weeks prior, after her horse had been vocal one night, she had found the “animal proof” barrel of sweet feed open. It had been taken off the pallet and opened. It had a twist top she described as difficult to open. It had not been spilled over, chewed, or left in a mess as a bear would have done. It was “neatly” opened, and some but not all had been eaten.
Although this happened a year earlier, I walked the area and on a neighboring property that borders the St. Johns River Basin, I found a track of 15 ½ inch prints. A left and right print, with a 38 inch stride between the two. In the last 48 hours the area had heavy rains from Tropical Storm Isaac. I felt these prints were less than 24 hours old as they had not been washed away.
Track of prints:
The witness also shared the mystery of her vegetable garden. For many years she had grown tomatoes, green peppers and yellow squash. She stopped because it seemed something was picking them from the vine. She could always tell when certain animals got into the garden because they would leave parts of the vegetables with tooth marks. It was the bounty that was plucked and taken without remnants, that puzzled her.
A week later, the local newspaper carried a story about the original sighting in this report. The exact location was not given. Several new leads and some older stories surfaced from the story.
A man reported that he and several friends heard what they described as "Gorilla-like" sounds around midnight one week after the original sighting. Interestingly, where this was heard was very near the sighting.
Even more interesting is that some "old timers" who have lived in the area since the 1970's remembered the story of the "Mole Man." The Mole Man was described to be a tall, hairy, bipedal creature with glowing red eyes, that lived in a certain orange grove. This particular orange grove is one street away from the sighting in July. I spoke with several people from this era and when the Mole Man was first reported people wore guns and would go into the woods looking for him. Some footprints were found, and this went on for a few years. It eventually died down and was forgotten. A now deceased man claimed to have hoaxed the town, however I think when a "creature" gets fabricated - especially back in the days before Bigfoot was well known - imagination would have made it more scary. Perhaps with claws, a tail, horns, etc. This Mole Man is described much like a Bigfoot would look, and it had red eyes. The clincher is that the orange grove is a block away from the newest sighting. I'm inclined to think that this town may be experiencing the Halibut Effect .
Another report came from 1989. Two sisters were at a stop sign and saw what they thought was a tall, black man running very fast through the woods in front of them. It ran through the headlight beam. They thought the man was naked because they did not see clothes. This stop sign location is on the same street as the Mole Man's orange grove and less than 1/4 mile down the road from it.
Again, I want to reiterate that these sightings are all within a half mile of each other. I think this area is very active and because there are bears and what is thought to be "supernatural" activity, the local sasquatch have been able to stay under the radar.
The area will continued to be investigated and more updates will be added.
The City Observer - Return of the Mole Man recent article
On October 7, and October 9, 2012, a homeowner witnessed what she described as a “big head” peering from around a cypress tree. The witness was weeding her yard around 7 PM both nights. She heard walking in the woods that borders her property, looked up expecting to see a deer, but instead saw a big dark head watching from behind a tree. She wasn’t quite sure of it until two nights later it happened again. Both nights it was overcast and just starting to sprinkle rain.
I went to the location, which borders Lake Macy, on Wednesday afternoon the day after the second sighting. I stood behind the tree that the witness said the creature was behind. I am 5’7” and she could not see me under the tree as the ground slopes down to the water. The creature would have had to be in the tree (the trunk splits about 8 feet up and it could have been in the split.) I also walked the area near the tree, and although it had rained the night before, found several possible footprints. All were 15 inches long. Also along the track a trail was visible. Branches broken up past the 6 foot level were visible. It was clear something very tall went through the area.
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 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. See more Information at The Florida BFRO
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