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COUNTY: Monroe County
LOCATION DETAILS: Pine Forest Habitat on the Everglades National Park Road (first habitat on the right when heading west)
NEAREST TOWN: florida city everglades national park
NEAREST ROAD: everglades national park road
OBSERVED: I worked in a nightclub on miami beach called Warsaw Ballroom on Wednesday night we had a members night free drinks until 1 am with a show after which made it a busy but early night after work i went on a trip to Everglades national Parks city called Flamingo I was out of work by 3 am it took one hour to get to the gate of the park entrance which at that time was open and they didnt charge. Me and my friend arrived by 4 am our plan was to enter the park and go straight across to Flamingo camp out and get up at noon go on a boat tour and hiking tour then stop at the different florida habitats which are on both sides of the road between florida city and flamingo. On the way back to miami the next day, When we arrived at the parks entrance we found ourselves super tired and as we started across we decided to stop at the first habitat called pine habitat and take a short nap well we arrived and parked relatively close to a dumpster at the habitat and the temperature was cool but comfortable so we nodded off being there was no one in sight and it was peaceful. About an hour into my nap i was awakened by my friend who appeared panicked and was motioning me not to make a sound my head was on the glass of the drivers side of the sports car we were in he was shaking and pointing at the glass where my head was touching the window i didnt lift my head i slowly rotated my head around and looked thru the glass which had a metallic limo tint on it the king you can see out but not in and i saw the head and eye of a ape like creature trying to look into the car i got nervous we had a gun in the car which i had a permit for my friend was slowly trying to get it from under the seat but i stepped on his hand and motioned no dont do that the ape-like creature was touching the car and continued to try to see in for a good five to ten minutes i had put a reflector plate that was a lightweight tin foil in the front window as well it was trying to look in the front window it walked over to the dumpster which was about fifteen feet from where we had parked i noticed a really strange odor kinda like a skunk but worse more rotten smelling my friend was holding his nose and about to loose it the creature was nosing through the garbage reaching in it had very long arms and was over six feet tall covered in a reddish brown blondish fur shaggy looking,but very tranquil acting and because i did not see any breasts i assume it was male i really couldn't tell, it didnt find anything in the dumpster it grabbed a McDonalds bag ripped it apart and threw it continuing to lightly pull through the dumpster trash for a good half hour looking back at the car a few times then it started back towards the car i didnt want to spook it or make it jump on my car or anything it started to walk off past the drivers side front of the car through the pines and by this time it still was not daybreak but getting close and it continued walking in the Northwest direction we sat there and watched it walk into the swamp the only camera we had was in a locked luggage in the trunk of the car and my cell phone did not have a camera neither did my friends , we obviously couldn't sleep so we started up the car and went straight to the other side Flamingo. When we arrived we napped in the parking lot of the info center and when it opened i went in found a ranger and told him what had happened along with a female park ranger as well they didn't act surprised and they asked if we had taken pictures i explained why we didn't and they jokingly said you didn't shoot at it did you i said i didn't have a gun but wouldn't that be illegal to shoot at wildlife and they said you'd be surprised how many people do shoot at them they said thank you for reporting it but apparently it was a very common thing they didn't ask for my name or even write the report down. i never filed anything because my mom said people would think i was crazy so i never reported it but it bothered me that i didnt so im reporting it now i assure you i am quite sane and not a prankster if you need any additional info im happy to provide it.
OTHER WITNESSES: yes my best friend at the time and myself and we reported it to two Park Ranger Employees working on the Flamingo end of the park that next morning which was a Thursday morning
OTHER STORIES: No other than the fact the Rangers said it was common place and they even seemed to know by my description which creature i was talking about.
ENVIRONMENT: Natural pristene Florida Pine Forest
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
I spoke with RK by phone and he seemed quite relieved to get this encounter in the public realm. He was surprised at the time how nonchalant the rangers were about their encounter. The driver (RK) was sleeping when the encounter began. He has lost contact with his friend, the passenger, since he moved from the area.
All the windows had limo tint on them which was the preferred tint here in Florida until the authorities outlawed it. You could not see inside from the outside, but your can see outside while inside. In the front windshield was a large reflective panel that keeps out the sun during the day.
RK says that after about 45 minutes of sleeping in their seats in the small Eclipse, his friend in the passenger seat woke him by squeezing his hand and arm so hard, he could feel his fingernails digging in. RK opened his eyes to a look of horror on his friend's face, and he was gesturing to the driver's window where RK was resting his head. RK slowly turned his head and right next to his head was the face of a large apelike creature looking in. RK described the face as huge, with a broader nose than a man, but not like a gorilla. It was hooded as ours is, very hairy except around the eyes and cheeks. He did not see the teeth, but it was smelling and exhaling hard and left its breath on the window. It moved from the window, to the windshield, and back to the window several times. It seemed frustrated that it couldn't determine if anyone was in the car. At one point, it put its hands on the top of the car and gave it a little shake. It finally walked in an upright fashion to the dumpster a few yards from where they were parked. They could see it clearly in the moonlight. RK described it as tall, 6'10" to 7', covered in hair about 4" long, with a neck and built more like a basketball player than a body builder. It was tall and lanky. RK got the impression it was young and under fed. The chest area had a little less hair on it, and RK didn't see any breasts, so he surmised it was a male, even though he couldn't confirm it. The lid to the dumpster was already open and the creature reached in to picked thru what was in there and did nibble on a few items. All the witnesses could see how this couldn't be a guy in a costume as the arms were way too long for a man. After about an hour and a half of watching this animal amble about the dumpster it started to move off into a large prairie on the other side of the road. As it slowly walked, they watched it turn its head and make a scream like a wolf/coyote howl. The other passengers in the car became quite nervous again and thought it was calling others to join it here at this spot. The passenger in the back seat wanted to get the gun and shoot it. RK said no and to just sit still and let it move away. It howled several times as it slowly moved off and out of sight. All the occupants were quite warm in the sealed up car and the windows were beginning to fog up now. They at this time slowly cracked the windows and could really smell it strong now.They found a ranger station and excitedly related the story. The rangers asked if they had a gun in the car and RK answered yes (he had a permit). The rangers asked if they shot at it and they said no. The rangers stressed the point that it was a crime to shoot at any animals in the park. They did take a few notes and said yes, they were aware of the creature, and this was just one of hundreds of reports they get. They told them the Florida name for the creature, the Skunk Ape.
The witness chose this Pete Travers sketch, one that best matches the head and body of what he saw.
About BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
David has three daughters and a wife that shares his interest in research, both having developed a deep respect for nature and knowledge of the outdoors and wildlife. Attended Northern Florida Expedition 2011, 2012 Washington Exp., and 2012 North Florida exp. Prior US Navy and currently works as a Leasing Agent, spending his time off in the woods as often as he can investigating Bigfoot reports.