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COUNTY: Polk County
LOCATION DETAILS: 1 mile south of the Lake County line (power line)
NEAREST TOWN: Groveland
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 50
OBSERVED: While bicycling on the Van Fleet trail on the North End, I saw 2 "humans" cross the trail about 200 yards ahead of me. They were both dark brown color from head to toe. The 1st was tall and quite big, well over 6 feet. The second was smaller and much lighter. Long arms and large head. They walked onto the tar trail, paused briefly to look at me coming, then ran off the trail. When I got to the spot they crossed, there was no trail to hike or run on and a very steep bank on the side they left on. It didn't take long to get to the spot, but they had completely gone out of sight. This trail goes through the Green Swamp, so there is not much around the area except swamp. It looked so much like Bigfoots, that I figured it must be a hoax.
ALSO NOTICED: Just after I saw them, a large military helicopter flew overhead
OTHER WITNESSES: just me on my bike
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 12:30 pm, party cloudy, 85 degrees, 15 mph wind from the east. They were traveling east to west
ENVIRONMENT: Swamp and forest (pine)
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Joanna Cuva:
This witness is an avid bicyclist. He is not from Lake County but on a business trip to the area and he brings his bike along to ride in different areas. While I was getting the gentlemanís account of the sighting he did want to make sure I knew about the military helicopter and was wondering if maybe they were soldiers on a "weekend warrior" trip. He was unsuccessful in finding out if the military were in the area. It was the middle of the day and he had good lighting. They did not look like military to him but he was open to it.
This area is really "out there". There are many swamps along with mixed pine and oaks along this trail. There are no homes in the area and it is vast, connecting to Richloam, Green Swamp, and Green Swamp West.
This area borders the Polk/Lake County line. It is difficult to determine the county for sure.
I am classifying this report as a Class B sighting because of the military presence and distance. They could have been in ghillie suits and from 200 yards the appearance could have appeared uniformed. Bad time of the year and day to be wearing a ghillie suit here in Florida.
About BFRO Investigator Joanna Cuva:
Joanna AKA Joee, has worked as a veterinarian technician for over 11 years. She lives in the Green Swamp of central Florida area with her husband and her three children. She is very knowledgeable of the local wildlife, spending a lot of her time in the outdoors. Joanna has a special interest in wildlife and conservation. She attended South Florida Expedition 2008, North Florida Expedition 2009, Central Florida Expedition 2009, Pennsylvania Expedition 2009, Georgia Expedition 2010 and assisted with the organization of several Florida expeditions.