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COUNTY: Charlotte County
LOCATION DETAILS: On Koala just east of intersection of Collingswood. North side of Koala
NEAREST TOWN: Port Charlotte
NEAREST ROAD: Collingswood/Koala
OBSERVED: My family moved to Charlotte County in 2000, bought a house in a quiet area and have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of wildlife in the area. We had moved from Ft. Lauderdale and would frequently exercise, bike ride, walk, run or rollerblade. It was January 2001 or 2002, sunny day, a cold front just went through the area. It was mid-afternoon, about 65 degrees, wind was out of the North, North East. I even remember what I was wearing. My wife and I decided to go Rollerblading that day, and we had a basic route we skated. As we made our way away from our house we got to one of our favorite roads, Koala, and proceeded down to the end at an easy pace. About 2-3 blocks from the intersection of Koala and Collingswood we stopped and saw what I first thought was a very large dog, on all four legs, in the swale about 20 ft. from the intersection. I looked at the animal and I thought I was looking at the profile of a dog, a really BIG dog. Although I did not see a tail or a head I did not give it another thought. I remember saying to my wife, "We should have brought a lead to see if someone lost a dog. I would hate to see it get hit”. As she was agreeing with me, we just started to move towards the animal and all of a sudden its head rose up and stared right at us. The animal was not in the swale in a profile view on all fours, it was on all fours facing us. It had a dark face which did not register with me. The hair was long, reddish-brown. As the animal looked up at us there was about a 2 second delay before it took off at an alarming pace. RIGHT FOR US. Fight or flight sense kicked in. It started running, I looked at it as it gained speed and its hair was flowing in the breeze, there was no standard locomotive process. It seemed to float. The shoulders did not break a plane. We turned around and started to get the heck out of there. We feared that this animal was after us. As I kept checking back at it, thinking I may have to confront it, I saw it move from the swale to the roadway effortlessly. Again it appeared to float up the bank to the road. Once in the road I could see the hair moving in the wind as it chased after us, I could see the front legs moving but the shoulders never broke a visual horizontal plane. It took up a quarter of the roadway, 3-4 feet across, I would estimate 4-5 foot at the shoulder. The animal drifted off into the woods to the north side in to an area that appeared to have been an opening made through the brush. Maybe we were too close to its lair. I don’t know. I do not know what it was, I thought perhaps at first it was a dog, then maybe an exotic large cat, or a bear but I ruled them out just due to the unbelievable speed, overall size (huge) and locomotive process this animal executed. It just appeared to float. The whole thing lasted probably 20 seconds. I still get the chills thinking about it and when I go past that area.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: My wife and I
OTHER STORIES: I have had a couple of odd situations in that area but I do not know how it relates to what we saw
TIME AND CONDITIONS: about 2:30- 3pm
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded, some cleared roads for houses - but no houses. Roads are not kept up. Quite a few lakes nearby, sanctuaries as well.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mike Familant:
I spoke with the witness via phone interview on 6/11/14. He and his wife are very active and routinely exercise via bicycle, jogging or walking, and on the date of the incident, rollerblading. The couple generally use the same route while rollerblading, and are very familiar with the location of the incident.
While rollerblading, the couple noticed a large "canine-like" figure, on all fours, and appeared to be "digging in the dirt." He and his wife agreed that they were concerned for the dog's safety, as it was near the road, and did not want it to get hit by a passing vehicle.
They approached the creature, to a distance of what the witness describes as less than 100 feet, at which time they observed a profile view of the creature. He describes the creature being covered in 6-8 inches of reddish-brown hair. He denies it having a tail, and was unable to observe facial features due to distance.
After the creature looked up from the ground where it was digging, and stared at the couple for two seconds, at which time, the creature, on all fours, started running directly toward the couple. He states the head did not break the plane of the shoulders, as would a bear, and was too large to be a misidentification or a hoax. It had a 3 - 4 foot shoulder length, and was approx 4 foot tall, while on all fours. When the creature first started running, it "drifted" into the road, and appeared to "float" while running.
The witness and his wife, turned and started skating away from the object, in the same direction in which they approached. Looking over his shoulder, the witness describes the figure as "incredibly large and fast."
The witness refused to go back to that section of his exercise route for 6 months after the incident occurred. He did not look for tracks after the incident, and did not notice anything unusual about the clearing in the wood line where the figure entered the woods.
The witness also stated that there was a second encounter about a year later. This occurred 5 - 6 blocks north of the original incident.
As the witness was jogging, he noticed a large, dark red blood stain in the road, which was approx 18 inches wide. He also noticed a "dead animal" smell lingering in the area. He investigated the area and found a large domestic dog, described as an Irish Wolfhound, which was killed, mangled, and hidden in brush just inside the wood line, close to where the blood was found.
After finding the deceased dog, he continued jogging down the road, at which time he heard what was described as "unusual chattering." The witness attempted to describe the sounds he heard, and described them as an unknown language, with weird pitch changes. I advised him to research the Sierra Sounds, and more specifically, Samurai Chatter. The witness said he "got serious chills" when listening to the recordings, stating they were almost identical.
Google earth map of the area:
The area in which both incidents occurred is residential, but having only a few houses on the roads. The area is very close to the protected swamps of the Myakka River, Myakka State Forest and the County Park Pond.
About BFRO Investigator Mike Familant:
Mike has been interested in Bigfoot for years. He has attended the 2012 and 2013 Florida Expeditions, and investigates Bigfoot as his hobby. He is an EMT and soon to be Paramedic residing in North NJ.
Mike has attended the North FL in 2012 and 2014, as well and the public expeditions in South NJ in 2014 and North NJ 2015. Mike goes on day hikes at least once a week, and camping 3 or 4 times per month.