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COUNTY: Marion County
OBSERVED: Newspaper article: Sentinel Star (Orlando, Florida), October 5, 1977
LURKING BIGFOOT TRICK OR THREAT?
Halloween is still three weeks away but strange creatures are already being seen around Central Florida this week.
A 22-year-old hitchhiker reported sighting the legendary Bigfoot, saying the beast was tall, dark and stinky. It lurked in the darkness in a lightly forested area off U.S. 441 half a mile south of Belleview, he said.
"I've got some information about Bigfoot," the tremulous voice on the telephone said. "I think I just saw it."
Monday morning a security guard for an Apopka nursery told police a 10-foot-tall hairy animal with a chestful of reddish- gray fur and small ears attacked him, ripping off the terrified guard's shirt.
Donnie Hall, 27, said he fired several gunshots at the creature in vain.
The Bigfoot sighter - a Belleview welder who didn't want his name known - said the beast was brown and black. "I'm six feet tall and it was bigger than me. It smelled horrible, like garbage."
Neither of the two creature sightings was substantiated.
A Florida Game and Fresh Water Commission agent who examined tracks at John's Nursery in Apopka said they all appeared to be man-made.
Marion County Sheriff Don Moreland chuckled about the Bigfoot report. "I've been in law enforcement for 20 years here and I don't remember any reports of monsters. Flying saucers, yes, but I don't recall any monsters."
Follow-up investigation report:
From the files of Ron Schaffner (Ron@bfro.net)