Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Sarasota County > Report # 29734|
Submitted by witness on Thursday, June 30, 2011.
Early morning sighting by nature photographer in Myakka River State Park
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COUNTY: Sarasota County
NEAREST TOWN: Myakka City
OBSERVED: I was camping at myakka river state park in Sarasota county in Florida with my parents. I do nature photography as a hobby, and i was told by my father that the best time to go shoot nature photography is early in the morning since that is when most nature starts to wake up and animal activity is at its most active, so i took my father's advice and decided to get up and go do some photography at around 6:30 in the morning just when the sun is coming up and there is light. I was walking down a path that is active with tourist and some animal life, there is even a wooden tower that stands 70 feet in the air down the trail where you can see directly over the forest perfectly. As i was walking down this trail, i was walking towards a part of the trail where the trail turns into a small bridge to cross over a creek, just as I am getting closer to the bridge, i hear grunting type of noise off to my right, and i cant see much off in the distance because of the vegetation. but as i looked over towards a tree that was about maybe 30 to possibly 40 feet away from me, i could see this large upright figure standing hunched over next to the tree. when i first saw this creature i thought maybe it was a florida black bear or something but as it moved a little more, i could clearly see it wasnt, cause when it turned and looked at me, i could see what looked like a human and gorilla mix type of face. it was not very tall but at least 6 feet, it had dark brownish hair maybe even black. at that point I am shocked and cant even move, and i wasnt even thinking of grabbing my camera that was wrapped around my neck ready to shoot photos. the only thing i could think of was i hope this thing does not come any closer to me cause i seriously cant move from the shock. as i regained my composure a little, i realized my camera was ready to go but as soon as i reached for my camera, it bolted off and was gone and it had to be heavy because i could feel the ground vibrate below my feet just a little as it was running off. I was angry at myself for not getting it on camera but i was also excited because of what i just saw. I did however get a photo of the footprint it left behind.
ALSO NOTICED: didn't hear a lot of animal activity like birds which was odd because it was the morning, they would normally be chirping, it was very quiet.
OTHER WITNESSES: just me, my parents did witness the aftermath of the shock on my face.
OTHER STORIES: my father actually saw something kind of walking up right but off in the distance which was too far to identify and happened way too fast to be sure of. and the night before my encounter, I had what looked like a hand print on the window of our trailer, but the hand print was huge and did not match any size of our hands and wasn't there the day before so it had to be there that night.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning
ENVIRONMENT: at the time it was actually pretty nice outside, normally its hot, humid, and mosquitoes are unbearable, or its either raining
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to the witness, DS, over the phone and found him to be a sincere, engaging and forthright witness.
DS had a very close sighting that took place at about 0630 while hiking down a path in the Myakka River State Park. While focused on looking for wildlife to photograph, DS heard a deep, guttural grunt to the side of the trail. He stated that the grunt most resembled what a lion sounds like when they grunt, but it was very deep as if coming from something with a huge chest. DS said that at that moment he saw something big and black crouched in the weeds, but it soon stood up on two legs, partly behind a tree.
“It stood behind the tree, sort of peeking out from behind the tree at me. I could see most of it because it wasn’t all the way behind the tree, except for one arm. I just forgot about my camera right then. All I could do was watch it while it was watching me. It would sometimes duck its face behind the tree, like it was watching to see what I would do. This went on for about two minutes before I finally remembered that I had a camera. As soon as I reached for my camera, it took off.”
DS stated that when it ran off it made very little noise. He said that it was very fast and that in three steps it was out of sight, and that he felt the ground vibrate as the creature ran.
DS could not recall any unusual odors.
DS described the creature he saw to be about 6'3" to 6'4" tall. He was very adamant when he stated that this was neither a bear nor a human. It was covered in long dark brownish to black hair with some hints of gray. The eyes were a deep brownish color, and the brow ridge was impossible to make out because there was long hair over its forehead and on its face.
DS could make out teeth that were yellowish to brown in color and looked human but with large, dog-like canines. The head was cone-shaped and had a lot of hair. The arm he could see was also very muscular, hung down past its knees and it had very ‘massive’ hands. DS could not make out a neck, but said that its head sat on massive, three-foot wide, hairy shoulders. He described the legs as being similar to the ‘Incredible Hulk’s’ leg size. His impression of the creature was that it was mature, because of the gray hair, and that it was male, because it lacked breasts and was very muscular in its chest.
DS added that before this encounter there were none of the usual bird noises he was used to hearing. He was also told recently by his father that during this trip something had left a huge handprint on their camper window, which he could not explain.
Myakka State Park is one of Florida’s largest state parks and it consists of 58 square miles of pristine wetlands, prairies and woodlands.
Soon after the encounter, DS was able to photograph this footprint, which he found near the spot where the creature had been standing. It may be an impression of just the toes and ball of the left foot, which dug into the surface when it began to run. The quick movement likely displaced some of the soil, which landed next to the impression.
About BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
Cathy has been a nurse for over 27 years and currently works in a busy ICU. An amateur naturalist, Cathy has been intrigued by the bigfoot phenomenon from an early age.
Attended the following expeditions:
- The 2006 Florida Expedition
- The 2007 North Carolina Expedition
- The 2008 South Florida Expedition
- The 2008 North Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Central Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Utah Expedition
- The 2010 TN Survey Expedition
- The 2011 East Texas Expedition
-The 2012 North FL Expedition