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COUNTY: Levy County
LOCATION DETAILS: there are no main arteries (interstates) running though Chiefland or the surrounding small burgs. Two US highways merge in Chiefland, US 19 and 27. 27 south will take you to Bronson and around the bend mentioned in my story.
NEAREST TOWN: Bronson
NEAREST ROAD: US 27
OBSERVED: I was 18 years old, living in Chiefland, Florida. I just graduated from high school (1981), class valedictorian, and had begun my freshman year at the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was around 7:30 am with a fair amount of light. Fall was just rolling in and the air was beginning to cool. It was a clear morning at the end of August and I was on my way to my first class, The drive from my parent’s home to school took me through heavily wooded, sparsely populated areas of north central Florida. I was on highway 27 between Bronson and Chiefland, coming around a big bend in the road. The trees had been clear cut from the edge of the road for about 100 yards on either side. As I followed the curve, a movement on my left caught my eye. Someone was walking out of the tree line and towards the road. I slowed and pulled over, finally stopping my car as I tried to frame what I was seeing in terms I could understand, The “person” walking from the woods was huge, well over 7 feet tall. I kept wondering what a tall, naked, hairy “man” was doing out in the woods at that time (or any time) of the day. I never had the thought “skunk ape” or “Bigfoot”…I truly wanted to find a rational explanation for the creature that crossed the road (in just a couple of steps) and continued, unhurried, towards the line of trees on the other side. As I sat in my car staring at the creature, it turned to look at me, moving the upper torso to do so. I felt like we regarded each other for quite some time and, as stunned as I was, I was not prepared for what happened next. The creature reached down and swung a “juvenile” up onto her hip and disappeared into the trees, clearing a small barbed wire fence in one step.
I do not know how long I sat there, trying to sort it out. I know I was late for class, and I never told anyone, until recently.
I have never been able to say that what I saw was a Sasquatch, Bigfoot or Skunk Ape (the most common term in my area). I just know I witnessed something remarkable. And I have never been able to shake it.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a post on your site that was nearly identical to mine, in the same area, same circumstances, but years apart.
I am a well-educated woman, a professional and like a logical explanation to seemingly unexplainable things. This is not a story I tell my friends or family. But it is one that plays itself repeatedly in my mind,
And when I hear people scoff at the notion of a giant, hairy, bipedal animal roaming the rural parts of the country, I keep quiet and I feel a little sorry for them. To believe in only what you have seen yourself seems a poorer existence. I cannot name my experience on the road that day, but I am fortunate, in a way, to have witnessed something truly remarkable.
ALSO NOTICED: nothing else. but I did stop from time to time to think on it.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: yes: you have a report on your data base that is almost identical to mine, only it happened years after my experience.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 7:30 AM, clear, cool, excellent light and conditions.
ENVIRONMENT: There are numerous creeks, rivers, hammocks and fresh water springs in the area. Deer and black bear are plentiful, with turkey and other small game. the Waccassassa river (big and little) run through there, most famous for the Wild hog canoe races held there most years. Plenty of blackberry, palmetto scrub and marshes.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to PJ over the phone and she was able to share these details-
-In late August, or early September, at around 730-800am, PJ was driving east on US 27 from Chiefland towards Bronson. While coming around a bend in the road she noticed movement on the left side of the road. Noticing a large bi-pedal figure, PJ slowed down and saw, what she thought at the time, an unusually tall, dark and muscular man. However, immediately realizing that it wasn’t a man, PJ pulled onto the side of the road and, from about 40 feet away, observed that the figure was covered in hair and watched as it crossed the two-lane highway in just two steps.
-She described the creature as being about seven-foot tall and that it was evenly covered with dark brown hair that had lighter colored highlights in the sunlight. She could not estimate a weight. It walked with a long, easy, fluid stride that did not appear hurried. Because of the distance she could not make out any distinct facial features except that the hair was lighter colored around the eyes and mouth. She stated that she could make out arms and they seemed to be unencumbered at the time of the crossing. She could not make out any neck, and that its head appeared rounded. The over-all frame of the creature’s body was enormously muscular and dense with very broad shoulders. She related to me that while growing up, she had known several professional wrestlers and that, compared to them, this creature’s size and stature was much greater. The hair covering the body was flowing and appeared to be well groomed and kept. In her opinion, the over-all state of the creature’s physical appearance was healthy.
-Once the creature crossed the road it approached a barbed-wire fence near the wood line. It stopped before the fence and turned towards PJ, rotating its upper body when it turned, and regarded her for a few moments. It then reached down, and at this point, PJ saw an arm come up from the weeds. Using its left arm, the creature hefted a smaller, hair-covered creature up from the ground and swung it over against its right hip.
-When I asked PJ if she could identify the gender of the creature that had picked up the smaller creature, PJ admitted that she was not sure. She told me that she assumed the creature must have been a female since it was obviously picking up a young adolescent. The creature did not appear to PJ as being concerned, threatened or hurried during any part of the encounter. It merely watched PJ as it picked up the youth.
-PJ admitted that it was hard to make out any details of the youth since it was pressed against the larger one’s body. She did recall that it had a rounded head and looked about the same size as a four to five year old human child. The color of its hair was of a lighter color than the adult and appeared to PJ as looking more like fur than hair. She also recalled that its limbs appeared gangly and it wrapped its legs tightly around the adult’s waist.
-After securing the youth securely onto its right hip, the creature stepped over the barbed-wire fence and calmly walked into the woods.
-During the entire encounter, PJ’s car was running and the windows were closed. She did not recall any unusual odors or sounds.
-PJ stated that during her whole encounter she did not feel frightened or threatened. She described her initial reaction to the adult creature as incredulity. She recalled hearing about ‘Skunk Apes’ as a child, but told me that she never thought she would ever encounter one. When she saw the creatures, she told me that the last thing on her mind was that they might be a ‘Skunk Apes’. Her later reaction to the sighting was a feeling that she had been a witness to something profound. She told me… ‘We are missing something extraordinary. But I also feel that it (the creature she witnessed) is better off left alone, to go on and live it’s own life’.
-In the early 1980’s, the route between Chiefland and Bronson on Hwy 27 was composed mainly of rural farmsteads that were dispersed between vast tracts of forests, swamps and river bottomlands. The area the sighting took place in was between two clear-cut sections of land that extended about 100 yards on either side of the road with an overgrowth of weeds near the fence. Beyond these sections laid heavy forests with a bottom layer of thick scrub that was divided by a barbed-wire fence from the cut sections.
The area is close to the Waccasassa River, which is now a conservation area, as well as several Suwannee River inlets that are still generally inaccessible.
The similar report she referenced is Report #1407.
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
-The 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition
For more information, please see the Florida BFRO