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COUNTY: Seminole County
LOCATION DETAILS: Hwy 50 to Hwy 419 , approx. 6 miles to Chuluota
NEAREST TOWN: Chuluota
NEAREST ROAD: HWY.419
OBSERVED: In summer of 1972 , my friend and I decided to camp out by Lake Mills. The site we chose was about 100 yards from the lake off the dirt road that went around the lake. Someone had cut down some pine trees and nailed two sheets of plywood to them about three feet off the ground. We drove our supplies out in my dad's car and went back to my house before the sun set we rode my 1972 Honda 350 to the site. We had a large fire pit about 4 feet across and we had a big fire going. The structure was about 20 feet from the fire and my motorcycle was parked on the center stand another 15 feet to the other side of the fire. We stayed up quite late cooking, listening to the radio and talking. We stoked the fire up and went to bed around 2:00 A.M.. At approx. 4:00 A.M. I was awakened to the sounds of sticks breaking and brush being moved. Approx. 40 feet to my right a creature came right out of the brush and walked right over to my bike. The seat was approx. 32 inches off the ground and this creature started to gently touch the bike. Its chest was 2 feet above the seat as it was bent over the bike. I covered my friend's mouth with my hand and held the back of his head so he would not blurt out. I shook him and said look, look. I took my hand off his mouth and he said what the hell is it. I said I don't know, but as soon as it leaves we are getting the hell out of here. I was whispering when I woke him because I did not want it to come after me. When it finished touching the bike it stood up and walked straight off through thick brush. Branches were snapping and it just pushed growth aside like it was nothing. We waited about 10 minutes then snuck over to the bike, took it off the stand and I hit the starter and we were gone. My dad was furious that I had left his stuff and demanded we go get it. We drove my dad's car back to get the stuff but I would not get out of the car. I turned on the high beams and my friend got the stuff. I was terrified by this event. I to this day am reluctant to camp out. I still live in Florida and even when I am out at night in my yard relive that fear. The creature was covered in a slightly reddish brown fur and I would estimate it was 8 feet tall Approx.
ALSO NOTICED: Sticks snapping and brush being moved before and after the sighting.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1, we were sleeping.
OTHER STORIES: Not that I can recall.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: night, no moon, large fire, clear skies, no background light from town.
ENVIRONMENT: Alternating Hammock, woods, wetlands/swamp around the lake, lots of feeder creeks.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
This happened in the late summer of 1972. The exact date is not known, but believed to have happened in July.
The area at that time was rural countryside (still is somewhat). It was mostly cypress trees, orange groves, sparsely populated and undeveloped. The friends spent a lot of time fishing and swimming in Lake Mills. The men were sixteen that summer, and decided to camp near the lake on that summer night.
Google Earth image of the area:
Witness #1’s father drove the camping gear to the site along with his friend, and dropped them off while he rode his dirt bike. The boys set up their camp. They noticed that someone had cut down six cypress trees and had placed a board over the stumps. It had been used as a table, but the boys decided to put their sleeping bags under it as it gave them a “fortish” shelter.
They spent the entire day riding the bike through the dirt trails around the lake. At times they rode single or double on the bike.
When it got dark, they setup a camp fire, cooked hotdogs and went to sleep around 2 am. The fire was between the sleeping bags and the motorcycle. They built it up before they turned in.
Around 3 or 4 am, Witness #1 was awakened by loud snapping and cracking of something heavy walking toward the camp. He noticed the flames of the fire were still a foot or more high. He looked toward the sound waiting to see what animal could possibly be making that noise. From the east, thirty feet away in the palmetto scrub he watched a tall, hairy biped effortlessly part the branches and walk into camp. It was on the other side of the fire near the motorcycle. It never looked his way and walked right up to the bike.
He propped himself up to see better. He remembers its chest was two feet taller than the seat of the cycle. It stood stooped over examining the bike and began to smoothly touch the handle bars, the tank, and the seat with both hands as if it was trying to figure out what the bike was.
The witness then quietly woke up his friend, and whispered for him to look. The bigfoot continued to ignore them. It seemed to be about 8 feet tall, mostly brown in color with red highlights. It had a heavy build, and was broad shouldered. After a few minutes of gently touching the bike all over the sasquatch walked away parting the palmettos just as it had earlier, this time heading west. It made just as much noise walking away as it had coming into the camp.
The boys think they waited a few minutes and bolted for the bike and left, leaving all the camping gear in place. When they got home in the early morning and explained why they had left, Witness #1’s father was livid. He made them go back in his car and get their things. They drove back with the high beams on. Witness #1 made Witness #2 go pack up while he stayed in the car with the engine running and made a lot of noise.
More description of the creature: It was overall very furry, the hair covered its entire body. When asked to describe more facial details the witness claimed, “Don’t laugh, but it looked like Chewbacca more than anything else.” (He stated this before reports of “Matilda” has been described in this manner by several researchers.) The head was not conical. For most of the encounter the creature was facing sideways. It had more hair on its face than a human, and they couldn’t see its ear. There was no smell.
The encounter has left them both pretty scared. One of them has only camped once since that night. Witness #2 confirms the hairy biped they both saw, however refuses to say it was a bigfoot. He doesn’t know what he saw; it just wasn’t human or any known animal.
The place they camped is now a park. They believe the area they camped is now the parking lot.
Witness #1 is a retired manager of a national drug store franchise and is extremely credible. Witness #2 is still his best friend.
I imagine the sasquatch watched the teens that day ride the bike all over the trails. It probably had a hard time trying to figure out what the bike was. When the boys went to sleep its curiosity over took him and it had to check out the motorcycle. The fact that it was not stealthy in its examination may have been to see if it could intimidate the humans or the motorcycle as it tried to figure out exactly what the motorcycle was.
About BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
Re Monteith has had a life-long interest in Bigfoot and has an extensive background in outdoor land and ocean survival as well as mountaineering. She has tran-sailed the Atlantic, backpacked in remote places throughout the world and has climbed three of the seven summits. She studied International Relations at Florida International University, and is a Financial and Real Estate Consultant. She has participated in many private expeditions as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 BFRO North Florida Expeditions and the 2013 BFRO UP Michigan & Alabama Expedition. She also organized Florida's 2017 Town Hall Meeting. She was an Executive Producer of the documentary film, "Skunk Ape Lives" and featured as a Crypto Expert on The Science Channel's television show, Strange Evidence for seasons 2 and 3.