DHS Squirrel
Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Bay County > Report # 51044
Report # 51044  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.
Vacationer has a possible daytime encounter while taking a walk on Shell Island Beach
(Show Printer-friendly Version)

YEAR: 2015

SEASON: Summer


DATE: July 2015

STATE: Florida

COUNTY: Bay County

LOCATION DETAILS: The island was across from St. Andrews State Park.



OBSERVED: My family and I took a boat ride to the Shell Island Beach (it wasn't really an island, it eventually connected to the mainland). When we anchored I got out and proceeded into the forest farther in. As I began to approach the forest I heard a high pitched scream that I mistook as a bird at first, I then saw a large brown mass moving to my right in the trees in front of me. I saw it for no more than a second as I turned around an ran back to the beach.

ALSO NOTICED: When I went back, I found an old campsite, and old beer cans from a party.

OTHER WITNESSES: No, I was the only one.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around noon, there were no clouds in the sky, the forest was more shaded but where I was there wasn't any shade.

ENVIRONMENT: The area above the beach had cacti everywhere and bushes, the forest was dense with trees and brush.

Shell Island

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mick Minnis:

I had the opportunity to follow up with the witness shortly after his report was submitted. We spoke by phone and I was able to get some additional details and information.

At the time of his encounter he was with his family on vacation in the Panama City Beach area, and 17 years-old. The particular day of his encounter he and his family had taken a boat from a mainland beach area to Shell Island. This island, is a 7 mile long barrier island or peninsula, depending on the shifting sands, that lies between the waters of St Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The western portion is part of St Andrews State Park, and the eastern part is part of Tyndale Air Force Base. It is an uninhabited pristine oasis, made up of sand dunes, coastal scrub forest, and pine hammocks. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, rabbit, armadillo, alligator and sea turtles, to name a few. Though a popular destination for locals and tourists, it is virtually without amenities, concessions, restrooms or any other type of convenience, and practically everyone stays close to the beaches. The wooded areas stay mostly unbothered.

The witness told me that he and his family were on the beach when he decided to venture up the dune, {or hill, as he described it} toward the forest. He was just wanting to have a look at what lies up and beyond site of the beach. He said to me, the distance from the beach to the beginning of the forest, was approximately 100 yards. He also said that the beach is not visible form the forest line, nor the forest from the beach. Its only after you walk up the hill that the forest becomes visible. He said that once you are on top of the hill you would be clearly visible to anything that would be in the woods, though you would have great difficulty seeing them. Reason being, is the woods, as he described, were very thick only providing about 10 feet of visibility into them.

It was as he approached these woods that he heard a loud animalistic sound. He said it sounded like a scream and screech in one. In his words, "kind of like a hawk but different". I asked him if he has been able to identify it since his encounter and he said he has not. He was approximately 7 yards from the beginning of the forest when he heard this loud scream. It got his attention very abruptly and he looked up and forward. Up to then he described his walk as casual with his head in a downward position, eyes looking more down than forward or ahead. Seems he was just strolling along toward the woods very unassumingly when he was caught of guard by this loud sound. I think there is a possibility the animal he encountered may have been unaware of his approach until he got quite close, then it emitted this scream. Another possibility is the witness was observed the entire time as he walked toward the woods, and only once he came too close, this animal screamed, as a warning, saying; ok that's far enough.

Soon as the witness looked up after hearing the scream, he immediately saw what he described as a brown mass moving to his right through the woods. He only observed this animal for a second, and his immediate thought was; I probably need to run away or I'm going to die. He told me he did not feel threatened, it was rather the shock of seeing something he described as massive so close in front of him, that made him think; run!

I asked if he could describe any distinct features, but he could not. He only said it was very large, massive, some type of animal or creature, and it moved quickly. We spoke about if it could be a bear, a wild hog or some other known animal, but he said it was not.

In my search of animal life on Shell Island I did not read about bears or hogs inhabiting or having been seen on the island. Based on the witness' description of the creature, though brief, and the sound it made, I would feel confident in saying he very probably encountered what we commonly refer to as a bigfoot or sasquatch. In this area they are also known as skunk apes.

The witness did add that he told his family what he encountered when he ran back to the beach but they said he was crazy. This is not uncommon to get resistance from family and friends. It was not enough to dissuade this young man from being very clear to me concerning what he encountered.

Please see the Shell Island article I provided, which lists the many food sources present in the area.

About BFRO Investigator Mick Minnis:

Mick Minnis currently resides in Cresview FL. He is the owner and operator of Bigfoot Moving Services, a moving and delivery company that operates throughout the state of Florida. He is an avid hiker, climber, and also enjoys running and practicing martial arts. His interest in Sasquatch has taken him throughout the United States on numerous personal expeditions and also visits to interesting places such as the Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek CA. He has attended the 2011 and 2013 North Florida Expeditions.

  Copyright © 2022