Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Monroe County > Report # 65655
Submitted by witness on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Possible camp stalking at Bear Island Campground in Big Cypress National Preserve
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DATE: May 2013
COUNTY: Monroe County
LOCATION DETAILS: Black Bear Island, Campsite #4
NEAREST TOWN: Everglade City
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 29
OBSERVED: May of 2013
I am a wildlife photographer and at this point had photographed just about every animal in Florida with the exception of the endangered Florida Panther.
My goal was to go primitive camping in the Big Cypress region of the Florida Everglades while hoping to photograph a Panther.
My very first day was a success. I had ridden my mountain bike several miles at approximately 9:30-10:30 am. A quick early rain shower let up and I road off to look around to see what this area would yield in the way of tracks, etc. I road past a female panther and didnít have a clue she was just off the road in the Palmettoís that lined the edge of the road. I stopped a thousand foot away or so and there she was as I looked back, standing in the middle of the road of which I just passed peering in the opposite direction.
I went back and followed her quietly until she exited the road to my left and back into the thick swamp like area. I eventually was blessed enough to take over 100 photos of her as I had waited for her to possibly exit just a few hundred feet further down the road.
She came to me as I was hiding behind a power pole. She eventually crossed over towards me and I left. I photographed 2 panther (an approx. 160lb male & 100lb female), 3 black bear, a bobcat and a 13 foot aggressive alligator in the middle of the road and numerous snakes and other alligators. I camped in my location for 9 nights and left the 10th day early. I felt it was sure enough the right time to leave. I was 23 miles out and the only camper at this location.
On the 8th night, a bear or something entered my site and ransacked the empty water bottles in the designated fire pit. I exited my tent and shined my light towards the pit and didnít see anything and soon went back into my tent to try and get some rest.
On the 9th evening at 9:30, I had just finished reading my bible and turned the LED lantern off. As I laid on top of my sleeping bag and ready to get some sleep, a tree had fallen 20 feet or so in front of my tent with an extremely huge thud, or so I thought it was a tree. I waited for a few minutes while I listened intently and then I heard the palmetto fronds swoosh open as something exited them and stood just 15 foot or so on my right side of the tent. It then whistled like a human would (typical dog calling whistle) and another answered it back to my left side. This happened twice and then stopped.
I knew it was not like any other bird call or animal I have ever witnessed in the wilds. Never heard a bird or animal that sounded like mankind while photographing in the woods. Within a minute, the thing walked up behind my tent and gave a guttural growl of sorts.
I wasnít going to stick my head or flashlight outside to see what it was either. I prayed to God for protection and I simply was frightened enough to think myself into denial and went to sleep. No, I didnít smell anything and it didnít touch my tent either, and no tracks could be found because of the grass that covered the hard limestone. The limb that snapped was only about 5 inches in diameter and 15 or so feet off the ground. I looked at the limb and area the next morning and realized something large had fallen making the sound of a fallen tree. Time to vacate.
I went back with a close friend and he and I never saw another panther or bear or a bobcat for that matter. We did discover one man that had been frightened by something that he described being as large as a moose. His tent was vacated. He said the thing was at least 7 or so feet tall hiding behind bushes just staring at him one night. It startled him so bad, his truck was now his refuge. No telling what it was.
I have heard things (noises) in the woods that no other animal in Florida make. Growls, knocks and running on two feet through swamps. I am hoping to get a photo of whatever it/they might be.
ALSO NOTICED: A very well traveled path to the left of the swamp and campsite.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself only
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9:30 P.M.
ENVIRONMENT: Swamp and Pine
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
This campground has a history of similar reports.
About BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
Matthew Moneymaker is originally from the Los Feliz District of Los Angeles, California.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
- Founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,1995.
- Writer and co-producer of the Discovery Channel documentary "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science", 2001.
- Co-producer of the TV Series "Mysterious Encounters" for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN Channel), 2002.
- Producer of the "2003 International Bigfoot Symposium" (Willow Creek Symposium) DVD set, 2004.
- Co-host of "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet Channel, 2010 - 2017.
- Current Director of the BFRO