ARCADIA, Fla.– A woman claims she “encountered Bigfoot” while driving on Florida State Road 72.
The woman, who had initially called BFRO investigator Jim Sherman and whose name was omitted by the organization, said she was on her way home “driving back toward Arcadia” at around 8.30 p.m. last September when she noticed the creature crossing the road “just over the bridge”.
“I thought I first saw a deer to my right, but then I realized it wasn’t a deer,” she later explained to BFRO researcher R. Monteith. “I had to hit the brakes, it was so close to the car.”
The encounter reportedly took place while driving through the Myakka River State Park, where numerous Skunk Ape sightings have been reported in the past.
Also known as the Swamp Ape, the Florida Bigfoot or the Myakka Ape, the Skunk Ape is a primate cryptid allegedly living in the Sunshine State.
The driver described it as a “huge” bipedal creature with long brown hair and a “very human looking” face, which exhibited a “leathery skin” and a flat nose with dark eyes.
“As wide as my momma’s dodge!” she said about the animal’s shoulders. “It ran so close to my car, at my car, it seemed as if it was trying to purposely cross before me. It ran across the street and looked at me!”
As she pulled over and stepped out of the vehicle, the woman noticed a “musky smell” in the air, a detail frequently reported on many Bigfoot sightings.
It is believed that these cryptids are capable of emitting a foul odor, similar to that of Bigfoot, indicating the use of a possible defense mechanism, as some scientists propose.
In 2000, two photographs of the purported creature were mailed to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department. A message was included in the mailed envelope to explain that the eyewitness had taken the picture in her own backyard and near the Myakka River. She claimed that the animal was attracted to the apples on her trees. Bigfoot investigator AJ Marston believes there’s a relationship between apples and Bigfoot.
Other witnesses, like Florida resident John Bird, claims to feed Skunk Apes potatoes and plantains on a regular basis.
Australian researchers have also made similar claims about Yowie, a primate-like animal supposedly related to North America’s Bigfoot . They attempted to document the alleged creature’s feeding habits with a controversial video released last April.
In 2013, a man and his son said they were driving across the Myakka River State Park when they spotted a strange animal running across a field and were able to capture it on video.
According to Monteith, there was a second witness to last September’s sighting who claims to have been “returning from a meeting” when he saw the creature on Florida State Road 72, but further information about this person’s statement was not disclosed.
Meanwhile, the startled woman is certain that what she saw was not a deer.
“It was a bigfoot and it was huge! I thought I saw a deer at first. Maybe it was chasing one?” she said.