WHITE SPRINGS, Fla. — A man on Friday came forward about a Bigfoot encounter he said he had in Hamilton County.
28-year-old warehouse worker Mike J., who asked to keep his last name anonymous, says the event took place while hunting with his dog in a rural area he refers to as Black Bay.
“I’ve just recently felt confident enough to tell that story, I’ve keep it to myself and close family for a very long time,” he told Cryptozoology News about the 1997 encounter. “I had a German rock wilder which wasn’t afraid of anything he would always go with me when I would go walking or hunting, this day I chose to go for a hunt I had a single shot 22 with a pocket full of bullets.”
After several hours, he says, he decided to head back home before it became too dark to find the way home.
“As we made it through the fields, I hopped the last fence an waited for my dog to squeeze through the gait, he was very large. I would say about 20 feet away from the start of the path, I heard a whoooop on one side, followed by a sharp whistle on the adjacent side.”
At first, he says he believed the sounds were birds, but as the unidentified sounds continued, Mike realized something else was going on.
“I took a few more steps something let out a deep growl followed by a yell,” he recalls. “I was in total shock. I had never heard anything remotely close to that, it vibrated through my entire body, it literally stunned me and confused me.”
Reportedly, after the yell stopped, the dog began crying and “urinated on himself”. That’s when he allegedly witnessed the ape-like creature.
“I caught a glimpse of something reddish brown cross the path, it wasn’t much taller than me though.”
Suddenly, as the noise stopped, Mike says he made his way trough the path to finally reach his residence.
“The only way home was through the path that this thing just crossed. The sun was almost down, so it was flight or fight… and I chose flight.”
When he arrived home, he said his mother noticed something was wrong.
“She was outside collecting clothes off the line an asked me did I hear a strange noise coming from back that way, I could not reply,” he said.
The Floridian says that, even though he hadn’t heard much about Bigfoot at the time, he knew that what he saw that day wasn’t your average local wildlife and that it was possibly a family of ape-like creatures crossing the path. And he has a theory.
“I know now what I encountered was a family because I heard three vocalizations that evening. At the time, it was hard to understand what was happening… now I know I must have come between the juvenile an the adult. That’s why they distracted me, and ultimately scared the living crap out of me, to insure I didn’t hurt their young.”
In 1981, Cindy Barone, a 13-year-old girl from Michigan, claimed to have found a Bigfoot in her barn, allegedly coming so close to the creature that she was able to touch “its fur”.
In October of last year, a child said he had seen a “white Bigfoot” running around his property. Four days later, an 8-year-old Canadian boy was able to snap a few pictures of what some researchers called a Sasquatch creature. Eight months earlier, a young boy from Kentucky stated to have seen “Bigfoot” peeking at him through a window outside his house.
In late January, a retired police officer from California made similar claims about an encounter he reportedly had with the creature as a child.
Some researchers believe Bigfoot exhibits a natural curiosity toward domesticated animals, loud noises like cars or chainsaws, and “especially the screaming of children at play”.
“Repeatedly, Sasquatches have been watched in these contexts, occasionally for hours, and even attempted interaction in the play of children. Sometimes, a Sasquatch seen in the open will retreat into cover, but remain to watch his observers from hiding,” the BFRO claims.
In late January, footage of an alleged Skunk Ape at the Lettuce Lake Park in Florida became an internet hit just two days after its release. And even though some researchers, like Florida’s BFRO, later believed the video was a hoax perpetrated by a musician from Tampa, Sasquatch enthusiast and investigator Tim Fasano is still looking for clues, as he appears to be on a personal quest to decipher the incident.
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. It is supposed to emit a foul odor, similar to that of Bigfoot, indicating a possible defense mechanism, as some scientists propose.
In 2013, a man and his son said they were driving in Florida when they spotted a strange animal running across a field. A video of the incident was released to YouTube.
In 2000, two photographs of the purported creature were mailed to the Sarasota County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department. A message was included in the mailed envelope to explain that the eyewitness had taken the picture in her own backyard. She claimed that the animal was attracted to the apples on her trees.
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