LOCATION DETAILS: Off St. Johns River. Swampy area with areas of high ground. Protected area.
NEAREST TOWN: West Melbourne
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 192
OBSERVED: This is being typed by the investigator as told by the hunter.
"I was turkey hunting on April 5, 2015 and I cut across a field of sawgrass and found what appeared to be a mound of dead sawgrass piled high which did not occur naturally. It was obvious it has been pulled up by hand and was some sort of a bed or nest. I've never seen anything like it. To my knowledge there isn't any animal that can do this."
"It was larger than the bed in my pickup truck."
"When I got home, I told my nephew about it. He asked me to go back and take a photo of it. The next weekend, I did. He contacted the BFRO for me."
ALSO NOTICED: Some nearby palmetto palms have been stripped entirely of the branches. This is unusual.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1
OTHER STORIES: Yes, I found a footprint years ago not far from the area. When I lived in Idaho as a teen I once found a footprint in a remote area of the mountains.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Morning. Sunny. 75-80 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Sawgrass swamp.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
I spoke to the hunter shortly after he discovered this unusual find. He has been hunting all his life and has never seen anything like this. He contacted us because he couldn’t explain what could have made this and felt the BFRO might find it interesting.
Around April 5, 2015 he was out turkey hunting and decided to cut through a field of sawgrass to another location. The sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) in this area is over 5 feet high and very thick. As he walked through, he discovered an area where it appeared the sawgrass had been pulled up and piled as if it were some sort of “bed.” It was well hidden as the surrounding sawgrass is high enough that if one were to walk 20 feet on either side of it, one would not see or notice it. It was by pure luck he happened to walk onto it.
We agreed on a day for him to take me to the location. The location is very remote in the swamps off the St. Johns River in Brevard County. You can get there via boat, but not by car. The witness took me and a BFRO volunteer in his airboat. It was a 30 minute ride. We did not see any other people. Google earth image of the area:
Once the boat landed, we walked more than a mile to the location. The field had been underwater for the last year and had just recently dried out enough that month to walk it. We found it still moist and muddy.
The bed is hidden well and we didn’t see it until we were literally on it. The hunter had found it a month before, and he estimated that it was a week or so old when he found it. These are photos I took of the surrounding field as I stood on the bed:
We measured the bed at 11 ft. long and 9 ft. wide. The sawgrass was piled over a foot high and had compressed down over time. We measured at its highest point - 1.4 ft high.
None of it was cut, all the contents were broken grasses or pulled up in clumps from the roots. It was tucked under the shade of a lone Palmetto tree.
After taking many photos, we attempted to dissect it for evidence. I have investigated three other possible “beds” in Florida very similar to this one, and like this one, there is not one hair amongst the grass. What we did find was that the grass “clumps” were similar to a large human “handful” and that they were set in place in a purposeful way to keep the water from seeping up. It was a primitive “weave.”
We could not detect exactly where the grass was pulled from either. It did not appear to have been nearby. An oak tree leaf found buried in the layers pictured here, was an interesting find:
The oak trees are several hundred yards away.
While trying to figure out what it could have been we were able to rule out many things. It obviously was pulled and broken off by something with hands, and made in a way to provide a spot to lie hidden while staying dry. If a human made it, it would have taken hours, and sawgrass has tiny blades that will cut up their hands. And it would have taken a lot of time and effort to make when higher dry ground is less than 300 yards away. The question would be why? We have no evidence or reason to believe it is human made. It is not an alligator or crane nest, nor was it made by bear, deer or cattle. The hunter stated, “I can’t figure out what made this or why.” It is not a naturally occurring mound of debris.
We attempted to pull up the Sawgrass and deemed it very difficult, see this short video -
Not far from the bed, the hunter showed us some palms that were totally stripped of the fronds. When wind does this is it usually on one side of the tree not the entire living tree. The frond strippings were over 8 ft tall. And only certain trees in the group were stripped. All manner of insects, lizards, frogs and even bats can be found underneath the fronds when they are pulled off. See photos - our volunteer shown in the photo is 6' 5".
Also this location is almost in the exact spot where two deer hunters reported activity in January 2013, see Report #38764.
It is similar to another bed like discovery in Flagler County; also under a Palmetto tree see here:
And another in Myakka River State Park that New York BFRO Investigator Paul Kotch and I discovered in January 2015 - also under a Palmetto tree, see photo:
About BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
R. 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.