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Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Levy County > Article # 684

Media Article # 684
Article prepared and posted by R. Monteith

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Woman claims Bigfoot is real, and is in the Goethe State Forest

By Bruce Ackerman
Ocala Star Banner

Woman claims Bigfoot is real, and is in the Goethe State Forest

By Bruce Ackerman
Staff writer

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 9:12 p.m.

Photo courtesy Denise DeChenes

A copy of an image taken by Denise DeChenes that she perceives to be Bigfoot is shown.

Most people think Bigfoot is a hoax. But Denise DesChenes is convinced that she has seen the mythical creature — once in person, and other times when it was unknowingly captured in pictures and videos she took during walks in the Goethe State Forest.

DesChenes never believed in Bigfoot before. She said she really never had time to pay attention to what was around her when she used to ride horses in the woods.

But what she has witnessed over the last few years during her walks in the woods has changed her mind.

“I hear them walking with me and I know they're there,” she said, deliberately using the plural. DesChenes said there is more than one creature out there.

DesChenes said she stopped riding her horses in the Goethe State Forest because her bad back made riding too painful. Instead, she started taking long walks with her dog in the forest and other preserves near Dunnellon.

“When I started walking, that's when I started noticing things,” she said.

She started taking still pictures and video and remains convinced that, in the background, she has captured Bigfoot. She has even asked professional photographers their opinions on what the large footprints and dark figures lurking around bushes and trees could be.

“I just had to ask someone else,” she said.

According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) website,, there have been several other Bigfoot sightings in the same area over the past several years: two in the Goethe State Forest, which is in Levy County, and another in Rainbow Springs State Park near Dunnellon.

According to a witness report on the BFRO website, on Jan. 9, 2012, a hunter in the Goethe State Forest claimed to see some scrapings high up on a tree — and higher than any animal native to the area could make.

The entry then states: “I went further into a game trail and I heard a noise as if someone, or something, was flanking me. It moved when I moved.”

As it got darker, the same entry states, the hunter heard an unfamiliar screech/growl and later found large footprints.

Another witness report on the BFRO website registers a strange encounter in the Goethe State Forest in September 2005.

The report describes a morning sighting of Bigfoot. Two witnesses claim they observed — and were watched by — two “Skunk-Apes” for about 10 minutes. They also claim they found large footprints.

In the same report, these witnesses claim they smelled something like a dead/rotting carcass mixed with the smell of a skunk.

DesChenes does not claim to have smelled anything or heard any screeches or howls. But she does have an unusual ritual that she believes helps draw Bigfoot to her during her walks in the woods.

She said that before entering the woods, she prays and waves and says “hi” before starting off.

She said that she has also left gift baskets in the woods containing items such as beef jerky and crackers, and sometimes loose tobacco. She thinks this might attract the Bigfoot creatures to her the next time she returns because the items she left on previous walks were always gone when she returned.

According to Re Monteith, a BFRO investigator, it is not unusual for Bigfoot to accept gifts. However, many other animals in the forest will take food and objects as well, she said.

As a researcher, she states that it is important to know what to look for to eliminate any misunderstandings.

In some instances BRFO investigators have found that Bigfoot can also leave gifts in return, Monteith said. Examples could be unusual rocks, flowers or stick arrangements, turtle shells, shells, nuts and even gutted animals. Many times the objects are not from the local area, she said.

According to Monteith, BFRO has about 10 investigators in Florida who investigate anything reported to them. The reports are only posted on the BFRO website if the witness appears credible.

She adds that Ocala and the surrounding area are very active for sasquatch activity.

DesChenes has not contacted BFRO about her alleged encounters with Bigfoot, nor does she have a witness report filed with the group.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Forest Service declined comment when asked whether her agency investigates any such sightings.

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