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COUNTY: Polk County
LOCATION DETAILS: Location was and undeveloped area north of Rock Drive. Directions from US Hwy 27 to Hwy 544 east to 17 (Scenic Hwy) then south to Hatchineha Rd then east to Allegheny then north to Greenfield to dead end. Turn right, go to dead end then left on Rock Drive.
NEAREST TOWN: Poinciana
NEAREST ROAD: Rock Drive
OBSERVED: Well where do I start. Oddly enough, here, at my last resort. Let me please start off with the whole I'm not crazy speech. I live here in Central Florida and work as a Deputy Sheriff for the past 16 years. Add to that my time in the military and being some what of a hunter and one could say I have spent a good bit of time in the woods and around the world. However about 1.5 years ago myself and a friend (with a similar background) heard something while hog hunting at night that to this day rattled my very being. The location was near Lake Hatchineha in the Poinciana area of Polk County. The time was close to 2am. We were still hunting in an open area with a heavy woodline between us and the lake. What we both heard is difficult to describe since I had only ever heard a similar sound in a movie. Yep a movie, and excluding that in my four decades of life and travel I have never heard anything remotely close. It was not a whoop or a howl or a cry but what I can only describe as a chuffing noise. Now if you want to listen to the only thing that I have been able to find that comes close, watch Jurassic Park and when the raptors call to each other, that's it. But here is where that similarity ends. The sound was much deeper and had a slight rumble at the end. From our position it sounded at least 1/4 -1/2 mile away. The noise was made four times like (chuff-chuff-chuff-chuff) then complete silence and by that I mean not even the birds were chirping. Both my buddy and I had that whole hair on the back of the neck thing going on big time. What set our nerves on overdrive was after about an hour later we heard it again. This time it was to our north and only about 50 yards away. Needless to say it was much louder as in I honestly felt it in my chest. What ever it was it was big and moving our way in the tree line. We could hear it moving slowly to the west and it did not sound like a deer, bear, or any of the many other animals I have heard or tracked ever. I will say this. I do not scare easily. I have been alone in deep woods in the green swamp and never had a second thought. But that night I have not and will not ever forget. We hunted the rest of the night back to back literally. Now I assume your wondering why am I writing this here. Well in truth I have searched every site on strange noises with no luck. I have spoken to countless others about it with no luck and got in touch with my buddies at FWC with no luck. Am I a believer? Well my thought is simple - why cant they exist? Did we hear one that night? I have no clue. I am making contact with you because as I stated earlier this seems like my last resort. Maybe you or someone has heard the same thing and can identify the animal. If you actually have or just need to Q&A me I can be contacted by email or phone Thank you for your time.
ALSO NOTICED: Only after each incident there was no animal noise at all. Dead silent.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just two adults
OTHER STORIES: None
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night at approx 2am second time about 3am. Weather was calm, clear slight breeze from the north/east.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest lake side and swampy
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
I spoke to the Sheriff several times on the phone. When he and another Officer were hog hunting at night on Lake Marian in mid-April of 2013, they were horribly frightened by the unfamiliar sounds they heard. Both Officers are combat war veterans and emphasize that neither have ever been so frightened before.
Google earth map of the area:
They first heard a “chuffing” at around 2 AM, it sounded about ¼ - ½ mile away, an hour later the sound seemed to be coming from a place less than 50 yards away. They could hear the footsteps going off to the west and it did not sound like any animal they have heard before. The creature making the noise seemed to be walking to the side of them, stopping and walking as if it was “checking them out.” The men described the sound as extremely loud and “surrounding.” After each sound, the night noises would become completely silent. The men became so frightened they sat in a back to back defensive stance for the remainder of the night. They did not see or hear any hog that particular night, although there are many in the area.
Both of the men did not recognize the animal sound that night. For over a year they have been listening to sound boards trying to identify what it could have been. One of the Officers contacted the BFRO as a last resort in an attempt to identify the sound.
I asked Investigators Jim Sherman (MI), D.K. (VA) and Stan Courtney (IL) who have collected various sasquatch and primate audio recordings to supply anything similar to what was described. I then asked the officers to identify anything that sounded familiar in sound, tone or rhythm. Both agreed that the Gorilla "Howling" Recording (8th recording down on the list) was very close, but what they heard was much louder and stronger.
The area is in the Cowpen Slough. In the 1800’s Creek Indian Chief Chipco used this area of the lake as his primary hunting grounds. Many early settlers attributed their survival on the game Chipco provided them from this area. Access was limited back then as the woods were very thick. Today parts of it are protected and access remains challenging It is also a perfect hunting ground for a large primate that chooses to stay hidden.
About BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
Re 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 - 5.