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COUNTY: Polk County
LOCATION DETAILS: Boat landing Rd. and walk-in-the-water Rd.,east of Lake Wales. I would not like to list the exact location as I do not want people out to harm or harass the creature.
NEAREST TOWN: Nalcrest
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 60
OBSERVED: While driving home one evening approx. 2100, while passing near Tiger Creek, I witnessed something standing on the side of the road. I was tall approx. 7 to 8 feet, it was standing in front of a road sign as a reference, initially I believed it was a bear on its hind legs, however as I got closer it turned and walked towards the woods. The Creature was dark in color covered in hair and walked upright. It turned away as the headlights from my truck hit it, the creature walked into an area that was heavily wooded with dense underbrush. The creature did not seem to be bothered or concerned with the automobile.
ALSO NOTICED: There have been several other unexplained events in the general area, one being a strange area matted down with a shelter over head there has been several incidents of objects striking vehicles and structures.
OTHER WITNESSES: 5, heading home from grocery shopping.
OTHER STORIES: I believe report #16823 to be very near to my home where I have had several strange events over the past year. From objects striking the house late in the night to dead animals being found day after day.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Shortly after sunset.
ENVIRONMENT: There is a creek nearby, the area is a large amount of state and privately owned land, on the Lake Wales Ridge, there is swamp, pine scrub, and large open tracts of land.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator R. Monteith:
The witness was driving south on Boat Landing Road at approximately 9 pm. When he got near Tiger Creek he noticed a very tall (7 or 8 ft) creature standing on the right side of the road near a sign. At first he thought it was a bear standing on its hind legs but as he neared it, the car’s headlights hit it and he realized it wasn’t a bear. The creature calmly turned to its right and bipedally walked back from the direction it came. He described it as having dark brown hair over its entire body, with long arms and no tail. He never saw the face as it had turned away from him. He was very surprised at what he had seen and returned the next day to look for footprints. He was disappointed to find very loose “sugar sand” which wouldn’t reveal much plus it had rained that night. (Will insert photos here once we are able.)
While we investigated the site, we discovered the barbed wire fence at the location has been pulled down. It is also very near Tiger Creek, which the animal very well could have been following. Across the street in the direction the animal had been heading is the public boat ramp for Lake Weohyakapka. There is a picnic area there, as well as a fish cleaning area which could provide food sources. (photos)
The surrounding rural area is made up of small ranches and farms. The residents use a community dumpster which at times has attracted bears. (photo)
The witness had just bought a house in this rural area when he had this sighting, and has had some other unexplained events occur since that time.
A few months later in June about 20 yards from the dirt road, he found what appeared to be a shelter or nest while driving his tractor. He only noticed it as the seat on the tractor is very high. It was “rustically” made of branches placed over a ditch. Hunting is not permitted so a hunter’s blind is unlikely. When he noticed it, he left the tractor and investigated. While walking around he heard a deep, threatening growl that frightened him. He returned to the tractor and drove home. He had to get out to open his gate and from the trees, a rock was thrown at him. The woods are very thick from where the “nest” was to his property line. It is possible something followed him home. A few days later he went back to investigate again and the shelter was gone. (photos)
He has glass sliding doors in the back of his home that don’t have curtains or blinds. The TV can be seen from the back yard. One night after a thunderstorm left them without power for several hours, the glass slider was hit by several rocks which frightened the family. (photos)
He has found several dead turtles and snakes within the fenced area surrounding the yard which puzzle him on how they ended up where they did. He lost all his chickens in a week, although he admits that could be due to a coyote, fox or bobcat. Almost weekly a new stray dog shows up on his property. (He finds them new homes.)
Report #16823 is the report the witness mentions stating that it occurred very near to his sighting.
The area is very rural, with scrub and wooded forest. It is within the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem. Tiger Creek (a black water seepage stream) flows through the area into Lake Weohyakapka. Walk in the Water and Arbuckle Wildlife Management Areas border the area and are within the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest. Interestingly, the Lake Wales Ridge (LWR) is an ancient landform that runs north-south through the center of peninsular Florida. Thousands of years ago it was the only part of Florida that stuck out above the waves and in that isolation many species of life evolved that exist nowhere else on Earth. Virtually every year ecologists discover new endemic species in the scrub.
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.