Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Union County > Report # 76617|
Submitted by witness Mark Griffis on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
Motorist sighting ~ midnight at bridge of 229 over New River, 22mi N of Gainesville
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COUNTY: Union County
LOCATION DETAILS: [Investigator (MM) note:
The crossing point was on County Road 229 between Conner Cemetary and the nearby bridge over New River referred to as "Conner Bridge" by locals due to its proximity to the cemetary. The witness was driving north. He had just passed cemetary on the left. It was dark. There are no street lights. He could only determine that the crossing point was closer to the bridge than the cemetary, but not on the bridge itself. It was before the beginning of the guard rails, as best he could recall. Therefore these GPS coordinates are not exact but rather a best guess. They are close enough for both practical and scientific purposes: 30.0356258, -82.2201537 ]
NEAREST TOWN: Raiford
NEAREST ROAD: N CR 229
OBSERVED: My wife and I were driving home from the neighboring town [Starke] on N County Road 229 at about 11:45 pm. As I approached Connor Bridge I noticed a black bipedal figure run accross the road between my vehicle and the bridge. The subject was very large and moving extremely fast. Taking only two or three steps to cross the road and another step to cross the embankment, and disappear in to the treeline.
As I slowed down to try to get a better look at what I had just saw, I noticed that there was no game trail or path in the area the individual had entered the tree line and the bushes were still shaking in its wake.
OTHER WITNESSES: 1
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11:45 pm it was overcast and warm.
ENVIRONMENT: Connor Bridge, Connor Cemetery, Dyal Cemetery
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
I spoke with the witness and his wife. She did not look up in time to see the figure running across the road. Both are credible.
The husband, Mark Griffis, is a 34 year old construction worker and lifelong resident of nearby Rairford. He and his wife were returning from a run to the Walmart in Starke. He says at that time of night there may only be one car every 20 minutes or so driving along this backroad.
The area is dark at night. The figure was 50-75 yards ahead of the vehicle when it ran across. Mark has fog lights which lit up the figure enough to see its shape clearly, and that it was dark from head to toe.
The witness is 6 foot 4. He played football throughout school and often afterward. He is certain that the dark figure had large swinging arms like a human runner but was much taller than himself. It was not sprinting away from a standstill but rather already at a full tilt run as it crossed 229 from his left (the cemetary side of road) to the right. Its size and speed was above and beyond the largest of large football players, enough to blow this football player's mind.
He is likely accurate when he says its distance was 50-75 yards away.
His wife was looking down at her phone when he said "DID YOU SEE THAT?!!" He told her what he saw and tried to describe it.
His wife says he was definitely freaked out. He had obviously seen something large and frightening cross the road.
There was no thought of turning back to investigate the dark figure that fled into the trees.
I asked both of them if there are many deer in the area. They said there are so many deer at nigth along backroads like 229 that you can't drive more than about 50 miles per hour. Deer hazards are the reason he installed bright fog lights on his vehicle.
He says the most hazardous area for animals crossing 229 (possums, raccoons, coyotes, turkey, deer, etc.) is around the bridge over the New River -- Conner Bridge.
In order to find this location quickly in Google Maps or Google Earth, search for "Conner Cemetary FL". That will pull up this screen:
About BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
Matthew Moneymaker is originally from the Los Feliz District of Los Angeles, California.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
- Founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,1995.
- Writer and co-producer of the Discovery Channel documentary "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science", 2001.
- Co-producer of the TV Series "Mysterious Encounters" for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN Channel), 2002.
- Producer of the "2003 International Bigfoot Symposium" (Willow Creek Symposium) DVD set, 2004.
- Co-host of "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet Channel, 2010 - 2017.
- Current Director of the BFRO