Osceola County, Florida

Near Holopaw

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Osceola County Florida (Class B) BFRO

August 2011

Aug. 26 2011 This day was a Friday in August, Central Florida. In the pre-dawn hours of the morning my husband was not even half way on his commute from Space Coast to Disney World to report for his early morning shift, like he does 5 days a week. He takes the 192 which involves a loooong stretch of road with seemingly no sign of life anywhere for about an hour until you reach the St. Cloud area. My husband slammed on the brakes to try to avoid what was in the road without hitting it dead on, all the while trying to avoid flipping his Volkswagon Passat. Unfortunately, he could not avoid contact, and he struck the massive 9 Ft. Gator. He pulled the car over after attempting to resume driving, realizing the car was now undriveble. He made phone calls to the insurance company, his job, and me. I head out on the same stretch of 192 to retrieve him. His vehicle is being loaded onto a flatbed and he is waiting with the tow truck driver who is nice enough not to leave him standing at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere at (now) 6 o'clock in the morning. I am driving, wide awake, looking the whole time for this piece of road kill. I want a photo of it. No I am not morbid, but he said it was HUGE, and I take pictures of all wild animals I come across. Bunnies, snakes, gators, whatever. I drive a long time, the sun is breaking over the line at the moment I finally come to the Gator. It is daylight enough that I can drive without headlights and I can see outside very well. I see it up ahead in the distance, I see the Turkey Vultures. The BIG BLACK birds that come to eat the road kill. My eyes are darting down to the road, up ahead the highway looking for the tow truck, back to the monstrous mess in the road. I am slowing down so I can photograph the Gator, and I am reaching for my camera. As my eyes follow a 3-pack of the large birds up off the road and cross over the the right, I see a man walk into the woods up ahead. He is up ahead a distance I would call a block. A block away. He is wearing ALL BLACK. His elbows are bent as he is walking, and he disappears into the woods. So I am pulling over now, snapping photos of the disgusting mound that is so large in the road that if it's not cleaned up, and if someone hits that, there is going to be another accident. And I am fully awake and present in the moment. I am running a checklist in my head. Gator. Birds. Man. Man ?!?! What Man? Why would a "man" be out here at (now) 7am exactly, walking around in the woods. There are cows here. Lots of land you pass on this road has cattle being raised for beef. Oh, and a DEER sign. A sign, just a moment back I passed , warning of Deer Crossing. (Thanks for the heads up on the 9 Ft. Gators). So he's tending to his cows? A ranch hand? Where's his truck? Where's his Cowboy hat? . So I recall this again. A man - in ALL black- no change of color for face or hands- Wearing a black hoodie? On a beautiful, warm, dry, summer morning- in August- in Central Florida? He's not looking when a car pulls up? He walks into the woods that are headed nowhere? I don't think so. Makes no sense. I think I saw a Bigfoot. So it took me about 2 minutes to put this all together and I didn't want to leave! I wanted to go in after him. I couldn't. My husband was waiting and was all revved up from his climactic morning. He would be angry if I delayed, goofing off. The tow truck driver had waited long enough. I snapped like 2 pictures of the mess in the road and quickly moved on. Putting this all together in the months since the event, it makes more and more sense that what I saw was a Florida Skunk Ape. Of course he would be pulled out of the woods at the knowing of the HUGE road kill. It was dark for more than an hour while that Gator sat there in the dark. There was time for a Bigfoot to hoof it on out there and check out the scene, hey, he even had enough time to pack a bag lunch. Nearly escaping unnoticed before the sun came up over the horizon. It has been almost a year, and I am planning to go back to said location and search for prints and evidence one day. I have driven by the exact location approximately 6 times since then. Each time going over and over it in my head. I am so angry with myself that I had camera in hand, and came up empty. But even driving in the passenger side with the camera hanging out of the window I can miss a pic of a deer! Nothing could have prepared me to photograph a "hey--maybe that's a "somethin' " at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, since my incident I have heard of two other sightings in locations that are within 2 hours driving distance (east or south) of my incident. I continue to search for new reports of local sightings and hope to make future trips to search for tracks. Camera in hand.

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