More Ocala National Forest, Florida 1977

1977 -- OCALA, Fla. (UPI) - A 67-year-old Baptist minister who says he hasn't had a drink in 40 years tells how he stood eyeball-to-eyeball for 30 seconds with a great, hairy creature in the Ocala National Forest. The Rev. S. L. Whatley, pastor of the Fort McCoy Baptist Church, said he spotted the thing out of the corner of his eye while he was cutting wood with a chain saw three weeks ago.

Whatley recalled Monday. "It was standing upright, in the middle of some palmetto bushes, and that sapsucker was at least 7 1/2, maybe 8 feet tall. The minister said the creature "had dark, lighter-than-black hair on its head and chest, not much on its arms, and none on its face. It had kind of a flat face, a flat nose, its eyes were sunk in its sockets."

Whatley said he quickly went back to his truck to get an ax because "me and that creature was going to mix it up," but by the time he returned from the truck the creature had disappeared. He hastened to add that he hasn't had a drink in 40 years.

Source: Superior, Wisconsin; Evening Telegram Tuesday, November 15, 1977 article contributed by Ron Schaffner, Creature Chronicles

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