Clewiston, Hendry County, Florida (Informant's sketch of the creature below)
I think it was winter as we had an older car without air conditioning and it would have been to uncomfortable to ride around with windows up as it had rained most of the day and as I remember, we were in no hurry to get home.
This happened back in 1982 or 83. My husband and I went to the store, Mary Lou’s, and we were on our way home when we had our encounter; we were traveling slow looking at the area, checking to see if any new homes were going in.
Montura Estates is a very large area and back then few people lived out there. Those who did were widely scattered. We were the only car on the road at the time. It had rained most of the day and still was drizzling off and on. It was over cast and dreary, but visibility was good. It was late afternoon, probably around 3:30, 4 o’clock saw someone come up on the road out of a wooded area father up the road. We were on Hacienda Ave. traveling south.
It was to far to tell much about who it was but could tell it was a person, or so I thought. I remember thinking who would be out walking on a day like this? It traveled in same direction as we were, of course we were gradually getting closer. He then crossed the road in front of us and proceeded on the same side as us, still in the same direction.
As we came up on Hunting Cub Ave, this is where we were turning, we slowed up even more and as we were in process of turning I saw that this person was going straight down Hacienda, that he hadn’t turned off. That was really strange as there wasn’t anything down that way. There wasn’t any place for him to be going, as there wasn't’t anything out there but woods.
This is when I really got a good look at him. I saw that there was hair, long hair on his, its legs moving in the wind as he moved. I looked even harder and saw that he/it was covered in hair completely. Black or very dark hair covered its whole body. The hair was 4 to 6 inches long. The hair on its head seemed long as it was blowing up away from its body. It came down at an angle to shoulders The head seemed round on top, but I got the impression that it was looking down, not straight ahead, but looking at where it was walking. It was tall, over 6 ft and I’d guess around 300 lbs. It held its arms close to its side. I know from reading other reports that people say it has long arms etc…I didn't’t get that impression. It seemed normally proportioned. It seemed to be built like a big man. It walked up right at all times. It did seem to be hunched a little in the wind, but no different than a person would be. I was about 100 to 150 feet at that time.
It didn't’t turn or act like it heard us coming up on it. Then I couldn't’t see it anymore as we were into our turn. The pine trees were thick and close to the road also palmettos were very thick and they blocked my view. I turned to look at my husband, neither one of us had said a word until then. I remember my husband said “was that what I thought it was?” I said, “I think so”. I’d like to say here that we were in shock.
I know it seemed to take my mind a minute to register what my eyes were seeing. My husband backed up and that only took a second and it was gone. I guess it most have heard our brakes when my husband stopped the car. We went on down Hacienda Ave all the way to end. We backtracked and even went down another street, Appaloosa Ave.
We looked everywhere but we never saw it again. We went on to the house and we told our children what we had seen. Then to keep from scaring them and also to keep them from thinking we’d lost our minds we told them it most have been A tree on the side of the road. Our eyes had to be playing tricks on us.
My husband did tell his Aunt and Uncle about what we’d seen. They didn't say we were crazy but you could see they didn't’t believe us. My husband told them the same thing he told the kids, that it was probably a pine tree on the side of the road. He never talked about it again. I’ve thought about it a lot through the years, but I didn’t tell anyone either. My own children who know me well and know I don’t make up stories, I think have a hard time, now that their grown believing its true. But it is true and I’ve wished so many times that one of us had realized sooner what we were looking at and hadn't’t turned at the corner that we could have gotten a better look.
Montura Estates at that time and I don’t think it’s changed a whole lot, was heavy pine trees, scrub oak cabbage palms palmetto and Cyprus trees, sand and also swamp land. Lots of deer, wild hog, bobcats, fox, raccoon, alligators and all kinds of bird life both big and small. Oh yes and we can’t forget snakes, lots of them too.3 lakes there.
I’m sending a drawing of what I remember it looked like, even though it was a long time ago I can still see it in my mind. There were a few other things that happened in later years might be connected. I remember my daughter and I coming home from church in town (Clewiston) it was around 10pm.
My son and husband had changed to a near by church in Flaghole and they hadn’t returned home. They had a very late service. We went on the porch to go inside and I found I didn’t have my door key. We were standing there talking when the most awful scream came from the woods. We lived in the middle of a pine woods and palmettos on all sides. The-hunting reservoir was also right next to us. The scream was very loud and I never heard anything like it before. It scared us so bad that we ran to the car and locked ourselves in. I heard all kinds of wild life, but nothing like this.
When my husband got home we told him about the scream. He said it probably was a panther. I don’t know if that is what it was or not. Also my best friends brother-in-law came down from Georgia to work. He stayed in a mobile home that their family owned that was empty most of the time.
He left in a hurry and I asked my friend why he left so suddenly. She said he had a drinking problem and he was seeing things. He thought he saw something big and black come across the field and look at him through the front window. This was in the middle of the night. She said bears had been hunted out in the area. She and her family were active hunters. It didn’t (bears I hear have been seen in later years in neighboring community) dawn on me at the time that it could have been what I saw several years earlier.
My daughter bought this place after she got married. She asked me one day about this incident and what I thought he’d seen. I told her probably a panther, though there’s not supposed to be any black ones in Florida or maybe a big black dog. She asked me to go out and look in the window. I did and found I couldn’t see in with out standing on my toes and then barely. I’m 5 foot 5 inches tall. That’s when I thought it could be what my husband and I saw several years earlier .I didn’t ask my friend about it though as I’d never told her what I had seen and decided to let it be.
I forgot to locate area: Montura Estates is about 20 miles from Clewiston traveling west on highway 27 to highway 80. Go to 833 take a left towards Indian Reservation. Travel about 7 miles to entrance to Montura Estates. I guess the big arches are still there I haven’t been there in a long time. Turn in left, you’re now on Club House Ave. Go to end take a right. This is Hacienda Ave. traveling down this road is where I saw figure. I’m guessing but I’d say a quarter mile traveling to about 100 feet distance. I saw figure for about 5 minutes all together.
Logged August 2005, Sketch by informant Emma Carroll