Saturday, January 21, 2012
Sighting: January 20, 2012
Location: SR 80, Ft. Myers, FL and I-75
Time: 8:25 a.m.
Weather Conditions: Warm, bright sunshine, few clouds
Duration of Sighting: About 30 seconds.
Events: I'm a department director for a county in South Florida. I was traveling with another director to a meeting. We were on Palm Beach Blvd (SR 80) near the ramp to I75. A traffic accident was blocking two of the three westbound lanes of SR 80, and traffic was backed-up and moving very slowly.
To my right was a small lake. While the general area is heavily populated, the lake connects to the Caloosahatchee River, and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico. On the other side of the river is a large wildlife refuge.
While sitting in traffic, my companion and I noticed a strange disturbance on the lake. I first though it was a fish jumping. However, the disturbance grew. She suggested it was a manatee or a dolphin, However, we ruled this out as manatees don't rise this high above the water, and there was no evidence of a dorsal fin. What we saw appeared to be something like a very large snake -- I would estimate that it was close to the diameter of a telephone pole, though probably a little narrower, and could have been as much as 40 feet long. At sometimes it would disappear, and at other times it appeared as if it had multiple parts of its body rising out of the water at the same time. It looked almost like a very large snake, until it stuck its head out of the water. The head did not look like a snake's -- it appeared to have a short snout. I did not see any fins, but my companion said she was certain she saw one fin. I thought the color to of the body was dark grey, but the head appeared to be brown. It was approximately 400 feet away from us throughout the sighting, and it remained circling around one area. Eventually traffic cleared and we had to drive on.
I have lived in Florida for over 20 years. My companion has lived in South Florida all of her life. She and her husband have an offshore boat and often go fishing far out into the gulf. Neither of us have ever seen anything like this.
NOTE: witness wished to remain anonymous...Lon
The Cryptid Creatures of Florida
Florida's Unexpected Wildlife: Exotic Species, Living Fossils, and Mythical Beasts in the Sunshine State