In a remote area of Escambia County, Florida, a group of hunters experienced a chilling encounter in the winter of 2009. According to witness David Donaldson, he and his son and grandson were inside a deer blind near the edge of the Escambia River swamp when they heard loud wood knocks that resembled someone hitting a tree with a baseball bat. The incident left them shocked and questioning what they had just experienced. This eerie encounter in the dense woods has stuck with Donaldson, even as he reaches 80 years old.Geographical Index > United States > Florida > Escambia County > Report # 76678

  (Class B)

Submitted by witness David Donaldson on Monday, November 27, 2023.

Hunters report loud wood knocks in Escambia River Swamp, 3/4 mile NW of Cotton Lake Boat Ramp

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YEAR: 2009

SEASON: Winter

MONTH: January

STATE: Florida

COUNTY: Escambia County

LOCATION DETAILS: Approximately 1/4 mile north of Cotton Lake Road and approximately 300 yards East of the railroad tracks.

NEAREST TOWN: Barth, Florida

NEAREST ROAD: Cotton Lake Road

OBSERVED: Fourteen years ago, me and my 25 year old son and my 15 year old grandson were inside an enclosed deer blind next to the edge of the Escambia River swamp just northwest of Cotton Lake.

This was early in the month of January. It was about 9:45 a.m. We had been in the blind for about two hours. The woods was very quiet, no bird sound at all. Our blind was about five feet from the waters edge and the swamp.

The only movement that I had seen was a solitary brown rabbit foraging around the blind. Suddenly the silence was broken by what sounded like someone loudly hitting the side of a tree three times with a baseball bat. Needless to say we were shocked, just sitting and looking at each other. We continued to sit in the blind while silently mouthing “What was that?”

Just a few moments later there came three more “hits” from further off in the swamp. I broke the silence by softly telling my kids that it was time to go. We hastily broke down the blind and we vacated the woods.

I am now 80 years old, but that memory is still fresh in my mind.

ALSO NOTICED: Absolute silence.

OTHER WITNESSES: My son and a grandson


TIME AND CONDITIONS: Between 9:45 and 10:00 a.m.

ENVIRONMENT: Heavy woods on the edge of the heavily wooded river swamp.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:

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

You can read the full report here:

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