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A listener writes “I was running my airboat on the upper St. Johns River, Florida doing what I like to do best frog jigging on a Friday night.
It wasnt the first time I was out on the river at night,I use to run the north and south parts of the river all the time.I still do but I rarely go at night and if I do it’s with 5 or 6 other boats..Anyway I was coming up on the oak’s.The oaks are located right next to Duda’s property.Just a wee south of Lake Winder.
I figured I would pull up into the oakhead and drink a few cups of joe before I started to gig.Out of the corner of my eye I saw something bolt into the cabbage palms.I figured it to be a hog,I really did not know what it was the last thing on my mind was it could of been the big guy.Anyway I ran up on dry ground about 15 yards spun my boat around so it was pointed toward the river and shut it down.I just poured a cup of joe when I heard something about 10 yard behind me. It sounded like it was wrestling with a cabbage palm or maybe rolling around in a bunch of palms.that’s when I heard something hitting the ground and making a God awful noise then out of know where I heard a thump right next to my boat.
I looked but did not see anything then again I heard it behind my boat then something hit my rudders I turned on my head lamp and saw mud on my rudders I then saw a bunch of mud fly over me and hit my bow I shined my light in the direction of where it was coming from and I saw his face and a good portion of his body he was pissed all I could think was my holy father please deliver me from evil.I lost all feeling in my body I just about passed out I was lost I didnt know what to do. I was in total shock I figured I was about to be ripped apart by this giant he was huge, I looked at him for 15 to 25 seconds it seemed longer I paired him with the front of my boat and this thing was huge. He definitely was a he, it had Male junk he had brown hair not very long and a leathery face. I just about peed my pants I was so scared.
I never in my natural born life moved so fast to crank my boat and got the heck out of there I was amazed my boat cranked as fast as it did I was waiting to get pulled off my seat and got the tar beat out of me I was amazed my boat started, I gunned it I really dont even remember starting it .I almost sank my boat when I hit the river. I just went north knowing I would be in the lake.I was scared to drive home so I parked in the middle of Lake Winder and took a few sips of drink to calm my nerves and try to talk my self out of what I saw, I stayed there until first light. I was afraid to try and head back down the narrow part of the river in fear the big guy could snatch me off the boat and kill me, sitting in my front seat of my boat I sit 9 feet above the ground I was just about eye level with him during my confrontation.
I have never been back to that spot again I was asked by a researcher if I could bring them there which I said I would but only during the day and I would be armed. It really ruined my life I use to love going out on the river and loved going camping and couldn’t wait to do it with my sons when they got old enough but you wont catch me out there at night, the sounds it made and the size it was is forever etched in my memory forever just writing this is got me crying from emotion.”