Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Statement on USF's latest effort to dig up bodies at Dozier School - July 31, 2013

If the University of South Florida wishes to dig up the graves at the Dozier School Cemetery, it should first contact the next of kin of those known to be buried there to obtain their permission and to obtain DNA for use in identifying the bodies.

USF has stated in its administrative and legal filings that it does not consider Dozier School Cemetery to be a crime scene and does not expect any crimes to be solved by exhuming the graves.

As of today, USF has located only 7 of the families with next of kin buried in the cemetery.  Why only 7?  USF itself has provided the names of more than 50 people logically believed to be buried in the cemetery.  Why is it so determined not to contact the families of the African American, Latino and other individuals buried in the cemetery?  If it does not locate and contact those families to obtain DNA for comparison, USF will relegate the individuals of color known to be buried at Dozier School to second class status for all eternity.  That is wrong and smells of racism.

In short, USF should be honest and honorable and let the families - ALL of the families, of ALL races - decide what should be done with the graves of their loved ones.

If all of the families are contacted, approve of the exhumations and are given a chance to provide DNA so their loved ones can be identified, then I have no issues with the project.  If USF does not do that, however, then the university should not be allowed to conduct this "science project" over the denials of a circuit judge, the state archaeologist and the Secretary of State.

Dale Cox
July 31, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dozier School Cemetery dig DENIED by Florida Secretary of State

Florida's Secretary of State has denied a permit application from the University of South Florida seeking permission to exhume the graves at the Dozier School Cemetery.

The University confirmed in a letter to the state last week that its investigation was not criminal in nature and that the Dozier Cemetery was NOT a crime scene.  As a result, the State Department had no authority under law to grant permission to dig up the graves.

Here is the actual letter:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ghost caught on camera at Russ House in Marianna, Florida

Ghost of the Russ House?
People have long claimed that Marianna's historic Russ House is haunted and now a strange series of three photographs may just prove it!

The photos were taken two weeks ago during one of the most severe thunderstorms to hit the city in recent memory. Lightning was crackling so severely that static electricity could be felt inside the Russ House and the rain was falling so hard that Lafayette Street, less than 50 feet away, could not be seen.

The series of photos were taken in order and show an unusual feature zipping upward through one of the rooms in the historic structure. Do they show the famed ghost of the Russ House?  Did the electricity from the storm bring it out?  You can see all three in order below.

Whatever the photos show, they are now part of the legend of the house which has attracted various groups of paranormal researchers, ghost story lovers and just those who enjoy beautiful architecture.

To learn more about the legend of the Ghost of the Russ House, please visit

Also be sure to explore the new Visit Jackson County site at

Friday, July 5, 2013

Flooding forces temporary closure of Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail (July 5, 2013)

Flood waters cover the trail
Rising flood waters from the Chipola River have forced a temporary closure of Jackson County's popular Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail.

The unique trail provides public access to historic and purportedly haunted Bellamy Bridge, long a cultural landmark of the county.

As of this noon today (July 5, 2013), water was at least three feet deep across portions of the trail and was rising rapidly. Heavy rain from a tropical depression has brought the Chipola River out of its banks in northern Jackson County.  More rain is in the forecast for the weekend and the river rise may not crest until early next week.

Until that time, Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail is closed for access to the bridge. I will keep you updated on flood conditions affecting this and other recreation areas in the county, so watch for updates over coming days.

Here are some photos of the flooding at Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail. These were taken today:

Flood waters run through the swamp along the sides of the elevated trail.

Water flowing through the first trail gap.

Water flows over the Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monster Sightings: The Two Egg Stump Jumper is Back!

Parramore Landing Park east of Two Egg
Florida's famed Two Egg Stump Jumper has returned after a two year silence!

The legendary monster has been reported for many decades in the woods and swamps a few miles east of the quaint little community of Two Egg, Florida. It is said to be a "mini-Bigfoot" type creature that frequents swampy areas around the historic ghost town of Old Parramore.

One of the new incidents is particularly unique because it involved six eyewitnesses at one time. None of them actually saw the creature, but they heard something large shadowing them as they returned to Parramore Landing Park after dark from a hike into the swamps. The noise was accompanied by a loud "growl" or "roar" that they all heard multiple times, a sound that was different from anything they had ever heard in the area.

Other eyewitnesses have confirmed the strange sounds coming from the swamps around Parramore Landing Park.

Yet another eyewitness actually saw the creature as it ran through the headlights of her car a short distance west of Circle Hill Baptist Church on Circle Hill Road. The sighting took place a few miles northwest of Parramore Landing.

To read the full story on the new sightings, please visit