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Bigfoot in New Jersey

Is that General Ursus peaking at me?
Peeping bigfoot or guy in a gorilla mask?

In June of this year I emailed famed West Coast psychic Nancy Bradley (www.nancybradley.org) after reading a very interesting account of a Bigfoot encounter that she had as a girl while vacationing at her family’s summer cabin in Lake Owassa, NJ. For those of you who are unfamiliar with New Jersey, or who’s only familiarity with the Garden State is driving past the reeking factories along the northern stretch of the NJ Turnpike while passing through, you might be surprised to know that much of the fifth smallest state (and most highly populated per square mile) contains many miles of woodland and farms. The densely forested Pinelands in south Jersey actually covers about 1.1 million acres.

My family and I happen to live in the more populated and congested area of northeastern New Jersey, about 20 miles outside of New York City, but western NJ as you near Pennsylvania is another very rural and wooded part of the state, and this is where Ms. Bradley’s tale takes place. If you’d like to read her original article, here’s the link: www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/bigfoot-of-lake-owassa-new-jersey). In my email to Ms. Bradley, I told her that I enjoyed her article very much and that my wife, Debbie, had a strange experience while in that part of the state a couple of years ago. Here is Debbie’s story as I recounted it to Ms. Bradley:

We live in the northeastern part of the state, not far from NYC. I’m a website designer and my wife, Debbie, teaches special education. Each June she accompanies her seventh grade class for a 3-day outing at Stokes State Forest, which is in Sussex County and pretty close to Lake Owassa. Well, one night one of the students staying in the same cabin as Debbie had a severe asthma attack. The girl’s parents didn’t bother to notify the school about her condition and neglected to pack her inhaler, so my wife ran out of the cabin at about 3 AM and proceeded to cross the compound to the infirmary where the nurse slept. As she ran toward the nurse’s station she heard an awful yowling/screeching noise. It was high-pitched and very loud, and unlike anything she’d ever heard before. It frightened her greatly. She did what she had to do, however, and alerted the nurse about the young girl’s condition and an ambulance was called (the girl recovered, fortunately).

The horrible screeching and yowling continued for several minutes after Debbie arrived at the nurse’s station, and when a NJ State Trooper arrived alongside the ambulance, my wife described the horrible sounds that she just heard and asked the officer if he’d heard them or if anyone had reported them. He looked at her and in a very serious tone said, “there have been a lot of Bigfoot reports in the area over the last few nights”. After my wife told me this, I began doing some research and found a surprisingly large number of Bigfoot reports in New Jersey.

I had always associated Bigfoot sightings with the Pacific Northwest and certainly wouldn’t have thought there would be any similar reports in such a highly populated state as ours, but apparently people in the more rural northwestern part of New Jersey are familiar with these sightings. In this part of New Jersey the sightings are frequent enough to have garnered the big furry fellow a nick-name of “Big Red Eye“.  This is because witnesses often describe the creature as having glowing red eyes (not sure if this is specific to New Jersey sightings, as I don’t recall hearing about this trait having been reported elsewhere). Weird NJ has a couple of interesting articles about Big Red Eye that you might want to check out at weirdnj.com/stories/big-red-eye and weirdnj.com/stories/bizarre-beasts/bigfoot-and-the-big-hairy-man.

In the course of my research I also came across a couple of websites that had audio recordings of what was thought to be Bigfoot vocalizations, and when I played them for Debbie she remarked that  that was exactly what it sounded like. Recently, the Discovery Channel aired the excellent “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” and at one point they played an audio recording that was supposedly from a Sasquatch, and again my wife said that what she’d heard sounded just like that.

I just thought I’d share that experience, even though it wasn’t exactly firsthand. My wife is very level-headed and not much of a believer in anything paranormal or out of the ordinary, so I was impressed by the fact that she was so shaken by this and that she would even entertain the idea that it could have been Bigfoot.

Ms. Bradley was kind enough to respond to my email and even went so far as to invite my wife and me to explore the area around Lake Owassa with her and her husband when they visit New Jersey next year. Obviously, I said “yes” to that immediately, but my wife’s response when I told her of Nancy’s offer was predictable: “No way”, she said. Debbie does not share my interest in the unexplained and was sufficiently shaken by the experience that she has no desire to seek out whatever it was that was source of those unearthly screams. I’ll post an article after I explore the area around Lake Owassa with Nancy and her husband, and let you know if there was anything interesting to be found.

If you live in New Jersey and have had a Bigfoot encounter, I’d love to hear about it.

UPDATE: As a result of this article my wife was interviewed for the Star-Ledger Newspaper and a video interview was conducted as well, which you can view here:  http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/08/03/Locals-Big-Red-Eye-stalking-New-Jersey/UPI-40581312390904/.  My lovely wife appears about 80% of the way through the video. The fat bastard next her is yours truly.  This little article has also been quoted in three books thus far and I was recently interviewed for a scene in an upcoming fictional film in which I appear in as an expert witness being interviewed. It’ll probably get cut.

217 thoughts on “Bigfoot in New Jersey

  1. Hi John, I just returned from camping at High Point S.P. At about 1 am we heard some strange noises way out in the distance. I have camped numerous times at HPSP and never ever caught wind of this sound, That’s forty years worth of being up there and it was no coyote that’s for sure. How about getting some Rangers, AKA Park Police to come clean and lay out some encounters with the Big Fella. Could any retired Rangers be interviewed ?. I can’t buy into that active Rangers would fear any back-lash from the brass if they spoke out.

    1. John — I think there are a lot of park rangers and police that know a lot more about these sightings than they’re willing to say. I was in touch with a reporter who worked for a Sussex County based newspaper, and she told me that when she looked into it she found that there was a large number of police reports on file concerning Bigfoot sightings. She also said that the state police at the Augusta, NJ barracks were well aware of the existence of the creatures, but refused to go on record in admitting this because of career concerns — which is quite understandable. I’d love to interview some ex-law enforcement officials about Bigfoot sightings and other paranormal experiences. The fact that they’re often patrolling remote regions at night make them the most likely candidates for strange encounters and reports of unknown creature sightings. But considering their concerns about the negative repercussions of reporting these types of sightings, I’m sure that many of them keep quiet.

  2. Hadn’t been on in a while, heck who has free time these days. I am the guy who had the Livingston sighting while driving it was twilight (not even dark yet but not 12 noon daylight).
    I saw a sasquatch chase a deer across the road in the watershed area. Figure wasn’t much bigger than me (im 6-1) but it was fast as hell. I thought I was watching a hunter in a ghillie suit chasing after a deer until I watched him/it actually gain on a bolting deer on what I now know is very uneven terrain. I went back with Mike Aragona from BFRO and found and cast a print. The full report and pics are on the BFRO site.

    More recently about 2 months ago I was out on west 46 with my better half shopping for a car and ended up at Hot Dog Johnny’s we went around back at the water’s edge and saw some very large footprints (i wear size 11 they were another 2/3 the size of my foot) in the mud like something went there for a drink or to try to catch crawfish or fish.

  3. I don’t know anything of a big foot living in NJ, and this is the first I have heard of sightings here. However, having worked law enforcement in Morris County, NJ, There have always been frequent incidents of black bears wandering into suburban areas. These bears can get quite large, so the area can certainly maintain a large animal. Plenty of police reports of officers responding to such calls. Never a report for a bigfoot however. Good luck.

  4. I always wanted to get two groups together to hike the Batona Trail in the Pines from both ends and meet in the middle. Perhaps we could place bait or photo traps along the way, mark them off with GPS, and have the two teams retrieve the bait and the traps after we depart the middle and continue on the hike.

  5. just wanted to let you know i spoke to my friend and she never heard anything being seen in the area but a friend/relative of hers said she had a sighting when she lived around stokes forest a while back

    1. Mae — How did she describe it? Was it a close range sighting, or off in the distance? Day or evening? I’m interested in hearing the details, if you have them.

      Thanks,

      John

  6. i just read everyones comments and experiences and am very interested. i have lived in nj my whole life and the last 26 years in sussex co. i have never heard of any bigfoot sightings in this area until a few weeks ago while taking a paranormal class. i also have friends that live in lk owasa for many years so i will be calling them tonight to see if they have had any experiences or have heard of any. i also chaparoned an overnight class at the stokes forrest educational area and didnt hear of anything but some girls said they had the haunted cabin. i read you are planning to come to my area and if its not to late and would like some local company i would be interested in doing some of this research with you. let me know i have a flexable schdule. thanks

    1. Hi Mae — Please let me know if your friends in Lake Owassa have heard of any Bigfoot sightings. Sure, I’ll let you know when I plan to get out there. It’ll probably be just a day trip on a Sunday, sometime before Memorial Day. I have no idea of what sort of “research” I’ll be doing, but I’d like to hike around the area and see if I can talk to a few of the locals. I’ll probably bring a tranq gun and a net, just in case I see one.

  7. My husband’s uncle, back in the 1940’s was hunting in the western pine barrens and encountered a ‘man-like creature covered in white hair, running and screaming like a woman’ – it took him awhile to even tell his family he was so blown away by this , and he didn’t much like the woods after that ! In Warren Grove NJ a friend who was an experienced woodsman was camping out, and upon hearing a noise he shown his flashlight in the direction, illuminating a large manlike creature, with brown fur and red eyes- which disapeared ! …go figure…I live in Manahawkin and last April , as I walked in the wildlife preserve behind my house , I noticed a heron giving a distress cry in the distance and briefly a dreadful odor which seemed to make my leashed beagle quite excited…on a whim I grabbed a large stick and wacked a tree 3 times- Immediately there was 1 return tree wack in the distance! That night we heard odd screams that were almost like children playing, but they would trail off, and were just odd . This whole area is VERY strange! If you’re ever in the area needing help with anything feel free to contact us.

    1. Hi Rebecca — Thanks for the offer! I love Manahawkin and that area of New Jersey. My wife and kids spend the summers at the shore at my wife’s parents’ vacation home, and I go down on the weekends and often take our boys camping in the Pine Barrens (gives my wife a needed break too). I’m planning on going on a few hikes and camping trips on my own this summer as well, so I’ll definitely be down that way.

      To think that a few years ago I’d never even heard of Bigfoot sightings here in Jersey, and now over the last two years I’ve had so many people contact me with these kinds of stories. I’m starting to believe in the idea that there could be a migratory route through NJ, which is an idea that was first introduced to me by Drew Vics of the New Jersey Bigfoot Reporting Center. Unless, of course these sightings and experiences are all fraudulent or simply cases of people mistaking either human being or bears or other species for Sasquatch. It’s hard to imagine such a species living in our state (or anywhere, in fact) but the folks whom have contacted me sound very sincere, so it’s difficult for me to just dismiss the possibility.

      I’ll keep your email on file. I might like to talk more with you about your experiences and your family’s, if that’s okay. Thanks again!

  8. yeah, a far off howl sounded exactly like a recording I had heard in the past, just heard it once tried to listen intently for another but nothing, I’d love to go check out Lake Owassa, it’s about 1/2 hour from me, let me know if you ever need any assistance in investigating depending on the day of the week I might be able to get some people together, depending on how much help you’d need, we love doin that stuff.

    1. I get so many emails from people who claim to have seen and heard these things in northwestern NJ. I’m no professional researcher by any means, but I would like to look around and see if I might be able to speak with some locals about the subject. Definitely, I’ve got your email address so I’ll let you know when I plan to get out there. Probably on a Sunday sometime next month.

  9. Dear John Carlson,
    Have you found anything out in Lake Owassa?
    and do you know if anyone was call blasting on march 18th
    out in the Bear Pond / Hopatcong area, about 5 or 6 pm?

    1. Michael – No, nothing further on Lake Owassa but I’m planning to go out there next month to do some hiking and a bit of investigating. I live about an hour or so east of Lake Owassa, so it’s no big deal for me to drive out there. I hadn’t heard of any call blasting on 3/18 in the Bear Pond/Hopatcong area. You heard some unusual sounds out that way I assume?

  10. I grow up in east shore lake Owassa spent a lot of time playing in those woods I never seen anything. But i to have heard story’s. When you get a chance to visit and check out lake owassa I would really be interested in reading about it.

    1. I’m going to get out to Lake Owassa in the spring to hike around a bit and maybe ask a few questions of the locals. I’ll definitely let you know if I learn of anything interesting, and I’ll post an article about it here on the Paranomalist blog.

  11. If you plan on any hikes in the Bass River area let me know..I lived in Bass River and still own the house. Behind my house about a mile is a large lake. Sandy soil with a largest beaver hutch in the middle..The place isn’t far from the camping area..If you do want to hike the area , from now until mid spring would be the best time. Less ticks..I haven’t hiked back there since the late 80’s..Safety in numbers.. I am a bit leery of the growing coyote population . rabid or not..
    Let me know
    robert
    oceancountynj@gmail.com

    1. Thanks, Robert. I camp in the Bass River State Forest area every summer, but I’m thinking about going earlier. Love it there, but yeah, lots of ticks in the summer. We’re getting quite a few coyotes even up here in overpopulated Bergen County. My in-laws see them in their back yard frequently. Sounds good for doing some hiking. I’ll definitely let you know.

  12. You need to be sure that the vocal calls are not of animals living in NJ. Among them most scary is the bobcat screams. If you hear them at night, especially when there is snow on the ground. They are quite scary.

    http://www.bigwood.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/media/sounds/WAVS/animals/BOBCAT.WAV
    http://www.western-rivers.com/downloads/Bobcat%20Cries.mp3

    Some owls are also very vocal.

    But one to really mention is the female red fox. Sounds like a woman screaming.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=k-kP3_t8OOM

  13. I just wanted to say that i enjoyed reading all your stories. I have never seen a bigfoot, but I know they’re out there. It’s good to know that we don’t have to travel across the country to search for these legendary creatures, especially since we have them in our very own backyards. I personally think they hide out in caves or even in the highest point in trees. To be honest, I never liked the idea of Bigfoot being a mystical animals who disappears…that’s when it gets looney. I really want to go on an expedition, but I don’t know where to start. I did mention it to my friends to see if they’ll go with me, and they just laughed. Thank you John for starting an honest blog where we can talk freely and not be ridiculed on what we believe.

    1. Thanks for reading, Greg. I’ve heard so many convincing stories from very sane-sounding people, that it becomes more and more difficult to deny the possibility that these creatures might be out there, even in very populated areas like New Jersey and eastern PA. I’ve been leaning toward the theory that they could be migratory animals, as others have suggested.

      Don’t be embarassed about your beliefs. I know, that’s easier to say than do, but I tend to look at people who dismiss these things out of hand as the foolish ones. I’m not certain of anything really, but if I do believe one thing completely it’s that this world in which we live and the universe that we occupy is a lot bigger and stranger than we can imagine.

  14. I’ve noticed over the years ( especially in new york state) while looking at bigfoot sightings thatthe counyies that have little or no known “cave systems” seem to be the only ones void of sightings?! Makes you wonder!

    1. True. That could be one of the reasons why they’re able to remain so elusive, Louie. They could be using the cave systems to travel, or simply as dens to live and sleep in during the day. Seems the majority of sightings are night, which would indicate that they’re primarily nocturnal. If they travel and hunt at night and hide in the caves during the day, that would go a long way toward explaining why they’ve been able avoid capture or a hunter’s bullet.

  15. Thank you Mr. Carlson. I assure you that both Garry and I appreciate your swift and understanding responses. The animal I saw in ’68 was tall, slim and broad shouldered. I believe it was a young animal. The family group, although all were tall, the bodies were bulky like Patty in the Paterson film. During the first and third encounter at no time did I feel threatened. The second one was terrifying to the point my wife would never go back there again. Thanks again for listening.

  16. There is one other thing I would like to point out. There are BF researchers and organizations who have no use for people who have had multiple sightings. They will virtually ignor you or more or less give you the old: Thank you for contacting us. However there are also researchers like Gordon Scott who will listen intently and give you his insight into what you have just told him. Those of you have seen or heard this animal should not be afraid to tell your story. Most likely your friends, neighbors or relatives thought you were crazy BEFORE you told them about it…..

    1. Randy — Thanks so much for sharing your stories about your Bigfoot encounters. I’d never heard of or considered what you said about multiple-sighting eyewitnesses, but I suppose it makes some sense — although it is hardly a fair stance for Bigfoot researchers to take. Sightings of such creatures are such a rarity, I’d imagine that if you told some of them that you’ve had multiple sightings, they might be inclined to dismiss you as a crackpot or fraud. However, for someone such as yourself who has spent much of his life outdoors and in places where these encounters are known to have taken place, then it’s far more likely and believable that one such individual could have experienced several firsthand sightings and encounters.

      As I was telling Garry, I’ve recently received a number of fascinating stories of eyewitness Bigfoot accounts. I found your final sighting especially interesting because it involves a family unit of the creatures, rather than the more commonly reported type of sighting of a lone individual. Also that you described the creature in your first encounter as being more of a hairy man than an upright ape. That’s a distinction that the majority of people have made who have commented on the Paranomalist blog or Facebook page or have emailed me.

      Thanks again, and if you have any further details or insights that you’d like to send my way, feel free to email me at john@theparanomalist.com.

      John

  17. Hi Mr. Carlson,
    I am the friend that Garry Snyder mentioned in his post. Over the past 50 years I have had three very close encounters with a Bigfoot with the third being a family of three. Garry became interested when I told him of my encounter in Michigan in 1963 and the other two encounters came out in our conversations. I will try and make each one brief.

    In the summer of ’63 I went to work for my uncle in Escanaba Michigan (on the upper peninsula) in his lumber yard. On Friday evenings we would quit early and my uncle, aunt and myself would go to their cabin in Dickenson County near the town of Harwood, Michigan. We would arrive around 4pm, eat and relax for the weekend. One Friday evening my uncle and I were sitting on the front porch and playing with the dog (a large German Shepherd). My aunt was in the back yard working. Suddenly she came running around the house screaming there was a bear in the yard. My uncle went into the house to get his rifle and I went with her to the back to see this “Bear.” The animal we saw was NOT a bear. Standing under a tree about 75′ feet away was a large, hair covered, man-like creature. The hair was light brown, the face was human-like with dark eyes. It’s face was partially hair covered and the hands hung down below it’s knees. The right arm was draped over a tree branch and the animal was slightly bent down looking under the branch at us. When I took several steps toward it, it backed away, turned and walked into the forest. By the way, the dog had run into the house and hid in a closet. We never saw it again but knew he/it was close because the dog would hide. After that summer, my aunt would refuse to go there alone and they eventually sold the cabin. I forgot to mention that we measured the tree branch and it was more than 8 feet off the ground.

    In the early 80’s I got interested in photography and part of the hobby was taking pictures of colonial era buildings and old cemeteries. Off of Route 206 in New Jersey, just before you cross the Delaware River into Milford, Pa is Old Mine Road (left or south off the highway). Down about a mile off of 206 is a very old cemetery. My wife and I would often go to the area to take pictures and picnic. On Saturday afternoon we had parked on the road outside the cemetery and walked through it to the bank of the river to eat. We had just spread the blanket and sat down when this horrible howl/scream/growl came from behind a stand of trees to our left. My wife took off running and I was close behind her. As we got to the car, the same noise came from across the road. Whatever made the original scream did not cross the road or we would have seen it leaving us to believe whatever it was, there was two of them. This cemetery is directly across the river from several BF sightings on the Pa. side.

    In 1991 during the Gulf War, I was employed by a trucking company in Allentown, Pa. My job, every week night was to transport jet engine parts from Philly to East Windsor, CT. My route home was Rt. 84 from Hartford through NY and onto Rt. 209 south in Pa. I would usually enter Delaware State Park (formerly the Tocks Island Dam project) about midnight or 1:00am. Each night I would pass a US postal truck traveling north and we would exchange pleasantries. That driver would also tell me about road conditions going south. One night all he said was: “Be careful… THEY are in the road about a mile down.” When I asked what was in the road, he answered: “You’ll see.” If you are familiar with that road you know it is VERY dark with absolutely no light sources except headlights. As I rounded a corner near one of the several small bridges, off to my left in the high beams were three large, hair covered creatures. The largest one was just stepping over the bridge’s guard rail and was so tall I had to look up at the head (possible more than 8’+ feet). The second largest, which I took to be a female was about 7’+ and the “child” was slightly smaller than the ‘female at 6.5″ or so. I slammed on the brakes and just sat there in the middle of the road. The big male looked at me and put himself between the truck and his family. All three just strode across the road and disappeared into the woods along to the ridge to my right. The next night I asked the north bound driver if he saw them too and he replied: “All the time….” This sighting was within several miles of the cemetery on Old Mine Road.

    I apologize that this report is not as brief or detailed as I would like them to be. However anyone can feel free to email for more info if necessary.

  18. Hi John, thanks for your prompt reply, My friend from high school (NJ) is an avid reader of your article, he just sent me your update. I mention him as he was an eyewitness to a Bigfoot in Michigan during his teen years. He’ll see this and perhaps send in his account if he hasn’t already. It’s a great encounter.
    Back to NJ, that area of Sussex County is remarkable, watching the wildlife being re-introduced into that area after the Tocks Island Project went defunct with the change in the administration in Washington back in the 60’s. My dad frequented that area back in the 30’s, fishing Big Flatbrook, and bringing us there as kids, with me doing the same thing myself with mine, showing them what NJ is all about once you get off the turnpike. It is truly a Wildlife area and perfect place for our “large friend” to hide, thrive and perpetuate their kind.
    BFRO has listed many reported sightings in Georgia, with a large footprint found by the county sheriff a few years back in the county where I live, Pike County. My wife unfortunately didn’t hear the vocalization, so she still thinks this whole episode is “wild imagination”. I can appreciate your wife’s apprehension and not wanting to explore the area. The sound can be terrifying, with no resemblance to anything we’ve been exposed to under normal circumstances. It definitely made my skin crawl.
    Thanks again,
    G

    1. Hi Gary — My pleasure. If people are nice enough to comment on my blog, I try to follow up. To me, the point of having a blog isn’t just writing articles, but to engage in discussions with the readers.

      What my wife heard she describes as being truly unearthly, strange (and loud) and unlike anything she’s experienced before. That’s very much like the vast majority of comments and emails that I’ve received from people who have claimed to have heard similar vocalizations. And as I think I emphasized, my wife is NOT the type of person to let her imagination run away with her. Also, all the other teachers and students heard these sounds as well.

      Looking forward to hearing about your friend’s Michigan Bigfoot encounter. Thanks for the post, and keep in touch.

      John

  19. Interesting to read the posts, growing up in NJ and frequenting many of the locations mentioned in Sussex County, fishing, camping, boy scouts, Layton, Flatbrook, WallPack, ‘Stokes, Lake Owassa etc. My first vocalization was when I was a boyscout camping along the Delaware River near the Paquarray Copper mines (abandoned) and thought to provide habitat for the “big fellow”. I wasn’t aware of the source, but the sound was unforgettable, not discovering what it was until i heard it again, this time in Georgia, (PIKE County) 60+ miles south of Atlanta, 2 summers ago at dusk while watering my garden. The screech got closer, dogs starting barking, cows were sounding distressed, and suddenly the night became deadly silent, no crickets, no locusts, not a sound. I was spooked, again not knowing what i was hearing, till a friend guided me to the BFRO site, where i discovered the identical “howl”, same as the one I heard years earlier at camp in NJ. There are different “vocalizations” on the web site, not all are the same, had to listen to a few until I heard the one I recognized. My friend prompted me to report my findings to the BFRO, which I did. I was contacted and encouraged to try some Tree Knockings, but my wife already thinks I’ve gone off the deepend, so I’m hesitant to go out and start “banging on trees” with a large stick or bat.

    1. Gary — As I think I mentioned, my wife never had much of an interest in these types of things, but she was shaken up enough by her experience that she wants nothing at all to do with exploring the area or trying to provoke any type of reaction. I’m just dumb enough to do it, though. There’s a particular vocalization that I’ve heard played on a few of the Bigfoot specials and I believe is on the BFRO site, the Ohio vocalization. It’s a long wailing cry, and it really disturbed my wife when she heard it. I’ve been getting a lot of emails and comments on the blog about vocalizations, but recently I’ve had some eyewitness accounts told to me as well. There’s an interesting one from a hunter that’s on The Paranomalist Facebook page, and it also took place in Sussex County NJ. Georgia does appear to be another east coast hotbed for Bigfoot sightings.

  20. John, I sure will! I’m anxious to talk to both her sons.

    My sister-in-law mentioned that the “noise” this thing makes while running thru the yard is like a screech owl. I’m the type of person who would be looking out the window to see what this thing is…

  21. I had written a few weeks ago about the experience my brother and sister-in-law had at their home in Pittsgrove NJ.

    I was talking to my best friend of over 40 years this afternoon and told her how I’m into Bigfoot and trying to read everything I can, etc. and she told me this experience. She had never mentioned it before to me. She and her husband and 3 kids lived in Mullica Hill with acres of woods behind their house. One day her son Neal along with 3 or 4 friends went exploring the woods like they did many times. This would be about 1983 or so. Neal was born about 1969 so he would have been 14 or 15. He and his friends came back to the house running, panting and screaming. She asked what was wrong and Neal said they saw “something that ran on 2 legs, covered in hair and HUGE”. They were terrified. She dismissed it and really never talked about it until I mentioned my interest. She just asked him not too long ago if he was ever going to “come clean” about what happened in the woods that day and he told her his story isn’t changing and she doesn’t have to believe him. I told her to tell him I believe him. Her other son is a police officer in the area and she’s going to ask him if there have been any reports of something strange, etc.

    1. AWESOME story, Karen. I’ve been hearing a lot of accounts of people hearing yowling/screaming sounds like my wife heard, but not many concerning eyewitness sightings. If the police officer hears of anything please let me know, if you wouldn’t mind. Thanks!

    1. I suppose I would shoot too, if I had to. But if I didn’t have to I probably wouldn’t. I think it would be too much like shooting a man — not like hunting an animal. But I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t go into those woods without a gun if I knew one or more of them were around. No more than I’d go into an area full of grizzlies without a rifle. Maybe they’re shy and wouldn’t attack, but I wouldn’t want to be unarmed and find out otherwise.

  22. I live in a wooded area,I had run in with him qne night. that will never for get. but I,m not going to get in to that right now.

    1. To a lot of people it is a joke, but I think they’re narrow-minded. I’m not joking with you, though. I’ve talked to too many people who have seen and heard this thing all throughout the United States. I definitely do not dismiss people when they tell me about these sightings and encounters.

  23. I have seen him ,and he is real. I live in AL, and i know he is out their. I,m 69. I have been whicting him for a time. from1965 till now.

    1. Gerald,

      Do you live in wooded area or are you a hunter? Where have you seen him? Ever tried getting a photo? I’m always interested to hear about these things.

      Thanks for the comment,

      John

  24. I’m John! I’m enjoying your site. I was born in southern NJ and raised here. I currently live in Pine Hill. I watch all the tv shows about Bigfoot and believe it is a real animal/creature.

    I was talking to my sister-in-law the other night and she said she and my brother have been hearing a horrible noise and “something heavy” running across thru the yards. They have 3 acres in the woods and their closest neighbor also hears this. Not too long ago, my brother and their two little boys were on the enclosed back porch and my brother heard this “thing” coming around the house and they ran for the inside and locked the door. I never felt good about their place at night and now will never go there after dark. They live in Pittsgrove…..lots and lots of wooded areas where they live. Their neighbor has been there for 27 years and has heard it all these years. If that were me, I would have to try and see what this was (from the safety of the house of course).

    1. Hi Karen — Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying the site. If I lived down there, I’d invest in one of those motion-sensitive cameras that mount on trees. I don’t know what those thing run (probably not cheap) but can you imagine how valuable photographic evidence would be? Not sure if I’d venture outside either though, if I heard this going on from my house. I’ll be camping down there the weekend of 8/27, just a few miles east of Pittsfield in Bass River State Forest. I’m going to have my camera and video recorder ready, just in case!

      It does fly in the face of logic to entertain the idea that something like this could live in New Jersey, even in the acres of deep woods of the Pine Barrens, but I keep getting comments and emails from people who claim to have seen or heard something unusual down there, as well as in northwestern NJ. Unfortunately, that sandy soil of the Pines isn’t very conducive for getting clear footprints. Well, if I meet up with Big Red Eye, I’ll be sure to let everyone know. And please let me know if your brother and sister-in-law see or hear any new unusual…”things”.

  25. interesting story. i have anothr one from Massachusetts. a group of friends were snow mobiling up to greylock mountain. One of the guys claims to have been out by himself, away from the pack., he was costing slow, perhaps stopped, and he said turned around and saw a 9 foot sillotte of a person, that was black, out in the middle of woods. He said he knew the area well, and it wasn’t a tree or a bear. he said, he had total fright, and opened the throttle and then bolted up to where the rest of the guys were. They attest to him being white with fright, as he coaxed them to follow him out of there. They think it was a big foot too, or some demon or something. he’s adamant, it was humanoid 9 ft tall, all dark. He said there was no dead tree or anything else that it could have been. And said definitely not a bear. creepy.

  26. John,

    That is great news! Very happy for you, and it is well deserved. I will be sure to catch a copy.

    Thank you very much for the info. Don’t apologize, there’s no delay. We are all busy these days.

    I have heard about Whitehall and how it has been characterized as a “hot bed” for sasquatch activity. The first I heard about this town was actually from a show called “Monsterquest.” I then realized that this town of Whitehall is just east of Lake George. Last year we camped at a campground at the northwestern end of Lake George. It was beautiful to say the least. However, we decided this year we were going to backpack. So I did research and came across two areas: Tongue Mountain Range (southwestern end of Lake George, it actually resembles a Tongue because it is a small peninsula), and Black Mountain (east of Lake George on the opposite side of the Tongue Mtn Range, and just so happens to be on the outskirts just west of Whitehall).

    Intrigue set in and I decided to do more research. That whole area seems to be right in the middle of a cluster of alleged sightings. From Sabbath Day Point (including the Tongue Mtn Range) to Whitehall.

    Black Mountain seemed to fit the bill. It is the highest peak among others in the Lake George region and have heard the views are great from the summit. There are lean-tos near the bottom of the mountain but not on. There only issue we are going in May and it happens to be in black fly season so I’m sure they will be a pain even with bugspray.

    Thanks again. I think it might be a good idea to backpack in that area. I will of course keep you updated if you wish.

    J

    1. Thanks! Had another author recently ask if he could quote my post about gnomes and little folk. Very flattering, and makes me miss writing all the more. I’m just not very good at multitasking, and lately I’ve been very focused on work and on redesigning my website for my web design business. But I’m almost through that and plan to get back to writing on the Paranomalist blog regularly.

      No problem at all for the information. Bruce is a very nice guy and seemed happy to share what he knows. I think I caught some of that same episode of Monsterquest, and I believed they even discussed Bruce’s book “Monsters of the Northwoods”.

      Please stay in touch and let me know what happens on the expedition in May. I’m going on a four-day trek through the Pine Barrens here in Jersey this May and I plan to have my eyes open and my camera ready in the even that I see anything unusual.

      Hope to hear from you again soon.

      John

  27. That is very nice of you John. I thank you very much.I have heard of the book Monsters of the Northwoods, I believe through passive research.Let me know if he gets back to you. Talk to you soon John.

    J

    1. J,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I spoke with Bruce Hallenbeck today and he told me that hottest spot for Bigfoot sightings in NY State is in Whitehall, near the Vermont border. The second hottest is in Bruce’s home town of Kinderhook, which is home to the “Kinderhook Creature”. Honestly haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to buy his book, “Monsters of the Northwoods”.

      BTW, I’m told that I’m being quoted extensively in Bruce’s upcoming book that he’s co-authored with Loren Coleman, “Monsters of New Jersey”. Pretty cool! Here’s the link: http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/nj-monsters

      Keep in touch,

      John

  28. Hi John,

    It has been a little while. I just wanted to ask if you have ever been camping in upstate NY? I am most likely planning a trip with my friends in May for a little R & R and a little research during down time. Last year we camped near the northwestern tip of Lake George. It was beautiful, yet primitive. We went in september, and stayed in the back of the campground where there was only one group of campers 100 yards from us. I’ve read reports of bigfoot in the surrounding areas of Sabbath Day Point and whitehall, NY. We are leaning towards a Sabbath Day Point campground, but looking for some advice. I know you are originally from NY, but was wondering if you have had (or heard of) any sites of interest.

    J

    1. Hi J,

      Good to hear from you. I was born in the eastern end of Long Island (Nassau County) and my family and I moved out of there on my fourth birthday. I grew up in northeast New Jersey, but my older brother has been living in Sullivan County NY for the past 22 + years. More of the camping I’ve done has been in northwestern NJ (mostly Sussex County) and south Jersey, in the Pine Barrens. My bro is a big camper and fisherman, and I’m sure would be more familiar with some of those areas, although I don’t know think he has any particular interest or belief in Sasquatch. He and his family have had some interesting UFO sightings up his way, however. He lives close to Pine Bush, NY where there have been many UFO sightings.

      I’ve been in touch recently with an author named Bruce G. Hallenbeck who is a NY state resident and co-wrote a book called Monsters of the Northwoods. He contacted me to ask if he could site my blog in a new book that he’s writing about New Jersey monsters. Monsters of the Northwoods is specifically about NY state Bigfoot sightings, so I’d bet that Bruce would be a good person for me to ask about good areas to research. I’ll shoot him an email and let you know if he has any suggestions.

  29. First let me say, this forum post took me by surprise,very interesting.I’m a 46 yr.old man who grew up in Essex County,N.J….My uncle owned a home in Layton,Sussex Co.,and my dad and I spent many days up there,hunting ,fishing and hiking.My uncles property consisted of 40+acres, which bordered the Big Flatbrook W.M.A.,teeming with wildlife including whitetail deer,grey fox,raccoons,bobcats,pheasants,etc. I loved it up there,for a city kid like me this was a wilderness,where I learned alot about nature. Back in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s,Stokes St. Forest and the Walpack valley were my favorite areas to go exploring,absolutely beautiful areas!! I spent one weekend,in the winter of ’79,all alone at the house because a severe snowstorm trapped my dad and his brother in the city ( Irvington ).There was no cable back then and reception was limited to a few channels of local t.v. ,so I spent my first night in front of the fireplace reading old issues of Outdoor Life. Sometime after midnight I began to hear a screaming noise off in the woods behind the house,distant at first so I thought the howling wind was playing tricks on me.The screams came at intervals every few minutes and were getting closer.I was so rattled by this,I went to the garage and let Molly,my uncles German Shepard in the main house,and she was NEVER allowed in the house,my uncle would have kicked my butt if he had ever found out. The dog was spooked by the noises too,we spent the next couple hours huddled together near the fire until the screaming finally faded away. My terror ended as the morning came,and even in a heavy snowfall,the dog and I went outside to the edge of the woods to look around.The snow was over a foot deep and blowing around in the winds so I did’nt see anything and headed back into the house,dreading another night alone and hoping my dad would somehow make the 70 mile trip and get me the hell out of there! That was wishful thinking and I can’t tell you how scared I was at the thought of being alone another night,but nothing wierd happened again.I felt foolish when my dad and uncle finally pulled in the driveway the next afternoon,but I spoke up about the noises from the woods,kind of playing down the fact that it scared the crap out of me. I must admit the nieghbor ( about a quarter mile away ) did have a couple hunting dogs,but these were not the sounds of dogs howling,that would not have spooked Molly.That dog was as scared as I was,never saw her like that,never. These sounds were wild ,gutteral screams and like nothing I’d ever heard before or since. I just thought my story might be relative to this forum.I hope someday to revisit that area of N.J.,but living in Florida on a limited budget,I guess I’m just dreaming. Thank you for your time,Rob.

    1. Thanks, Rob. That’s a very interesting account, and what you’ve described sounds very much like what my wife had heard. Those screams and yowls she heard really shook her up, and as I’ve mentioned a few times, my wife is not the excitable type in the least. And she claims that the patrolman was very earnest when he made that comment about the Bigfoot sightings in the area. He didn’t appear to be joking at all when he said it. More food for thought. Thanks again for checking in!

  30. I’ve had a sighting in NJ a few years ago in Livingston while driving near the waterworks over there, I contacted Drew’s sight and eventually got in touch with Mike Aragona BFRO’s guy in NJ..we went back at a later date and beat the bush and found and casted a footprint that was 14 inches or so long (dont recall the exact figure) . Mike is a big guy and I go at around 220 neither of us left a print in the icy muck but this print was stomped a good inch into the ground. I also did a late night outing in NW Jersey and a pine barrens overnight with Mike. He’s a good guy and has some equipment (night vision/thermal viewers) and has the experience of having attended the bigger BFRO expeditions so he’s your contact to get out with someone who knows what they are doing.

    Joe

    1. Joe – Thanks for sharing that. I know Livingston a bit (I’m about 40 minutes east), and I know that’s a pretty heavily populated suburban area. Definitely not one of the more remote rural areas of New Jersey. I’m finally finishing up the second part of my “Cryptids in Suburbia” article, and I may have to make mention of your story, if you don’t mind. It’s always particularly interesting to me when I hear about Bigfoot and creature sightings in more populated areas. When I interviewed Drew a couple of years ago he’d mentioned that he’d gotten a fair number of reports of sightings in Newark, of all places! Of course that led to about 20 minutes of inappropriate jokes about the residents of Newark that I’m sure Mayor Booker wouldn’t have appreciated. Seriously, though – Newark? Creatures sightings in urban areas are really bizarre. At least in most suburbs there are some wooded areas to provide some kind of cover, but it’s hard to imagine in a city. BTW – was your sighting at night or during the daytime?

  31. also…..i have found tree structures and recieved a wood knock response while investigating in Ohio…and just found my first print this week in southern Ocean county…I have seen video that no one else has seen and heard stories from people I do trust…..just so you know. Dont believe everyone….Many are just making up stories…even on the bigger expeditions and even members of some of the bigger”organizations”…get to know people and weed out who you trust and who you can believe…….

    1. I’d definitely like to stop by to visit and meet the group. I’ve camped frequently in Bass River State Forest and know the area pretty well. If you’d like to email me the date, time and place, that’d be great.

  32. I have a friend that is experienced and has found 3 prints so far here in southern Ocean county. They (Bigfoots) are extremely careful(most of the time)about leaving prints in areas they might be seen..They are thought to live in family groups and spend there days positioned in “lookout” positions..working as a team to help each other remain hidden…this is of course theory, grounded in some knowlege and I agree with it for the most part…I personally dont believe they are always doing this or in this “mode”…but I do believe it is a tactic they employ often….I am putting together and expedition in early April myself in Bass river. The participants are all experienced”squatchers”…some very experienced and there is a ton to learn in just being around the conversation…you should stop by our cabin for a visit and some lunch….

  33. Just to get the record straight…its SUSSEX county…not Suffolk county…..The pine barrens is huge and there are deep , dark ,thick,wet spots galore that you couldnt walk into if you tried…..I have absolutely no doubt that the creature can and does hide there….I have been on the larger expeditions and they are both good and not so good. That is a whole other discussion though…………You al l should know that you are dealing with an extremely intelligent animal, and in my opinion that is all it is , a flesh and blood animal…..this animal is a master of one thing….HIDING…..they will belly crawl a good portion of the time when there is any risk of being seen…they use the terrain, low spots, high spots , trees , shadow , light…..all to there advantage. They are almost exclusively nocturnal and prefer to spend the day in heavy vegetation…..think of the navy seal or green beret sniper…now put him in the middle of the pine barrens and tell him to hide and never be seen….now give him blazing 35-40 mph speed and strength more then 20xs that of a human being …along with better hearing, smell and eyesight……still doubt that they can hide from us or live in the pines ??? Dont !……………….

    1. Thanks for the correction – I just saw that myself in my comments. Lived on Long Island when I was very young (before moving to Jersey) and I have relatives in Suffolk County, so I catch myself saying that sometimes.

      I don’t discount the idea of something large possibly being able to live in the Pines. Over a million acres of dense forests and bogs seems like it could be a habitat that of a large hominid, especially if it’s intelligent and deliberately trying to avoid human contact. I love the Pine Barrens. The terrain is so strange and haunting; very different from most places in the US. It’s very beautiful in its own unique way.

      Sounds as if you’ve had some experience in this. Can you share any specific accounts of experiences or of physical evidence that you gathered? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for posting the comment.

  34. When your wife explained to the policeman (or policemen) what happened, what gave the policeman the impression that it might have been an animal related to recent bigfoot sightings that had occured near that area? Was the report your wife gave of the sounds she heard reported by others? Did the policeman give any more information? Was the officer implying that he believed there was some truth in the sightings/sounds?
    Apologies for the multiple questions.
    On a random topic but same subject, are you familiar with the famed grizzly bear hunting guide, Clayton Mack? He unfortunately passed away years back but got to pass on some of his experiences with bigfoot that I believe are documented in the book “grizzly bears and white guys” (could be wrong on the title). Anyway, he’s had some pretty interesting stories.
    And yes, I will talk to some people and try to get a small spring trip in the works.

    1. When my wife described the noises to the police officer he responded by saying that they’ve been having numerous reports of Bigfoot sightings over the last several days and nights. My wife’s impression was that these sounds were associated with the sightings, although she doesn’t recall if the officer stated that explicitly. The entire girls’ side of the compound was roused when the student was rushed to the infirmary and the ambulance and police arrived. My wife said all the girls and female teachers heard the sounds, approximately twenty people. She was quite convinced that these cries were non-human, and she described them as being very loud and not like anything that she’d heard before. It really frightened her, and my wife doesn’t scare easily. Whether the police officer was implying if he believed that the source of these screams were from a Bigfoot, I don’t know. My wife said that policeman seemed quite serious when he told her about the reports. These noises are pretty commonplace among Bigfoot encounters, as I’m sure you know.

      I was just asking my wife about this again, to be sure of the number of people who heard this, and she added something that I didn’t know or might have forgotten: there was a forest ranger present with the police officer, and he also confirmed that there had been Bigfoot sightings reported in the area recently. Let me know how things progress. I might know a couple of people who’d be interested in going as well.

  35. I would love to. I did happen to read of your wife’s encounter. Very interesting, considering I went there with my whole 5th grade class for a couple day stay class trip years ago. Probably in the same quarters as you explained in your report.
    I’m still blown away by the story. Amazing.

    1. They probably were the same quarters! Sightings in that region are not uncommon, and I thought it was interesting to hear of Nancy Bradley’s experience in an area so close to where my wife had had hers. There could be something to it worth investigating. Let’s consider getting a few people together and maybe checking out the area in the spring.

  36. Hi again John,

    Do you know of any New Jersey BF expeditions or lectures that are in the near future? I was just curious because I have never got a chance go.
    Have you yourself ever went on an expedition or attend a lecture?
    Like I’ve mentioned before, I am not so much a fan of large team expeditions. However, I would love to get the chance to talk to some of the people who attend.
    Just thought I’d ask.
    Thanks

    J

    1. Hi J,

      No, not off the top off my head, but I can look into it. I’ve met Drew Vics who created and runs the NJ Bigfoot Report Center database, and I know he’s given a few talks in the past. I’ve also been in touch with psychic Nancy Bradley who grew up spending summers at her folks’ vacation home in Lake Owassa in Sussex County, and she and some of her family members claim to have had some bigfoot experiences out there. She invited me to go explore the area with her and her husband when they visit in the spring.

      I’ve never been on a real expedition, but I plan to definitely do that if her offer is still open. Being that it’s nearby, Lake Owassa might be a place to check out for newbies like us. Interestingly, it’s just south of Stokes State Forest where my wife had her “experience” and was told by the police officer about recent sightings. Don’t know if you’re familiar with the area, but it’s very rural and there’s a lot of woods. Looking at the BFRO website, Sussex County is second only to Burlington County (Pine Barrens region) for the number of bigfoot reports in the state. I’m doing a 50-mile hike on the Batona Trail in the Pines in April, so I’ll have my eyes open when I go on that one.

      If I hear of anything I’ll let you know. Maybe we can get a small group together for a short expedition sometime.

      John

  37. John,

    That is a question that most of us, at one point, have to stop and think about. However, what most of us fail to understand is that just because we have a high intelligenc does not mean we have the highest intelligence in every habitat.I firmly believe this animal is an undiscovered (unrecognized would be more fitting) species. These animals are rare to begin with and nomadic in nature.From that standpoint alone, there needs to be such a concentrated effort to document them (not some BFRO 20 man search team, the expeditions results speak for themselves, with exception to a few that yielded intriguing yet inconclusive evidence).
    Have you ever walked through the pine barrens? Even if you were alone, the noice/scent you will give off by just walking does not go unnoticed. Now throw in an animal in the equation that is A) large B) quick/fast/swift C) nocturnal D) camoflaged E) nomadic F) rare G) apprehentious of human unpredictability H) well aware of it’s environment (which includes the sounds/scents/appearance of other flora and fauna inhabiting it) AND FINALLY I) slight intelligence, and you have an undocumented species that is very difficult (not impossible) to prove its very own existence. The reason I stated “slight intelligence” is because that is all the animal will need to go unnoticed for the most part. Now imagine if I underestimated that animal’s intelligence…

    1. J,

      It may well be an unrecognized, flesh-and-blood creature. Although, I don’t necessarily feel that the physical and paranormal aspects are mutually exclusive to each other. Most of the Native American tribes feel that Bigfoot is both physical and spiritual and can walk between worlds. If you read Hunt for the Skinwalker, the huge wolf described is definitely “real” in a physical sense, but it exhibited otherworldly behavior and mysteriously vanished when it was pursued.

      The NJ Pine Barrens is a very large area (1.1 million acres), and I have hiked in it many times. I’m doing a 4-day 50-mile hike in April along the Batona Trail, and I’ll bring along my digital video recorder in the event that I spot something of interest. It’s an area that could be large enough to possibly have a large animal remain undiscovered, I suppose. I’m certainly open to the idea, whether or not I feel it’s likely. The fact that there are so many Bigfoot reports in populated states like New Jersey must mean something, unless they’re ALL hoaxes and misidentifications; but I’m hesitant to chalk them all up to being lies or mistakes.

      Thanks for the input. I’m going to finish the second part of my article about Cryptids in Suburbia tonight, and I also had a very interesting conversation with cryptid researcher Adam Davies. I’ll post that as well. Feel free to comment – I enjoy the feedback and the exchange of ideas.

  38. Hi John,

    It’s great to hear stories like that from credible upstanding citizens. I’ve taken interest in the subject of bigfoot when a good friend of mine had me do research into this mystical creature.He wanted me to do him a favor and attempt to debunk the phenomenom by aggresively researching the subject. Well, I never in a million years thought I’d say this, but (for what it’s worth) I am 99.9% positive this is a real animal. I’d bet my house on it.

    1. Thanks. I’d love to hear about the nature of your research and where it took place. Was it in New Jersey, or elsewhere in the US or Canada? The East Coast of the USA is not where you’d typically think to find Bigfoot (for those who even entertain the possibility of its existence), yet there are a lot of reports of sighting in more heavily populated states.

      You called it a “mystical creature”. Do you believe it’s simply an undiscovered species, or something that is perhaps interdimensional or metaphysical? That’s what I’m struggling with. I certainly do believe there are undiscovered species out there, but I also think that some are of a paranormal nature. I find that question very interesting.

  39. Down here in South NJ where I live, right outside the Pine Barrens actually, there is the story of Ol’ Red Eye I think he is called. I believe the last reported sighting was in the 70s in Manahawkin. . .when it was mostly wooded of course.

    1. Yeah, Manahawkin is pretty suburban these days. Nice area, though. Real estate’s a lot less than here in north Jersey, too.

      According to the NJ Bigfoot Reporting Center, http://strange.myeyez.net/bigfootnj/index.php, there have been a few more recent bigfoot sightings in the Pine Barrens. People forget, or don’t know, that the Pine Barrens are 1.1 million acres of forested area. I’d like to know if that’s a big enough area to support a creature of that size.

      I’m going to take a good, long day hike in the Pine Barrens this month, and I’m going to bring my camera — just in case! I’m also hiking the Batona trail in April, which should take about four days. Maybe I’ll have a sighting if I’m lucky. Or maybe of the Jersey Devil.

  40. Why doesn’t anyone ever consider the possibility that a “researcher”might have been call blasting? It’s easy enough to download sounds and make a cd with some audio software.
    It’s a real possibilty that when a witness says she heard the same sounds,she might actually mean that literally. She might be hearing sounds dowmloaded from a website.

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