Seriously, THE most densely populated state in the union, and there is still room for Bigfoot to roam around? I couldn’t believe it! I spent most of my life in NJ, so when my friends up there sent me an article from the Daily Record from December 14, 2012, I just had to check it out!
The article begins by recounting a report from 1980 as told by the witness Richard Biggins. He was out with his father hunting deer and he recalls that it had snowed and there was a good bit of it on the ground. Following his dad’s directions, he went into the woods a ways until he reached some hill. He slid down the side of the hill and waited per his dad’s instructions.
Mr. Biggins said that after five minutes he saw the Bigfoot. He continued, “ I saw him walking down the hill on an angle, upright like a person! He looked like a human being with an ape head and had jet-black hair all over him. I had to take a double take on what I was seeing. His arms swung back and forth, and he had regular steps like a person on a spring walk.”
The animal finally paused and crouched by some pine trees which is when it noticed young Biggins by the hill. After weighing his options, Biggins decided to slowly retreat and rejoin his father. The Bigfoot never bothered him. However, Mr Biggins said he still hunts deer in those woods to this day, but he is always very cautious and well armed.
I can understand being spooked by seeing a huge Bigfoot in the woods, especially when you’re a kid and alone, but it should be noted the animal didn’t seem to have any intention of harming young Biggins. It just minded its own business and let the boy go on his way.
But there have been other sightings of Bigfoot in New Jersey as reported in this same article. Let’s look at some of those:
1894 Mine Hill, NJ: According to an old report in the New York Herald, Jan. 9, 1894, three women spotted a “wild man” and screamed. Two wood cutters, who apparently came to their aid, scared off the creature. This occurred at or near a Mill in the area.
April 15, 2011 Jefferson, NJ: An eyewitness recalls seeing what he described as, “a pitch black, tall, bulky figure with a dome-shaped head and ape-like arms on a trail.” This occurred in the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation. It would be nice to know the time of day, the land topography, and the circumstances of the sighting.
In his book Bigfoot in the New Jersey ‘Burbs, author William Taylor claims his research shows that there have been 207 Bigfoot sightings/reports in the last fifty years. Of those, 72 sightings were seen in the southern part of the state in Burlington and Ocean counties. The rest were seen in the northern part of the state, mostly Sussex and Morris counties.
Even though New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the union, there are still a few wild places left here and there. In the north, there are large tracts of woods that run into Pennsylvania and southern NY state. Many locals take to these areas to deer hunt, and let’s not forget, researchers believe that Bigfoot also hunts deer.
To the south, there is a vast tract of land called the Pine Barrens that is so remote and mysterious it’s already a host to many urban myths and legends, not the least of which is the Jersey Devil. Local knowledge used to say that the mob buried their bodies in the barrens because they knew the bodies would never be found. So people pretty much keep out of it which leaves plenty of room for a large ape to move through it.
The article reports a “famous” sighting that took place in 1977. A woman named Barbara Sites and her family saw “an 8-foot, 400-pound Sasquatch … on [their] family farm on Wolfpit Road in Wantage.” Ms. Sites described the animal as having “luminous red eyes” and said it “ killed the family’s rabbits and, with one swipe, threw their 70-pound dog 20 feet.” Apparently some family members fired on the animal, but it escaped.
As I said previously, I lived in NJ for most of my life and never ever heard this story. However, it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. One good aspect is that multiple family members all saw the same thing and could corroborate each other’s testimony.
BFRO on the Job
Nowadays New Jersey has its own member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BRFO) living there in Neptune, Paul Kotch. So far he hasn’t seen a Bigfoot in New Jersey but he’s determined to keep looking. He specializes in Bigfoot vocalizations and has had plenty of practice imitating the animal on his various expeditions into the wild. He’s accompanied Matt Moneymaker, the founder of the BFRO, on a few research expeditions.
Kotch says that the Pine Barrens are an excellent source of food for a large ape because there they can find blueberries, raspberries, as well as deer. He investigates approximately 20 reports of Bigfoot sightings a year and does his best to determine whether they are legitimate sightings, or hoaxes.
Researchers seem to agree that Bigfoot and his family probably don’t live in NJ full time, but rather they pass through it as part of their migrations, perhaps seeking and following sources of food.
So the opportunities are still there for serious researchers to get out in the wild and try to find that definitive piece of evidence that will prove to science once and for all the existence of this giant ape.
Until then, everyone stay alert and keep your cameras handy (and charged) – especially if you live in or near New Jersey!
Til the next time!