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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Essex County
LOCATION DETAILS: A 1/4 mile north of route 80 in a wooded swampy area. The nearest habitation (at the time of sighting at least, was about 2 or 2 1/2 miles away)
NEAREST TOWN: Fairfield
NEAREST ROAD: Rout 80
OBSERVED: This sighting happened in mid October 1971 in Fairfield, New Jersey. It was a Saturday, sometime around noon.
At the time I was 15 and my friend was 16. We were walking throught a area that is primarily brushy woods, but alot of wet land with only clumps of tall grass. We were walking in a westerly direction along a feeder stream that fed into the Passic River. The Passic River is about 1/2 mile north of where we were. The area is quite flat. The areas on the imediate left and right of the feeder stream had little brush.
It was partly cloudy, and we were wearing light jackets. From a distance of aproximetly 75 yards we observed 4 creatures. The largest was standing on the south side of the stream. It appeared to be about 8 feet tall, very long arms that went almost to the knees. Very powerfully built, barrel chested, very wide shoulders. the head seemed to have a rounded "peak". The color of all 4 was black, the faces seemed somewhat lighter in color, but not white. The second one was sitting on the ground, the third was lying on the stream bank, and the last was standing in the middle of the stream.
We observed them for a few minutes. They also observed us. We discussed it and decided to run. We ran back east for a bit until we came to a clear cut for power lines that ran north & south. We ran south along the clear cut for aproximetly 1/4 mile until we came to Route 80.
We went home. The only people we told were our parents. At no time did we feel threatened by the creatures. We were used to being in the woods and knew the local fauna. We both agreed these were not people or bears. When I later the Patterson film, I felt that these were the same in appearence.
OTHER WITNESSES: my 16 year old friend.
we were walking.
OTHER STORIES: A friend of my mother remarked that her son, a police officer, observed something cross the road one night at the extreme edge of the headlights of his patrol car. This happened in Hanover township in the vacinity of the Whippiny River. That is about 12 miles from where I had my sighting.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: about noon
ENVIRONMENT: Mixed hardwoods & swamp. Primarily a wet lands.
Passic river about 1/2 mile north, route 80 about 1/4 mile south.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona:
I spoke with this witness by phone for an hour and a half. He had a very good knowledge of the area and the wildlife that inhabit it.
He stated that the largest creature seemed to be the leader of the group, as this one was the first to make eye contact with the witness and his friend, and continued to do so throughout the duration of the observation. The witness could not determine the exact size of the other three creatures, or if there was a female present, due to his distance involved, but he had the strong impression that it was a family group he was observing.
I have traveled through a part of the general area to and from work for the last fifteen years. This particular location has remained basically the same up to this day. The area has a history of flooding and therefore has not been developed much.
About BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona:
Mike is a long time New Jersey resident. He attended the 2005 and 2006 New York Adirondacks Expeditions, the 2006 Ohio Expedition, the 2008 Maine Expedition, the 2008 Pennsylvania Expedition, the 2009 Pennsylvania and New York Expeditions and the 2010 New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania alumni expeditions.