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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Burlington County
LOCATION DETAILS: within 5 miles of batsto
NEAREST TOWN: batsto
NEAREST ROAD: 542
OBSERVED: October 1994 wharton forest. I picked up my hunting buddy at his house and went to his hunting spot. When i parked to let him out we decided to waste some time and b.s. It was early morning,dark and very still. We stood outside the truck talking when something let go a roar that made the hair on my neck stand up.Whatever it was, it was about 50 yards away and it wasn't moving.
We shined our flashlights in its direction but didn't see anything. We got in the truck and got out of there. It was loud,like a lions roar.
In late october or early november the following year, we were hunting about a mile from where we heard the roar. I got into my tree stand one afternoon at about 2:30 and waited for the deer to start moving. We where hunting on a deadend road that stopped at a thick swamp. No wind and cruchy leaves perfect for listening for deer. Dusk was setting in when i heard something making alot of noise to my right. It sounded like someone shimmying down a pine tree. It began walking across in front of me but about 50 yards away. It was heading towards the road, then it went away from me. I thought there must be another hunter in the woods besides me. I listened to it walk and it changed direction and was now walking away from the road. I said to myself, this is a deer or a hunter who is disoriented. It now was walking towards me. I stood up and got my bow ready just in case. As it came into veiw [ at about 10-15 yards ] i could see it wasn't a deer, but it looked like a man dressed in solid black. I pulled out my flashlight shined it on him and whistled. It stopped mid-stride. I put the flashlight away and tied my bow on my string and lowered it down. I then got my light back out and looked for the guy. He was gone. I never heard him leave. By now it was dark as i climbed down from my stand. I walked through the woods to the road and headed for the truck. When i got to the truck i asked my hunting parner if he had seen anyone walk by or drive by and he said, no its just you and me here. I told him i thought i saw another hunter by my stand, and he was wearing all black. The more we thought about the more it didn't make sense. Where was his bow? where was his flashlight? why didn't he acnowledge me when i hit him with the light? I didn't see any facial features, or any other color than black, like a shadow.
OTHER WITNESSES: one witness to the load noise
ENVIRONMENT: scattered scrub oaks tall pines borders a swamp
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona:
Spoke with this person over the phone on 12/18/2005.
The witness is an avid hunter for the last fifteen years. He has a very good knowledge of the local wildlife and the sounds that they can produce. He has hunted the spot where the encounter took place quite often. Two years prior to his sighting he and his hunting partner heard an extremely loud scream, which transcended into a roar, coming from the woodland interior.
At the time of his encounter he was in a tree stand at dusk, when he heard something climbing down from a conifer tree. He then heard movement coming toward him; he was not sure what it was, until it moved into his line of sight, 10 to 15 yards away.
The figure observed was completely black from head to toe. It stood upright at a height of six to six and half feet with a medium built. It swung its arms as it was walking bipedal deeper into the forest toward a swampy area. At the time the witness thought it was another person. The witness shined a small flash light on the figure and whistled twice, to acknowledge his presence. Upon the second whistle the figure stopped motionless and silent. The witness then started to descend from the tree stand. Before reaching the ground, he tried to shine the flashlight on the figure again, but could not find it.
Due to the lighting conditions the witness did not make out any facial features. Afterward while heading back with his hunting partner and discussing the incident, the witness became aware of the fact that his hunting partner did not see anyone enter the woods from his location. The witness also realized that this figure was not carrying any kind of illumination device or hunting gear.
He no longer hunts in this location because of this encounter.
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.