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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Morris County
LOCATION DETAILS: (edited out - home residence)
NEAREST TOWN: Riverdale
NEAREST ROAD: Rt. 23 & Mathews Ave.
OBSERVED: It was about three or four months (April or May) ago in the late afternoon, about 5-ish when my brother and I and a few friends were hanging out on our back deck. My brother saw it first. I saw nothing until my brother gave me a better point of reference, then I saw it.
It was sitting on a large rock on the hill side, a grey ape-like creature. My brother went and grabbed his BB gun. He took a shot in the general direction of it. It was seated in profile to and turned its body to look at us.
It then got up and climbed a large rock face (about six to ten feet high) behind it. It was climbing hand over hand like a man or ape would. Once it reached the top it walked off over the ridge and out of sight.
It walked with a bit of a hunch, not completely upright like a man but not like any other animal Iíve ever seen. It was no bear nor a coyote.
OTHER WITNESSES: about 2 or 3 not including my brother or my self
OTHER STORIES: Once, one other incident. Then i told my friends what happened one friend showed my a copy of Weird NJ, a magazine listing strange happinings in New Jersey. There was a story about a fisherman who saw a hairy creature while fishing in the Peqannock River in Riverdale, which is less than a mile from my house.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: it was late afternoon, around 5-ish it was a calm, clear day.
ENVIRONMENT: wooded area
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
I spoke with the key witness on 9-23-05 and he recalled the incident very vividly. He initially observed the animal from a distance of approximately 100 yards located on a relatively steep hillside immediately behind his home. The hillside was sparsely vegetated at the time of the sighting in early April, but is heavily vegetated with lots of undergrowth between May and November during which time it is difficult to see from his back deck more than a few yards into the undergrowth.
For the first 45-60 seconds, the witness, his brother and 3 additional people viewed the side profile of a lightly grey-colored figure sitting on a rock. The key witness is very familiar with the wildlife in the area and during this initial observation tried but failed to positively identify the creature.
The animal was looking away and did not see the group until the firing of a BB gun by the witnessís 18 yr old younger brother. The creature turned its upper body toward the group in response to the popping sound that resonated up the hillside.
The distance was too far to identify any facial features. The animal looked toward the group for several seconds and then slowly turned away and rose to a hunched position with itís back toward the group. The animal then quickly climbed in a semi-crotched position using a hand over hand movement up an estimated 6 foot, steep rock face. The witness reported some darker grey patches on the animalís back as it climbed. He counted a total of 3 hand grabs for the animal to reach the top, and then it rose to a fully standing position with itís back to the group. He estimated the creatureís height at approximately 5-6 feet relative to a small stand of pine trees next to the animal at the top of the rock face.
The witness estimated the animalís weight at 180-200 lbs., with a thick mid-section and upper torso. The witness and group then viewed the creature for another approximately 45 seconds as it slowly walked away in a continuous bipedal position up a gentle hillside and over a ridgeline.
No vocalizations were heard throughout the entire sighting.
The witness is very familiar with the area since his childhood. Although his home is located only 1 mile from a major state highway on the border between Morris and Passaic County, it is located at the extreme southeast corner of a large mountainous tract of relatively undeveloped land that runs from southeast through northwest Passaic County into New York. The witness mentioned that deer, turkey and fox inhabit the area.
The sighting took place approximately 1 mile southwest of Federal Hill, a pre-colonial Native American site that rises to a peak over 400 feet above the valley floor. Federal Hill is part of a larger area known as the Wyanokie Highlands, which is part of the New Jersey ĎHighlands Provinceí. This region consists of rugged topography characterized by series of discontinuous rounded ridges separated by deep narrow valleys. There is a wide range of habitats from deep wooded areas with deciduous and conifer tress to ponds and marsh areas.
About BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
D. Brake holds a PhD in Immunology and attended the Maine 2008 expedition.