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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Sussex County
LOCATION DETAILS: I forget the name of the apartment complex, but it is on rt. 94 in Hamburg NJ and has been there for decades. My street was called Wit's End Drive...that much I do remember.
NEAREST TOWN: Hamburg
NEAREST ROAD: rt. 94
OBSERVED: I'm reporting this approximately 10 years after the fact. My wife had asked me to re-tell my story to her this morning and that is what prompted us to stumble across this web site.
Late Fall 1997 (or possibly 1996). I was coming out of my apartment's laundry facility, which is a seperate building not connected to the actual apartment buildings. I must have heard something because I looked to my right and there it was, about 20 feet away. The creture was about 5.5 to 6 feet tall. I'd guess it was aroung 200 lbs. There was no odor and it made no sound. I saw it as it was rooting through a garbage dumpster. In a matter of seconds my brain went through a kind of checklist to try to rationalize what I was seeing. But it was not a bear, it was too slim in relation to its height. It also moved in a way that was very human. It was nighttime but there was a parking lot light on overhead. I could see hair that was brown and about 4-7 inches in length. Unfortunately, primative survival instict and adreneline took over. I bolted toward my apartment, running so fast that I lost my footing as I was going through a dip in the terrain. I landed arms first and slid across a gravel covered road. As I got to my feet I looked over my shoulder to see that it too had run and was about 200 feet from where we had met.
I'm certain it was not an animal that is commonly known to people. It was humanoid in appearence and movement. The way it stopped what it was doing, turned its head and looked at me was freaky. Because of shadows I couldn't get a look at its face. The incident didn't change my life or anything. I hardly ever think about it...unless I look at my elbow. I scraped it really bad when I fell running, and have a scar to this day. When I first told this story to my wife she was very taken aback because she knows that I am a very rational and analytic person.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me. I lived alone at the time.
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Probably around 11pm. Halogen parking lot lights directly above the meeting scene. Very cold, probably late Fall, almost winter.
ENVIRONMENT: Large rural apartment complex. Parking lots and cars all around. No other people to be seen.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul Kotch :
I interviewed this witness for approximately 40 minutes.
When I asked him how he could differentiate between the creature that he encountered vs. a bear, he stressed the animal's human-like movement when it turned to face him. He said that he was under the distinct impression that it was analyzing him in a very human-like manner.
The color was described as a dark brown with a reddish tint, and the length of the arms compared to that of a bear were significantly longer. The witness was adamant that "it was not a bear, and it was not a person", but some kind of animal not known to people.
[Editor's Notes (MM):]
Hamburg, New Jersey, is a hilly, heavily forested, rural corner of the state near the Delaware Water Gap. This part of Jersey is much more like Pennsylvania than the Jersey that most Jersey people live in.
A railroad bed runs through Hamburg. This railroad bed runs near a handful of large golf courses.
The relevancy of those factors:
Bigfoots are occasionally spotted on or near golf courses that are frequented by herds of deer at night.
In the midwest and eastern states, sightings and track finds often occur near railroad beds -- usually abandoned railroad beds, but not always. It is suspected that bigfoots may sometimes use railroad beds at night to walk to habitation/feeding areas near those routes.