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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Mercer County
LOCATION DETAILS: The sighting occurred on a trail between Spring Lake and the Delaware river. The area is marsh lands and swampy.
If you were at the lake with the town to your back and the Delaware in front of you. head to the right side of the lake and follow the trail behind the lake. There was a wooden bridge behind the lake and that path leads you back to the sighting location.
NEAREST TOWN: In between Trenton/ Bordentown
NEAREST ROAD: access road to Spring Lake
OBSERVED: A friend and I were going fishing after school. This was in late spring about 5pm. We were walking down a trail around a slight bend. The trail then went straight for about 50+ yards. That's when we saw something cross our trail ahead of us. We only saw it for about 5-10 seconds but it felt like time stopped when it happened. It took one or two steps and turned and looked at us. It was traveling from our left to our right. It paused for a moment when it saw us and then it quickly moved away. I wouldn't say it ran but it moved much quicker then it did before it saw us. We just looked at each other and said what the hell is that? My friend wanted to run back down the path to the lake. I wanted to run after it. I had to keep saying let's go see what it is before he would follow me to the point it crossed our path. This took about 10 seconds. My friend followed behind me to the point where we saw it. We could see about 100 yards in the direction it went and we couldn't see it at all. I looked all around for tracks and didn't see anything other then rub marks.
We didn't smell anything strange but the swamp area down there smells bad anyway. We didn't go fishing that day and just went back home. I was a little scared at first but I got really scared walking back home. On the walk back home we discussed what we saw. We knew no one would take us serious and believe us. We were just kids and we thought we would just get in trouble. We promised each other that we wouldn't tell anyone what we saw.
It was over 6 feet tall but it wasn't over 7 feet. It was dark brown to black. At first I thought it was a big black guy in a fur coat until it turned slightly and looked at me. Then I knew it wasn't a bear or a man.
This area connects back to Crosswicks creek and into the Fort Dix pine land area. I have often thought about this day and about the NJ devil folklore and wondered if it was the same creature we saw that day. After all these years I have only told my wife and daughter about this event.
OTHER WITNESSES: A friend and I were going back into the swamps to go fishing.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: approx. 5-6pm
It was a sunny day, clear skies and it had to be in the 70's.
ENVIRONMENT: After crossing the wooden bridge follow the trail approx. 1/4 mile to the first slight clearing where another trail crosses your path. This is where we saw it. We were about 50 yards from this crossing when we saw it use this other trail and it passed in front of us. The area is wet lands.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Larry Rippon:
I spoke to the witness by phone who was around 12 years-old at the time of his sighting. It took place in the 1977-1978 time frame, in John A. Roebling Park, which is part of the Abbott Marshlands, a freshwater marsh adjoining the Delaware River. The following details can be added:
*The figure seen was between 6 and 6 and one half foot tall, but not quite seven feet tall. The witness stated that he knew what a seven foot tall person looked like because he remembered seeing Andre The Giant, who was seven feet, 4 inches tall.
*The figure had broad shoulders, a thick neck and a conical head. The figure did not have a V shaped torso. The torso was the same thickness from its shoulders to its waist. The figure was a solid dark brown color, with no breaks at the wrists or at the bottom near the ankles, as to suggest by the witness that it was not a person wearing dark clothing. No facial features were observed. The witness did not find tracks, rather what he described as rub marks, suggesting the being quickly propelled itself off of the trail, away from the area and into the brush.
*Since the particular area in question connects back to the Crosswicks Creek and into the Fort Dix pine land area, the witness stated that he theorized many years later that the figure he saw may have traveled from the pine lands to feed off of the shad (a type of fish) who spawn in the Delaware River during the springtime.
*The land around the area in question has further been developed since the incident took place, which is almost 40 years ago. Numerous highways have been built, including Routes 295, 29, 130 and a portion of the New Jersey Turnpike.
About BFRO Investigator Larry Rippon:
Larry is a lifelong New Jersey resident, having spent the past 20 years in the northern part of the state. He became interested in Bigfoot after seeing the Paterson-Gimlin film when he was a young boy. Larry likes spending time with his family and is an avid hiker. He attended the 2014 northern New Jersey expedition, the 2016 southern New York expedition and the recent 2017 northern New Jersey expedition.
Email: NJ_BFRO@yahoo.com Twitter: @NewJersey_BFRO