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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Sussex County
LOCATION DETAILS: Lake Owassa road, old Rt 527
NEAREST TOWN: Branchville
NEAREST ROAD: Rt. 206
OBSERVED: NJ:2AM/;Summer morning:1977:Owassa Rd:Sussex Cty
While traveling back from the Dover Station and returning to Camp Kiamesha a group of counselors encountered a large creature as it crossed the road in about 3 steps, it stood about 7 feet tall and as it crossed the road, it turned and our headlights caught its shape and eyes. It had crossed between us and another car, it was at least 3 foot higher than the car in front of us.
From the low area to the left to the mountain area on the right. I was driving that van, I slammed on the brakes and asked everyone if they saw what I had seen, they did. I then got out with a flash light and another friend to investigate. The ground on the right where it had gone into was loose dirt and rocky area but no foot prints were found and the creature was gone. We waited there for some time, even stopped a car traveling in the same direction for help, but they only stayed long enough for us to say what we had seen and sped off.
When we reached the camp we called the NJ State Police to report our find, but they wouldn't believe us.
In March of 1978 I led a BF hunt on Mount Paradise near Crandon Lake and found footprints in the snow.
Its been 34 years since this incident and it still seems like yesterday. Only the names of my friends have faded. I've camped in the area ever since hoping for another encounter. I've hiked the AT and Tilmans Ravine to Sunfish Pond, Blue Mountain Lakes and am still looking today as I have read of strange noises in the Walpack Valley. I know what I saw.
ALSO NOTICED: none
OTHER WITNESSES: 5 people witnessed the Sighting, before the sighting we were listening to music & talking about going canoeing
OTHER STORIES: in the media in 1977: 3 boys got lost in bear swamp looking for BF, a local man found & cast BF prints on Paradise Mountain near Crandon Lake (Adams)
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 2-3 am, lighting was dark, road dry,
ENVIRONMENT: near bear Swamp, Mountains to the right.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Larry Rippon:
I spoke with the witness over the phone. The witness observed a large, 7 foot bipedal figure cross the road in front of his van. From his vantage point behind the wheel of his vehicle, the witness stated the top of the figures head appeared to be 3 feet higher than the roof of a car traveling roughly 25-30 feet in front of him, going in the same direction. The figure moved from south east to north west, coming from the Bear Swamp Wildlife Management area, across the road and up a mountain embankment, towards the Appalachian Trail. The witness described the creature's head as human-like with glaring eyes and it had long arms swinging back and forth. The witness could not recall facial features. After passing the creature, the witness made a U turn and he and a fellow counselor exited the vehicle in an attempt to locate the Bigfoot. The witness claims he grabbed a road flare and searched for the creature, but he could see no Bigfoot, he only heard the crashing and breaking of branches as if something big was maneuvering through the brush and up the steep mountainside. The witness was with 4 other counselors who claim to have also witnessed the event. I was unable to interview the other witnesses.
NOTE: This witness appeared on the Northern New Jersey Finding Bigfoot episode, which reenacted his story on site. During the reenactment, the witness claimed he used a road flare as a flash light to try and see the creature. In his initial report to the BFRO, he states he used a flash light. When I questioned the witness, he stated he couldn't remember the exact details.
About BFRO Investigator Larry Rippon:
Larry is a lifelong New Jersey resident, having lived the past 23 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. Larry has attended the following public BFRO expeditions:
2014 northern New Jersey
2016 southern New York
2017 northern New Jersey
2018 southern New Jersey
2019 northern New Jersey (co-organizer)
2020 southern New York #1