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STATE: New Jersey
COUNTY: Burlington County
LOCATION DETAILS: To get to exact location, you would need to have mud boots, for the area around the ridge where the incident took place is surrounded by thick wetlands/swamps that are almost impenetrable aside from a few paths and game trails.
NEAREST TOWN: Shamong
NEAREST ROAD: 206
OBSERVED: Have been out scouting research locations for snake studies on google earth and found an area that we really wanted to check out which was an open paleodune ridge that offered plenty of basking/nesting habitat that the snakes we were researching liked to use. The hike there was pretty rough, walking through knee deep wetlands at points and wrestling with tangles of greenbrier and other thorny bushes to get to the location which was about a mile and a half back into the woods. Upon finally arriving at the site we were able to settle down and start looking for good spots that the snakes we were looking for used. As we were walking up one of the ridge fingers, we came upon an abandoned hunting stand that looked like it could be used as a shelter. I was a little unnerved because we didn’t really wanna run into someone out there especially if they weren’t expecting company.
As I was looking around my friend went back behind me to look around or use the bathroom while I continued to look.
I began to hear bipedal walking in the swamp below us, what sounded like sticks breaking and snapping. I was pretty freaked out thinking it was a hunter so I yelled down at it saying “hello? Anyone there?”. No response as I continued to look I saw part of a dark figure go tree from tree. Long enough to know I wasn’t imagining it, but not long enough to identify shape, size and detail. My memory fails to remember exactly how tall off the ground it was but the encounter lasted several seconds, from when I first heard the walking, saw the dark flash and when it subsequently disappeared or stopped in the swamp. After this I rounded up my friend and we headed out of there pretty quickly not knowing if a nearby hunter was there or worse, some crazy dude was stalking us.
A few days went by before I really began to realize what I could have seen and it just made little sense that someone was out there messing with us.
Have since returned to the location to look some things over, large game trails surround the dune. But other than that, not much further evidence was able to be found.
ALSO NOTICED: During incident do not recall anything else weird other than the bipedal walking and movement in swamp. There was a weird smell in the air afterwards that almost reminded me of a musty, grandmas attic. But I think that could have been from the shelter itself that was there.
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend Cooper
OTHER STORIES: A Facebook friend that I met on a “pine barrens group” said she had something huge cross the road in front of her car in early morning hours while traveling on Rt206 but refuses to think it was a Bigfoot. Even though other reports somewhat nearby have had same thing happen.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Sunny, warm summer day. Incident took place around early afternoon. Between 12-2, unsure of lighting conditions but sun was just about over head.
ENVIRONMENT: As described above, the spot of the incident was on top of a large paleodune ridge (sandy, upland areas) with thick swamp surrounding the area. The ridge itself had an undergrowth of low bush blueberry and huckleberries with pitch pine trees spread out sparsely without about a 25-50 % canopy coverage, so very open. Large cranberry bog nearby that has lots of prey items such as various frog species, deer, fox, snakes and lots of edible vegetation.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Spinner:
I spoke with Jacob by phone for nearly an hour. He retold the events of that day without embellishing any details. He was able to provide me some additional details -
Jacob and his friend Cooper were volunteers doing research on snake habitat and various plants for the State of New Jersey.
He chose that location based on a Google Earth search and felt it would yield results. After a long tedious hike into the area through swamp and briars, they came to the paleodune location. Upon arriving they noticed a structure made of wood built into the trees above, and Jacob thought it may be someone's shelter, and felt uneasy at the thought that they may be intruding on private property. The thought that someone may come out with a chainsaw crossed his mind. They proceeded to search for snakes under logs, and brush and then Cooper went to relieve himself. That was when Jacob heard bipedal footfalls coming from the swamp below. He also heard some branch snaps, and thinking that it may be a hunter he called out saying "Hello? Anyone there?" No response, but that was when he saw a dark colored upright figure about 6 1/2ft tall move from right to left between two trees. He also mentioned the hair had a sheen to it. He observed it for about 6 seconds, but said it felt like much longer. Cooper returned and Jacob expressed his concerns, and they hastily made their retreat from the area.
After speaking with Jacob, he sent me the GPS coordinates and I headed out to the location. I arrived by mid-afternoon and hiked into the area. The location is in the Pine Barrens - a region of NJ rich in flora and fauna unique to New Jersey. I trudged through swamps and around mud holes and found tracks of canine, turkey, and deer.
I also noticed two makeshift blinds that could potentially be used as an ambush spot for hunting. I find the witness to be credible. This incident seems like a credible Class B encounter in every way.
About BFRO Investigator Eric Spinner:
Eric Spinner is the owner of a health food store in Medford, NJ - a town that borders the Pine Barrens. He is a Certified Nutritional Consultant, and a Shiatsu Practitioner. Eric has attended the 2008 NW Pennsylvania Expedition, the 2009 Sunshine Coast BC Canada Expedition, the 2016 & 2020 So NY Expeditions, and 2021 & 2022 PA Expeditions. Eric has been an investigator for the BFRO since 2009, and has been organizing New Jersey Expeditions since 2014. He has made numerous solo excursions into the NJ Pine Barrens, Pennsylvania, and has done investigations in Missouri and Florida. He was most recently involved in the production of the South Jersey Sasquatch episode of Finding Bigfoot and was one of the witnesses featured during the Town Hall meeting.
Eric is cofounder of NASBRO, and host of Squatch Talks Podcast.