-November 2005 Update-
Recently I received an email from Ron Evans[i], a
Figure 1- Enigma Project Camp at
Elevation: 98 ft.
The northern sections of the Stafford Forge WMA and
Figure 2- Investigators in background examine dense coastal scrub. Figure 3- Immense area of dwarf pines. Pond site in left background.
Figure 4- Fresh Deer track near others that the elements dissolved. Figure 5- Entrance gate to Warren Grove Gunnery Range
Evans explained that, as an avid hunter years ago,
with the approach of deer season, he would go out at night to a wildlife
management area near
At , on one mid-November evening in 1985, Ron Evans drove out to a lonely
Figure 6- Pond site. Encounter occurred at right near trees Figure 7- Encounter site foreground center of frame near water
What happened to Evans next he could only describe as “amazing.” He asserts that the animal groaned at him in a way that conveyed exasperation. Evans got the distinct impression that he and his spotlight had spoiled the creature’s hunt. Apparently, the strange animal’s frustration quickly phased to anger as it then screamed at Evans so loudly that he said he could feel the vibration of its yell in his chest. With that, the beast abruptly ran away and Evans frantically followed suit, running to his car and hastily leaving the area (see Figures 8 & 9).
Figure 8- Significant GPS waypoints struck along road in wildlife management area
Figure 9- Area of encounter is NJ Wildlife Management Area near the
northern borders of the
In recounting the incident to this writer--some 20
years after the fact--Ron Evans said he still get chills thinking about the
weird experience. Ron also reasoned that other people have probably had similar
experiences but prefer not to speak of them, as he did for many years. Evans
explained that when the opportunities arise, he makes discreet inquiries of
friends and acquaintances concerning unusual sounds and sights in the coastal
In subsequent communiqués from Ron, he expounded on
the details of other experiences that he made reference to in his first email
regarding 1985 encounter. Since that time, in other areas of coastal
Ron went on to describe a memorable nighttime fishing
Another account that Ron mentioned involved at least 4 couples (men and women) enjoying some off-road fun along a four-wheel drive trail near Chatsworth, New Jersey in the summer of 2003. As nightfall descended, the group stopped their vehicles and got out to rest near a cranberry bog. While talking they were suddenly startled by the menacing screams of some nameless animal in the darkness. With spotlights from their vehicles, they searched the approaching darkness for some source of the sounds. They found none. The group maintained that the peculiar wails seemed to be following the perimeter of the bog. As the screams persisted and grew more frenetic, the couples became frightened and headed for safer ground. Ron explained that while he did not take part in this trip, he had spoken to all of the witnesses and each of these people related the same account.
Lastly, Ron told us of some curious tales he heard while attending a party last month. Both stories involved people hearing very loud, unknown growls.
One account concerned a gentleman who, as a child in 1978, lived with his family a few miles north of New Gretna.[x] He claims that every night for an entire week during the fall of that year something unknown would shriek loudly from the direction of a pond they had on their property. The source of the unidentified sounds was never determined.
The second story, which allegedly occurred earlier
this year, involved local residents Mike and Nancy Lerner[xi]
and their children. In February 2005, the Lerner family decided to enjoy some
ice skating on a cranberry bog located about 3 miles west of
Reports of unusual animal sightings and sounds being perceived throughout this region are intriguing (see Figure 10).
Figure 10- Shows NJ encounter sites detailed in text.
In view of these persistent claims, the Enigma Project will continue its investigation of this area. Reports and updates on significant findings will be provided.
[iii] The Stafford Forge WMA consists of over 15,000 acres (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/wmamaps/stafford_forge_no.pdf )
[iv] See http://www.research.umbc.edu/~frizzell/BRSFreport.html (the Enigma Project’s report on the 2003 Bass River State Forest Encounter)
[v] The southern area in which previous encounters occurred (Officer X, et al) is densely populated with pine, oak and Atlantic white cedar trees.
[vii] Accidents have occurred during ordinance work in which “errant practice bombs sparked a forest fire that burned 11,000 acres of pinelands in 2002. Another fire burned 1,600 acres in 1999.” As recompense for damage, Warren Grove sponsored a reforestation program several years ago in which 33,000 pineland specific trees were replanted on the range.
[viii] Approximately 6 miles from Officer X’s
[ix] Evans speculated that the roadside earthen mound had been constructed by the NJ State Division of Fish, Game, and Wildlife to prevent wayward motorists from driving into the pond.