(Originally published by the Daily News on June 30, 1981.This story was written by Bruce Chadwick.)
At long last, after nearly 200 years, the Jersey Devil has company.
No less an illustrious “monster” than Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, is now said to be prowling the Garden State, scaring stout-hearted men from the Delaware to the Raritan.
The legendary half-man, half-beast creature, ranging in size from six to 12 feet, has been a topic of controversy for years in the Pacific Northwest.
Dozens of reliable people there have reported sighting him. One man even has blurred color film of Bigfoot running across a creek.
Bigfoot, an oversized bear-like creature with human features, has been sighted on the East Coast several dozen times, but not in recent years.
The latest Bigfoot alarm was turned in to authorities May 23. Three fishermen driving along a dirt road in the heart of the Newark watershed region in lower Sussex County reported seeing the monster.
They described it as a 6 ½-foot, half-human, half-animal creature weighing more than 300 pounds and moving rather gracefully across the road.
Robert Jones, a member of Vestigia, a scientific group, said he interviewed the fishermen and is convinced they did, indeed, spot Bigfoot. Vestigia will begin an investigation next week.
Jones, who has records of Bigfoot sightings in New Jersey dating back to 1914, said the “monster” has been spotted in the Pine Barrens in past years.
“This sighting just adds to the evidence,” he said.
New York Daily News article on Bigfoot on June 30, 1981. New York Daily News
New York Daily News article on Bigfoot on June 30, 1981.
Local officials, however, are skeptical.
“No one has reported any large human-like bear to us,” said a member of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Deaprtment. “We have had bears spotted, but that’s not unusual here. But not monsters, that’s for sure.”
The last Sussex County sighting of Bigfoot was in 1974, when a truck driver gave a description similar to the fishermens’ to Vestigia.
That sighting, also investigated by Vestigia, was of a seven-foot tall, 265 pound half-man, half-ape creature that walked casually and apparently made no move to communicate with his human spotters.
Scientists have long believed that if the Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, does exist, he may be the long-sought “missing link.”
None has been captured, however.
source: NY Daily News