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Bigfoot Sighting Report #17

Town: Wantage
County: Sussex
Type of Encounter: Medium Range
Sighted on May 12, 1977  10:00PM
Nearest Road: Wolfpit
Weather Conditions: unknown

Sighting Details:
Bigfoot visits the Sites farm in Wantage and kills some rabbits, raises havock. Returned later and was shot at by family. Police claim it was a bear but members of that family who were less than 25 feet away from it say "it was something else".

This is one of the most famous cases in New Jersey. The time of the encounter is assumed, a newspaper report state the first appearance was at 9:30PM.

Follow-up:

New Jersey Herald articles written at the time of this sighting:

New Jersey Herald; Newton, N.J.
Tuesday, May 17, 1977

WANTAGE FAMILY IN TERROR OF ODD CREATURE FOR WEEK
by DAVE SHELTON
Staff Writer

Wantage, N.J. - The police say it probably was a hungry bear that terrorized a family last week on Wolfpit Road, but members of that family who were less than 25 feet away from it say "it was something else".

They say "it' was seven feet tall, covered with hair, had a beard and mustache and walked on its hind feet.

Barbara Sites, the mother of six children, said she heard no commotion last Tuesday night. When she went out the next morning to let the dairy herd into pasture, the cows seemed reluctant and she heard a sound in the distance that she described as "like a woman screaming while she was being killed."

As she walked around the barn, she found a solid, wooden garage door torn from its heavy hinges. Inside, she said she found six of the family's pet rabbits dead or dying of horrible wounds.

Two rabbits were missing, she said. The other's heads or legs were torn from their bodies. None appeared to have been used for food. For the amount of killing and mutilation, Richard Sites said, there was little evidence of blood.

"There were hardly any marks on two of them," Sites said. "They just looked like someone squeezed them to death."

On Thursday night, Mrs. Sites said the nervous family heard the dog barking at approximately 9:30 p.m. Looking out a window of the large old farmhouse, Mrs. Sites said she and her 16-year- old daughter saw something standing alongside the road near where
the rabbits were penned.

Sites, with several relatives and friends, ran from the house and saw at first "a big shadow ? his head was high as the eaves. When my daughter screamed, it took off," Sites pointed to an apple orchard he said bounds on a huge swamp. The nearest neighbor in that direction, he said, was more than a mile away.

On Friday night, the Sites were waiting for their strange visitor. Several members of the family positioned themselves in the farmyard, armed with shotguns and rifles.

At about the same time as the night before, "it" appeared silently at the same place under a mercury/vapor lamp whichlights up the farmyard.

"At first all I saw were these two red eyes staring at me from over there," Sites said, pointing to a decaying chicken coop. He and others with him "opened up" on the thing, firing more than 30 rounds. The weapons, he said, included a .410 shotgun, a 12?gauge shotgun and two .22 caliber rifles.

The "monster" ran into the coop, then emerged from a windo at the opposite end, Sites said. "He had his hands up in the air and I fired again. I thought he was coming at me."

The beast then escaped through the apple orchard.

The Sites' were originally reluctant to discuss the events. They said they didn't want their farm overrun with curiosity seekers.

Rumors of the episode eventually leaked among their friends. The Sites said they finally decided to talk to reporters because "the State Police aren't doing anything about it. We're scared."

Mrs. Sites said that last week she had her children stay with her mother in Sussex, but they have returned home now.

Three state troopers have filed separate reports on the Sites' incident, according to Sgt. Stanley Dutkus in Hainesville.
He said they have concluded that the incident involved a marauding bear.

An official of the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU) in Columbia said he will look into the report. Marty Wolf said there have been no recent reports of "sightings" of Bigfoot in the Sussex County area.


The New Jersey Herald; Newton, N.J.
Friday, May 20, 1977

AUTHORITIES CALL WANTAGE BEAST
'AN UNIDENTIFIED WOODS ANIMAL'

By DAVE SHELTON
Staff Writer

Wantage - State Police and the N.J. Division of Fish and Game released a joint statement yesterday, saying they have concluded that whatever killed eight rabbits on a farm here last week was "an unidentified woods animal," and that it may have been a wild dog.

Bears, however now reportedly have been seen in the vicinity of the farm owned by Richard Sites on Wolfpit Road. Police originally said it probably was a bear that clawed its way into Sites' garage, killed the rabbits which had been kept in cages, and terrified the family for a week.

Sites and three others say they fired at a tall, hairmonster with glowing, red eyes. He said his farm was not visited by a bear or smaller animal.

State Police Sgt. Ernest Seremi said yesterday that patrols have been checking the area of the Sites farm for a week, but have been unable to identify any animal capable of the attack.

"It has been tentatively determined", he said, "that the perpetrator is some type of woods animal, possibly a raccoon or wild dog, with little likelihood of it being a bear."

A man who said he lives nearby the Siteses said his son spotted two bear cubs in a field near the Sites farm at
approximately 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Wildlife Manager Russell Spinks of the Division of Fish and Game, said yesterday that his department has learned that during the past few weeks residents of the Wolfpit Road area have reported a bear rummaging in a nearby garbage pit.

At the request of State Police, Preston Haney of the Division of Fish and Game has set up "live traps" in hopes of catching whatever animal is foraging near the Sites farm.

Also, Spinks said, Wantage Dog Warden Timothy Ryan has been advised that a wild German Shepherd has been seen near the Sites
farm.

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