ON a clear spring morning last year in the woods a dozen miles north of Newton in Sussex County, two men were examining a swamp made by a beaver dam when growls shattered the quiet. Across the swamp water, 150 feet away, two dogs were fighting with something that was partly submerged.
“It seemed like the dogs were trying to push the thing under,” Irving Raser, one Of the men, recounted some months later. “I couldn’t tell whether it was an animal, but it wasn’t a deer because it had dark hair. It was big, but it wasn’t a bear, either. I could see that.”
The men shouted and the dogs backed off, giving the creature time to work its way to dry land, where it stood up on two legs. It was then that Mr. Raser, a Layton resident, and his companion, Charles Ames of Flatbrookville, got a good look at the animal, and they were astonished by what they saw.
“It was about six feet tall.” Mr. Raser said. “It weighed 250 to 300 pounds, and it was covered with long, brown heir. It had a flat face with deep‐set eyes, and the palms of its hands were hairless; if I didn’t know better, I’d have said it was a man dressed up in e monkey suit.”
The animal screamed at the dogs, making a fierce sound that Mr. Raser had never heard before, even though he has hunted nearly every game animal in the eastern woods. It whacked its hand loudly against small maple tree to keep. the dogs at bay, and it continued to roar, all the time keeping an eye on the two men.
After a half‐hour or more, the men jumped into their pickup truck and hurried to the nearby Hainesville barracks of the state police. They returned shortly, accompanied by two state troopers armed with shotguns. Neither the dogs nor the animal were in sight. The spot where the animal had stood was inaccessible because of surrounding deep water; close by, the troopers found the carcass of a deer.
In their subsequent report, the police said that the men had apparently seen two dogs fighting the deer. The strange animal they had described must have been a mistake, the report concluded.
Clipped from New York Times 1996
Art by Viergacht