Archive for the ‘West Milford’ Category

interesting info on the jet in the woods

I recently visited a resident who lives about 300 yards south of the jet in the woods. I had a long talk with him about the area and the jet crash. His home is interesting, the driveway is paved with blocks taken from the West Side Highway in NY, given away for 25 cents a piece when they paved it with concrete…

The woods where the jet crashed are deceptive. The crash site is right on the rim of a lake, which is now covered over with layers of branches, tree limbs, leaves dirt and other plant life. they’ve woven themselves into a permeable layer over water in some cases 40 feet deep. Called a quake bog, if you jump up and down you can feel the ground bounce like trampoline. He took a stick about 2 feet long, scratched a bit of surface dirt off, then shoved it into the ground with the ease of a knife thru butter. If the jet had crashed another 100 feet, it would’ve pierced this top layer of plantlife and sunk to the bottom, like crashing thru a frozen lake.

Looks pretty solid, eh?

While there he pointed out bear tracks and the fact that a mama bear, about 700 lbs worth, had slept right about 100 feet from his house…

Bear tracks

Why all this talk about the jet in the woods? Can’t say right yet…

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the knights of Bloomingdale

Inside the house of Demon’s Alley

I received the following email and photographers from a reader.

I saw your page on Demon’s Alley and figured you might want to see inside. I live nearby and have to go past the New City Complex now and again. Even though I know the truth (radon and all that) the area still creeps me out. I think it’s those stupid windows with the fake windowshades. Anyway, I’d never actually stopped to check it out so recently when a friend was visiting from S Jersey I decided to take a stop by. I parked on the side of the road and walked over to one of the houses.

It used to be boarded up good but I see somebody ripped all the plywood off. Assholes. Anyway, the inside was completely rotted out, I mean the floor was *gone*. Nothing left, like rotted away to nothing! One of the other houses was in better shape but I wasn’t about to go in there. Who knows when that floor will give way? Then I’d be a candidate for the Darwin Award. Anyway I snapped a few pics thru the windows and then headed out. You’d be taking your life in your hands if you went in there, besides doesn’t look like there’s anything interesting in there anyway.

Why are people so fascinated with this place anyway? It’s just some houses that had radon. Course most of the people probably believe those horse-shit stories about kids who murdered their parents and the other crap stories they tell to scare each other before coming over here at 3AM. I bet the NWC bulldozes this place just to avoid the headache and the liability. It’s reasons like this why Cross Castle was taken down…

Great site, keep up the good work.

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Demon’s Alley

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Demon’s Alley is another example of a well known (in Weird NJ circles) place which is over-rated. And yet it’s worth a trip anyway. Confused? Let me explain. First off, what exactly is Demon’s Alley anyway? It is a small section of road where there are a half dozen abandoned homes, which by itself is rather unusual. One or two abandoned homes? Blame the economy. A half dozen all on the same block? Well there’s got to be a story there somewhere, and there is, it’s just a tad boring…

The road is on Newark Watershed Land, in West Milford, near several reservoirs. The first stories about the places had the usual bullshit-hype behind it. Satanic cults, ritual murders, etc. The truth? Well in a letter to Weird NJ which was printed in the following issue, the Newark Watershed Commission stated that the properties were used to house employees. Known simply as the New City Complex, the letter simply states that the properties aren’t being utilized for housing. No duh. A separate letter states that homes were abandoned because of radon, which is, from what I understand the real truth. That would explain why they left behind personal items and furniture. When a home is contaminated with radon it gets into everything and little can be taken with you.

I recently was in the area and I had to visit and was actually quite surprised by what I found. First off, from letters I had read I the impression that the entire area, road and property and all were cordoned off, presumably by a fence. No such deal. I pulled off Route 23 and I saw the side street in question was right there with the houses in plain sight. Turned off and pulled to the side and began snapping pictures. The houses themselves are beginning to fall apart, especially the roofs. The doors and windows are all solidly covered with plywood, with one exception. Some folks may have no problem B&E, but I do. In their letter to Weird NJ, the Watershed Commission made it clear that anyone trespassing will be arrested.

Somehow I don’t doubt their sincerity. The condition of the plywood clearly indicates that whenever someone breaks in, the entrance is quickly covered up. This is the second really odd thing: for whatever reason, they paint the plywood to look like window shades. Now this is so obvious it can’t be meant to really fool you, yet why go to the trouble? Perhaps to cover the copious amounts of graffiti that cover the buildings?

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The only building with any entrance appeared to be some sort of garage or shed. It has a large opening which appears to have had no attempt to be covered. After about 10 minutes of observing (without trespassing) I finally left. I can say that this place would give me the heebie-jeebies at night, even with my knowledge of the real reason why this place was abandoned. I must say if I had skittish friends, I could play quite a bit of mind games with them if I were to bring them here at midnight….

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Abandoned Railway Cars

The story goes that many years ago, someone (for reasons unknown) hauled some railway cars onto this dirt road off Macopin Rd in West Milford. The general consensus though is that someone did it to make a place to live. There isn’t a railroad track for miles, so it doesn’t seem plausible that they are railway cars.

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Federal Hill

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Federal Hill has a very extensive history that goes back all the way to the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately its future is in peril. Located in Bloomingdale near Route 287 it provides an excellent view for miles around, making it a prime target for real estate developers.

MUTINY ON FEDERAL HILL

In January 1781, General Washington was advised by a Commander that a mutiny was being planned. Washington replied that the “army is ruined” if the mutiny succeeds. He ordered the commander to quell the mutiny by asking those in question to surrender, and to execute them if they refuse. At Federal Hill, the potential mutineers were surrounded, the two most vocal leaders executed, and the remaining men were ordered to surrender. “The spirit of mutiny seems to have completely subsided and have given place to a genuine repentance.” Ya think?

The area lay quiet for 150 years until 1917 when an ammo dump was established at the base of Federal Hill for the purpose of storing ammo for use in WWI. Stored in a closet (not much more then a small cave in the hillside), the foundation of the building can still be seen today on the top of the southern hill.

CAMP BERGWALD

Not long after this the area was settled by Germans who started a Bund Camp called Bergwald. (Bund means German society or Federation, I’ve heard it translated to mean both things so I’m not sure which is correct) In NJ during WWII there were over 100,000 German Americans in NJ, making them the largest ethnic group in the state next to Italians. Most did not support the behavior the Nazi’s, but a small following did and in the mid 30’s they establish a Camp at Federal Hill dedicated to the Nazi cause.

Fritz Kuhn was the leader of the Camp, having been picked by Hitler himself, and he secured funding for the camp from Germany. There were several camps in NJ, the largest being in Andover. The camps were a place where Germans could sing German songs, speak German, & discuss German issues without fear of being observed by others. Although the Camps maintained a pro-peace & pro-American attitude their true beliefs were not easily concealed and eventually locals began complaining about the camps.

The Camps toned down their public rhetoric, but still gave fascists salutes and marched around in uniforms with swastikas. Eventually scandals & legal problems began giving the Camps problems as well. Andover lost its liquor license after serving liquor to minors. One leader was accused of rape & molestation. By 1939 Jewish group and even Germans were protesting the presence of the Camps. In 1940 Kuhn was convicted of grand larceny for stealing money from the Bund Treasury.

Eventually the Camp was on the verge of collapse so they did what any modern day corporation would do: they tried a merger. They invited the KKK to join them for a rally, hoping to unite with their fellow racists against the mongrels they both hated. This so incensed the locals that they attacked the camp, causing the camp leaders to call the police for protection. Things began getting really ugly when terrorist attacks began, including an explosion at the Hercules Powder Company which killed almost 50 people. By 1941 we were fully participating in WWII and Nazi’s were officially enemies of the state. The IRS had been going after the Camp for tax evasion, but once we joined the war, the camp was doomed to die. The Camp at Nordland (Andover) now stand within Hillside Park.

RUMORS AND ARTIFACTS

There are rumors of lost artifacts and hidden things to this day. The Iron Door and the remnants of the Ammo Building & Bund Camp buildings are an easy find. But a surveying party allegedly found a brass cannon. How old it was is unknown but most likely it would date back to the revolutionary times. The surveyors left it there intending to return and retrieve it but were unable to locate it again.

There also is an odd carving, which appears to be a grave marker (possibly) as it looks to have been cut professionally into the rock face, it lists several names & dates, but it doesn’t say why the inscription was carved. Many artifacts have been found here including bullets and weapons dating back to revolutionary days, as well as remnants of the Bergwald Camp. When I explored, I found the remains of a rusted bunk bed.

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The urn found on Clinton Road

I received some emails from Vince about an urn of ashes he found on Clinton Road…

My name is Vince. I am a 32 year old happily married father of one. I just had a look at your great web site and had to e-mail you about what I found on my recent trip to Clinton Road. I have been to Clinton Road 4 times, and never saw or heard anything unusual. On my last visit, I pulled over on what I think is the south bound side. approximately 3 miles off of Rt. 23. I am not totally sure because I have the worst sense of direction. I love to go hiking & exploring, for lots of reasons. I am also a hunter and just love the out doors. I grew up in Teaneck N.J. and currently live in Secaucus N.J. I pulled over at this spot because it just looked like a good safe place to park, ( I just got a new BMW, LOVE IT!) so I’m still a little nervous about were I park.

Anyway, I pulled over and took a short walk, Behind a fence about 10 yards in, I found half buried, what appears to be, a very old urn. The urn is of average size in my opinion, about 7 & 1/2 inches tall by 5 & 1/2 inches wide. It was in the dirt from the base about 4 inches deep when I found it. The urn contains what also appears to be ashes. If the ashes are human or not, is just one of the many questions that are rolling around in my head. How did it get their? Who did it belong to? How old is it? So on and so on. urns are usually kept in the home or in a mausoleum of some sort, so who knows why it was put there, or who put it their, etc etc etc. Many Many questions, the more I think about it, the more questions I come up with! That is why I have not gotten rid of it. I do not have any plans for it yet, and I would really like to tell more people about it, so if you want to add the story to your website, feel free. You seem to be an expert on this place, so if you have any advice, please let me know.

;The urn gives me and my wife the creeps. She refuses to let me keep it in the house, so I keep it in the tool shed in my back yard. I have a REALLY creepy story about the first night I put the urn in the shed if you want to hear about it. I am not sure what to do with the urn, every one who looks at it tells me to get rid of it, and even though it gives me the creeps, I still find it very appealing for some crazy reason.

When I took this last trip to Clinton Road, I was alone, as I am usually, because my friends and wife all think I am a little nuts for liking places like this. Very much like the bones that you found, my wife demanded that I get rid of the urn, so in the tool shed it went. (It is my only secret from her that I still have it!) Her initial reaction when I showed it to her? Well, to be frank, she flipped her lid! She for the most part yelled at me, stuff like, “what were you thinking?!” “Bringing that thing into our house!” ” What are you nuts!” “Vin, I am really getting tired of all this!” “You running around in the woods, bringing weird creepy stuff home that you found!” “Get rid of it!” I drive her crazy, but she still loves me anyway. I refuse to throw it away. My friend John thinks I should sell it on E-bay. Pretty funny, I think I would feel a little bad about selling the possible remains of some one on the Internet. Again, if you have any advice, I would like to hear it, feel free to e-mail me. Many Thanks.

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I asked a few questions and this was his answer.

William, I guess you can see why I find it so interesting. I think it is made of copper or brass. All I really know is 3 things about the urn. 1. It is an urn. 2. It contains ashes. & 3. I found it on Clinton Rd. William, when I was taking the pictures of the inside of the urn, my camera did not want to work. I had to try hard many times to get the photos that I sent. The flash would not work, the camera would not snap when I pushed the button, and many of the photos were not clear at all when I got them back from 1 hour photo. I took 2 rolls of film and the ones I sent were the best. If you notice, the ones with the urn open are much less clear than the ones with it closed. Can you tell me why? Most likely not. Anyway, thank you again for your great interest in the urn.