; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, February 10, 2023

The MUSCONETCONG RIVER 'MANTIS MAN' Encounters Investigation

In July 2011 I received a report of an encounter with a 'Mantis Man' on the Musconetcong River near Hackettstown, NJ. That was just the beginning of this phenomenon.

Here is the original email:

"Lon--I have recently been doing research regarding an encounter I had about five years ago.

Fly fishing on the Musconetcong River in New Jersey with my boss, I saw briefly what I could only describe as "a Praying Mantis Man".

Although the water was clear, there had been heavy rains the past couple of days. We should not have been out there; the river was "smooth" but the current was exceptionally strong. I was leaning backward and digging my heels into the gravel but the river was still kicking me along pretty well. Sketchy navigating.

Please know, I am "privy to the paranormal" and always have been. Shadow people, ghosts, whatever. But what I encountered that day was not Spirit. It was a "biological", living creature. But it disappeared into thin air almost as soon as I saw it.

For whatever reason, my searches at the time turned up nothing. But then by chance, I came across an 'Alien Race' type video on Youtube, and there in the artwork, I saw what I saw: "Ancient Mantis Leaders". So when I began searching "Mantis Alien" instead of "Praying Mantis Man", I found a lot more.

They say they are "interdimensional", whatever that means, but I did not get that impression. No, this creature was cloaked and because of both my innate sensory perception skills and the particular physical circumstances at the time, (important), -- I can add details if you are interested -- I just "Caught it". Movement out of the corner of my eye to my left and there it was.

Humanoid. Tall. 6 foot at least --no reference points-- but I sense 6'6" - 7'. Moving away from me back up the bank. (I am chest-high in the river) The first thing I see was the 'grasshopper' thigh, but bending forward like a human. Then the whole form. He is looking at me over his shoulder, moving up the bank, astonished, amazed. What, that I am in the water in a strong current, that I can see him? But yes we lock eyes and this creature is astonished-- I get the sense that he can't believe I am in the water, that he can't believe I have seen him, that I am not perturbed at all-- something of all three, I still don't know-- just astonishment and he is actually trying to get away from me and the water!

Triangular Head. Huge, slanted black eyes. Just like a Praying Mantis. Its whole body was gangly, nobby, (Nobby!) but you could still sense it was powerful, and no -- I would not say it was a "Big Bug" -- it was definitely humanoid despite the mantis/insect qualities...

No, I did not tell my boss about this, who was in the water too about fifty yards behind me at the time. Being "privy to the paranormal" you just see these things and sort of go "okay". No fear, no nothing-- but I do get the sense that my "whatever" attitude contributed to this creature's astonishment. Frankly, I didn't give the encounter much thought until recently.

I can forward more details. I just believe now that this encounter was somehow very important.

I wrote back to the witness requesting further detail:

The description of the head is not too uncommon from other sightings that have been reported

"This took place in Hackettstown, NJ. The stretch of the Musconetcong River here is unusual in that its west bank borders Rt. 46, (a local highway, congested with lots of stores) but the east bank where we were fishing borders fields and farmlands.

No bank to speak of on the developed side, but the sloping bank on the rural side was high (ten feet?) A strip of trees about 10 - 20 yards thick separated the river from the fields beyond, but there was the occasional gap/path, each about 20 yards wide that allowed clear access to the river.

As I mentioned, the weather had been bad the previous several days, and the sky was white and heavy. It was mid-afternoon.

When I saw the Mantis Man, it was in one of these gaps, moving back up the bank towards the fields, looking back at me over its left shoulder. About 15 - 20 yards away.

So understand that it was several feet above me (I looked up at it) and framed clearly against that blank/white sky. Like a full ghost apparition, it was indeed clear but nevertheless nearly transparent and fading fast. Then it "evaporated" mid-stride.

Again, I stress the strong impression that The Mantis Man was cloaked and I "caught it" just right; it abruptly found itself against a "new"/blank background and was adjusting quickly. No, I do not believe it "slipped" into another dimension/plane.

I detected movement and first saw that strong left thigh, (and strong right calf) then the whole thing, and immediately those eyes/face. The whole encounter was only a couple of seconds. I can not tell you with any strong certainty what its feet or hands looked like --I wasn't looking there-- but I can tell you that its arms were "normal", and not the literal Mantis forelegs I have recently seen in drawings of these "Aliens".

That's really about it. If you have any questions please contact me."

Brand: The Art of Paul Jacks

A few days later, I came across the following post in the Hackettstown Life online forum. This is the original entry:

Mantis Man sighting on the M'cong... this is no joke

I like a good story like anyone else, but my friend told me a story today that was so profound that I felt the need to share it with the rest of the town. This friend of mine who told me this story is a very successful businessman. Deep into our conversation today he started tearing up uncontrollably and told me he had something to get off his chest that had been eating at him for some time. I hope you're ready for this because I wasn't.

Apparently about a year ago my friend and his brother were down at Stephen's State Park fishing right around dusk. During this time, while his brother was roughly 50 yards downstream fishing, he said he felt this strange vibration in his right ear and from that he turned and looked to the right. When he turned and looked to the right he said he saw this 6 to 7-foot praying-mantis-looking man... just standing there and unable to believe that he could see him. He said the creature was black and gray and to be quite honest, the way my buddy was telling me this story, I was having a tough time. I know he saw this thing... because I could see it on his face.

Anyhow, we Googled "Praying Mantis Man on 
Musconetcong" right after that and it turns out my friend is not alone. I can't even emphasize enough how bad my friend was crying today over what he saw.

Well, as soon as I read this I started shooting off inquiries. When I went back soon after, the following post was entered:

Coincidentally I just happen to run into the teller of this story as I speak while out to dinner with my wife. I told him that I posted his tale on the local forum. After freaking out he saw how some people actually believe him. Now, when it comes to something like this I would never denigrate either of our credibility, but I just had him tell me the story again and if he's not telling the truth then he certainly believes he is.. needless to say, and incidentally he's freaked me out all over again. He actually just admitted that he wet himself during these three brief seconds and he sat down in the water so his brother didn't think he ....his pants. I'm happy some of you take this to heart because of the karma which I live by.. whether this guy saw this being or not he is telling the truth ... A truth he believes wholeheartedly.

An hour or so later, the following was posted:

That's a big 10 4, Lon! I would like to patch the truth together and would love for you two to speak. It was the passion with which this guy (whom I've known for a number of years) spoke today. I am such a fan and proponent of topics like this that I would never slander or 'cry wolf.' I'm sure people see things every day, and that's fine, but my friend today was spooked. Apparently, this happened two years ago and he told me his life has not been the same since.

Then, a few days later, I read this:

I have to admit I do feel a little strange about sharing this story from yesterday. Honestly, I've been trying to talk myself out of believing anything this friend of mine told me and how worked up he got over it. Please know, I didn't do this to spin a yarn that would take on a life of its own, or am trying to make a story out of this or anything of the sort. The only reason I shared it was that after hearing this wild tale, I googled it and found Lon's article, which pretty much floored my friend and pretty much knocked him out of his chair. There were just a few eerie similarities and the fact that it took place on the Muskie just made it all the more bizarre. I keep trying to envision whatever it is that this friend of mine saw. To be truthful, one second I find it to be silly rubbish and then the next second when I close my eyes and really envision what he outlined for me I find it remarkably unnerving. As always, people believe what they want to believe and I'm still not quite sure if I really believe this, but just to reiterate this friend of mine was downright spooked, and the fact that he admitted the embarrassing fact that he wet himself upon seeing this and all the tears mixed into yesterday's tale, he must've seen something, whatever it was.


NOTE: This eventually led to a few other unexplained sightings along the river. The producers of 'Monsters & Mysteries in America' contacted me about the incidents. Subsequently, an episode was produced and presented during the show's 3rd season.

I will discuss this investigation in the next episode of Phantoms & Monsters Radio's Personal Reports.' Lon


Have you had a sighting or encounter?
Contact me by email or call the hotline at 410-241-5974
Thanks. Lon

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In this episode of Phantoms & Monsters Radio, we conduct a Malevolent Hauntings Roundtable with my guests Dave Spinks, Morgan Knudsen, Richard Moschella. Please like, subscribe, and comment.

Dave Spinks has been investigating and researching the supernatural since 1986 due to several experiences he had as a young man. Since that time he has conducted several hundred investigations in the U.S. as well as Europe.

Dave served in the U.S. Air Force for 8 years and went on to Work as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer retiring in 2011.  During his paranormal investigations, Dave has experienced many hair-raising and unnerving things as one might imagine.  Having investigated strange phenomena for over 30 years he has built many friendships with some of the most well-known investigators in the field today.

He has been seen on various television shows to include, Expedition X, Terror in the Woods, Paranormal 911, The unXplained, In Search of Monsters, and These Woods are Haunted to name a few. He was also featured in the film Flatwoods Monster (A legacy of Fear) by Small Town Monsters. He has been a featured guest on hundreds of paranormal-themed radio shows and podcasts. Dave is often a featured guest speaker at paranormal conferences around the country. He is also the author of numerous books on topics that include cryptids, hauntings, and ufology.


Co-founding and leading Entityseeker Paranormal Research & Teachings since 2003, Morgan Knudsen's experiences and knowledge have led to researching and co-creating a unique investigative program called 'Teaching the Living' and subsequently has been featured on and hosted numerous specials, live presentations, and TV shows (The Discovery Channel, "A Haunting", T+E, Destination America, The Travel Channel, CBC, CTV, Planete+, TLC, Crime + Investigation, Celestial Tiger networks in China, and Coast to Coast AM). Morgan's programs are now practiced in 3 different countries and are a part of numerous social work and psychology secondary education courses in Canada. She is also a regular contributor to the number one magazine in the UK, Haunted Magazine. Her work has been presented at the Rhine Research Institute and her book, "Teaching the Living: Heartbreak to Happiness in a Haunted Home" is now available.


Richard Moschella is a paranormal investigator, intuitive, and writer from Morris County, New Jersey. He is the owner and team leader of the New Jersey Paranormal Project an organization he founded back in 2007, his goal was to research and investigate spirit. Though the New Jersey Paranormal Project has gotten to work with some of the best experts in the paranormal field, spiritualists, and mediums. 

The New Jersey Paranormal Project can be seen on YouTube and anyone can view the case files and be a part of the investigation. Richard is also a writer, author, and lecturer. His latest book is titled 'Case Files of the Paranormal.'

Please join us in the chat, so that you may ask questions. Don't miss this opportunity.



A Paranormal Life welcomes Bigfoot Michigan Rob,  host of 'Beyond BMR' & 'Brunch with Bigfoot Michigan Rob.' Bernadette McDaniel (Host)

Bigfoot Michigan Rob is the host of 'Beyond BMR' & 'Brunch with Bigfoot Michigan Rob' on his self-titled YouTube channel.
He had both paranormal and UFO experiences, as well as a Bigfoot vocalizing directly at him.

Rob’s main focus is to be a voice for experiencers who are reluctant to come forward for fear of ridicule or judgment.

Please join us in the chat, so that you may ask questions. Don't miss this opportunity.




We are asking the worldwide public to come forward with your sightings & encounters. Contact us by email - Thanks. Lon

Have you had a sighting of a winged humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area / Lake Michigan region? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'O'Hare Mothman' or 'O'Hare Batman.' - Chicago / Lake Michigan Winged Humanoid Regional Interactive Map - Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated.





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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
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Thanks. Lon

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