We are bringing things back to New Jersey, because let’s face it, it’s a weird place with a lot of unusual tales. One which might be all too familiar is the legend of how Route 55 is cursed because it was built over and old Indian Burial Ground. Now whether you are superstitious or not, I think you wouldn’t think twice about avoiding that area. Why mess with something like that and take a risk when you don’t have to. Rte. 55

History

Back in 1983, a new section of Route 55 was commissioned to be built near Deptford, NJ. Warnings were given by Sachem Wayandaga, the chief and medicine man of the Delaware Indians at the time, that the area they were planning on putting the highway through was sacred land and an ancient Indian burial ground. In spite of the warnings, the construction proceeded.

Unusual Deaths / Incidents During Construction

Soon after the construction began, unusual deaths started to take place among those working on the project. Now you might say that it’s a construction site and things will happen if you are careless. I couldn’t agree with you more, but the incidents that took place here seemed to be a little more mysterious than the common place work incident.

  • While on the job site, a construction worker’s feet turned black
  • A worker was run over and killed by his own asphalt rolling vehicle
  • A worker was blown off an overpass he was working on by a gust of wind that came out of nowhere
  • A number or workers and their family members died of cancer within a short period of time
  • A vehicle transporting D.O.T. employees caught fire and exploded
  • A number of other odd injuries. . . . . .

During the construction time, it became commonplace for the workers, engineers, and project managers to talk about the curse. They all didn’t come into this project as superstitious people, but if they were lucky enough to make it out alive, they sure left that way. These reports have been documented and told from stories in the Weird NJ books to Philly.com articles.

Continued Incidents After Construction

Even now that Route 55 is completed, it is a highway filled with memorial to car crash victims. I have personally seen 3 cars on fire on the side of this road and have talked to people who have witnessed eerie things while driving this stretch of road. This area of the highway also seems to have the most disturbance in cell phone reception. Technology has come a long way since the 80’s but I don’t know if it can outgrow the supernatural.

I talked with a driver who worked for a limo company in Vineland, NJ (limoservicevineland.com). Since Rte. 55 connected Philadelphia to the smaller South Jersey towns such as Vineland and Millville, it became a very highly traveled road. He shared stories of seeing “apparitions” every so often on the side of the highway. Those stories I could kind of dismiss as him being tired and seeing things in the dark. He also mentioned that stretch of road near Deptford was the most common place for him to have car trouble. More than a few times over the years he had gotten flat tires and had engine trouble and broken down with vehicles that seemed to have to no other known issues. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe it’s something more. Either way, he seemed to contribute it to the disturbance of those Indian grave sites.

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So I have to apologize for taking so long in between posts here. I know there probably aren’t a ton of you chomping at the bit to read what I’m writing, but I like to think that my thoughts are entertaining to some. So if there was anyone out there itching for a new rant from me, here it is, and I’m sure it’s one you’ve heard people joking about before. Is the “King” really dead?

Elvis

So my first question when I heard about the theory that Elvis Presley was still alive was “why don’t people believe he died?”. A pretty logical question to as, I would think. Apparently there was a lot of secrecy surrounding his death. He supposedly died back in 1977 at his estate in Tennessee (Graceland). It was believed to be cardiac arrhythmia from drugs that got him. Elvis’ physician stated that he thought his death might have been due to issues with chronic constipation that finally brought him down. A lot of people don’t know what to believe as the truth because Elvis’ father had the autopsy report sealed until 2027, which would be 50 years after his death. It seems a little strange, I would agree.

Many people believe that he is actually still alive. He faked his death and moved out of the limelight. Over the past few decades, there have been supposed sightings of “The King”, living the normal life. There have been claims of seeing him at Burger King back in 1988 and that he was selling t-shirts outside a show in 2002. This isn’t really the life I would have pictured for a music icon, even if he was hiding for some reason, but I guess a guy’s got to do something to make money.

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Aliens:

Area 51 is a highly classified location in Roswell, New Mexico where many conspiracy theorists believe that the government is keeping the remains of an alien space ship that crash landed. The contents there are being kept secret for our “national security”. This only makes those theorists more adamant that the government is hiding something extra terrestrial.

They believe that the government is experimenting with this alien technology to develop advanced weapons and even time travel. These people claim that technology like Stealth Bombers and Drones come from working with whatever they are keeping hidden on that military base outside of Las Vegas.

Not knowing what is going on there for sure has only stoked the fires of alien belief. For decades, there have been people who claim to have seen UFOs and to have been abducted by aliens which makes the possibility that the government is hiding alien bodies and spacecraft seem a little more reasonable.  The problem here is that there is still no hard proof.  These UFO sightings in the area could be explained by the official report about what Area 51 was used for. It is reported that it was a testing facility for nuclear bombs as well as newer “aerial surveillance programs” during the Cold War. In essence, they were building and testing stealth / spy planes.

Facility:

As you might expect, the more about it that was kept secret, the more people theorized about what was happening there and their imaginations went wild. Reports have been released from employees about how everyone, even when working on similar projects, were kept separate and unaware of what the other teams were doing. There were many different levels of security clearance and each employee was kept on a need to know basis. If you were only involved in one aspect of a project, there was no way you were going to find out what else was going on.

It is located approximately 150 miles outside of Las Vegas, in Roswell, NM. The airspace above it is restricted so that only approved military planes and transport can enter. On the ground, there are signs as warnings to any would be trespassers. Photography is prohibited and fines can be enforced. Even scarier than that are the warnings that the use of deadly force is authorized by security for people who continue to trespass and will not leave. That kind of makes you second guess how important sneaking a cool picture is.

Hollywood:

Area 51 has made its fair share of appearances in movies and TV, from  “The X-Files” to “Indiana Jones”. Whether or not aliens are real and the government is hiding them and using their technology, the idea of it has sure grabbed hold of our imaginations. Sometimes these creatures are portrayed as lovable friendly beings like in “Paul”. Sometimes they are evil squid-like monsters who are trying to kill us all and take over our planet for its resources like in “Independence Day”.

Who knows if we will ever know for sure whether aliens are real. What we do know is that Area 51 is real, and because of the work done there, we have incredible stealth / spy planes such as the U-2 Spy Plane and the SR-71 “Blackbird”. What’s important is that it takes us out of our comfort zones by offering something unexplained and mysterious. It gives us a reason to dream and explore, just as long as you don’t go exploring too close. . . . don’t get shot!

 

Moon Landing Fake

Yup, we are going to talk about this. At this point in time I’d like to think we have all come to an agreement about landing on the moon, but for all I know, there are still some skeptics out there. So why not talk about this and maybe even play devil’s advocate a little to see if we can stir anything up.

So the U.S. was in a race to go to the moon (Space Race) with the Soviet Union. The Cold War was going on, and like any testosterone fueled nations, we were competing to see who could be the first to get someone to the Moon, ’cause it’s hard to do and someone has to be good at it. People have claimed that Hollywood worked with the U.S. government to make a fake film showing that we successfully landed on the moon. If this were the case, and it all was just a big hoax, wouldn’t have our biggest competitor tried to call us out on it? Wouldn’t the Soviet Union have gone to great lengths to prove that we failed just as badly as them to bolster their supporters and knock us down a few pegs? Proving the United States to be liars and failures would have been a great victory at that time, but it never happened.

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weird_nj_jersey_devil_by_artskullSo yes, my first post is about NJ. Why start here, at the armpit of the country? Because I feel like it, that’s why, and also because there’s a ton of interesting things that seem to happen in New Jersey. Lucky for us, there’s even a number of books out called Weird N.J. that talk about all this craziness. So I’ll probably be using that as a source for topics to come just to give you a heads up.

No matter where you live, you’ve probably heard the legend of the NJ Devil. Even if you live across the country, you probably have some idea of what it is. There’s a hockey team named after it for Christ’s sake. Granted, the hockey team isn’t as scary as the stories and folklore of the actual devil, but you get the idea. He’s kind of a big deal.

I have a number of friends that grew up in Southern NJ near the pine barrens. One of my friend’s dad was actually a forester. So we spent a lot of time in the woods. Whenever I would go and visit, we would camp outside and there would always be scary stories of the NJ Devil, as well as ghosts and what not. Considering the backyard campfire was no more than 200 feet from the edge of a dark creepy forest, you can understand how we would all be a little scared. You have to give us some credit. We were ballsy enough to sleep out there, at the NJ Devil’s doorstep, and most nights we were just fine and ended up forgetting about what creepy dangers and grotesque creature may be lurking just out of our sight. Some nights though, we just couldn’t shake that feeling like there was something out there, watching.

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