Vanishing Jumper

I’ve received word of a man who leaps to his death from a train trestle in rural New Jersey at least once a month.

The man has been seen taking his suicide dive—a two-hundred-foot drop into a rocky gorge—by more than a dozen witnesses in the last year.

He is currently unidentified. Witnesses describe him as approximately thirty years old and six feet tall. He’s Caucasian with curly black hair that three people have independently referred to as “marvelous”. He wears a gray sweatsuit and blue sneakers.

He’s been seen at different times of the day—never at night—running east from a heavily wooded section of the tracks. He stops, facing north, in the middle of the trestle. He stands for several minutes, staring into the distance, before removing his sweatshirt’s hood and shaking out his curly hair. He then hops off the trestle, without drama or panache, and falls two hundred feet to his death.

Depending on the witness’s vantage point, his body can sometimes be seen on the rocks below, but by the time anyone is able to descend into the gorge, no trace of him remains. Search teams combed the area after the first few sightings but no one in town bothers anymore.

Every witness has seen him from a distance, usually from a narrow road that runs along the western side of the gorge. The site has become a popular macabre attraction, and local high-schoolers frequent the site to drink and wait for the spectacle to reoccur, but the jumper has yet to appear when anyone was in a position to approach or speak to him. Despite the ubiquity of smartphones, he has not yet been photographed.

The most recent incident happened last Thursday, at 9:45 A.M., during a cold drizzle. The woman who saw him jump had seen him once before, last May, and became the first person to witness his suicide twice.

She noticed an additional detail the second time. When the man removed his hood, his curly hair appeared to slide backward on his skull. He mussed it up, as people often do after removing a hood, and his hair looked normal again. A wig, perhaps? Might the jumper be different people wearing identical costumes? But how do they survive and vanish, and what is the purpose?

I understand Claire Maple is currently in New Jersey. I’ve sent her the details and the location of the trestle and hope she’s able to investigate. This is right up her alley.

— Report filed by Hank Ridley

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Published by

Dennis Mahoney

Secretary of the Equinox Society.