On 10-25-14, at approximately 9:45 pm personnel from the New Jersey State Police responded a call about a malfunctioning train on the Paulinskill Viaduct railroad bridge near Knowlton Township. Witnesses reported the train’s steam trumpet blaring without stoppage causing a disturbance and feared it was a call for assistance. Officer Messina was the first responder on scene.
As the video evidence shows, Officer Messina approached the malfunctioning train through a terrain littered with the carcasses of slaughtered animals. Transcripts from the dispatch audio recording confirm that Officer Messina was out of radio contact from the moment he arrived at the scene. The dashboard audio portion was rendered inaudible due to the locomotive’s steam trumpet continuing to blare throughout the length of the recording.
With his weapon drawn, Officer Messina approached an unidentified suspect and appeared to issue commands. The suspect appeared to be uncooperative, running toward the cabin of the locomotive. Officer Messina discharged his weapon at the suspect three times before a light flashed from the locomotive’s cabin and the dashboard camera was then rendered inoperable.
Second responders arrived only minutes later to discover Officer Messina’s vehicle at the scene. There were no traces of wildlife or animal remains in the immediate area. Officer Messina has been declared missing. The search for the suspect and locomotive continues.
Further complicating matters are state and local records stating that the Paulinskill Viaduct railroad bridge was decommissioned in 1982.
The tracks were removed in 1987.
Note: I have actually visited this place with a few friends almost 8-10 years ago on a night before a huge blizzard was supposed to hit New Jersey. We climbed through all the chambers and even explored the top of the bridge. The spookiest part was reaching the last chamber at the end of the bridge. The temperature had to be in the lower 20’s or so, yet that chamber was scorching hot for some reason. Throw in the fact that it looked like there was some sort of door being blocked back a ton of debris and graffiti that said: “The Door to Hell”.
Definitely one of my more interesting nights of urban exploration.