EAGLESWOOD — Rumors of a skydiver landing in the trees at the center median on the Garden State Parkway spread quickly Monday, but they weren't true.

"We are getting reports of a parachuter that may have landed in the trees near mile marker 58 on the northbound side of the Garden State Parkway," Ocean County Scanner News said Monday around 3:30 p.m. on Facebook. The viral post and another like it were shared hundreds of times.

But the reports were not grounded in reality and no one was in any danger.

Ocean County Scanner News often shares chatter overheard on police scanners, which are notoriously unreliable and prone to telephone-game misunderstandings.

The spot at Exit 58 is about two miles down the Parkway from Eagles Nest Airport in Eagleswood. And false alarms of parachutists in danger are actually fairly common.

Sal Mazza, who works on the operating board at Eagles Nest, told New Jersey 101.5 that the State Police contact him "half a dozen times" each summer about similar calls.

Eagles Nest Airport sits just off the Garden State Parkway but is not visible through the tree line. (Google Maps/christianhorz)
Eagles Nest Airport sits just off the Garden State Parkway but is not visible through the tree line. (Google Maps/christianhorz)

These parachutists are falling in tandem with instructors working at Skydive East Coast, which operates at the airport. Management for the skydiving company told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement that everyone landed safely inside the airport grounds.

"What took place yesterday is pretty common during the season. Drivers going south on the parkway have a very limited view of the airport because of its location and tree line on the parkway center line divider," Skydive said.

Without knowing an airport is just on the other side of the tree line, it looks to drivers like the skydiver is hurtling into the trees.

Garden State Parkway spokesperson Tom Feeney said that there was no record of a report of the incident being sent to the Parkway or State Police.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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