Jersey Devil: Not Just Folklore?

DKennedy09

New Member
Jun 1, 2003
4
0
Scranton, PA
Hello! I have heard an interesting theory on the Jersey Devil that I would like to get your opinions on. At the turn of the century, there were a number of Jersey Devil sitings across the Pine Barrens. These sightings were made by persons of different occupation who had no relation to one another. Further, they were respectable members of the community, and their sightings generally agreed with one another: a horse-like kangroo-ish creature with small wings. However, following the fire of 1914 (or whereabouts), credible sightings of the Jersey Devil stopped. Now, the enviornment of the Pine Barrens is unique, self-sustainable and isolated. Further, the Pine Barrens are not fully civilized or plotted or studied with any degree of complete accuracy. Given this, perhaps the Jersey Devil is an actual animal, native solely to the Barrens. The validity of the sightings and the uniqueness of the Barrens ecosystem could serve as tentative evidence for this. However, it would appear that the fire of 1914 that ravaged the Barrens perhaps killed off the Jersey Devil, given the complete lack of credible sightings follwoing the fire. Of course, this theory is all just speculative, but perhaps the Jersey Devil should be seriously considered biologically, folklore aside. peace/. chris
 
B

bach2yoga

Guest
Hmm...sounds like a quest for the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. I can't imagine there would be too many scientists who would seriously consider the theory. It is definitely a speculative theory, and I wouldn't think much credence would be given to it without more to go on. State biologists won't even definitively state that there are cougars without an actual DNA testing of hair or a carcass, let alone the Jersey Devil.
But what do I know? :lol:
Renee
 
The Jersey Devil:
I have heard many stories and read many books on him(maybe her). I have grown up out here and had many people tell me first hand storie and many second hand third hand and so on. The most believable is the 1909 phenomina which to me seems impossible for so many people in so much distance to come up with similar stories in such a short time period (remember there where no cell phones,computers and even travel and regular communications where very slow) I was always told he comes about once every 100 years by my great grandfather who grew up in Washington township. apparently next year is 100 years and we will be waiting.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,435
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Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
I've heard the every 100 years theory. There's also the theory that he/she/it is a harbringer of war or disaster.

Laura Leuter runs the New Jersey Devil Hunters -- their site has a lot of good info on the Jersey Devil.

When I was very young I went camping with my parents to some campround (maybe Indian Rock?) in Jackson. I could have sworn I saw something very unusual that night. I was riding on a hayride, and I looked behind the trailer that we were riding on, and something big and phosphorescent crossed the trail behind us. Now, it could have been anything, but I don't remember it being human sized at all, and the weirdest thing was it made no noise as it came out of the woods and went back into them.

I was the only person who noticed it.

Now, I was maybe six years old, and my memory of this is pretty dim, but I am pretty sure I saw something out there. If not the Jersey Devil, then something else.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,072
376
Little Egg Harbor
I took a NJ Folklore class in college and I remember the instructor claiming that every state in the US had a demon, legend or monster of some type. I guess people just have some type of need for this kind of thing, if for no other reason than to have something to threaten their kids with. :)
 

Frankster

New Member
Mar 9, 2008
4
0
Of coarse there is a Jersey Devil. My dad is a Leeds and I was told it was the thirteenth child of Great-great Grandmom Leeds from Leeds Point out near Oyster Creek.:jd:
Frank
 

relayer

Explorer
Yes, that person is a Bill Leap also. The Bill Leap I had in mind is a native of South Jersey and a long time local historian. Bill grew up in Runnemede and spent a lot of his summers at a place his father built at Browns Mils. From there, he and his dad explored the pines by car and other means covering many gritty miles of sand roads back in the 30s, 40s and 50s. "We saw a lot"says Bill"although we didn't always know what we were seeing." After a stint at Fort Dix(they were going to ship him to Korea until they found out he knew how to cut meat) during the Korean War where he watched confused recruits from upstate NY try to find the "summit" of Taylor Mount. He returned to the civilian world just in time to start attending Henry Beck's forgotten town tours. Eventually, he ended up as president of the sponsoring organization. When Beck died unexpectedly shortly before a tour, Bill picked up the fallen mantle, turned it into a bowler hat with the word "Boss" on it and kept the tours going. Somewhere during this period he broadened his horizons by spending hus summer vacations and weekends at a cabin down on the Maurice river and getting to know the area there. He's on the Pinelands Commissions list of speakers and has worked with the PPA, I think, as part of their program to educate teachers about the pines. He did a long stint on the board at the Camden County Historical Society and was president there for two terms. He wrote a History of Runnemede and the surrounding area. He did a who lot of other history stuff as well and still managed to have a busy and successful career as a sign painter. In the midst of this and as a part of it, Bill has found time to do a lot of research on the Jersey Devil(and so back to topic) and he still does a talk on the subject. He's an amazing guy. His style is considered too brash or popular by some but I have always begged to differ. Bill is not so limber as he used to be and needs oxygen all the time but thanks to the new ultra portable tanks he still gets out and around pretty well. If anyone is interested in contacting him I can PM you his phone number(he's not on line). Just mention me and Bill will stick another pin in the voodoo doll(ouch!):)

relayer
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Thanks for telling me (us) about him. I was unfamilar with his work. I should some how supply him with the story I was told. I suspect he has heard similar tales.

Jeff
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
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He returned to the civilian world just in time to start attending Henry Beck's forgotten town tours.

relayer

The founder of the company I work for went on Beck's tours. I asked him about what he saw and he never could really explain it to me. I bet Bill knows him since some of his photo's are in the history of Cherry Hill book.

Guy
 

flashingVlights

New Member
Dec 15, 2007
9
1
32
I know its been awhile since I've posted anything, but I decided to check back with the site this afternoon and this thread definitely caught my attention because of the way the Jersey Devil is described as being "kangaroo-ish."

I live in Mount Laurel and a few weeks ago I was driving on Moorestown-Mount Laurel Road near the old Hattie Britt school when my friend said he saw something on the side of the road and to turn around. So I turned around in the next neighborhood and went past the spot where we saw this thing. I was going like 10 mph (maybe) and I had my highbeams on. It was eating a deer carcass on the side of the road and when it saw us it quickly turned around and HOPPED into the woods. I know what I saw and it definitely hopped and had a kangaroo-ish behind but no tail. My friend saw it too and had absolutely no idea what it could have been, neither of us had ever seen anything like it.

After a few days and a lot of smart remarks from my mom and coworkers at our office, I basically just decided that it was probably a bear, even though I've never heard of bears around here. But this post got me thinking again...


Please don't make fun of me again! This really happened and it really scared us. I would just like an explanation.
 

KCB

Scout
Mar 29, 2007
56
0
Spring Lake Hts. NJ
How big was the animal? What color. How long were you able to observe it, you don't give any detail other than the "kangarooish" posterior. Bears are appearing in many places in NJ that you wouldn't expect. Of course bears don't look like a kangaroo either:confused:
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
I would be very surprised if there was a bear in Mount Laurel. What exactly does a "kangarooish behind" look like? What color? How big? If you can answer these questions it might make it easier it identify.
 
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