AREA 51 AND RELATED CONTROVERSIES
All unlabeled images are from www.photobucket.com and are all public domain. Other pictures on this site are also public domain and are cited.
The Jersey Devil
The Jersey Devil lives in the Pine Barrens, which cover 1.1 million acres or one-fifth of the state of New Jersey. The Jersey Devil lives in southern New Jersey, but has possibly been spotted in Pennsylvania. Supposedly, the winged beast has been, around for 260 years, and has attracted 2,000 witnesses, terrorizes towns, and counties. The beast has also closed schools and shut down factories. Many think the Jersey devil is just a legend, but others strongly believe that the strange creature exists.
The origin of this creature is a great debate. The largest, and most recognized theory, is that the mother is Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds point. On a stormy night in 1735, she made a wish that the next child that she was to have would a devil. According to the legend the next child born was distorted and malformed. She sheltered it in her home, until a stormy night when the child flapped its arms and they turned into wings. The child flew up through the chimney and escaped. Mrs. Bowen a resident, from Leeds Point said that the devil-child was born in the Shrouds house at Leeds Point.
Another theory is that a young girl fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary War; the people of Leeds point cursed her, because she was in love with a hated British soldier. The woman gave birth to a devil, because of the mistreatment of a minister from the residents of Leeds Point. The baby left and was never seen again.
A new version is that Mrs. Leeds of Estelville, NJ had a wish that her 13th child would be born a devil. It was born with horns, a tail, wings, and a horse-like head. The creature visited her every day.
In Burlington, NJ there is another theory of the birthplace of the Jersey Devil. On a dark and stormy night, in 1735, Mother Leeds gave birth to the monster. The legend states that Mrs. Leeds was a witch and that the father was the devil himself. The myth also states that the baby was born normally, but then transformed into a monster; the creature had hooves, a horse’s head, bat wings, and a forked tail. The story states that the winged creature beat everyone in the home and flew up the chimney. It circled around the villages then flew toward the deserted Pine Barrens. In 1740 a parish exercised the devil for 100 years, and it was not seen again until 1890. There are many versions of these stories, and all can not be true, The Cryptozoologists have to whittle them all down to one.
There are three different pieces of evidence that all make the Jersey Devil from the same origin. All of the stories have the birth of the Jersey Devil associated with the word “Leeds”. It could either by the birthplace or mother. Alfred Heston, an Atlantic County historian believes that the Jersey Devil is a Leeds baby or Shrouds baby (the last names of mothers). Dan Leeds opened land in Great Egg Harbor County, where he and his family lived in 1699. The family named the land Leeds Point. Sam Shrouds lived across the river of mother Leeds in 1735. The land was located in Little Egg Harbor. Professor Fred McFadden from Coppin State College said that the mentioning of the word devil was in documents from Burlington in 1735. The name “Burlington” refers to the area from Burlington, the city to the coast. The birthplaces, in other legends including Leeds Point and Estelville could be the same exact place as the Burlington legend.
The sightings of the Jersey Devil are divided into three time periods:
· January 16-23, 1909
The first era of sightings take place in pre-1909, but there are few documented records describing the sightings of this era. In the early 1880’s Stephen Decatur, a naval hero who was testing cannon balls on a testing range, saw a flying monster and tried to shoot at it. He hit the creature with a cannon ball, and it dropped in altitude before rising back up and flying off. This incident was very close, but luckily Decatur thought on his feet and warded off the beast.
Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother and King of Spain, saw the Jersey Devil in Bordentown between 1816 and 1839, when he was hunting.
Another attack occurred when many sheep and chickens were killed. This occurred between 1840 and 1841. The attacks were followed by strange footprints and high pitched, screams.
In 1859 through 1894 the Jersey Devil was reported to have carried off anything that moved. These events took place in Bridgeton, Smithville, Long Branch, Brigantine, and Leeds Point. This was a very difficult and scary time.
From 1903 there were no sightings or confrontations with the beast until six years later. In January 1909, from the 16th to the 23rd, there were many attacks, which make up the second time period. On January 16, a Sunday, the Cozzens of Woodbury, NJ saw a mysterious creature outside their window. The creature gave off a piercing scream and had glowing eyes. A patrolman, James Sackville, fired and hit the animal. It screamed and flew away. The residents of Bristol, Pennsylvania found very strange footprints in the snow. The footprints were found on top of houses and in the middle of streets.
This occurrence happened on the same day as the Woodbury incident. It seemed it went everywhere, that a person could not.
The events after 1909 are limited, but some still come in contact with this scary creature. I hope you can see this monster for yourself, but don’t touch; it is a stone cold killer. Be curios, but be careful.
The Jersey Devil
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.