URECAT -> Homeclick!

Cette page en franšaisCliquez!

URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

JANUARY 20 OR 21, 1909, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, MR. AND MRS. DAVIS A. WHITE:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

Several late sources say that on January 20 or 21, 1909, at 4 p.m., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, one Mrs. Davis A. White said that at 4 p.m. she encountered the "Jersey Devil" in her backyard.

It had alligator skin and breathed fire.

Her screams alerted her husband who came out and chased the "Devil" to the Sixteenth street, where a trolley car nearly hit it shortly thereafter.

There is another version of the alleged incident:

The authors of a "Jersey Devil" book said that on January 21, 1909, the Jersey Devil sailed over to the heart of south Philadelphia, where he made one of his most vivid and dramatic appearances.

It started when Mrs. J. H. White, of the fifteen-hundred block of Ellsworth Street, went out to her clothesline, having given her maid the day off. It was 4 p.m. as she descended the back stairs.

There was a strange thing in the corner of her yard. Curious, she moved toward it. Instantly it arose to a full six feet in height; she saw it clearly.

The body was covered with an alligator skin, and it began spewing flames from its mouth. Mrs. White screamed until her body shook, and then collapsed. Her husband, an insurance agent, ran out the back door to see his wife on the ground, and an unbelievable monster spurting flames from its mouth standing nearby.

Mr. White could think only of defending his unconscious wife, he bravely snatched up a clothes prop, ran at the beast, swinging his weapon. The Devil scurried over the fence and in to an alley leading to Sixteenth Street, still shooting flames, with White in pursuit.

White shortly quit the chase to return to his wife, whom he found still in a swoon. He called the family doctor, who labored for an hour in reviving Mrs. White from her terrifying experience.

A motorman on the Sixteenth street who did not know about that reported he almost run into a grotesque fire-breathing creature near Washington Avenue about the same time.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001467
Date of event: January 20 or 21, 1909
Earliest report of event: 1909?
Delay of report: Day, days?
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Not known. Newspaper?
First certain record by: Fortean book Jerome Clark.
First alleged record type: Not known. Newspaper?
First certain record type: Fortean book Jerome Clark.
This file created on: April 9, 2013
This file last updated on: April 11, 2013
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Pennsylvania
Type of location: Home back yard.
Lighting conditions: Afternoon.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 2
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Adult or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Man and wife.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Not reported
Entities height: 1.80 meters
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported. Aligator skin.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported. Breathed fire.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Is there, breathes fire, flees.
Entities/witness interactions: Fled.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, chased.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Possible invention or prank. Not UFO-related.
Explanation certainty: High.

Narratives:

[Ref. mm1:] JAMES MCCLOY AND RAY MILLER:

The authors say that on January 21, 1909, the Jersey Devil sailed over to the heart of south Philadelphia, where he made one of his most vivid and dramatic appearances.

It started when Mrs. J. H. White, of the fifteen-hundred block of Ellsworth Street, went out to her clothesline, having given her maid the day off. It was 4 p.m. as she descended the back stairs.

There was a strange thing in the corner of her yard. Curious, she moved toward it. Instantly it arose to a full six feet in height; she saw it clearly.

The body was covered with an alligator skin, and it began spewing flames from its mouth. Mrs. White screamed until her body shook, and then collapsed. Her husband, an insurance agent, ran out the back door to see his wife on the ground, and an unbelievable monster spurting flames from its mouth standing nearby.

Mr. White could think only of defending his unconscious wife, he bravely snatched up a clothes prop, ran at the beast, swinging his weapon. The Devil scurried over the fence and in to an alley leading to Sixteenth Street, still shooting flames, with White in pursuit.

White shortly quit the chase to return to his wife, whom he found still in a swoon. He called the family doctor, who labored for an hour in reviving Mrs. White from her terrifying experience.

A motorman on the Sixteenth street who did not know about that reported he almost run into a grotesque fire-breathing creature near Washington Avenue about the same time.

[Ref. jc1:] JEROME CLARK:

The author says that on January 20 or 21, 1909, in Philadelphia, one Mrs. Davis A. White said that at 4 p.m. said she encountered the "Jersey Devil" in her backyard. It had alligator skin and breathed fire. Her screams alerted her husband who came out and chased the Devil to the Sixteenth street where a trolley car nearly hit it shortly thereafter.

[Ref. ma1:] MATT ALAIR:

Matt Alair says that on January 20, 1909, at 4 p.m. in Philadelphia, Mrs. Davis A. White spotted it in her backyard, describing it as having alligator skin and breathing fire from its mouth. Her screams awoke her husband, who chased it to Sixteenth Street before a trolley car nearly struck it.

[Ref. dh1:] "NEW JERSEY DEVILS HUNTERS":

Thurs. 1/21

Philadelphia, PA

Mrs. J. E. White was out in her backyard hanging laundry at approximately 4pm in the afternoon when she noticed something sitting in a corner of her yard. Upon approaching the creature, it arose to six feet tall, with a body covered in scaly skin. White claimed the creature spurted flames from its mouth. White began screaming and collapsed. Her husband ran out just in time to catch a glimpse of the strange, frightening beast. Mr. White grabbed a support pole from the clothesline and swung it at the creature, until the creature finally escaped and flew off. Right after that incident, a driver reported almost hitting the creature as it scrambled across the road. Another man, William Becker, claimed to have thrown stones at the Jersey Devil. Another man said he watched it sitting along the roadside.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates that in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 21, 1909 at 16:00, "Mrs Davis A White encountered a creature in her backyard described as having alligator skin and breathing fire from its mouth. Her screams alerted her husband, who dashed outside and chase it to Seventh Street, where shortly thereafter a trolley car nearly hit it."

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is "Jerome Clark, Unexplained!".

[Ref. ww1:] EDWARD WHITE AND THOMAS WHITE:

The authors say that in 1909, the Jersey Devil appeared to residents of Philadelphia, and the most dramatic of those sightings occurred on Ellsworth Street in January. Mrs. J. H. White went out to her backyard clothesline at about fOUr o'clock in the afternoon when she noticed something crollching in the corner of the yard. As she moved closer to see what it was, the Jersey Devil rose to its cloven feet and began to spit fire. Mrs. White later described the creature as being six feet tall and having skin like an alligator.

The woman screamed in terror and then passed out. Alerted by the screams, Mr. White raced to the backyard only to find his wife on the ground and the gruesome creature spitting fire.

He grabbed a pole and chased the Devil out of his yard and into an alley that conducted to Sixteenth Street. He then stopped the chase and turned back to help his wife. The Jersey Devil was then seen by a witness on Sixteenth Street near Washington Avenue.

Points to consider:

Before discussing this particular case, I must make some general remarks about what was called the "Jersey Devil".

In Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, for nearly two centuries at least, some people give reports of encounters with a "creature" whose descriptions suggested that it was some sort of "devil", though in my opinion it was often merely a large bird in migration there, the sandhill crane.

Ufologically, these stories are mostly not considered as related in any way with UFOs or UFO occupants, in my opinion too they should not be part of a catalog of "close encounters of the third kind".

However, some ufologists included such stories in such catalogs, thinking for some reason it does have something to do with the UFO question. Most of the time, they do not include all the Jersey Devil reports, but only a few of them, maybe due to lack of documentation or maybe for some other reason I do not understand.

So I have to include all these stories, because if some source considers, rightly or wrongly, that this a UFO-related, then it is within my scope, not to immediately and arbitrarily disregard their idea, but to evaluate it, and thus to collect the documentation and the comments about it. And therefore, I have to check and document all reported, not just those selected arbitrarily by these ufologists who believed this is UFO material. This is why you cans see I have a file for each Jersey Devil reports, even those that were never included in the ufology literature.

I should note that most stories are fragmentary, often because the sources write about several observations, and what is said about one report is supposed to be implicitly true for the others. I do not do it that way; I publish case files individually and discuss each on its own merits or issues, and offer a specific assessment for each case. But of course, generalities can be said on these reports. As I do not want to disconnect individual reports from these generalities, I make the following notes.

I want to first list the various explanations offered for the "Jersey Devil" - they could apply its late equivalent the West Virginia "Mothman" which was introduced in UFO books the 1960s:

In this case, there is no description of the entity's shape, so no ordinary explanation would be better than another.

The alligator skin was not reported in most of the other cases. The fire-breathing creature, of course, might have been just an invention.

Or, maybe some flame spitter in disguize played a prank to the couple.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe April 9, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not available and not referenced. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe April 9, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Very poor report with no description of entity shape and size. Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe April 9, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross No sign of investigation or checking. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Possible invention or prank. Not UFO-related.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross April 9, 2013 Creation, [jc1], [ma1], [ar1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 9, 2013 First published.
1.1 Patrick Gross April 11, 2013 Additions [mm1], [dh1], [ww1]. Addition of what follows "There is another version..." in the summary.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict



 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on April 11, 2013