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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 21, 1909, MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY, USA, DAN POSSACK:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

The Asbury Park Evening Press newspaper for January 22, 1909, page 2, reportedly told of an encounter on Friday, January 21, 1909, in Millville, New Jersey, USA.

Dan Possack of Millville allegedly had a struggle with "one of the strangest freaks of nature, or a monster straight from the bad place." While Dan was doing his chores he heard someone in the backyard walking around, calling out to him.

When he turned around, he beheld a "monster beast-bird" about 18 feet high. The visitor demanded to know where the garbage can was, asking in perfectly good English. Dan, terrified, ran towards the barn, but the bird caught up with him.

It wrapped its sinewy and red beak around Dan's body. Dan began hitting it with a hatchet that he kept in his belt. He was astonished to see that he could chop splinters out of the body, much like he could be made out of wood. While he was chopping, the beast whispered something in Dan's ear, and with a mighty blow, Dan set the hatchet square into the monster's face. "Out popped an eyeball, and with a scream of pain, the assailant took in a long breath, filled it's body like a balloon, and floated into space."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001466
Date of event: January 21, 1909
Earliest report of event: January 22, 1909
Delay of report: Hours, day.
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Newspaper.
First certain record by: "Jersey Devil" website.
First alleged record type: Newspaper.
First certain record type: "Jersey Devil" website.
This file created on: April 9, 2013
This file last updated on: April 9, 2013
Country of event: USA
State/Department: New Jersey
Type of location: Back yard of home.
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Young adult, adult or aged.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Male.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Monster
Entities height: 5.50 meters
Entities outfit type: One piece tight fitting.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported. Animal bird monster, seems made of wood when hit with an axe.
Entities head: Not reported. Sinewy and red beak.
Entities eyes: Yes.
Entities mouth: Not reported. Speaks.
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: Speaks perfect English.
Entities actions: Asks where the garbage can is, assaults witness, inflates, flies away.
Entities/witness interactions: Asks where the garbage can is.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, tried to flee, fought with axe.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Probable invention. Not UFO-related.
Explanation certainty: High.

Narratives:

[Ref. wn1:] "WEIRD NEW JERSEY" WEBSITE:

The website says that in the Asbury Park Evening Press, for January 22, 1909, page 2, there was a report about an encounter on Friday, January 21, 1909.

Dan Possack of Millville had a struggle with "one of the strangest freaks of nature, or a monster straight from the bad place." While Dan was doing his chores he heard someone in the backyard walking around, calling out to him.

When he turned around, he beheld a "monster beast-bird" about 18 feet high. The visitor demanded to know where the garbage can was, asking in perfectly good English. Dan, terrified, ran towards the barn, but the bird caught up with him.

It wrapped its sinewy and red beak around Dan's body. Dan began hitting it with a hatchet that he kept in his belt. He was astonished to see that he could chop splinters out of the body, much like he could be made out of wood. While he was chopping, the beast whispered something in Dan's ear, and with a mighty blow, Dan set the hatchet square into the monster's face. "Out popped an eyeball, and with a scream of pain, the assailant took in a long breath, filled it's body like a balloon, and floated into space." Mass hysteria was certainly gripping the area.

[Ref. ar1:] ALBERT ROSALES:

Albert Rosales indicates that Millville, New Jersey, on January 21, 1909, at night, "Dan Possack was doing his chores at home when he heard someone in the backyard walking around, calling out to him. When he turned around, he beheld a 'monster beast-bird' about 18 ft high (!). The visitor demanded to know where the garbage can was, asking in perfectly good English, Dan, terrified, ran towards the barn, but the bird caught up with him. It wrapped its sinewy and red beak around Danís body. Dan began hitting it with a hatchet that he kept in his belt. He was astonished to see that he could shop splinters out of the body, much like he could out of wood. While he was chopping, the beast whispered something in Danís ear, and with a mighty blow, Dan set the hatchet square into the monsterís face. With a scream of pain, the assailant took in a long breath, filled its body like a balloon, and floated away into space (!). (If we are to believe all these stories of incidents that occurred on January 21, there was something really bizarre loose out in New Jersey that night)."

Albert Rosales indicates that the source is "Weird New Jersey".

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:

Now, for this particular report, suffice to compare it with the other reports of the "Jersey Devil" in the area at the time to see that there is virtually no resemblance. No other such report described something 5.50 meters tall, made of wood, speaking English, "inflating" to fly away, etc..

It is quite obvious that the story can be completely invented, perhaps by someone slightly retarded and living in relative isolation and not having a good idea of what the "Jersey Devil" was supposed to look like, thus inventing these odd features.

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 no available. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Probable invention. 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, [wn1], [ar1].
1.0 Patrick Gross April 9, 2013 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 9, 2013