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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 22, 1909, MORRISVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, SEVERAL MEN:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

The authors of a reference book about the "Jersey Devil" say that on January 22, 1909, about 7 in the evening, a report circulated that the Jersey Devil had been captured at last.

C. S. Hilk, a saloonkeeper of Lamberton Street, Trenton, received a phone call saying the Devil was locked in a barn on his farm across the Delaware River in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The caller said the Devil had been riding atop a wagon driven into the barn by a farmhand, then several men slammed the door shut, trapping the beast.

The next day, Hilk and a number of curious people rowed a boat across the Delaware to go see the beast, but a thorough search of the barn proved the Jersey Devil had mysteriously disappeared.

According to other, later sources, it was not "the authorities" who searched the barn in vain.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001534
Date of event: January 22, 1909
Earliest report of event: January 22, 1909
Delay of report: Hours, day.
Witness reported via: Told place owner by phone.
First alleged record by: Not known.
First certain record by: Jersey Devil book McCloy and Miller.
First alleged record type: Not known.
First certain record type: Jersey Devil book.
This file created on: July 18, 2013
This file last updated on: July 18, 2013
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Pennsylvania
Type of location: Barn.
Lighting conditions: Not reported.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 1 or more
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Young adult ot adult.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Man, farm hand, other men.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Not reported
Entities height: Not reported
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
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: Not reported.
Entities actions: Was atop a wagon: which was locked into a barn.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, locked wagon on which creature is into a barn, called others.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Probable confusion, bird, sandhill crane, or hoax.
Explanation certainty: Medium.

Narratives:

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

The authors say that on January 22, 1909, about 7 in the evening, a report circulated that the Jersey Devil had been captured at last.

A saloonkeeper of Lamberton Street, Trenton, received a phone call saying the Devil was locked in a barn on his farm across the Delaware River in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The caller said the Devil had been riding atop a wagon driven into the barn by a farmhand, then several men slammed the door shut, trapping the beast.

A number of curious people rowed a boat across the Delaware to go see the beast, but a search of the barn proved the Jersey Devil had mysteriously disappeared.

[Ref. mm2:] JAMES MCCLOY AND RAY MILLER:

The authors say that during January 1909, C. S. Hilk, a Trenton saloonkeeper, was told the Jersey Devil had been locked in a barn on a farm in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The Devil supposedly had been sitting on a wagon as it was driven into the barn, and was trapped inside when the barn was closed.

Hearing of the supposed capture, Hilk and several others rowed across the Delaware rivers the next day, but though they searched the barn thoroughly, they found no trace of the creature.

[Ref. jr1:] JENNY RANDLES:

The British ufologist says that in 1909 there was an aborted attempt to pen the "Jersey Devil" into a barn in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, when the barn doors were open the "Jersey Devil" had vanished, never to return again.

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

Fri. 1/22

Morrisville, PA

A report was given that the Jersey Devil had been captured in a man's barn. Upon opening the doors to the barn, they were disappointed to find that the creature had once again vanished.

[Ref. ch1:] LOREN COLEMAN AND BRUCE HALLENBECK:

The authors say that on January 22, 1909, in Morrisville, PA, a report was given that the Jersey Devil had been captured in a man's barn, but upon opening the doors of the barn, the hunters were disappointed to find the creature had vanished.

[Ref. pw1:] PATTY A. WILSON:

The author says that in January 1909, word was sent out that the beast had been cornered in a barn in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The authorities investigated and were shocked to find that the beast had escaped.

[Ref. cs1:] "CASTLE OF SPIRITS" WEBSITE:

The website says that "There is a report that at 7 pm the beast had been captured in a barn in Morrisville, PA. When authorities investigate, they found that the devil had escaped again."

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 let's see this report.

The obvious problem is that no description of the alleged "Jersey Devil" is given, so it could just have been anything, for example the sandhill crane, or a complete hoax.

"Sandhill Crane" (Grus canadensis) - pictures above - is a species of big crane living in North America, Canada, and in the extreme northeast of Siberia. Some are resident, some are migratory, passing sometimes indeed by the states where the "Jersey Devil" was reported.

Its wingspan can reach more than 2 meters.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe July 18, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not known and missing. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe July 18, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross No description of entity. Help needed. Opened.
4 Ufology Severe July 18, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Missing basic data: hour, distance, size, duration... Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Probable confusion, bird, sandhill crane, or hoax.

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 July 18, 2013 Creation, [mm1], [mm2], [jr1], [dh1], [ch1], [pw1], [cs1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 18, 2013 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 18, 2013