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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, SALEM, NEW JERSEY, USA, JACOB HENDERSON:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

One of the many "Jersey Devil" cases seems to consist very little information, telling that on January 22, 1909, in Salem, New Jersey, USA, one Jacob Henderson saw a "beast" with "wings and a tail" walking through an area of the town.

Henderson's bulldog growled and drove the beast into the woods.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001468
Date of event: January 22, 1909
Earliest report of event: 1909?
Delay of report: Days, weeks, years?
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: No known.
First certain record by: Website.
First alleged record type: No known.
First certain record type: Website.
This file created on: July 14, 2013
This file last updated on: July 14, 2013
Country of event: USA
State/Department: New Jersey
Type of location: In the city.
Lighting conditions: Not reported.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: Not reported.
Witnesses types: Not reported.
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 or none.
Entities outfit color: Not reported or N/A.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Beast with tail and wings.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Wings.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: None reported.
Entities actions: Walked through an area of the town.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Probable bird, possible sandhill crane.
Explanation certainty: Medium.

Narratives:

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

Salem, NJ

1/22

Jacob Henderson saw a beast with "wings and a tail" walking through an area of town. Henderson's bulldog growled and drove the beast into the woods.

[Ref. sw1:] "THE STRANGE AND THE WEIRD" WEBSITE:

The website says that Jacob Henderson saw the devil in Salem and described it as having "wings and a tail".

[Ref. mn1:] MICHAEL NEWTON:

The author says that on January 22, 1909, Jacob Henderson, in Salem, saw a beast with "wings and a tail".

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

The authors say that on January 22, 1909, in Salem, Jacob Henderson saw a beast with "wings and a tail" walking through an area of town. Henderson's bulldog growled and drove the beast into the woods.

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 phrase "Jacob Henderson saw the devil in Salem and described it as having 'wings and a tail'" as in [sw1] is published on hundreds of websites about mysteries, strange creatures, UFOs, the paranormal, with no further details. There is no point for me to reproduce all these sources.

The List of Issues below is enough to show that the case has little strangeness. Jacob Henderson may have spotted, like many others then and there, a sandshill crane,

We have no UFO, no aliens, nothing evil, nothing "paranormal" whatsoever. Nothing that could kill the idea that the men may have briefly seen the scary-looking sandhill at a time when everyone talked about the "Jersey Devil".

There is not enough information to make this explanation a certainty, but there is not a single piece of information that would support she saw a real devil, or an alien, or a pterodactyl, "Bigfoot" or anything extraordinary.

"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 14, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary source not known and not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe July 14, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Missing basic data: lighting, distance, size, duration... Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe July 14, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Single witness case. Help needed. Opened.
4 Ufology Severe July 14, 2013 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross The two only details reported suggest a bird. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Probable bird, possible sandhill crane.

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 14, 2013 Creation, [dh1], [sw1], [mn1], [ch1].
1.0 Patrick Gross July 14, 2013 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 14, 2013