The Jersey Devil legend originated back in 1735 when a woman known as “Mother Leeds” reportedly gave birth to the sinister cryptid.
Since then, persistent reports of Jersey Devil sightings have trickled in over the years, including more than a hundred in a single week in 1909 and two other substantial periods of increased activity occurred in 1951-1952 and 2009.
Now, we may be adding 2015 to that list if New Jersey resident Dave Black isn’t pulling a Halloween prank. Black’s claim he captured the New Jersey Devil on film has local cryptid enthusiasts buzzing with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
How exactly did Black manage to capture an image of a creature that’s otherwise been camera shy for 280 years?
Dave Black, who works as a security guard in Atlantic City, told NJ.com that he spotted the Jersey Devil in Galloway Township on Route 9 near a golf course. The cryptid reportedly ran in and out of the trees along the roadside, and Black initially mistook the creature for a llama.
However, since llamas don’t fly, when the creature spread out its wings and took to the air, Black became convinced he was in the presence of the legendary Jersey Devil.
Thinking quickly, the Little Egg Harbor Township resident grabbed his phone and snapped a few images of the cryptid mid-flight.
The encounter took place after midnight on October 7, 2015, and from the photo, the creature has dark brown fur, cloven hooves, horns, and wings.
Is this a hoax? While strings aren’t visible in the image, it’s possible that software, such as Photoshop, could have been used. But why would someone face inevitable ridicule by attaching their name and witness statement to this type of hoax?
When it comes to Big Foot, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster and other well-known cryptids, there’s big money involved with staging sightings. The Jersey Devil, however, isn’t a particularly well know cryptid. Many readers might not even be familiar with the creature’s story.
To her credit, NJ.com reporter Kelly Roncace mentions in her article that she sat on the story for almost a week before publishing it. She wanted to ensure that Black was sincere about his report.
Two Jersey Devil Sightings in One Week?
The level of attention Black’s story garnered once again thrust the Jersey Devil temporarily into the spotlight. At least one other New Jersey resident is now claiming to have spotted and recorded the typically elusive creature.
Honestly, the video posted by WeirdNJ.com looks less credible in comparison to Black’s photograph. One of the commenters on the video went so far as to say:
“This person should be ashamed mocking the Jersey Devil this way…It’s an insult to him and to all of us proud Jerseyans who love his legend.”
One of the most enduring aspects of the Jersey Devil’s story is the creature’s affinity for the Pinelands area. All-in-all, there’ve been more than 1,000 sightings since the 1700s, but the creature’s reluctance to leave the Pinelands has probably dampened the creatures global appeal.