Recent sightings of what many folks call “The Jersey Devil” have scared the pants off of a few New Jersey fishermen and hikers in and around the area of Round Valley Reservoir in Central New Jersey — about 40 miles from New York City.
Experts claim that a recent cell phone photo (not released) shows what they believe is a mature brown bear with third-degree burn scars on one side of his body and when seen from only the damaged right side where the skin is hairless with mottled pink scar tissue, it would be very difficult for someone to recognize this as a bear — others disagree with that story.
“We all know the old bear who is all scarred up,” said John Anderson, a naturalist and fresh water snorkeler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“I have been seeing the bear with the pink and red scars for years and he’s pretty ugly looking and we call him Burny, but the thing some people have been reporting lately is not Burny. No way.
“Last week (June 5, 2012) an elderly man run up to me at the water’s edge at southwestern end of the reservoir and his face was white as a sheet. He told me that a monster followed him as he went to a fishing spot, and the first thing he said was ‘It’s not that burned up old Burny’ so right there I knew he was a local person or somebody who was familar with the area.
“He wanted me to know straight up that he hadn’t seen old Burny. That old bear looks like a monster when you see his bad side but he gets on alright. He’s strong as an ox and he looks really good on one side until you see the other side of him. Somebody either did this to him with gasoline or he got burned up in some kind of forest fire.
“He’s not very afraid of people so I would guess it was a brush fire or something. It’s amazing that he survived and healed up because it’s pretty much that one half of his body was burned. I’d say that I have been seeing him for three years and he was burned up then so he’s been around.”
Anderson went on to describe how he helped the frightened man calm down and gave him a bottle of spring water and some Skittles, “to get his blood sugar back up.”
“This old guy was really shaking and he was no amateur outdoors man. He had some pretty sophisticated fishing gear and he knew what he was talking about. As soon as he mention that he saw something that looked like a tall skinny man with dark grey skin like a lizard with serpent wings I knew he had seen the Jersey Devil. This is the third time this has happened this year but I have not seen it.”
The Jersey Devil is a of legend in New Jersey and for over a century the creature has rarely been spotted or described outside of the New Jersey Pine Barrens in the southeastern part of the state. It has been described as the Bigfoot of the east, but sketches that have been made show the Jersey Devil to be more of a serpent like creature, or something half man and half serpent. This differs greatly from the ages old image of the Yeti or Bigfoot which is more of an apelike creature.
“It’s very possible that a reptilian or raptor-like creature could live in a place as small as New Jersey and never be seen,” said Bigfoot expert and filmmaker Mildred Sclafani.
“The New Jersey Pine Barrens hold the largest supply of fresh water on the entire east coast of the USA until you get to the Everglades, and if you want to get technical about it, the everglades are brackish water so in my book the Pine Barrens are even more fresh water-abundant than any place until you get to the Amazon rain forest. Sounds crazy but it’s true.
“Where there is that much ground water, there are bound to be hundreds of miles of underground caverns. It could be a whole other world down there and nobody will ever know unless they look but nobody cares to look. Geologists have told me that ground resonant imaging suggests that much of the area around southeastern New Jersey and as far west as the northern tip of Delaware might be hollow but you would have to go down about 3 miles or more to get to the hollowed out part.
“I imagine that it would be like a giant theater. A theater that’s about 40 miles wide and 80 miles long. The ceiling might vary but it is safe to assume that it would be about 500 to 1,000 feet high. It’s actually an entire other world down there and it probably has it’s own ecosystem. There’s no light but it would be a perfect steamy environment for reptilian creatures who had access to cooling waters and to the surface.
“I believe the Jersey Devil is a raptor like creature and over the years it has expanded it’s underground range to reach places as far north as Round Valley. Keep in mind that Round Valley is a very unusual place. It’s a very deep lake and that’s very unusual for New Jersey. Lakes in New Jersey are nothing more than over-glorified ponds, but Round Valley is a giant sinkhole — where does it go? The routing of the water into and out of Round valley has never been properly determined but it was theorized at one point back in 1919 that it fed an underground river that flowed under the mid-line of the state and emptied into the Delaware Bay. Other theories say that it’s the other way around. No matter how you look at it, this is the year 2012 and still to this day, with all the technology we have at our disposal, nobody really understands how the Round Valley System works.
“If New Jersey has its Devil, the Round Valley system would be where it would go. I think there’s been three or four sightings this year from credible witnesses. It’s kind of weird. But I I have hear several other cryptozoologists say that if the Jersey Devil was going to make a move, it would be towards the Round Valley. Maybe they’re increasing in numbers.”
Sclafani has been busy in Northern New Jersey and southern New York because of the recent rash of Bigfoot sightings. According to Sclafani, 2011 was a banner year for Bigfoot sightings in and around the Catskill Mountains of New York and the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey but so far this year there have been no sightings.
“New Jersey had a big year with plain old Bigfoot last year but so far this year things have been quiet. It was a very mild winter and that kind of alters Bigfoot sightings as far as geographical locations go,” Sclafani said.
So? What are they seeing up at Round Valley Reservoir? Experts say they’re seeing a badly scarred old bear, but locals who know the place — folks like John Anderson — say that’s all wrong and the Park Rangers know it’s a crock of BS. We have rangers here now who don’t even get out of their cars when they drive through here. It’s actually kind of funny to think they could be scared of the thing whatever it is because after about two hundred years or more nobody has ever been killed by one, or at least nobody has proven anything like that.”
“I know that three reports were filed with police this month alone,” Anderson said. “I know that old guy I helped was scared out of his mind and it takes a lot to scare these old fishermen. He saw something but I helped him back to his truck and he seemed okay and he went home. I didn’t even get his name. I hope he’s alright. He said he was going to see the State Police so he must have filed a report.”
So is it possible that New Jersey has a creepier, scarier inhabitant than any of the Jersey Shore kids combined?
The Jersey Devil is “the oldest living monster in America,” according to Kathy Kelly of Paranormal Books & Curiosities in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is currently running a historical exhibit on the freaky cryptid called The Jersey Devil Expedition of 1819.
The beast is said to be the unwanted child of a former Jersey resident who made a pact with Satan to give him her baby in exchange for regaining her youth.
Her newborn was then turned into a winged, horned demon that has supposedly terrorized the area for hundreds of years.
Many New Jersey residents claim they’ve actually seen the Jersey Devil, while others believe the monster is just a myth.
Whatever the case, Kelly is glad to spotlight interesting local history again after the damage that the Jersey Shore series has caused to the state’s image.