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UFOs in the daily Press:

The 1909 "Jersey Devil" in the Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA, on page 1, on May 7, 1909.

See the case file here.



Doughty Captain Lands Strange Bird Off Rum Point After Great Battle.

Atlantic City, May 7. -- Captain Geo. Doughty, a deep sea fisherman, believes he has captured the noted "devil bird," the bombat which created so much excitement in southern New Jersey a few months ago. He brought the bird in after a fierce battle, about two miles off Rum point, in which he disabled the feathered mystery with an oar.

Captain Doughty says he was pulling in from the open sea with a boat load of fish shortly before sunrise when a big winged object flashed by his face. He saw, as the object passed, that it was an immense bird, bent upon attack.

"The bird had a lot of momentum," said the captain, "and it took it some time to wheel and return to the attack.

"When he came back, I was ready for him, but I didn't look for any such a fight as he gave me. He nearly knocked me overboard several times.

"He went at me with his sharp bill and his claws. I managed to land a lucky blow on him and he fell helpless in the boat, on top of my fish. I tied his feet and his wings with a line and brought him in."

As proof that he had a battle, Capt. Doughty shows black and blue marks on his arms and a coat literally ripped to shreds. The bird, which stands five feet in height and weighs fully 150 pounds, is a captive in a big cage at the captain's home.

It is not a bird native to these parts. Old-time baymen say it resembles a cross between a crane and a pelican, but none of them ever saw such an immense bird of either species.

The south Jersey "devil bird" had the whole lower section of the state aroused last fall. It was described by persons who saw it as something between a bird and a pony. Farmers swore that the "devil bird" carried off sheep and dogs and attacked men in the roads and fields.

A Philadelphia animal dealer announced that the bird was a bombat that escaped from his collection, and offered a reward for it, but all trace of the strange visitor was lost until Captain Doughty's adventure.

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