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UFOs in the daily Press:

The Jersey Devil in the 1909 Press:

The article below was published in the daily newspaper The Columbian, Washington D. C., USA, page 2, June 24, 1909.

About "Jersey Devil" encounters, see the 1909 cases in New Jersey.



Weird 'Devil Bird' Crossed State Line and Terrified Spring Valley, New York


Described as Having An Immense Head; and a Small but Muscular Body Covered with Hair - Arms Equipped with Web-Like Skins

Spring Valley, N. Y. -- An armed posse of fearless men searched hill and dale and invaded swamp lands fearlessly in and around this village, in hot pursuit of the weird Jersey "Bombat," which has made its lair nearby. The alleged capture of the "devil bird" at Atlantic City is not credited here. It wasn't the real "devil bird" that fought Fisherman Dougherty, for the monster is in "the midst" here.

The creature appeared in the heart of the swamp near the business section of Main street. Its uncanny cries at first startled the villagers, and when an exploring party, armed with lanterns, entered the swamp the gleaming eyes of the creature and its wild gyrations threw terror into the hearts of the bravest, and the scouting party, led by Charlie Fisher, who keeps the bowling alleys, fled back to the security of the village streets.

Throughout the night the cries of the whatever-it-is were heard coming from various directions, but always from the neighborhood of the swamp.

Chief of Police "Tommy" Walker, who is the entire uniformed force, was appealed to, but "guessed as how" his business did not consist of running down Bombats or Jersey Devils, and he reckoned he'd better remain on man street and do his usual bit.

On their way to school next day children flocked together passing the haunt of the Bombat. Women expressed equal fear and men ventured forth fearful of encountering the creature.

It was described as having an immense head atop a small but muscular body, covered with hair. Its arms appeared to be equipped with a web-like skin which answered the purpose of wings, giving the creature the ability to leap immense distances, while the wings flapped lifting its body clear off the earth.

At night when the awful shrieking and at times mournful cries of the Bombat carried into every home of the village, the negroes living on Chicken Hill ran terrified into the village and many flocked into the Methodist church and prayed hysterically.

Sarah Allston, wife of Omega Allston, a woodchopper, was more hysterical than the rest. She fled from the church down Main street and fell dead in front of the post office. D. Smith declared she had died from heart disease, but the villagers exclaimed that the devil hand of the Bombat had been raised against Sarah, and that any one so indicated by the monster would meet the same fate.

An hour later the fright of the villagers was intensified when word was brought in that the body of a dead man was found on the railroad tracks. The body has not yet been identified.

After a night of vigil, during which the Bombat continued to howl and shriek and moan, the men of Spring Valley met in Fisher's bowling alley, but not a ball rolled, not even a high ball. Matters were too desperate, Charlie Fisher allowed, to permit any sort of festivities.

"I tell you what we'll do," spoke up Tom Moore, throwing out his chest. "We'll form a hunting party, arm ourselves to the teeth, and every man pledging himself to stand together, we'll sally into the swamp to-morrow and hunt down that pesky critter."

There were several present who declared as how it might be well to call for outside assistance and not go on tempting the devil, but when J. C. Gibbs, Harold Sheldon, Ross Youmans, Roswald Farrington, Walter Foley, Shep Small and Dink Davis volunteered to start the hunt, first thing next morning, the others fell into line.

During the remainder of the night followed a scurrying throughout the village for firearms, and cutlasses, and it came to pass that bright and early the band entered the swamp to hunt the terrifying bombat to the death.

Spring Valley awaited with hushed anxiety the result of the formidable dash of the brave men of the village into the heart of the bombat's chosen fastness. Their search was in vain.

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