Talk:Jersey Devil

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Comment[edit]

From article:

The creature's name was borrowed in the early 1970s by Princeton architecture alumni Jim Adamson, Steve Badanes, and John Ringel, who formed a loose alliance to design and build eccentric, influential houses. They adopted the name "Jersey Devil Design-Build" after an observer, upon seeing one of their houses, remarked, "It looks like the Jersey Devil's been here." -- FriedMilk

This is bs

Thestral[edit]

it looks like a harry potter thestral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kirby789 (talkcontribs) 19:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

The thestrals from Harry Potter may have been inspired by this myth, yes. Anyone know for sure? 81.16.160.34 (talk) 11:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


Myth details[edit]

In elementary or middle school, we did a lot about New Jersey history, and visited placed like the Pine Barrens. I distinctly remember being told a version of the story that said when the child was born (or perhaps he burst out of th womb, Alien-like), he immediately ripped off his mother's breast and drank the blood, then flew off. Quite a thing to tell a bunch of 12- and 13-year-olds! In any case, has anyone ever heard this particular variant? –dablaze 01:47, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

I remember on a hike one time the guide said that: The New Jersey Devil was the 30th child born on October 30th and soon after birth he ran away. His mother didn't want him.--68.46.118.206 (talk) 17:21, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

X Files Jersey Devil[edit]

This was one of the X Files episodes. It was human in this one and located in the woods around Atlantic City. Good episode but that is all I have ever heard of it.

Encounters[edit]

I've removed this bit from the 'Encounters' section. Anyone have a source for this? That this so-called "Mr. Johnson" isn't given a first name makes it highly suspect. You can call me Al 17:51, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

In the late 1960's, Mr. Johnson and his newly wedded wife Stella, began to experience what could only be described as harassment from the Jersey Devil. Noises from outside their home in a newly developed area right outside of the Pine Barrens in Southern New Jersey were just the beginning. The distant noises eventually turned into banging across the entire side of their home. As these happenings became more frequent and more threatening, the couple began to investigate. They never found a single soul outside of their home after each alarming attack, but they did find unidentifiable hoof-like prints all around that lead to nowhere; they just disappeared. At one point it was almost predictable to when the attacks would happen. The couple gathered friends and family and waited. On multiple occasions the group was ready and waiting when the thumping noises began and every time, there was nothing to be found but odd, unidentifiable hoof prints all around the home... The most alarming report from the Johnson’s was the brutal termination of their dog Sam. Sam was a German Sheppard and was often kept on a leash in the back yard; that is until it was found mutilated at the edge of the woods directly behind the family home. As Mr. Johnson was telling the stories of his horrifying experiences and close encounters with the legend of the Pine Barrens, his body began to quiver with fear as the memories seemed to haunt his every word. Mr. Johnson never reported any of this to the authorities as the family was afraid of what would be said of them. This is the first "unofficial" report of the sightings as described by Mr. Johnson.
Actually, a great portion of it looks highly suspect. It seems to be written in an overly sensationalist style. Any word on who wrote this?
Hey, my warranty didn't run out after all! 23:31, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Linguistic squible[edit]

this line boggles me.

swedish explorers renamed the place in question "drake kill", "drake" being european for "dragon"

this seems a bit vague. there is no such thing as "the european language", so i figure the term "drake" should either be acredited to the swedish language or maybe british english. anybody have anything more specific on this? 213.172.246.112 00:09, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

"Drake" is indeed the Swedish word for dragon, but the word "kill" doesn't make any sense in this context. The entire statement looks a bit fishy to me. Jonas Liljeström 16:45, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
"Drake's Kill" is no longer in the article, but I am fairly sure that it's Dutch, not Swedish. "Kill" means body of water in Dutch (see Kill (body of water)), and the area was visited (and many places named) in the 17th century by Dutch, not Swedish, explorers. --MCB 20:03, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't be quite so sure about that. The word "kil" - though now no longer in use - used to exist in the Swedish language too, with the same meaning (as evidenced in place names such as "Lysekil" and "Fiskebäckskil"). Furthermore, the Pine Barrens weren't far away from New Sweden, a Swedish colony which was founded in 1638 and incorporated into Dutch New Netherland in 1655. Jonas Liljeström (talk) 00:10, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

It's English. A "Drake" is a kind of waterfowl and "Kill" is what you do to them before you eat them so they don't thrash around while you're chewing on them. And as you can probably guess by the fact that America is an English speaking country, the area was visited (and many places named) by English speakers for several centuries. In fact, the last time I was in New Jersey it still had English speaking residents, some of whom actually still practiced the obscure and primitve ritual of killing and eating waterfowl.

The Swedish explanation makes more sense to me than the Dutch explanation because the Swedish name requires fewer changes to spellings. "Kil" in Swedish means "wedge" and can refer to a bay (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kil_Municipality). To go from "kil" to "kill" isn't as big a change as the change required to go from "draak" (Dutch for "dragon") to "drake". While it's possible that the Dutch changed the Swedish "kil" to "kill" when they acquired the region, it seems odd that they wouldn't also have changed "drake" to "draak". It's hard to say for sure what the origin is purely from the linguistic evidence, since both Swedish and Dutch explorers named places and started settlements in the area. This name may also have been anglicized - it's a ripe candidate for anglicisation especially because both the Swedish and Dutch words look and sound like English words. Even though "Drake Kill" is a nonsensical name in English, rationales can be invented easily enough, as the above (unsigned) post illustrates.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_etymology)Marmocet (talk) 03:03, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Fakery Revealed[edit]

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman has revealed some information about the initial reports [1] and it looks like the whole thing was faked. (Emperor 02:48, 11 April 2006 (UTC))


Possible Theories[edit]

If anyone has any information on what this so called devil could be could they plaese add them>this page is very one sided and does not include any skepticism. (Dermo69)

I've read a pretty convincing explanation somewhere, to the effect that at least some of the sightings could be misidentifications of a sandhill crane. It is a large bird with a wingspan of up to 7 feet, with a general appearance which is reasonably close to that of the alleged devil. I cannot think of any specific sources at the moment, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find one. Jonas Liljeström 15:22, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

That doesn't explain why it would attack a trolley car. A crane couldn't survive gunshots that the creature has supposedly taken in the past, also. But the sandhill crane theory could explain many sightings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiFanatic777 (talkcontribs) 07:36, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Look at the picture on the page. It is obviusly hand drawn, but note the feature. It almost looks like different parts stiched together. Also, I was at my grandfathers house for thanksgiving last night, and in the paper which was dated a week ago, their was an article about how the devil might be a fisher, a kind of weasel that creates blood curdling screams and can kill a racoon —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.109.182.88 (talk) 12:28, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The last theory I believed before writing the Jersey Devill off as just a monster story was that it was a product of magick, that it could have been some being created through dark magick and the person (Leeds?) never closed the ritual properly. I've read books about using magick and summoning spirits and entities with use of symbols, and many of the descriptions sounded like a Jersey Devil type being trapped here on earth. V

My other theory was that Mother Leeds gave birth to some mentally retarded or physically deformed child and kept it locked away from the public eye. As it got older he escaped and folks in the Pines Barrens called it the Devil due to it attacking and eating chickens and such. Over time it was kept alive by word of mouth and through story telling, changing over the years by crane sightings and weird sounds of the area and becoming the legend as we know it today. V —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spankees (talkcontribs) 07:06, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Citations on Mythical Creatures[edit]

I have erased a [citation needed] from this article as it is claiming a citation is needed on rumor. These stories about mythical creatures vary so much because there is no references, thats why its a myth...heyoo Aspensti 14:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. Wikipedia is not a forum for telling all of our own little stories - there are rules against posting unverifiable or uncited content for just this reason; WP:NOR is one example. Furthermore, I recommend you go take a look at, say, Medusa or Bigfoot for examples of articles on mythical creatures that have absolutely no problem citing their sources. Weird NJ writes on the Jersey Devil frequently, and counts as a citable resource and there are about a dozen books turning up on cursory internet searches about the Jersey Devil - I am sure that many of these contain citable information by scholars of myth and folk creatures. I am reverting your edits to restore the 'citation needed' tag. It is important that wikipedians act like they are editing a real encyclopedia and not some message board built for telling their own ghost stories or spreading rumors. --Ben iarwain 20:57, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

"Legends" section[edit]

The "Legends" section, in addition to being written in short, choppy sentences, is written in a manner that makes it unclear as to whether it is suggesting that the claims on which it is based are verified fact. I'll be changing this, just wanted to put this out there in case anyone wanted to take issue with it…

This is the best film I've seen on the Jersey Devil - The Link is

http://films.thelot.com/films/25484

New sighting?[edit]

I've removed this new report. it can go back in when there's some reference for it:

  • " It was big, and birdlike, it flew with an aquatic flow to it, like it was flying under water. it's neck wasn't that long but it had a longish face, kinda duck like" (described and sighted February 28th and submitted March 1st 2007).

Totnesmartin 22:29, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

anyone find it strange in the encounters section that the good comodore would have only been 1 year old at the time of the incident?

Eating the children vs descendants[edit]

The article says 'The horrific newborn proceeded to eat the other Leeds children before escaping through the chimney to begin its reign of terror.[1] [2] This version is contradicted by the fact that Mother Leeds has descendants that, as of 1998, still lived in Atlantic County'. She could still have descendants if she had children after the 'Jersey Devil'. She apparently was constantly pregnant, so it wouldn't be uncommon for her to have more children afterwards.--Jcvamp 04:08, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Eh. I can't see wanting to have another child after having given birth to a devil who ate all my other children. --DearPrudence (talk) 02:39, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I read that during the birth of the Devil, Leeds was actually in labor with twins, and after morphing, it then ate the other child before fleeing. --70.69.87.23 (talk) 21:35, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


I deleted the first sentence in the origins sections-it was something to the effect of "it is the only animal to eat it's own children". It is not a known animal, and the origins section is not so much about the birth of each member of the hypothetical animal, but the origin of the hypothesis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.186.178.202 (talk) 02:59, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Error in the Article[edit]

"In 1778, Commodore Stephen Decatur, a naval hero, visited the Hanover Iron Works in the Barrens..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur

It stated that Stephen Decatur was born in 1779.

Redirected to this site? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur_Sr

Possible Mix-Up of Two Cryptids?[edit]

A part of the "Encounters" section states that "As recently as 1991, a pizza delivery driver in Edison, New Jersey described a night encounter with a white, horselike creature." A second cryptid is thought to reside in the Pine Barrens called "The White Stag". It would seem more senisble of a "white, horselike creature" to be the White Stag. I thought perhaps his sighting was more closely associated with the White Stag rather than the Jersey Devil.

  Some time ago I recall reading an article in Readers' Digest about the encounter between a Stephen Decatur and the Jersey Devil in which the article claims that Stephen Decatur fired a round of cannon at the Jersey Devil while testing guns for the Navy. The first thing that got my attention is that most of the public are familiar with Stephen Decatur (Jr.) and are not so much familiar with his father who was, like Captain John Barry, was a naval war hero during the War for Independence in his own right. Although at the time of this alleged incident Stephen Decatur Jr. would have been only about 9 or 10 years of age. So I seriously doubt he was of age enough to test guns for the Navy.
  However, if we were to assume that the incident actually happened, it could be in reference to his father, Captain Stephen Decatur Sr. and this would be possible.
  On her maiden voyage under John Barry, the USS UNITED STATES sailed in company with the USS Delaware under the command of Stephen Decatur Sr.  His son, Stephen Decatur Jr. served at the same time as a midshipman on board the frigate USS UNITED STATES under Captain John Barry on this voyage. I believe Decatur Jr. was only about 18 at the time of the cruise (July 13 1798).
  Information by Edward C. Zimmerman, Jr.; Founder, President, CEO USS UNITED STATES Foundation since Sept. 1978.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.108.62.224 (talk) 01:55, 26 June 2012 (UTC) 

Real Animal[edit]

There is a thoery that the Jersey Devil may in fact be a very real species of Megachiroptera, as it has a striking resemblance to the Hammer-headed bat Hypsignathus monstrosus. The leathery wings, the shape of the head and face, and the shrieking sound it makes would all seem to fit the cryptid into this very plausible identity, but are the similarities strong enough to mention in this article? AnkhAnanku 16:05, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Recent Encounters[edit]

Are recent encounters really needed? Some of them sound as if they're coming from people who took a bad hit of acid. I always believed that many of the sightings are from lonely people seeking attention. I believe that only the most famous sightings (Decatur, Bonaparte) be added along with Phenom Week and sightings from trustable persons. Recent additions by pizza delivery driver's and people not even living in the area should be removed. V


So you are moronic enough to think that just because Decatur and Bonaparte are historical figures they should be trusted? And that no pizza delivery driver could possibly be a trusted person? BTW, "trustable" is not a word. BP — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.92.116.177 (talk) 14:42, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

The Devil Hunters???[edit]

Little about of this group (club) should be added here at Wikipedia being they proved on a television show called Scariest Places on Earth how unprofessional they are. They try to come off as serious researchers but were instead seen as a group of bored individuals led by a clueless girl who was seen running off at the end of the show in fear of something in the woods. I seen their website, all it is basically is various books and popular beliefs of the Jersey Devil copied to a website as they pat themselves on their backs and giving themselves awards for going into the woods and doing interviews for recent sightings. Recent sightings... possibly by bored individuals who are just looking for a friend to talk to. V

Napoleon Bull[edit]

The source for this story is utterly worthless. It's a children's-book collection of ghost stories. The veracity of this author's work can be judged by the fact in one of her other spooky state books she asserts that the Mississippi valley is home to mosquitoes who speak English and are so large that two of them can team up to carry a man. If you really want to include this how about at least finding a reference that pre-dates this book (2006)so we can be certain it has a source other than Spooky New Jersey.Romanianlies (talk) 17:11, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Ummm....which book are you talking about? Weird NJ wasn't one of the sources...I think...O_o --Letsy2 Talk 20:46, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Oops, I meant SPOOKY NEW JERSEY, that's the worthless source I was complaining about above. I have changed the above comment to reflect this.Romanianlies (talk) 23:11, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Not meaning to be a pest, but Spooky New Jersey isn't there either... --Letsy2 Talk 05:14, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

S. E. Schlosser wrote all those spooky state books. Clicking the reference for the Napoleon story sends you directly to her commercial website selling her children's books. There you may find this enlightening statement-" S. E. Schlosser has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of let's pretend quickly built themselves into full length stories." It also describes her as a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature at Rutger's University. I find it's useful to check the references for just this reason; many Wikipedia footnotes are listed in a manner that disguises their inappropriate or unreliable nature, many others are dead links.Romaniantruth (talk) 15:29, 9 July 2010 (UTC) formerly Romanianlies, but someone complained about my name and the Wikipedia solution was to insist that I change my name while blocking my account so that I couldn't. I filed an appeal to get unblocked so I could change my name and was told my name was inappropriate so I couldn't be unblocked unless I changed my name. Which I could do by filing an appeal to get unblocked to change my name. Maybe I'll just leave the old account the way it is as a monument to administrative efficiency! Romaniantruth (talk) 15:29, 9 July 2010 (UTC)16:53, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Lack of information[edit]

I remember a few months ago this page was a well of information regarding the Jersey Devil legend but now most of it is gone. Does anybody know why it was taken down? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.40.155.251 (talk) 02:35, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Looks like it was removed the source was "an unreliable TV programme" Totnesmartin (talk) 21:09, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

MORE!![edit]

A huge cultural phenomenon reduced to two paragraphs. I think we should restore this article to its former glory. Angrybeerman (talk) 23:31, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

As long as the material meets our WP:RS criteria and is not a WP:COPYVIO from fringe sites like "Parapedia". - LuckyLouie (talk) 19:06, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Added material[edit]

The citations could benefit from some formatting cleanup and a bit of scrutiny given to funky sources like the BBC user-generated pages. I would change "Encounters" to "Reported encounters" (and do the same for "sightings") since the subject of the article is a legendary creature. - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:15, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Awwnn it. Angrybeerman (talk) 09:47, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

In entertainment[edit]

I count 33 mentions of the Jersey Devil in the media, but only 2 are cited. The "flag" asking for citations was from Feb 2010. By now these should have been cited or removed. Looks like an interesting section to have on a WP page, but no citation, no way it stays. Sgerbic (talk) 23:18, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

More care needed with sources[edit]

I've had to remove a lot of material from questionable sources such as njdevilhunters.com who are not an independent source by any stretch of the imagination. Some problem areas are enthusiastic exaggerations (such as citing this story as eyewitnesses describing the Jersey Devil, rather than a reporter manufacturing a connection to the legend) and other problem areas are simply WP:UNDUE weight (such as presenting the "Sightings of 1909" as a minutely detailed evidence-list of "encounters", rather than summarizing the whole episode as turn-of-the-century 'mass hysteria connected with folklore' that independent sources see it as). - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:14, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

13th or 14th child?[edit]

The start of the 'origin' story is

"It was said that Mother Leeds had 13 children and, after giving birth to her 13th child, stated that if she had another, it would be the Devil.

This seems to read that she had 13 children, and her next was the devil. That would be her 14th, not 13th child. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.80.148.206 (talk) 03:57, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Photo[edit]

There's an alleged photo in The Sun (United Kingdom) today. If it's really a bat it's bloody large.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 106.131.175.213 (talk) 11:52, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Video Games[edit]

The Jersey Devil appears in The Wolf Among Us. http://fables.wikia.com/wiki/Jersey_Devil 95.232.75.250 (talk) 08:27, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

And its significance is?--Mr Fink (talk) 14:59, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Expansion[edit]

This article could be expanded a bit more.

WP:UNDUE Cryptozoology Mentions[edit]

Like many articles on Wikipedia, this article places a huge emphasis on a pseudoscience observed primarily by a small group online, cryptozoology. I've recently removed much of this but it was restored ([2]). This places way too much emphasis on a pseudoscience and essentially no emphasis on scholarship on the topic, which would be handled by folklorists (folkloristics). All of this undue emphasis needs to come out. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:09, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

-If you have a problem with what you call pseudoscience with the article, fine--edit, change, that's great, but please take care NOT to rm references and resources from the article. You took out a ref to exactly what you are saying should be ref'd, the folklore ref. Your crusade against pseudoscience and cryptozoology here is a little too heavy handed in my opinion, and your slash and burn approach is not helpful to the article or the readers.TeeVeeed (talk) 13:57, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
~also, I just readded the Lenape origin of the legend background info. The source that you objected to had refs at the end of the article. So that would make it a tertiary source? I agree that it is not the best source but can we keep the info and verify it rather than delete it? TeeVeeed (talk) 14:18, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Cryptozoology is pseudoscience. There's no question about that.
The links you restored are not reliable in any way shape or form. The BellaOnline site cites this Wikipedia article (lol). The second doesn't even work. I've reverted it. Now, you aren't familiar with Wikipedia's policy on reliable sources (WP:RS), you haven't bothered to read the material you're restoring, or you're just trolling. Whatever the case, do not restore this material unless you can come up with academic secondary sources. If you can't, leave it out. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:52, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

WP:UNDUE, WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE, and the Restoration of Cryptozoology Material[edit]

Recently the material I removed under WP:UNDUE and WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE was reintroduced to the lead. I need to point out that WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE quite explicitly states: "Any inclusion of pseudoscientific views should not give them undue weight. The pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such". I've added that cryptozoology is a pseudoscience and took out the misleading implication that the term cryptid is a synonym for legendary creature.

However, this stuff about cryptozoology is still in the beginning of the article, which is very much undue. Cryptozoologists are a tiny group solely represented on the internet today and putting their pseudoscientific approach to the folklore record at the beginning of the article is bizarrely promotional. There's no shortage of material on this work by folklorists—fight to add that instead. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:59, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Acedemic sources? How about Reliable sources as per the guidelines of the project? I think you are asking too much here at the cost of valuable content. Yeah, I put the info. back and found the source material used there. I'll probably even try to find something better but can't we keep the content until it is disproven at least?TeeVeeed (talk) 16:24, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
The "source" you've just used is a book published by a cryptozoologist. Again, we're not here to cater to the whims and desires of advocates of pseudosciences. There's a lot out there about this published by folklorists. This is folklore, after all. It's not hard to find. If you can't reliably source the material to academics in the field, then it's probably bullshit and shouldn't be here to begin with. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:27, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Look, I see you have a problem with people who identify as cryptozoologists, but wholesale deletion of content is not the way to fix that. TeeVeeed (talk) 16:39, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Read WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE, WP:UNDUE, and WP:OR. I'll let you remove the link to etymonline.com on your own or it'll come out later. The link you've provided says zero about the Jersey Devil nor this supposed early attestation. If you're here to build an article with reliable sources and minus the tomfoolery, stick around. If not, please move along. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:41, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm watching this article. Yes it speaks to the name Drake, means dragon in Dutch, ref provided. There is no rule that it must pertain to JD. And-the ref that you added is promotional for your pseudoscience crap that you want to promote. I do NOT object to making the article factual/conform to WP standards, but let's not ruin it with some kind of agenda please.TeeVeeed (talk) 16:46, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I didn't add any references. You have yet to provide a solid reference that backs the section, you've just tagged on a link to back part of the claim. Provide a reference for the attestation or it's coming out, including the etymology. Thanks. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:48, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
well I rm it due to it looking like OR without the other ref. I don't have the time right now, but this prob. that you have with "cryptozooologists" is a problem in that content is being lost. I hope that we can find a way to keep content, source it correctly, and not pander to any agenda except WP? TeeVeeed (talk) 16:58, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
The problem is that articles like this are poorly vetted on Wikipedia. If there's no reliable source for it, then it's simply not reliable information. These articles attract all sorts of nonsense and the content may simply be wrong, even pulled out of thin air. It's a constant problem in the more obscure areas of the site. Unfortunately, the site seriously lacks involved folklorists and so a lot of stuff falls through the cracks. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:07, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
And sorry for attributing the insertion of ref #4 to you. My bad. But using your standards, the Jersey Devil is not mentioned in that book and should be removed? I don't think that's how it's supposed to work, but that particular ref (Abominable Science: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other Famous Cryptids) did strike me as promotional of something rather than of use to the article specifically.TeeVeeed (talk) 17:10, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm thinking that folklorists and crptozoologists have somethings in common and that calling for acedemic credentials as the standard is going to hurt content more than improve it unless done very carefully. We even use news as a reliable source so publications which are not self-published which have editorial oversight should be OK to let the reader decide. I agree that we should not endorse the Jersey Devil as being real of course, but the phenomenon of interest in the Jersey Devil cannot be denied or deleted.TeeVeeed (talk) 17:16, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Folklorists have about as much in common with cryptozoologists as cryptozoologists have in common with biologists: very little. Biology and folkloristics are both academic disciplines, whereas cryptozoology is more like a Pokémon hunt. We use reliable secondary sources. When it comes to folklore, that means folklorists. Folklorists aren't out to prove if it's real and can we catch it. Instead, they examine the myriad and complex social factors that produce things like the Jersey Devil. Please see folkloristics. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:19, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes I can see that you are on a crusade against cryptozoology! One way to satisfy your problem here could be to section the article with a "cryptozooology" section, with your psuedoscience disclaimer, although I feel that is somewhat undue in itself as it only needs to be mentioned once, if at all here, but I feel like that would destroy the the timeline that the article has developed. I cannot think of any non-messy way to preface content and refs that you would find objectionable based-on being authored by "cryptologists", but that would be preferable to removing material. Maybe something like, using the word author or writer, as-in, "a cryptozooologist wrote that....", but then would you say that it is nessasary to define crptozooology as a psuedoscience in each instance or do we trust that the reader to understand? Just because a cryptozoologist says something does not make it incorrectly sourced. There is a film based on that "popoguessing" material and other refs. Would you prefer that refs to the that particular content NOT be attributed to any source that identifies as cryptology? TeeVeeed (talk) 17:55, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
This is my now-reverted edit:
" Much like Sasquatch or Yeti, the Jersey Devil is sometime regarded as a "cryptid,"[1][2] a term frequently used by those subscribing to the pseudoscience cryptozoology and often used to describe legendary creatures anecdotally or allegedly reported to be seen. [3] "
You have been reverting this sentence, however, in the belief that it is giving undue weight to a fringe theory. The Jersey Devil is a fictional, legendary creature, and not even a particularly well-known piece of folklore outside of NJ and the Delaware Valley. There is only so much that one can say about the Jersey Devil, and the fictional creature's fairly popular and easily found description as a "cryptid" deserves at least some mention. It is hardly UNDUE. You are removing fairly well-sourced material, material that is non-POV. I have no "cryptozoologist" agenda, whatever that could be. The small sentence you keep reverting in no way implies that cryptozoology is anything more than pseudoscience, and it does not imply that the Jersey Devil is an actual creature. I am simply providing sourced material stating an undeniable truth: the Jersey Devil is in fact sometimes regarded as a cryptid. The term is found in plenty of sources by authors who are not "cryptozoologists."
I'm also not sure what your objective here is. It's clear you are trying to protect readers from potentially mistakenly believing that a pseudoscience is a legitimate field of science. Although I find that objective a bit overly paternalistic and POV, it is certainly a noble agenda, and I know you mean well. But now you are just removing material that in no way posits that cryptozoology is a legitimate field. For what? To shield hypothetical readers from possibly, mistakenly believing cryptozoology is a mainstream field of science after reading an sentence that EXPLICITLY describes cryptozoology as a "pseudoscience"? It's one thing to remove mentions of cryptozoology in articles about real animals or mainstream topics. You'd certainly be right to remove such material in that case; mentions of cryptozoology in any other type of article would be giving undue weight to fringe theories. BUT... in an article about the Jersey Devil, a fictional creature, a VERY BRIEF MENTION about it's popularity as a supposed "cryptid" is hardly giving undue weight to fringe pseudoscience. Similarly, in articles about Bigfoot, Loch Ness, or Yeti, it makes perfect sense to make mention of the legendary creatures' current statuses as "cryptids," as these legendary creatures are undeniably and inseparably tied to cryptozoology and anecdotal reports of sightings that fuel the not uncommon belief in the existence of certain cryptids. There are hundreds and hundreds of books about reports of these creatures and their "possible" existence, especially from the 1970s onward. No, these books are largely not scientific at all. I'm not arguing that. But the point is that it's not just a "small group on the internet"; this is a pre-internet pop phenomenon, and at this point it deserves a mention. Do I believe there is good science behind this? No, not at all. Do I personally believe these creatures exist? Nope. It's just fun pop pseudoscience mixed with modern folklore. Some people take it seriously and go too far, sure, but its fairly innocuous. Which doesn't, of course, mean that innocuous pseudoscience should be added recklessly to any article. But this is not a scientific article. It's an article about a flying horse-kangaroo. A flying horse-kangaroo, man. You're telling me that it's too much to make brief mention of its common description as a "cryptid"?
Now, if I'm reading this situation correctly, you might be a folklorist or student of folklore. That is indeed a legitimate field of study, and I do not intend to insult or denigrate that field. In fact, maybe I'm wrong to say that this is not a "scientific article." It certainly has the potential to be a much more scholarly article discussing the folklore or anthropological or popular psychology aspects of the creature. That's fine, and I encourage that. And I'm certainly not saying that the article should be filled with pseudoscientific junk. I'm only proposing that, just maybe, we include, for the majority of the article, scholastic folklorist material, BUT ALSO make a TINY, brief mention of JD's substantial and notable popularity as a "cryptid." I don't think that's going too far or giving undue weight. Censoring the well-sourced fact that authors describe JD as a cryptid is not appropriate. In fact, I think that removing a brief (and sourced) mention of the fairly large pop phenomenon of "cryptids" simply because the pop culture phenomenon is based on pseudoscience is, in fact, POV and pushing an agenda. The same could be said of the Yeti and Sasquatch article, but I'm not even going to go there. Madreterra (talk) 22:13, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the thoughtful response, Madreterra (talk · contribs). First, this is an article about folklore, meaning that we appeal to folklorists as authorities, whether or not anyone deems a "flying horse-kangaroo" to be absurd. Fleshing out articles of this type with reliable academic sources tends to reveal a lot, including complicated social factors, historical complexities, and insight into humanity as a whole. New mysteries appear while others become a little less blurry.
This effort is sidelined by the approach of cryptozoologists, who deem entities from the folklore record to be cryptids—monsters to be hunted, Pokémon-style—and their pseudoscientific discipline, cryptozoology. An important thing to consider about cryptozoology is its total rejection by academia: no accredited school will touch the subject today. This is, of course, because it's a classic example of a pseudoscience, and ultimately rejects the scientific method with hostility (see discussion on the cryptozoology article). It's completely fringe. Cryptozoology makes up a tiny group today, generally restricted to the internet. However, their influence is felt far beyond their numbers here on Wikipedia. This is because the project doesn't seem to have had any folklorists on board to keep them at bay and so they ran wild turning the site into their own personal monster hunting database (tellingly, while the project has a Wikiproject Cryptozoology, it never had a Wikiproject Folklore or Wikiproject Folkloristics).
The first step to improving our folklore coverage is therefore to roll this stuff back and contain it like we do with other pseudosciences. For example, without the efforts of our geology-minded editors, we'd have a plethora of emic-voiced articles espousing the virtues of considering the earth to be flat or hollow. Imagine if our geology articles (such as geology) never had any geologist editors on board the project and that's essentially where we're at with most of our folklore articles.
With all that in mind, keep in mind that the text you're adding to this article places discussion about cryptozoology in its opening paragraphs. That's a lot of emphasis on a pseudoscience espoused by a handful of internet denizens, particularly when there's no shortage of material about this subject from academics working in related disciplines, such as folkloristics. If needs to even be mentioned at all, I'd simply put it in the body somewhere, and even that is a bit sketchy. The term cryptid, coined and used by cryptozoologists for the purposes of their monster-hunting tomfoolery, is not in common use, and the links you're intending to add are either outliers influenced by, say, this very article, or articles that explicitly discuss cryptozoology.
Ultimately, while this article has been improving, I think all of our time is better spent rewriting this article and bringing it up to WP:GA standards rather than giving a pseudoscience the time of day. There are much more interesting and consequential things to discuss here. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:20, 30 October 2016 (UTC)


References

  1. ^ Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (2016). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Routledge. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Fee, Christopher R.; Webb, Jeffrey B (Aug 31, 2016). American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore. ABC-CLIO. p. 524-525. Retrieved 19 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Loxton, Daniel; Prothero, Donald (2013). Abominable Science: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and other Famous Cryptids. Columbia University Press. 

Origin of the legend[edit]

So I'm going to go ahead and rework this area. The Native American origins part. I'm using Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures as the source, which was authored by an established researcher with academic and professional credentials, (not that I am agreeing that academic credentials are needed for sources)-who is also affiliated with the Smithsonian. There is more work to be done, but at least this gives readers a point of information which is widely disseminated, (yes much rv back to Wikipedia/this article), and a point of reference to do their own OR if they want. I also took out some crypto/pseudoscience stuff because I am seeing that as some kind of internal WP agenda, and this article does not need to be involved at this point pending specific guidelines re:cryptozoology vs folklore etc.TeeVeeed (talk) 15:58, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

For some reason the template for filling-in a ref is unusable for me in this article. I added the source. Now I have a little problem with the material itself, but it is WP:OR at this point. But the source is a good one, so I think that it should stay pending discovery of another source which pertains to this information specifically. One--Popuessing creek is spelled differently in the history of Bucks County and aside from the above source and the multiple copycat references to that source, I'm not finding a ref. or validation that Popuessing means "place of the dragon" to Native Americans. Two--Drakes Kill, in my opinion, it is named for the Drake family, so that is a biggee, but again it is not our job to OR, just provide the sources and let the reader decide. But still, unless another source mentions this Drake as related to JD-(Jersey Devil), I'm leaning towards discarding that, especially if Drake was named for the Drake family.TeeVeeed (talk) 16:14, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

The author of Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures is Loren Coleman, a cryptozoologist, a pseudoscience. Relevant policies are WP:PSEUDOSCIENCE and WP:UNDUE. Please find a secondary, academic source from a folklorist or researcher in another relevant field. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:20, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Sorry but I am saying that you are misusing/misapplying/misrepresenting policies here. The author Loren Colemanis a noted researcher with strong academic credentials and affiliations with the Smithsonian as well. FTR again I am in favor of getting rid of spam and dead links, but these standards that you are trying to apply are not policy by consensus on WP, although you are editing as-if this is policy, which it is not.TeeVeeed (talk) 16:33, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Ignoring the puff piece Wikipedia article we have about Coleman (this fellow), one look at the source reveals it to be just another cryptozoology piece (the usual fare from the subculture before it faded out to scattered internet denizens). Just search the book for "cryptozoology". This is outright pseudoscience. You need a reliable source, preferably by an academic and preferably a folklorist. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:39, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah-we are going to disagree here. I've already posted an ANI regarding the cryptid vs folklore, but maybe this source thing needs to escalate to another drama board/WP:RS unless it can be worked out here? It probably should since your position is having an affect on the entire project anyhow, and I have noticed that you have made at least several appeals that editors examine your contentions about cryptids and pseudoscience in general, but for this particular article, I'm saying that most of your agenda does not apply and is actually destructive editing imo. On this exact issue of this particular source, I think it would pass as a RS.TeeVeeed (talk) 16:50, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Take it wherever you like. Alternately, you could find a reliable source—i.e., an academic, secondary source written by an academic and not written by a noted proponent of a pseudoscience like Coleman—that backs the claim and save yourself a lot of time and trouble. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:55, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Jersey_devil_needs_help_please Coleman is an acedemic actually.TeeVeeed (talk) 17:04, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
That's simply untrue. He has no affiliations. This is no doubt becuause cryptozoology has absolutely no academic presence whatsoever today, a classic hallmark of a pseudoscience. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:18, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Coleman was a professor! "He studied anthropology and zoology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale,[3] and psychiatric social work at the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston. He did further studies in doctoral-level anthropology at Brandeis University and sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Coleman taught at New England universities from 1980 to 2004, also having been a senior researcher at the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Policy from 1983 to 1996,[citation needed] before retiring from teaching to write, lecture, and consult." http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID:siris_sil_898647 http://www.cryptozoonews.com/ics-2016-pt1/ Why would I say that if it wasn't true? If it's good enough for the Smithsonian it's good enough for WP, and besides, the passage has zero pseudoscience/cryptozoology just historical info.
Please sign your post. Keyword is was—so were a lot of the founders of cryptozoology and so were a lot of individuals involved in what we now know as pseudosciences in general. Today cryptozoology is universally recognized as a pseudoscience in the academic community and is not supported by any colleges or universities. Seriously, you're wasting your time until you find a reliable source. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:18, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Ads, External Links, and See Also Section[edit]

I've recently stripped the article of a bunch of dead links and promotional and commercial links. It's surprising to see such a high concentration of these items on this article in 2016. In addition, the article contained a reference to Bruce Springsteen simply mentioning the figure on stage (I kid you not). Finally, the article had a "see also" section consisting of nothing but figures unrelated to the Jersey Devil. These figures, including Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, are however of interest to cryptozoologists, which seems to be why they were placed there. I welcome a "see also" section that contains figures in some way connected (annotation would help, per WP:SEEALSO). :bloodofox: (talk) 21:45, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

dead links, promo, commercial spam--great. See Also, could be redone or left out as well. But you took out my well sourced Springsteen ref. and I'm afraid to even look at the article right now. Comment above req. sourcing for a previous large swath of deleted info. I think should be done. but if you can't handle a Bruce Springsteen tie with JD, I don't know what lengths you will go to to make this article as dry and boring as it can possibly be.TeeVeeed (talk) 19:11, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, modern influence and modern popular culture have important—even crucial—places in folklore articles. However, a reference made by a musician on stage is really minor and generally falls under what the project considers to be cruft. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:40, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Misspelling of Brian Regal's Name[edit]

In the section of the article entitled, "Origin of the Legend", a historian is referenced as "Brian Regal, a historian of science at Kean University." Of the seven times Mr. Regal's name is mentioned throughout the article, it is spelled "Regal" four times, and (incorrectly) as "Regan" three times.

NZidan (talk) 11:38, 14 June 2017 (UTC)NZidan