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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, January 16, 2012

AMERICAN FOLKLORE.NET: Joseph Bonaparte and the Jersey Devil


http://www.americanfolklore.net/


Corinna recently discovered this website and sent me some stories for the blog:

Joseph Bonaparte and the Jersey Devil
A New Jersey Legend
Retold by S.E. Schlosser

Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, was the King of Spain. Unsuccessful in defending Spain against England during the Peninsular Wars, he was forced to abdicate his throne in 1813. Following Napoleon's defeat, he went into exile in America. Joseph purchased eight-hundred acres at Bordentown, New Jersey because it was between the two great sea ports of New York and Philadelphia. From this place, he could obtain the very latest news from France and Spain.

As befitting royalty - even the dethroned sort - Joseph built himself a lovely mansion with beautiful, landscaped grounds and plenty of parkland. Joseph Bonaparte entertained many of the great men of his day, including John Adams, the Marquis of Lafayette, and Daniel Webster. He led a very glamorous social life, throwing marvelous parties with mountains of food and many guests. The Americans were very impressed with him.

One snowy afternoon, the ex-King of Spain was hunting alone in the woods near his house when he spotted some strange tracks on the ground. They looked like the tracks of a two-footed donkey. Bonaparte noticed that one foot was slightly larger than the other. The tracks ended abruptly as if the creature had flown away. He stared at the tracks for a long moment, trying to figure out what the strange animal might be.

At that moment, Bonaparte heard a strange hissing noise. Turning, he found himself face to face with a large winged creature with a horse-like head and bird-like legs. Astonished and frightened, he froze and stared at the beast, forgetting that he was carrying a rifle. For a moment, neither of them moved. Then the creature hissed at him, beat its wings, and flew away.
When he reported the incident to a friend later that day, Bonaparte was told that he had just seen the famous Jersey Devil, who had haunted the Pine Barrens ever since he was born to Mother Leeds one dark and stormy night in 1735. Bonaparte was impressed by the story of the Jersey Devil, and thereafter kept a lookout for the fabulous creature whenever he went hunting. Once things settled down in Europe, Joseph Bonaparte returned to Europe and was reunited with his wife in Italy. He never saw the Jersey Devil again.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

I have seen variations of this story for many years. Usually the descritption of the tracks or the creature are not so definite, but this version uses the "Classic" version. IMHO it is quite possible the ex-King of Spain saw an unusual long-snouted bat of enormous size. Whether it had any connection to the tracks or not is another problem.

Best Wishes, Dale D.