The Great Courses Plus

Ep 74: The Jersey Devil - Prince of the Pine Barrens (Part 1)

“It was neither beast, nor man, nor spirit, but a hellish brew of all three.” 
– Vance Larner, writing in his diary about his encounter with the Jersey Devil in 1790.
 
 
Leeds Point, Galloway, New Jersey, United States.  As the most popular version of the legend of the Jersey Devil goes, Deborah Leeds (nee Smith) emigrated from England to marry Daniel Leeds in the mid-Eighteenth century.  When her 13th child was born, she cursed the difficult labor and the already impoverishing cicumstances of a brood of 12, and invoked the Devil.  The infant became a ghastly cryptid and has haunted the New Jersey Pine Barrens ever since.  Some legends have it as a "Mrs. Shrouds" as the beast's mother.
 

Background: 

They say if you meet someone from New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York, you don't ask them if they've heard of the "Jersey Devil," you ask them if they've had some kind of encounter with it.  The legend of the curious cryptid is so prolific, they've no doubt heard of it, and if they've spent any time near the Pine Barrens of "The Garden State," more often than not you'll find they've experienced some evidence of the beast, or know someone who has.  Folklorists say that there are more than 30 variations of the legend,  but the main origin story of New Jersey's own "Official Demon" goes all the way back to 1735, and a Mrs. Leeds of Galloway, NJ, who upon a difficult delivery of her 13th child, exclaimed it might as well be a devil – which, if the tale is to be believed, you should never do.  Since then, the story has been so popular that the idea of The Jersey Devil has made its way into movies, television, and video games, and is even the inspiration for the name of New Jersey's National Hockey League team.  But why has this tale endured for at least 282 years?  Is it because somehow the legend is just so fantastic that people can't forget it?  Or is it because, as so many residents throughout the years have claimed, from New Jersey's eastern shores, through the mysterious Pine Barrens all the way to western Pennsylvania, something really is out there?

 

Reference Links:

 

Related Books:

The Jersey Devil
By James F McCloy, Ray Miller Jr.
The Jersey Devil
By Hunter Shea
The Flight of Dragons
By Peter Dickinson
Phantom of the Pines: More Tales of the Jersey Devil
By James F. McCloy, Ray, Jr. Miller
 

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

 

The Dark Myths Collective  

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 74: The Jersey Devil: Prince of the Pine Barrens (Part 1).  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ep 66: Flight 19 (Part 2)

 

Patrick Air Force Base, formerly US Naval Air Station, Banana River, where a Martin Mariner rescue plane, PBM-5 "Squadron Training No. 49" would launch from and soon go missing itself.

BACKGROUND

At approximately 6:00 p.m. on 5 December 1945, an HF/DF signal fix was obtained for Flight 19, placing its location somewhere within a 100-mile radius off the east coast of Florida, but that would be the last trace of the squadron's existence.  It wouldn't be the last tragedy of this story.  Around 7:27 p.m., two Martin Mariner rescue planes were launched from NAS Banana River, FL to conduct a search.  Three minutes later, one of the planes, PBM-5 "Squadron Training No. 49" would send its "out report" over the radio, but it too would never be heard from again.  About 20 minutes later, a tanker cruising in the area, the SS Gaines Mills would report seeing an apparent explosion, with flames leaping 100 feet high and lasting for 10 minutes in the vicinity of where PBM-5 should have been.  The ship would search for survivors or floating wreckage but would find only a pool of oil and it is believed all 13 crew members aboard PBM-5 perished in that explosion.  At least with PBM-5, there is a likely explanation of their fate but with Flight 19, to this day there is none to be had.  The lingering question may sound simplistic, but it can be put before every speculative answer ranging from the commonplace to the paranormal -- "Where did they go?"

SHOW RELATED VIDEOS

In the video above you can see the complexities of tuning a radio in an aircraft during World War II. The P-47 Thunderbolt was not an Avenger, but the radio gear was similar and you can see how hard it was just to change the channel. 

Download the Google Earth KML. It may open directly in your browser if you have certain extensions installed. We advise you to option or control select the download and open it with Google Earth for maximum compatibility.

Movie of Google Earth routing of Navigation Problem Number One as well as a very loose and generally untrustworthy map of the route Flight 19 might have taken before disappearing. I failed to mention the location of the Martin Mariner's purported explosion in this audio, but you can clearly see the placemark for it on the map. NOTE: For the first several days, this video had no audio. Well now it's back, it's longer and I'm blathering on all the way through it. - Scott

SHOW NOTES LINKS

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

  • SQUARESPACE - It's what we used to make this cool looking website you're looking at right now!  Go to squarespace.com and use the promo code "LEGENDS" at checkout for 10% off any website subscription or domain purchase.
  • Audible - Audible is a leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet.  Just go to audible.com/AL to get your choice of any audiobook for FREE with a 30-day trial membership.
  • The Great Courses Plus: Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/legends and get one month of FREE, UNLIMITED access OR just take out your phone and text the word LEGENDS to the number 86329.  To get the reply text, standard message and data rates apply.
  • Harry's - Get a close, comfortable shave that's convenient and affordable. Go to harrys.com/alp to get their most popular Trial Set for FREE when you sign up.  Just pay a small fee for shipping.

 

The Dark Myths Collective

http://darkmyths.org/

  

Credits:

Episode 66 - Flight 19 (Part 2) Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.