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9/03 - Leif Strong writes
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Mr. Niednagel - My question is about the New Jersey Devil. Do you think he's real? I mean, we're talking about a devil here, is that even cryptozoology, or some sort of quasi-religious topic? But there must be something there, because the New Jersey hockey team is called the devils (may they burn in Sheol for beating the ducks in the Stanley cup finals), and sports teams usually name themselves after some sort of local legend or symbol. What's your take?
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Thanks for the intriguing and witty question, Leif! Well over 1,000 people have claimed to see the supposed "New Jersey Devil," according to my knowledge. Most of the accounts describe the creature as a four foot tall animal with a horse's head, bat's wings, crane's legs, horse's hoofs, and a forked tail.

Obviously, it seems a bit fanciful. I personally do not believe it exists in the sense that it is some type of animal. If I'm wrong, and it is an animal, I would venture to say that it doesn't have wings, and that perhaps a few of the other descriptions are just innocent exaggerations. As one who believes in the supernatural, however, it wouldn't surprise me if it were some kind of demon or literal devil. That speculation takes us, then, beyond cryptozoology and into an entirely different field.

In any case, it is pretty ironic that the New Jersey hockey team would be called the "Devils." Not being a hockey fan, however, I can't tell you how the team got its name or if they even started off in New Jersey (teams are often switched to different cities over time). If anyone knows, feel free to send TA an email.

Thanks for writing,

Jordan Niednagel





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Cryptozoology - The study of the hidden animal world, cryptozoology is a science of speculation and surprise, involving the search for animals thought to be extinct to new creatures never before identified.


Creation vs Evolution - What was popularized in 1859 by former Christian turned agnostic, Charles Darwin, has in our day become one of the most hotly contested and sharply dividing issues to be found anywhere.


Dinosaurs - Considerable controversy surrounds dinosaurs, from their place in history to their color, habits, and overall physiology. As viewpoints collide, the search for answers continues.



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