Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A precursor to the Yardley Yeti?

A few days ago, I received a message from Johnathan Lackey describing a sighting, which took place in Bucks County, of something that seems similar to many of the descriptions of the Garden State's most famous monstrous resident, the Jersey Devil. It's interesting that several reports of the Jersey Devil made during the week of January 16-23, 1909 were made in Bucks County (in Bristol, Wycombe and Morrisville).

The actual sighting took place in 1977, when Lackey was a resident of Levittown. While driving south of Bowman's Tower (a landmark on the border of Upper Makefield and Solebury Townships) a creature leapt from the right side of the road. The creature was about the color of a deer and roughly the size of a medium-sized dog. It had a body similar in build to a greyhound, a monkey-like face (which seemed to have a sheen to it), a long tail with a black tip, and rather long legs. It seemed to have a pair of owl-like wings, which were kept motionless as it moved across the road, leapt, and glided down the hillside opposite where it had emerged.

The area where this was seen has its own share of weirdness. Although the derivation of the Bowman name is unclear, one of the theories is a Dr. John Bowman, a crewman of the notorious Captain Kidd who was believed to have settled in eastern Pennsylvania and supposed in legend to have buried a treasure on the hill the tower is on. There was also a copper mine, probably of German construction, found on the hill by accident in 1854. In other posts, I've mentioned hearing about a phantom wolf on Solebury Hill -- I had actually seen that reference so long ago that I wonder if I was actually remembering a legend associated with this spot, buried treasure and phantom dogs having a long pedigree of relationship.

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