; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Jersey Devil-Like Winged Cryptid Observed Near Somerset on PA Turnpike

An eyewitness encounters, what he describes as, a winged cryptid that closely resembled the Jersey Devil while driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset.

The following account was recently forwarded to me:

"About 10 yrs ago I was driving the Pennsylvania Turnpike coming home from a funeral in Ohio. I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC. It was late, probably 1130 or 1200 and I saw something hanging off of an overpass. At first I thought it was just a box or something that got stuck but then it opened up. What I thought was a box was actually a pair of wings. Inside these wings was the craziest thing I've ever seen. It looked like a deer's or maybe a large greyhound's body but the face was so long and wide, almost like a horse got stung by a boatload of bees. But the thing that stood out most and sends a shiver down my spine even now, were the eyes. At first I couldn't see the eyes but when my headlights hit it, the eyeshine was fire engine red. I saw all this in just about 20 seconds as I approached the overpass. As soon as my brain registered what I was seeing I floored it.

I was in 1997 v8 Thunderbird so the pickup left nothing to be desired. I was scared, I hit 100+ mph before the car started shaking and I slowed down a bit. I watched my rear view to see if this thing was chasing me but either it couldn't keep up or it didn't bother chasing me.

A few weeks later I saw the Monsterquest episode on the Jersey Devil and I started having flashbacks when they showed the sculpture of what had been described to the artist. It was pretty damn close. I still refuse to drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike at night, and we travel that stretch every year. I'll stay an extra day and face traffic just to avoid night driving on that road." MH

NOTE: The area around Somerset exit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) has a history of strange activity, including the following account from November 1994:

"Thank you for reading this email. Please leave my name and email address out if you decide to use the information.

I have been closely following the possible Bigfoot shooting story in Somerset County, PA since Weds. I know that Bigfoot exist and that they inhabit Somerset County, PA. In late November of 1994, my wife and I were traveling from New Jersey west on the PA. Turnpike. We were on our way to Steubenville, OH to stay with my wife's brother and his wife for Thanksgiving.

At around 9:30 PM we were near the town of Somerset, PA, so I decided pull off the highway to stop and get gas. The station was near the exit so I quickly filled the tank and headed back towards the turnpike. I was merging back onto the highway when my wife gasped - I saw it as well. My headlights had caught a glimpse of a huge hairy creature walking onto the highway on my front right (north side of westbound lane). I swerved to the left in order to avoid hitting it. There was another similar creature as well, just a few feet behind it. As I passed the creature it must have reached out and slammed it's hand on the trunk - we heard a loud thud. I looked back in the rear view mirror and noticed brake lights coming from the eastbound lane. I assume it was crossing the highway to the south side. I knew that it was definitely a Bigfoot - I had no doubt what it was.

I continued to drive without stopping. Then I thought that I had better stop and make sure the tail light was not damaged. I didn't want a trooper stopping me with a broken tail light and then try to tell him a Bigfoot did it. But then again, if it was broke what was I going to do that late at night? Anyway - I pulled onto the shoulder, grabbed my flashlight and got out of the car. I walked back to the trunk and looked around. I then noticed a slight indentation on the rear passenger side quarter panel. I looked closer and noticed that there were scratch marks on the surface. I wondered if the Bigfoot had been holding something or that its fingernails had caused the scratches. I got back in the car and resumed driving.

The Bigfoot was dark brown and had very long rough hair. I didn't get a good look at the face since the hair almost seemed to cover most of it. My wife and I both estimated that this creature was at least 8 foot tall and had massive long arms and legs. We barely caught a glimpse at the other Bigfoot, but it seemed to be much smaller in height.

I grew up on a farm near Monticello, NY. My brother and I had heard the stories about a man-beast that lived in the vicinity of a nearby lake. We never believed these tales - until my brother had an encounter with a large hairy man while camping with is friends in the Catskills. He never talked about the incident in detail, only that he was shocked by it. It's a shame because he never went into the woods again. I really didn't want to believe him but I knew deep down that something significant had happened to him.

So when I told him about our encounter he just smiled and said 'I told you so." MC

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'Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook' is now available in paperback & on Kindle

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