If you look at pictures for the hammerhead bat that is native to Africa, you will see that its face does resemble traditional depictions of the Jersey Devil. The sizes are a bit off given that some people stated that the Jersey Devil was between 6-8 feet tall and the bat has a wing span of 27-38 inches and a total length of 7.7-11.2 inches, weighing 8-15.9 ounces and the females are slightly smaller.
One theory could be that someone in the area was keeping a Hammerhead bat as a pet and it escaped. But once again, the sizes between the Hammerhead Bat and the Jersey Devil are way off. The comparison between the two animals is not to far off since throughout time many residents of New Jersey have kept exotic animals as pets. There also have been quite a few zoos, circuses and what not associated with the area.
As far as the face of the Hammerhead Bat it appears to be a better explanation of what people of the Pine Barrens have been seeing as opposed to the Sandhill Crane. But the one up that the Crane has over the bat is that the Crane is native to New Jersey and the bat is native to Africa.
The Sandhill Crane is a herbivore, but since the Jersey Devil has been accused of stealing and attacking livestock and chickens he is thought of as a carnivore. Also the Crane stands about 40-48 inches (3-4 feet) tall and the Jersey Devil is about 72-96 inches (6-8 feet). It is noted that the crane has a loud screech and legend has it, that the Jersey Devil does too.
The Sandhill Crane, in flight and standing. The Sandhill Crane is a favorite and popular explanation of skeptics claiming what Jersey Devil witnesses have been seeing. So many questions… got any answers? Tell us on our Facebook page, at Twitter, or in the comments below!
(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at [email protected]. Visit The Search For The Jersey Devil at Facebook)