Hey Steve, thanks for agreeing to talk with me. You’ve written a book, Earth is our Planet, Too! Chapter one focuses on the legendary Jersey Devil, but your book also explores the existence of cryptids from other parts of the world. Before we start talking, could you give us a brief definition of cryptids and cryptozoology?
A Cryptid is a term used to describe an unknown creature whose existence is unsubstantiated or has yet to be formally identified by science. Nonetheless, the field has had some well respected people that have investigated the legends of the world such as the noted librarian, George M. Eberhart, who wrote Mysterious Creatures A Guide to Cryptozoology. In addition past and present, John Keel, Ivan Sanderson, Roy Mackal, Jerome Clark, Loren Coleman and Karl Shuker have all written books about their research and what they’ve found out.
Cryptozoology is the academic research into, study of and search for legendary animals such as the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Roc – historical but still unknown. So the field of cryptozoology is all about investigating these cryptids in order to evaluate the possibility of proving their existence.
I know many people who are open about their interest in UFOs and aliens, but who are quite dismissive regarding the possibility of the existence of cryptids. Some act almost offended – as if there’s some foul odor in the room – when cryptids are mentioned. Why do you think that the idea of the existence of crytids seems to be more controversial?
A recent survey in New Jersey regarding the existence of the Jersey Devil can be viewed as representative of how people view cryptids. One thing it showed was that young people were more skeptical than adults. I think this is because kids today don’t play outside anymore so they’re not exposed to the complexity and creativity of nature. Instead they’re inside playing games, and on social media, and they reject things they cannot relate to. If they can’t see it at the zoo then it doesn’t exist. I think religion is another factor, as people can’t accept the existence of something that might challenge their belief system and the religious powers-that-be prefer to keep it that way.
In the scientific and academic worlds, there is a powerful stigma surrounding cryptids and cryptozoological research because it’s considered a pseudoscience. But this biased attitude falls short since there are many creatures with numerous eyewitnesses that have never been explained. Bestiaries from the past documented the existence of the Griffin, for example. Bigfoot, too, has strong eyewitness testimony, and filmed evidence to support the theory that it exists.
I have come across a number of so-called experts who are skeptics, but instead of presenting work that is scientifically-based, it tends to be flippant and poorly researched. These researchers try to make a name for themselves by rewriting history. Personally, I would have to say that most scientific researchers are both wimps and modern day Eunuchs.
From your biography I can see you first served with the U.S. Army Security Agency – which required you to have a crypto clearance – and then worked for 25 years in credit management and accounting. I would assume that anyone who has that sort of background is a solid, down-to-earth, pragmatic, and dependable individual. So …how did a guy like you get involved in an issue like this?
All by chance
I started reading my Dad’s Popular Science when I was ten years old, I got a Chemistry Set for Christmas when I was 12, and was always interested in science. Later, as an adult, one of the major influences was book and TV series called Connections presented by science historian James Burke. This inspired my interest in discovering the truth through developing a theory with the assembled fragments of history –much like a puzzle with an endless supply of connections. In my professional life, I worked for a large company where I specialized in AP and account reconciliation (debits, credits, vendor disputes) and past due invoices on government accounts. It was essentially all about bringing an analytical approach to resolve financial headaches.
My research into the world of Cryptozoology started quite by chance. In 2001, I was doing some academic research into the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH), and web surfing UFO web sites. I found a conversation with alien Grey. He had been asked a simple question, where do you come from?
In 2011 my first book, Set Your Phaser to Stun!– was published – it was my investigation of a new theory that Betty Hill’s star map was actually Earth-based. I was deeply involved in the UFO and experiencer communities, and I was very interested in learning more about some strange things that I was being told. Then out of the blue everything got up-ended – I discovered that I had stage III non Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer.
I spent the next six months of my life undergoing chemo. I was literally quarantined, so I was in total isolation with an endless supply of time. I had regular conversations with an experiencer couple, and was very interested in the entities that they had encountered – I wondered whether some of them might be indigenous. To keep myself busy, I started investigating the history of a well known home grown mystery called the Jersey Devil. I did this all from scratch using the same analytical approach I had used as an accounting professional, and I had no clue as to where this might end up at.
I came out of this ordeal cancer free (seven and a half years this month!) and with my latest book It’s Our World Too.
I read your book, and I need to confess that it took me much longer than I thought it would. Not because it wasn’t interesting – because it was – but because there was so much information in it. I continually found myself needing to put the book down while I went to my computer to research people, events and the science you referred to.
Your book focuses on the legendary Jersey Devil – could you give us a brief explanation of what your research uncovered?
I started researching the legend of the Jersey Devil after starting chemo in 2011. My wife was working full time, and she would leave around 6:30 A.M. in the morning, so this gave me a lot of free time. I used multiple library sources, and books such as The Jersey Devil book by James McCloy and Ray Miller, the New Jersey Devil Hunters club’s website, and several other sources on the internet. I found a lot of general information but, in the end, everyone ended up at a cul–de–sac with the brick wall.
My mind was asking questions and making connections. I started reading the Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata, and immediately recognized the fact that I was seeing tangible parallel evidence–horse-faced entities-cryptid connections. The Jersey Devil had strong similarities to the mythical Kinnaras (half woman, half bird) from South East Asia. Then the drawing by Konrad von Megenberg, who wrote Das Buch der Natur which was published in the 1400s, was, in my mind, absolute proof that the Jersey Devil was a real, rather than imagined, creature. On and off, I spent nearly six years researching and writing the book, occasionally taking a break to conduct research on other works. But this other research actually contributed to my work on the Jersey Devil. In addition to the two books cited above, I’m also indebted to the work of Tibetan Dzogchen master, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, and the 17th century Jesuit scholar and scientist, Athanasius Kircher.
The bottom line is that my discoveries have uncovered sufficient information to reverse opinions that mythology is a waste of time, leading to the distinct frightening possibility that the demons and monsters of recorded history were all too real. Now the bizarre zoomorphic and anthropomorphic chimera history of Earth can finally be explained and resolved.
I was impressed by the enormous number of reliable witnesses to the Jersey Devil – respected citizens who had nothing to gain and everything to lose should their neighbors think they were making things up.
The main challenge in writing the book was overcoming the opinions that the Jersey Devil was just a myth. To do that I had to present detailed new information about the Jersey Devil’s history, and talk about the regular everyday people from all walks of life that saw it. There were people with solid reputations, like Walter Edge, who was Governor of New Jersey for two terms, who was a witness in the 1930s. Years earlier, in 1909, Patrolman James Sackville, who was walking the graveyard shift, reported that he saw it and fired off several shots with his .38 pistol (I was able to confirm that he was on the Police Force, and later became the Chief of Police in Bristol, New Jersey). But we can go back more than a century earlier that that; Napoleon’s brother – former king of Spain Joseph Bonaparte – was said to have come across the creature while hunting on his New Jersey estate in the early 1800s.
Another case from 1909 which is very well documented is that of Mrs. Mary Sorbinski of Camden. One evening a Jersey Devil attacked her dog in the backyard of her house; she described it as a “horrible monster.” The creature flew at her when she ran over with her broom to beat it off, and then flew off. She was in absolute hysteria. Officers Cunningham and Crouch of the Camden Police arrived and gave chase (they followed its cry from several blocks away). Followed by a crowd, the officers found it sitting on a fire hydrant; they shot at the creature and it flew off. There were at least 100 eyewitnesses, all neighbors and townspeople.
I was also struck by the sightings of what might be recognized as the Jersey Devil by Native American tribes from times before European settlers arrived in the Americas. More and more, modern science is finding itself agreeing with the histories – previously regarded as myths – of native and marginalized peoples. Stories told by Australian aboriginals are an amazing example; scientists have found that these stories about the sea rise 10,000 years ago are correct.
This is true – native peoples have numerous legends of demons and monsters that modern researchers consider myths. In the state of Maine, the Penobscot tribe had a legendary spirit called the Pamola, which was described as having the head of a moose, the body of a man and the wings and feet of an eagle.
Further west, we can talk about a similar creature, the Thunderbird, which was a widespread figure in Native American mythology, particularly among Midwestern Plains and Northwest Coastal tribe. It was considered a supernatural being of power and strength, and was both feared and respected.
Could it have been some sort of ptero-bird?
I believe so. The Thunderbird is described as an enormous bird (according to many Northwestern tribes, large enough to carry a killer whale in its talons as an eagle carries a fish) that is responsible for the sound of thunder (and in some cases lightning as well.) Different Native American communities had different traditions regarding the Thunderbird. Some tribes claimed it would attack them and overturn their boats in the river. Native peoples have stories of numerous monsters and demons, and I’m confident that many of them were creature that individuals actually saw. Anyone who’d like to start looking into this matter themselves can find a lot of good information at the Native American Monsters of Myth and Legends website.
I believe that most people are basically …believable. I don’t think all those witnesses can be wrong. Even though modern science doesn’t yet allow for it, I don’t see why there can’t be a few surviving ptero-birds who are solitary, long-lived, slow maturing and slow reproducing. It’s definitely a possibility.
The phenomenon is worldwide, and when you start to examine world cultural mythology it becomes obvious that a fair share of mythology is actually forgotten and misinterpreted history, but now I’m thinking that it’s been covered up by one of the most powerful organizations of those time – the Catholic Church.
You have to wonder why the modern day scientific community has totally ignored the work of Ulyssis Aldrovandi, Friedrich J. Bertuch, Conrad Gessner, Athanasius Kircher, and Konrad von Megenberg, whose drawings strongly suggest the images that they drew appear to be theropod dino-birds. The fact that Catholic Bishops even had dragon museums was —-incredible!
In addition to the isolated survival of ptero-birds, there’s also another possibility. In May 2019 the peer-reviewed scientific journal, “The Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society,” published a paper about a species of bird – the Alabra Rail – went extinct no less than three times, then evolved again.. This example of iterative evolution means that a species can re-emerge over and over, despite past iterations going extinct. It’s as if a specific pattern of life demands to exist. It could be that the ptero-bird has evolved more than one time.
It could be. I also believe in some situations that isolation has helped a species survive. After all, humans are responsible for the extinction of most species. And a bird’s DNA has to come from an egg, so we’re back to the question which came first, the chicken or the egg?—the dinosaur or the bird? The dinosaur obviously preceded the bird -and I believe that there have been a few survivors from that era – but maybe they’ve moved back and forth also.
What do you think is one of the main consequences of modern science and academia belittling or ignoring the evidence of cryptids on our planet?
Clear and simple? – the suppression of science and the suppression of human progress. I think it was the Council of Nicea back in the 300s AD that made an official determination of what type of knowledge could be pursued by laymen and which knowledge was to stay strictly within the purview of the Catholic Church. Physical things (ones that didn’t impact the Bible narrative – which cryptids certainly would have) could be investigated by regular people, only the church could could look deeply at the unseen, the spiritual, and at humanity’s place in the universe. Of course the church wasn’t entirely successful – look at all the heretics who were excommunicated or burned at the stake!
So that’s nearly 700 years of scientific progress lost.
But it’s not just a question of general scientific progress, but the path that science took as a result; this is something that likely changed our entire civilization. Maybe without the ban on investigating what the church considered to be spiritual, some scientist would have made a breakthrough in mind energy or vibrational energy and we would never have had the need to develop the internal combustion engine.
But won’t things change now? I understand that a Vatican representative actually issued a statement in 2012 regarding the question of whether extraterrestrials would need redemption.
At this point I think the church is playing catch-up. Although the truth has been hidden for hundreds of years, it won’t stay hidden forever – and organizations that have power need to be prepared for that day. What is more unfortunate, however, is that civil and academic authorities have wholeheartedly embraced that same doctrine of suppressing non-conventional science and non-conventional events. Academics who scientifically investigate unconventional fields of study don’t get funding or have their talks pulled from TED. And don’t get me started on politicians. We can all remember Fife Symington who was governor of Arizona in 1997 during one of the world’s largest mass UFO sightings. Governor Symington called a press conference afterwards and proceeded to mock the thousands of witnesses by parading around a staffer dressed in an ET costume. Only 20 years later did he admit that he, too, witnessed the Phoenix Lights.
The truth is that people in power, be it religious, political, academic or scientific, are loath to open their doors to anything that might put in question the narratives on which they’ve built their power. I think that with the internet and with the overall improvement in communications and travel, their lock-hold on those narratives is weakening. It’s the people like us – people who are asking questions and applying an analytical approach to things we can’t explain – who are knocking on the doors and who will eventually gain entrance.
About Steve Pearse
Steve Pearse served in the military with the United States Army Security Agency (77th Special Operations Unit (SOU) with a highly classified Top Secret Clearance teletype crypto clearance stationed at Clark Airbase Base in the Philippines. He is now a lay scientist, book writer, and retired business professional with over 25 years of experience in the field of credit management, and as an accounting specialist in account reconciliation of State, Federal, and Mass Merchandiser AP accounts. In additional to several articles in various publications, Steve is author of two books: Set Your Phaser to Stun, and Earth Is Our Planet, Too! Some of his additional research can be seen at www.hillwilsonstarmap.net. Contact Steve at: SP5X5@aol.com
Steve has been married to his wife for over 40 years, has two grown children, two grandchildren, and one dog.