At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WHITE STAG OF NEW JERSEY

White Stag
The White Stag occurs in various romances of chivalry and is particularly associated with the Arthurian legend.  A white stag led Sir Perceval to the Grail Castle.  A cart pulled by three white stags occurs in the Grail romance Perlesvaus.  In the church at Tr√©heurenteuc in Brittany, which contains Grail-related motifs, there is a painting on the church wall of a white stag wearing a golden cross, with four lions around it.

However, it is to New Jersey we travel for a curious legend of the White Stag.  In days agone, the Quaker Bridge spanned the Batso River.  One night, in the midst of a rainstorm, a stagecoach driver was headed for the bridge.  Then a White Stag appeared ahead.  The horses stopped and the driver clambered down and walked towards it, only for the White Stag to vanish.  Then the driver saw that the bridge had been washed away and the Stag had prevented his driving the stage directly into the river.

White stags are not mythical.  Among Red deer (Cervus elaphus) such creatures occur from time to time.  They are not albinos.  They have a condition known as leucism.  The interesting thing, however, is that the Red deer is not found in North America.  So where did the White Stag of New Jersey come from?

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