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1903 Van Meter monster case revisited

Posted on Saturday, 4 May, 2013 | Comment icon 26 comments | News tip by: xsas

Image credit: John Conway

110 years ago a strange creature was said to have paid a visit to the small town of Van Meter in Iowa.

According to reports made at the time, the incident took place over several nights in the autumn of 1903. Several respected members of the community told of a mysterious half-animal, half-human winged creature that terrorized the town's residents during the night. Descriptions of the beast suggested that it had large bat-like wings, left a terrible stench wherever it went and, even stranger, fired beams of bright light from its forehead.

The bizarre account recalls how several of the locals attempted to shoot the beast but their gunfire didn't appear to have any effect. Fed up with the menace, a group of townsfolk banded together one evening and pursued the creature to an abandoned coal mine. There they confronted not one, but two of the beasts, which both turned and disappeared down in to the gloom of the mine as the men opened fire, never to be seen again.

"The story offers a glimpse of rural Iowa history and lore."

  View: Full article |  Source: Desmoines Register

  Discuss: View comments (26)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Lava_Lady on 5 May, 2013, 20:52
They do make the most awful movies... like 10 year olds wrote the dialogue and 5 year olds drew the graphics.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Lava_Lady on 5 May, 2013, 21:04
I don`t think it`s the same. According to the demon hunters compendium: "The Popobawa is much like an incubus, but unlike that particular demon, the Popobawa attacks men in their own beds. As a result, many men take to sleeping outside of their houses in the streets or on their porches. The creature attacks the men while they sleep, overpowering them. Then, it holds their faces to the floor and forcefully sodomizes them for up to an hour (an extremely painful experience for anyone). It then threatens the victim with repeated and longer attacks if they don’t let friends and neig... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Kahn on 6 May, 2013, 2:34
Modern myth. As with myths of old, there may be some truth to the events, obscured by imagination of the observers in an attempt to explain what they could not.
Comment icon #20 Posted by RingFenceTheCity on 14 May, 2013, 10:22
This winged lizard with the foul odour fits the thread.
Comment icon #21 Posted by QuiteContrary on 14 May, 2013, 11:18
I'm surprised the mystery hasn't been solved. That's just not like a cryptid. He didn't mention what sense he got from camping at the mine, just referenced the unease of others. (buy the book I guess) But I'm all for seeking out creepy. And that would be an individual thing. Unless I missed it, the size was never mentioned in the article either. Just "enormous" batlike wings. What about the drawing of the creature is "half-human" as the creature was described?
Comment icon #22 Posted by Gatofeo on 29 May, 2013, 3:04
Most people forget that newspapers of the 19th and early 20th century fabricated stories to sell more papers. This is almost certainly one of those "whoppers." If you think that today's journalism is irresponsible, you obviously haven't deeply examined a 19th century newspaper, especially one with small or limited circulation. One newspaper would fabricate a "whopper," and competing papers would not only pick up the story, but embellish it even more, to lure more readers to their paper. I wouldn't put much stock in any odd story from the 19th century up to the 1... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Space_Jockey on 29 May, 2013, 6:27
If I was in the early 20th century, I didn't have UM forums or websites like that, my newspaper or a magazine would be my source for crypto-reports, and If I was a newspaper reporter, I'd be tempted to put as many as I can. It's fun and thought-provoking, even if just to give you a little spook in the woods maybe. To think how much we have changed in a 100+ years, but in many ways, still the same.
Comment icon #24 Posted by Lance Winslow on 14 August, 2013, 6:57
A contract of Insurance comes into being when a person seeking insurance protection enters into a contract with the insurer to indemnify him against loss of property by or incidental to fire and or lightening, explosion, etc. This is primarily a contract and hence as is governed by the general law of contract. However, it has certain special features as insurance transactions, such as utmost faith, insurable interest, indemnity, subrogation and contribution, etc. these principles are common in all insurance contracts and are governed by special principles of law.
Comment icon #25 Posted by brlesq1 on 14 August, 2013, 11:52
That's pretty cool. And camping out sounds like fun, even though I don't think anything's there.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Witchygirl94 on 3 January, 2014, 1:03
Could this be an early mothman sighting?

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