Flying Humanoid of Iowa

Written By Tripzibit on Apr 16, 2013 | 15:17

In December 1903, a horrible "winged beast” also known as the "Flying Humanoid of Iowa" terrorized the town of Van Meter, Iowa. The monster put in its appearance Monday night. U.G. Griffith, an implement dealer, drove into town at 1 A.M. and saw what seemed to be an electric searchlight on Maher and Grigg’s store. While he gazed it sailed across to another building and then disappeared. According to the Watertown Herald [New York, December 5, 1903], Dr. A.C. Olcott, who slept in his office on main street, was awakened by a bright light shining in his face. The doctor “grabbed a shotgun and ran outside the building, where he saw a monster, seemingly half human and half beast, with great bat-like wings. A dazzling light that nearly blinded him came from a blunt, horn-like protuberance in the middle of the animal’s forehead, and it gave off a stupefying odor that almost overcame him. The doctor discharged his weapon and fled into his office, barring doors and windows, and remained there in abject terror until morning.”

Flying Humanoid of Iowa - half human and half beast, with great batlike wings 
(art by Ricardo Pustanio)

Peter Dunn, cashier of the only bank in town, prepared to guard the funds with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. At two o’clock, he was blinded by a bright light. “Eventually he recovered his senses sufficiently to distinguish the monster and fired through the window. The plate glass and sash were torn out, and the monster disappeared. Next morning imprints of large three-toed feet were discernible in the soft earth. Plaster casts of them were taken.”

“That night Dr. O. V. White saw the monster climbing down a telephone pole, using a beak much in the manner of a parrot. As it struck the ground it seemed to travel in leaps like a kangaroo, using its huge, featherless wings to assist. It gave off no light. He fired at it, and he [believed] he wounded it. The shot was followed by an overpowering odor. Sidney Gregg, attracted by the shot, saw the monster flying away.”

“But the climax came the following night. The whole town was aroused by this time. Professor Martin, principal of the schools, decided that from the description it was an antediluvian [before the great Biblical Flood] animal.”

“Shortly after midnight J. L. Platt, foreman of the brick plant, heard a peculiar sound in an abandoned coal mine, and as the men had reported a similar sound before[,] a body of volunteers started an investigation. Presently the monster emerged from the shaft, accompanied by a smaller one. A score of shots were fired without effect.” 
“The whole town was aroused, and a vigil was maintained the rest of the night, but without result until just at dawn, when the two monsters returned and disappeared down the shaft.”

Sources:
Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts From the Darkside by Brad Steiger;
http://www.devilspenny.com/2010/08/bizarre-winged-creatures-terrorize-iowa-hamlet-1903/

Pic Source:
Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beats From the Darkside by Brad Steiger page 91



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