Creature Feature: Van Meter Visitor

A flying creature terrorized the small town of Van Meter Iowa for days. Seemingly out of nowhere it rose up from the mines and cut a swath of panic through the town. Descriptions of the monster defy belief. Said to be half man, half animal with large bat wings and a foul stench. Like a villain straight out of a comic book the beast was impervious to bullets and fired a red beam of light from its forehead. Sounds far fetched but to the people of that small town, including well-respected figures, it was all too real.


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The tale of Van Meter Visitor was lost for some time until records of the strange encounter were located in the town archives. It all started one night in 1903 when a man looked out his bedroom window and noticed an odd beam of light coming from the roof of the building next door. He went outside to investigate and watched as a dark shape jumped from one roof to the next, an inhuman feat due to the distance between the buildings.

The very next night one Dr. Alcott woke up to a bright light shining him in the face from his window. Fearing looters or other ruffians he took up arms and went outside to face the threat. Instead of robbers, he found himself face to face with a tall creature that walked on two legs and had large bat-like wings. The odd light was coming from a horn on the monster’s head.  The doctor fired upon the beast but the bullets seemed to have no effect, which caused the man to flee.

Totally not Sauron from the X-men…promise 

There were several other sightings of the Visitor as it was being called. A guard for the local bank shot at it one night, a marksman saw it scanning the town and took aim at it only to be treated to an awful stench. People witnessed it climb down a pole in the same way a bird might, using its beak like mouth to aid in balance. It then left the town in the direction of the old mines where terrifying sounds began to emanate.

It was then seen again near the mine but this time it wasn’t alone, a second creature was with it and the whole town banded together to drive the monsters away. Armed to the teeth the townspeople of Van Meter opened fire and managed to drive the winged creatures back into the mine, where they sealed the entrance.

Now that doesn’t look haunted by the soul of an angry humanized pteranodon 

And that was that. The people didn’t try to sensationalize and spread the tale, they buried it like they did the Visitor. Some of the buildings and locations found in the original reports can still be visited. Upon uncovering those reports and learning of the strange case, people have attempted to find an answer as to what the Van Meter Visitor actually was.

Once again there are those that think that it is another Alien sighting. Some think that it was mass hysteria or even a well-done hoax. The vast majority point out the connection between pterosaurs and the description of the Visitor. They then go on to suspect that it was, in fact, another cryptid known to the Native Americans as a Thunderbird. Some of the physical characteristics are the same and as far as creating storms, the bioluminescence from the Visitor’s horn could equal the Thunderbird’s lightening.

Since that has been the last sighting of the Van Meter Visitor, we may never know for sure what it was but it is none the less a fascinating case in cryptozoology.

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