The unsolved mystery of the Van Meter Visitor - a winged creature with a glowing horn that caused terror in an Iowa town 110 years ago

In 1903 residents in Van Meter, Iowa claimed to have seen an eight-foot winged creature with a forehead horn that cast a blinding beam of light. 110 years later the creature and mystery remain unsolved

A bizarre legend and unsolved mystery which has haunted a small Iowa town for more than 100 years is the subject of a new book called The Van Meter Visitor.

For several nights in 1903, the small town of Van Meter, Iowa was terrorized by a giant bat-like creature that emerged from an old abandoned mine.

The identity of this mysterious monster has never been discovered, but over 100 years later a new book is retelling the amazing tale and hoping to shed some light on what happened all those years ago.

The legend dates back to the fall of 1903, when several of Van Meter’s most well respected citizens reported a half human, half animal with enormous, smooth bat wings flying about.

The creature is described as moving at speeds the townsfolk had never witnessed before, plus it let off a powerful stench and shot a blinding light from its horned head.

Each time the townsfolk encountered the creature they fired their guns at it, but this appeared to have no impact on the creature.

On the first night it was first spotted flying across the building tops. The next evening it was spotted by both the town doctor and bank cashier Peter Dunn who took a plaster cast of its 'great three-toed tracks.'

On the third night, a man spotted it perched atop a telephone pole. Another resident who saw it, described the monster as hopping like a kangaroo, while the local high school teacher likened it to a devil.

Scared and angered by what they had witnessed, the townsfolk followed the creature to an abandoned coal mine near an old brickyard where they heard a noise from the mine.

‘Presently the noise opened up again, as though Satan and a regiment of imps were coming forth for battle,’ reads an article in the Des Moines Daily News from Oct. 3, 1903.

The monster appeared together with a smaller version. In a flash of bright light they sailed away, but returned in the morning when the town’s men had gathered with weapons ‘to rid the earth of them’.

‘The reception they received would have sunk the Spanish fleet, but aside from unearthly noise and peculiar odor they did not seem to mind it, but slowly descended the shaft of the old mine.’

The creature was never seen again.

This amazing tale has survived and been retold for several generations now and a written version even exists in the town’s centennial book.

The new book is the work of Chad Lewis, who has written over 15 books about the supernatural, plus co-authors Noah Voss and Kevin Lee Nelson and help from local librarian Jolena Walker.

The authors visited the quiet town and spoke to local residents who told them the stories about the creature which passed been down and they visited several historic locations including the mine.

Lewis says he has found no evidence to suggest the monster was a hoax, although be believes the facts of the story may have been embellished over the years.

Lewis told the Des Moines Register that even though he said he’s unsure what happened those fall nights in 1903 in Van Meter, seeking the answer was more important than finding it.

'It was an era when anything was possible. Science was starting to gain momentum. In fact, they had just discovered the mountain gorilla. So the beast in the jungle was real,' he told. 'People were open to the fact that anything could happen.'

Source Credit(s): Top photo credit: A sketch, by Kevin Lee Nelson, based on century-old descriptions of the Van Meter Visitor, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2319503/The-unsolved-mystery-Van-Meter-Visitor—winged-creature-glowing-horn-caused-terror-Iowa-town-110-years-ago.html All other photos © thevanmetervisitor.com Cryptid Chronicles readers, what do YOU think??

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What is the Scariest Cryptid You’d Never Want to Meet? -=PART 2!=-

Cryptids - Batsquatch

What Is The Batsquatch Batsquatch is even more elusive than Bigfoot and has only a few scarce reputable sightings.  Bigfoot reigns supreme as the cryptid to hunt for in the PNW, but the Batsquatch still has captured many people’s imaginations. The first report of Batsquatch is from 1980 in …

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Batsquatch, PNW, Washington State


The first mention of Batsquatch was in May 1980, when reports and sightings of a strange winged version of Sasquatch started showing itself in in the shadows of clouds during the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

In 1994, a local mountaineer and a liquor shop owner were able to take pictures of the Batsquatch making the rumor more evident and real for individuals of the said area. In a local newspaper this headline alerted fear back into the minds of citizens. ‘Yelmidians take cover under shadow of suspicious creature. Mountain News’.

During this event livestock seemed to disappear though luckily no humans were reported missing at the time. A mountaineer dictated events that happened and his encounter with the Batsquatch when he found himself half conscious near a cliff on the said area. The events progressed like this: The mountaineer had been knocked out and was feeling fuzzy from the fall when he suddenly heard a loud deep base yell from the shadows. He tried to focus his attention on the creature that had made the sound while balancing the throbbing head ache that he had. He saw a log like entity being thrown of a cliff after a truck had hit it. What caught his eye was the fact that he saw purple wings.

He staggered to pull himself together as he looked for a way down to the valley when the clouds parted and a purple winged creature appeared. It looked like it was dragging another creature up. It looked like it was about 30 feet tall. With human like affection for the injured friend the creature then took into flight and extended strong wings that filled the mountaineer’s full eye sight view.

The mountaineer survived the event and kept this story a secret in fear of becoming the laughing stock of the community but when new stories came in about the Batsquatch he shared his story.

Figment of imagination, or reality?

A creature of great multitude and power that fills the air of the Washington Mountains truly is a frightful thought, especially knowing that it somehow survived time and evolution.

However, the reality of the Batsquatch can no longer be denied. It is only a creature that is struggling to survive. Just because it is so gigantic doesn’t mean that it will be the downfall of the human race. Respect! This is how we should take news such as this. Respect for a living creature instead of fear. Man should learn that our world is filled with entities that have not yet or can not yet be explained, but knowing that they are there adds to the humanity that we should be giving great creatures such as the Batsquatch.

Yet, fear still fills the hearts of men, women and children of Washington because now a new Batsquatch-like account is coming from Pennsylvania. Well-known researcher Stan Gordon gives the details:

On March 21, 2011, I was contacted by a witness who reported having an encounter with a very strange creature during the early morning hours of March 18, 2011. The incident occurred on a rural road in Butler County between Chicora and East Brady. The witness, a businessman passing through the area, stated that “this was the freakiest thing I ever saw, and it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

The man told me that he was driving down the road when from about a qurter-mile away, he observed something on the right side in a grassy area. His first thought was that it was a deer. The driver stepped on the gas to move closer to get a better view. From about 50 yards away, he observed something that appeared to be hunched down, and then stood up. The driver then observed a very tall muscular creature.

At this point, the driver had his high beams on and watched as the creature walked in front of a yellow reflective road sign, then crossed the two lane road in three long steps and continued into a wooded area. What he saw was a humanoid figure that stood at least 8 feet tall that appeared to have smooth leather-like skin that was of either a darker tan or light brown color.

The creature never looked at the witness, and was only observed from its side. The head appeared to be flat in the front section, and then rounded out. “At the top back of skull, it was like one of those aerodynamic helmets. The top was not quite a point, but looked like a ridge on top of the head.” The face was flat, and the eyes were not clearly defined, but the man thought that they might have been pointed in the corner. The ear that was observed on the left side was long and flat, and came up and back and was pointed backwards like a flap.

The arms were muscular and a little longer than that of a human. The hands looked more like a claw, but the number of fingers was unclear. One physical trait that stood out was the extremely muscular legs. The witness stated that it was hard to explain, but the legs did not move like that of a human, and “looked like they bent backwards.” The witness also saw what appeared to be wings on its back which were tucked into its body, with the wing tips extending toward the side of its head.

No unusual sounds or smells were noticed during the observation which was estimated to have been about 7-8 seconds. As the motorist approached the location where the creature entered the woods, it could no longer be seen. The next day the witness decided to drive back to the location of the encounter to look for any evidence. The ground conditions were not suitable for tracks, and nothing was found. The witness did, however, measure the road sign that the creature had walked in front of. The sign was just over 8 feet high, and the head of the creature was estimated to have reached about 4 inches above the sign.

Truth be told, Mark A. Hall made similar observations in his book. For those that have read Hall’s Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds, he clearly talks about “Bighoot” as a cryptid that uses camouflage to mimic the look of Sasquatch or Bigfoot in wooded areas, thus the name, linked to his giant owl theory. Of course, ridicule is used regarding how funny the name “Bigfoot” sounds too, so “Bighoot” is an easy mark.

It will be recalled that Linda Scarberry’s first account of Mothman talked about it being a big bird, and “wobbling.” In one description days afterwards, she said it “had muscular legs like a man.” But she also said she could not see “its head or arms. I don’t even know if the eyes are even in a head.”

Sources: www.unknown-creatures.com/batsquatch.html, www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/batsquatch, Second Picture , Illustrated by Uriel A. Duran

Have any Cryptid Chronicles Followers seen a similar Cryptid? TELL US ABOUT IT!

*** Cryptid fans, discover more cryptids and mysterious creatures at Cryptid Chronicles and let us know what Cryptid do you most believe in/find plausible?? ***

The Batsquatch is reported to have purple skin, blood-red eyes, wings like that of a pterodactyl, and a head that resembles a cross between a primate and a bat. The creature’s name is based on Sasquatch, although the two cryptids have never been directly linked to each other. (via CryptoWiki)

Batsquatch( Sasquatch's shame)

Leaving behind Champ and his struggle to remain unseen we move across the map, literally, to the great pacific North West in pursuit of a lesser known Cryptid… Batsquatch, the Bat Sasquatch, or Squatchbat.  

As the perfectly well adjusted and sociable locals call it, Batsquatch, is a large and unfriendly Cryptid that inhabits the evergreen state of Washington in the foothills and shadows of Mt. St. Helens.  Batsquatch is described to have purple skin and deep piercing red eyes, with a gigantic wingspan.  It has been reported as having a torso and almost resembling a sasquatch but with fucking wings.  While Batsquatch is a carnivore it’s diet does not consist of humans, Batsquatch sustains itself by hunting deer and such.  So thankfully there have yet to be any attacks.  Batsquatch is a strange and mysterious creature that needs to be protected.  If we keep encroaching on Batsquatch’s lands who knows what will happen to our small dogs and children.

Sightings began in the 1980’s so there has to be at least two of them.  On dark stormy nights, as locals say, Batsquatch comes down from the mountain to steal livestock and hassle teenagers who dare camp in their back yards. No one knows where Batcquatch came from and no one knows how long it will stay.  

But please don’t take my word from it take this eyewitness account from someone with a “prestigious position within the city.”  http://www.batsquatch.com/batsquatch/encounter.html

When I told my old partner, Steve, at the NPS(National Park Services) about Batsquatch he said “Pics or it didn’t happen” well POIDH on these, STEVE. 

Why would it be in a Newspaper if it wasn’t true? #OpenYourEyes #ToldYouStacy

Are you calling Brian Canfield a liar? #AreYouSick?  #WouldTheBrianYouKnowDoThat?

I am no classically trained ‘scientist’ but that is at least a 75 foot wingspan. #HardCoreEvidence #Damn #Proof 

Journey continues, and the players are the same. 


The Squatch Watcher

New Post has been published on http://blog.jannews.net/2014/06/is-it-a-bird-is-it-a-plane-no-its-batsquatch/


Spectacular rendition of batsquatch by tattoo artist and friend Gary Stanley aka Stigmata, originally prepared by him specifically for a magazine article of mine during the late 1990s – cheers, Gaz! (© Gary Stanley/Stigmata)

Twenty years ago this year, one of the most bizarre winged entities ever reported made its first – and seemingly only – appearance, at least as far as the media headlines were concerned, but do any ShukerNature readers have additional information? As revealed, here, moreover, it may not have been entirely unprecedented.

It was 9.30 am on 19 April 1994, and 18-year-old high school student Brian Canfield was driving a truck from Buckley to his home at Camp One in the foothills of Mount Rainier, above Lake Kapowsinin Washington State, USA, when for no apparent reason his truck abruptly came to a halt. Then, about 30 ft ahead, descending onto the road with a sizeable thud, appeared a creature of nightmare!

Standing perfectly still on its hind legs, at least 9 fttall, and covered in bluish fur, it had a wolf-like face, yellow eyes with half-moon pupils, tufted ears, a large mouth well supplied with sharp white teeth (but no fangs), bird-like feet, powerful arms, and fingered hands. It also had a pair of huge wings, which lay folded behind its broad shoulders as this monstrous being gazed at the unbelieving trucker for several minutes in a terrifying face-off.

A second wonderful illustration of batsquatch by another very talented friend of mine, Swedish artist/film-maker Richard Svensson (© Richard Svensson)

Canfield’s macabre confrontation finally ended when his astonishing visitor began twitching its fingers, then unfolded its wings, which were so enormous that they spanned the entire width of the road, and slowly took off into the air – stirring up such extensive turbulence before soaring away towards Mount Rainierthat Canfield’s truck rocked and swayed. Once it had departed, his truck inexplicably came alive again, enabling him to drive home.

Later that day, still greatly frightened but this time accompanied by his mother and a neighbour, Canfield returned to the location of his incredible encounter. He hoped to find something that could provide physical proof of his story’s veracity, but was unable to do so. Notwithstanding this, his reputation for honesty and abstemious lifestyle were such that no-one acquainted with him had any doubt that he was telling the truth. Even newspaper columnist C.R. Roberts, who interviewed him in the Tacoma News Tribune on 1 May (following an earlier article regarding batsquatch in that same newspaper on 24 April), was convinced of his sincerity.

As for the amazing creature seen by him, its surrealistic similarity to a bigfoot (sasquatch) incongruously sprouting a pair of bat-like wings was sufficient for the media to dub it ‘batsquatch’ – a memorable name for a truly unforgettable entity.

Sketch of batsquatch by artist Dave Kiele, based upon Brian Canfield’s description, which appeared in the Tacoma News Tribune on 24 April 1994 (© Dave Kiele/Tacoma News Tribune)

Although no further reports of batsquatch appear to have emerged, when first reading Canfield’s description of it I thought of another remarkable encounter on file, which Geoffrey Hodson claimed to have experienced while visiting England‘s Lake District in June 1922. He later documented it in his book Fairies at Work and at Play (1925):

“My first impression was of a huge, brilliant crimson, bat-like thing, which fixed a pair of burning eyes upon me. The form was not concentrated into the true human shape, but was somehow spread out like a bat with a human face and eyes, and with wings outstretched over the mountainside. As soon as it felt itself to be observed it flashed into its proper shape, as if to confront us, fixed its piercing eyes upon us, and then sank into the hillside and disappeared. When first seen its aura must have covered several hundred feet of space, but in a later appearance, in which it again showed itself, the actual form was probably ten to twelve feet high.”

Hodson was a Theosophist, and believed that the above entity was a deva – an elemental nature spirit. Devas advising and assisting the human workers at Findhorn in Scotland and Perelandra in the U.S.A. were deemed to be responsible for the astonishingly successful cultivation of extra-large vegetables and flowers in the gardens of these experimental spiritual communities, despite the poor quality of the soil and the adverse climate.

Abstract deva

Could batsquatch have been a deva? In spite of its daunting appearance, it made no attempt to harm or even threaten Canfield, merely observing him for a time before disappearing, just like the being observed by Hodson in the Lake District.

Also worth recalling here is an episode recounted to me on 9 October 2010 by New Zealand colleague Mark Phillipps, but whose source he was unable to recollect (click here for more details regarding this and also another strange entity mentioned to me by Mark):

“If I remember correctly, there were two men walking along some rough coastal cliffs (it may have been in Britain but I cannot be sure) when they came over a rise and saw a very large orange bat-like creature sunning itself on the rocks just above the water line.

“I believe they described it as being a good thirty or forty feet across.”

If this account is familiar to anyone, I’d greatly appreciate receiving details of its source, which I will also pass on to Mark – thanks very much.

This ShukerNature post is excerpted and expanded from my book Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999).