In the Book of the Apocalypse, there are accounts given by the Apostle John of all kinds of hideous creatures that would appear in the skies during the final dispensational transition. One bizarre case of an entity not quite like anything else comes from the year 1903 when a bat-winged, glowing-horned creature that emitted a sulphur-like odor, terrorized the rural and small town of Van Meter, Iowa over several days. The Van Meter Visitor exhibited unearthly traits and could be placed in the ultra terrestrial category much like Mothman and Pazuzu due to its seemingly paraphysical nature. Do demonic flying entities like these periodically come up from the underworld during times of strife and chaos? Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with paranormal investigator and author, Chad Lewis about THE VAN METER VISITOR.
In the Book of the Apocalypse, there are accounts given by the Apostle John of all kinds of hideous creatures that would appear in the skies during the final dispensational transition.
In my studies of the biblical passages, I would often suggest that the strange creatures he saw were purely metaphors. There are others who believe that these loathsome creatures will appear and at times there have been accounts of these beings as being malevolent emissaries that have been sent by Satan to the world.
Some of the accounts include the appearance of a leopard, with feet like the feet of a bear, and a mouth like a lion.
In the 12th chapter, John sees a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns. On the seven heads were seven diadems. The horns are a symbol of power and the crowns are a representation of authority. The seven heads and ten horns picture a terrifying image of great power, authority, knowledge, and strength.
I am sure various interpretations could give us more insight as to what he saw — but what about those who believe that he literally saw a dragon in the sky?
The dragon is able to sweep down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. The sweeping of the stars is a display of the dragon’s great strength and power.
If it were a literal appearance of such a creature, then how could it be? Because we all know that dragons or flying reptiles are something that we have no proof of existing. The chapter makes clear who the dragon represents. The dragon is that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan. He is the deceiver of the whole world.
So many interpretations would of course nail down the truth behind the representation — but there is a slim possibility that there are entities known as “Interlopers” that somehow are trapped between our universe and another universe where these terrible beasts exist.
Interlopers would be considered “ultra terrestrials” a term that was coined by John Keel, the author of the “The Mothman Prophecies.”
Keel was the proponent of the “interdimensional hypothesis,” where he used the theory to explain, UFO sightings, and cryptid sightings like Mothman and others.
Keel stated: “The objects and apparitions do not necessarily originate on another planet and may not even exist as permanent constructions of matter. It is more likely that we see what we want to see and interpret such visions according to our contemporary beliefs.”
He proposed that non-human or spiritual intelligence sources from a parallel realm had been appearing to humanity since time unremembered and that they had the ability to influence the mind so that people saw what they wanted them to see. He believed that these interdimensional interlopers were possibly behind a whole host of other phenomena including monsters, ghosts, demons, the fairy myths of Middle Europe, vampire legends, anomalous creature sightings, religious apparitions, poltergeist phenomena, and UFOs, among many others, and that all of these various disparate phenomena were a sort of cover for what is really going on.
This would mean that much of what we are experiencing in the paranormal is being generated by the earth itself and that there are many dimensions in which creatures are entities get trapped on this plane of existence, and then just as fast as they appear they dematerialize and go off into the ether.
John Keel was speaking of these ideas and thought that the Mothman case, the giant winged creature he is well known for may have been an interloper, or a harbinger of disaster.
Something akin to the angel of death, or the winged demons of Mesopotamia — such as Pazuzu the demon of death and pestilence.
I have always feared the idea of the Mothman– a creature so big, flying in the air that it could cast an impressive shadow on its victim before it attacks. The creature was witnessed by several people in Point Pleasant West Virginia in the 1960’s
There has been a lot of talk about the “multiverse,” in which a multitude of realities and dimensions exist overlayed with each other, our reality as we perceive it one of many, possibly infinite other universes all existing together side by side.
However, it has only been in recent years that the concept of a multiverse and parallel dimensions has really been seriously explored and proposed as a source for all explanations pertaining to the paranormal– Ghosts, Aliens, and Cryptids.
The core idea of other dimensions is actually not particularly new. In the 19th century, the concept of other dimensions was popular among various occultists and spiritualists, mostly championed by the famous Ukrainian mystic and author and co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
She proposed a complex cosmology consisting of seven “planes,” or subtle states, levels, or regions of reality, and although she made it popular she was not the first one to have spread such ideas.
The notion of what is called the aether had been postulated since the ancient Greeks, and was adopted by Blavatsky and other spiritualists and mystics to describe another plane or level of existence beyond the “lower planes” of solid, liquid, and gaseous matter, and which was often called the etheric plane.
As this idea was adopted by spiritualists and theosophists, it turned into a whole, complex philosophy and worldview that incorporated the idea that there were actually multiple other subtle planes or worlds or dimensions that pervade our physical planet, the solar systems, and all the physical structures of the universe, and which were inhabited by other entities.
In essence, second genesis is an earlier version of the multiverse.
There have long been cases of the unexplained that skirt our ability to understand them and loom large out past the reality that we can comprehend.
These often don’t seem to fit in with one’s typical entity reports or alien encounter accounts and seem to inhabit a whole other domain of the strange.
One bizarre case of an entity not quite like anything else comes from over a century ago when a bat-winged, horned creature terrorized rural Iowa over several days.
A terrifying event took place in the quiet, secluded small town of Van Meter, Iowa, in the United States in the year 1903.
On September 29 of that year, there would be some excitement in the otherwise rather uneventful small-town life of this rural place, when a local tool dealer by the name of U.G. Griffith was on his way home just after midnight. As he approached his home he is said to have noticed a strange point of light like a spotlight emanating from the top of a nearby building, which as he had been living there most of his life was something he recognized as not supposed to be there.
Griffith’s curiosity was piqued enough for him to forsake the warm meal and bed that waited for him at home after his hard day of work in order to drive down the road to see what the source of the light was, worried that it might be some hooligans out and about up to no good.
As he approached it, the light then moved all the way across the street to another rooftop, as if it had just simply flown through the air.
It would have been impossible for pranksters or a burglar to do something like that, and the increasingly baffled Griffith tried to work over in his head what could possibly be going on. The light soon jumped away again off into the night this time, and he was left there sitting in the dark pondering what he had just seen.
The following day, Griffith told others in town about the odd floating light he had witnessed, and people certainly believed him because he was by all accounts an honest and well-respected member of the community, but things would really get interesting the following evening.
In the early morning hours of September 30, 1903, Van Meter’s own doctor, Dr. Alcott, was awoken by what he would claim to be a piercingly bright beam of light shining right in his face from beyond a nearby window.
The startled doctor jumped awake and ran outside to see what was going on, grabbing a firearm in the event that it was trespassers, and there he was confronted by the sight of a tall, humanoid form framed by bat-like wings and, most bizarrely of all, a single horn upon its head from which the blindingly bright light evidently shot forth.
The doctor apparently did not hesitate to fire his weapon at the strange beast, reportedly shooting it a total of 5 times, none of which seemed to have even the slightest effect on whatever it was, and it remained looming there in the murky dark without so much as flinching.
The doctor then allegedly stumbled back to his home and locked the doors, and when he braved a glance back out into the night the thing was gone. Again, when this report was brought forward it was mostly believed, as this was after all a respected doctor, although as to what he had actually witnessed no one had a clue.
It did not take long at all for the astute to put Alcott’s report of a creature with a piercingly bright horn together with Griffith’s strange sighting the previous night of an anomalous light leaping from rooftop to rooftop, and soon there were whispers of something beyond our understanding lurking and prowling about out there in the night.
This would only be exacerbated by yet another sighting of something decidedly weird the following day, in the early morning hours of October 1st, when Clarence Dunn, the manager of the town bank, was walking along on his way to the bank to check up on things, fearful that there were maybe robbers to blame for the recent strange sightings.
When he arrived at the bank he settled in with a shotgun he had brought along with him and waited for anything to happen at all. He would not be disappointed. At approximately 1 AM, Dunn heard an inexplicable sound from outside that reportedly sounded like someone gasping for air or being strangled.
As he sat there in the dark, shotgun clenched in his white-knuckled hands, the shadows were suddenly banished by a beam of light that penetrated the darkness, and the witness could see that its source was some shadowy figure lurking outside. Without thinking, Dunn purportedly fired his weapon at the beast, which then fled away into the night.
Although Dunn was sure he had hit the intruder, the following day there would apparently be found no trace of it and no blood, except for a few very anomalous footprints described as having only three toes. Apparently, a plaster cast was made of the tracks as well, although no one had any idea of what could have made them, and is unknown exactly what happened to this cast.
The very next evening, a shrill, unearthly wail reminiscent of scraping, grinding metal roused a local hardware store owner named O.V. White from his sleep, and he was quick to grab a rifle he had been keeping handy in the face of the reports of some strange creature or intruder roaming the night.
When he peered through his window he would see a strange dark figure perched up atop a telephone pole just around 15 feet away.
White would apparently take aim and fire at the creature to score a direct hit, but this only caused the thing to snap its head up to gear at him as if irritated.
It was then that White would later claim he had been overwhelmed with a potent stench that hit him like a wave and was so strong and repugnant as to make him dizzy and cause him to eventually lose consciousness.
In the meantime, another local and co-owner of the hardware store, Sidney Gregg, had been woken by all of the ruckuses and had come to investigate, and once out on the street, he noticed a humanoid winged monstrosity descending from the telephone pole apparently using its large, parrot-like “beak” to climb.
When it reached the ground it stood up to reveal that it was around 8 feet tall and had legs similar to those of a kangaroo, and from its forehead there was a light as powerful as “an electric headlight.” It surveyed its surroundings for a moment before then leaping away into the night flying into the air upon its large leathery wings.
The whole very bizarre saga would continue on the following evening, October 3, when a J.L. Platt, Jr., who was the manager of a tile and brick factory on the outskirts of town, had his attention drawn to a series of strange noises coming from the nearby abandoned coal mine at around 1 AM, which would rather colorfully be described as sounding like “Satan and a regiment of imps were coming forth for a battle.”
When Platt went to investigate this eerie cacophony he would purportedly come face to face with the winged beast looming at one of the entrances to the mine, this time accompanied by what seemed to be a smaller one of the creatures, both of which emitted a brilliant light from horns on their heads.
The two creatures supposedly then took flight to fly off out of sight. Word got out quite quickly about this sighting, and there were many who came to the conclusion that the old abandoned mines were perhaps the lair of the creature or creatures. After all, the mines extended underground into an extensive spiderweb of dark tunnels and caverns that would have been perfect for such monstrosities to take refuge within.
Because of this, a posse of heavily armed men carrying whatever weapons they could find set up a camp right there at the mine’s entrance, keeping a vigil on the lookout for the creatures should they return.
The bat-like humanoid creatures with their glowing horns did indeed return the following evening, again at around 1 AM, and when they were sighted the group waiting for them did not hesitate to fire in unison upon them. Strangely, none of this seemed to have any effect at all, and one newspaper report would say:
“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.”
After this, the mine was barricaded and the creatures were apparently never seen again, but their legacy has lived on, with the tale told and retold through generations and the events immortalized in newspaper reports and even in the town’s centennial book.
Authors like Brent Swancer and Kevin Lee Nelson who have written about these events have stated in a Mysterious Universe column that:
That’s the big question: what was the Van Meter Visitor? In the book, we explore a wide variety of theories, from the mundane hoax to mass hysteria, to more exotic ones, like a possible ultra terrestrial.
The odd part about the Van Meter Visitor is that it exhibited a number of bizarre and unearthly traits: a horn that projected a bright light beam, metallic sounds, and immunity to gunfire. I can’t speak for my co-authors, but I tend to put it in the ultra-terrestrial category much like Mothman due to its seemingly paraphysical nature. In fact, the features of the Van Meter case are so similar to the events of the Mothman case that one could consider it a proto-Mothman event, as it happened 60 years before the events in Point Pleasant.
The overpowering sulfur-like odor is also a common trait associated with alleged ultra terrestrials, like Florida’s Skunk-ape, which got its name from its terrible smell. Like John Keel and Jacques Vallee, one of our working theories is that many paranormal events and encounters may all fall under the umbrella of ultra terrestrial phenomena.”
Chad Lewis another well-known paranormal researcher has co-authored a book with Kevin Nelson called “The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown.”
Lewis made the rounds in his research, finding strange stories in Van Meter, ghosts at the old high school and basement of the town bar and serpents in the river, none to his surprise. Intersecting geographical elements, he says, are said to have uncanny energy. The Raccoon River branches meet near the town.
the question remains — are there other explanations for the paranormal that lie in the idea of a multiverse, where unknown creatures, like dragons, and large flying insects exist?
The Van Meter visitor can be compared to the dragon seen in the visions of John, the winged demon Pazuzu, or even the Mothman.
This would mean that these creatures that have been described are not metaphors, but are similar to the dark archetypes spoken of by Carl Jung and others.
They fly in and out of existence like bats during twilight.
Back in 2017 after Hurricane Maria devastated parts of Puerto Rico, many people were plunged into total darkness.
Many were forced outside and people there saw something in the sky that terrified them.
Police agencies from the southwest part of the island bore witness to the reality of something large, with wings being seen by people of high credibility.
A local family reported the slaughter of their horses. At first, the story was reported that the horses were slaughtered by poachers for their meat. However, a farmer and his daughter reported that the horses had puncture wounds the size of two fingers on one of their foals.
There were other witnesses who came forward saying that near the horse ranch, a large winged creature was seen in the area and that one of the witnesses was so terrified that he made a three-day retreat in order to pray in the local church. He called upon a priest to help him because he claimed that the creature looked very much like a demon from hell.
The people say that it looked like a gargoyle — or Gargola.
The Gargola has been seen on the Island ever since the times of the Taino Indians that inhabited the area in the 15th century. They were described as grotesque creatures that had the face of a dog or a wolf, with large leathery wings and horns.
Many believe that the Gargolas are like the famous Mothman, as a relative or a similar species. But the Mothman sightings occur and have occurred in colder climates.
The Gargolas could be a mutation or evolution of the species for warmer climates. All characteristics are similar, from his height of over 6 feet, and huge wings, like a giant bird but, most looks like something between animal and human.
There are also cryptozoologists who have said that these creatures could be attributed to the fact that Puerto Rico itself intersects with the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.
Many people have said that the dark creature with wings is the angel of death or an emissary of Santa Muerte.
Statues and visages of the saint, which appear as a skeleton clad in vibrant robes and carrying a scythe, have popped up all over the world. The Santa Muerte religion is popular among a wide variety of people in Latino areas.
However, now there are followers of this death cult being found in Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. This death cult is a syncretism or blending of Spanish colonial Catholicism and Aztec beliefs.
The beliefs are based in the worship of Mictecacihuatl, lady Death and the queen of the underworld.
There we find yet another connection to the possibility of the underworld playing its part in opening up and sending entities into our world. Entities that are worshiped, or otherwise feared by humans.
Scientists are now warning us that magnetic fluctuations in the Earth will be on the rise as the Earth is slowing down. This could mean that anything disrupting the magnetic flow could have a devastating effect.
Again, ancient myths come into play as the mighty Titans or giant creatures were known to hurl mountains down to rubble. They were known to open up mountains, revealing the fiery brimstone and smoke beneath the earth.
The dark smoke rises from the abyss –and creatures unheard of or seen can rise out of the debts of hellfire to torture mankind.
It is said that the abyss is the home of these profane creatures and when volcanoes erupt we are getting a glimpse of what flows in the underworld.
It is believed that their legs and arms are moving the earth and soon the gates of their home shall open and that before the end of the world, they will return.
Our reunion I am sure will not be a friendly one.
For over two decades, Chad Lewis has traveled the back roads of the world in search of the strange and unusual. From tracking Vampires in Transylvania and searching for the elusive monster of Loch Ness to trailing the dangerous Tata Duende through remote villages of Belize and searching for ghosts in Ireland’s castles, He has scoured the earth in search of the paranormal.
With a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Chad has authored over 20 books on the supernatural and extensively lectures on his fascinating findings. He co-wrote the book, The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown.
The more bizarre the legend is, the more likely you will find Chad there!
His website is https://www.chadlewisresearch.com/