Election Cryptids: #1 ~ Iowa’s Big Blue Beast

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 3rd, 2012

The caucus and primary season is upon us.

In terms of learning a bit more about and having some fun with the cryptid landscape of America, I’m going to use the current election calendar as a way to highlight a minor monster or a little-known fact of a celebrity cryptid, from state to state, as the 2012 political battles unfold.

Today, the spotlight turns to Iowa, and that first-in-the-nation contest there.

So, what does Iowa have to offer?

The first destined cryptid honor goes to the allegedly unnamed giant snapping turtle reported from the Big Blue pond in Lester Milligan Park, Mason City, Iowa.

This 34-feet-deep pond is a site for local and national divers. It is noted as such online, and gatherings for scuba divers are organized for the location.

This Iowa cryptid due to the mere definition of it being a cryptid is an unknown. Please note, just because it is theorized to be a “giant snapping turtle” does not mean that’s what it is until it is captured. It is “cryptid” because we actually don’t know what it is, and the theories usually run to the mundane and explainable when something is still unexplained.

“I’ve heard rumors that there’s one as big as the hood of a Volkswagen, but I don’t believe it,” said Jim Wahl, a fisheries management biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Clear Lake. “The rumors I hear come through third-, fourth-hand, scuba-diving sightings. Whether it’s legitimate or not, I don’t know.”
Wahl said Big Blue, in Mason City’s Lester Milligan Park, is not a monster’s kind of hangout: snappers prefer small streams, creeks, marshes and shallow lakes.


Of course, I think this “monster” should be named “Big Blue,” (not because of its color but) in recognition of its Iowan location.  Additionally, this name would be to give a nod to the famous monster from the X-Files series named Big Blue that was a giant reptile reported from a body of water in Georgia.

Giant snapping turtles do exist. Here’s one from Arkansas, an alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) caught in the White River at Guion (Izard County). The turtle was later donated to the Little Rock Zoo. Photo: Becky Falkowski.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “Election Cryptids: #1 ~ Iowa’s Big Blue Beast”

  1. Steve Schaper via Facebook responds:

    I grew up in shopping distance of Mason City. Never heard of it, but we do have big snapping turtles. The one in the picture is not really out of line for what I’ve seen in the farm pond.

  2. Steve Schaper via Facebook responds:

    Now, there have been a number of bigfoot sightings in my native land, mostly during the craze in the ’70s, including one a couple of miles out of town. There is the occasional OOP moose or black bear.

  3. Sordes responds:

    A little note about the photo with the alligator snapping turtle: Both common snapping turtles and alligator snapping turtles are often hold on their tails, as they have nasty beaks. But this can lead to serious injuries in the cloacal region and the tail of the turtles and can be lethal, especilly in big and heavy specimens.

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    Yep…I have heard of the giant snapping turtle:)

    And YES to the Bigfoot hullaballoo back in the 1970’s. My mother and aunt remember sightings that happened out on Sand Road just south of Iowa City. It was also seen in Dingleberry Quarry (no kidding on the name…they changed it to DingleBarry about 10 years back:), which is north and east of Iowa City. People called it the “BirdMan” because of a screech it made. Whatever people were seeing, it fit the usual motif of a tall humanoid covered in hair.

    I do not believe we have any water cryptids (pity) or I would have scouted them out. And no Thunderbird reports I’m aware of. We have our share of the paranormal and sky lights, but other than that, pretty quiet on the cryptid front.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.