Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dragons in Iowa? // Updated Below to Include My Five Favorite Comic Book Dragons!!!

(Originally written on 09/09/12I was bopping about the Internet this morning and noticed this list of each state's weirdest unexplained phenomenon. I decided to jump ahead to Iowa and left scratching my head. This is what they had to say about Iowa:
Iowa -- Flying Dragon: A number of Burlington, Iowa, residents have reported seeing a dragon flying over their city in recent years. Two witnesses described it as brown-skinned with a long, snake-like body and 15-foot bat-like wings. Its head was shaped like a seahorse and it had a skinny tail flowing behind it. They watched the dragon slither through the air until it flew high up in the night sky.
Now I don't claim to know everything about Iowa, but I do try to keep up on the weird things that they reported in this state and I have never heard anything about dragon sightings in Burlington, near Burlington, or anywhere else in Iowa, for that matter. So I decided to do some searching and still came up with nothing.

Except... I did find one report written by a woman named Megan. She wrote about an incident from 2005 where she and her husband witnessed a flying dragon while driving on the streets of Burlington in the middle of the night:
I just happened to look up above the glaring bright Shottenkirk lights and saw something that I will never forget: It was brown in color, with a long body about 10 feet in length. The body was long and snake-like. It had bat-like wings somewhere between at least 15 to 20 feet across. The head was seahorse-like. It had a skinny tail flowing behind it.

I looked at Dennis and said. "Do you SEE that?!" and he said, "Yeah... oh, my god. What IS that?!" I actually stopped my car in the middle of the road (thankfully no one else was on it) and we just stared with our mouths hanging open. It seemed to kind of slither in midair, hovering above those tall lights above the car dealership, and it would occasionally beat its massive bat-like wings that sprouted out of its back.

Dennis then said, "It looks like... one of those Chinese dragons!!" And it did - it looked just like those mythical, serpent-like, slithery, winged Chinese dragons! It moved just like the ones you see in cartoons and drawings, slithering up and down in the air! We watched until it rose up higher into the sky, away from the illumination of the lights and out of our range of sight. It was incredible. We both swapped notes and separately drew pictures of what we had seen, then compared them - they are nearly identical. Call me crazy, but I think we saw a dragon! In Iowa!
Someone named Zeuz shared his own "Dragon in Iowa" story in the comments section here:
I live in Iowa too, in Grand Mound. We see dragons like that all the time, they normally come in the harvest time when the moon is really big and red. They often take cows from my neighbors pasture. I myself have spotted these dragons six different times, once in a group of three. Once I saw a large blue one with four wings, otherwise they look like the one you described
So there they are. The only two "Dragons in Iowa" stories that I could find following five minutes of Google-searching.

What do you think? Are there dragon's lurking the skies above Burlington or anywhere else in Iowa? Have you seen them? If so, I want to hear your story!

Updated on 09/11/12: I meant to include this latter material when I originally wrote this blog article. But a combination of time and fatigue prevented me including a list of my Favorite Five Comic Book Dragons!

5. Savage Dragon: The Savage Dragon is one of those comic book characters who are cool and iconic, but whom I know very little about. Most of my experience with him stem from his 1995 animated series. Dragon started out as a super-strong scaly-green creature with no memories. He soon joined the Chicago Police Department and protected the city from all sorts of nasty freaks. He became famous for meeting God and endorsing Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Over the years, he has discovered his alien origins and moved into new directions that I haven't read. Still, Savage Dragon is a cool hero and worthy of this list of dragons.

4. Dragon Man: Dragon Man is one of those really cool Jack Kirby creations. He's a dimwitted android who has repeatedly sparred with all sorts of Marvel's heroes, including the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Spider-Man, and even Power Pack. In recent years, Dragon Man's computer brain was updated by Valeria Richards, daughter of Sue and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, and ended up joining the Future Foundation team. The FF team is a bunch of brainy kids who are plotting to create a better tomorrow for humanity. As usually happens, everything new in comics usually reverts back to how it once was, so I fully expect to see the more animalistic version of Dragon Man in the future. But I'm enjoying the brainy Dragon Man of today while he lasts!

3. Fin Fang Foom: If Dragon Man is an example of Kirby greatness, Fin Fang Foom is Kirby genius. Fin Fang Foom is a (usually) giant dragon who originally appeared in China and managed to turn back a horde of invading communists. Over the years, he has appeared and re-appeared to menace all sorts of Marvel heroes, including Iron Man and my beloved Pet Avengers. One of my favorite recent Fin Fang Foom appearance involves the time he was captured by the Fantastic Four, seemingly rehabilitated, and forced to perform menial jobs as part of the Fin Fang Four. I'm still not 100% certain if those story lines are canon or not!

2. Lockheed: Lockheed the Dragon is the longtime companion of X-Man Kitty Pryde and founding member of the Pet Avengers. Kitty encountered Lockheed during one of her early space adventures and adopted him (or was it the other way around). He ended up moving to the X-Mansion and then the England to help found Excalibur. The two clashed when she found out that he was really an alien agent sent to spy on the X-Men (one of my least favorite plot developments in X-Men history), but fortunately they reunited in recent months. Now he can be seen flying through the halls of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and breaking up fights amongst the various mutant students.

1. Jade Dragon: Jade Dragon is one of my favorite (and lesser known) comic book dragons. He is a Chinese patriot who possesses the ability to transform into a fire-breathing winged dragon. He was having a crisis of conscience in the middle of a mission to kill a bunch of temple monks. He found himself inadvertently transported to another dimension alongside Canada's greatest heroes, Alpha Flight, and assisted them with defeating the evil Dreamqueen. He stayed in Canada for a few more adventures before returning to China and joining a mutant dissident group called 3-Peace. Unfortunately, Jade Dragon hasn't been seen since. I have often fantasized that I would love to reintroduce Jade Dragon to Marvel Comics, either as a member of Alpha Flight or as part of an international team of heroes. Regardless, he remains my all-time favorite comic book dragon.

How about you? Who is your favorite comic book dragon? I would love to hear about it!


Benjamin Stickney said...

My name is Benjamin, I am 22 years old, and live in a small town nestled in the Loess Hills. The name of the town is Smithland, and I believe what I have been witnessing for years, just may be exactly what you are blogging about. Obviously seeing Dragons, may be a touchy subject in public, but hey, my eyes certainly don't lie. There is definitely truth behind Fall being the time of witness. I can not tell you for sure if they are Dragons, but whatever they are, they are large, winged, and seem to hang around the upper hills. Most occurances have happened at dusk, or night, so it is hard without thermal gear to identify just what I am seeing, but if I can get my hands on some gear, and maybe take a video or two, then perhaps we might be on to something. I can not give you a clear description, besides the fact that whatever they are, they are well over fifteen feet in length, and they have wings. They are always too far up the hills for me to get a clear look at them. If I come up with any more information, I will let you know promptly.

Jon said...

Thanks for letting us know about your story! I might have to do a road trip to Smithland sometime to see if I notice anything! Definitely keep us updated!