Excerpts from Midwestern newspapers, April 1948:
BELVIDERE, Ill. – (UP) – A farmer and a truck driver reported today that they had seen a bird ‘bigger than an airplane.’ … The giant bird was reported by Robert Price and Veryl Babb. Price said he saw it while working near his barn on his farm near Caledonia, Ill. … He said it had a long neck and ‘what I suppose were its feet trailing behind it.’ … Babb, a Freeport, Ill., truck driver, reported seeing the bird at a different location on the same day. … ‘When I spotted the thing it was coasting. It was bigger than an airplane and reminded me of one of those prehistoric monsters I learned about when I was in school.’
ST. LOUIS – (UP) – A retired Air Force colonel and a 12 year-old boy last night backed up the report by two Belvidere, Ill., residents of spotting a ‘monster bird.’ … ‘At first I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight,’ [Col. W.F.] Siegmund said. ‘But it was definitely a bird, and not a glider or jet plane.’ He described the creature as about the size of a small pursuit plane and said it was flying northeast at an altitude of between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. … The Trares boy said he spotted the bird in the air one evening at sunset and ran yelling into his house to tell his mother. He said it was gray-green in color and about the size of an airplane.
ALTON, Ill. – (UP) – An ‘enormous’ bird, first reported sighted two weeks ago, was seen flying over the outskirts of Alton shortly before noon yesterday. E.M. Coleman, a former salesman, and his 5 year-old son, James, said the bird was flying at about 500 feet and ‘cast a shadow the same as that of a Piper Cub at the same height.’ Coleman said it was an ‘enormous, incredible thing with a body that looked like a naval torpedo.’
Curiously, flying monsters have been reported in that area for more than 300 years.