Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson advised area residents that recent reports of giant lizard-like creatures seen at Rathbun Lake are no cause for alarm.

“They are most likely swamp gas bubbles or some pet alligator released by an owner after it grew too big,” said Anderson at a special press conference Monday.

Anderson termed the mysterious disappearance of visitors at the lake and damaged boats as “coincidental.”

The sheriff would not comment on why he abruptly moved his boat Saturday from Rathbun to Sundown Lake.

Iowa DNR ranger Randy McPherren denied the state had been releasing dinosaurs in the area by way of black helicopters in the middle of the night.

“Obviously, a dinosaur would be way too large to be carried by a helicopter,” McPherren pointed out. “And we only bought those black semi-trucks for hauling picnic tables.”

Centerville-Rathbun Area Chamber of Commerce Director Joyce Bieber said silly rumors about such creatures were bad for the local tourist economy and everyone should show their support by attending Summer Splash.

But if there did turn out to be prehistoric man-eating monsters in the lake, she added, that shouldn’t prevent family gatherings at Rathbun.

“If worst comes to worst,” said Bieber, “we could rename the new resort, ‘Honey Creek Jurassic Park Resort. Maybe we could have fishing tournaments for the creatures. They would also make a good Pancake Day theme.”

McPherren said that if such creatures were discovered, it would take several years of study before the state would set a fishing or hunting season on them.



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