The Strange Mystery Of The Hot Dog Man Statue

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa ~ (Daily Nonpareil/ Inside Bay Area) ~ Council Bluffs Police have a strange yet fairly harmless mystery on their hands: where did the Hot Dog Man statue come from?

Police dispatchers received a call around 8:30am on Friday, September 2nd about a suspicious man in a hot dog suit across the street from a bus stop for school children. The caller’s concerns were eased when cops discovered the man was actually an unusual statue. Standing six feet tall, the statue depicts a cartoonish hot dog man, with smiling face and licking lips. An American flag is draped down his back like a cape, and skinny legs with high-top socks and sneakers. The arms are reported to have been holding mustard and ketchup, nut were broken off at some point.

Reports from the Daily Nonpareil newspaper indicate the statue had been spotted at the intersection of 8th Street and 8th Avenue, but the mystery deepens as no one knows how it was moved to the crossing at Harmony Court and Benton Street. Council Bluffs Police Cpt. Terry LeMaster said, “nobody knows anything about it, other than we have it in our property (storage).” LeMaster says they have no clues as to who owns the statue, where it came from or who moved it around town. Even before the question could be asked, the 28-year veteran officer replied, “no, I have not seen anything like this before.” LeMasters added, “somebody asked me ‘why not just throw it away?’ Well it’s not ours to throw away. Someone’s missing a six-foot hot dog.”

Hot Dog Man statues have been around since at least 2003, when Jim Havercamp and Joyce Ventimiglia shot a short film titled ‘Hot Dog Man: A Case Study’ about a statue in Durham, North Carolina. They’ve also been seen across the country, from Seattle, Washington to Earlysville, Virginia, and even overseas in Japan. The Council Bluffs Hot Dog Man case remains open at this time; anyone seeking to reclaim the statue or with information about what the hell is going on is encouraged to call Council Bluffs Police Property at (712) 328-4717.

Photo credit: Council Bluffs Police Department

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