Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Return of the Lizard Man

One year ago today, Bishopville, South Carolina residents Bob and Dixie Rawson awoke to find their minivan had been trashed in the night and several of their cats were missing. The damage to the vehicle was mainly around the base, with long gashes in the front grill and wheel wells. The incident became all the more intriguing when the corpses of a cow and coyote were located nearby. Area residents quickly passed along a possible theory as to the perpetrator - The Lizard Man (see Scape Ore Swamp). Described as standing eight-feet tall with reptilian skin, red eyes, and long black claws extending from its three fingers and toes, the unknown cryptid caused a stir in 1988 after several sightings that caught worldwide interest.

One particular incident from that time closely mirrored the attack on the Rawson's minivan. On July 14, 1988, at the height of the Lizard Man phenomena, a car parked along a country road was heavily vandalized in the middle of the night, yet no one heard the commotion. In addition to similar long scratch marks along the body, the hood ornament had been crushed and the entire electrical system had been pulled out from underneath the car. The vehicular carnage only helped fuel talk of the so-called Bishopville Lizard Man and media from around the world came to stake out the area and tried to get photos or video of the alleged creature.

In the fast-paced snippet world of modern day news, the 2008 incident paled in comparison to the 1988 media stakeout of the Lizard Man. News around the world showed clips of the damage done to the vehicle, but quickly lost interest and never followed up the story. However, this time, there were traces of blood left behind in the shredded metal of the minivan and modern science tackled the myth of the Lizard Man. The blood was sent for DNA testing and the culprit was identified as a domestic dog - much to the disbelief of some who had seem the damage.

Though something of a footnote now, the story also had another unique twist. When reports of the damage done to the vehicle were broadcast around the world, they attracted the attention of Bigfoot researcher Tom Biscardi, who quickly came to the area and sought out the creature. He reportedly found little and vowed to return, but got distracted later that year when he stood up in a press conference and announced that two men from Georgia had the carcass of a Bigfoot-like creature stored in their freezer. The carcass turned out to be nothing more than a Halloween costume oddly stuffed with the innards of animals.

While the hopes of finally having undeniable evidence of the existence of Bigfoot dashed, some still hold out hope that evidence of the elusive Lizard Man of South Carolina will someday come to light. Just yesterday, Tom G. was telling me about a show he watched of a 50 lb. Salamander that was captured near Hiroshima, Japan in the 1990s that continues to grow in captivity. While not exactly an eight-foot bipedal reptile, it does make you wonder.

Read more about the Lizard Man in Bishopville, South Carolina.

-Casey H.

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