Friday, July 24, 2009

On the Trail of the Lizard Man

1988 will forever be known as the "Year of the Lizard Man" in South Carolina. That summer, sightings of a large, unknown cryptid flooded into the police office in Bishopville (see Bishopville, South Carolina) and tensions rose in the small community. A June sighting by a local teenager named Chris Davis set the tone. He reported seeing a bipedal creature that stood seven-to-eight-feet tall with reptilian skin, glowing red eyes, and long, black claws extended from the three fingers on each hand near Scape Ore Swamp. Other reports followed and it was not long before the small South Carolina community was overrun by media from around the world.

Another incident would occur on July 24 that would further provide fuel to the fire. Teenagers, Rodney Nolf and Shane Stokes, were near near Scape Ore Swamp when a large figure quickly ran across the road some 20-feet in front of their car. Coupled with secondary reports of strange howling in the same area, the police were sent out to investigate. What they found were the remains of three 40-gallon cardboard drums scattered about the road and the tops of nearby trees severely damaged some eight feet from the ground. Even more interesting was the trail of three-toed tracks that measured 14 inches long and seven inches wide. The officers were apparently able to follow the tracks 300 yards into Scape Ore Swamp and returned the next day to take castings of three of the prints.

The castings were never submitted for analysis reportedly because they were assured that no possible match to an existing animal would be found. Still other accounts have wildlife officials outright dismissing the prints as outright fakes. For the most part, the reports of an eight-foot reptilian cryptid died off, although there have been a scattering of recent reports in the area that hint that something still lurks in the area. On a sad side-note, Davis was shot to death in his home earlier this year at the young age of 37 in an unrelated incident. While his passing may deprive future investigators of a firsthand account that was considered the most credible and descriptive by local officials, theories are still being thrown around. In fact, one of the more commonly accepted theories of what is lurking in Scape Ore Swamp recalls another legendary cryptid from the area.

Click here to read that theory and even more on the famed Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp.

-Casey H.

No comments: