Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Return of the Carolina Lizard Man

One of my favorite cryptids is back in the news.

For the uninitiated, "cryptid" is derived from the word "cryptozoology," the study of "hidden animals," creatures rumored to exist but lacking enough solid evidence to convince conventional science. That is unless you count fuzzy photos and plaster footprint casts as conclusive evidence. For whatever reason, news of one cryptid back in my late teen years really resonated with me. It was this time of year in 1988 when when reports first came in of a "lizard man" in South Carolina. A young man named Christopher Davis stopped with a flat tire in Scape Ore Swamp. As he finished changing the tire, he turned around to see a seven foot tall, bipedal, reptilian creature with red eyes, green skin, and three fingered hands running towards him.

Naturally, Davis was fast to get back in the car and drive off. That is when he claims the Lizard Man jumped onto the roof of his car. Like in a movie, Davis swerved the car from side to side until the Lizard Man fell off and rolled back into the swamp. When Davis filed a report with authorities, deep scratches where apparent in the car's roof as well as serious damage to a side mirror. As many as 12 more witnesses then came forward, claiming that they also sighted Lizard Man in the following days. While an intriguing mystery, a Lizard Man gave South Carolina something far more valuable.

Namely festivals and merchandizing.

Now, Lizard Man is back. A woman identified only as "Sara" informed WCIV ABC News that she was leaving church with a friend and saw Lizard Man running along the tree line. She snapped a photo of the creature as exhibited above in this post. No more details of the sighting are known or have been released to my knowledge.

"My hand to God, I'm not making any of this up," Sara wrote in an email to the TV station.

Yeah, too bad that really doesn't mean anything to me, "Sara." Especially when the pic you provide is shite.

I mean, look at it. It's probably an action figure, posed in such a way as to resemble the most famous of Bigfoot photos. The rubbery hide and floppy tail can only hope to match the most lackluster of Japanese monster suits. In fact, this depiction of Lizard Man makes it look like he's doing a kick line of sorts, attracting his female witnesses before asking them to a post-Jesus-worship drink. 

Despite the obvious fakery of the photo and the sighting, the Lizard Man remains fascinating to me. The idea of it, anyway. I used to imagine that the Lizard Man was a hapless member of an alien away team, separated from his compatriots and taking refuge in a biome that at least approximated what his home planet must be like: hot, humid, wet, and dense with foliage. I suppose that a baked and arid desert might be a possibility too, but that doesn't fit with my theory, now does it? If not my theory, then my affinity for the Sleestaks on Land of the Lost.

Seriously, if the reports of encounters with Reptoids are any indication (and I'll grant you that's a BIG if), then "alien" is at least one possibility as to the nature of South Carolina's Lizard Man. Any intrepid argonauts game enough to head into the swamp and let us know?

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