Monday, June 29, 2009

The Lizard-Man of Lee County

It was on this date twenty-one years ago that a local legend was born here in swamps of the Carolinas. The Lizard-Man of Lee County, South Carolina (a.k.a. the Lizard-Man of Scape Ore Swamp, a.k.a. the Bishopville Lizard-Man) was first sighted by teenager Chris Davis (1971-2009) on June 29th 1988 around 2:00 am. Davis claimed that the seven-foot-tall, green skinned and red-eyed creature came at him while he was changing a tire on the side of the road. After Davis’ initial sighting others began to pour in as detailed in the following video uploaded from ETVRoadShow via YouTube…

Well first things first, according to CNN the blood samples from the Rawsons’ car turned out to be that of domestic dog, not a Lizard-Man.

Also while “reptilian humanoids,” as they are called, can be found in various forms throughout world mythology I would like to take a moment to reflect on their enduring presence in both sci-fi and horror films and television, the most famous example undoubtedly being the Gillman from Universal Studios' three The Creature from the Black Lagoon films. In 1980 director Barbara Peeters updated the Creature premises in her sexploitation piece Humanoids from the Deep. The Gillman was also featured in 1987’s cult classic The Monster Squad. Then there was the popular sci-fi TV series V which ran from 1984 to 1985 and featured alien visitors who were reptilian in nature. In fact, all these reptilians in the 80s have to make one wonder if Chris Davis’ sighting wasn’t just a byproduct of popular culture. Even Davis’ famous sketch of the Lee County Lizard-Man with its cone-like head and three fingers seems to resemble a Sleestak, the lizard-men from TV’s Land of the Lost (1974-1976), perhaps just a little too much.





Coincidence?

But whatever the origin, the legend of the Lizard-Man of Lee County lives on as a beloved southern urban legend which will certainly continue to be told for years to come.

Pictures:

1) Chris Davis’ original drawing of the ‘Lizard-Man.’
2) A more detailed rendering of the creature as seen in an Atlanta, Georgia newspaper.
3) A Sleestak from the original Land of the Lost TV series, note the cone shaped head.
4) Sleestaks, still with their cone shaped heads and three fingered claws, as seen in the new 2009 Land of the Lost movie.

For More on the Lizard-Man of Lee County:

Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th-Century (1989) by Janet and Colin Bord
Unexplained! (1999) by Jerome Clark
Mothman and other curious encounters (2002) by Loren Coleman
Monster Spotter's Guide to North America (2007) by Scott Francis
Weird Carolinas (2007) by Roger Manley

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