Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology

Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (also known as the Lizard Man of Lee County) is a cryptid said to inhabit the

Lizard man.jpg

swampland of Bishopville, South Carolina. First sighted in the late 1980s, the purported sightings and damage attributed to the creature yielded a significant amount of newspaper, radio and television publicity.


The initial eyewitness, Christopher Davis, originally described the lizard man as being 7 feet tall, covered in green scales, and having 3 fingered feet tipped with black claws. The eyes were red. In later retellings Davis described the lizard man as being caked in mud as opposed to being green and scaly. [1]

Sightings and Events []


The seminal lizard man account occurred on July 14, 1988. a 17 year old named Christopher Davis claimed to have encountered a humanoid creature which pursued his car and damaged it. [1]

In the version of the tale Davis told officials, he had been driving home from work when his car blew a tire. After repairing his tire on a road near Scape Ore swamp, Davis reported that he saw the creature appear 25 yards away. He got into his car and tried to escape, but by then the creature had clambered atop it and was hanging on. He swerved and eventually knocked the creature off.[2][3] On August 5, 1988, Kenneth Orr, an airman stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, claimed to have encountered the Lizard man and shot at it, though this was found later to be a hoax.[4][5] Reports of the creature gradually declined at the end of the summer.[5]

Rendering by Unknown Artist

Mid 2000s[]

In 2008, CNN mentioned the Lizard Man legend in a story about a couple in Bishopville, South Carolina who reported damage to their vehicle. The blood traces were subsequently found to be from a canid, probably a domestic dog or a Coyote.[6]


Mistaken Identity[]

After sightings died down, authorities speculated the creature could have been a bear.[4][5] The american black bear can stand up to 6 feet tall, can walk bipedally, is an adept climber, and does live in the swamps of the southern

The american black bear can look deceptively humanoid when walking and standing on 2 legs, especially at a distance during poor conditions.

U.S.A.[7] Davis himself apparently thought that the creature he saw may have been a black bear covered in mud and algae from the swamp, the red rear lights reflecting into its eyes and making them seem red.[1]

Another theory contends that a local butterbean farmer named Lucious Elmore may have been responsible for Davis's sighting. Elmore, a local butterbean farmer whose 40-acre farm was near where Davis stopped to repair hist tire, was holding vigil for a person who was stealing his property and may have approached Davis, who, being startled, fled in fright. Elmore's glasses reflecting Davis' rear lights may have gave Davis the impression that the figure he saw (actually Elmore) had large red eyes.[1]


Many have noted that many significant lizard man sightings are fabricated, such as the 1988 Shaw Air Force Base Incident.[4][5] This has led some to speculate that Davis may have hoaxed the incident as an excuse for coming home late.[1]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fortean Times 333 (Nov 2015) "Attack of the Lizard Man!"
  2. Horswell, Cindy (1989-07-1989) "'Lizard Man' legend, kicking", Houston Chronicle
  3. Milligan, Stephen (1988-08-07) "Sightings of a monster lizard from the swamp has struck terror into a small community in South Carolina", The Sunday Times.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Washington Post (1988-08-14) "'Lizard Man' Claims a Casualty", The Washington Post
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Houston Chronicle (1988-08-13) "To keep a monstrous legend alive/Man admits lying about Lizard Man", Houston Chronicle
  6. [1] Yahoo! News [Accessed 2 October 2020]
  7. Animal Diversity Web, "American Black Bear"