Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AtomaCon Panel: Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp and Other SC Cryptids

Last weekend I attended the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp and Other SC Cryptids panel, which was led by Tally Johnson and Tina R. McSwain, at AtomaCon; Tally is the author of Ghosts of the South Carolina Upcountry, Ghosts of the South Carolina Midlands, Ghosts of the Pee Dee, and Civil War Ghosts of South Carolina, and Tina is the founder and director of the Charlotte Area Paranormal Society. For anyone who doesn't know, a cryptid is an animal whose existence has not been proven or accepted by science...some well-known examples are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Jersey Devil. There aren't many SC cryptids besides the Lizard Man, but we did learn in the panel that there have been reports of a river monster in the Broad River, and people have seen two women, one blonde and one dark-haired, both dressed in white gowns, in the Scape Ore Swamp.

If you grew up in South Carolina, you've probably heard of the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (aka the Lee County Lizard Man), who was first reported in July 1988 when 17-year-old Christopher Davis claimed that he hit a "Bigfoot-like" creature with his mother's car. It was pointed out in the panel that this far-fetched claim was the product of a teenager who didn't want to get in trouble for wrecking his mom's car, but that didn't stop hundreds of people (including the national media) from descending on Bishopville to try to catch a glimpse of the Lizard Man.  Two years later, a mother who was driving with her five kids reported seeing the Lizard Man in the woods as she was driving over a bridge. For a decade or so, there weren't any reported sightings, but in August 2015, a woman claimed that she saw the Lizard Man as she was leaving church, and she took a picture with her cell phone...most people assumed it was a hoax because whatever is in the picture looks like someone wearing a rubber lizard suit. I'm pretty open-minded, but I hope that the Lizard Man is a hoax...I'm not crazy about regular lizards, so I don't want to live in a world where human-sized lizards exist. ; )

You can find more information about the Lizard Man here:

Tina R. McSwain:

Tally Johnson:

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