Honey Island Monster Hoax

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 22nd, 2009

The Honey Island Swamp Monster story from the late 1960s and early 1970s keeps being revisited, even anew this week in 2009 by The Blogsquatcher, for example. But the evidence of a hoax was discovered earlier in this decade. Due to who did the investigation, the fakery seems to have been neglected as an important footnote to the story.

Many of us investigating and writing about the lore could tell that the sightings of an apelike creature just did not match the alligator-like tracks claimed for the monster. It was one of those cases that did not feel right in your gut. But it was the Bigfoot researcher M. K. Davis (pictured above) from Mississippi that broke the case open. Unfortunately, due to Davis’ concurrent wild “Digger Indian” claims and later massacre theories for the Patterson-Gimlin footage, his findings were lost in the shuffle.

Let’s revisit this bit of fakery, because the Honey Island Swamp Monster has come up again, not really surprisingly, without reference to Davis’ and Jay Michael’s complete info on this.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Third Annual Texas Bigfoot Conference [in 2003]

By Bryan White
FATE Magazine
A Louisiana Hoax

M. K. Davis’s presentation…dealt with the “Honey Island Swamp Monster,” a Bigfoot-like denizen of Louisiana reported by an air traffic controller in the late 1970s and featured in the television series In Search Of… featuring Leonard Nimoy. Davis had an unbelievable stroke of luck. He found a man who had recovered one of the shoes used to perpetrate the hoax-for a hoax the story seems to have been. Davis showed footage of the shoe with a three-toed claw attached to the bottom, which was presumably used to fake the tracks. The other shoe is unaccounted for, but the Honey Island Swamp Monster seems to have been exposed once and for all. Bearing in mind [Loren] Coleman’s earlier remarks, there may have been sightings of some anomalous creature in the beginning, but the only available evidence points to fraud.


You can download, for free, the 15 minute video by M. K. Davis and Jay Michael, here.

As Michael wrote: “M.K. Davis and I, while working on a documentary in the Honey Island Swamp discovered evidence that suggests the Honey Island Swamp Monster is likely a hoax….The Honey Island Swamp Monster ‘Legend’ will probably live on, but as you will see…there is no physical evidence of the existance of this creature.”

The video is also for sale, online, and the description repeats that the hoax was discovered: “In 2003, M.K. Davis and I {Jay Michael} traveled to the Honey Island Swamp near New Orleans to film background footage for a documentary on the alledged monster there. What we found was startling evidence that suggests the monster is a fake. In this documentary you will see the evidence, and follow us along to our conclusions. You be the judge, is the Honey Island Swamp Monster a real Bigfoot or a contrived hoax? 15min”

The Honey Island Swamp Monster track cast.

From the side.

A cleaned cast of alligator. Some gator casts show the side toe.

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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “Honey Island Monster Hoax”

  1. Rob008 responds:

    The whole three toed tracks bothered me. You have the Honey island monster with three toes and the Fouke Monster, who also has three toes. Both set of tracks have said to be faked and last but not least you have Harlon Ford who reported encountering the Honey Island monster and Bobby Ford, who stated that he had been attacked by the Fouke Monster. Something is not right here. Are those two Fords related to each other, I wonder?

  2. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    This I do know a thing or two about.

    I was once associated with a group who went to investigate this “so called ” Monster. It was determined then that it was a gator. A little prying and digging into the past of this rural town and area, it was divulged to someone that this was in fact a ruse to keep trespassers out of that area, all but the towns folk who knew. Because alot of the “locals” were growing major amounts of cannabis aka marijuana in that area and didn’t want anyone to find it. What better way of keeping out people than with a story of a monster !

    I can’t say for sure of the direction, but it was either north or south of this site, there was in fact sightings of a large bi pedal creature.

    I just wanted to shed some light on this …..Thanks again Loren!

  3. JayMichael responds:

    Most folks down there were well aware of the hoax, the lady on that video even took the shoe to a show & tell at school. Also Mr. Holifield said there was an article that ran in the local newspaper.
    I did a comparison of the shoe to the prints and they matched. I believe we displayed 5 points of comparison on the video.

    A couple of years later MK and I were coming back from the Jefferson, TX conference and went to Foulk, Ar. It’s a funny story but we met a family that claimed they were responsible for the Legend of Boggy Creek!
    We missed the guy in a costume that was running across Hwy 71 that night by 15 minutes. But talking to the family they said things that I was able to verify later in articles in the Texarkansas Gazette. Either they were well aware of the stories surrounding the events in the 1960’s, or they were there.

    MK talked to them in more detail than I, but driving home we wondered if they could have hoaxed the events that led to the legend. This is not to say there is nothing in those woods, just that I believe some hoaxing was going on.

    Unfortunately we did not get any video or proof from those guys so I do not mention it often. We cannot prove we talked to them. That was an interesting night to say the least though. LOL

    As far as H.I.S. I believe something could be in the woods down there but those prints are, in my opinion, made from the shoe. Like the old saying, “If the shoe fits…”
    Just because the shoe fits those prints doesn’t mean there are no creatures in the swamp. It does cast doubt on the evidence presented so far.

    I hope some better evidence can be found in H.I.S. one day. I actually felt bad about finding that evidence for a while because so many people believed in the monster and coming back with the proof crushed some folks beliefs. But the truth is the truth. We were called goofballs and plenty of other names when all we did was show what we found. You have to tell the truth even when that truth isn’t popular.

    However, most people saw it for what it was. Evidence. And we were applauded for bringing it out. For that I am thankful.

  4. wshinhamjr responds:

    Even if the tracks were faked it doesn’t necessarily mean the film allegedly shot by Harlon Ford was faked. I for one cannot imagine he would go to all the difficulty of doing so only to not tell anyone about it. The film was allegedly only found by his wife after he died. I wonder if anyone has analyzed it like the PG film? It certainly should be before ruling it a hoax.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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