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The Bishopville Lizard Man

Posted by: Lyle Blackburn on January 6th, 2014

The Bishopville Lizard Man story will be featured on MONSTERS & MYSTERIES IN AMERICA which airs on the Destination America channel. “Skunk Ape, Pascagoula Aliens, Lizard Man” episode airing Jan 19 at 9pm EST.

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The Lizardman attacks a car in Bishopville, South Carolina.
Image Credit: Destination America

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Lyle Blackburn About Lyle Blackburn
Lyle Blackburn is an author and musician from Texas. His investigative cryptozoology books, "The Beast of Boggy Creek" and "Lizard Man," reflect his life-long fascination with legends and sighting reports of real-life 'monsters.' During his research, Lyle has often explored the remote reaches of the southern U.S. in search of shadowy creatures said to inhabit the dense backwoods and swamplands of these areas. Lyle is a featured speaker at cryptozoology and horror conferences around North America. He has been heard on numerous radio programs, including COAST TO COAST, and has appeared on television shows such as MONSTERS & MYSTERIES IN AMERICA, FINDING BIGFOOT, and the CBS SUNDAY MORNING SHOW. For more information, visit Lyle's website at: www.lyleblackburn.com


4 Responses to “The Bishopville Lizard Man”

  1. corrick responds:

    Lyle,

    I just finished reading your book.

    I have many questions, but let’s just concentrate on the story by the “star” witness in the entire Bishopville Lizard Man saga, Chris Davis. He claims he was working the night shift at the local McDonald’s and was on his way home at around 2:30 a.m. He had a flat tire and after he changed it, a large creature approached him. He then jumped into his car and even at 35mph the creature caught up to his car and jumped onto the car’s roof, then apparently fell off leaving some scratches on the roof and other minor damage.

    Later, a farmer, “Brother” Elmore claimed to have surprised a would be thief at the EXACT time and location Chris Davis claimed for his Lizard Man sighting. This farmer btw, never claimed any other involvement with any other “Lizardman” alleged sightings.

    Here are three obvious questions.

    It caught up to his car while going 35 mph? The fastest recorded human sprint speed is 28mph by Usain Bolt. The sprint speed for an average healthy human male is about 12mph. How credible is that?

    Chris Davis gives June 29, 1988 at 2:30 am as the date and time of his sighting. That’s a Wednesday morning. In 1988, just like today, the Bishopville McDonald’s closes at 11:00 pm on weekdays. Given a half hour to clean up, what exactly was Chris Davis doing for the next three hours?

    And did you ever ask about or check on Chris Davis’ criminal record? I don’t mean his recent one but from 1985- to say about 1995.

    That Chris Davis later passed a polygraph is meaningless, so did Ted Bundy and closer to your heart, so did Bob Heironimus.

    So how about this as a likely scenario. At 2:30 a.m. Chris Davis is out trying to steal a brand new air-conditioner from a farmer’s barn. However, the farmer is waiting, surprises him and chases him back to his car. Davis speeds off.

    Except now he needs a story in case the farmer got his plate number or recognized him and reports him to the police! In a panic he invents this crazy story, even scratches his car and then tells his parents about it. Except farmer Elmore DOESN’T report it to the police.

    Next thing he knows his father is dragging him down to the police station to tell his “story.” So what’s he going to say? “Gee, Dad, Police Chief, I lied and made that whole story up. What really happened was I was at “Brother” Elmore’s barn trying to steal one of his new air-conditioners and he caught me.” You think so? You have any children?

    Imho, the Bishopville Lizard Man makes for great American folklore, but nothing more.

    That said, Lyle, I do appreciate what new information you could add to it.

    Just don’t get me started on the Loveland Frog.

  2. redneckcelt responds:

    @ Corrick, I can see that scenario being very possible. and the Loveland Frog, the Sheriff himself said it was just a lizard ..From the wiki:

    “Although the officers in question did not report their encounter, word of it leaked to the news media. However, in a 2001 e-mail interview, Officer Mark Mathews, now retired, explained that the incident was “habitually blown out of proportion [. . .]“. He stated that, “It was and is no ‘monster’. It was not leathery or [had] wet matted fur. It was not 3-5 feet tall. It did not stand erect. The animal I saw was obviously some type of lizard that someone had as a pet that either got too large for its aquarium, escaped by accident or they simply got tired of it. It was less than 3 feet in length, ran across the road and was probably blinded by my headlights. It presented no aggressive action.” Mathews attempted to shoot the creature in order to back up the account of his partner’s sighting a few nights prior, but the lizard escaped, most likely to die from its injury, or from the bitter freezing cold.[2]“

  3. Lyle Blackburn responds:

    corrick,

    Thanks for the feedback. All valid points. As I mention in the book, it’s not out of the question that a person (namely Elmore) could have been responsible for the Davis incident. But of course Elmore later said he didn’t do it (allegedly), and more recently I found out that yet another person claimed to have scared Davis by “wearing a Halloween mask” (which I don’t believe for a number of reasons) — so it’s certainly clouded with confusion. I just had to go by Truesdale’s initial feeling that Davis was telling the truth when he said that something came after him, but ultimately it’s impossible to determine if that was a person or otherwise. And for sure the polygraph doesn’t prove anything. I just recap as part of the history.

    I didn’t search Davis’ criminal record after he left the Bishopville area, but as far as the time period up to the incident and for the rest of his time living there, he wasn’t involved in any crimes. But given the circumstances of his untimely demise, I suspect that he later got into trouble.

    The question of what he might have been doing between the restaurant closing and 2:30am is a good one, and the date of June 29 was something of an issue for me as well. Some of my research uncovered sketchy details that the date might not have been totally accurate, pointing to Sat July 2 (or more precisely, early morning July 3) as the possible real date. That would make more sense as far as him staying out so late. Unfortunately there are no surviving police documents that say for sure, and Davis said it was “a couple of weeks ago” in most interviews. I talked to Truesdale about this, but he could not be sure of the exact date either. So I just stuck with the recognized date of June 29 which was printed in the newspapers, since I had no definite proof to contradict. I sure wish Davis was around for me to interview, so I could ask those sort of questions!

    Um, yeah, the Loveland Frog is definitely sketchy. I just present the known facts so that we may dismiss as necessary.

  4. corrick responds:

    Lyle,

    I appreciate your response and you also make some valid points. Still, the dates don’t matter much since even on weekends the McDonald’s in Bishopville closes by midnight. It’s no more than seven miles from the McDonald’s to where Chris Davis claimed his sighting took place so whether its a three or two hour gap doesn’t make much difference. You’d think one of the very first questions Sherrif Truesdale would ask Chris Davis was what was he doing during those lost hours? Apparently, Truesdale never asked. Given Elmore’s initial claims one might reasonably conclude that the Chris Davis story was merely an attempt to hide a burglary gone awry. That’s my take anyway and I’ll add is in no way meant to explain away the other mysterious occurrences in the area.

    And redneckcelt: The Loveland Frog

    Long ago I wrote a piece for Ron Schaffner’s internet site, Creature Chronicles, about the back to back sightings by the two policemen. Despite Mark Mathews more recent claims, given the temperatures involved it could not have been a reptile. Unless it was all a hoax, it must have been a bird they both saw. And by far the most likely candidate was a vagrant great grey owl.



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