Posted by: David Weatherly on February 8th, 2014
A lot of cryptozoology books have come out in the past couple of years but I’m always pleased to have my hands on a new book by author and cryptozoologist Lyle Blackburn.
Blackburn is the author of the wildly successful book, “The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster.” In this, his second outing, he offers us a peek into the true story of another legendary monster; The Lizard Man.
Reports of the Lizard Man began to surface in the late 1980s in the small town of Bishopville, South Carolina. Residents believed that the bipedal, lizard like creature was dwelling in nearby Scape Ore Swamp. Over several years there were numerous sightings of the creature. Some of the reports were quite bizarre and included the mauling of a Ford LTD and an assault on a teenager who was in Scape Ore swamp.
The reports were so compelling that local sheriff Liston Truesdale, launched an official investigation.
The atmosphere in Bishopville became carnival like. Radio station WCOS-FM offered a million dollar prize for anyone who could bring the creature in. The CBS evening news interviewed Truesdale about the incidents and those who had reported seeing the Lizard Man became virtual celebrities signing autographs and posing for pictures.
In the midst of the media blitz and monster hunting, the Lizard Man became almost a joke, a kitchy character useful for selling t-shirts and buttons and garnering attention for the small town of Bishopville. After so many years, we were left to wonder, what really happened in Bishopville?
Thankfully, Lyle Blackburn turned his attention to the legend of the monster of Scape Ore swamp and dug into the real story. Just as he did with the Legend of Boggy Creek, Blackburn gets to the roots of the Lizard Man reports, interviewing witnesses, going to the locations and generally leaving no stone unturned. It is in fact, Lyle’s trekking through the Lizard Man’s territory that gives the book its driving energy creating a page turner that any mystery novelist would be jealous of. Reading Blackburn’s book, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the swampy south, wondering what mysteries lurk in the muck.
While the Lizard Man was obviously never captured, Blackburn gives us a clear picture from which we can perhaps draw our own conclusions to some degree. Blackburn cuts through much of the nonsense spread over the years regarding the Lizard Man sightings to clarify for us exactly what the witnesses reported about their encounters. Were these people really reporting a bipedal lizard or was something else going on? Additionally, he provides a section that explores some of the possible explanations to explain the Lizard Man sightings. Is there really a bipedal reptile roaming the South Carolina swamp? Was it a mutated, Bigfoot like creature? Or, was the whole thing a grand hoax? Fortunately, through his excellent writing, Lyle takes us all along on his journey to find answers to the mystery of South Carolina’s most notable cryptid.
I highly recommend you check out Lyle’s book for an entertaining journey to discover the story behind the Bishopville Monster.
David Weatherly is a paranormal investigator, Author and World Explorer. For over 35 years he has explored the world of the strange, investigating cases around the country and abroad. He has written and lectured on a diverse range of topics including Cryptozoology, Ufology and Hauntings. David has also studied Shamanic and magical traditions with elders from numerous cultures including Europe, Tibet, Native America, and Africa. He has appeared on numerous radio programs including: Coast to Coast AM, Dreamland, Veritas and Darkness Radio. David was also featured in Watchers Volume 5. He is a writer for Intrepid Magazine and is the author of "The Black Eyed Children" and "Strange Intruders."