South Carolina’s ‘Lizard Man’ Of Scape Ore Swamp -- A Brief History Of The Humanoid Reptilian Cryptid

A new video and photo have surfaced online purporting to show South Carolina's fabled resident of Scape Ore Swamp, the redoubtable seven-foot monster, Lizard Man, first spotted in 1988.

After seven years since the last sighting, Sarah Berra of Sumter, South Carolina, reported seeing the humanoid reptilian cryptid on Sunday, August 2.

As Sarah stepped out of the church building, she noticed a strange creature sporting a long reptilian tail, standing on two legs and running among the trees in the distance.

The brave woman was able to snap photos of the scary bipedal creature with a thickset body, four-digit feet and hands, before it disappeared into the swamp.

She later told local CNN affiliate WCIV (ABC News 4), "My hand to God, I am not making this up. So excited!"

Lizard Man
Lizard Man -- Real Or Fake?

And rather uncharacteristically, the internet was incredulous because the tall, muscular, bipedal monster with a long tail revealed in her photograph looked suspiciously like a prankster in a plastic suit.

"$10 says that #LizardMan sightings in South Carolina are really just a Scooby-Doo villain scaring people away from some buried treasure."
But don't be too quick to dismiss Lizard Man as entirely the creation of pranksters with lots of idle time on their hands. Lizard Man's historical credentials are solid, so solid that a team of distinguished professors at the College of Charleston set out in 2011 to find him.

The State reports that before Sarah's August 2 sighting, a man, Jim Wilson, reported seeing a tall, dark, scaly creature near Scape Ore Swamp while driving to Camden on Highway 34. Wilson stopped his car and snapped pictures as the creature crossed the Scape Ore Bridge.

Scape Ore Bridge
"It was a tall, dark figure that had a tail and appeared to have scales. It was almost like an alligator with a short nose and long legs. My friend told me it's probably a pet monitor lizard... but my girlfriend thinks its lizard man."
Wilson's sighting came after a hunter -- who has chosen to remain anonymous -- recorded a 24-second video in May that appears to show a long-tailed reptilian in the Scape Ore Swamp near Bishopville, South Carolina. The hunter filmed Lizard Man from behind a tree at a distance of about 40 yards.

The filming ended abruptly when Lizard Man sensed he was being observed and looked in the direction of the cameraman.

The encounter evidently made a deep impression on the hunter, who was ready to swear on a stack of Bibles that he saw the real Lizard Man and not a prankster in a suit.

Lizard Man
Lizard Man In The Swamp

"If you're wondering I absolutely believe it's real. I also don't know if it's the same thing you posted."
The man had kept quiet about the sighting and came forward with the video only after Sarah's photo emerged. He said he kept the footage secret because his wife was afraid that everyone would think he was a "loon" if he reported sighting "Lizard Man" running about in the swamps, according to WCIV.
"I saw your lizard man story and it's given me the courage to send you a video I took in early May. Though my wife believes me that it's real, she said she would be embarrassed that everyone would think I was a loon so I kept it a secret."
The first sighting of the creature occurred in 1988. Christopher Davis, 17, reported he was attacked by a seven-foot-tall reptilian monster while he changed a flat tire at about 2 a.m.

David rushed into his car as the red-eyed monster charged. Before he could drive away, the monster jumped on the hood of the car, damaged the side mirror and left claw marks on the roof.

At about the time that Davis reported his scary encounter with Lizard Man, Lee County Sheriff Liston Truesdale, who investigated multiple cases in the summer of 1988, reported seeing a 1985 Ford LTD literally "chewed up" by Lizard Man at a Browntown residence in Bishopville. Truesdale saw bite marks on the metal fender of the car and the wheel ripped off, chewed up and then spit out.

Do you still think Lizard Man is a prankster in a plastic suit?

In 2008, Bob and Dixie Rawson told bewildered police officers that Lizard Man attacked their minivan and ripped its hood. Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melving said that although the story sounded like a joke the damage to their vehicle was evidence that something powerful had attacked them.

Based on multiple sightings of the creature since after the first sighting in 1988, Lizard Man is generally described as a humanoid reptilian cryptid about seven-feet tall.

The Daily Mail reports that Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simons said his office has not received any formal report of the latest sightings. But he seemed pleased that Lizard Man has helped to "put Lee County and Bishopville on the map."

"You are talking about a small town getting national attention for it. It's unusual for a small farming town to gain that attention. I wouldn't say there is anything to be proud about, but it put Lee County and Bishopville on the map."
Now back to the fake Lizard man, the one in the plastic suit. He appears to manage a Twitter account where he gives a brief bio.
"Born in swamp. Relocated to Bishopville, SC. Shy and misunderstood. Love wrestling, NASCAR, and flies. Currently single, but looking. #lizardman.

"I'm 1/2 Lizard & 1/2 Man. So I love flies but also love steak. So my perfect steak is one that has been left out too long."

And why does he continue to live in a dark, swampy place despite having achieved fame in Bishopville, Lee County and beyond?

"I can't throw on a trench coat and go to the Bishopville Dairy Queen unnoticed."
And can he prove he is the real Lizard Man and not a prankster in a plastic suit?

"It is hard to prove being the 'real' #lizardman. I have no driver's license. I failed the eye test. Again. #bishopvilledmv."
[Images: Sarah Berra; Wikimedia Commons; Twitter; YouTube]