Sumter and Lee Counties, South Carolina
Lizard man response...
A farmer named Doug Kelly saw a creature he described as being too tall
for a man and too erect fot a bear while deer hunting near Lynches River
about 4 or 5 years before the Lizard Man thing.
I grew up about 5 miles from Browntown and hunted Scape Ore as a teen
and young adult. The wildest things in there are probably the panthers
that roam between Spring Hill and Scape Ore swamp. I do remember tales
told by the blacks on our farm when I was a small child about a "wild man" who frequented the ridge that runs parallel to hwy 441 from Sumter County
into the Browntown area of Lee County, here in South Carolina.
I don't recall anyone having ever seen it though. To advise you further
on the Lizard Man encounter, I am and have been an avid bear hunter for
nearly 20 years, hunting in the upstate of South Carolina every year
without fail. I am very familiar with bear spoor. I saw the plaster
cast made of the "Lizard Man" track when all of that stuff was going on,
and frankly, after seeing it and evaluating the circumstances overall,
I came to the conclusion that this particular sighting was probably
around a 400 pound black bear that wandered down into the area from
the Upstate area.
The footprint looked to me like the track made when a bear steps his
hind foot into his front foot track. The stories of limbs being broken
off 7 or 8 feet above the ground were indicative of the territorial
marking made by bears, as was the trash being pulled from dumpsters a
traditional trait demonstrated by bears. I doubt seriously if anything
"chased" Davis' car down that night. I think he saw the bear's eyes
reflecting in his brake lights as he was closing his trunk, and by the
time he had gotten into the car and gotten it started, the bear had
climbed on top of it, which park bears are notorious for doing.
Everything I observed led me to believe it was probably a black bear
in that particular instance.
Now as for the stories about the "wild man" and Doug Kelly's encounter,
I cannot explain those. As far as I know, Doug is perfectly sane, and
it was a couple of weeks after his encounter before he would even speak
to anyone in the family about what he had seen. All I can suggest you do
is ask him, and maybe ask some of the older
blacks around the Woodrow area of Lee County about the "wild man."
Other stories you may want to look into are a bigfoot sighting in
Summerton, SC back around 1974 or so, when it was reportedly seen
crossing I-95, which was under construction, and an incident round the
same time where some goats were killed by a creature in the same area.
And a sighting reported in Sumter on Green Swamp shortly after the
Lizard Man thing.
But to repeat, there may some strange, unexplainable creatures in South
Carolina's swamps, but I don't think the Lizard Man itself was anything
more than a bear.
You also may want to speak to my father, Joe E. Moore, Sr. who had an
unusual encounter with something in the swamps near Cotton Acres when he
was a lad that frightened he and his friends so bad they evacuated the
area they were fishing in, leaving poles, bait and all behind, and rode
home on a wagon pulled by a hysterical mule. You can reach him at
(803)469-xxxx, but I would suggest arranging an interview and speaking
to him in person...My home telephone is (803)499-xxxx.
Sincerely, Joe E. Moore, Jr.
This story logged Mon, 09 Feb 1998 03:49