The legend of the Swamp Monster is not as old as one would expect. When doing research on the monster itself, thinking mostly to be as old as Bigfoot, to my surprise the very first sighting of the half humanoid half leafy murky wet abominable monster took place in 1963 when a man and his friend were looking down from a plane on a swamp and discovered more than they anticipated.
The Birth of A Monster
It was on a hunting trip that Harlan Ford and his friend Bill Mills encountered what we have come to name the Honey Island Swamp Monster or most commonly the Swamp Monster. The story or maybe the legend goes a little something like this.
While Harlan Ford and Bill Mills were on their way to a duck-hunting trip, piloting above Honey Island, they both spotted a tall slimy creature who fixed them right in the eyes for a short moment before disappearing in the wilderness not to be seen again.
9 years later
When settling for their duck-hunt, the two friends might have thought about the figure they saw until they quickly found bodies of boars savagely killed with their throat slashed open along their path. Too far from the water, alligators couldn’t have been responsible for the kills they were witnessing and that alone, was enough to pick their curiosity about the monster they saw near a decade ago, but at what cost.
When noticing a three-toed webbed footprint next to one of the boars, the two friends decided maybe their curiosity would lead them to trouble, and so they decide not to take their chances with the monster marauding around the swamp and left the Honey Swamp Island.
Maybe it was too hard to resist or maybe too much determination that had them both return later in the night to the island to make a cast of the unique footprint. Ford’s description of the monster was enough to have the imagination of many artists and authors thriving with stories, but his words are those of a man who encountered a beast.
“It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before, ugly and sinister and looking like something out of a horror movie.”Harlan Ford
What seemed to be the typical characteristics of the monster is the tallness of the creature itself which seems to be around seven and a half feet tall, and the appearance would give the idea of a four to five hundred pound creature.
While the appearance seems to almost be out of a horror movie, it seems as if the animalistic biped creature adapted to its surroundings if not initially from that area. Many believed witnesses described the Swamp Monster entirely covered in thick and long grey or brown hair intertwined with wild weeds probably from it spending days and nights walking around wet areas in the marshy wilderness. The eyes are reminiscent of one of a reptile, yellow and bright.
For many creatures straight out of the imagination or folklore, a smell often follows the character and it is not different for the Swamp Monster that seems to be emanating a smell of death which I believe linked to all the creatures that it kills from livestock to wild boars. What is frightening about those local legends or maybe the truth is the link between the creature and the disappearance of children close to the Honey Swamp Island.
Legend says that the Swamp Monster was first born in the early twentieth century when a train transporting circus animals was crossing the state of Louisiana in the United States near the island and derailed. The animals were able to escape into the swamp but sadly did not survive its harsh environment for such creatures.
However, chimpanzees are believed to have survived and somehow interbred with the alligators which later on created a new breed of Swamp Monsters, though now revealed to be impossible for mammals and reptilians to interbreed, for a very long time that was the general belief and the beginning of the legend of the Swamp Monster.
The 8 mm Evidence
Following the death of Mr. Ford in 1980, the people who went into his home to clean his belongings found somewhere a reel of eight-millimeter film. Once played, to their surprise, the film shown the abominable creature he had encountered with his friend.
When thinking about actual footage, it is easy to think it might be real. Then the reality settles in, and one could easily think it fake. Then again, knowing the year of filming, faking footage was a hard thing to do and that type of costume, no distinction between the neck and shoulders, not invented yet.
Credibility is hard to achieve in today’s world because of the technology that is now available to everyone. Folklore such as the Swamp Monster, Bigfoot, Jersey Devil, Windigo to name only a few, might be the last ones passed down to future generations because somehow we have moved away from passing down new stories and legends and our surroundings have changed, and yet, those creatures still excite our imagination.