Wednesday 30 September 2009

The Honey Island Swamp monster, an overview.

Honey Island is named after the honeybees once seen on a nearby island. The island is between three and seven miles wide and 15 to 20 miles long, is found in the swamps of South Louisiana. A bigfoot like cryptid has been reported there for many years. The Honey Island Swamp Monster was first sighted and reported in 1974 by Mr Harlan Ford The Native Americans of the area called the creature Letiche, and describe it as a carnivorous, aquatic-humanoid. They believed that it was once an abandoned child who was raised by alligators in the swamp. The Monster has been blamed for numerous human and livestock deaths which have happened around the area for decades. It is described as bipedal, seven feet (2.2 metres) tall, weight estimated at 300 or 350 pounds ,with grey hair and red/ orange eyes. It apparently smells like rotting meat and it’s footprints have four webbed toes. The descriptions further go on to say it has long to short hair on it’s head and then shorter hair all over it’s body and has big, wide-set eyes. Sometimes described as having a "mane" of hair. The face is said to be rather flat. Mr. Ford stated that this gave the animal a "sinister" look. The tracks , left by the animal , appear to be similar to an Alligator's rear foot. ( some of the details sound familiar to other cryptids and also there is a legend that a train crashed and exotic animals escaped . Heard this before somewhere?)

1963, Harlen Ford and Ray Mills report the first documented accounts of the creature. Harlan Ford was a retired Air traffic controller who had taken up wildlife photography. After his death in 1980, a reel of Super 8 film showing the creature was allegedly found among his belongings

1973, a guide was travelling down a bayou in a small boat when it struck something in the water. The guide stopped to see what it was and then he saw a creature swim to shore, climb out the water then walk into the woods on two legs.

In 1974 the monster gained national fame after Ford and his friend Billy Mills claimed to have found unusual footprints in the area, as well as the body of a wild boar. The same year zoologists from Louisiana State University (LSU) met with Harlan Ford to study the plaster casts of the creature's four-toed footprints. A Crypotozoologist from Washington also arrived in Louisiana to inspect the casts.

Harlen Ford retells another encounter with the creature:
"One evening late, just about dark a friend and I we encountered eyes, they were a yellow or amberish color set real wide apart, so this friend of mine, Jim Hartzog, he took a gun and went into this area to try to kill whatever it was and he says he came face to face with this thing. It looked like an ape about seven feet tall, and he fired on it. He said when he did the eyes went away. It most likely turned and ran, he shot at it one more time. So we went back the next day to look for signs and blood but we didn't find any. We figured Jim missed it that night.

A local man, Ted Williams describes two encounters with the creature:
First time I ever saw it, it was standing plum still like a stump. I stopped and realized it wasn't a stump and it wasn't supposed to be there. When I stopped it ran. It was dark gray, about seven foot high, it jumped a bayou that was the first time I saw it. The next time I seen him was swimming the river, two of them, one was bigger than the other and faster than the other and they swam just like a human with them long overhead strokes. I tried to get one of them to look at me and the other one ran off and the other one wouldn't look at me. I could've shot it but I wouldn't on account it wouldn't look at me. It looked too much like a human too me, broad shoulders, arms hanging down below its knees, hands looked almost like a humans."

Barry Ford describes his encounter to the In Search Of crew:
"My wife and I were going on a fishing trip about four years ago and at about 9:00pm that night I heard this peculiar noise, a scream down the river, I'd say about a half a mile away. My wife wanted me to build a fire so I was out gathering wood, and it screamed again, this time it was closer, maybe three hundred yards. That's when it really scared her, it scared me but I tried not to let her know it scared me, so I went ahead and kept building fires and less than ten minutes later it screamed again and this time it was right on top of us. It almost shook the leaves off the trees."

Sightings of the creature have been reported through out the years since the first report. The grand daughter of Mr Ford went on to make a documentary on The Honey Island Swamp Monster and interviewed lots of local people living near and in the swamps that have had sightings of the creature. The documentary also contains a showing of an original "super-83 film reel filmed by Mr Ford himself in the swaps from a stand showing what many think is the creature making his way through the trees. Since hurricane Katrina people are still reporting seeing the Honey Island Monster in the wilderness along the Pearl river on both the Louisiana and Mississippi sides.

Some Claim it is a hoax see here :

Others claim that it is a creature that has lived in the area for centuries. Again there are the footprint casts and the grainy film which neither prove nor disprove anything. One can only hope that one day someone appears with a clear film or a tuft of hair that cannot be disputed and proves once and for all there are strange creatures out there.


Anonymous said...


This is a posting from The man who posted it is John Johnsen from Grendel Films. I think you might find it interesting.

Subject: Re: Boggy Creek vs Honey Island Swamp
From: Wildphotographer posted Mon, Sep 28 2009, 7:31pm

It is well known here, to most, that I have had a tenuous, years long professional relationship with M.K. Davis. He has passed me this story concerning Fouke. Prior to my meeting M.K. he and a friend, Jay Michael, a filmmaker from Hattiesburg, MS, were in Fouke doing a little poking around. They were traveling down some main highway (do not recall what the name or number was) when a "man in a suit" ran across the road in front of them. They crisscrossed the area and wound up on a dirt road headed into the creek bottoms when they literally (nearly) ran into a campsite. They approached the men around the fire, who were friendly enough, and told them what they saw. One of the remarks these men made (paraphrased) was "Oh, that was so and so...he's gonna get his ass hit one of these nights". During a further conversation these guys they revealed that the whole Fouke Monster thing was a long running hoax designed to keep "colored" out of Fouke. And the said the plan had failed as Fouke now had two black families.

Your mention of the "Ford" connection has not gone unnoticed to Davis and Michael. After the initial sightings of the HIS Monster Davis and Michael again went on the trail of the sightings. During a field visit they found the spot where Harland Ford was alleged to have been camping when a flash flood literally washed his camp away. In the refuse left behind they found and recovered an exact replica of the HIS Monster's footprint epoxied to the sole of a tennis shoe. I have held that shoe in my hand. It is well made and exactly matches the prints found.

Davis's credibility is generally very good, but he often finds himself between a rock and a hard place with regards to his controversial statements, theories and projects. He has been in two of my films: “Keeping the Watch” and “Spotlight on the Patterson/Gimlin Film.” I do not consider him infallible in his work. However he is a gentleman and I have agreed with most of the technical aspects of his work.

Anyway, there you have what I know about Fouke and the HIS Monster. It is only what I have been told and what I have seen...take it with a grain of salt. Oh, and Dana Holyfield, the latest filmmaker to espouse the reality of the HISM is none other than Harlan Ford’s grand daughter.


Tabitca said...

Thank you for this. It is very interesting. I try not to be too sceptical about things as I don't want to have a closed mind but it was all too familiar to other stories. Thanks for taking the time to post it.