The Legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster


The Legend of the Honey Island Swamp Monster

This story is from the 60s, and is about a monster similar to the yeti/big foot/saskatch that was seen in Louisiana swamps. I never heard of it before, but it looks like the other stories a lot, with foot prints, some pics, and some witnesses.

Anybody around here living it that area who heard about it in the past?

Harlan E. Ford was the first man to report a sighting of the creature in the Honey Island swamps. He made his report in 1974, but it was back in 1963 when he first saw the critter. Harlan was also the first to come out of the swamp with a plaster cast of the creature (as seen above)

It was 1963 and Harlan Ford with his buddy Billy Mills were in the deep woods of the swamp looking for an old abandoned camp they had spotted for the air. Harlan was an Air Traffic Controller in New Orleans and he often flew over the 70,000 acres of swampy wilderness in southern Louisiana.

Today the two skilled hunters were on foot and making their way back deep toward where Harlan thought he had seen the camp. When they broke out into a clearing they stopped in awe, in front of them was a massive creature on all fours. Billy asked ?What is that thing!?!? The creature heard him and stood to face the two startled men. After a few seconds of eye contact it took off into the thick brush. With rifles in hand Harlan and Billy ran to try and get another look at it. All they found was it?s tracks.

Back at home Harlan told his family about the encounter, he said, ?It was like nothing I?d ever seen before. Ugly and sinister and looking like something out of a horror movie. It swung around and looked at us for a moment, then tore off into the swamp. I want you to know it scared the heck out of me!? From Harlan?s description the monster is seven feet tall. It?s legs are slender but it?s chest and shoulders were huge and it had long grayish hair on it?s head and short dingy gray hair on it?s body. It also had unusual eyes, Harlan said, ?They were very large and amber colored and looked hard at us before running off.? Harlan was an honest man and didn?t care if people believed him or not.

In 1974 on a duck hunt Harlan & Billy were in the swamps again. Near a maze of backwater sloughs they discovered a large dead boar with it?s throat torn out. It?s stench and smell told them it had been dead for a day or two. Further up the bayou they found another dead boar with the same kind of wounds.

Harlan thought it might be gators doing the killing but the boars were too far up on land from the pond. They wondered why anyone would just leave them their to rot. After walking a while they came on to a pond stretched across a few acres. From behind the brush they saw ripples in the pond and thought it was ducks, so they got down and crawled to get a better shot. When they looked up they saw another large boar lying at the edge of the pond. It had a large gash in it?s throat and blood was spilling into the water. Harlan & Bill saw tracks near the boar just like the ones they had seen back in 1963!. They decided not to stay around in case the creature came back to its fresh kill.

Later that night Harlan & Billy decided to return but first they bought plaster to cast the tracks. When they got back the Boar was still there, now covered with flies. The tracks were there too so they poured plaster into them.

With this proof Harlan contacted the Louisiana Wildlife Commission and zoologist at the Louisiana State University. All who examined the casts determined they were not a hoax and were made by an unidentifiable animal. The weight of the creature was estimated at about 400 pounds.

Harlan, on later trips into the swamp cast several more tracks and continued to look for the creature. IN SEARCH OF did a TV program segment on the sightings and this media exposure allowed more folks to come forth and tell of their sightings.

Today people are still seeing the Honey Island Creature in the wilderness along the Pearl river on both the Louisiana and Mississippi sides. Harlan Ford passed away in March 1980 from a heart attack. Harlan?s sighting has been documented in a book, ?Monsters of North America? and the ?In Search Of? Program.
-Jay Michael

Monster Godssecret?s Weblog

Here are a few other links about this tale:
Honey Island Swamp Monster; Investigative Files (Skeptical Inquirer July 2001)
Honey Island Swamp Monster Dana Holyfield Harlan Ford Legend Of The Louisiana Honey Island Swamp Monster On DVD