It is for this very reason that some say it may actually be possible for a creature to live in these parts and go unnoticed by humans…well almost unnoticed.
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The first documented sighting of the mysterious creature in this area took place in early August of 1963. Harlan Ford, a retired air traffic controller, and his friend Billy Mills came home from the swamp with an incredible story.
The pair of veteran hunters claimed that while out in the swamps they came across a large creature standing over the body of a dead boar. The strange creature had apparently ripped the boar’s throat completely out.
Harlan described the creature as being covered in dingy grey hair, with longer hair hanging from its head. The two estimated the creature weighed close to 400 pounds and stood about 7 feet tall.
The creature’s enormous size and hair was frightening enough, but the amber colored eyes and horrible stench that reeked from the creature were the two things that stuck in Harlan and Billy’s mind from this unbelievable encounter.
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. Its legs are slender but its chest and shoulders were huge and it had long grayish hair on its head and short dingy gray hair on its 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.
While news of this story spread like wildfire, the locals knew that stories of this ferocious creature go back hundreds of years. The Native Americans of the area called the creature Letiche, and described it as meat eating, human-like creature that lived in the water and on the land.
The Indians from this area believed that the swamp monster was once an abandoned child who was raised by alligators in the deep dark regions of the swamp. Cajuns called the creature Loup Carou, which some say means werewolf.
Some researchers believe that the Honey Island Swamp Monster is related to Bigfoot. While the body size and description is very similar, the tracks found in and around Honey Island Swamp do not resemble tracks collected in the Pacific North West.
They are 4 and sometimes 3 toed, much like tracks discovered in southeastern Texas and parts of Florida. Casts made by Harland Ford are about ten to twelve inches long, and have three long thin toes set next to each other and a fourth set back on the inside, rather like a thumb.
Ted Williams lived on the bayou most of his life. He was a trapper and worked on the swampland every day. Ted claimed to have seen the creature many times, and he knew there was more than just one of them.
He said, “I could have killed them, but I didn’t cause they didn’t seem to want to harm me. I’d see them swimming the river and get out on the bank then dissappear in the swamp.”
One day while fishing one crossed the river and walked right past him. One day Ted took his boat deep in the swamp to set trout lines. He was never seen again. No one has ever found him or his boat.
Today, the creature is still purported to inhabit the swamp and the bayous along the Peal River. Local lore tells of a train crash that occurred near the swamp in the early 20th century in which a traveling circus lost chimpanzees who adapted to the environment and offer a potential explanation as to the creature’s origins.