In the folklore of Lee County, South Carolina, the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (also known as the Lizard Man of Lee County) is an entity said to inhabit the swampland of the region. First mentioned in the late 1980s by a local 17-year-old, the purported sighting yielded a significant amount of newspaper, radio and television publicity. According to Lee County authorities, another local man admitted fabricating a story about encountering and shooting the creature “because he wanted to keep the legend of the Lizard Man alive”.
In 1988, 17-year-old local Christopher Davis claimed his car was damaged by a creature he described as “green, wetlike, about 7 feet tall and had three fingers, red eyes, skin like a lizard, snakelike scales”. Coverage by newspapers and media resulted in increased attention for his claims. Local businesses began selling “Lizard Man” T-shirts, and the local chamber of commerce encouraged the media attention as “good for the community”.
The increase in newspaper and media publicity prompted further reports of sightings, and the area soon became a tourist attraction for visitors and hunters. Local radio station WCOS offered a $1 million reward to anybody who could capture the creature alive. On August 5, Kenneth Orr, an airman stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, filed a police report alleging that he had encountered the Lizard Man on highway 15, and he had shot and wounded it. He presented several scales and a small quantity of blood as evidence. Orr recanted this account two days later when he was arraigned for unlawfully carrying a pistol and the misdemeanor offense of filing a false police report. According to Orr, he had hoaxed the sighting in order to keep stories about the Lizard Man in circulation. Reports of the creature gradually declined at the end of the summer. Local law enforcement officials speculated that the sightings were likely to have been caused by a bear.
In 2008, CNN mentioned the Lizard Man legend in a story about a couple in Bishopville, South Carolina who reported damage to their vehicle, including blood traces. The blood traces were subsequently found to be from a domestic dog, most likely a coyote or wolf. In 2010, the TV program Destination Truth featured the legendary creature. In 2015, local television station WCIV featured photos and videos claimed to be Lizard Man, allegedly taken by unidentified individuals.