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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Honey Island Swamp Monster Monkeylike illustration

This is an illustration of the Honey Island Swamp Monster said to be taken from a newspaper article. I only just turned it up on a photo search I was doing.I am currently tracking down whatever information might go with it. I am adding it here because the illustration is Kappa-like and conforms very well to Tyler Stone's interpretation of the Swamp Monster in question. Best Wishes, Dale D.
LATER ADDITION: Here is a version as posted on Haunted America Tours. It would seem all the illustrations are made after 2000. You will notice the illustration was printed in lateral compression: the one I ran had the lateral compression effect removed:

Long to short hair on the head. Shorter hair all over the body. At times head hair forming bangs some what over the eyes. Hair color is dingy gray. 5- 8 feet tall and weight 300 or 350 pounds, with long, orange-brown gray or black hair and big, wide-set orange amber eyes.
These animals are sometimes described as having a "mane" of hair, large broad shouldered. The face is said to be rather flat. The most prominent feature described by Ford and others, is the size and color of the eyes. They appear to be disproportionately large, and of an amber color.
Mr. Ford stated that this gave the animal a "sinister" look.
Honey Island swamp is unique because it's one of the least-altered river swamps in the country. It's pretty much in its original condition, almost a pristine wilderness. Take a personalized narrated nature tour into the 250-square-mile Honey Island Swamp. Nearly 70,000 acres of it is a permanently-protected wildlife area--the Nature Conservancy's First Louisiana Nature Preserve. People from all over the world now explore this wildlife sanctuary with him.
Honey Island earned its name because of the honeybees once seen on a nearby island. A tract of bottomland timber lying between the East Pearl and West Pearl rivers, Honey Island is between three and seven miles wide and 15 to 20 miles long. It is located 50 minutes from New Orleans in Southeast Louisiana.
Honey Island has become one of the most well-known swamps because of the real or imagined presence of a creature similar to what others have called Big Foot.
The tracks , left by the animal, appear to be somewhat similar to an Alligator's rear foot. Upon close examination, however, it becomes clear, that this is something different.
In 1974, zoologists from Louisiana State University (LSU) met with Harlan Ford to study the plaster casts of the creature's four-toed footprints. Crypotozoologist from Washington also arrived in Louisiana to inspect the unusual casts. Harlan said, "That thing stood eye level with me. The thing that startled me the most, we're it's large amber eyes." Harlan was later interviewed in a documentary called "In Search Of" which still airs periodically on The Discovery Channel and other television networks. Harlan's own personal sighting has been documented in a book, "Monsters of North America"
This is a real plaster cast of the impression of the footprint of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. This cast was donated to the Abita Mystery House by Dana Holyfield, grand-daughter of Harlan E. Ford, the hunter who found and cast the tracks. He was the first man to report a sighting of the creature and he was also the first and only man to my knowledge who poured plaster paris casts of it's tracks found deep in the swamp. The Honey Island Swamp is about 25 miles East of the Abita Mystery House. There are several swamp tours of the area.
There are four toes visible. There are three heavily clawed toes , with prominent knuckles , underneath the foot. Then... there is the bizarre thumb like small toe . About an inch and a half on the cast that I have. These toes show clearly , that this animal can grasp with the toes. The three large toes , are long and slender , with tendons visible in the prints. The claws are turned down , and backwards to grip the loose soil , sand , and mud. This is reminiscent of a cat like trait. The skin appears to be thin on the bottom of the foot , with tendons showing. In the hostile environment of the island , thin skin under the foot would indicate that it didn't spend a lot of time on the ground.

In 1978 the Alan Lamdsburg Company, producers of the popular TV program, IN SEARCH OF did a segment on the Honey island Swamp Monster. This catapulted the monster into International fame. Since then there have been many reports and the program has become a reference for information on the creature.
Dana Holyfield, grand-daughter of Harlan Ford, has made a documentary film about the Honey Island Swamp Monster. The documentary also includes footage of a swamp trek that Dana took into an area where there had been sightings of the creature. She found tracks, and shot video of the tracks. Also included in the documentary is footage shot by Harlan Ford years ago in the swamp. There are a few seconds of footage of a bipedal, hairy being that is walking behind some trees.

This book documents sightings of a mysterious man-like creature that roams the dense foliage of the Louisiana Honey Island Swamp, where few men have ever ventured. Evidence found (as seen on Discovery Channel's In Search Of) was studied by reputable crypto zoologists who claimed that is was not a hoax.
About the Author
Dana Holyfield grew up in Slidell, Louisiana. She wrote this book because it was her grandfather, Harlan Ford, who first reported the sighting of the legendary Swamp Monster after he poured plaster paris tracks. She has authored many books such as Swamp Cooking With The River People, More Swamp Cooking, New Orleans Mardi Gras Recipes, Cajun Sexy Cooking, Swamp Tour A Way Of Life On The Bayou, Mermaid Bayou Legend Of The Fresh Water Lady Fish, Sexy & Lean Bayou Cuisine.
So you see that site did not run the illustration in its original conformation. The artist is however credited by name on the site. The tracks were later debunked as hoaxed and made by alligator-feet strapped to the bottoms of the boots:

These tracks and casts were circulated in the mid-1970s and popularised  on the TV show In Search Of...: the "Creature" sightings were supposed to have been made in 1963, more than a decade earlier. So no direct connection-EXCEPT that the witness cited for the 1963 sighting was also one of the ones providing the hoaxed tracks. Perhaps the need to produce solid evidence was too great of a temptation. However, when the news came out, ALL OTHER "Swamp Monster" tracks from the Eastern USA immediately came under suspicion (The alligator-foot-boot tracks are very much smaller than the "Frogfoot" ones, however, since "Frogfoot" tracks can be as much as 24 inches long)
And the same artist made the face close-up also shown on a different version of the Haunted America Tours page. In the meantime, Cryptomundo posted advertisements for a reimagining of the Louisiana Swamp Monster as more of a Kappa type creature:


  1. I'd be very interested in seeing when this was actually made. To me, it looks rather suspiciously like a character from "Where the Wild Things Are" (which is incidentally my favorite picture book).

  2. ...In which case it would not matter. "Where the Wild Things Are" was already in print when the Honey Island Swamp Monster sightings were made public.
    On the other hand that could only be an unconscious influence on the artist. And the representation of that particular "Wild Thing" is basically a version of a representation of "Wild Man", which would then be traditional. So this sort of reasoning goes on and on forever and doesn't really prove anything in and of itself.

    But I'll keep trying to track down the source. What I have to do is go through photosearches and see if anything else matches this copy.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  3. I have the match, but their version is distorted. I shall add it on to the original article anyway.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  4. I agree, the "Wild Things" are definitely based off of the traditional "Wild Man." But the basic idea is that it might have more of a cultural influence to it rather than being based on an actual sighting.

  5. Yes, and my reply then went on to point out that in such an instance, the term "Cultural influence" means really "Traditional", and saying "Traditional" goes a long way back.

    Besides, look again: the "Wild Thing" you refer to has horns and this illustration does not.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  6. I think you might be missing what I'm saying. The illustration is meant to be of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. However, I think the artist may have based his drawing off of one of the creatures from "Where the Wild Things Are." It isn't an exact drawing of the swamp monster and it isn't an exact drawing of a wild thing; rather, it combines features of BOTH. So, while the image does have merit and is worth keeping in relation to Freshwater Monkeys, and it still retains features such as a mane and beard, I still think it is more of a caricature than an accurate sketch.

    Of course I could be wrong, and the resemblance is only a coincidence. But the main point is that it is not meant to be a 100 percent accurate rendition of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. But it at least has some of the basic features there, and for that reason it is still worth sharing.

    Best regards,
    Tyler Stone

  7. BTW, the reason I commented on the date was because, if it was made very recently, there's a chance it was actually based on one of the wild things from the movie adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are."

  8. OK, let's put it this way: in a case such as this, you might have points of resemblance which are generic and points of resemblance which are more specific. The latter are what is necessary to say "This artwork is inspired by/copied from that one"

    The creature you are speaking of in "Where the Wild Things Are" has horns, a wide grin with shark teeth sticking down from the top jaw only, no distinguishable digits but rather four sharp claws of equal size on each hand and foot, no visable thumbs, horizontal stripes on the top part ans scales on the bottom. There is another rather similar "Wild Thing" shown on two pages of the book without the differentiated patterns on top and bottom halves, but that one does not have the shaggy head-hair and fringing beard.

    I can find far more points of resemblance between the drawing and a photo of a squatting chimp by Jane Goodall from the National Geographic or a Japanese "Snow monkey" macaque as illustrated in Life magazine.

    No hard feelings but I'm just not seeing things your way this time.
    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  9. No hard feelings. To each his own.


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