For centuries a legend has haunted the Honey Island Swamp. A legend passed on from generation to generation. A legend of a huge creature, neither man nor beast, which lives in the deep cypress shadows of the Louisiana bayou. A creature that must, by every definition of the word, be considered a monster.
Less than an hour away from the chaotic heart of New Orleans lays a primordial backwater morass known as the Honey Island Swamp. Considered by many naturalists to be one of the most pristine swampland habitats in the United States, the Honey Island Swamp covers an area that is over 20 miles long and nearly 7 miles across, with 34,896 of its 70,000 acres government sanctioned as permanently protected wildlife area.
Known primarily for its catfish, snakes and alligators, the Honey Island Swamp is also known to be the home of black bears, red wolves, cougars, feral hogs and most notably, a dwindling population of Florida panthers. But there are some who believe that deep in the vast recesses of the swamp... in an area so impenetrable that one can only travel there by foot, horseback or boat... in a place so primeval, even experienced guides have known to become lost... there lives a ferocious predator more lethal than all others who lurk therein.
The legend of the Honey Island Swamp was first revealed to the world in 1974, when a pair of Air Traffic Controllers, Harlan E. Ford and Ray Mills, shambled out of the deep antediluvian sloughs of Honey Island with an unbelievable story... and something even more incredible.
The veteran hunters claimed to have discovered a pair of unusual footprints imbedded in the soft earth next to a wild boar whose throat had been torn open. They saw something else that day. Something that would change their lives forever... they saw a monster.
They described a vicious looking creature that stood on two legs. A man-like animal that was covered with a coat dingy, gray hair. The men estimated that this beast stood over 7 feet tall and weighed somewhere between 400 and 500 lbs. But what they remembered most were its sickly yellow eyes, set far apart on its skull, and the horrific stench which surrounded this creature... it was the smell of death.
Thus begins the first official report of the Honey Island Swamp Monster, but the stories of this enigmatic beast date back for hundreds of years. Native Americans called this creature the Letiche, "a carnivorous, aquatic-humanoid" which they believed was once a once an abandoned child who was raised by alligators in uncharted regions of the swamp. Cajuns called the beast the Loup Carou, which has often been misinterpreted as a werewolf. This animal has been blamed for the numerous human and livestock deaths which have plagued the area for decades.
Perhaps the most bizarre legend surrounding the swamp monster revolves around a train wreck which allegedly occurred outside of the Pearl River in the early part of the 20th century. According to this account, the train was full of animals from a traveling circus, some of which escaped into the swamp. While most of these tropical beasts perished soon after, legend has it that a troop of chimpanzees survived and even went so far as to inter-breed with alligators. The result was a bizarre colony of repto-mammalian hybrids, which became legendary as the Honey Island Swamp Monsters.
The mystery continues to this day with more and more eyewitness reports filtering in on a yearly basis. Whatever this animal is, three things are for sure... this creature is large, it is carnivorous and it does not want to be found.
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