The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp was first reported on June 29, 1988, by a 16-year-old named Christopher Davis, who claims he was chased by the creature after stopping to change a flat tire. Several reports followed during the summer of 1988, many of them mentioning unusual scratches or bite marks on cars parked near the swamp. The local sheriff's department chalked the sightings up to a lone bear, but were later puzzled when biologists were unable to classify a plaster cast of a 3-toed, 14-inch footprint taken from the area.
While the "Lizard Man" is a relatively recent cryptozoological phenomenon in the Americas, tales of reptilian beings can be traced back several millennia in other areas of the world. Cecrops, the first mythological king of Athens — the leading city of Ancient Greece — was described as a serpent from the waist down. In the Far East, an ancient line of emperors claimed to be directly descended from dragons, and it was thought that they could change form at will. Indian legend tells of underground reptilian beings that once inhabited a continent in the Indian Ocean that sank beneath the waves.