Category Archives: monsters & legends

The Monster Lizard of Shangri-La Cave

The mouth of Shangri-La Cave near Marianna, Florida.

One of my favorite old legends about Jackson County is the story of the Monster Lizard of Shangri-La Cave.

Early white settlers learned the story from the Lower Creek Indians who still lived in the county after the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States in 1821. It tells of a monstrous lizard that guarded Shangri-La Caves at today’s Blue Springs Recreational Area near Marianna.

Econchattimico’s town on the Chattahoochee River as drawn by Francis, comte de Castelnau, in 1838.

The source for the legend was Econchattimico (Red Ground King). He was the leader of Eckanachatte (Red Ground), a Lower Creek village at today’s Neals Landing Park, prior to the First Seminole War. The town was destroyed in 1818, however, and its residents moved down the Chattahoochee River to rebuild.

Their new town, Tocktoethla (River Junction), stood on the river near today’s Arnold Landing north of Sneads. The site is now inundated by Lake Seminole, a 37,500 acre reservoir that forms much of Jackson County’s eastern border.

Shangri-La Spring in Jackson County near Marianna, Florida.

The town’s chief attracted considerable interest and was often visited by those curious about Native American culture and history. One of these preserved his story of the Monster Lizard:

…A hunter of the old days would seek deer at the Big Spring. He camped there many times and the water and the game were good. On this day he went down from the Big Spring to the rocky place and it was there that he heard the sound of the monster lizard. (1)

Looking down into Shangri-La Spring through crystal clear water.

The Big Spring, of course, was today’s Blue Springs (or Jackson Blue Spring as the state prefers to call it). The “rocky place” was the face of the limestone bluff at Shangri-La Spring, which is on the north bank of Merritt’s Mill Pond just downstream from Blue Springs.

The old chief continued his story:

Shangri-La Spring as seen from the limestone bluff. The legendary attack of the Monster Lizard took place here.

…It sounded like a tired dog. The hunter took shelter behind a rock so he could see the cave in which the monster lizard made his home. It slowly came out into the light. It was large. Larger than the largest alligator. Its teeth were like my knife. (2)

The Monster Lizard looked around, searching for the Native American hunter who had dared to disturb its lair. Its tongue flickered in and out:

Deep inside Shangri-La Cave. Econchattimico said that this was the lair of the Lizard Monster.

…The hunter was a brave warrior. Now he shook like dry leaves in the wind. He lay flat on the dirt, hoping he would not be seen. The Monster Lizard found him and picked him up in his mouth to take him back into the cave. The hunter knew he would be eaten but suddenly there was a sound. The Monster Lizard threw him down and went to find what had made the sound. It was a tiger. The hunter did not know what to do so he lay still as if he was dead. (3)

The word “tiger” was often used in historic times to refer to a panther. These beautiful big cats were once common in all parts of Florida:

The mouth of Shangri-La Cave as seen from the interior. The Lizard Monster entered here after being badly injured in its battle with the panther.

…The tiger battled the Monster Lizard. It was a big fight. The Monster Lizard tried to grab the tiger but the tiger slashed him with his claws. The Monster Lizard was badly hurt and finally gave up the fight and went into his cave. The hunter now was afraid that the tiger would eat him. He lay still and pretended to be dead. He then heard words, “Are you dead?” He opened his eyes and saw that the tiger had spoken to him. The hunter said, “no.” The tiger then said to him, “Get on my back then and I will carry you to your camp.” And he did. (4)

The story as told by Econchattimico was a version of an old legend told by the Creeks. There are different variations but all involve a hunter being attacked by a monstrous lizard and then being saved by a panther.

The legend was commonly told around fires in Creek towns and migrated with them to what is now Oklahoma when they were forced west on the Trail of Tears. Versions of it still survive there to this day.

The cave at Shangri-La is not open to the public at this time.

Dale Cox
September 14, 2017

References:

(1)  “A Tale of Conchatimico,” May 21, 1838, Carswell Collection.
(2)  Ibid.
(3)  Ibid.
(4)  Ibid.




Skunk Ape at Falling Waters State Park??!!

Did a visitor spot a Skunk Ape or Bigfoot at Falling Waters State Park in Chipley, Florida?!

A woman claims that she did so our Two Egg TV investigators went to take a look! Here’s what we found:

The waterfall is seasonal but was flowing beautifully during our visit (April 4, 2017). The spring leaves are out and the park was gorgeous (even if we didn’t see a Bigfoot!).

Click here to read the original story on this sighting from BackPackerVerse: http://backpackerverse.com/chipley-creature-appalachian-trail/

To learn more about this fantastic park, please visit: www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fallingwaters1.html

The Rood Dude: Bigfoot of Southwest Georgia

The “Rood Dude” is a Bigfoot or Sasquatch type creature that is said to live along Rood Creek in Southwest Georgia. Two Egg TV spent a little time at Rood Creek recently and has the tale:

If you enjoyed this story, watch more like it on the Two Egg TV Live Stream. Just click play below:

 

The Lake Seminole Monster?

Gator2It was a completely unexpected and stunning sight. Leaving a wake larger than passing boats, the massive creature was photographed from more than one-quarter mile away as it made its way up Lake Seminole from the vicinity of the Jim Woodruff Dam.

Massive alligator dubbed the "Lake Seminole Monster" can be seen on the right side of this photo taken from nearly 1/2 mile away.
Massive alligator dubbed the “Lake Seminole Monster” can be seen on the right side of this photo taken from nearly 1/2 mile away.

Lake Seminole is known for its enormous alligators, but this one may be the biggest of them all. It is impossible to estimate its exact size, but some idea can be obtained from these photographs taken from the Jim Woodruff Dam Overlook in Sneads, Florida, by Two Egg TV.

Another view of the massive alligator from a distance.
Another view of the massive alligator from a distance. Notice the  entrance to the locks in the background.

The overlook is atop a high bluff that provides a spectacular view of the dam and lake. The gigantic alligator can be seen in both close-ups and wide shots as it moves north from the dam, leaving an enormous wake behind. These photographs were taken from atop the bluff, which rises more than 30-feet above the shore of the lake, and from a distance estimated at between 1/4 and 1/2 of a mile away.

Even from that distance, its size and outline is very clear.

Record alligator killed on Lake Seminole in 2013. It was nearly 14 feet long. (Photo courtesy of Georgia DNR).
Record alligator killed on Lake Seminole in 2013. It was nearly 14 feet long. (Photo courtesy of Georgia DNR).

Lake Seminole is located on the line that divides Florida from Georgia and was created in 1958 by the damming of the forks of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. It covers 37,500 acres and is popular for fishing, boating, skiing, birding and a host of outdoor activities. It is also a great place to see alligators in the wild.

And lest you have any doubt that prehistoric monsters lurk beneath its surface and along its banks, the largest alligator ever found in Georgia was killed on the lake in 2013 by permitted alligator hunters. The monster weighed 620 pounds and and measured 13′ 10.75″ long.

In fact, the record Lake Seminole alligator was 1.75″ longer than the previous state record, a 13′ 9″ alligator also found in Lake Seminole.

Is the new Lake Seminole Monster even bigger? It is impossible to say. Measuring sizes from such distances can be deceptive. There is no doubt, however, that a massive alligator still inhabits Lake Seminole.

Jackson County, Florida, where these photos were taken, is also the setting for the coming monster movie CobraGator! Just worth noting….

(Photos copyright by www.twoegg.tv).