In March of 2009 I traveled to Louisiana on a quest to find the Honey Island Swamp Monster. While I cannot claim to have photographed the elusive beast, I did tour the Honey Island Swamp in a small boat that allowed me to experience the creature’s pristine, primitive, habitat. Deep inside the cypress swamp, wildlife such as alligators, bald eagles, herons, egrets, and feral hogs coexist in one of the country’s most unique and untouched environments. Getting to the Honey Island Swamp is not easy and without a guide, it could be downright dangerous. The marsh is an hour or so drive from New Orleans in St. Tammany Parish and is bordered by U.S. 90, the Pearl River, Lake Borgne, and the West Pearl River.
The Honey Island Swamp Monster legend was born in 1974 when Harlan Ford, a retired air traffic controller and wildlife photographer, encountered the seven foot tall bipedal creature he dubbed the “Honey Island Swamp Monster”, also called “Tainted Keitre” by the Cajuns. Ford claimed the Honey Island Swamp Monster had gray hair, yellow eyes, and an awful smell. He took plaster casts of the creature’s web-toed footprints from the mud near the carcass of a wild boar with its throat gashed, allegedly by the monster.