Mega Hogs or Giant Pigs; and The Pig Man


Throughout the world there are many wild boars or pigs found in the bush. Naturally they were indigenous to the Mediterranean, Central and Northern Europe, and most of Asia. Brought into the Americas, Australia, and other parts of the world primarily for hunting – they interbred with escaped domesticated pigs and mutated species run amuck. Most of these are the average size of a domestic pig. Hunted to extinction in most parts of Europe from the 13th-19th centuries, escaped new breeds found their populations increasing through time. In some areas, such as the southeastern U.S. they are shot on sight as a menace. Generally nocturnal, these basic species eat just about anything they encounter though mostly just nuts, grasses, berries, birds, eggs, roots, tubers, insects, and small reptiles. Larger boars, such as the legendary razorbacks in Australia can take down small deers and lambs. They are predated upon by tigers, cougars, mountain lions, crocodiles, alligators, birds of prey, hyena, bears, pythons, and humans. When cornered, they can be violent and defensive, especially around their young. They are harvested by humans for their hair and meat but have through history been held in high esteem for the hunt and embedded in mythology.

Boar meat is considered an aphrodisiac by the Chinese and Laos, as well as other parts of the world. According to Celtic myth, the boar was sacred to the Goddess Arduinna. Boar hunting is rampant in Irish and Celtic myths. To “hunt a boar” was a prestigious form of quarry as a “beast of venery”, and was first harboured or found by a leashed bloodhound called a “limer”, then set upon by a pack of hounds to be cornered for the hunter to take down. Such a grandiose hunt was featured in a medieval poem about “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. The Scotts gave the name “Swinton” to the ancient Lowland Scottish Clan for their bravery and having cleared the area of all wild boar implanting the image into the chief’s coat of arms on the clan crest. The village “Swinewood” in county Berwick was granted to the clan in the 11th century. The Irish tell many tales of Fionn mac Cumhaill (“Finn Mc Cool”) especially when he lured his rival Diarmuid Ua Duibhne to be gored to death by a boar. The Norse have a mythical wild boar named “Gullinbursti” (“Gold Mane” or “Golden Bristles”) featured in their myths. In India, Lord Vishnu’s third Avatar was “Varaha”, a boar featured in Hindu mythology. The Romans featured the wild boar in three of their famous Legions in their emblems, causing fear amongst their foes, such as in “Legio I Italica”, “Legio XX Valeria Victrix”, and “Legio X Fretensis”. A wild boar is the symbol of the city of Milan, Italy. Throughout Europe, Australia, and the Americas, legends of “giant boars” or “Mega Hogs” are rampant across the countryside. The “Beast of Dean” is a popular legend in the Forest of Dean in England about a giant boar that terrorized villagers in the early 19th century. Similiar tales are known in the Australian Outback by both Australian aborigine, as well as white European settlers who introduced the razorback. ” “Mega Hogs” have been purportedly reported in the American southeast. The most famous was “Hogzilla” that was shot in June 2004 in Georgia of the United States of America. This story was investigated by both the National Geographic Explorer and History Channel’s “Monster Quest” which determined the beast was a hybrid of wild boar and domestic swine by means of a autopsy and DNA testing. Monster Quest, a online video documentary by the History Channel designed to dispel and investigate myths of “monsters” living amongst us today, explores the legends and folklore of “Mega Hogs” in the Southeastern U.S. Exploring the tales and sightings, they set a team to hunt out the hogs to record if they do exist or not. These hogs sighted in the Southeastern U.S. are reputed to be of gigantic sizes of prehistoric eras. In 1984, a horror movie called “Razorback” was released about a gigantic wild boar terrorizing the Australian Outback. Legends of Half-human, half-pig or boar abound in urban legends which may or may not have historical roots. These are often called the Hog Man, Pig Man, or Man Bear Pig.

In more modern urban legend, there are tales of a “Pig Man” that is half-human, half-pig. Much of this has been sensationalized by the new series “The American Horror Story”. This was probably influenced by a short horror film called “The Pigman” that claimed to explore the local urban legend of a butcher who was tied to various grisly murders and hauntings along a old lakeshore road in Western New York. More of a “ghost” or “spirit” than an actual “monster”, he was accused of having placed the heads of butchered pigs on stakes to warn off tresspassers, and was believed to stalk “Old Pigman Road” looking for his next victim. Some say his real name was William Derricks, born in 1913, with a severe cleft lip and split nose giving him an appearance of a pig. Many advocational paranormal seekers head to Holland Road, a.k.a. Pigman Road, off NY Route 5 between Angola and Evangola State Park to search for a sighting of the pigman, ghosts, or a apparition of a train crash. This comes from the tale known as the “Angola Horror” when 50 people lost their lives in the deadliest railroad accident in Erie County history on December 18, 1867. The train de-railed taking the life of one passenger and harming 40 others. After the passengers lay wounded, two massive coal stoves were loosened during the derailment sending fiery contents down into the gulley where they lie helpless, killing over 50 of them. Three were reputed to have survived, scarred for life, physically and emotionally with burns all over their bodies. Between the ghosts of the passengers and the ghost of the Pigman, the road is considered to be the most haunted of the area. Then there is the urban legend of the Pigman of Devil’s Washbowl which was first told in 1971 in Northfield Vermont around the area called the “Devil’s Washbowl”. Locals described seeing a man with a pig face walking around in their woods. He was believed to have been the child of a backwoods swine herder who had a taste for bestiality. A Hawaiian island myth of a vicious chief called Kamapuaa exists describing him as either having a hog’s body with a human head and limbs, or a human body with a hog’s head, or a shapeshifting combination. He was legendarily born at Kaluanui, son of Olopana and Hina or Kahikiula and Hina.

    It is rumored in the southeastern United States that there exists monstrous giant wild boars running wild terrorizing communities. A 1100 pound hog was killed in Georgia. Are they wild or mutant pigs from farms that have escaped? MonsterQuest explores and investigates the victims, the evidence, and tracks them.

Bibliography/Recommended Readings:

  • ABC News: March 2005 – “The Mystery of Hogzilla Solved”.
  • Angola Pigman: “Pigman Angola’s Legend”. website referenced January 2012.
  • Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. “Feral Wild Boar in England: An Action Plan”. Website referenced 2011.

  • Leaper, R.; Massei, G.; Gorman, M. L.; Aspinall, R.
    1999 – “The feasibility of reintroducing Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) to Scotland”. Mammal Review 29 (4): 239.
  • Maremma Guide: “Wild Boar Facts: Maremma Wild Boar Information”. Website referenced 2011.
  • Missouri Department of Conservation: “Shoot them on sight”
  • Monbiot, George
    2011 – The Guardian: “How the UK’s zoophobic legacy turned on wild boar”. Referenced in 2011.
  • Monster Quest: Season 2, episode 1 – “Mega Hogs”. Video Documentary, viewed 1/29/2012.
  • Reuters: 2008 – “Numbers of wild boars surge – Oddly Enough”.
  • Sacred Texts: “Kamapuaa Legends”. Website referenced January 2012.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia ~ . Website referenced November 2011.

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