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By Shaila Dewan
NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

March 19, 2005

ALAPAHA, Ga. – Few episodes in this modern age have displayed the Southern talent for tall tales like the legend of Hogzilla, the allegedly 12-foot, 1,000-pound wild hog shot and killed on a south Georgia farm last June.

Documented by only a single photograph before the carc [no swearing please] was buried, Hogzilla drew television crews from as far as Japan and appeared on the cover of Weekly World News. The pig became the theme of Alapaha's annual festival. People from California and New Jersey called to order hog T-shirts.

So tall did the tale become that in November, a team of scientists exhumed Hogzilla and went at him with calipers and DNA tests. Now all of Berrien County awaits their findings, which are to be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel tomorrow at 5 and 8 p.m.

Some people say the hog had to have been raised in a pen to get that big. Others think there was no hog at all. No one figured the argument would ever be resolved. And, anyway, that was not the point. Asked whether she believed Hogzilla was real, Beverly Moore, a retired bookkeeper eating lunch at Flander's Cafe in Alapaha, raised her eyebrows and said, "It's a real story."

Few hunting yarns could stand up to a posse of Ph.D.s in yellow hazard suits. In fact, new technology has generally made it easier – not harder – to practice the art of embellishment, said Wiley Prewitt, a collector of hunting and fishing lore in Kilmichael, Miss. There is a cottage industry in making realistic sets of antlers out of resin to mount as trophies, he said, and photographs no longer back up a story.

"Some guy kills a deer and takes a picture of it," Prewitt said. "He'll take it to his buddy who's got all the computer software and they'll turn it into a world record."

But two people were eager for the credibility they hoped a scientific investigation would bring: Ken Holyoak, who owns Ken's Hatchery and Fish Farms Inc., and his former employee Chris Griffin, who killed Hogzilla with a single shot last June. The men have had a falling-out over the hog, and Griffin now fixes flats at the Wal-Mart in nearby Fitzgerald.

Holyoak, who also operates hog hunts on his land, allowed National Geographic to dig up Hogzilla because, he said, he wanted the free advertising, and he thought the hog might be a world record.

Griffin says he is tired of doubters. "They're going to eat a whole lot of humble pie come Sunday evening," he said.

Drinking a mixture of Fanta Cherry and Pibb Extreme sodas on his lunch break, Griffin, 32, told the story he has told a thousand times: He was picking up after hunters when he saw the hog. He grabbed a rifle from his truck and fired. "I shot him, and he turned around and walked off, and I thought, how'd I miss something that big?" Griffin said. He followed the hog into the swamps, where it collapsed and died. Griffin managed to drag it out with a backhoe.

Holyoak said he measured Hogzilla "with a ruler" and drove the hog in his flatbed truck to a peanut scale. The meat was too gamy to eat, he said, and stuffing the pig would have been too expensive, so he told Griffin to bury it.

But before they laid Hogzilla to rest, Holyoak took a picture of the pig trussed up by the hind legs, dangling from the backhoe. Later, he had six people sign affidavits saying they had seen the 1,000-pound wild hog. Each signer circled "alive" or "dead."
 

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anyone ever see that picture of the bear killed in alaska? i had the pics but now i can't find them. i don't know if they ever proved they were real. the bear was HUGE! i gotta look for the pics again.
 

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I've seen a picture of that bear before... to my knowledge, it's a true story and the pics were not altered. I read the story on two news sights.

Seen a different picture of what I thought was hogzilla taking up the whole bucket of a front end loader. It was about the same size as the one in the pic here... but neith of them is 12feet... 1000 pounds for sure, but not 12 feet.
 

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The one in the bucket loader was killed in Florida. I just saw that one today. Go to www.goodhunting.com and look in the campfire forum and you will see both hogs pics! I'd post the pics here but I'm not so computer smarts enough! LOL
 

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Super swine was real, experts say
Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Posted: 3:47 AM EST (0847 GMT)





ALAPAHA, Georgia (AP) -- A team of National Geographic experts has confirmed south Georgia's monster hog, known to locals as Hogzilla, was indeed real -- and really, really big.

They also noted the super swine didn't quite live up to the 1,000-pound (450-kilogram), 12-foot (3.6-meter) hype generated when Hogzilla was caught on a farm last summer and photographed hanging from a backhoe.

Donning biohazard suits to exhume the behemoth's smelly remains, the experts estimated Hogzilla was probably only 7 1/2 to 8 feet (2.25 to 2.4 meters) long, and weighed about 800 pounds (360 kilograms).

The confirmation came in a documentary aired Sunday night on the National Geographic Channel; it will be rebroadcast Wednesday and Saturday.

"He was an impressive beast. He was definitely a freak of nature," said documentary producer Nancy Donnelly.

She said Hogzilla's tusks -- one measuring nearly 18 inches (46 centimeters) and the other nearly 16 inches (41 centimeters) -- set a new Safari Club International North American free-range record.

That wasn't good enough for Ken Holyoak, owner of the 1,500-acre (600-hectare) fish farm and hunting preserve where Hogzilla was shot by guide Chris Griffin.

"I need to stress that they did not have that much to work with, seeing as how the poor beast had been underground for nearly six months," he said Monday.

Holyoak said Hogzilla weighed in at half a ton on his farm scales, and that he personally measured the hog's length at 12 feet (3.6 meters) while the freshly killed beast was dangling by straps from a backhoe.

"As with any organic being after death, tissues will decompose and the body will atrophy, making actual measurements change over time," Holyoak said. "Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?"

Donnelly said the experts allowed for some shrinkage in making their final estimate.

Despite the dispute, this town 180 miles (290 kilometers) south of Atlanta has already adopted Hogzilla as its own. It went with a Hogzilla theme for its fall festival, with a parade featuring a Hogzilla princess, children in pink pig outfits and a float carrying a Hogzilla replica.

"Our insides were just bubbling," said Darlene Turner, who hosted a party to watch the documentary Sunday night.

"At first, I was afraid it might be an embarrassment. But now I wish everybody could see the documentary. It would take the doubt out of people's minds."
 

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Guy wait a couple more years and we may see hogs here in NJ. They are all over TN, WV and moving into southern PA and MD. I was hiking March 12& 13 on the ATC around Antiedam, MD and seen signs of feral pigs not much, but still sign. They can breed year round. Very prolific critter, smart and not much hunting pressure. Could you imagine 300+ pound hogs running through Princeton like deer. Rooting up all those azelas. Old Porky on their patios, driveways,etc. Think we could hunt them then. Keep an eye on game that doesn't get the press. They move and multiply fast. Give the coyotes about another 5 years. It won't be a once in a while thing seeing one.

Till our trails cross,

Ryan
 

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Hog hunting in Jersey would be sweet. I've always wanted to tag one... I'm thinking about going out to a game preserve in Tioga, PA... it's the closest place to hunt them.
 

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imagine hogs in NJ..lol

holy crap! like wild work says...imagine them in Princeton rooting...:D
 

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anyone ever see that picture of the bear killed in alaska? i had the pics but now i can't find them. i don't know if they ever proved they were real. the bear was HUGE! i gotta look for the pics again.
i saw the pics on hunt101.com. idk if they are fake either. woj, i saw the picture of the guy with the hog hangin in an issue of north american hunter.
 

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JerseyFJ40,
Email me if you want to know about Tioga. Been there, done that.
[down]
 

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turns out that they lied about the actual size. they said it was 12 feet and 1000 lbs but it was really 7.5 feet and 800 lbs.
 

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turns out that they lied about the actual size. they said it was 12 feet and 1000 lbs but it was really 7.5 feet and 800 lbs
Well thats just like my first 8 point! It started out as a 135lb 8 point with a 10 inch inside spread. Each time I tell the story he gets alittle bigger. I think he;s up to about 185lbs with a 17 inch inside spread now!!! I can't wait until I'm 85 years old and he's a Boone and Crocket record!!! ;):D[up]
 
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