From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
of large unusual Footprints
the winter of 1942 a party of four bushmen were returning from a horseback
visit to the Barrington Tops, riding through snow. At a spot about 5
km south-east of Carey's Peak their dogs became very excited, racing
about, their eyes glaring savagely, every bristle they owned standing
stiff, and growling ferociously.
the men noticed they had begun following a track of very large, unusual
looking footprints going towards the western edge of the Allyn Valley.
the men soon realised that the footprints, although human in appearance,
were far too large for any normal man; besides being of a rather peculiar
shape with an extraordinarily high and deeply arched instep, leaving
a footprint in which the toes and heels sank deep, the arch left a much
agreed the footprints belonged to a very heavy, man-like creature. A
carpenters ruler being produced by one of the men, the depth of the
feet impressions was found to average nine inches [23 cm], while the
length was 16 inches [40 cm], suggesting the hominid who left these
foot impressions in the snow was surely much taller than an average
man and of heavy build.
men's curiosity was aroused and headed by their dogs [who were still
growling and sniffing about], they began following the footprints, which
were so fresh that the men believed the creature could not be far ahead.
about a kilometre later the party came to a halt above a sheer drop
of 30 m into a stand of dense gum forest, where the footprints ended.
Here they were amazed to find that the creature had lowered itself down
the cliff, using vines. Signs of dislodged rubble from the cliff face
left by its feet suggested it had eluded the men by no more than a few
clay from a nearby creek bank with a quantity of snow the bushmen produced
a few crude casts of the best of the foot impressions.
later presented to a scientist at Taronga Park Zoo, he said that, although
not clear enough for a positive identification, they resembled foot
impressions of a gorilla or large bear, and it was suggested the creature
was therefore an escaped circus animal.
bushmen later returned to the scene of the footprints find, and explored
a large area of the Tops, yet were unable to come across any further
signs of the mystery hominid.
The scene of the footprints discovery was in the general area where
the McCormack brothers had camped to feed their stock in 1848.
Tops 1942-Related 1989
In November 1989 this author
received the following story from Mrs Daisy Schafer of Grafton: "In 1942, my brother
Mr Burt Williams, at that time 25 years old, together with a young mate
'Charlie', were up in the Dorrigo Plateau working at a sawmill amid
thick scrub and forest country."
"One afternoon having
finished work for the day, they were walking to their hut to get tea
ready. As they reached their hut, they were shocked by an 8 ft tall
[2.4 m] hairy 'manbeast' which came from out of nearby scrub, walked
up to the men, grabbed Charlie around the neck, lifted him up and then
commenced to drag him off into the forest."
"Burt [who was very
strong in those days] pursued the beast to save his friend, hitting
the monster with his fists. At this the manbeast dropped Charlie and
ran off into the dense forest. Burt and Charlie retreated
to the hut, bolting the door against the creature's return. Charlie's
neck was black and bruised for days thereafter and I recall having seen
the injuries the next day."
"The next day Burt and
Charlie got a lift in a truck back to Burt's home and Charlie never
returned to the mill. Burt himself only lasted there another week before
joining the American Merchant Marines." "They described the
manbeast as possessing enormous hands and feet, with long hair down
to its shoulders and over the rest of the body. The men failed to recall
much about the creature's face other than it looked ape-like.
their story to a local policeman, who advised Burt to "shoot it
next time you see it and ask questions later, if it is what you say
it was". "The story got around
the Bridgevale district where the men lived. Locals, particularly old
identities, said the creature must have been a 'Ganky', another old
local Aboriginal name for the Yowie in the Dorrigo region."
"A week later, after
Burt and Charlie had their experience with the 'Ganky' and after his
return to work at the mill, Burt was walking into Bridgevale for groceries
when he felt he was being followed by 'something'; in the bush along
the side of the dirt road. He had the distinct feeling it was the "Ganky'
again." "That was the last time
he had any experience with the monster before leaving the mill for good,.
Albert is now 70 years old."
little male Natives
In Tully in 1942, another
farmer was aroused one morning by his fowls at the rear of his house. Suspecting dogs, he dashed
outside with his shotgun, only to find two little male natives crouched
in the corner of a shed. Lowering his gun, he tried talking to them,
but seeing they could not understand him he realised they were still-wild
natives. He judged their height to
be just over 1 metre. The farmer motioned to them to go and they bolted
for the nearby scrub.