From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
and inland from Batemans Bay lies the town of Braidwood. It was her
that the 'hairy man' made numerous appearances throughout the 1970's
and early 1980's in a rash of sightings that recalled many old pioneer's
tales among the locals.
In one incident,
Mrs.Val Hanson, together with friends, was camped at a lonely spot on
the Shoalhaven River outside Braidwood one day in 1980. In the course
of exploring the river they came upon a number of manlike footprints,
measuring 46 cm long by 25.5 centimetres wide across the toes, embedded
in the river-bank.
made everyone feel a little uneasy, and later that night as they sat
around their campfire they had the distinct feeling that they were being
watched, although they never saw the maker of the giant footprints and
it did not give any further indication of its presence thereafter. Even
so, the group was eager to leave the area when daylight came.
drenched gorilla-like Beast
One night in
May 1980 a scout group was driving in a minibus from Jenolan Caves to
Kanangra Walls when the weather turned bad. As the bus drove through
heavy rain along the Kanangra dirt road, the scoutmaster who was driving
was astonished by what he saw on the road.
There ahead of him in the rain, illuminated by the headlights and moving
across the road, was a hairy, rain drenched gorilla-like-beast, a full
2.7 metres in height. The man-ape stood in the road as the scoutmaster
applied the brakes. But the monster
quickly moved off with a stooped and shambling gait into the undergrowth
in the darkness. The scouts were alerted in time to get a quick look
at the retreating manbeast.
Publicity about their encounter bought forth the tale of another scout
troupe who, several years before, believed they had found a 'yowie lair". They were investigating
rock overhangs for signs of animal life in the Jenolan range not far
from the more famous Jenolan Caves when, in a deep gully near the base
of the steep Kanangra Boyd mountains and above a creek, they found a
bed of soft ferns placed in a rock shelter.
embedded in creek mud, they found a number of unusually large ape-like
According to Aborigines, the yowies either wandered about the ranges
in ones and twos or in small family groups, sometimes using the cave
entrances and rock overhangs in the Jenolan Caves area as lairs long
before the coming of the white man or the Aborigines.
It is a fact
that, while early settlers accepted tales of the yowies at face value,
many modern campers tend to take such traditions with a grain of salt-except,
of course, those who have experienced 'close encounters' with the 'hairy
of indistinct hominid Footprints
my wife Heather and I have mounted numerous field expeditions to the
Carrai. On one occasion in June 1980, during a howling gale we followed
a trail of indistinct hominid footprints, perhaps only an hour old,
through rainforest soil, moss and leaf mould near Daisy Plains at the
top of the range.
It was impossible
either to have photographed or cast these tracks, but even in these
adverse weather conditions we could detect a faint pungent odour about
them. Once again the 'hairy man' had eluded us, for the lashing of the
dense foliage and icy winds forced us to abandon our search.
I carried out another extensive field investigation on the NSW north
coast in June 1980, beginning with a return visit to the Carrai Range.
It was during a search deep in the Daisy Plains forest country, the
highest point on the Carrai that I believe I came very close to seeing
one of these elusive hominids. The weather
had been sunny although very cold and windy as we drove up the dirt
timber cutters road that crosses the Carrai Range.
By the time we reached
Daisy Plains the weather had deteriorated and storm clouds were approaching. About this time,
as Heather warmed herself in the car, I had begun casually exploring
along an animal track in rainforest close to the orad. The ground was
covered in a thick coating of moss. Suddenly I came
upon the impression of a bare human-like footprint, then another and
another, until I realised they continued on along this track deep into
I also realised that their maker could not have been very
far ahead of me, for the trodden moss was rising up with the impressions. By now the wind
had reached gale proportions and was becoming unbearably icy. I wondered what
kind of human-like creature could survive in such inhospitable conditions.The ferns and
tree branches were lashing my face, and making any further investigation
The camera I had with me lacked a flash unit and the dark
conditions made photography of the footprints impossible. I also felt
that, if I proceeded any further I could be walking into a trap. As
I fought my way back to the road I had the eerie feeling that I was
being watched by someone or something in that forest. Reaching Heather,
I reported my find as we drove out of that wilderness for the town of
On Monday 19th
May 1980, Sydney bushwalkers Peter Thompson and Louise Stokes went for
a camping trip out to Ruined Castle, setting up their tent amid the
gum forest on the eastern slope. Around 3 am
they were suddenly woken from their sleep by something moving about
the bushes outside the tent. T
hen the unseen intruder interfered with
the tent flap. At this Peter, followed by Louise, scrambled for the
opening, but the intruder, upsetting camp goods, quickly vanished into
the forest. After a while
they returned to their tent but kept a wary ear out for any unusual
sounds. These were not long in coming. The sounds of snapping twigs
as 'someone' walked around the tent made Peter once more scamble for
the opening, but as he did so, the mystery intruder vanished into the
They got little
sleep thereafter, and when daylight returned they were startled to discover,
in the soil around their tent, man-like tracks besides their own shoe
prints, a number of other, bare like tracks, only much larger than any
normal human foot, being about 40 cm in length.
During the summer
of 1980, Mr Siegfried Cousins, together with his friend, Mr Dave White
and two other men, went camping on a shooting trip on Dave's grandfather's
property at Oberon, in an area situated out in thick bush country. The
men intended to camp there for three days, but their plans would be
upset by a mystery visitor.
The men established
their camp inside an old tin shack on the property and settled down
for the first night. All was peaceful until late that night, when they
became aware of something walking around the outside of the shack. Behind the
shack and 16.2m away was a steep gully, and it was to this gully that
the footsteps retreated. Then, after a while the men heard sounds of
something scrambling up the gully to walk once more around the shack.
The men at first
thought it to be some animal and had not bothered to investigate. This time however,
they left the shack, peering into the darkness with their torches, but
the mystery visitor was nowhere to be seen. However, coming from the
gully they could hear the sound of crashing timber, as whatever 'it'
was, retreated hastily below. At this point,
they all suddenly noticed the area about them was covered by a foul
night the men would be aware of the mystery intruder's presence at least
five times, but each time they left the shack to investigate, the visitor
retreated before they could get a look at it. Finally, in the early
hours of the morning the men were able to fall asleep without any further
Later that morning
after breakfast, the men, rifles in hand, climbed down into the gully
in an effort to try and find some trace of whatever it was that had
made the repeated visits to their camp, and although they searched the
gully for half a mile they found no trace of their mystery visitor whatever. Returning to
their camp, the men left for some rabbit shooting in the surrounding
mystified as to what could have been visiting the camp, and how whatever
it was could escape into that gully, which was too steep for us to climb
without difficulty, and the scrub down there became far too difficult
to penetrate after half a mile," said Siegfried to me later.
Each night the
men remained there the mystery intruder returned, the sounds of it around
the shack clearly heard, accompanied by the same foul rotting stench,
by the time the men emerged from the shack, it would disappear back
down the gully. On the third
night about 1.30am, Siegfried was still awake as the others slept, keeping
a vigil for the mystery intruder, which so far had not returned that
night, when suddenly, peering at him through a rust hole in a sheet
of wall tin, he spotted an eye.
At this instant the eye disappeared. Waking his mates
they quickly dashed out the door of the shack only to hear the intruder
scrambling back down the gully. The men flashed torches down into the
gully but the mystery intruder was nowhere to be seen, so they returned
to the shack. So far none
of the men had attempted to shoot the strange visitor, but now they
were keeping their guns loaded and next to their sleeping bags.
with his rifle facing the door, determined to get a good look at whatever
it was that had been repeatedly visiting their camp. It was not long
before he heard the by now familiar sounds of something scrambling up
the gully, then the sounds of footsteps as the mystery intruder approached
the shack. Siegfried woke the other men carefully; all remained dead
silent as the footsteps stopped at the door. The door began opening,
Siegfried pointed his rifle.
The door was
open barely an inch when Dave accidentally moved, making a sound barely
loud enough to alert the mystery intruder. However, this
time, before the visitor could retreat the men had scambled to their
feet and were running out the door, torches and rifles in hand, in time
to spot a dark shape running toward the gully, down which it disappeared
with the men in hot pursuit.
failed to get a good look at the visitor as it moved through scrub down
the gully slope, they all later agreed it had definitely walked upon
two legs, and was very hairy looking. In the torchlight
Siegfried could still see the mystery man-like shape moving among bushes
at the bottom of the gully 30m below, and fired a single shot at it,
which hit the creature. It emitted a loud scream as it crashed its way
through the scrub, to disappear into the darkness.
The men spent
the rest of the night awake, discussing the series of events that had
occurred since their arrival at the shack. Had their mystery intruder
been an over-inquisitive Yowie, they wondered?
between a monkey and a Man
I interviewed Mrs Jane Little of Brisbane, about her encounter with
a Yowie in 1972. She told me the following: "I was
horse riding with my sister on the Albert River near Winderoo, just
off the Beaudesert Road. As we rode past a sugar cane field we surprised
a strange bipedal animal sitting on the edge of the field." "When it
saw us approaching it stood up on two legs to a height of about 4ft
It was covered in long brownish hair, but none on the
face, which looked something between a monkey and man in features." "As we
rode by it stood looking at us, then bolted into the cane field [it
had already startled our mounts]; but not before I noticed its arms,
which were longer than a human's and its fingers, which were hairless
and yellowish in colour."
an interesting fact that no birds or other animals ever seem to inhabit
this area. Horses even spook and refuse to stay there very long. This
whole area of the Albert River is covered in little islands of swamp
and scrub. It is an eerie region." "The man
who owns the cane field where we saw the little creature has said that
his father used to speak of a monkey-like 'hairy man' who inhabited
the area many years before."
believe that Junjdy inhabit the Carnarvon Range north of Roma. They say that
little footprints have been found in the Murgon scrub, and also around
Injune to the south of the Carnarvon Range within recent years. There
is even a rumour that, during the mid-1970's, the skeleton of a pygmy-type
native was found in this region. About the height of a normal six year
old child, the jaws contained the teeth of a 60 year old.
claimed sighting of Junjdy for generations, and such reports continue
in modern times; and we must realise that there are some people reluctant
to come forward with personal experience, fearful of ridicule from the
less informed members of our community.
Milla monster-huge footprints Found
Further to the
north of Townsville, near the coast lies the town of Innisfail, many
of whose inhabitants for the past 100 years or so have believed in the
"Milla Milla Monster", giant hairy hominids that Aborigines
and early settlers alike believed, inhabited the rain forests and mountains
of the region.
The 'hairy men'
of the Innisfail district have been known collectively as the "Milla
Milla Monster" since the many reports of their activities that
were rife during the 19th century.
1980, huge footprints of one of these monstrous manbeasts were found
by two campers near Milla Milla, which for a time revived many of the
Ranges 1980-Interviewed 1983
a dozen "little black fellas' attack two Friends
generally take Aboriginal 'bush yarns' of this sort seriously unless,
of course, they have such encounters themselves. Such was the
case of Bill Manning and Robert Littlemore in 1980. Bill informed
me in an interview in 1983, that he and his mate were camped in the
Macdonnell Ranges on the Todd River, in sparse scrub one week while
fossicking for minerals. Bill takes up the story:
bedding down for the night on the ground in our sleeping bags, beside
our fire on this particular night, when from out of the scrub we were
suddenly attacked by half a dozen little blacks with wooden clubs, who
proceeded to beat us as we struggled from our sleeping bags."
to grab rocks and wooden stakes with which to fight them off all the
while as they screamed and shouted at us, lashing out at us all the
grabbed for a rifle and let fly two shots, wounding one of the blacks
in the leg, at which they all dashed away into the scrub, the wounded
one screaming in pain. We got out of the place pretty fast after that."
to tell our story to an old tribal elder at Alice Springs some months
later." "You fellas
were trespassing on their territory, that's why they attacked you. Them
little fellas and their families keep to themselves in their own country,"
he told us.
& Beibeng China 1980
"Wild Women" Chi-Chi.
researchers believe these primitive fire-making hominids are surviving
remnant populations of the Chinese Homo erectus, Beijing [formerly Peking]
Man, and if so, these hominids are undoubtedly close relatives to the
fire and stone tool-making "hairy people" of Australia.
had discovered fire-making by 1.6 million years ago in Africa, as revealed
by recent archaeological finds at Kenya's famous hominid site of Koobi
Fora on Lake Turkana. Perhaps older Homo erectus fire-making sites will
yet turn up elsewhere in Asia, or perhaps in Australia. I believe this
towns of Medog and Beibeng is an expanse of thick forest. On September
24th 1980, two 15 and 16 year old girls came up against a tall female
Chi-Chi- with hair all over her body. One girl dashed away but the other
was too frightened to move.
Woman" however, did not harm her and moved off into the forest. The women of
this region live in fear of being carried off by a "Wild Man",
as this has been known to have happened in the past in many other remote
parts of China where the "Wild People" are known to roam.