Australian Yowie Research Centre Est...1976 by Rex Gilroy for the sole purpose of Scientific Study of the Australian Hairy - man
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The Australian Yowie Research Centre
Database: Sightings & Evidence 1982
Yowie Database
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This site is composed of extracts from Rex Gilroy’s Book: Giants from the Dreamtime - The Yowie in Myth & Reality [copyright (c) 2001 Rex Gilroy, Uru Publications.
[the name Uru is the registered trademark of Uru Publications]

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Giants From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality

Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land 1982

Three metre tall bad smelling creature with white Hair

Brutish, hairy, ape-like monsters are said by many people to inhabit Arnhem Land's Kakadu National Park. People who have penetrated this wild country in Land-Rovers have been known to return to civilisation with stories of giant footprint discoveries or claims of sightings of large hairy male or female creatures.

The monster hominids are depicted in local Aboriginal cave art as tall, hairy figures beside smaller Aboriginal figures for size comparison.

In 1982: there was one incident when a camping party awoke one morning to find enormous manlike footprints embedded in the mud of a nearby waterhole. Later that day one of the group, Miss Judy Clark, was terrified at the sight of a three-metre-tall, bad-smelling male creature with long whitish hair.

Carrying a large jagged stone knife, he stood watching her from nearby scrub. She later related her experience to a Tennant Creek Aboriginal elder who introduced her to a young Aboriginal man, Brian Gumballa.

A few years before, in 1976, Brian had been camping one night on the creek when a man-sized hairy figure stepped out from nearby bushes and grabbed him.
"We fought all over the ground as I tried to get out of his powerful grip. When I did, I grabbed a piece of wood next to the fire and struck the creature over the head . Screaming, the creature retreated into the scrub, leaving behind a strong, rotting smell and a greasy feeling all over me," he said.

Elders believe he had fought off a young male Pankalanka.

Kanagra Boyd National Park 1982

Tall-muscular and hairy, walking on two Legs

Beyond the Wild Dog Mountains lie the Jenolan Ranges and, rising behind, high above them, the vast range of the Kanangra Boyd National Park. It is yet another region steeped in ancient Aboriginal folklore as the home of the "great hairy men".

"It was about 2.7 metres tall, muscular and hairy, and walked on two legs into the dense scrub without looking back at us." That was how two bushwalkers described a mystery intruder in their camp at dawn one morning in 1982 near Boyd River Crossing, high up in the rugged, forested gorges and mountains that form the Kanangra Boyd National Park.

The early Aborigines hereabouts were not the only ones who took the yowies seriously: the early white settlers living on the fringes certainly did, judging by the many tales that have come out of the region from the 1800's.

Central Australian Aborigines 1982


The early Aborigines certainly appear to have had a hard time, what with invading manbeasts from Asia seizing their land and driving them out, killing and eating them at every opportunity! In fact, it would seem that Aborigines were considered a "blue plate special" among the cannibal giants of "dream-time" Australia.

Of all the cannibal giants none were more feared among Central Australian Aborigines than the Pankalanka. Also known to some tribes as the Pungallunga, these huge white-haired men and women were said to live almost entirely upon the flesh of Aboriginal men, women and children.

They are depicted in myths and legends as killing Aborigines, tucking them into their hair-string belts around their waists, and carrying them back to their camp to cook and eat them. Their jaws and teeth were extremely powerful, and before eating the bodies of their victims they would crush the bones completely and eat the whole body.

Their favourite recipe for cooked Aboriginal was to first remove the intestines, then bury the bodies in an earth trench, lighting a fire above it, similar to the way Aborigines cook kangaroos. After cooking, the bodies were dismembered with stone knives. Sometimes the heads of their victims might be placed in the fork of a tree, to be consumed as a snack the next day!

The Pankalanka men and women were terrifying to look upon. They roamed the land in search of Aborigines, and at night groups of them could be seen carrying their firesticks. They would light great bonfires in the desert country, roasting their Aboriginal captives in them.

The Pankalanka made and used both stone and wooden tools which they carried about with them. The men grew at least 2.6m to 3.3m tall and were very powerfully built, while their females were a little smaller in stature. Occasionally the Aborigines would fight back. One old legend relates how tribesmen of the Mulara Spring district banded together and speared all but one of a large group of Pankalanka. He was hunted into Kuniula Cave.

A huge fire was lit at the entrance which burned away all trace of the manbeast.

Noted documentary film maker, Mr Bill Marshall Interview 1982

Video shown to aboriginal children of the patterson Footage

On an Aboriginal settlement in the Alice Springs district in 1982, noted documentary film maker, Mr Bill Marshall, entertained the Aboriginal children one evening with a video copy of the American documentary feature film. "Mysterious Monsters". When the world-famous footage of a 'Bigfoot' [filmed near Bluff Creek in California's Pacific north-west by the late Roger Patterson] came on the screen, the children began shouting "That's Pankalanka, that's Pankalanka"!

Bill Marshall soon learnt that these white-haired people are very fierce, make large stone tools and also fire. I said 'are' because according to the Aranda tribal elders, and [as Bill Marshall learnt] also many Europeans, the Pankalankas are still supposed to survive, consisting of several tribes living in the remote Macdonnell Ranges area.

The region where they are said to live is small hereabouts - about 45 square kilometres - and Mt Viel and Mt Liebig are prominent landmarks, and the area is situated at the tail end of the Macdonnell Range in the Belt Range, some 400 km west of Alice Springs. In an interview with this author some years ago, Bill Marshall said these giants are said to possess a language and that the Aranda Aborigines are able to communicate with them [hopefully when the Panklanka are not hungry!].

Some Europeans who have been able to penetrate the territory of the Pankalankas have claimed to have found some of their giant-size stone tools, and also seen their campfires in the distance at night. Bill Marshall also informed me that he has seen the fires of the Pankalankas but not their stone tools. Bill's wife claims to have seen one of these giants, a 2.6m tall, white-haired monster, while they were visiting the Belt Range area.

Also, a friend of the Marshall's, a Mr Geoffrey Hulcombe, informed them some time ago how he also had an experience with the Pankalanka. He related how, one night in 1982 he camped at a wide billabong situated among large rocks. The next morning he went to wash at the billabong and was shocked to find giant man-like footprints in the mud leading down to the water's edge.

The Pankalanka are still said to wander the plains at night brandishing their fire sticks, their appearance continuing to inspire fear among the Aboriginal population, and any lone Aborigines unfortunate enough to come upon them.

Atherton Tableland 1982

Little hairy red Men

In April 1982 I was informed by an Atherton Tableland stockman that his Aboriginal assistants were in the habit of leaving food on the edge of a fenceline, for the "little hairy red men", who would emerge from nearby forest at night and remove it. The food left for the little natives consisted of vegetables and bread on most occasions.

Tully Letter 1982-Encounter 1937

Five very small Blacks

In January 1982, I received the following letter from Mr Jim West of Grafton NSW: "In 1937 I was on the track just travelling all over the country as were a lot of others during the depression. I was with two other blokes, a chap by the name of Bob Marshall and another bloke named Bluey Fowler.

He was supposed to have been brought up by the blacks up in the Cape York Peninsula area. He could hunt like no man I've ever seen, he knew exactly where to get them. We were up at Tully, collected our rations and were just sitting around the town; the police got onto us and told us to move on. That was common practice in those days, we were doing no wrong. So we went up the river a few miles and made camp.

We had two push bikes between the three of us, we used them to strap our swags on the bikes and push them along. We were at this camp for about five days, every now and again this Bluey fowler used to say we are "being watched, there is someone around. I feel eyes on us", he said.

One morning we were sitting around the camp when, just out of nowhere I looked up and there were five very small blacks about 1 to 1.6 metres in height, and they had spears in their hands. Three of them came within 4-5 metres of where we were sitting, the other two stood about 3-4 metres behind them looking very hard at us and the bikes seemed to fascinate them.

Bob Marshall used to do a bit of engraving with needles. He used to engrave anyone's name on a tobacco tin, he used to charge 1/- or 2/- for his work, whatever he could get. The three of us had one of them. After the natives had been standing there for two or three minutes Bluey Fowler held his tobacco tin out towards them making an offer for them to take a smoke, but they made no move, so after a while he tossed the tin over to where they were standing.

They stood for a few seconds, then one of them picked the tin up, looked hard at it, then placed it under his arm pit.

While all this was going on Bob Marshall slipped the old rifle we had out from beneath the bunk we made up. He handed it to me as I was supposed to have been the best shot with the rifle out of the three of us.

I just laid it across my legs, while sitting down. I cocked it and was just waiting for something to happen. The next instant they were gone, just scampered back into the bush. After they were gone we made a joke of Bluey losing his tin of tobacco. He told us that the black who had picked it up would keep it until he died. I asked how he came by that information. He said:"When the black placed the tin of tobacco under his arm pit, it meant he liked it very much and it was 'his' for good".

The round Capstan tin was engraved with the name 'Bluey;' on the bottom of the tin with a scrawl under the name and a small heart on top of the name, and probably the date".

Tully 1982

Three small naked black Natives

In January 1982 one startled farmer saw what he described as "three small naked black natives", 1-1.3 m in height, with crinkly hair, carrying spears, moving through a mountainside rainforest near his Tully farm.

Barrington Tops 1982 Interview-Encounter 1977

Musty Smell

In 1982 Mr Ralph Kelly of Sydney, NSW related to me the following story: "I was in the company of a group of bushmen exploring deep in the Barrington Tops [inland from Taree] in 1977, when the men found a huge strip of bark, 30 cm in width, which had been torn off a tree trunk up to a height of 10 m.

This had in turn been stripped of its fibre which had then been rubbed into balls, in the same manner as Aborigines did, in order to make string for basket weaving". "There was a musty smell about the site, and it soon became obvious to us that the string makers had left the spot in haste at the sounds of our approach".

Colo River

Small chert tools found near child-sized Footprints

In January 1982 a group of men were exploring up the Colo River from Kurrajong, carrying canoes to ride back on. During their trek they came upon a spot where small bare feet marks lay about the ground, as if a large group of children had picnicked. However, there were no signs of normal children, such as any scraps or other rubbish. Instead, the men found small chert tools scattered about the ground.


Hairy ape-like beast 3.3m in Height

On the road to Cabramurra is a road sign pointing to "The Ravine". This has been a persistent location for Yowie sightings for a great many years. It was here one night in the winter of 1982 that a Mr H Drew saw a huge creature while driving on the road at 11pm.

The creature was standing in the middle of the road when it was suddenly illuminated by the car headlights. Mr Drew noted that the huge hairy ape-like beast was about 3.3 m in height, but before he could observe much else the huge hairy beast strode off the road into the darkness.

Yowie footprints in Snow

Mrs H.L. Drew herself found a number of Yowie footprints, embedded in snow at Kings Cross Road near Cabramurra in the winter of 1981.


Dark humanoid Shape

North of Bathurst lies the old gold mining town of Ophir, scene of countless 'hairy man' encounters by settlers since the 19th century.

Here, one September night in 1982, at 11pm Mrs Pauline Yeates was driving her car along the Summer Hill Road. At the third crossing near Summer Hill Creek School, she sighted ahead of her, a dark humanoid shape fully 8ft [2.4m] tall, moving across the road, illuminated by the glare of the car headlight. The creature vanished into thick roadside scrub.

Pauline also says that one day during 1977, a group of hikers saw a 2.4m black haired, ape-like beast moving through the scrub near the third crossing of Summer Hill Creek.

Crowdy 1940's-Reported 1982

Creature in Swamp

Mrs Irene Daniel informed me in 1982 that, when she was a young girl in the early 1940's, she lived with her family at Crowdy, situated 50 miles south of Port Macquarie.

"I used to walk in to the school with other children of a morning along a bush track. Sandy hills lay on one side, on a freshwater lagoon which lay between the ocean and swamps and bushland." "On one occasion the children found big footprints in the sand leading down toward the lagoon.""I also recall about this time, three men were out shooting one day when they spotted a creature in the swamp thereabouts.

The creature was of great height, about 12 ft [3.6 m]. The men at first thought it was a man walking in the swamp, but once they realised it was no normal human they ran off in fear of their lives".

Marlborough 1982

Hairy man-Like Creature

During our October/November 2000 south coastal-southern Alps field investigation Heather and I happened to stop for lunch at a picnic ground outside Tumbarumba, on our way to Mt Kosciusko. Here we met up with a 38 year old bushman Neil Hoskins [see Chapter Ten], who related the following personal experience.

"During 1982 I was up in north Qld, on a train travelling at 25 mph through scrubland heading for Marlborough [north of Rockhampton]. Coming round a loop an English tourist, looking out the window, spotted a 2 metre tall, hairy man-like creature standing near the railway line."

"At this point I saw 'him' also." "It was definitely not some bloke dressed in a monkey suit. 'He' was beside a tree with his right arm slung over a branch." "I observed a face not unlike that of a human and this was about 30cm tall by at least 12cm in width. He had big eyes. This was all I could observe in a hurry as the train sped past and I lost sight of him."

Arnhem Land 1982


i received another from Mr Jerry Kennedy, himself a fifth generation descendant of the Troolwoolway Tasmanian Aboriginal people and a former Arnhem Land school teacher. His letter follows: "I was teaching at a small government school on the pastoral property "Mountain Valley', situated on the southern border of Arnhem Land, about 500 Kilometres south-east of Darwin in 1982.

One Monday morning I told the kids that we would finish our work at lunchtime and go swimming at the local creek, Flying Fox Creek in the afternoon." "The children, all Aboriginal kids, went down to their camp for morning tea, and after recess young Joshua Moore brought his father, Dinny, along to see me.

Dinny asked me not to take the children swimming to Flying Fox Creek because that weekend they had both [ie Dinny and his son Joshua] seen the 'Devil-Devil', and were very frightened of encountering it again." "They described this 'Devil-Devil' as an extremely large hairy creature with "hair on the palms of his hands" [ a fact that young Joshua found particularly strange].

It was a creature well known to them in the folklore and legend to that part of the Northern Territory, and Dinny said the creatures live between north-east of the Northern Territory and across into the far north west of Qld in the Gulf country, apart from their presence further south into the 'red centre'." "I suppose I should have gone down to Flying Fox Creek myself that afternoon to look for tracks, but perhaps I got just a little bit worried myself!"

Macdonnell Ranges 1982

Enormous man-like Footprints

The nearby Macdonnell Ranges has long been the scene of Pankalanka activity. In 1982 there was one incident where a camping party awoke one morning near a waterhole, to find enormous man-like footprints embedded in the mud, left there during the night.

Later that day one of the group, Miss Judy Clark, was terrified at the sight of a 3m tall, bad-smelling male creature with long whitish hair, carrying a large jagged stone knife, who stood watching her from nearby bushes. She later related her experience to a Tennant Creek Aboriginal elder, who introduced her to a young Aboriginal man, Brian Gumballa.

Brian was a few years before in 1986, camped one night on the creek, when a man-sized figure stepped out from nearby bushes and grabbed him. "We fought all over the ground as I tried to get out of his powerful grip. When I did, I grabbed a piece of wood next to the fire, and struck the creature over the head. Screaming, the creature retreated into the bush, leaving behind a strong, rotting smell and a greasy feeling all over me,' he said.

Elders believe he had fought off a young male Pankalanka. "Anyone who goes out in the hills at night must beware. The Pankalanka people roam about in groups with their firesticks. If they catch you they cut you up with their big stone knives and roast your flesh over their campfires before eating you," Elders continue to warn tribespeople and Europeans alike all over the 'Red Centre'.

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Australian Yowie Research Centre Est...1976 by Rex Gilroy for the sole purpose of Scientific Study of the Australian Hairy - man
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