On the Track of the Tjangara-Hairy Giants of the Nullabor
Timeless Aboriginal myths and legends of the Nullarbor Plain, which extends across a vast expanse of arid desert and mulga between South Australia and Western Australia, tells of a race of giant beings who dwell in the bowels of the earth beneath the plain, from where they occasionally emerge to walk the land.
The Aborigines of the vast expanse maintain these beings inhabit Coonalda Cave and that the often massive stone 'megatools' found across the landscape have been left by them. Similar traditions are also entertained by Aborigines elsewhere across the continent, particularly concerning cave systems in the Kimberley region of western Australia; the Chillagoe Caves of far north Qld and the Jenolan system of NSW to name but some.
Similar [Papuan] legends occur in New Guinea, of a race of giant people that inhabit huge caverns deep within the highlands, from where they emerge to roam the jungles. There is a logical explanation for such traditions. Natives observing a giant hominid emerging from the mouth of a cave would naturally infer that he or she came from a world below the earth.
Be this as it may, Aborigines maintain that a giant 3.3 - 4m tall, tool-making race, the Tjangara, inhabits the Nullarbor region and have done so since the dawn of man on this continent, sharing it with the Narragun, the 6.6m monster beings that roamed a territory said to have extended from western Victoria across South Australia, and who were also tool-making hominids, possibly the same species as the Illankanpanka of the Gulf country. The Aboriginal people of the South Australian outback firmly believe these giants still wander the vast interior, and there are remote regions where they refuse to go unaccompanied and without firearms for fear of attack; for, like the Pankalanka people further north, these monsters feed upon any Aborigines they capture.
Since an initial discovery by workmen near Mildura on the north-western border with NSW in 1970, numbers of huge stone megatools have been frequently unearthed by farmers, on properties bordering the Murray River into south Australia. They are also turning up in the desert country west of Broken Hill in far western NSW. Aboriginal elders who have examined them claim the largest specimens were made by the Narragun, while those smaller [but still impossible for normal humans to lift and use] implements were those of the Tjangara.
Down at Woods Well on the south-eastern South Australian coast, south-west of Tintinara, in 1973 Mr Kim Rayner and his wife Ellaine were camping in thick scrub. As they sat their campfire around midnight, they were suddenly startled by a high-pitched scream, somewhat like that of a woman. The scream lasted for 15 minutes, ending in a guttural sound. At this the Rayners climbed into their utility and locked the doors. Rabbits they had with them in a cage outside on the ground were very agitated.
Suddenly 'something' was pushing at the rear of their vehicle, rocking it up and down. All they could see through the back window was a huge dark shape. The rocking ceased after a minute or so, and their myster intruder walked away into the encroaching scrub. The Rayners remained in their vehicle for a long time, before emerging to gather up their belongings by torchlight - including the terrified rabbits - and driving away.
Within days other campers in the same area reported finding enormous, freshly-made man-like footprints in damps soil, and at Tintinara a couple of weeks later a minibus load of people were startled late one afternoon, when a 2.6m tall, hairy manbeast strode across a dirt orad from out of bushland in front of their vehicle.
One June day in 1977 a Mr Paul Stewart was bushwalking in scrub among the Adelaide Hills 25 km from the city. As he walked along a track between two hills, a hairy male creature emerged from bushes ahead of him. Standing 2m in height, the brownish, long-haired 'manimal' stood barely 6m ahead of him, stared at him for a moment, then crashed its way back into the scrub as the bushwalker retreated in the opposite direction!
Earlier in June 1975 at Tailem Bend, motorists were stunned at the sight of a 3m tall giant hairy 'man-ape' walking by the orad carrying a fire stick late at night. It was followed by a further three sightings reports of giant hairy manbeasts in that district that month which had the local residents in a stir.
The following month a 2.6m tall male creature was claimed seen scavenging food scraps at an isolated picnic ground outside the town. Then one day soon after this incident motorists in the same area reported seeing a hairy creature which could have been the same hominid crossing a field just off the road.
In another incident that occurred at this time, a family camping at a Tailem Bend tourist ground were woken late one night by their caravan being violently shaken. The husband and wife looked out the windows but could not see what was shaking the van. When their daughter had a look a large apish face appeared at the window. As the father opened the door a large shape was seen to disappear into nearby scrub.
One night in December 1978, Mr Allan Trindle and a friend 'Irene', were travelling along a lonely stretch of the Eyre Highway on the Nullarbor Plain. The time was 10.30pm when Allan stopped at a truck bay for a sleep. He turned off the lights. It was pitch dark. Irene said she was too scared to stay there, so he decided to find another spot.
As he turned on the headlights, they saw on the roadside ahead of them, a 2.3m tall, dark-haired 'manbeast' walking across the highway into scrub. They drove off in great haste.