Jonathan Swift [1667-1745] in his book, “Gulliver’s Travels” [1726], described Australia long before the voyage of Captain James Cook RN [1770], with information which could only have come from ancient Chinese writings on the mysterious southern continent. He also described a primitive hairy race that inhabited that land as the Yahoos.

Jonathan Swift
Photo courtesy of the British Information Service, London UK.

The Yowie Mystery - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.

Copyright © 2007 by Rex Gilroy
All rights reserved
First Edition

Rex and Heather Gilroy are recognised internationally as Australia’s foremost relict hominid researchers. This book celebrates Rex Gilroy’s 50 years as the ‘father’ of Yowie research. Rex and Heather are also recognised internationally as one of the world’s foremost husband and wife research teams in the field of ‘Unexplained’ mysteries.

These daring and outspoken researchers are no friends of the Australian hard-core, narrow-minded scientific establishment, who would prefer that books of the kind produced by the Gilroys were prevented from publication.

When not carrying out field work, Rex and his wife Heather [a Registered Nurse/Midwife by profession] are at home writing books, surrounded by their huge reference library of books on all manner of scientific subjects. Besides their many and varied researches, Rex and Heather Gilroy are also involved in community service work as members of the Rotary Club of Katoomba.

Dead Horse Gap, near Thredbo. This wild region of the Snowy Mountains has been a “hairy man” locale since the first years of 19th century settlement hereabouts.

During June 1999 a stockman was riding his horse through wild scrub overlooking the road near where this photo was taken, when he spotted a number of “huge man-like footprints” in a mud patch.

Dead Horse Gap
Photo copyright © Rex Gilroy 2007

Excerpts from - "The Yowie Mystery" - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.
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The fossilised footprints of our primitive ancestors can tell us much about their physiology, of their bone structure and musculation as they walked, which in the case of Homo erectus does not appear to have changed much since the first appearance of the modern human foot around 3 million years ago.

Actually our Aboriginal people of the outback can tell a lot from a fossil footprint, such as whether the individual was flat-footed, sluggish or a fast runner, male or female. Some old Aboriginal men will tell you that flat-footed giant tracks belonged to beings who were used to living in a moister environment, such as around lakes and swamps on the fringe of forestlands and did not have far to walk to find food, usually shellfish, crabs or any easy to kill animal life that came to water.

We can learn much from modern-day hominid footprints, principally the subjects of this book whose footprints [at least the authentic ones] have been cast as an aid in later study, and although fossil foot bones of the Australian Homo erectus/Yowie are at present unavailable, we are able to study those found outside Australia, principally Africa.

These show that Homo erectus would have stood straight-backed and walked with a springy stride. An average Homo erectus stood around 5ft 6 inches [1.6m] tall. He owed his posture to his bowl-shaped pelvis, which being so constructed, meant that the socket at which the femur connects to the pelvis was further inward than in Australopithecus. This shift gave Homo erectus a straight-legged stance, as opposed to the slightly bowed stance of Australopithecus.

In addition, Homo erectus’ foot was arched to support his whole weight and had lost the ability to grasp, which is a feature of ape feet. As described in the previous chapter other primates are capable of bipedal movement, if only for short periods; such as the chimpanzee, who can be as agile as a gibbon. This temporary bipedalism is also known to the Gorilla, but it is prevented from achieving the upright stance and walk of Man due to differences in the structure of the leg bones and muscles.

For example, Man possesses a strongly developed buttock muscle, the gluteus maximus, which propels his body forward and over his legs with each stride. On the other hand, in the Gorilla, the gluteus maximus is relatively underdeveloped, so that the best it can accomplish bipedally is a shuffle. Yet Man also has the ability to lock his legs at the knee, so that when he is standing erect he does not need to use his quadriceps to hold himself up. The Gorilla, unable to lock its legs, is able to stand up in a tiring crouch.

I have said that the modern human foot dates back at least 3 million years. This was based upon African finds, yet Heather and I have uncovered ‘modern’ type fossils of this age at a number of Australian locations over the years [although certain of these footprints may be much older] which at 3 million years old at our present knowledge pre-date the appearance of Homo erectus; more likely they should at that age, have been made by proto-Homo erectus.

Much of the best fossil footprint material has been discovered on the Blue Mountains over the years. One example near Katoomba is a set of three hominid footprints preserved by volcanic ash, embedded in mudstone up to 35cm above a conglomerate layer of water smoothed quartz and other stones, the remains of an ancient water course.

Two of the footprints are of right feet 26cm in length by 15cm width across the toes and about 7cm width at the heel.

They are impressed 5cm deep in the rock. They are spaced 17cm apart, one behind the other. The third footprint is situated 1.44m to the left of the other two, and like them is a right foot [the left feet impressions have worn away]. It measures 33cm in length by 17.5cm in width across the toes and is embedded 6cm deep in the rock. Despite distortions these are ‘modern’ shaped foot impressions.

Yet these fossils were originally covered soon after their impression by a volcanic ash deposit; itself the first of several to be deposited over the ages, separated by intermittent layers of mudstone forming the cliff that towers overhead, and which is capped by a final layer of basalt. It is obvious that these “tracks through time” are of truly immense age, far older than the 3 million years age given to other ‘modern’ structured hominid footprints on the Blue Mountains.

Rex Gilroy
Australian Yowie Research Centre,
Katoomba, NSW
Monday 25th June 2007

Australian Yowie Research Index | Entire Web site © Rex & Heather Gilroy | URU Publications ® ™ Rex & Heather Gilroy. All Rights Reserved

Excerpts from - "The Yowie Mystery" - Living Fossils from the Dreamtime.
| Ch 1 | Ch 2 | Ch 3 | Ch 4 | Ch 5 | Ch 6 | Ch 7 | Ch 8 | Ch 9 | Ch 10 | Ch 11 | Ch 12 | Ch 13 | Ch 14 | Ch 15 | Ch 16 | Ch 17 | Ch 18 |
Mysterious Australia | Entire Web site © Rex & Heather Gilroy | URU Publications ® ™ Rex & Heather Gilroy. All Rights Reserved

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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