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PARANORMAL PONDERINGS WEEK1: FTN looks at the legend of the Yowie, the Australian Bigfoot

November 30th, 2012 by Owen Quinn 5 Comments

Screen grab from the footage posted at the bottom of the page

Australia is the land of kangaroos, boomerangs, Ramsey Street, spiders that bite you on the bum and something else.

It is a creature from legend that the Aboriginals have known about for centuries and the subject of many a scoffing sceptic. But, for many, this legend is real; a living, breathing animal that isn’t happy humans have built their homes in the habitat that they have claimed for centuries. In other parts of the world it has cousins called the Yeti, Bigfoot and the Yehrin. They are the huge hairy ape men that roam the forests of continents all over the world, from Washington State to the jungles of Vietnam. The scientific community scoffs at their existence while the witnesses claim their lives have never been the same since seeing one of them.

And in Australia they are called the Yowie. And, like the huge forests of America that span for miles and miles, much of Australia is uninhabited with vast expanses of wilderness. Stories of the Yowie date back to the Aboriginal legends who speak of hairy hominids that are intelligent but should be left alone. Many of the stories come from the eastern states of the tribes but sightings are becoming more commonplace. The legend of the Yowie is said to be closely tied to that of the bunyip which translates as ‘devil’ or ‘evil spirit’ and can be seen in ancient carvings and paintings of the Aboriginals. However, witnesses to the Yowie claim it to be a man-like ape that can emit a high-pitched scream and has red eyes.

The earliest account came from settlers in 1876 of the hairy man of the wood appeared in the Australian Town and Country journal. Reports over the centuries have ranged from creatures that had feet that were attached to heir bodies backwards so that when they ran away it seemed they have travelled in the opposite direction of those they run away from. The Aboriginals say the Yowie were, in fact, the original inhabitants of Australia which makes them thousands of years old. Legends said that the ancestors of the Aboriginals went to war with the Yowies and won because of the human ability to make weapons and these scattered animals are the remnants of the species. It’s believed now that there may actually have been more than a grain of truth in this story. The Yowies are big, ranging from five foot (possibly female) to seven foot and covered with hair with long arms and very territorial.

In 1870, a Mr H.J. McCooey said he saw one on the south coast of New South Wales. He described it as about five feet tall, covered in long black hair which was reddish brown around the breast and throat with small eyes and when he threw a stone at it, it ran off.

There have been thousands of reported sightings over the years and, like Bigfoot, footprint casts have been found and collected. And, like Bigfoot and UFO reports, it is when officials such as top businessmen, pilots, doctors, policemen etc file a report then it is looked at twice by the sceptics and general populace. And while most of the sightings are reported in New South Wales, the Gold Coast of Queensland and the bush of the Moehau Range, they have also been sighted in New Zealand around the North Auckland and West Coast. It is generally accepted by researchers that the Yowie is a type of undiscovered primate, the description of which ranges from a gorilla to baboon. And like its cousin, Bigfoot, it smells to high heaven which may in fact be a defence mechanism due to the swamp areas it is reported to frequent.

For many years it was an urban myth, something to tell tales about round a campfire or to frighten children, but in the seventies, the reports became more and more substantial. In 1971, the Australian Royal Air Force sent a helicopter with surveyors to Sentinel Mountain, a remote area where they discovered large footprints in the mud. So remote was this area, that there was no way people would just be walking through, let alone bare foot, and the sightings increased. This may be due to the boom in housing and populace as more of the outback becomes part of towns and cities. There were more face to face encounters from an entire range of people.

One of the best documented is that of Neil frost (Neil’s full story is embedded below), a school teacher who came face to face with the creature one day. It fled through the bush and he described it like an elephant wearing size 20 boots such was the size and power of this thing. But in what many regard as the ultimate Yowie case, Neil has documented the behaviour and every encounter he has had with this creature which he believes to be a female. It is attracted by the lights of his house and often approaches and makes a thumping noise to get him to react. He says it’s like a child wanting to play and you have to play along to keep it happy. He has managed to cast tracks and has photographed it but in an attempt to get better prints he put sand along his house but this Yowie is so intelligent it avoided the sand because it wasn’t part of its usual path. Neil could walk you along its route and has called the police to come out to investigate the constant visits as they became frightening at one point. And as a consequence, they believe it now too having used the red eye photo to determine the validity of his claims. Like Grissom in CSI, they determined its height and size from the photo and are no longer sceptical. He has even contacted the Aboriginal tribes of the area for help and has been told some fascinating things. He built his house on new land which had worn tracks which was the track the Yowie used before the humans came and built their houses. Now the builds have forced the Yowies to create new tracks, much in the same way rats use the same route night after night in their territory. They also told him he had a female visiting him and asked if any childrens’ clothes had been taken. Neil said they hadn’t but he did find kids’ clothes in the wilderness around where he heard the Yowie. And that frightened him.

He recalled how one of his children used to come into his room saying something was knocking on their wall from outside but at that time he dismissed it as a child’s dream. Now it all made sense to him but as someone said if it took that lady twenty years to prove a dingo took her baby, then he had no chance if a Yowie took one of his kids. So, while these animals have a playful side to them, then there is the darker side. The child connection is also something that has been said about the Bigfoot. Neil and his neighbours all know it exists; it is part of their daily lives and for them, a legend it is not. It is a living, breathing animal that Neil is determined to prove to the world exists. You can hear his story on YouTube as well as supposed Yowie footage. And having seen the footage for myself, I can safely say there really is something out there that I cannot explain. Check it out for yourself below.

Click here for footage of an alledged Yowie in Katoomba

Let us know your thoughts below, @NerdFollowing on Twitter or on Facebook

Husband, dad and Ireland's hardest working author, Owen Quinn is currently knee deep in The Time Warriors, arguably the biggest sci-fi epic ever to come out of Ireland. He has an unhealthy interest in Doctor Who, classic TV and Star Wars, he also hangs around with the Emerald Garrison far toooo much. Is it any wonder he fits in at FTN so well? Find Owen at the

  • ES(NW)

    Frost’s “red eye photograph” of an alleged Yowie behind a tree are the same dimensions and position as those of a large possum (common in the area) sitting in a tree. So who are the police that investigated and are supposedly “no longer sceptical”? Do they even exist? Frost’s accounts are most likely fictional stories – ie what really happened was very different to what was claimed or it never happened at all. Frost isn’t the only Yowie storyteller – it is a common part of the Yowie phenomenon. Frost is simply the most prolific storyteller who claims to have had literally hundreds of personal Yowie sightings. The actual evidence says otherwise.

    • Owen Quinn

      Actually that’s not exactly true; Frost is not a solo witness, he’s part of the community that all have witnessed this creature and police investigations to try and write him off as a crank came up negative. You can argue with one man but not an entire community. Plus when a senator stands up and confirms he has also witnesses the creature with an entire group, you aren’t going to argue with a man of that standing simply because he has opened himself to the possibility of public ridicule. You don’t do that unless you’re sure you saw what you saw.

      • Neil Frost

        G’day Owen,

        Thanks for your kind words of support. Much appreciated. You have clearly done your research!

        Unfortunately, apart from being confronted with the frequent ridicule of narrow minded people, the other problem is that there are a few serial stalkers who persist it defaming the reputations of many Australian researchers, for what reason, I am not certain but, I have an inkling that I would prefer not to explore. For anyone who remains uncertain, a simple Google search under “Night Walker” (Ed Skoda), should provide some insight.

        As you are aware, I am a high school teacher, so such comments are further fuel for some. However, I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of this research and I am very pleased to say that over the twenty years of study, the general attitude of people in the Blue Mountains Australia, has broadened and matured, to the point that many more people are now prepared to speak out about their experiences. They feel less intimidated by cyber and real world bullies.

        I particularly feel for Troy, a student who was brave enough to speak of his experience back in 1986 and remember the anguish that he went through as he solitarily defended his testimony against the mob, while I was on early morning playground duty. The bright side of this was that his father repeated the encounter by sitting night after night in the same location until he had the same experience and went public in the local newspaper. Not to gain attention, but to support his son. Many years later, as a teacher, I was able to say that he was right!

        It needs to be understood that, here in eastern Australia, there is no shortage of witnesses. The spectrum is broad. They include (as you mentioned) a Senator and others of high reputation. A good friend of mine is a trauma neurosurgeon. Why would you risk this exposure to ridicule, unless you were supremely confident of what you knew? There are also labourers, motor mechanics, electricians and even teachers who are no lesser witnesses.

        Thanks again Owen for your well researched, critical comments.

        Neil Frost

  • ES(NW)

    I agree that Frost is “part of the community that all have witnessed this creature” – most reports of the Yowie seem to come from a small group of people who in many cases know one another socially BEFORE they started to claim seeing the Yowie (and a whole host of other strange experiences). Some appear genuine while others are obvious fakers yet there is little to no distinction between the two. It is not “research” it is “legend-tripping” — just like visiting the local haunted house or calling on “Bloody Mary” at midnight with your friends — ghost-hunting in a bush setting. The experience may be real (fear can do incredible things) but the creature is not.

    Storytelling (a traditional form of entertainment) is widespread within the Yowie phenomenon and Frost is a major contributor claiming hundreds of encounters. This is why is the objective evidence is non-existent or, at best, highly dubious. As I’ve mentioned before the subject Frost’s alleged Yowie eye shine photograph is the same dimensions and colour as that of the common bush-tail possum (

    And what are the names of the policemen who supposedly investigated? If Frosts Yowie claims are not fabricated then these independent observers would give tremendous weight to the Yowie. I would love to confirm such things however it is clear that many Yowie claims simply did not happen the way people like Frost and his hoaxer-friends (like the I-was-attacked-by-a-Yowie bloke) have claimed. That is storytelling…

    Please check out my website for further information –

    I have nothing to hide, Neil, but I am not the one making sensational claims.

    Ed Skoda (Night Walker)


    Actually, Frost is part of the Blue Mountains wider community. If you ask Frost nicely, I’m sure he could dig up some figures as to what percentage of that community (with demographic breakdowns) have provided yowie reports. Always nice to put things in a real-world perspective.

    EW holds a valid point that human beings are tribal by nature and tend to form groups, even groups of people who see hairy monsters in our midst. Where though is the gain in this geographical group of people claiming such encounters for fun, when there is no tourist interest in the phenomenon and thus no financial reward for the group? If anything the only reward I see is ridicule, which is unpleasant for anyone and Frost stands by his convictions.

    Speaking of ridicule, when it suits, EW, suit up and show us the face you wear in the real-world. Why continue to hide it behind the veil of a username when you say you have nothing to hide?? Oh and show us your hide, too, for good measure. (Some would say you have nothing but a hide!) Why give us one laugh when you can give us two?

    When it comes to storytelling they say a picture is worth a thousand words! Thus, looking forward to EW’s next two thousand plus, word, post.


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