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