That a form of marine reptile from the age of dinosaurs could still survive in the Hawkesbury River must, understandably, seem absurd to many people. Yet, when one considers the often enormous widths, the great depths, the length of the river (up to 120 kilometres) and its many branches snaking off in all directions, there is more than enough room for such creatures to have survived and bred undisturbed for centuries, as the following case histories suggest.
Hawkesbury River Bridge - August 1979
“I was not seeing things. It was right there in the water, out there in the middle of the river with its snakelike head moving from side to side, four feet above the water.” That was how Miss Rosemary Turner, a young bushwalker, described the horrible reptilian creature that surfaced nearby as she stood on the bank of the Hawkesbury River, a few kilometres west of the Hawkesbury River Bridge, one August day in 1979. Rosemary had been resting during a hike in the surrounding bushland on the Sydney side of the river.
The water was calm on a sunny afternoon around 3 pm, she later recalled-when, suddenly, a dark shape began to appear in the water ahead of her. "All of a sudden this large, shiny, scaly, black pair of humps rose two feet out of the water to a length of about 20 feet. I could clearly see two long flippers, at least a few feet in length, moving below the surface. At this moment a head appeared 15 feet ahead of the humps. The animal appeared to be facing an east-west position. Four feet of head and neck rose above the water and I could partly make out the tail just below the surface some feet east of the body.
The head of this monster reminded me of a snake-ugly, and about two feet in length (by now she was observing the creature with her binoculars hastily snatched from their case)-but it quickly sank beneath the waves, the tail rising out of the water in a quick flip as the monster plunged into the depths, leaving a great wake in the water." All this time, Rosemary stood petrified watching the creature, still not sure what it was. All she could tell me some months later was that the animal was at least 45 to 50 feet in length.
The above report is similar to that of another woman, Judy Morgan, of Sydney, who saw a huge animal in the same region at about 4 pm one Sunday in May 1979. Here is her story.
“I had been watching water-skiers from the top of a 50-foot bank (Sydney side of the river) with my binoculars. Soon after the skiers had passed up the river in the direction of the Hawkesbury River Bridge about four miles to the east, I observed from about 300 feet out in the centre of the river a large pair of humps rise out of the water up to three feet.
"From where I stood I could clearly see two sets of long paddle-like flippers just below the surface, and these may have extended out at least several feet from the body. I also spotted a tail partly visible below the surface, and this rose to the surface after about a minute before submerging again. So far the creature's head had not appeared; but this suddenly also rose out of the water, snakelike, and on the end of a long, thick neck several feet above the surface.
I estimate the animal could have been a good 40 feet in length, at least!"
To Be Updated 2008