One day in September 1970, two young men, Derek Wilson and Ross Fischer,
while on a hike from their camp somewhere north-east of Mt Cloudmaker,
overlooking Burragorang valley, were exploring dense forestland, when they suddenly
came across a cyclone wire fence. They could see that it was electrified and that it
extended for an unknown distance on through the forest.
Following the fence for
some distance they found a locked gate, with a track going off into the bush in the
direction of a metal shed, just visible in the distance through the foliage.
At this point they heard someone approaching from the direction of the shed,
and to their surprise, an American military policeman [there was no mistaking the
uniform] appeared on the track.
“What are you doing here”? he asked the boys. At which Derek countered, “Better
still, what are YOU doing here”?
“Mind your own business”, snapped the MP; “This is restricted territory, so get out of
Derek and Ross decided to heed his advice and the MP watched them through
the fence as they moved off back into the scrub.
This is not the only Burragorang Valley incident involving American military
personnel. During 1980 several hikers were walking along a remote forest fire trail
when they decided to explore some interesting forest terrain overlooking a gully.
At one point as they rested, they heard the sounds of men talking and laughing
somewhere down in the gully. Then as they got up to have a look, to their surprise
they saw a group of at least a dozen Australian and American soldiers, with back
packs, carrying automatic rifles.
The hikers decided to ‘Cooee’ out to them.
As they began doing so, the party in the gully yelled back at them and several
shots were fired, narrowly missing two of the group. They fled the area as quickly as
Campers back in 1978 reported to a National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger
they met at a campground in Kanangra Boyd National Park, that they had been fired
on by a unit of Australian soldiers, that they saw moving through scrub somewhere east of the Kanangra Walls Road. No action was taken.
During the 1980s and 1990s there were a number of sightings made of
Australian and American army patrols, spotted by campers who penetrated the deep
gullies on the eastern side of the Kanangra Boyd Plateau. To the best of the authors’
knowledge, these patrols continue to be reported seen from time to time, by campers
who occasionally penetrate this region.