*Mysterious Australia Home*


Lillian Saleh: from the Daily Telegraph talks to REX GILROY, who investigates sightings of mysterious animals including the Blue Mountains Panther.

I discovered the Blue Mountain to be a virtual treasure house of natural history material, and mystery animal species in particular.

How did you get started in this sort of work?

I was born at Fairfield and grew up at Lansvale on the Georges River, near Liverpool, on my parent's farm. When I was about seven, was when I began collecting bugs and rocks in two shoe boxes. Since then, I've amassed the largest privately owned natural-science collection in Australia. I believe I've got thousands of insects and spiders, rocks and minerals, fossil life forms from every geological period of the earth's history and a huge archaeological collection.

So how did you get involved in cryptozoology {the study of evidence that support's the belief that creatures such as the Loch Ness monster or the Abominable Snowman exists.

I began cryptozoology when I was 14 and was at Liverpool High School. I just started collecting newspaper and magazine articles about mysterious animals worldwide. I'd been inspired to study ancient history and mystery animals in particular by my father, a Scot, who used to tell me stories of ancient castle's and "Nessie" in his homeland. When my family moved to Katoomba in 1958, I discovered the Blue Mountains to be a virtual treasure house of natural-history material and mystery animal-species in particular.

What's one of your most fascinating adventures?

It was on the afternoon of August 7, 1970, at 3.30pm. I was hiking above Cedar Valley near the Ruined Castle formation in the Jamieson Valley below Katoomba, when on the forest-covered slope on the western side of the castle I spotted, about 15m away, a dark, naked, hairy-skinned male creature moving across the slope from north to south. It looked like a hominid {a member of the family of man and his manlike precursors} and looked rather primitive.

It was about 1.8m tall, with big eyebrows and hairy arms and long dark hair trailing down from his head. He appeared to be scavenging as if looking for fern roots or other food with a digging stick. It was totally oblivious to my presence and I watched in silence as it gradually disappeared into the forest. The whole experience took about 4-5 minutes.

What sort of things have you found in your investigations?

Where does one start? I've spent a lifetime digging up all kinds of fascinating things-dinosaur fossil remains on the Blue Mountains, central Queensland and other parts of Australia. I have two small dinosaur skulls from near Lithgow and the Megalong Valley. In 1975 my wife Heather and I uncovered the now famous {and now vandalised}Gympie Pyramid, a 60m tall crudely built stepped stone structure reminiscent of stepped pyramids constructed in Egypt around 5,000 years ago.

How do you go about tracking a mysterious cat such as the one people claim is roaming the Blue Mountains?

If any investigator expects to have any hope of success they must be prepared to move about as silently as possible in the bush. No more than one, two or three people at most should comprise an investigation team, as large numbers of people make too much noise, alerting any native animals of their approach in the bush. Finding footprints is best attempted around water courses where creatures come to drink, leaving paw marks in the soft, firm mud. Lairs can be found in nearby caves or rock overhangs, where droppings and hair samples might be found.

Where are some of the places your work has taken you

Our holidays are more like expeditions. We've recently investigated fossil and archaeological sites in central Australia where we gathered ancient myths and legends of giant stone-tool making beings for our new book, "Giants From thee Dreamtime: The Yowie in Myth and Reality, and were planning a big search in Tasmania for the Thylacine. We have also been to New Zealand, Queensland and al over NSW.

Do you think people are skeptical about your discoveries?

Often the most vocal skeptics are those who know absolutely nothing about the subject they criticise. I say to skeptics that we must all be prepared to keep an open mind and search for all the evidence. After all, lack of evidence does not always imply lack of existence for any "unknown" or supposedly long-extinct species.

You have written a number of books-are you planning any more?

To date I've had three books published. My first book was Mysterious Australia. I've also written Pyramids in the Pacific: The Unwritten History of Australia. My latest, Giant's From The Dreamtime, contains the results of my 45 years research into the Yowie mystery. And I've just completed Uru: The Lost Civilisation of Australia, and I'm now working on a large book on Australia's unknown animals.

Do you really believe there is a Panther on the loose in the Blue Mountains?

Aside from feral cats, there is evidence to suggest some panthers, introduced by American servicemen in World War 2, may have managed to breed in parts of Australia.

What evidence is there to indicate there is panthers in NSW?

Apart from reports of sightings over a wide area of eastern Australia, a comparison of plaster casts of paw prints shows that these belong to one and the same species. There is plenty of good circumstantial evidence about these sightings so we should keep an open mind.

How do you think they got there?

There is good reason to believe some were released into the wild by American servicemen during World War 2, in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

What should people do if they come across a wild creature?

Leave it alone. These creatures do no harm to humans unless provoked or cornered.

*Mysterious Australia Home*

Photo Credit:Stephen Cooper

Rex above the Site {15/5/2001}where Gail And Wayne Pound video-taped the Large Black Cat at Lithgow on the 9/5/2001

All the Shots below were taken by Rex Gilroy, Heather Gilroy and Greg Foster on the 15/5/2001 & 16/5/2001

Full Screen Shots later today 20/5/2001

Lithgow Possible Paw Print

Photo Credit: Greg Foster

A Bitten Mushroom

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

10cm Paw Print

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

Lithgow Possible Paw Print

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

Rex, Lillian & Stephen

{Lillian was the Daily Telegraph's Reporter, Stephen was the Cameraman} Both real nice people!

Photo Credit:Greg Foster

Lithgow Possible Paw Print

Photo Credit:Greg Foster

Rex Doing a Plaster Cast of one of the better Prints

Photo Credit:Heather Gilroy

The Track above the Sighting

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

Possible Tree Scratch Marking's

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

Possible Tree Scratch Marking's

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy

Possible Tree Scratch Marking's

Photo Credit:Rex Gilroy