Psychic Australian August 1976

Apemen In Australia

By Rex Gilroy

Apemen Around the World

If it should surprise you that sober Australians are seeing creatures that you have always believed to be confined to the vast, snowy recesses of the Himalayas, then hold on to your armchair because you are going to be forced to deal with a number of surprising experiences before you finish reading this story. You will learn that the so-called "abominable snowman" has been seen over a wide area of eastern Australia, if not elsewhere throughout the vast Australian outback, from the earliest times of European settlement to the present day. As I have said, the abominable snowman are by no means confined to the Himalayas. Reported sightings of similar beasts have been recorded from throughout mainland and South-East Asia and also over a wide area of North America.

Aboriginal Folklore

The creatures are known under a variety of different names depending on whichever country they have been reported to occupy. Throughout the Himalayas they are known as 'Yeti'. In North America 'Bigfoot'. And in Australia, aboriginal folklore preserves accounts of an equally mysterious beast known as the 'Yowie' or "Great Hairy Man". A monster, which, like the aforementioned beasts, has been described as an enormous hairy man-like, ape-like creature of tremendous weight and strength. The legends of the early aborigines concerning this beast cover a wide area of south-eastern, as well as Central and Northern Australia, and it is certain the beast exists in New Guinea as well as Tasmania.

Sketch By Rex Gilroy

The Big Fella From The Dream Time

Apemen in Australia

To the aborigines particularly the mountain tribes, the mere mention of the name (Yowie) was enough to inspire fear, causing scared looks and frightened ejaculations, so convinced were they of the creatures existence.There were said to be two different types of Yowies, those of the mountain regions were covered from head to foot in long hair, whilst those of the plains and open scrub had shorter hair with facial features clearly visible. The above descriptions tally exactly with those of other beasts reported throughout South-East Asia, China and Russia where those known to inhabit the colder mountainous regions are covered in a thick coating of hair, while those of jungle regions have very little hair due to the more amiable climate conditions.

The Yowie {Giant Hairy Man}

The Yowie was said to be stooped in appearance, having no neck, and that it walked on two legs with a loping gait, its arms dangling down to it's knees. The ape-like description of the Yowie as given by the early aborigines is unmistakable, yet we are informed by our university zoologists that no members of the primate family ever existed in the Australian region. Likewise, university archaeologists at present scorn any suggestion that any members of the old Java ape-men, ever roamed this continent. Yet it is certain that aboriginal folklore describes in every detail an ape-like beast that existed here thousands of years before the arrival of the first European settlers. Actually, many early Europeans claimed to have seen the Yowie, many years before they came to learn about it from the Aborigines.

Tasmanian Stories

Even in Tasmania stories of large man-like hairy monsters have persisted since the earliest years of European Settlement. During March 1975 in the rugged Poatina foothills of central Tasmania, two shooters were walking from out of scrub into a clearing. Suddenly the men were stopped in their tracks by what they described as a huge man-like figure, 8 ft tall and covered in black hair. Seeing the two men the creature appeared to take fright, and, moving off at great speed ran down a hill in front of them heading for cover of nearby bushland. The hunters abandoned their excursion and hastily left the area for home.

Early European Sightings {1795}

Perhaps the earliest sighting of a hairy, ape-like beast by a European occurred near Sydney Cove in 1795. Sightings of ape-like creatures were made again near Sydney Cove five years later in 1800 in the vicinity of what now is Hornsby, and again thereabouts in 1822. Occasional reports still persist from the rugged bushland along the Hawksbury River to the Blue Mountains, where the 'classical' Yowie sightings reports have been made since the first years of European settlement there.

My Own Experience {Rex Gilroy}

My own interest in the Yowie stems from a personal experience which happened some years ago in the Jamieson valley several miles south of Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains of N.S.W.

I had been returning from a hike over nearby Mount Solitary when in the vicinity of the Ruined Castle rock formation I caught the glimpse of a brownish hairy ape-like animal moving on two legs through the under growth to disappear within a few seconds into the surrounding rainforest. The creature appeared to be about 4 ft high in height, judging by the height of a fern tree that I had seen the beast brush past. Thinking that I had seen was some escaped circus orangutan or similar species I put the incident aside. Only some months later while on a chance reading of eastern Australian aboriginal myths and legends did I come across numerous references to a mystery hairy man-like beast known as the 'Yowie', or "Great Hairy Man"of the aborigines.

Being an open-minded field naturalist I have always had an interest in the many reported sightings of mystery Australian animals and have spent many years gathering material on such strange creatures as the 'extinct Tasmanian Wolf, the giant lizards of the Wattagan Mountains, N.S.W, and the equally mysterious 'Panther'. The very thought that an hitherto 'unknown' species of ape-like animal has existed undetected on this continent for thousands of years may seem sensational to many people. Yet, I believe the almost 3000 reported sightings in my files of such a beast, gathered from many widely scattered parts of Australia in the course of my investigations, speak for themselves.

Southern NSW

Perhaps the most famous accounts on record of the Yowie occurred during 1895 when two government geologists established a camp near Tumut in southern N.S.W, while on a survey for minerals in that area. Late one night the men saw something like a dingo or or dog moving around the outskirts of the camp, illuminated by the glow of the campfire. One of the men fired a shotgun at the 'thing' and adopting an ape-like stance it scrambled into the bush on two legs. It was still emitting blood-curdling screams as it faded into the distance. The men stayed up all night piling logs onto the fire with guns at the ready, in fear of the creature. In the morning they found traces of blood and tracks near the camp.

This incident has parallels with another which took place a few years before World War One in the mountains behind Buggan Buggan, also in southern N.S.W. An aboriginal couple, Big charlie and his wife were driving a wagonet through rugged bushland when they were suddenly attacked by what they described as a strong man-like hairy beast. Both escaped, bleeding, with a profusion of wounds.

People have been reporting the presence of strange hairy beasts around Mount Kosciusko district of N.S.W., and from certain areas in the Victorian Alps since the 1860's. During July 1975 a group of skiers saw a large hairy ape-like creature at least 7-8 ft tall moving up a snow covered mountainside just after snowfall. In fact, stories of mysterious large foot-prints in the snow country are almost old as the sightings of the 'Kosciusko Snowman' themselves.

Sydney Sightings

Some old identities living in the Bexley district of Sydney still talk of the 'Hairy Beast' which once terrorised the inhabitants of that area in the early 1900's. At that time this now densely populated area bordering on the Royal National Park was covered in thick scrubland. So terrified were the people living thereabouts that they shuttered up their doors and windows at night to prevent the creature from entering their homes. The creature, which was very real to them, was said to often come to windows and peer inquisitively in. The Allyn Valley is a wild, tremendously high, steep, thickly forested and still largely unexplored region surrounded on three sides by the highest portions of the Barrington Tops Ranges, some of the mountains go well above five thousand feet above sea level.

Yowie Prints

Yowie Plaster Casts

Allyn Valley

Hereabouts, I have found material galore reaching back as far as 1848.

A severe drought that year was causing concern to a family in the Carrabola district some miles west from the Allyn country until an aged Aborigine known as Old Boney told them he knew where they could get plenty of feed for their cattle on the plateau-like country adjacent to what is known as Carey's Peak which rises on the northern rim of the Allyn Valley. Legend states they came over via Masseys Creek then followed the tracks made by a party of eight government surveyors who passed through the Allyn Valley on the way to the Darling Downs in 1834. Arriving early one afternoon they made camp and went for a look around under guidance from Boney who had undertaken to stop for about a fortnight to help them get accustomed to the area. Next morning he went to bring the horses into camp. They were alright but Boney was in such a state of absolute terror he was unable to speak coherently for the best part of half an hour.

When he could it was to inform the others that he would have to leave before nightfall or else be in extreme danger from some terrible human-like monster that would kill him and eat him if it got the chance. "Did you see it a while ago?" enquired his companions, "or see it its tracks?' "No Boss, but me smellum plurry thick", meaning its scent was very strong and new. "Him close-up somewhere, catchem Boney if I not clear out plurry quick feller, killum plenty blackfella long time ago". "Well have you ever seen one?' "No Boss", he replied, "but other blackfellas say they standem up, walk like us, look like us but ebber so much bigger, likem this, (indicating 8 ft. tall and covered in long, curly black hair). We callem Debbil-Debbil, sometimes they makum noise like bull".

Despite the attempts of the family to assure him that he was safe with them, all was in vain. Not even a promise of a large quantity of 'Baccy," clothes and similar articles could sway his decision. After breakfast he took some of the others on another and more extensive ride over the locality and arriving back about midday, lunch over he strapped his swag to the saddle. With the warning never to leave the camp guarded by less than two and on no account should anyone go anywhere alone, he said goodbye and hurried away. The others remained in the area for three month's but although a sharp lookout was maintained they neither saw or heard anything unusual.

Allyn Valley {1875}

One day during 1875 a boundary rider was mustering cattle near Mount Royal, which lies 7 miles south-westerly from the Allyn Valley. Rounding the lower end of along steep ridge running up into much higher country he met a creature so utterly unlike any hes ever seen or heard of in the bush. It was 5 ft. tall and heavily built with an enormous chest and long heavily muscled arms reaching to below its knees with hands far, far larger than any ordinary man's. Its huge head was somewhat bullet-shaped, with an uncouth, half monkey, half-human face covered, (like the rest of the creature), with long coarse looking black hair from which it gazed at him with large, unblinking jet black eyes.

For quite a time it stood gazing at him and his horse, (which naturally enough displayed considerable fear, refusing to go closer than ten yards), the creature meanwhile did not appear to be afraid of either man or horse. It made no sound but after about ten minutes it started off at a slow, shambling gait up the far side of the ridge. After going about thirty yards it stopped and turned around.The riders curiosity aroused, he commenced to follow the creature along a kind of ledge or shelf formation running parallel with the ridge. About a half mile further along he noticed the shelf beginning to narrow in width until it became apparent that he would be unable to turn his horse around.

When he was forty yards from a corner the creature broke into a shuffling shambling run, disappearing around the bend for a short time then disappeared. He debated awhile whether to continue following the creature all the while he was keeping a sharp lookout for any possible sounds that might warn him of the presence of other similar animals. From where he stood he could still turn and make a quick getaway, but unless the shelf widened beyond the cliff corner it would soon be next to impossible. He stayed there for several minutes pondering what might be best to do. Sheer curiosity urged him to continue, but his only defense if attacked was his heavy stockwhip.

Even so, he ordinary speaking was, like all real bushmen, afraid of nothing that walked, crawled or flew, but the threat of the unknown finally won, so backing his mount he turned slowly away, at the same time looking behind to see what his strange would be guide would do next. It followed him for about a mile past where it had first been encountered. His last sight of the creature was to see it gazing after him with a sad, disappointed demeanour. And thus ended his first and last sight of it, for although he often returned neither he nor the parties he took along, nor anyone who ever rode there ever reported having seen it or anything resembling "The Wild Man of Mount Royal" as it became known.

Local Aborigines

The local aborigines however had believed in the beasts thereabouts for centuries. I am often asked, if the Yowie really exists, why is there so little physical evidence? Why havent we found skulls or skeletons? Any accomplished bushman will tell you that Mother Nature keeps a clean house. Flesh and even the skeletal remains of even the largest forest animal are soon eaten or scattered by the forest scavengers, or disintegrated by weathering. Another argument I often come up against is that it seems impossible that such a creature as the Yowie could exist so close to civilisation. But the terrain in which the Yowie has been seen is so rugged and overgrown in most cases that it has only been mapped by aerial survey, and some of these mountainous regions are nearly impassable, even by horseback or on foot.

RAAF Surveyors {The Sentinal}

It was due to the difficulties presented by the rugged terrain of the Glen Davis area during 1971 that a team of RAAF surveyors decided to carry out their survey of The Sentinel, the great mountain over-looking Glen Davis township by landing on the summit in a helicopter. Rain had fallen on the mountain the day before their landing so that the ground was still muddy in places. It was here that surveyors received what they later described as the 'shock of their lives'. For, upon the muddy ground they came across a number of freshly made large human-like footprints, in fact much too large for any normal human being. Following a somewhat hurried take-off they landed in a nearby field and told their story to the baffled locals enquiring if their might not still be wild aborigines in the district. This was unlikely, aside from the fact the prints they found certainly discounted such a suggestion.

Sentinel Mountain {Military Helicopter}

The above story has parallels with another military helicopter crew who flew over Sentinel Mountain at a later date. At tree top level they observed a man-sized hairy beast moving swiftly through the scrub below them only to elude them among the rocks.

Blue Mountains Sightings

The Blue Mountains central western New South Wales region has, since the arrival of the first European settlers early in the 1800's been the main area for stories and sightings of Yowies. Only in May this year, a young couple , who declined to give their names to the press, while driving on a bush road late at night recently were surprised by what they described as a large hairy apeish-looking beast almost 8ft. tall which ran in front of their vehicle and into nearby scrub. One of the last Blue Mountains aborigines declared to a European acquaintance at the turn of the 1900's that there was a Yowie living in the neighbourhood of the "Devils Hole", near Narrow Neck, Katoomba. He even volunteered to take his friend to the exact place and there leave him to interview the creature at leisure, but the offer was declined.

Hill End Sightings

Another early story of contact with a Yowie comes from the old gold mining centre of Hill End, in central western N.S.W. Along the nearby Macquarie River amid the steep mountainsides is Johnsons's Hole, one of the many such deep waterholes, some of them upwards a mile in length, that were formally a feature of the river before they became silted up. The early aborigines avoided the locality, and also many white settlers, none of whom, would camp there at night. It was frequently stated that a very peculiar noise was heard, accompanied by the splashing of water. In the centre of a deep part of the waterhole there is a large rock, and it was near this rock that the splashing of water and weird sounds were heard. During the year 1887 a gold miner, a well respected and lifelong resident of Hill End, scorning the advice of what he called 'superstitious' locals, decided to take a short-cut to his property via Johnsons Hole one morning around dawn. As he was passing the waterhole he heard this terrific weird sound. Looking up where the rock was he saw a large black hairy 'thing' crouched upon the summit. When it saw him it slipped into the water and disappeared.

More Yowie Sightings

If we take into account certain reliable reports, it is evident that the Yowie does not always travel alone. I posses numerous accounts of small groups having been seen, from such widely scattered areas as the Gippsland region of Victoria, the Grose Valley, Oberon, Mudgee, Orange and the Kempsey district of N.S.W, as well as the Atherton Tableland on Cape York in northern Queensland.

Orange Sightings NSW

During 1973 two rabbit shooters on trail bikes stopped on a mountainside near Orange for a few minutes rest. As they casually scanned the surrounding plains with their binoculars their attention was suddenly drawn to movement among the trees on a nearby clifftop. As they watched some-what dumbfounded a group of six small to man-sized hairy ape-like creatures emerged from the trees and appeared to forage among the shrubbery for about ten minutes before they gradually move off oblivious to the presence of the onlookers.

Atherton Tableland Sightings

This story brings to mind another that took place on the Atherton Tableland back of Cairns, Queensland, during 1969. Two national parks rangers stopped to chat with a group of timber cutters situated deep in the rain forest country. It was getting on too late in the afternoon and the workmen and rangers were all about to knock off work for the day. As the party sat quietly talking over a billy of tea, their attention was drawn to the sound of crackling branches and movement among the trees in a gully immediately below them. All remained in silent amazement as a group of what they later described as "five apeish looking hairy creatures" from 5 ft. to 6 ft. in height slowly moved through the scrub across the mountainside and disappear within a few minutes into the dense forest.

New Guinea

The impenetrable jungles of the New Guinea hinterland are likewise said by native tribesmen to be the home of huge man-like hairy beasts which wander the jungles in groups. These traditions have existed for centuries and certainly pre-date the coming of white man.

Dubbo Yowie Sightings

Sometime during 1924 a Mr. David Squires was kangaroo shooting in thickly timbered country west of Dubbo. Busily engaged in skinning a big 'Roo' one afternoon he suddenly became aware that he was no longer alone. Glancing up and around behind him was for a few moments in much the same frame of mind as our log cutting friends just mentioned. Standing alongside of, and with one huge hand resting on the side of a young green tree was a two legged creature a good 8ft. in height and in every other particular so human-like that at first he thought it must be someone who had "gone wild when it was young". It was in splendid physical condition and covered in a thick coating of greyish, coarse looking curly hair about three inches long.

The body, arms, legs, hands and feet were in proportion to its height. The neck and head were likewise. Altogether a fearsome creature to meet even if you had a good reliable 38 calibre Winchester rifle to help in case of trouble, especially as it was only about ten yards distant and he had no idea how long it had been regarding him. Recovering his presence of mind he slowly picked up his rifle, made sure the magazine was full, placed it where he could grab it at a moment's notice then went on with what he had been doing. "I finished that job with one eye while the other was watching the big bloke". When completed, rolled the skin up, put it in his bag, grasped his rifle and stood up slowly "just to see what it might do".

So far it had not moved nor made any sound and continued as it had been for about another ten minutes meanwhile regarding him with a rather disinterested kind of stare from its large, grey-blue eyes set in features half human, half ape-like and skull of like description with ears to match. Then reaching up the tree-trunk as far as it could it scratched it in several places then turned and slowly and seemingly quite unconcerned into the nearby thick scrub and undergrowth. "I was tempted to drop it with the rifle just to see if I or someone else could tell what it actually was, but I refrained when I recalled how easily it could have killed me without a chance to defend myself, plus still being more than half convinced it was a fairdinkum wild bloke", said Mr. Squires.

The next day, in company of police, black trackers and other bushmen mates he went back to try and track it. But after a couple of miles they found that heavy rain the previous night had completely washed away and traces of footprints away. When measured with a carpenters tape they had bought for the purposes, the distance from ground level to the top end of the highest scratches was a full thirteen feet. There are so many stories of hunters and farmers who have been armed at the time they claim to seen the Yowie, yet they have never attempted to shoot the beast. Actually, whenever they have been asked why they did not fire on the beast they have always answered that they had been unable to pull the trigger because they felt that they would be committing murder. In other words, to an experienced bushman the Yowie is more man than beast.

Yowie Footprints

Yowie Plaster Casts

Megalong Valley {Plaster Casts}

Further support for this contention can be drawn from the plaster-casts taken of a single footprint made by a farmer on his property in the Megalong Valley, which match another set of much larger footprints found in the Pilliga district in north-western N.S.W., also believed to have been those of the Yowie.

Jenolan Caves

These prints in turn match another set of fossil footprints found in 1970 near Jenolan Caves which resemble closely the fossil footprints of the old Asian ape-man which date back 500,000 years of more.

Large Footprints

Other large footprints are reported occasionally from various parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which according to aborigines are made by the Tjangara, a huge hairy man-like beast which stands at least 10ft. tall and who wanders the hinterland armed with a big stone club, killing and eating anyone he chances to meet. Geological evidence proves at that time Australia and South-East Asia were part of a land-bridge connected to mainland Asia. At this time also, America was connected to the Asian mainland by the now Bering Strait. These land-bridges would have enabled the entry of primitive races of man, including the Yowie, into Australia even half a million years before the aborigines.

Seperate Evolution

It is also certain that the forebearers of Bigfoot entered North America about the same period. These creatures, I contend, are the surviving remnant of a pre-ice age ape fauna which did not evolve to the true man-like stage, but which developed along a seperate path of evolution parallel with man.


Currently there exists amongst some Ufologists a school of thought which attempts to connect sightings of Ufo's with reports of Yowies. However, while I firmly believe in extraterrestrial visits to our planet, I still retain my original theory that the Yowie is strictly an earth bound creature. I feel that reports of Yowies in the same regions as Ufo sightings are purely coincidental.


Some of the ape-man of mainland and south-east Asia were giants, and perhaps this could have some bearing upon the huge proportions often attributed to the Yowie and his Himalayan and American relatives. Peking Man is reputed to have stood at least 10 ft. tall, the Giant Java Man, Meganthropus was an estimated 12 ft; while Gigantopithecus fossils suggest creatures 15 to 29 ft tall. The approximated weights has been estimated at from 600 to 1,000 lbs., which corresponds with figures given for the Yowie, based upon their reported proportions and also their footprint impressions.

That some of these giant races of sub-man once trod Australia soil I have no doubt. Aside from cultures of giant stone artifacts discovered by me near Bathurst, in central N.S.W., the early aborigines and legends of the Yowie, throughout Australia have preserved traditions of giant men and women who walked this land before them. I am not only firmly convinced that the Yowie exists, but that it is a surviving link with these former giant races of prehistoric humanity. But, whatever his origins, the Yowie, like his Himalayan and American relative's, share a unique place in man's history; and, should his capture eventually take place, it will rank among the greatest zoological discoveries of the century.

Psychic Australian October 1976

And There Were Giants

By Rex Gilroy

And There Were Giants