Psychic Australian December 1976

Australian Monsters

By Rex Gilroy 

Monster Men

One night a few years ago, the residents of a farm situated at the foot of the Lamington Plateau were startled by the frightened bellowing of their house cow. Their fearless cattle dog tore off into the darkness, barking furiously. The dog attacked something, but suddenly let out a terrible scream-then all was silent. The farmer with one of his farm hands went out armed with lanterns and guns. They found the corner fences down, the cow dead with a broken neck-its head almost torn off-and the dog crushed against a tree where it had been thrown. In the distance they could hear something crashing through the bush up the mountainside. A thorough search the next day failed to explain what had killed the animals. Many local residents thereabouts, believe it was the work of the "Monster-Men, of the Lamington National Park, mysterious ape-like creatures said to stand as tall as 8 ft.

Monster Creatures

Australians have been prone to seeing monsters of one sort or another since the first European settlement. In 1821 Hamilton Hume, the explorer saw a 'Hippopotamus' (could it have been the Diprotodon?) in Lake Bathurst, near Goulbourn, N.S.W. Modern science tends far too much to scoff at these, and many more reliable accounts of strange creatures not found in museums. Yet the evidence for the existence of many unknown animals is far too extensive to be labelled among the 'impossibilities' of modern science. Many countries throughout the world have their quota of mysterious creatures or 'monsters'. Scotland has its world famous Lock Ness Monster, Africa her Congo dinosaurs and the Amazon jungles of South America may yet be the home of the 'extinct' Giant Tree Sloth, judging from reliable reports.

Mystery Monsters

What I therefore offer my readers is a collection of anecdotes gathered by me during the years of field research that I have devoted to the study of Australia's mystery 'monsters' and other 'extinct' creatures. Naturally, the authorities are going to cry absurd to my claims, offering as 'proof' their perpetual cry of "all the larger animals have now been listed by science", or that, "the world has been so thoroughly explored that no new species of animals could possibly have escaped detection". To which, my answer will be: Over 15,000 square miles of Central Australia, although mapped by aerial survey, has never been trodden by European man.

The interior of New Guinea to the north of Australia has yet to be completely explored from the ground. The enormous expanses of the Congo and Amazon jungles have likewise never seen the footprint of a European explorer. Under these circumstances any number of creatures both large and small, could yet have escaped discovery. It would indeed be improper for any Zoologist to claim that nature has yielded her last secrets. And, finally, we must not exclude the oceans of the world, far from completely known to oceanographers. Indeed, it is not denied that strange, and often enormous creatures lurk in the vast depths.

Monster Sea Serpents

Throughout the centuries these monsters of the deep have plagued the records of maritime history. Even Australia is not without its sightings of sea-serpents. During 1975-1076 there have been several sightings of a strange aquatic beast in the vicinity of Brisbane Waters and also the head-waters of the Hawkesbury River, on the N.S.W central coast. A husband and wife were fishing in their rowboat in Brisbane Waters near Woy Woy when they were 'buzzed' by what they described as a 30 ft. long creature which swam past their boat within a couple of feet of the surface. The creature was described as having along serpentine neck and head, a bulky body with two sets of fins and long eel-like tail. Just after the creature passed their boat it raised its head about 3 ft. out of the water. At this moment the observers had forgotten their fishing and had begun rowing for the nearby shore.


In the course of my investigations I have amassed a considerable collection of cases like these which can only tend to suggest the existence of some large Pleisosaurus type animal. Yet, if this is true, then we must accept the possibility that a creature from the age of the Dinosaurs has survived for 70 million years! Not only have I been fortunate to gather a considerable quantity of strange animal sightings throughout Australia, I have actually seen some of them myself.

Thylacine {Tasmanian Wolf}

One such 'extinct' creature is the Tasmanian Wolf (Thylacine cynocephalus), said to have become extinct on the Australian mainland several thousand years ago although still surviving deep in the mountainous regions of Tasmania. Latest findings tend to show the 'wolf' is very much alive and living in isolated pockets throughout eastern Australia.


My Encounter With The Thylacine

On the night of Tuesday the 22nd of February 1972, at 10.15 p.m. I was driving along the Great Western Highway with my father, Mr W.F Gilroy, between Blackheath and Katoomba, on the Blue Mountains of N.S.W., at a point where the railway runs parallel to the road. The area abounds in thick scrub and there are no houses thereabouts. It was at that moment that our car headlights caught a strange animal in the middle of the road crossing from the railway line into scrub on the opposite side. Although it disappeared within a few seconds we were able to get a good look at the creature. It was the size of a large dog with an orangey colouration and a row of black stripes running down its back and onto a long curved tail. The head and body were unmistakable. It was a Tasmanian Wolf. Enquiries I made around the area soon revealed that a number of Blackheath and Katoomba residents had also seen this animal in the same spot about that time at night over a period. Local wildlife rangers also confirmed these accounts by adding that they believe the creatures are breeding in the rugged Grose Valley east of Blackheath.

Sketch of Sabre-Toothed Beast

Rex Gilroy

Panthers and Tigers

From time to time farmers and other people in many widely scattered areas of Australia have reported sighting a mysterious panther-like cat, usually of very large size. It has come to be known as the "Queensland Tiger", the "Emmaville Panther", or "Tarana Tiger", depending upon whichever area the beasts have been reportedly seen over the years.

Blue Mountain Sightings

On day in 1959 a railway workman, Mr. Alec Donaldson, was working on electricity lines in deep scrub in the vicinity of Clarence, on the western side of the Blue Mountains, near Lithgow, N.S.W. rain the night before had made the ground damp and on the soft mud of a track Mr. Donaldson came upon several fresh pad marks of some cat-like beast, measuring a good 15 cm. in width. Needless to say, Alec Donaldson decided not to stay very long after his discovery and could never be persuaded to return there ever again. Could the prints have been made by some escaped circus animal? I think it unlikely.

Marsupial Lion

Perhaps the pad marks were made by the 'extinct' Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo), a flesh eating scavenger whose remains come from Pleistocene deposits in all parts of Australia. In any case, the prints remain a mystery to this day. A creature which could fit the description of the Marsupial Lion is said to inhabit the dense rain forests of Cape York and northern Queensland, where about twelve years ago such a beast was reported as having a baby from a pram.

Giant Emu Encounter?

Husband and wife George and Jean Rollo are avid bushwalkers, having seen many interesting things in the course of their many excursions into the scrub. However, there were never prepared for the shock they were to receive one fine day in 1967 when they were exploring the thick forest country near the town of robertson, on the far south coast of N.S.W. While making their way through steep mountainside scrub, their attention was drawn to the sound of something crashing heavily through the bush and which was coming towards them from the scrub ahead of them

. In an instant they were confronted by what they described as a giant 'Emu like' bird with long neck, short wings, and covered in long straggly feathers, and which forced them to scatter as it bounded through them running upon its long thick legs. The bird was 10-12 ft. in height.

Since that day there has been considerable debate among ornithologists as to the identity of the creature. Some have likened the bird to the giant Ostrich-like Dromornis Australis, an extinct Australian species which stood as tall as the New Zealand Moa and whose fossil remains have been recovered from Pleistocene rocks in Queensland. However, there was also a giant form of Emu that lived during the same period. Either the creature seen by the Rollo's was a genetic mutation, a throwback to the earlier species, or else a relative of Dromornis. The Rollow 'Emu' remains a mystery.

Ancient Aboriginal Rock Carving

An equally mysterious bird which has caused much debate is actually an ancient aboriginal rock carving discovered three years ago south of Penrith near the Nepean River on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney N.S.W. The carving depicts reptillian-like winged creature, with claws in the center of an outstretched wing. If not a mythical bird of the aborigines, the creature could be said to closely resemble the Archaeornis, a reptillian bird of the Miocene period of Australia, and which lived 25 million years ago! The question arises, are the traditional scientific teachings in error as to the exact period of extinction of this species? If not, , an Archaeornis, what else does the carving represent?

15 ft Wingspan Birds

I recall how, one afternoon in September 1969, I was returning from a bushwalk in the Jamieson valley, Katoomba. While passing along a rainforest-covered section of the track, I heard a terrific thrashing sound above the overhanging trees. Looking up, although my view was obscured, I caught sight of a large shadow passing over me. The occurrence was repeated again during another of my excursions into the Jamieson Valley, during August 1970, and almost in the same spot. However, on this occasion I had a husband and wife school teacher couple from Sydney as witnesses. Once again, due to the trees-cover, no-one was able to see anything but the shadows of the puzzling creature. Subsequent observations from the top of the valley eventually cleared up the mystery of the invisible bird.

Repeated sightings of nesting Wedge Tailed Eagles among the high cliffs of the valley walls, particular around Mount Solitary and the cliffs of Narrow Neck eventually revealed the presence of a large colony of 15 ft. wingspan birds, a local genetic mutation but one not unknown elsewhere in Australia. The 'normal' wingspan of the Wedge-Tail Eagle is usually 6 ft. Larger examples at 8 ft. are often reported. However, central western N.S .W farmers have often seen and also shot giants of 12 ft. wingspan. During 1969 an Oberon N.S .W farmer shot what must have been the largest Wedge-Tail eagle on record, an undoubted freak, when spread out upon the farmers fence it measured an unbelievable 20 ft. wingspan! Unfortunately, this report cannot be verified because the farmer never thought it important enough to photograph the creature or take it to the nearest authorities for verification.

Giant Reptillian Monsters

My monster hunting recently took me to Cape York in far north Queensland, a region shrouded in native myth and legend, where sightings of the Yowie, or "great Hairy Man" have not been infrequent. It was here in 1939 that famed Anthropologist, Norman B. Tindale, came upon a 'lost' tribe of Negritoes, pygmies said to have proceeded the aborigines on the Australian continent. It is suspected that other tribes of Negritoes may still inhabit the jungles thereabouts, hidden from civilisation. Aboriginal legends of Cape York speak of a giant reptillian monster as long as 30ft., and which they say still inhabits the denser regions.

This creature is thought to be the 'extinct' Giant Australian Monitor Lizard, the fossil remains of which occur in many parts of Australia. Said by Palaeontologists to have died out thousands of years ago, farmers of the Atherton Tablelands and elsewhere still claim to have seen these beasts from time to time. These monstrous reptiles are not, it seems, confined to the impenetrable reaches of Cape york. Creatures answering to their description have, since earliest times, been known to inhabit the dense forests of the Wattagan Mountains, inland from Newcastle, north of Sydney.


One bushwalker who was fortunate to get a close look at one of the beasts said it was greyish mottled colour, was at least 30 ft. long, and stood 5 ft. from the ground upon its erect legs. Gigantism is not confined to the monitor lizards. In credible accounts and/or sightings of oversized snakes are reported to me from various parts of Australia. For instance, has anyone ever heard of a 25 ft. long red bellied Black Snake? No, and neither have the experts either. yet one such specimen was killed by a farmer a few years ago near Camden, south of Sydney.

Normally, these creatures are said to grow to 6 ft. I posses a 6 ft. 10 in Black Snake in my collection but I was recently informed by Mr. Norman Fevre of Gympie, Queensland, that the had seen 8 ft. examples near Gympie. The Tiger snake, normally no bigger than the average Black Snake, broke the records in 1968 when a 15 ft. example was captured near Mt York, outside Mount Victoria, on the Blue Mountains, N.S.W. The investigation of Australian monsters offers countless rewards for the intrepid researcher of the unexplained. The fact is that we still have much to learn about secretive and rare fauna.

Yet, more and more as out forestlands and valleys are cleared by the march of civilisation, these mysterious beasts are going to be bought out into the open. This is already happening. Reported sightings of these creatures have, unfortunately, often had adverse results. No sooner is some rare animal reportedly seen that the bushland is filled with so called 'sportsmen' intent on shooting the poor creature. These maniacs must be stopped. Our unique Australian native animals, whether known or unknown, are an irreplaceable part of our heritage and every step should be taken to ensure their future survival. We must act now, tomorrow will be too late.

Psychic Australian January 1977

Alexander's Great Fleet

By Rex Gilroy

Alexander's Great Fleet