Strange Phenomena and

Psychic Australian March 1979

Komodo Dragons Photos Copyright Lee Krystek 1998

Cessnocks Fantastic 30 ft Lizard Monsters

By Rex Gilroy

Cessnock Monsters

"This creature is claimed by those who have seen it to be up to 30-40 feet, is much darker in colour, and possesses fleshy spines a few inches high which extend from the back of the neck down the creatures back and onto its tail". Over the years, inhabitants of the Cessnock, NSW, district on the New South Wales north coast have talked about enormous reptiles-monitor lizards-creatures which they say reach lengths of up to 30 feet and which they maintain inhabit the dense forests that cover the full extent of the nearby rugged Wattagan mountain range. And these monstrous beasts have been known to stray from their mountain home into the Cessnock area.

30 foot Lizards {1975}

During the last week of December 1975 a Cessnock farmer, while tending cattle oh his property, caught sight of one of these creatures moving in scrub nearby his barn; it was, he said, at least 30 feet in length and of a mottled greyish colour, and stood up to 3 feet off the ground on four powerfully built legs.

27 Foot Long Lizard{1974}

During the pervious year of 1974 at least 10 detailed reports of giant lizard sightings reporters in Newcastle. One of these concerned Mr Tony Harris of Newcastle who, while walking through orange orchards in an area on the western side of the Wattagan mountains near the town of Quorrobulong, saw a 27 ft long lizard moving among the trees feeding upon the fruit. Tales of sightings of these enormous reptiles are legendary throughout the district, especially among timber cutters who have worked the forests thereabouts. The area has attracted many Herpetologists {reptile hunters} over the years who have made detailed investigations of the creatures.

Reptile Hunter

On one occasion a reptile hunter drove his four-wheel drive land rover deep into the Wattagans along one of the rugged tracks accessible only by off-road vehicles. Stopping his Land Drover next to a 6 ft high embankment on the driver's side, he got out and proceeded to climb down a nearby embankment to search a swamp for water skinks. After two hours of searching he finally gave up and returned to his vehicle. As he climbed back into the seat he noticed what appeared to be a large "log" lying along the top of the 6ft high embankment next to him. Although he could not recall having noticed it before, he thought nothing of it. However, as he started his engine, the "log" suddenly rose up on all four powerful legs and dashed along the embankment to disappear in nearby forest, leaving the reptile hunter in a state of mild shock. The monster, he said, literally dwarfed his vehicle, which was 17 ft in length; the huge reptile that had been lying on the embankment was he estimated betwen 27 and 30 ft in length.

Wattagan Mountains

Needless to say, visitors to the Wattagan Mountains State Forest keep a wary eye out for these beasts. The colour of these lizards is a point of interest, mostly of a mottled greyish colour they merge easily into their surroundings often making them hard to see. They have often been mistaken for logs from a long distance.

Wattagans {1975}

One such, and very amusing incident involving one of these creatures took place on a track deep in the Wattagans during 1975. Two farmers happened to be driving their four-wheel drive vehicle through the forests one morning, ahead of them they saw what they thought to be a log which must have fallen across the road. Alighting from their vehicle they proceeded to the lift the log and drag it off the road-however before they could do so the "log" calmly rose up and walked off the road and into the surrounding forest. The road was a good 20 feet wide, and as the head and tail of the creature had been obscured from view by roadside grass, it must have been much longer.

Giant Lizards

As a monster hunter with an interest in all strange animal reports, the giant lizards of the Wattagan ranges have long interested me, however they are by no means confined to the Wattagan mountains area, as we shall see; my investigations have unearthed reports from a number of areas along the Australian east coast. From the Victorian border country and Moruya district of the far south coast of New South Wales to the Blue Mountains and Capetree district west of Sydney.

Where They Are Found

On the NSW north coast the creatures appear to inhabit, besides the Wattagans, the far north coast of NSW into the Lamington National Park in southern Queensland. They are next found in several parts of far north Queensland jungles, even to Papua New Guinea.

More Than One Type

And there appears to be more than one type:- One, a creature reaching 15 ft in length, inhabits parts of the Blue Mountains. The others consist of two different species, the first reaching lengths upto 30 ft which is typically a monitor lizard in structure. However, the second species appears to be much diferent and, as far as can be determined, is unknown too science-but more anon.

The Dimensions {Giant Monitors}

I might add that the prodigious lengths reached by these creatures does not conform to the "accepted" dimensions of typical monitors which, the textbooks state, normally grow up to 6-8 ft; specimens of 10 ft are not unknown, nor even 12 ft long samples, one of which I saw one day in 1965 in scrub below Mount York near the town of Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains. The 30 ft lizards are therefore something else. The general description of these beasts can match only one species- the-"extinct" Giant Australian Monoitor, Megalonia prisca, thought by scientists to have become extinct several thousand years ago and whcih is the ancestor of the equally fearsome Komodo Dragon of Java.

On of the latter is in captivity in Toronga Park Zoo, Sydney. Scientists estimate the weight of a full-grown Giant Australian Monitor would have been around 3000 pounds, whereas the Komodo Dragon {Varanus komodoensis} reaches only 3 metres in length and is much less in weight. The fossil record of Megalonia can be traced back 60 million years into the Eocene period. There can be no doubt that the Giant Australian Monitor exists, even though it still goes ignored by university herpetologists. "Megalonia is extinct," they all agree, basing their assumptions on the mere fact that the species was identified from bones found many years ago.

Megalonia {Extinct?}

The assumption that Megalonia was an extinct species convinced the "experts" that there was no need to investigate the possiblility that it might still exist. Therefore while many amateur reptile hunters, naturalists, timber cutters, farmers and others have seen the creatures, Megalonia continues to remain officially on the "extinct" list. Mr Mike Blake of Cessnock does not think Megalonia is extinct-during 1974 he was sitting on his farm house verandah one day with his utility parked right in front of his house when, from around the side of the farmhouse, one of these monsterous beasts walked around in front of his verandah between him and his parked utility pickup. Mike remained terrified and "glued to his chair," as he said later, while the enormous beast turned to look at him before moving on leisurely across a nearby paddock towards scrub. Mike compared the lizard's length to his utility, which was 18 ft in length.The lizard was at least 20 ft long and stood 3 ft from the ground.

Capetree {Blue Mountains}

For as long as residents of the Wattagan Mountains have known these giant lizards, so too have the inhabitants of the Capertee district west of the Blue Mountains. The Capetree district, set amidst a rugged mountainous scrub region, has along history of Giant lizard reports. On one occasion a few years ago a Capertee farmer, while inspecting his cattle on horseback, saw from a distance of 100 yards in a paddock bordering dense forest, one of the enormous reptiles, in the act of eating flesh off a cow that it had apparently killed. The unarmed farmer rode home to get his rifle but by the time he returned he found the beast had fled.

Same District {Capetree}

Another Property owner in the same district approached thick scrub on the outskirts of his property while searching for strayed stock one day. He heard what he thought to be a stray cow breaking through the timber. However upon dismounting to investigate, he caught sight through the trees of an enormous lizard which he reckoned to be almost 30 ft in length. Returning to his horse he left the area in haste.

Another Capetree Account

Another account from the same district concerns a group of boys who, a few years ago, penetrated the mountanious terrain east of the township on a camping trip to swampland known too exist a few miles inland. Reaching the swamp they made camp and remained there for two days. During this time they did some exploring in country seldom if ever seen by white men. However, upon returning to their camp they had erected near the swamp, they found numbers of large reptillian tracks only a couple of hours old. After that they did not remain long in the area.

Giant Monitors {Attacking Livestock}

The Giant Monitors have been know to attack cattle, even humans, and although I have as yet not collected any report of them having eaten humans, the possibility cannot be ruled out. Megalonia's cousin, the Komodo Dragon of Java is known too feed on goats among other animals. It has also been known in the past to have killed and eaten shipwrecked sailors!

Loggers Stories

Stories of 30 ft giant monitors are a part of local folklore among the loggers of the Port Maquarie-Wauchope district of the New South Wales north coast who have claimed to have seen the creatures on many occasions in the more remote interior of the coastal forests. Many accounts of cattle being attacked by the beasts are known thereabouts.

Enormous Lizard {Timber Cutters}

The Story is told of three young timber cutters who, soon after being employed at a timber yard in May 1961 were sent into a remote part of the Wauchope timber forests for the purpose of marking trees for future cutting. After marking many trees the three sat down to a billy of tea on the edge of a formely cleared area now covered in rotten fallen timber. The site was a couple of hundred yards inland from a dirt track on which stood their truck. Shortly after sitting down they heard, coming towards them across a cleared area, some animal clambering up and over the falleen logs.

Upon standing up to look over the expanse of fallen logs one of the boys saw an enormous lizard approaching them. Hastily abandoning their camp fire they took fright and ran for the safety of the truck. Jumping inside the boys watched as the creature came clambering down the embankment and onto the roadway, running across the track and into the surrounding forest. The boys all agreed that the creature stood agood 3 ft off the ground, its body girth was up to 2 ft or so, and that it was at least 30 ft in length. Shaken they drove back to their timbermill and related their experince, they were told by older hands that such enormous lizards were long known to have inhabited the area.

Loadstone {1955}

At Loadstone, situated about 7 miles south of the Queensland border in far north coastal New South Wales, the locals can relate many similar stories of Giant Lizard incidents. One resident of the area, Mr Stan Lamond, has a cedar forest on his property. During 1955 loggers moved in to work the area and soon became acquainted with 20-30 ft long Giant Monitors which inhabit the forests thereabouts. One occasion a timber cutter came face to face with one of these monsters which attacked him, grabbing one of his hands where it bit off the last two fingers.

Another logger coming to his assistance, got close enough to draw along railway spike through the beasts head. Mr Lamond's property has often be frequented by Giant Monitors, and on more than one occasion he has had to shoot some of his cattle because they had legs bitten off by these creatures. So afraid are the timber cutters of these monsters that they are in the practise of entering the forests in early morning and cut timber until early in the afternoon when they leave the forests because, they say, the monsterous reptiles come out of hiding to roam the forests once day begins to end.

Beanleigh Southern Queensland{1963}

Mrs Karlsen, her husband and children, of Katoomba NSW, were driving their Renault car on a bush road one very hot summer day in 1963 near Beanleigh, which lies between the Gold Coast and Brisbane in southern Queeensland. The time was 2pm when sudenly, in front of their car and from the right hand side of the road coming down from an embankment, the Karlsens saw an enormous monitor lizard which, as it ran across the track, forced the Karlsens to hastily put on their brakes. The beast stood a good 3 ft off the ground on its four legs. The road the Karlsans were driving on was only 10 ft wide. As the reptile reached the other side of the road, the Karlsens got a good look at its length. Its head was obscured by bushes on the left hand side of the road, while its tail was covered by shrubbery on the right hand side. The creature was estimated to be well over 12 ft in length.

Atherton Range Queensland

Further Giant lizards are to be found in far north Queensland. While on an expedition to the Atherton range inland from Cairns during June 1978 I was able to gather a number of accounts of 15-20 ft or more giant monitors. These reptiles, say farmers who live on the fringes of the dense rain forests of the Kuranda district, are numerous, inhabiting the more remote regions of forest seldom entertained by white man. They occasionally stray on to farmland and have been known to attack livestock.

Arnhem Land {Northern Territory}

Further reports of giant monitors have come from the Gulf country across into Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.The following report comes from Mr Martin Mcadoo of Manly, NSW: About 9 years ago, he said, friends of his were driving their four-wheel drive vehicle along a dirt track in the Arnhem Land interior when they were suddenly forced to pull up. There in front of their four-wheel drive and standing upright upon a pair of powerful hind legs, was an anormous monitor lizard standing 8 ft tall and with a tail fully 16 ft long. The beast suddenly turned and bounded off into the scrub upon its "Hind Legs." The occupants of the vehicle judged its speed to bee about 20 miles per hour.

Second Giant Lizard Species {35-40 ft long}

I have earlier said there is a second Giant lizard species of which the scientific establishment is unaware if the description of the beast is reliable. This creatuire is claimed by those who are said to have seeen it to be up to 35-40 ft, is much darker in colour, and possesses fleshy spines a few inches high and which extend from the back of the neck down the creatures back and on to its tail. This mysterious reptillian monster has been claimed to have been seen near Capertee, as well as near Wauchope, the Laminton Plateau {where it is believed to inhabit the unexplored, vast, and inpenetrable jungle of the "Lost World" region.}

Papua New Guinea

Native claims from the interior of Papua New Guinea also indicate a large form of the beast lives there also. Evidence of these monsters is said to have been gathered by Claud and Ivan Champion in pre-World War Two New Guinea, when they led government patrols into the remoter parts of the country, particulary in the Embi Lakes region near the Mount Lamington Volcano. As the identity of this larger creature reamins a mystery it has been postulated that the Ginat Reptile may even be a throwback to a more primitive past-to the age of the Dinosaurs-and tales of enormous reptillian monsters, said by natives and some white people to lurk in the New Guinea interior cannot be entirely ignored out of hand.

Science Explains Away

Of course official science remains silent on these mysterious creatures. At best they will attempt to identify the creatures with known, far smaller forms, forms such as the Perente Monitor which is said to reach 8 ft in length. These monitors are not found east of the Great Dividing Range, and are only known to areas 300 miles west of the dividing range. They are not found in Victoria, but only in Western Queensland, the Northern Teerritory, South Australia, and Western Australia. There can therefore be no doubt that the "extinct" Giant Australian Monitor, Megalonia prisca, is still very much alive, inhabiting a wide area of the eastern Australian coastal mountainous forest belt.

Strange Phenomena June 1979

Queensland UFO's

By Rex Gilroy

Queensland UFO's