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The Yowie Story

By Rex Gilroy

Australia's Leading Authority on The Yowie

Kanangra: One night in May 1980 a scout group was driving in a minibus from Jenolan Caves to Kanangra Walls when the weather turned bad. As the bus drove through heavy rain along the Kanangra dirt road, the scoutmaster who was driving was astonished by what he saw on the road. There ahead of him in the rain, illuminated by the headlights and moving across the road, was a hairy, rain drenched gorilla-like-beast, a full 2.7 metres in height. The man-ape stood in the road as the scoutmaster applied the brakes. But the monster quickly moved off with a stooped and shambling gait into the undergrowth in the darkness. The scouts were alerted in time to get a quick look at the retreating manbeast.

Publicity about their encounter bought forth the tale of another scout troupe who, several years before, believed they had found a 'yowie lair". They were investigating rock overhangs for signs of animal life in the Jenolan range not far from the more famous Jenolan Caves when, in a deep gully near the base of the steep Kanangra Boyd mountains and above a creek, they found a bed of soft ferns placed in a rock shelter. Nearby, deeply embedded in creek mud, they found a number of unusually large ape-like footprints.

According to Aborigines, the yowies either wandered about the ranges in ones and twos or in small family groups, sometimes using the cave entrances and rock overhangs in the Jenolan Caves area as lairs long before the coming of the white man or the Aborigines. It is a fact that, while early settlers accepted tales of the yowies at face value, many modern campers tend to take such traditions with a grain of salt-except, of course, those who have experienced 'close encounters' with the 'hairy man'.

All the Following Yowie Evidence is Gathered for Scientific Research at the:

The Australian Yowie Research Centre and Australasian Relict Hominid's Research Center Katoomba

Established in 1965

All Images and Reports Copywritten 1965-2002 and beyond: The Author Rex Gilroy

Unless Otherwise Stated

Kanangra Creek 1989: For example, about January 1989, two young women and thier male companions were camped near Kanangra Creek. While searching the valley floor below the Walls, they came upon a number of larger-than-man- sized footprints in sand. Laughing the tracks off as the work of some joker, they later returned to their camp to find it ransacked, and the same large tracks visible in surrounding soil. With night coming on they remained at thee site, still thinking the tracks and the vandalised camp to have been the work of a joker. However, they were all soon made to feel uneasy. Something seemed to be moving about in the dense scrub close to their camp. Then the unseen intruder began emitting a series of horrifying screams and howls. The terrified group stayed up all night, large tree branches at the ready to protect themselves.

Kanangra Wall 1978: In March, 1978, another group-Ted Graham, Peter Collins, Jean Bailey and Betty Nile-were camped below Kanagra walls while exploring the valley. Walking along a track about 4 pm they saw, 133 metres ahead of them, a long-armed manlike creature 2.4 metres in height.

"It seemed to walk with a stooped gait, its arms moving about as it did so. It stopped, turned and looked in our direction, then moved off." Ted said.

The group spent an uneasy night huddled around their campfire. The next morning they cautiously returned to the spot where they had seen the mystery creature. There on the track and in nearby forest soil they found footprints measuring 50 cm in length by 20 cm width. Their outline displayed the familiar opposable big toe.

As already mentioned, Aborigines say the yowies are territorial creatures. While inhabiting an area of forest for food, they will frighten off all other creatures, even others of their own kind from other groups, keeping that area for their own nourishment until they move on in their never-ending migratory wanderings across the ranges.

Lacking physical proof, I am open-minded on the yowie enigma. it is after all, too ancient a tradition to be lightheartedly dismissed.

"If the yowies exists, why no bones?" asks the skeptics.

The answer is simple. Mother Nature keeps a clean house. No sooner does an animal die than its tissue is quickly eaten up in the wild by other animals and by decomposition and acidic chemicals in the forest soil. Bones become scattered, softened by moisture and cracked by heat so that, soon, nothing remains.

Everyone has seen koalas in zoos, but how many have ever found one dead in the wild? The Australian bush is so vast that it is a case of being in the right place at the right time to find a recently deceased animal or its skeleton. The rarer the species or the more secretive it is, the less chance of finding remains. So, finding physical evidence of the yowie or any other 'unknown' species is very difficult, considering the terrain in which they live. On the other hand, fossil remains of a yowie could turn up to settle the issue finally.

Hairy Man-Beasts of the Australian Bush

From My First Book

Mysterious Australia 1995

Chapter 16

Carrai Range 1842: If ever there was another mountainous forest-covered region to rival the Blue Mountains for yowie reports, it has to be the equally vast Carrai Range west of Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast. How the early pioneers were able to penetrate this 'green hell' is beyond me, yet these hardy settlers had done exactly that. As early as 1842 they had reached the Carrai Plateau to establish farms, now long vanished with the advancing jungle. It was not long before the settlers began finding strange footprints around the creeks where they took there cattle to drink.

That same year, children of the settlers were frightened by what they described as a tall, hairy manlike beast who came toward them from out of nearby scrub as they sat playing in a clearing, forcing them to flee for their lives. A search party was organised soon afterwards. Some days later, the strange beast was seen again near cattle and this time was pursued. However, it eluded its pursuers among the rocks and dense jungle.

1848: In 1848, settlers saw at least two of these mysterious hairy creatures in seperate instances. On the second occasion, cattlemen pursued the beast up a mountainside where they appeared to have it trapped. Before anyone could shoot it, the mystery creature had climbed down a cliffside and disappeared once again into the forest below.

To this day farmers around Kempsey, especially in the Carrai foothills, are frequently in the habit of carrying rifles with them whenever they check their stock. They remember only too well the incidents thereabouts over the years when yowies strayed from thier rainforest mountain habitat to enter farming properties.

1965 Carrai Foothills: The story is still recalled of when, in 1965, a husband and wife left their remote farm near the Carrai foothills to drive to Kempsey for shopping. Their 15-year old daughter was left alone to do housework in their absence. She had tidied up about the house and was in the backyard feeding chickens when the family dog, chained up near the house, began to bark furiously, then cringe and 'crawl' inside its kennel. Suddenly feeling that something was behind her, the girl turned, dropping the bag of chicken-feed she was holding, and screamed in terror. There, standing several feet from her and towering over her frail five-foot height was an enormous, hairy manlike beast, a good eight feet tall. It showed a ferocious look in its eyes, which she later recalled were set deep inside big eyebrows. Large teeth showed from its snarling mouth.

The beast moved towards her, but the girl, although terrified, regained her senses enough to turn and rush up the back-door steps into the house, slamming and bolting the the door as she did so. For some minutes, she later recalled, the beast seemed to pace around the house emitting a loud grunting noise, then all went silent. She was beside herself with terror by the time her parents returned a couple of hours later, and although she could describe exactly what she had seen to her parents, and later to police, nobody in authority took any action. No search was organised to attempt to track the mysterious intruder due to the vastness of the nearby forest.

The Carrai is a mysterious, eerie, foreboding place in which few people dare to camp at overnight. Weird cries from the forest depths, and the sounds of twigs snapping underfoot as mysterious upright-walking creatures move about in the forest, have all too often terrified campers who have sometimes caught a glimpse of some huge hominid from watching them from the trees illuminated in the campfire glow.

Carrai June 1980: Since 1977, my wife Heather and I have mounted numerous field expeditions to the Carrai. On one occasion in June 1980, during a howling gale we followed a trail of indistinct hominid footprints, perhaps only an hour old, through rainforest soil, moss and leaf mould near Daisy Plains at the top of the range. It was impossible either to have photographed or cast these tracks, but even in these adverse weather conditions we could detect a faint pungent odour about them. Once again the 'hairy man' had eluded us, for the lashing of the dense foliage and icy winds forced us to abandon our search.

Wingham April 1993: Further down the coast from Kempsey lies Taree, and inland, the wild mountainous country of the Barrington and Woko National Parks. In April 1993 a farmer found a number of giant-sized, man/ape-like footprints on his Manning River-bank property at Wingham, inland from Taree. Measuring 40 cm long by 17 cm wide, they were spaced about 1.5 metre's apart. The man-beast who made them would have easily have stood 2.6 m tall.

Coopernook 1990-1992: In February 1992 at Coopernook to the north of Taree, campers reported seeing a 1.6 metre-tall hairy female creature; while earlier, in May 1990, bushwalkers claimed to have seen, a two-metre-tall, hairy male yowie in dense scrub outside nearby Lansdowne.

I am interested in the Wingham footprints for they match others found in March 1990 in the Numinbah Valley, inland from the Queensland Gold Coast and close to the New South Wales border. These in turn match others found in the Kanangra Boyd National Park and also others found some years ago in the Cooma district of the Snowy Mountains.

Wingham 1842: The Taree area has been the scene of yowie sightings and footprint discoveries since pioneering in the 1800's. For example, in 1842, a Wingham area settler was rounding up cows on his farm oneday when a "naked nine-toot-tall, manlike hairy beast" approached him from out of bushland.

Harrington 1850: In 1850 a family was said to have been surprised by a seven-foot-tall female creature with long pendulous breasts and a "monkey-like face" as they travelled along a bush track in a cart near Harrington.

Numinbah Valley: Since European settlers first entered the rugged Numinbah Valley and also the nearby Tweed Valley and NSW side of the wild Border Ranges just to the south, there have been tales of the fearsome "Monster Men of the Lamington Plateau"-huge, hairy ape-like, manlike beasts upwards of 2.6 to 3 metres in height. The females were described as having long, pendulous breasts and being less hairy than the males. It was the Aborigines who first cautioned the early settlers of these valleys, out of which rise the imposing Lamington cliffs with their jungle-covered tops. The deep, rugged rainforested wilds below still challenge any would-be-explorers.

My wife Heather and I have made several expeditions to the Lamington region, following numerous letters and phone calls from people who have had some often terrifying experiences in this jungle wilderness.

Numinbah Valley 1969: A farmer, "Doug", had experienced some eerie happenings on his Numinbah Valley property. He had found giant footprints and heard weird cries at night. In 1969 he was working in a field one day when he saw, some distance away, a three-metre-tall, hairy manbeast walking across thee field carrying a dead calf. Grabbing his .303 rifle, he fired at the monster as it effortlessly cleared a wooden paling fence in a single stride and escaped into rainforest.

Tweed Valley: In another incident a few years earlier in the Tweed Valley, a stockman, Richard Adams, was mustering a mob of cattle on horseback when the cattle and his horse suddenly took fright. it was at this moment that, barely 16 metres ahead of him, an enormous, muscular, hairy manlike creature appeared menacingly, brandishing a large tree limb. The snarling beast, whose face Richard later described a being somewhere between human and ape, stood its ground as the terrified stockman turned his mount to gallop off down the slope.

Tweed Valley 1935: And in the same region, around 1935, residents of an isolated farm were startled by the frantic bellowing of their house cow one dark night. Their cattle dog, immediately let out of the house, attacked something but suddenly let out an agonizing yelp-then all went quiet. The farmer and one of his farmhands went out armed with lanterns and guns. They found the corner fences down, thee 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 search the next day failed to explain what had killed the animals. However, many neighbouring farmers believed it was the work of the "Monster Men of the Lamington Plateau".

Aborigines refuse to enter these valleys for fear of the horrible man-beasts they believe still lurk there. Over the years, people have disappeared without trace in these wilds. Eerie cries are often heard at night, terrifying campers.

Early in 1990 Heater and I searched an area in the Numinbah Valley below Binna Burra where, during November 1989, three campers-Terry and Max Feitz and Barry Bossley-found several large footprints, measuring 45 cm long by 18 cm wide, embedded 2 cm deep in mud on a creek bank.

I recieve many phone calls from people all over Australia who have something to report, and at all hours.

Beechmont: Similarly, at Beechmont, two other campers, Ken White and Jerry Moore, claim they saw a two-and-a-half-metre tall, hairy man-beast squatting to drink at a creek-edge in dense scrub.

Currumbin Creek August 1978: Our investigations switched to Currumbin Creek. One night in August 1978, Len Rowe and his wife Glenda were camped by this creek, when they were woken by a loud splashing sound 20 metres away down the creek. They caught sight of an enormous dark shape disappearing into the jungle, accompanied by sounds of crashing foliage. They then detected a foul stench about the area.

This strong stench turns up repeatedly in sightings reports, and, as I have already pointed out, appears to be a world-wide occurence in regard to the Yeti, Bigfoot, and so on.

Lamington Cliffs, Numinbah Valley 1965: In 1965, a group of mountain-climbers were moving through a rainforest at the base of a Lamington cliff-face in Numinbah Valley when they spotted what they later claimed was a "three-metre-tall, hairy ape-like giant" clambering over boulders, leaving behind an overpowering, rotting, animal-like-stench.

Lamington Cliffs, Numinbah Valley 1988: In 1988 in the same region, two campers, John Chambers and Russell Bradden, saw a two-metre-tall hairy female creature as she grabbed for roots on all fours in the forest soil. Disturbed by the men, she arose and escaped into the jungle. The men described her as having a receding forehead, long arms and long pendulous breasts.

Shortly after our departure for home in March 1990, a businessman/fossicker, Craig Turner, stopped by a creek in the Numinbah Valley. Leaving his car to walk along the bank amid surrounding rainforest, he found several large footprints embedded up to four centimetres deep in mud. Spaced one-and-a-half-metres apart, the footprints measured 40 cm in length by 17 cm width across the toes. After obtaining plaster from a nearby town, he made casts of left and right feet from the best tracks and later gave us copies. The significance of these footprints has already been discussed.

From a study of thier casts I am impressed by Australian man-beast footprints found from widely-scattered, remote mountainous locations, often hundreds of kilometres apart and which display identical physical features. The tracks are often found by some bushwalker who has chanced to go off the beaten track into areas never frequented by most people. A hoaxer would be wasting his time planting fake tracks in such areas where nobody is going to find them. Some of these tracks have been found in virtually inaccessible forest regions by sheer chance and, in my view, must therefore be accepted as authentic yowie footprints.

The rugged eastern mountain ranges of Queensland, extending from the Lamington Plateau and McPherson Ranges of the south-eastern border country all the way up to Cape York, still contain many vast regions of inaccessible forest country, seldom if ever visited by man.

It is from these high, imposing, rainforest-covered peaks and deep valleys-the fringes of which only hardy timber-cutters and other bushmen dare to penetrate-that eerie stories of mysterious hairy manlike giants have been emerging since the early days of European settlement of this state in the 1800's. Although traditions of yowie sightings in Queeensland are statewide, we shall now confine ourselves to those stories from the northern regions of the state.

Tully District, Cardwell Range: Old-timers of the Tully district in the early 1900's used to warn travellers not to enter the Cardwell Range, inland from the town, because of the "great hairy men" that roamed the mountain country thereabouts.

Innisfail: Further south, and north of Townsville on the coast, lies the town of Innisfail, many of whose inhabitants for the past 100 years or so have believed in the "Milla Milla Monster"-giant hairy hominids that Aborigines and early settlers alike believed inhabited the rainforests and mountains of the region.

The 'hairy men" of the Innisfail district have been known collectively as the Milla Milla Monster since the many reports of their activities that were rife in the 1800's. During January 1990 two campers found huge footprints of one of these monsterous man-beasts near Milla Milla, for a time reviving many of the old stories

Innisfail July 1973: earlier, In July 1973, Innisfail residents were alarmed when Bill Towns, a bushwalker, and "Mark", a mate, sighted a group of primitive-looking hominids, comprising a small male, a larger seven-foot male as well as a small female and a larger, seven-foot female, moving through a rainforest late one afternoon.

This is what happened in Bill's own words.

"We were hiking through forest on the edge of a sugar-cane field above an embankment next to a creek. Mark suddenly stopped me. 'Quick ahead of you,' he said." "There was something moving in the bushes near us next to the track. Then, barely a few feet away, a large hairy male creature emerged onto the track, pushing a side the foliage on either side of it as it did so. "We were terrified and stood fixed to the spot as the creature, a seven-foot male with large genitals visible, looked at us then slid down the embankment and into the creek. As it stood in the creek it let out a loud howling sound towards the forest behind us.

"As he did so, a smaller male appeared of about five-foot {1.2 metres} height, and then a female of about seven feet {2.3 metres}, and a smaller five-foot female, all of whom assembled on the opposite bank of the creek, looked up at us, then ran off up the bank and into forest cover. The adult and smaller males then re-appeared and began screeching at us. "By now we were looking about us for some large pieces of wood with which to defend ourselves. The big muscular male was by now screeching all the more and shaking a tree with rage. He then dashed back along the creek towards us, and we ran off in terror. However, he may have only wanted to frighten us, as he did not climb the embankment."

Tully: Freshly-made footprints of immense size were claimed found in forest country on the edge of Tully township on numerous occasions throughout the 60's and 70's. But then, hairy-man-beasts are nothing new to the local residents.

Tully 1876: Back in 1876 a two legged, five-foot tall manlike creature approached a survey party outside Tully and roared at them. The incident was the subject of an official report

Cardwell Range: The Cardwell Range, rising high above the coastal flats inland beyond the Tully River, begins inland from Cardwell township and extends northward up to Tully Falls National Park. A wild, rainforest-covered mountainous area, it is, say the Aborigines the home of the "Cardwell Giant".

Cardwell Range 1923: Back in 1923, a large work gang was laying tracks on the railway line through to Cardwell. On a number of occasions they would emerge from their tents of a morning to find that during the night 'someone' had disturbed camp cooking utensils, upset tables and work gear, and left huge manlike footprints about the area. Word soon spread of the Cardwell Giant, which Aborigines of the district said was only one of the many hairy manlike beings that inhabited the surrounding forests. Workmen soon took to carrying guns while working on isolated sections of track. One weekend the men left their camp to have a break in town some distance away. When they returned on the Monday morning they were dismayed to find their tents all torn down and equipment scattered and smashed. Huge footprints in the surrounding soil told them that the Cardwell Giant did not appreciate their presence in 'his' domain!.

Atherton Tableland December 1969: The Atherton Tableland, rising high above Cairns, is the scene of frequent 'hairy man' reports. During December 1969, several timber-cutters claimed they saw a two-metre-tall, hairy male "man ape" watching them among trees as they worked near the town of Atherton.

Earlier that same year, another logging group operating in the Kuranda district reported seeing three strange hominid creatures-an apparent male and female each of two metre's in height, and a juvenile of about 1.3 metres-foraging in a gully below them.

December 1989:Twenty years later, in April 1989, another family group of these hairy 'manimals' shocked a group of loggers by wandering from out of the forest and onto the edge of their camp in broad daylight. Terrified, the men grabbed for wooden stakes and, shouting at the creatures, managed to drive them back into the jungle. The loggers described the humanoid creatures as a 2.3-metre tall male, a 1.3-m juvenile male, and a 2 metre-tall female.

And so the stories of Australia's Bigfoot creatures continue to show not the slightest indication of ever diminishing. And, I believe, these mysterious, seemingly fearsome yet totally fascinating hairy primates will continue to survive, hidden in the remote and still largely inaccessable recesses of our vast mountain ranges. It never ceases to amaze me just how much interest my lifelong research has created.

Perhaps the main reason why millions of people worldwide find the yowie/yeti/bigfoot mystery so fascinating is that in modern times it is one of the last great unsolved mysteries-in the tradition of the Loch Ness Monster, the giant monitor lizards of Australia and the 'neodinosaurs' of the Congo.

More Australian Mysteries

Australian Monsters / Australia's Marine Colossus/ Giant Mystery Cats

Cessnocks 30 ft Lizard Monsters / Dinosaurs Hunted By Aboriginals

People are naturally excited about these and other unexplained mysteries and want to read all the available literature about them. But there can be nothing more exciting than actually participating in the search for such creatures. I therefore feel privileged to be the founder of yowie research in Australia, and to have encouraged others to follow my example.

The search for surviving 'relict hominids' in remote hidden regions of the world has been called the "last great search" and for me it is a fascinating one.

Mysterious Australia Extracts {1995}

From Chapter 16

Click Next for the Following Articles

Yowie Stories Next

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Yowie Sightings

Yowie Stories 3

Click here for Individual Pages of Yowie Sightings

Apeman In Australia / And Then There Were Giants / Gorilla-Giants Of Katoomba

Eastern State Yowies / Yowies Of Katoomba / Western New South Wales Yowies

Yowies Fair Dinkum / Yowie Goldcoast