Why Yowies are Fair Dinkum !

Post Exclusive

by Rex Gilroy

Director, of the Australian Yowie Research Centre

Australasian Post, August 7, 1980

Why Yowies are Fair-Dinkum

It was a sunny afternoon, that August 7, 1970, as I was making my way through dense forest country in the rugged Jamieson Valley south of Katoomba, deep in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. The time was 3.30 p.m. when, as I was moving across a densely wooded gully near the Ruined Castle rock formation, my attention was drawn by the sound of breaking foliage 40 yards away to my right.

There, moving upon two legs into dense forest I saw a creature, which up till then I had never seen in all my years of exploring the Australian bush. Although the beast was gone in the undergrowth within seconds, the scene is deeply etched in my mind to this day. Although I never caught sight of the creatures face-it was moving away from me-it was about 5-6ft in height, covered in long dark hair, and moved upright upon two legs with a stooped gait.

I had just caught sight of the Yowie, Australia's answer to America's "Bigfoot" and the equally enigmatic Himalayan Yeti {abominable snowman}. Since 1958 when I first read legends of the Yowie in ancient Aboriginal folklore, I have spent 22 years searching far and wide across Australia for evidence of these creatures. Official science in Australia scoffs at any suggestion of the Yowie's existance, regarding it as nothing but another Aboriginal "Bunyip".

Yet, the Aboriginals describe every physical detail, a primate-type race of animals, creatures traditionally unknown to Australia. How else, thousands of years before they learned about apes from European man's picture books or zoos, could the Aboriginals have known of such beasts, unless they had seen such creatures themselves.

According to traditional Aboriginal descriptions of the Yowie, the creatures a height of up to 12 feet. They walk upright upon two legs with a stooped gait, the head having no neck-it is sunk into the shoulders giving the stooped appearance. They have thick eyebrow ridges and a pointed sagital crest {skull dome} and receding chin. The arms are longer than a human's the fingers reaching down to the knees; and the feet have an opposable big toe.

While males are often strong, muscular beasts with long thick hair, the females are slenderer, have less hair, and long pendulous breasts. The Yowies are herbivorous animals, inhabiting the remoter forest covered mountain ranges of eastern Australia in areas so remote that man is seldom able to penetrate.

The distribution of the creatures seems, in fact, confined to the remoter regions of the eastern Australian coastal inland mountain ranges, including the Gulf country across Arnhem Land, with further reports from New Guinea, where they are called Kibonees {hairy devil-men}. The word Yowie means "great hairy man", and every physical detail of the beasts matches exactly those of the Yeti of Asia and "Bigfoot" of Canada/ America.

Scientists overseas point out that the footprint plaster casts of the Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot are similar to the fossilised tracks of the Gigantopithecus, the enormous 20 ft tall, forest apes that roamed Asia millions of years ago. It is thought the ancestors of the Yowie/yeti/Bigfoot evolved as a smaller offshoot of Gigantopithecus, and that they spread-out across the former ice-age land bridges that at the time connected Australia and Canada to the Asian continent.

Europeans have been seeing Yowies since the earliest years of settlement. The earliest known sighting of a man-sized creature took place near Sydney Cove in 1795. A 12 ft male was seen on the rugged Carrai Plateau west of Kempsey in 1842. The Snowy Mountains region had its first sighting in 1860. It was about this time, as settlers began penetrating further inland that Yowie sightings began to increase over a wide area of eastern Australia.

The first Yowie sighting on the Blue Mountains occured near Wentworth falls in 1823. In 1875 Mr J. H. Cambell became the first European to see a Yowie in the Jamieson Valley, when he attempted to follow a 8 ft animal for about a quarter of a mile through jungle, until it eluded him. Stories of Yowie sightings in the valley persist to the present day.

Yowies appear very timid and shy creatures, preffering to keep clear of man, migrating about the remoter mountainous regions in small family groups foraging for food, sleeping either in open forest or caves.

During 1969 a group of loggers working above the dense forest country 4000 ft above sea level in the Kuranda district west of Cairns witnessed a rare sight:

"The time was about 4p.m. As we sat quietly chatting, we were attracted by the sounds of breaking foliage some distance down the gully slope.

As we watched from the cover of foliage we saw what we thought to be a man-sized male creature, then another, about 6-7 ft. tall, and then a 5 ft. tall female and a small child emerge from the forest. The creatures appeared ape-like, hairy and dark coloured," he added.

"The beasts appeared to be searching the ground, perhaps for roots and other plants as they moved across the slope, disappearing into the surrounding rainforest".

Native workmen are said to have run in terror early one morning when a 8-9 ft. tall hairy "Kibonee" female appeared on the edge of a plantation high up on the highlands before Port Moresby, late last year. According to native traditions, these hairy monsters roam the remote jungle-covered interior of New guinea in groups, foraging for vegetable food. A native patrol officer assured me some time ago that the Kibonee is no mythical beast and that many Europeans claim to have seen them.

Loggers and farmers over a wide area of northern Victoria have provided many accounts of Yowies having been seen in the rugged mountains thereabouts for generations. Near Genoa last October fresh foot prints of a creature, believed at least 7-8 ft. in height, were found in a creek bank. The tracks possessed the characteristic primate-type toe structure.

Also in October last year I lead an army-backed search for the Yowie in remote jungle country in the Cedar valley, deep in an area of the Blue Mountains near Jamieson Valley which had still not been fully explored by man. Above a steep gully, some of the soldiers came across two sets of large weathered footprints in the dry soil, at least a fortnight old.

The prints, which measured 45 cm in length by 35 cm width across the toes, were embedded an inch deep in the soil, and by their size suggests two fully grown creatures up to 12 ft tall and weighing around 600 pounds. The footprints were identical to another set found in the centre of Jamieson Valley a few months earlier.

But footprints are not enough to convince skeptical scientists. What is needed is good hair samples, flesh or bone remains. It is argued that, if Yowies exist, why have no bones been found? The answer is simple. The terrain inhabited by these and many other strange or unknown animals, is often so dense that man has rarely, if ever, been able to penetrate.

Thousands of square miles of such remote mountainous forest country exists throughout our eastern mountain ranges that animals unknown to science could very easily escape detection. Also, no sooner does any animal die in the wild that its remains are eaten up by decomposition, or other animals, the bones scattered and dissolved by weathering or acidic chemicals in the forest soil.

To find the remains of a dead Yowie would be a case of being in the right place at the right time. To do this will require extensive, dedicated exploration of the most remote country, for a period of months, even years. It could involve the use of leading scientists with Government financial backing, as is now the case with the search for "Bigfoot" in America and the Yeti in China and Russia.

In an effort to gather all manner of sightings reports, footprints or photographs, possible hair or bone samples etc., proving the creatures existance, sometime ago I established the "Australian Research Centre", at my Kedumba Nature Display, at Echo point, Katoomba, where the latest sightings, reports and other evidence is continually being accessed and shared with other scientific bodies overseas.

From the latest findings in the U.S.S.R, China, Canada And America, scientists now speculate that these beasts may prove to be a very primitive link with man's ancient past. All I ask readers is to keep an open mind on the subject of the Yowie; for should the capture of a Yowie take place, it will rank among the greatest zoological discoveries of the century.

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