Expedition Reports

Australian Yowie Research

"Night of the Yowie''

A Professional Account

From Reporter Arthur Gray

Location: Hazelbrook

DATE : April 1999, 

Two of us - one an experienced Yowie researcher, the other a journalist with little idea of the risks - set out in the early evening to search for clues to one of Australia's least known but most dangerous and unpredictable creatures.

But what began as a fairly uneventful couple of hours listening and watching turned out to be an expedition into the unknown - and the uninvited - which could well have ended in tragedy.

Dean Harrison is a 29-year-old Sydney sales manager who spends much of his leisure time hunting for evidence of yowies. Two years after his first close encounter with the animal he is keener than ever to expand his knowledge of a creature that is so secretive and mysterious that it has defied the best of investigators to get close enough for a photograph that will satisfy the scientists.

But Dean is ever the optimist. That's why he is willing to travel from his Castle Hill home to the Blue Mountains on weeknights and some weekends to spend hours on night-time expeditions, often alone, to gather evidence and, hopefully, snap the creature in action.

The fact that communities of yowies appear to exist less than 100km from Sydney's central business district may come as a surprise to most people. Dean Harrison is not one of them.

Aborigines have known for countless years that yowies have inhabited stretches along the Great Dividing Range, and the Gross Valley, for example, is just one of the areas where they can be found.

Dean's belief, supported by other researchers, is that the yowie population is on the increase since the Aborigines, who hunted them almost to extinction with spears and clubs, have largely ignored what was once a fearsome opponent. Even today, though, Aboriginal elders continue to pass on warnings of the yowie's treacherous nature.

Suburban expansion also has brought them into closer contact with people and domestic animals, which is one explanation for the number of animals, such as chickens and goats, found either savaged or dismembered.

Dean is well aware that the yowie can be moody and unpredictable and that every expedition presents new and unusual dangers. He also acknowledges that most people are sceptical of his findings and even those who have sighted the creature are loath to discuss their experiences for fear of ridicule.

Even so, he has around 50 recent case histories. Locations, types of terrain, dates, times and descriptions are all logged at the time. It is surprising how closely accounts tally.

Investigators believe that the yowie is akin to the Abdominable Snowman, the Yeti and America's Bigfoot, or Sasquatch. Reports variously describe it as a man-beast with long, lank brown or black hair, muscular, between 2.13m (7ft) and 2.74m (9ft) in hight with long, canine-like teeth, or fangs, and blazing red eyes sometimes rimmed with yellow.

In their book, Out of the Shadows, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper say that when white pioneers began to encounter the creatures they frequently used the term "hairy man" and to favour yahoo among the various Aboriginal names for it.

But the biggest mystery, perhaps, is why one has never been trapped or found dead.

With these odds in mind Dean and I set out to find one. We drove to an area of the Grose Valley he knows well, parked the car and walked downhill about 300 metres to where we set up camp on a semi-circular rocky outcrop. It was an ideal spot, according to Dean, since it commanded a wide view of the valley and was close to well-troddon bush paths normally taked by yowies on night forays.

Unarmed, we wore heavy shoes in case of snakes and carried insect repellant. Our only other equiptment was two hand torches, an automatic camera and a night vision scope which greatly magnifies the available light.

"We'll have to talk in whispers." said Dean before we settled down. "No smoking, by the way."

Before the vigil began, and while it was still light, Dean pointed out several indelible clues such as day-old footprints in a straight line (unlike a human's) at least 1.5m apart: slim, sturdy trees almost gnawed through at height varying from 2.1m upwards bisected by vertical gashes where the animal had winkled out a witchetty grub using a stick left at the scene: teeth, or fang, marks on the bark indicating a mouth about 66mm across (about the width of the average person's mouth).

Since the yowie is mainly nocturnal we stretched out waiting for darkness. The night was moonless and the only sign of life came from the twinkling lights of houses on a ridge about 3km to our north. Occasionaly a Mountans train rumbled by in the distance.

Otherwise, the silence was deafening. Not even a lizard stirred. It was uncanny. Eerie almost.

Nearly three hours went by. Talk was reduced to a whisper. It seemed that it was the yowies' night off. "Let's have a smoke," I suggested. Dean, too, lit up on the assumption that if we hadn't been spotted by this time a lighted cigarette might spur them into action. The ploy seemed to work. Several dogs close to homes about 500 metres away and just off the highway began barking furiously.

"A sure sign they're around," said Dean, his hopes rising. "We may be in for a good night." To our left, at a distance of about 150 metres, something was crashing through the bush - heavy, lumbering footsteps. Whatever it was had spotted us and was wary. "It's him alright." Said Dean.

The thing advanced steadily then stopped about 50 metres away. Ten minutes later another one began its approach directly ahead of us. It closed in to have a look but remained in hiding.

Then a third appeared, stage right. This one was much more vunturesome and advanced steadily. We could hear its heavy steps and low, gutteral grunting. Although there was barely a glimmer of light the creature had clearly picked up the reflection from the face of Dean's unlit torch and pulled back.

"Damn it," said Dean and apologised. "He was certainly coming up to have a look at us."

Disappointed, we trekked back uphill to the car, reassessed our situation and set off in another direction - and eventually into danger.

We stood at the intersection of two paths. Earlier in the night Dean had scouted the track leading off to the right, a narrow, twisting path with a blind corner where it was too easy to become trapped. He had no doubt that there was a least one yowie lurking in the undergrowth because of the odour it left - a fetid, rotten-egg smell so typical of the creature.

As we passed a footprint we had already identified and turned a bend in the trail we heard a low growl. Suddenly IT rose from its hiding place, about 30 metres away, snarled and charged towards us, red eyes ablaze.

"That's him," Dean shouted. "Move back Arthur, back, back, back!" Bushes and saplings were ripped aside as the yowie, angered by our presence, exploded out of the trees. The face was fearsome; the noise just frightening. We began to backpedal as the creature advanced. Then, momentarily blinded by the light, mainly from Dean's torch which was stronger than mine, it stopped at the edge of the woody undergrowth defying us to venture closer.

Dean's warning was needless. I was already making my way up the track behind us. But he kept the torchlight focused on the yowie's face until he, too, could retreat with some degree of safety.

Dean had the creature in full view. I had half-turned in readiness to flee and caught only a glimpse. But it was enough. As we retreated along the way we had come, fearing we might be outflanked, blackness closed around the yowie like a cloak.

Dean said later: "If I hadn't had such a powerful torch I think it would have got us." I shuddered at the thought.

Back at the car, breathless and frightened but with a feeling of achievement, we took stock. It was now more than five hours since we had set out.

Our major concern was that Dean's camera had been left in the car and that our chances of getting a photograph, difficult as that would have been, had vanished - at least for the moment. So we decided to go back, this time with the camera, in the hope that Bigfoot was still around.

We were not disapointed. We ventured farther down the same track, past the spot where the yowie had appeared, and just as suddenly disappeared. The darkness closed in on us. Again we waited and watched. "I think there could be as many as three around here," said Dean.

Now the chase was on. Torches in hand and armed only with the camera, we peered into the darkness and listened as twigs and branches crunched under the yowie's weight. Thn it was quiet again as the quarry, acknowledging our presence, remained hidden behind a clump of bushes. So the waiting game began. We took up position facing the thickly wooded area, which sloped sharply away from us and into a valley, and began another vigil.

Dean was the first to break the silence. "They react to music," he said. "Perhaps we should have brought a cassette player," I replied jokingly. "No, I'm serious," he added and began to whistle. Half-heartedly I joined in. Then Dean began to warble a few bars of Advance Australia Fair, followed by Waltzing Matilda.

We couldn't see it but we senced that the yowie had taken up its customary crouching position, waiting for us to make a move. I suggested that God Save the Queen might bring it to its feet. But even a royal command performance failed to spur it into action.

Then, from a distance of about 40 metres and almost directly ahead of us, came a warning familiar to yowie hunters. The creature was telling us to back off. It stamped its foot twice in quick succession. The ground trembled. The noise was thunderous. But there was no mistaking its meaning. Again we waited, took a few more steps towards it and halted. Twice more it drummed its signature challenge - each time just as forcefully.

Not to be outdone we ventured farther down the track and into thick bushes laced with spiders' webs still hoping to get a picture. Within minutes we had a second yowie within our sights, so to speak. It, too, stomped a couple of times but retreated as we advanced. At that a third creature made its presence felt.

Now the terrain was becoming rougher and steeper so we turned back to the track and made for the spot where our first antagonist had appeared only to hear - or so we assumed - that there was a colony of them and that they were communicating with one another.

It seemed wise to withdraw while we were still in one piece. Our only worry was that at least one of the yowies might decide to double back and cut off our retreat. If so, we could have been in real trouble.

"They work as a team," Dean explained later. "They seem to know what the others are thinking." So we made our way back, keeping a wary eye on both sides of the trail, and reached our starting point unmolestered.

Dean was estatic that after a slow start the night had gone so well. Me? I was just pleased to have survived my first - and perhaps not my last - close encounter.

A few nights later (Note to Dean: trying to telescope things for a dramatic effect!) Dean and fellow researcher Paul Cropper encountered two yowies in the same area. Both heard what they described as thunderous footsteps and stomping. One of hte creatures close in on them and remained behind a tree at their backs about 10 metres away. As they returned to their car the animal pursued them, grunting and roaring defiance.

When he is not tracking down yowies Dean Harrison is sales manager of a Sydney plumbing and hardware company. For the past two years he has been working as a researcher in conjunction with the Texas-based Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organisation, which was set up to further investigations into Sasquatch.

Information, including photographs and hair samples left by the yowie have been passed on via the Internet to American researchers for comparison with Bigfoot, the Yeti and the Abominable Snowman.

Now Dean has set up his own web site under the title of the Australian Homonid Research Organisation (www.yowiehunters.com) to develop local studies, gather information on sightings and give other Australian researchers an opportunity to exchange experiences. In the first week he logged around 4000 (?) visits to the sight.

One of his major obstacles is the lack of professional equiptment such as floodlights, infra-red cameras, microphones and infra-red night vision aides, all of which are standard in the United States.

He is hoping that a sponser may find yowie hunting interesting enough to back his team with the ultimate goal of making a documentary.

Dean's interest in yowies was sparked two years ago while he was living near Beenleigh, on the Gold Coast. He recalled: "I was standing in a field late at night talking on my phone when I heard what I thought was a person crashing through the bush behind me. I had no reason to fear until the crashing turned into a slow stalking process.

"The thing crept slowly up behind me, parting the leaves and returning them, making as little noise as possible. It planted its feet carefully and would stop for 10 seconds every time it broke a twig. Having done a bit of boxing I felt no reason to fear. The plan was to allow the 'person' to get closer and find out what the story was.

"The thing came to the treeline about 25 metres from me. Suddenly I felt a terrible chill run down from head to toe and a deep fear. I turned slowly to see a large shadowy creature squatting behind a bush. I looked towards the road, where there was a street light, and planned my escape. I counted to three and began to run.

"At this point the thing flew into action and was racing me to the road. It was screaming and grunting during the chase. It tore along the edge of the treeline at incredible speed, tearing down everything in its path, jumping logs and gullies and grunting every pounding step.

"I was running in a direct line to the road and it was keeping to the trees, which made its distance twice as long. It was catching up, screaming and roaring. All the dogs in the neighbourhood were barking. I thought I was finished when it raced ahead to cut me off.

"As I changed direction away from the bush I thought I was about to be torn apart. Then it stopped just before the light, retreated towards the bush a squatted down behind a tree.

Describing one of his earlier stakeouts he said: "I had a yowie close to me that seemed fascinated by my whistling. Initially I heard him breaking off branches and his shrill whistling. As I got closer I began to whistle. He would come up the valley within 80 metres of me but always turned tail when I put my torch on him.

"I could walk towards it with my torch off and it would stand its ground. But as soon as the torch turned his way he'd retreat, then return about 10 minutes later. At one stage he was so angry at the torch that he threw a huge rock at me. It missed and hurtled down the valley.

"I often hear them howling and their shrill whistles while doing stakeouts. But I love being out there in the middle of the bush in total darkness seeing and hearing those things that have the capability to tear me apart in seconds.

"In the dead of the night when you hear that first branch break or thunderous footsteps coming towards you your hair stands on end and you question your sanity for being out there in the first place."

Yowie encounters have become so common in the Blue Mountains tha many of the residents living on hte edge of the valleys have become blase about them.

In one area a family with acreage verging on a swamp, and three near neighbours, have documented yowie activity almost daily for the past six years.

They showed me tracks through the bush beaten down by two yowies which regularly appear close to their home in the late afternoons or during the night taunting them with their calls and challenging them to play the yowie version of hide and seek.

One of the householders said he had come face to face with one of the creatures. Close to the house and in the surrounding bushland, and pursued the yowies scores of times.

At least once during the pursuits, when he tried to obtain close-up photographs, the yowie appeared silently a metre behind him, stood up to its full height and bellowed a challenge.

"I was terrified." he said. "I was looking for it but didn't hear it approach. I turned round and it was behind me. I raced back to the house with this thing at my heels tearing through the bushes and made it just in time."

One of the animal's peculiarities, he said, was its human-like ability to hurdle high fences, bushes or other barriers in its way. "The yowie just takes it all in its stride," he said. "It's faster than an Olympic sprinter."

In an effort to track the yowie's progress and establish its call pattern he set up cotton tripwires across bushes or trees along the yowie's favourite tracks and installed voice-activated equiptment high in the trees to monitor its calls and the thumping noise as it runs - a sound some describe as like an elephant on two legs.

An analysis o the tape showed that the sounds "clearly emanate from a massive chest". "Several times," he said, "the yowie has spied the sound equiptment and ripped it down."

He also found the remains of small animals on the edge of the swamp - a favourite refuge of the yowie - which have been dismembered and the intestines torn out.

"The barking of dogs is usually a clear warning that a yowie is in the vicinity," he said. "But even dogs accustomed to tracking turn tail and bolt in terror at the appearance of the creature."

Aborigines have known of, and about, the yowie for thousands of years. In his book, Aboriginal Legends of the Blue Mountains, investigator Jim Smith says the Gundungurra people of the southern Blue Mountains also spoke with dread of a Yaroma, a fearsome, hairy creature more human than ape.

According to another noted Blue Mountains researcher, Rex Gilroy, an Aboriginal community which occupied the Catalina Park regiion until the 1950s inherited tales of the Gubri Man, a huge, man-like creature with burning red eyes, and his female companion, the Hoorie Woman, who ere said to live in what was then known as Frog Hollow.

In his book, Mysterious Australia, Gilroy believes the yowie is descended from Gigantopithecus, an extinct giant ape-man which once inhabited parts of Asia. The archaeologist and speliologist claims to have amassed around 5000 reports of sightings in the 37 years he has been investigating.

He describes the average adult yowie as being up to 2.6m in height with a strong, muscular body, powerful arms, large hands and walking with a stooped gait. It has a pointed sagittal crest (skull dome) and receding forehead with thick, protruding eyebrows and large, deeply-set eyes. The feet possess an opposable big toe.

In response to the mystery surrounding the apparent absence of any carcases, Gilroy says the answer is simple: "No sooner does an animal die than its tissue is quickly eaten by other animals and by decomposition."

Paul Cropper and Tony Healy, co-authors of Out of the Shadows, cite Gilroy's claim, in a magazine article, that hte purported skeleton of a yowie was found in southern NSW in 1978, confirming that some yowies could be as tall as 12ft (3.7m).

While the authors don't endorse his claim, in 43 reports of sightings in which height was mentioned four estimated the yowie's height at 10-11ft (3.0-3.3m).

Environmental scientists and university lecturer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., an expert in the identification of Australian fauna, has documented the occasions on which he personally heard three distinct sets of calls he attributes to a large and powerful primate. He now acknowledges that they were the territorial calls of yowies.

He heard the deep bass calls on five occasions while he was studying fauna in Papua New Guinea during 1973-74, once in Lamington National Park in 1971 and once on the slopes of the Koonyum Range at Main Arm, in northern NSW, in 1996.

Describing one incident in PNG, when he heard the call, he said: "On November 25, 1973 at Vickery Creek, Mount Missim, at 1,200m elevation, I observed crossing an old logging track a dark bipedal figure 200 metres in front of me. I took it to be a native Melanesian but was surprised to see no sign of clothing at this high altitude, no weapons and the unusual fact that the figure did not follow the track but moved down the slope through the dence vegetation.

"It was not until I returned to Australia that I first read about yowies and was particularly interested in a close encounter at Springbrook, in southeast Queensland, by a National park ranger - a work colleage of a naturalist friend - who gave me a detailed description.

The ranger described what he saw: a bipedal, gorilla-like primate standing 2.5 metres high, its body covered in long black hair, a flat, shiny-black face, large yellow eyes, a sagittal crest, huge hands and a grunting voice. It had a distinctive odour. The figure was clearly observed around 2pm in a good light from a distance of four metres.

In June 1978, at 3am on a quiet night under a full moon he was awakened by a continuous bellowing coming from Joalah National Park, on Tamborine Mountain, about 300 metres from his home.

"The call was similar to those I had heard in Papua New Guinea and even more powerful. It was a deep-throated booming yee-yee-yee that continued unbroken for about five minutes. One could clearly hear the calls being pumped out of a massive chest. After a few minutes three dingoes broke into their characteristic howling. The sound of the four animals in full cry was the most remarkable I have ever heard."

Gary Opit's conclusions are close to those of Rex Gilroy. He said: "Scientists and cryptozoologists researching reports of similar large bipedal primates agree that the animal appears to be Gigantopithecus, known only from 500,000-year-old fossils from China. Descriptions of the physical appearancd and behaviour of the Yeti, the Yeren of China, Sasquatch, or Bigfoot of the Americas and the doolagarl (Hairy man), or Yowie, of Australia are so similar that it would appear they are all members of the same species, or at least closely related."

*Other recent sightings include:

In December last year two young boys playing with matches lit fires in one of their backyards. They began hosing them down before their parents returned but one of the smaller fires got out of control.

As the blaze spread an ape-like figure ran out of the copybushes looking distressed and raced off at high speed. The boys said it had long, shaggy brown hair and estimated its height at 8ft (2.4m). They recognised it as a yowie because they and their friends had seen several in hte area before.

In the same month a group of Blue Mountains residents whose homes are in close proximity reported that they appeared to have a friendly but inquisitive yowie, well adjusted to people, who has been stalking the neighbourhood for about 13 years.

Their homes are in thick bush intersected by valleys and swamps. They say the creature frequently walks from house to house, peering in windows and doors and occasionally banging on walls during the night.

They claim they hear him emerging from hte valley, crashing through bushes and stomping. Frequently he remains unseen until he growls and they spot his bright red eyes as he searches for food. Some of hte householders pursued him one night and later turned it into a regular game. If they lost him they would call out and the chase would begin again.

Eventually the residents became tired of the chasing game, only to find that the yowie would arrive in their backyards about the same time each night and call out to them.

On one occasion a man said he heard a noise and flicked on his torch only to see a huge creature rise from a squatting position. It let out a terrifying roar but didn't attack.

Although they regard the creature as harmless the neighbours say that when he is in a bad mood he throws rocks at them, steals doggie bowls and hurls items around their backyards. *

Authorities are disinclined to treat the subject of yowies seriously despite the fact that there seems a distinct probability that public safety could be involved. A lone bushwalker, for instance, on a night trek, or simply someone taking a late stroll in the area where we ran into trouble, could be frightened out of their skin.

Despite evidence to the contrary Blue Mountains police claim they have had no reports of sightings in the past 10 years. Neither do they believe there is any risk to the public nor any need for warning signs at known habitats.

Detective Inspector Mick Howe said police had no opinion on yowies. None of his officers had encountered one and no human deaths had been reported that might involve a yowie.

At the same time he admitted that his detectives were willing to examine any reports in an effort to correlate them with incidents they regarded as mysterious or impossible to resolve.

It is apparent, however, that in some cases junior officers have been called to investigate a yowie-related incident and either failed to report it for fear of embarrassment or simply constructed an alibi for being somewhere else at the time.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service, which manages Blue Mountains National Park, is adamant not only that there are no yowies within the park boundaries but that there is no such thing as a yowie in the first place.

District manager Geoff Luscombe said the service had a program for eradicating feral animals but yowies were not on the list. He said: "There is no reputable evidence that they (yowies) exist. They are a myth. They are not recognised as native fauna and the park service has no view on them."

Arthur Gray.

© Copyright AYR
Australian Yowie Research - Data Base

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Location: Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Date: June 1998

The A.Y.R Team visited a very active area of the Blue mountains in NSW. We arrived around lunch time on a rainy day in early winter, On this field trip was Dean, Warren and myself we visited a car park first at the end of a street that backed on to some national parkland which was a fairly thick srub area with an abundence of Bloodwood trees.

As we walked down the path we noticed a few faint footprints from a large animal they were a size 14 approximately in shoe size but wider with 4 toes. As we walked further down the track Dean pointed out the yowie tracks that crossed the walking track we were on, ''they just tear up and down these slopes and trample down all the low bushes into the ground the devistation is like a football team running back and forth here every night''. At this point we started to see tree bites they seemed to be scattered along the edges of the track, we walked another 100 mtrs and took a few photos of tree bites.

We then walked back to the car and seen a council sign that had been repeatedly pulled out of the ground even though it had a huge concrete block on the end Dean said the Yowies rip it out all the time and I believe him no human could pull it out and there was no access for vehicles so it couldn't have been removed with a car either.

We then returned to the car park where we started and we were told that no one goes parking there anymore as there have been to many encounters with the yowie and young couples being frightened.

We moved on over a few valleys to our next active spot.

On arriving we drove half way up a dirt track that ran along a ridge and parked near some power-lines, on the way up the track I noticed the opposite every driveway was a tree bite maybe this is a marker to warn the occupants to stay on their sice of the road who knows?, We got out of the car and it was amazing there were tree bites every where the devistation down the side of the ridge was quite evident and the tracks the yowies take were very obvious. We walked a few tracks to get familar with the area before night fall then I spotted a pile of freshly plucked magpie feathers they were just beside the track and undesturbed the yowie must have sat here and plucked and eaten the magpie (photo)

It was to be an active evening for sure with this amount of fresh tracks around, we photographed a few more bites and headed off. Into town for an early dinner, It was starting to rain so we all went to a local store and picked up a few raincoats, Dean and I sparked up a coversation about what we were here for and one of the shopkeepers said she lives close by the area we were just about to stakeout. She explained that she had lived there for many years and that she has had a few encounters where a large animal had walked up her stairs from her back yard (which backs onto the bush) a few times late at night It was a very ''heavy thing walking up the stairs and sitting on the verandah" she didnt look out as she thought it could have been a kangaroo or a big possum although it did seem to walk and not scamper or hop. We then filled her in on a few details of the yowies it answered a few questions for her and she will have a good look next time and let us know,after all over 40 people have seen the yowie in this street it shouldnt be long before she calls.

We returned to the bush tracks and waited for nightfall.

Tonight we were going to try something different we all went off alone and spead out along the road I was at the intersection of the most fresh yowie track I stood directly behind a large tree right beside the track on the road the yowie was going to be coming up the ridge towards me "we had already known the direction it was coming for and where it was going". The wind was in our favour and it was getting dark, Warren was about 40 mtrs down the road from me behind a tree and Dean was a further 50-60 mtrs down the road where it becomes a track.

About 15 mins after dark I heard the dogs at the bottom of the gully go right off barking hysterically then I heard this heavy stomping come up over the gully and onto the bottom of the ridge, there was a couple of loud cracking sounds as the timbers on the ground were broken underfoot then the noise stopped and I could hear faintly something moving through the bush towards me and then it was totally quiet.

I knew the Yowie was close now I felt like I was being watched, I decided to peer out beside the tree and have a quick look, There it was about 20-30 mtrs down in front of me I blinked my eyes I couldn’t believe my luck It was there alright! I moved out from behind the tree and tried to take a photo. It was huge 7 ft or more and very heavy set indeed, as I moved it was startled and dodged sideways behind a tree but the tree wasn't wide enough so it tried a couple more and then disappeared further across the ridge, I looked down the road and seen Warren getting a bit excited at something I whistled to him and he seemed to ignore me and walk to the edge of the road. He was looking straight down towards the gully the yowie must have passed right in front of him heading to Deans location. He came over to me and told me he had seen it and then went back to his spot.

Then I heard the yowie sneaking through the bush towards me and hid well behind my tree it sounded very close and I could hear the light bush moving just below me I had another look and couldn’t see anything it was getting darker then right in front of me about 30 ft below me the bushes started shaking and the yowie was right there behind them he dodged from side to side as if he was playing football and trying to dodge past me he seemed very flustered as he was being blocked from going where he wanted to, that’s why we spread out across his tracks so we would force him to do something in the 1st place, I ducked back behind my tree to avoid being bowled over if he decided to go for it, he didn’t he turned and ran back down the ridge a bit and then ran across towards Warren and Deans positions. We lost track of him then for a while but he was still there hiding watching.

We all meet together back at the car which was just near Warren. Dean hadn't seen the yowie it didn't go all the way over to his spot yet and was still somewhere down below us we thought then we heard some sounds from the ridge just above us he had made it across our line and was now behind us , we no longer hid in our positions our cover was blown well and truly so we watched and listened from near the car he was very curious and was quite close, I was getting whiffs of a strong horse urine smell he was still there.

We walked quietly down the road hoping he would follow, We could occasionally hear him when we stopped quickly altogether, he was following about 20 mtrs behind and a few mtrs into the thick bush we tried a few tricks to catch him out but he wouldn't play.

I started to rain fairly heavy so we went back to the car for a while, The rain subsided a bit so we sat on the tail gate and talked for a while. Then Warren and Dean heard something just below us down the slope and hit the spotlights there it was running across the slope and ducking in behind some trees, they had just caught a glimpse of it in the light.

It started raining again so we headed for home very happy with what we had experienced and keen to return again the next day.


© Copyright AYR
Australian Yowie Research - Data Base

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Location: Daisy Hill, Queensland

Date June 1998

After a couple of recent reports from the Redland Bay area of South East Queensland, I decided to research an easily accessible forest close to where the sightings occurred. At this time, there were reports that 1/3 of the Koala population had suddenly vanished from this location, which was widely debated on the News.

As I drove into the area I was immediately surrounded by what I considered, familiar signs.

The first thought that came to me was that I have not seen such broken up bush land since Researching areas of the Blue Mountains over the previous two years. I was surrounded by literally hundreds of snapped trees in every direction, ranging from small trees to 4-5” thick. Trees had been up rooted and there were what looked like wood stack markers as far as the eye can see. The ground between the trees was extremely well trodden.

While examining many of the markers, I discovered a make shift shelter made of stacked branches and leaves, this is unusual and still has me in two minds. I then discovered a Tee-Pee style wood stack, similar to what we have found many times before in differing active areas. Besides the wood stack was a large amount of Scat, almost Human looking. It was placed in a specimen bag and put in the car.

Almost every tree that could be broken, was. All snapped at around 6’ high. There were many stacks of wood placed on branches of other trees and logs and also leaning against trees. All the spare wood in the forest was put to use.

As I walked a good way along the track into the forest, I suddenly heard the sound of two feet abruptly stopping about 30 Metres to my right and on the high side of the track. I saw in an opening below the shrubs, two dark patches that resembled thick dark brown legs from the shins down.

That area was very thick and I knew that the sound wasn’t as heavy compared to the footsteps of the 7’ variety that we had been accustom to. I considered the possibility that it may have been a Kangaroo, I decided to walk on, curious to see if it followed.

Sure enough, parting of the bushes and something pushing its way through, continued to follow me at a 45-degree angle on my right. I reached a T intersection of the dirt track and turned left, away from the noise. It then crossed the track to my left and continued pushing its way through at a 45 degree angle.

It seemed to be moving with deliberate action. When I stopped, it also stopped.

The second last plan was to now turn back and see if it would also change direction and continue to followed me - sure enough it did. Now all my senses were alert. Bipedal, 45 degrees and then the 180 degree change in direction. I was most certainly being followed.

I went back to the T section and listened.

I could hear gentle placement of feet and parting of foliage slowly coming towards me and then it stopped.

The last plan was to whistle a tune (predominately to annoy it). After 30 seconds of gentle whistling, it again began it’s approach. The placement of feet was obvious, then all the branches and leaves started to be pushed aside, it then became faster towards me as it came closer. Faster and faster, footsteps, branches, leaves and faster again, it was coming at me. It was now running in a direct path.

I back peddled quickly and grasped a small log for defense, then double-timed it in reverse back down the track towards the car. I came to a semi clearing and the pursuer stopped just at the edge of the clearing. Deja Vu of the 1997 aggressive Yowie from nearby Ormeau set in, as the chills ran up and down my entire body and all the hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention. I was quite amazed.

I phoned Phil and explained the incident. Ash and Warren packed their car for a night stakeout. They arrived at 5pm.

We did a reconn in the last minutes of daylight and reviewed all the markers, signs and strange devastation. Ash started a fire as myself and Warren walked the tracks in the darkness. Earlier, when we were all scouting around we heard some branches break on the high side of the track, but it was hard to know with the bush so alive with Kangaroo’s, koalas and other small animals.

As the night went on we had many false alarms due to so many noises out there. Conflicting noises made it hard to pinpoint any obvious Hominid type activity. Warren destroyed a Tee-Pee Style marker and changed a few others.

Early the next morning I arrived back to our campsite to find two more markers besides where we had sat! I followed the track back to where Warren had left a couple of AYR calling cards, to find another large amount of deification exactly the same as what I’d found the day before.

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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base

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Location: Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Date: 27 November 1999

Aim: A day-time reconnaissance trip to the Hazelbrook area, to look for Yowie evidence, explore the valleys in the direct vicinity to locate where these creatures might sleep, and meet with Neil Frost, who lives in Hazelbrook.

W. Road and Hazelbrook Creek

I started the day at the end of a Crescent, where the Resources gate closes the road. In this area there was no fresh evidence of Yowie activity. The sand on the road was fairly moist and would have easily recorded any footprints of yowies crossing or using the road. There were no fresh tree bites that hadn't been seen before and no footprints were seen.

I proceeded east along the fire trail, before turning north down towards Hazelbrook Creek on a narrow track. Close to the track down the hill towards the creek, two tree bites were seen and one photographed. I kept going down to the creek, access getting very difficult approaching the creek as there were no man-made trails in the area. Jumping down a short drop onto a fern-covered valley floor, I noticed an area of crushed fern fronds, in a roughly circular pattern approx 2 m across. This area had definitely been disturbed, as there were uncrushed ferns immediately beside this spot. I also thought I heard some distant noises and played a whistling game with a nearby bird (?), but it was very difficult to tell if I heard movement or the sound of the creek.

I proceeded down the creek for a short way (movement difficult due to overgrown ferns, vines and other grasses, fallen branches etc). There were a number of sandy creek banks, but these were totally undisturbed by anything i.e. no footprints! I reached an intersection with another creek, with a section of rainforest running up the valley, and since it looked like a good spot (if you're a Yowie), I proceeded upstream. Immediately beside this creek junction I found a flat area of earth where all the tree fern fronds and branches were lying on the ground. This area had definitely been flattened by something. I went further upstream and found a small cave, but it was clear from the tracks that I made getting upstream that nothing had taken my path for some time.

I concluded from this exploration that this particular part of the Hazelbrook Creek Valley had not had any recent yowie activity and I returned up the hill to the W. Rd Fire trail. I continued for a few hundred metres east of where I had left the trail and at one point noted a waft of urine smell. I looked in the bush (reasonably clear there) for any company and saw nothing. The smell seemed to be coming from the next valley south, towards C. Rd. In investigating the smell, I went a short way off the path to the south and found a large area where many dead small trees were all pushed flat on the ground. This was quite unusual since in most of this area, the understorey is quite dense.

C. Road

I then proceeded to the next street to the south, C. Rd. This road ends abruptly at a set of powerlines and locked gates, where the catchment for the local water-supply dam is located. No vehicular access is possible into this area and one would have to jump the fence to enter. This area could be a haven for yowies, since there would be even less access to the area by stray bushwalkers than the previous valley explored. The area is also directly adjacent to the end of the road where countless stories of one particular yowie have come from. Since the yowie in this area is often reported as appearing around dusk, (as told by local residents - later in this report), it is quite likely that it comes from somewhere quite nearby, after sleeping during the day, and a fenced-off reserve would be the ideal location.

I walked north from the end of C. Road under a cleared area with powerlines overhead, until I reached a creek at the bottom of the valley. I then went bush-bashing through thick swamp-scrub, downstream. Many trails were found through the bush, fewer in the swampy / creek areas. I found a small hollow, which the creek fell into as a waterfall. At the bottom of the hollow was very long grass and this looked like the ideal sleeping place for a yowie. Getting down into the hollow was quite difficult, although eventually I found a slightly worn trail that went down from a 2 metre ledge. No strong evidence of recent yowie activity was found in this spot.

I struggled for another few minutes downstream and came to a drier section above a waterfall that prevented me from going any further. On a tree there I found a very distinct tree bite, and took a photograph of it. After that, I headed back up the valley. Once reaching the powerlines, I took a short stroll up the valley close to the houses, but considering I was so close to civilisation, thought the chances of stumbling upon a sleeping yowie were slim (which may have proved to be an error - see later in the report).

I then drove around some of the other roads in the area bordering the same section of bush to gain familiarity with the region. The valley is closed on the southeastern side by the main highway.

Later in the afternoon I visited Neil Frost and his partner Sandy. The most recent sighting of the yowie was of the eyes in the bush, approximately 2 to 3 weeks earlier, late at night. Neil and Sandy had numerous stories to tell and Neil could have talked for hours longer than I stayed. At then end of our discussions and looking at a plaster cast of a footprint taken after one encounter, we went to the back of Neil's house, which opens onto a swampy area of land thick with hakea bushes and reeds. This was the location of many sightings and pursuits of the creature by Neil and many others.

The conversation with Neil resulted in some interesting conclusions:

-> The creature has been in the area for at least 10 years
-> It is not particularly aggressive except when frightened at close range but has not apparently harmed anyone, but has caused many frights
-> It has appeared as early as 4 pm in the swamp to the back of the house, but is usually seen or heard at night.
-> Many of the residents in the same street and those across the valley have had encounters or experiences with the creature. Local aborigines are familiar with yowies in the area
-> The footprint is rounded with a large sole pad and a strongly elevated arch, with a quite narrow heel. The shape and arrangement of toes suggests that the creature is more like an ape than a human.
-> It moves incredibly rapidly.
-> It seems very curious of humans.
-> It has taken scraps of food left out by Neil.
-> Local police have been involved in stake-outs in the area for many weeks after disturbances by the creature
-> Despite complicated efforts to photograph it, it still manages to evade photographers. It has been recorded with noise-activated cassette recorders. It has dismantled automatic recording and photographic contraptions set up high in trees by Neil
-> Activity lately around Neil's house has been minimal

Some comments, such as the time of day it has appeared, suggest that where it sleeps is not very far from this street. Despite its incredible running speed, it can be conjectured that it either sleeps actually within the valley bounded by W. and C., or down the valley towards Lake Woodford, within the fenced off water catchment.

Future reconnaissance trips should be focussed on this valley, making passes up from the cleared powerline area to the houses, and perhaps downstream towards Lake Woodford. Some time could also be spent on the road past the gate at the end of C. Rd.

Should the creature become very active again in this area, more night-time vigils could be set up to encourage it to visit this area. If a pattern can be established, then more chance of taking footage of it is likely. If it can be lured to take food from near Neil's home, then a pattern there could also be set up and some means of capturing it could be devised. If it can be trained into a rough schedule of appearing in a particular place, then a tranquilizer gun could be used to sedate it for capture.

The Yowie phenomenon takes on a peculiar air. Many people have been laughed at for saying they pursue yowies. However, countless eyewitness accounts cannot be easily discarded. The Yowie undoubtedly exists. It is probably a kind of large ape-like primate, unknown to modern science. Its evasive character prevents capture or well documented encounters (photographs, videos etc). It is expert at navigating the bush and hiding. It is incredibly strong and fast. Even armed with cameras, most close-range encounters with the creature are so terrifying that the observer apparently acts out of self-preservation before thinking to take photographs.

Proving the existence of these creatures to the community at large will require physical proof such as a body. For this to occur, some kind of capture would be necessary. It would change the context of Australian bush culture forever.

Mike Hallet

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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base

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Location: Daisy Hill, Queensland

Date: June 1998

Dean, the Director of A.Y.R had a few reports of recent Yowie activity near Logan in S.E Queensland , so he first went to check the area out. Sure enough he had a brief encounter. (See his report).

After calling us, Dean, Ash, and myself went out to see if we could finally get a photo of the elusive bugger. Dean showed us the damage done to the foliage near the walking tracks.

Sure enough Dean was right, the place was trashed and personally I don't know of any other animal that would cause such devastation (bar mankind of course!). Also being in a national park which is full of people during the daylight hours it couldn't be a human, there was too much damage exactly like the Blue Mountains.

To make people understand this damage imagine a few football teams running through the bushland at once, breaking limbs ripping small shrubs up trampling over new foliage without other people noticing them.
Tree limbs were snapped in two up around the 6-7 foot mark, there were a few prints in the ground but not identifiable as yowie prints, just suspect as they were so large.

Most interesting about all the devastation and the snapped tree limbs is that they were all near the walking trails and picnic areas, the deeper we got into the bush the less damage was done.
My theory on this, as with a few other people, is that the yowie only does this kind of damage near where mankind is, like the walking trails, picnic areas, people’s houses etc, as his marker, it's like he is saying that this is his territory, and that we shouldn't be near it, or even as a marker to it's own kind.

Also what we noticed is that this Yowie used markers more like the Bigfoot ones over the states. He/she used the tripod method in a couple of places and a couple of branches upside down as well, there were no cuts axe marks in these limbs, they were ripped apart by something strong or even bitten off.

We decided to stay for a few hours after dark to see what happens as we had heard reports also of the Koala population was slowly disappearing, ( there is a survey currently into the cause of this but we who acknowledge yowie/bigfoots know the reason why).

A few times we heard branches break, trees and shrubs moving but this ended up being just Wallabies, possums etc. It came dark and Ash lit up a fire as it was very cold, Dean and I walked a few trails to see if he/she was around, as I walked through some of the devastation just off the trail Dean stayed on the road I had a feeling I was being watched by something.

I walked onto another track and suddenly had the feeling to turn back for some reason as I got back to Dean who was still up the road he told me he thought something was slowly stalking me through the bush but he couldn't see it.

Dogs started to go right off suddenly near the trail I had just came from so we went up there to see what was happening. We walked up this hill and stopped up the top. We stayed still for several minutes just listening to how quiet it had suddenly become then moved off again.

Walking back down I kicked a rock and it went into the lantana bushes there was sudden movement in them, we raced down Dean on one side and I on the other, there was something large and smelly in the bushes but we couldn't get into them as it was so thick besides I don't get paid to go thrashing through lantana bushes!

We tried to flush it out without success and we couldn't see anything at all, we waited there for awhile but heard nothing else so we thought it had somehow made its escape whatever it was.

We called it a night and as we walked past one of its markers I kicked it down and asked Dean to check in tomorrow morning and let me know if anything happened.

Sure enough he called the next morning saying there was heaps more damage down and a huge pile of scat next to the fallen marker, I take it he/she was not impressed with me knocking it's marker down.
Another interesting discovery was we noticed was a little lean to built near the picnic tables, this is quite unusual as it means that the yowie has some building skills if he did make it? as there was several branches leaned up against a large tree with branches crossed and leaves pushed against it, sort of like a bush wind break or cover, 10-20 yards away there is a huge shed with tables so it wouldn't be aborigines doing it, maybe kids but then again it could keep an eye on the area at night without being discovered and maybe it doesn't trust things that we humans have built.

Well in a couple of weeks hopefully we will stay there for a couple of nights to see what develops out of this area, it is only a matter of time before one is finally caught on film.

By Warren A.Y.R .

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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base