Location: Grassy Head / Stuarts Point [Yarriabini National Park], New South Wales

Event: Yowie Sighting

Date: 1998

Time: 11.30pm

[Female Witness of Indigenous Heritage]





I grew up in Grassy Head, which is just near Stuarts Point. My Grandfather is a Bundjalung man from Lismore and my Grandmother is Gumbaynggirr from the Grassy Head area.


We grew up with stories of the Yowie, not only Yowies but also stories of the small hairymen which we call Brownjacks.


My Grandfather is a very cultural man and the area we grew up in Grassy Head and Stuarts Point is very spiritual. We grew up in an old banana shed with only a couple of bedrooms, battery lights and living off the land. He would speak in his native tongue and tell us stories about Brownjacks and Yowies.


When he was a child, he became really sick and his Uncle was a ‘Cleverman’, and he sucked all the illness out of my Grandfather and gave his spiritual guide which was a little Brownjack. So he used to sit us outside in the night time, speak in his native tongue and call out to his little Brownjack. He would sit there and talk to him. We couldn’t see him, but he used to tell us he was there and talk to him. We would hear his [Brownjack] noises, and there was a lot of belief in what he was saying because he was a very serious man. Today he would be nearly 100 years old, so he has a lot of history, knowledge and things that have been passed down to him.


These stories have always been embedded in our culture and our family.


As kids, we were allowed to go to certain areas of Stuart Point and Grassy Head but had to be back by a certain time because we were warned that they were around and we shouldn’t be out there at night.


He said they would sometimes come down from the mountain, along the creek to the beach.


When I was about 17 years old, we were heading to a party down at Grassy Head. It was a full moon. There were 4 of us - my cousin, my brother and a white guy who would never have believed in any of that type of stuff. We started to walk up the north side of Grassy towards Middle Head to where the creek is [Creek opens out to the beach from the forest], and we could see what we thought were a group of people up the beach. We thought that must have been where the party was and we kept walking up the beach.


My instincts were telling me this wasn’t a bunch of drunken teenagers, they wouldn’t be so quiet, the would have had a fire going, they would be running around and being a bit crazy, but there was none of that. It was a still night with a full moon and we could see right up the beach and there were about 5 of what we thought were humans.


They were right at the creek opening and I was thinking there was something strange about these ‘people’. It got to a point where we all stopped and started questioning who they were and what was going on. They should have looked smaller at that distance. We kept going but I knew something wasn’t quite right, something was going on.


We got about 100m up the beach when we all stopped and these things were in a circle, then stood in a line looking like they were all facing us. It was like a standoff as though they had noticed us and we’ve noticed them. They were all the same shape. There was no neck. Solid thick build. From a distance they should have been smaller, but they weren’t. They were big from a distance to when we got closer.


Within a split second we knew they were Yowies and suddenly they just took off charging at us. They started running towards us and before I could even say ‘run’ I turned around and the white guy who was with us, he was a bit older than us, he was already out of there, he was gone.


To this day I still get goose bumps talking about this story and even the people with me were really shaken up.


We started running and got back to the Caravan Park and started talking about what we had seen and the white guy said he would have never believed in any of that type of stuff, but now he was now a believer because that was the most terrifying thing he had ever experienced. He grew up in the area and never believed in that type of stuff. It totally changed his whole outlook.


It really clarified all the stories that my Grandfather would tell about them coming down from the mountain at certain times of the year and have some form of ritual or ceremony at Grassy Head. That story was pretty much what we experienced.



[Side notes}: My Grandfather always said they are the guardians and protectors of the forests and mountains. They’re not primates. They are protectors.

A lot of our family have had sightings. My brother has had a sighting with an Uncle at Scotts Head turn off to Grassy Head.

My Grandfather said to never pay them attention because it encourages them. We have a name for our Brownjack, his name is Nidingi [Sp?]. We get followed walking up Grassy Head, but my Grandfather said if we pay them attention they will continue to torment you and follow you, so keep your distance and keep walking and it will be fine.

The little ones have a spiritual significance with the Indigenous people, where they can communicate with the Brownjacks, which is why he was given his little spirit Brownjack.

These stories go back generations and my Grandfather was never one to spin a yarn]


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