Location: Border Ranges, New South Wales

Event: Possible Yowie Encounter

Date: February, 2017

Time: 1am

[Male Witness]




I drove up to Blackbutt lookout around midnight 11pm, which I used to do quite often to be there to catch the sunrise over Byron Bay. I grew up at the base of the mountain and had been camping there regularly since my teens and it felt like home to me even more so than our farm sometimes.


I often camped there solo and never had bad vibes except for once or twice. Growing up camping in the Forrest you learn that there’s always noises, and when its quiet is when you should be on high alert.


This particular night it was dead quiet but I thought nothing of it, as I was there around that time regularly like twice a week sometimes more, as it’s my happy place, and take my bass up there to practice, watch storms or pump music.


This night I was just sitting in my car watching YouTube videos. I watched a doco on Jaco Pistorius and was ready to get horizontal.


The lookout is a right hand turn off the main road. Once you turn, the road runs alongside of the main road on 70 degree angle for 50 metres as it flattens out. There is a triangle patch of forest in between that’s pretty thick but in patches you can see the main road. As it opens up to the picnic area, there’s table under a tin roof on your right and then you can pull in next to it.


I used to pull in as close as possible to the picnic table as I would throw my swag over the table and crash there. I never bothered to set it up fully as I was very comfortable there and felt very safe.


Photo provided by Witness.


I’m in the car with the boot facing the triangle patch of forest and the main road, ready for sleep, so I got out walked to the boot grabbed my swag out walked back threw it over the table went back to my boot to grab my sleeping bag. As I reached in to grab it, I heard some pretty hefty wood knocks. They sounded like a bit of wood three times the thickness of a baseball bat being hit against the side of buttress root of a strangler fig which can sound hollow.


The knocks started slowly and got faster and louder. I guess it was about 12 to 15 knocks which happened in about 5 seconds they were going pretty quick by the end of it and with a lot of force at that point. The knocks sounded 50 plus metres away through the triangle patch of forest.


I’m a thrill seeker and cliff dive and flip off some pretty big stuff, but this scared the sh** out of me. I froze dead still id never felt this type of before fear before. I’m aboriginal and a bush kid though and was always taught from a young age that they will pick up on your intentions and only be a threat if you’re up to no good, or if you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be. This was home to me, so I had always been respectful.


I stood there at my boot with my phone torch facing the direction of the wood knocks trying to put out the vibe that this is my country, I grew up here and I belong.

I was probably only there for about a minute and a half but it felt like an eternity. It was dead quiet, no crickets or frogs and we had just had a black frost and it was windy, so there was a lot of dead leaf litter on the forest floor. It was also dry, so I thought I should be able to hear anything moving.


I stood there for a bit longer and started to calm down. I turned around to grab my sleeping bag again and then I heard the same knock only this time louder and closer.

This series of knocks were behind the closest big tree only 10 paces away. I yelled out “Alright ****! I’m going”.


I slammed my boot in the hopes that if I was being stalked and it wanted me, that that would confuse it long enough for me to grab my swag and get in the car. I was pissed that I was being moved along from what felt like home. I had to back out and turn left to face the exit, at which point my drivers side door was right next to that tree, and that was one of the scariest parts.


I considered camping further down the road, but that rattled me pretty hard and I thought of how mice can sometimes die of fright at the moment they know they’ve been cornered by a cat. I could relate.


I’ve nearly been swept out to sea in rip with an oyster cut on my foot, so I’ve been in immediate fear of my life before, but this hit me like a rock and still keeps me up at night trying to make sense of it.


Thinking about it after there might have been two, one further out and one closer who might have been watching me sitting in the car and didn’t expect me to get out and pretty much walk right up on it. If it was one, I was being stalked and whatever it was is as stealthy as it gets. That scenario scares me more.


Two nights later I went back up same time roughly around midnight on the way up I noticed a small lone gum probably 6 or 7 foot clean snapped facing down a steep slope. I remembered seeing it the other night but didn’t think anything of it. I got up to the picnic area pulled in next to the picnic table where I always do, and as my headlight swung around there were two decent size rocks sitting on the hand rail either side of the front my car.


I parked perfectly in between both, slept in the car and had one of the best sleeps I’d had in ages.


I didn’t go back for 3 years. My first time back since was last Feb around the same time middle of the day there was a big tree over the road about half way up to the lookout. I did a U-Turn and parked in the middle of the road jumped out and lent up against my boot enjoying the peace. Shortly after, I heard a crazy sound, sounded like ooooowaaa, a not like an ape more like a pheasant we get up there, but way bassier like it came from the bottom of a huge set of lungs.


My brother came and spent a night, and we listened to woops with pronounced w' and p's until we fell asleep. Whatever it was, had been pacing back and forth and calling and answering one another. The whoops sounded pretty frantic at some stages like it was thinking “Cant you guys take a hint”.


We get the Coucou Owl and I’ve heard some of their calls. I haven’t heard them make a primate whoop like that. We also get the liar bird in the Border Rangers but it wasn’t a sound id heard before and I have camped there my whole life from high school.


Friends and I have been avid campers and we would be there every chance we could most weekends. I’m pretty gutted I don’t feel welcome there anymore.






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