Location: Hepburn Springs, Victoria

Event: Yowie Sighting

Date: Early 1990’s

Time: Day

From the AYR Files of Dean Harrison





In 1998, I had a long running with debate with the then second in charge of the Australian Skeptic Society, Mark Newbrook, who at the time enjoyed challenging me on the existence of the Yowie. English born Newbrook has penned many boring writings, appears in many boring articles and specialises as a boring linguistics expert, debating people on semantics, because arguing with people over silly matters is what they like do when not slandering other people Online.


His intolerance for reason and rational thinking inhibited him from any form of sensible conversation. Like most skeptics, they have a condition called the Dunnings – Kruger Effect, whereby in the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability.


We found ourselves locking horns on many occasions, only to find the debate fruitless due to the irrational mental block and safety wall he’d surrounded himself with.


So little did he know on the subject, he propositioned that if the Yowie were real, they would be haplessly stumbling into towns and cities all over the Country and there would be scores of them in Zoo’s all around the Country producing great amusement for children and an abundant amount of revenue for the coffers. Furthermore, there would be a tourism boom with an influx of overseas tourists in buses randomly stopping in bushland areas to see them bumbling about in the wild, perhaps juggling for them, or posing for the occasional selfie.


I offered him a chance to go over the files from the early 1800’s to the current day, plus speak to around 100 Witnesses firsthand, however in his educated opinion, all these people over the past 200 years were either liars or simply mistaken for kangaroos or koalas (Apparently Australians have a hard time recognising the difference between a foreign looking 8ft Hominid and our own iconic native animals – or perhaps just he does).

This was the level of intelligence I was dealing with.



After a full year of to and fro, and utter frustration, here’s the kicker……..



During a conversation about witnesses, Newbrook suddenly comes out with a startling fact. Wait for it……. HE HIMSELF is a firsthand Witness!


As it turned out, during one sunny day at Dalesford / Hepburn Springs (and not taking people to task about their pronunciation of words), Newbrook is confronted by a Yowie in full view and plain sight. It walked out of the bush and onto a dirt track right in front of him. Tall, robust and covered in hair. He went into great detail.


To say I was astonished is an understatement. I gasped. After all this time and naysaying, belittling others, total intolerance on the subject and uneducated anal regurgitation, he has had his own sighting, and a very clear sighting at that – and the description did not fit that of a wallaby or koala, surprise surprise


Well of course this changes everything, I thought. Finally we can have rational conversation and perhaps he’s going to let his guard down and now talk sensibly. I was mistaken – of course. I mean, what would his peers and associates say? He would be ostracized, but furthermore, he may need to admit he was wrong.


“But you have seen one yourself. How could you POSSIBLY now say they don’t exist. You yourself are a firsthand Witness!” I’ve got him there, I thought.

‘No they don’t exist’.

“How could you possibly say that. You have seen one first hand!”


Now this is where you know it’s absolutely pointless trying to have a rational conversation with such ilk, and it shows where their heads are at. It’s almost like a mental disability. In fact, it has to be a mental disability, or cult like conditioning.


‘I can’t trust what I saw’, he says.

“But you said you saw it clearly right in front of you”.

‘Oh yes, I did. I saw it very clearly. I know what I saw (not a Roo or Koala).’

“Then how can you say they don’t exist and still belittle others?”

‘Because I can’t trust what my eyes were seeing. I would require a team of professional photographers taking pictures of it from every angle. I would need a team of Zoologists taking notes. I would need blood samples from it or better still, bring it back on a steel bench – Other than that, I won’t allow myself to believe my own eyes and what I saw. There is no proof’. Yes I had a good look at it, I saw it, but that means noting’.



Due to his conditioning, like a member of a cult, although knowing what he was seeing is real, his mind couldn’t allow or accept the truth. It was clearly too challenging to his reality, and would destroy everything he thought he knew. Obviously dangerous ground that his mind couldn’t cope with.


Some witnesses search for further answers with enthusiasm, some turn to tears, some feel their lives have changed forever – while others choose the denial path and choose to block it out, like a trauma.

I sometimes wondered how many sleeps he had lost since that time trying to block out the event.


At that point, I had realised how futile it would be continuing this conversation or any further contact with him. I wasted my time by allowing myself to be drawn into his fruitless debates, however it was lesson learned.



On the bright side, we have yet another Yowie Sighting from Hepburn Springs, Victoria. This brings another encounter to a region of Victoria that is slowly becoming known for its Yowie activity.

This Yowie Report, which we are happy to share, was reluctantly brought to you by……. the Australian Skeptic Society. Keep the denial going guys – Love your work.



~ Dean Harrison








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