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Yowie Sightings

Yowie, an unknown hairy hominid has been reported mostly in New South Wales and along the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. The creature's long history can be traced back to Aboriginal legends. Similar with bigfoot/sasquatch, this creature has long been a feature of the cryptozoological landscape down under. It has physical description such as: an apelike with the height around 5–7 feet; some witnesses reported its height around 8–10 feet. Covered in brown, tan, white, gray, or black hair. Black skin. Dome-shaped head. Flat face. Minimal forehead and chin. Yellow or red eyes are deeply set. Two large canine teeth. No neck. Broad back with huge shoulders. Arms reach almost to the ankles. Arm-hair is long and shaggy. Sharp nails or claws. Spindly legs, with calf short in proportion to thigh. Feet, 18 inches long. Toes are long in proportion to foot.

Interestingly, this unknown primate first known as Yahoo which according to some accounts was an Aborigine term meaning "devil" or "evil spirit." The first known printed reference of Yahoo, appears in 1835, in J.Holman’s Travels, where it is said, “The natives are greatly terrified by the sight of a person in a mask calling him ‘devil’ or Yah-hoo, which signifies evil spirit.”

In an 1842 issue of Australian and New Zealand Monthly Magazine, an article titled “Superstitions of the Australian Aborigines: The Yahoo” notes: The natives of Australia have, properly speaking, no idea of any supernatural being; at the same time, they believe in the imaginary existence of a class which, in the singular number, they call Yahoo, or,when they wish to be anglified, Devil-Devil. . . . On the other hand, a contested point has long existed among Australian naturalists whether or not such an animal as the Yahoo existed, one party contending that it does, and that from its scarceness, slyness, and solitary habits,man has not succeeded in obtaining a specimen, and that it is most likely to be one of the monkey tribe.

Two years later Mrs. Charles Meredith, in her Notes and Sketches of New South Wales During a Residence in the Colony from 1839 to 1844, wrote of the terror the yahoo inspired in the aborigines. The yahoo, she reported, “lives in the tops of the steepest and rockiest mountains,which are totally inaccessible to all human beings.”

Illustration of Yowie, seen by Charles Harper in Southeast Australia in 1912
In 1847, George Osborne allegedly saw an apelike animal climb out of a tree and run away on all fours near Avondale, New South Wales. It was covered in black hair except for a tan streak from neck to abdomen, and it had feet like an iguana’s. William and Joseph Webb shot the creature near Flea Creek in the Brindabella Range, New South Wales, in about 1885. Its head was set deep between its shoulders, and it was ellowing deeply. They didn’t know whether they hit it because it ran away as soon as the gun went off. Its tracks were humanlike, with spreading toes and a long stride.

In 1912, Charles Harper, a surveyor from Sydney, and his companions were camping in the jungle along the Currickbilly Mountain range in New South Wales. They heard some sounds and saw a Uhuge, manlike animal" in the light of their fire. It was beating its chest. This beast had a very small, chinless human face with deeply set eyes and long canine teeth. It was bipedal, covered with long redbrown hair, and stood almost six feet tall. It seemed to have large breasts or a potbelly hanging down between its legs. Harper and his party were happy when the animal moved away.

On October 12, 1912, George Summerell rode up close to a gray-haired creature that was drinking from a creek near Creewah, New South Wales, Australian poet and bushman Sydney Wheeler Jephcott visited the spot the next day and was able to make plaster casts of hand- and footprints.

Sometime in the 1970s, the term "Yowie" supplanted "Yahoo." A modern aboriginal writer remembers that in his youth members of his tribe (the Wiradjuri of southwestern New South Wales) spoke of the “hairy youree — the huge shaggy man-like creature that the whites call ‘yowie’.” Perhaps “yowie” is a corruption of “youree.” Since then, Yowie became a popular figure in Australia, and the newspapers report on each new sighting.

In 1971 a team of Royal Australian Air Force surveyors landed in a helicopter on top of inaccessible Sentinel Mountain and were astonished to find huge manlike tracks (though too big for a man) in the mud left over from a recent rain.

Alwyn Richards and his sister saw a 9-foot Yowie staring at them near Killawarra, New South Wales, in 1974. It stepped over a 4-foot fence without breaking stride.

On April 13, 1976, in Grose Valley near Katoomba, New South Wales, five backpackers allegedly encountered a foul-smelling, five-foot-tall yowie — a female judging from its pendulous breasts.

On August 10, 1977, in Woodenbong, Queensland, a woman was awakened by hearing her dog yelping and a high-pitched screaming outside. Only about 5 feet away from her back door, she saw a bad-smelling, apelike creature covered with brownish hair holding her dog tightly to its chest. When it saw her, it dropped the dog and backed away, watching her intently. It made some deep grunts and then ran out into the street, its arms hanging loose. The witness said it was 6 feet tall, with a small head, broad chest, narrow hips, and strong legs. Its hair was close-cropped except on its arms and shoulders. She had to wash her dog with antiseptic to get the smell out. Her husband heard the grunts, and neighbors heard the barking. One footprint, 8.5 inches long and slightly over 4 inches wide at the toes, remained, along with three strands of long, reddish hair on a fencepost.

On October 22–23, 1977, twenty students (one of whom later became a senator) at Koonjewarre Campgrounds near Springbrook, Queensland, saw a 9-foot Yowie approach their cabin several times. It ripped 3-foot-tall shrubs out of the dry ground with ease. One time, they watched it through binoculars, and on another occasion, it came within 30 feet of their sleeping quarters. Trapezoidal footprints were found, longer than 13 inches, very narrow at the heel, and more than 7 inches wide at the toes. Other incidents were reported in the same area for the next five months.

On March 5, 1978, a man cutting timber near Springbrook on the Gold Coast reportedly heard what sounded like a grunting pig and went into the forest looking for it. “Then something made me look up,” he related, “and there about 12 ft. in front of me, was this big black hairy man-thing. It looked more like a gorilla than anything. It had huge hands, and one of them was wrapped around a sapling. . . . It had a flat black shiny face, with two big yellow eyes and a hole for a mouth. It just stared at me, and I stared back. I was so numb I couldn’t even raise the axe I had in my hand.”

On December 28, 1979, Warren Christensen and Tony Solano ran into a 9-foot Yowie while hunting pigs at Sandy Creek near Kilcoy, Queensland. After shooting at it, they found three-toed tracks that were 19 inches long and 6 inches wide.

On January 2, 1987 at 2 A.M. , Stella Donahue and Bill Johnstone woke up at their campsite to see an 8-foot ape standing waist-deep in the water at Lake Dulverton, Tasmania.

On February 1993, Neil Frost, the Blue Mountains resident reported to local police that he encountered an ape-like creature in thick bush near his backyard. He said, It was like an elephant on two legs wearing size 20 boots.

On January 22, 1995, two boys saw an 8–9-foot Yowie walking along a road bordering the Ballengarra State Forest southwest of Kempsey, New South Wales. It was massive and looked “in between a human and a gorilla.” Sixteen footprints 11.8 inches long and 7 inches wide were found at the spot two weeks later.

Cast of a supposed Yowie track made near Springbrook, Queensland,
by Andre Clayden in mid-1998
In 1997, a woman residing in Tanimi Desert was awakened at 3:00 A.M. by a horrendous animal-like sound. On searching for the cause of the disturbance, the startled woman became fiercely nauseated when she caught wind of a terrible smell, and then she saw a seven·foot hairy creature destroy her fence as it fled. The following morning, law-enforcement officers found a chewed piece of pipe and huge tracks.

Rex Gilroy, who formed the Yowie Research Center in the late 1970s, says he has collected more than three thousand reports. He also alleges one or more sightings of his own.

However, Australian scientists remain resolutely skeptical. As one puts it, “The first and only primates to have lived in Australia were human beings.” Australian National University anthropologist Colin P. Groves dismisses all the reports as “of little value as evidence.” People see, he says,what they expect to see. He rejects the Harper report in 1912 as “over the top.” On the other hand, Graham Joyner, who has written extensively on the controversy, contends — alone among chroniclers of the mystery— that the “Yahoo was an undiscovered marsupial of roughly bear-like conformation, which was referred to intermittently throughout most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Yowie, on the other hand, is a recent fiction which came into being in 1975. It, of course,has no history, although one has been invented for it.”

Cryptozoology A-Z by Jerome Clark;
Mysterious Creatures: "A Guide to Cryptozoology" by George M. Eberhart;
The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook by David Sutton;
Unexplained: "Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena" by Jerome Clark

Pic Source:
Cryptozoology A-Z by Jerome Clark page 256;
Mysterious Creatures: "A Guide to Cryptozoology" by George M. Eberhart page 617

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