About the Author
Rex Gilroy is a field naturalist and historical researcher widely known throughout Australia and overseas, as the world's leading authority on the Yowie mystery and an investigator of all manner of Australian unexplained mysteries. He is no stranger to controversy and describes himself as a "scientific heretic" who dares to question the blind dogmas of scientific conformitism, with evidence for which University text books have no answer.
Rex could be described as a cross between Crocodile Dundee and Indiana Jones, for when not exploring the Australian wilds with his wife and fellow researcher Heather, in search of fossil dinosaur bones or 'unknown' animal species, such as the Australian Panther and 'extinct' Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine, he is seeking mystery ruins, rock inscriptions and relics of a ancient civilisation that colonised Australia in the dim past.
He has also spent a lifetime researching UFO'S (Unidentified Flying Objects). In the 1960's he founded Australian Cryptozoology (i.e. the study of animal species either unknown to science, or else thought extinct, but which might still survive) and relict hominids, which besides the Yowie, include creatures from New Zealand to New guinea, south-eastern and mainland Asia and the Americas. With "Giants From the Dreamtime", Rex seeks to inspire future researchers to follow his example, and to dare to question long-established dogmas of our prehistory.
When not in the field Rex enjoys working on his huge natural history collection, the largest privately owned in Australia, and which contains thousands of fossils, rocks and minerals, insects and other zoological, anthropological and archaeological specimens, gathered from throughout Australian and worldwide.
Rex and Heather Gilroy also find time for community service work through their local Lions Club. They have two daughters.
50 Years of Scientific Research
Looking back over my 50 years of research on the Yowie mystery, I see an evolutionary pattern in my work, beginning with the youthful enthusiasm of a teenager gathering old Aboriginal and early settlers stories of encounters in the bush with the “hairy man”, to the beginnings of my earliest field investigations and footprint finds; how I at first believed that the “hairy man” was some form of longhaired
bipedal primate, which might be a surviving population of Gigantopithecus blackie which had made
its way into Australia during the Pleistocene period.
Yet I eventually realised that the cast footprints of
the Yowie that began appearing in the 1960s, and also those recovered during the early 1970s, were
more hominid than primate. At the same time I was beginning to uncover recently-manufactured crude
stone implements from remote areas of the Blue Mountains. These, together with Aboriginal accounts
of the “hairy men and women” being able to make fire and cook their food, soon led me to realise that
I was dealing with remnant populations of living Homo erectus.
This belief was meanwhile being
reinforced by discoveries first with my late father, Mr W F [Bill] Gilroy, and later by my wife Heather
and I, of actual fossil skull-types of Homo erectus over a wide area of Australia, mostly in areas once
inhabited by the “hairy people” according to Aboriginal traditions.
I learnt also that ‘Yowie’ was but one of many, indeed a great many names throughout
Australia, by which these beings were known to our Aborigines.
Photo: © Mr W F [Bill] Gilroy
In fact, I discovered that these names
all identified any non-Aboriginal race with which they once shared the continent, be they average
modern human height beings, pygmies or giants. All these names meant “hairy man”, “hairy woman” or “hairy people”, and they were all called such not because they possessed long body hair, but because
they wore cloaks of kangaroo and other marsupial [fur] hides, just like the Aborigines in early historical
photographs which can still be seen today.
Thus as my information and evidence grew I was able to discard previous ideas on the physical
appearance and identity of the Yowie.
A similar evolution of my theories, both on the origins of the Yowie and of pre-Aboriginal
hominid evolution as a whole, can be seen in the way that my ideas have changed over the years as my
collection of fossil hominid skull-types grew. In September 1969 I recovered a 52mm tall giant hominid
lower back premolar tooth at a fossil site now covered by Westmead Children’s’ Hospital in Sydney’s
The discovery of my first giant hominid fossil footprint followed in April 1970 at Mulgoa, at the
eastern base of the Blue Mountains. Then in May 1972 my late father found the mineralised endocast
of a large ‘archaic’ Homo sapien skull at an old Pleistocene site at Tarana, just west of the Blue
Mountains; followed by my own discovery of a smaller endocast of a ‘late’ Homo erectus skull-type
about 30 metres away in the same strata, demonstrating upon various grounds to be discussed further
on in this book, that Homo sapiens were already present in Australia by 300,000 years ago, and that
they shared the land with their ‘father’, Homo erectus.