Apemen in Australia
I wish to clarify a number of misconceptions before my readers begin perusing this book. Many of the sightings and encounters presented in the coming chapters are as the Australian media failed to report them. I now take this opportunity to correct their oversight. Without any regard for accuracy, and showing total disinterest in what has for me been a lifetime's research, they have over the years often deliberately misquoted statements made by me. Their errors are far too numerous to mention here.
They have exaggerated the heights of Yowies reported to me by eyewitnesses; they have turned many quite believable accounts into comical stories, embarrassing people with the courage to go public with their experiences. Little wonder that many people have become reluctant to report a personal sighting or even allow their names to be published. One tongue-in-cheek newspaper article once reported me as having seen a group of four Yowies, which is totally untrue and no such claim by me has ever been made.
Likewise, I am supposed to have seen a long-haired Yowie leap from a tree in front of me below the Ruined Castle rock formation near Katoomba in 1970. The truth is, however, far less dramatic and I shall relate what really occurred in due course. In another imaginative newspaper report [which spawned several variations] I was supposed to have followed a decaying stench deep in the south coast [New South Wales] mountains to see two large, hairy feet of a dead Yowie protruding out from behind a large fallen tree-trunk about which hovered hundreds of flies. The sickening stench was supposedly enough to prevent me from making a close inspection of the body.
If I really had come upon such a scene nothing would have prevented me from attempting a closer inspection. The sight of a decomposing [human] corpse is not new to me. I once came upon a rotting body seated in his green utility hidden in scrub off Mt. York Road outside Mt. Victoria NSW, where he had remained for three months after committing suicide. I afterwards assisted the local police by taking close-up photographs of the corpse before and after its removal from the vehicle, despite the foul, putrid smell.
Such sensational newspaper reporting is, regrettably, all too commonplace. The facts however, as the reader will soon discover, are entirely different. Within recent years, media misrepresentations concerning my researches [and not only in the field of relict hominid investigation] have often become quite slanderous, and legal action was only avoided by one leading Saturday newspaper printing a retraction. These methods of media misrepresentation of my researches have also been adopted by more than one Australian Cryptozoologist in at least three recent books on Australian mystery animals, authors who have "hopped on the bandwagon" as it were, intent upon discrediting my 'pioneering' work in this, and several other fields of research.
They repeat the same old press reports, knowing that the public will not bother to investigate the matter further. Their aim in employing such tactics is always to discredit any foremost researcher who has laid the groundwork, destroy his credibility, and then set themselves up as the "leading authority" on the subject. Such people are nothing less than leeches feeding on the back of honest, hard-working researchers. The traditional Australian rule of a 'fair go' means nothing to these parasites, any more than the old saying "give credit where credit is due".
Money, and stolen fame is their ulterior motive. And as the mass of local and overseas literature and television documentaries, shows there is big money to be made by any so-called 'researcher' who sets out to exploit another's ideas and hard won discoveries, for their own selfish ends. Consider the T-shirts, sweets, hamburgers and children's books all bearing the name 'Yowie' marketed by people who have 'cashed in' on my lifetime's work! To give some examples: one self-appointed 'expert' once made misinformed remarks concerning my ground-breaking field research, in the course of which he repeated the press yarn of the decaying Yowie corpse behind the fallen tree trunk.
Also without having seen a particular fossilised giant hominoid-type footprint, a large plaster cast I made of this print [Carrai Range NSW 1979] when published, was dismissed as improbable due to its broad, seemingly stunted shape. Yet this footprint had been distorted in contour when originally layed down in cooled mud and volcanic ash. This cast of the fossil track now matches another found at a South Sydney mudstone site [January 1999]. This somewhat larger example displays the same opposable big toe and contour distortions [see photos] as the Carrai footprint. As can be seen, the true contours show the tracks to be those of a giant ape-like creature.
From my almost 45 years experience I can safely say that large numbers of people cannot help make noise, warning every bird and animal of their approach. For this reason I have never worked in the field with more than one or two people - my wife Heather or two other companions - and with as much silence as possible. This book demonstrates what Heather and I have accomplished through commonsense research. For many years I have laboured to get some degree of respectability and credibility for Yowie/relict hominid research, particularly in the media, where reporting has mostly been 'tongue in cheek'.
I have, it seems, been blessed with incredible luck, having found a growing number of normal to giant-size fossilised hominid footprints at sites across Australia, as well as often huge stone 'megatools' and fossilised skulls of races that preceded our Aboriginal people on this continent. I have been very fortunate to have seen an 'extinct' mainland Tasmanian Tiger [or Thylacine] on the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and on another occasion found fresh tracks of one of these elusive marsupials in the same district. I have also been fortunate to have gathered many hundreds of sightings reports on the Yowie, and also the Thylacine, the "Australian Panther" [actually a species of surviving ice-age marsupial cat], and gathered a growing collection of plaster casts of these and other mystery creatures.
Yet for all my lifetime's dedicated field researches and discoveries I have had to endure the lampooning of the "gentlemen of the press", the biassed attacks of academia, and slanderous writings of jealous authors. I was the first researcher to undertake a proper, scientific investigation of the Yowie mystery. I alone popularised this research in the media; and alone had to stand up to all the media "tongue-in-cheek" misrepresentation and ridicule of my researches that followed. I layed the groundwork, making it easier for others to follow. Unfortunately those who followed saw only a chance to "cash-in" on my 'pioneering' researches.Giants From the Dreamtime" will undoubtedly see the quick release of other books on the Yowie by those imitators quick to "cash in" on the publicity it is certain to create, and undoubtedly report the same old nonsense about me.
I believe the time has come for all this character assassination, greed and dishonesty, plagiarism and downright jealousy to cease. Give credit where credit is due, and begin working together for the common goal, discarding all thoughts of financial or other rewards it supposedly might bring. There is no need for us to adopt the kind of unsavoury methods employed by some American 'Bigfoot' investigators, in their individual effort to build their own fame by destroying another's. Such 'competition' is reprehensible and un-Australian.Professional jealousy must also be taken into account.
Many university researchers do not take lightly to mere 'amateurs' making important discoveries which do not support the dogmas of established science. The field of Cryptozoology is also an anathema to them, for the evidence being uncovered disputes their preconceived view that all major animal species have been discovered. And of course, 'lost tribes' and 'relict hominids' such as the Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot "just do not exist"!Cryptozoologists can sometimes be just as dogmatic in their opposition to the scientific community, and with justification can point out that, barely a year passes without some new species being added to the world zoological list.
While anthropologists squabble over the identity of a few scraps of fossilised hominid bones, jealous of one another's discoveries, this lamentable trait of professional jealousy is, as I have shown, also found among Cryptozoologists, or rather those 'researchers' bent upon exploiting this field of research for their own selfish ends, leading as already explained, to one researcher attempting to destroy the credibility of another. I have never ever sought to 'exploit' for financial gain my Yowie, or any other natural science researches in which I have devoted a lifetime's work. Nor have I ever set out to destroy the 'credibility' of any other Cryptozoologist, scientist or historian in order to build my own reputation on their discoveries. I believe this proves my sincerity.
I prefer to avoid this atmosphere and work alone in the field together with my wife Heather. Out in the vast Australian bush we are free of all these petty squabbles and can devote ourselves wholly to our researches. What we have uncovered is evidence, not only of the Yowie, but also of a stone-age history of Australia that will startle many people; a history that extends far, far back beyond the time of our Aborigines to the age of Java Man and even earlier mystery races that once walked our land. That sober Australians are claiming to have seen creatures thought to be confined only to the vast Himalayan ranges will surprise many. Yet incredible as it may seem, an enormous number of "case histories" will be revealed to you, my reader, before you finish reading this book.
So hang onto your armchair, you're in for a bumpy ride!! You will discover that hairy man-like primitives, sometimes of gigantic stature, have been seen over a wide area of eastern Australia, if not elsewhere throughout the vast Australian outback, from earliest times of European settlement to the present day. Thus hairy manbeasts are by no means confined to the Himalayas. Reported sightings of similar creatures have been recorded from over a wide area of mainland and south-east Asia, as well as North and South America. They have been reported also from New Guinea and other nearby Pacific islands as well as New Zealand.
They are known by many different names.
Throughout the Himalayas they are called 'Yeti' [dweller among the rocks]; in North America 'Bigfoot' or Sasquatch [hairy man of the woods]; and in Australia, Aboriginal folklore preserves accounts of our own equally mysterious hominid, the 'Yowie' or "hairy man", which can either be the height of an average human being or an enormous man-like, or even ape-like creature of tremendous weight and strength.
In other words, besides creatures of average human height, the Aborigines recognised more than one race of giant man-like beings under the term "hairy man". There must have been perhaps hundreds of different names for these creatures throughout tribal pre-European Australia, but all basically meant the same; "hairy man" or "great hairy man". It is one of the tasks of this book to separate the various races of "hairy man" from one another, to reveal the identity of the original Yowie. The very thought that an hitherto unknown race of hominid [ie man-like] primitives have existed on this continent since before the dawn of Aboriginal Man may seem sensational, if not unbelievable to many people.
Yet I believe the many hundreds of reported sightings in my files of such manbeasts, gathered from many widely scattered parts of Australia in the course of my investigations, speak for themselves. As the first natural history researcher to bring the existence of the Yowie to public attention, it never ceases to amaze me just how much interest my research findings have created. Perhaps the main reason why millions of people worldwide find the Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot mystery so fascinating, is that in modern times, it is one of the last great unsolved mysteries, in the tradition of the Loch Ness Monster, the giant monitor lizards of Australia and New Guinea and the 'neo-dinosaurs' of the Congo.
People will always be excited about these, and any other unexplained mysteries, and they will want to read all the literature they can find about them. However, there can be nothing more exciting than actually participating in the search for such creatures; an excitement Heather and I experience every time we set out on yet another field investigation. I am fortunate to be the 'father' of Yowie research.
Three personal experiences can be said to have spurred me on in my quest; namely, my first meeting with the Yowie in some long-forgotten Aboriginal myths and legends book when I was 14 years of age and a student at Liverpool Boys High School outside of Sydney in 1957; and my two possible Yowie sightings in Jamieson Valley, south of Katoomba, and more recently, an encounter on the NSW Central Coast, all to be fully dealt with in the course of this book. Indeed, the origins of this book can be said to be traced back to that day in 1957, when I read that other book in the High School library. The creature described in those ancient legends did not at all compare with the traditional 'Bunyip' tales of the aborigines, but rather some primitive hominid from the dawn of Man.
If I recall correctly, I was already regarded as a "bit odd" by my fellow students and teachers alike, for my fascination with the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti and other 'unknown' animal species. That the vast and inaccessible mountain ranges of Australia might still hide remnant populations of long thought extinct species, such as the Tasmanian Tiger, did not at all seem altogether impossible to me. What I consider to be the turning point in my future life as a Yowie researcher came in 1958, when my family moved from our old farm in Lansvale near Liverpool, to Katoomba, where I completed my education. However, my interest in the Yowie soon inspired a number of pet names for me among the students of Katoomba High School, and the Yowie became known as "Rex Gilroy's Hairy Man".
Even to this day I am known affectionately by locals as the "Yowie Man" - a title I wear with pride! Soon after my family moved to Katoomba, I discovered that the Blue Mountains was traditional "Yowie country", where the folklore of the early pioneers, as well as the surviving traditions of the former Aboriginal tribes of the district, offered me far more significant information than I had previously had access to. It convinced me that, not only was the Yowie an Aboriginal tradition of immense antiquity, but that, as I soon learnt, the creatures were claimed to have been seen by early European settlers of the district. Before very long I would also discover that the Yowie was known to settlers over a wide area of Australia.
More recent sightings claims also convinced me that, perhaps some of these mysterious 'manimals' still survived in remote regions of our vast mountain ranges. This conclusion soon led me to undertake my first field investigations. My interest in these "hairy people" eventually extended to a study of their physical features and possible evolutionary origins and other aspects of their daily lives, gleaned from ancient Aboriginal legends and early European settlers tales.
People often ask me what it is that drives me on, year after year, fighting my way through some of the most rugged mountainous bush country in Australia, in search of creatures regarded as nothing more than an Aboriginal myth by conservative scientists? My answer used to be, firstly that I hoped to find some sort of physical evidence to prove the Yowie's existence to my own satisfaction, and secondly, to present that physical evidence to sceptical scientists so as to have the creatures recognised as a still-living link with our ancient hominid past.
I now believe I have found some of that physical evidence, in the form of the Mudgee NSW Homo erectus skull, and recently-made crude stone implements uncovered near Nundle, in the New England district of northern NSW. It is now up to the scientific community to consider this evidence, and the implications it raises concerning our 'unknown' stone-age past. I suppose that I am also driven by a fascination of the unknown and the world of still-unexplained mysteries that attracts me into the vast Australian bush. My expeditions are never a waste of time, for in the course of my searches I have seen remote and beautiful country that the average, suburbia-confined Australian does not know exists.
What I therefore offer the reader is a case for the survival into modern times, of a race of primitive hominid creatures, backed up by over 3,000 sightings and other reports at my disposal, and which certainly provide enough circumstantial evidence for their existence. No doubt the reader will find many startling possibilities presented in the course of this book, seemingly 'impossible' possibilities to be sure, but possibilities nonetheless, that a primitive "missing link" in the evolutionary history of Man may still survive, roaming the vast mountain wilderness regions of this mysterious continent.