From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
Mt Royal 1920's
interesting encounter of man and Beast
It was near Mt Royal one
day, during the 1920's, that a bushman was riding about in search of
cattle. As he rounded the lower end of a long, steep ridge extending
up into higher country, he met a creature whose appearance stunned him
for several minutes.
The creature stood about 1.6 m tall but was tremendously wide and heavily-built,
with an enormous chest, shoulders and long heavily-muscled arms reaching
to below its knees, with hands far, far larger than any ordinary man's.
It had a huge head somewhat bullet-shaped, with half-monkey, half-human
facial features, and it had long coarse-looking black hair covering
its head and much of the body.
As the bushmen steadied his horse while trying to comprehend the 'manimal'
before him, it stood gazing at him with large, jet black (but not unfriendly)
eyes. The horse displayed considerable fear, refusing to go any closer
than the 10 m or so that presently seperated the bushman from the weird
He addressed the hairy 'manimal' several times but 'he' made
no sound, then after about tem minutes, turned around and moved off
at a slow, shambling walk up along the far side of the ridge.
It had only walked about 30 m when it stopped, turned around and to
the rider's astonishment, began waving one huge hairy hand at him, as
though inviting him to follow. The man's curiosity was aroused, so he
began to follow at the same time reassuring his mount.
appeared pleased that he was following, and would walk a short distance,
then look back, wait until the rider was close, then move forward again,
along a shelf formation running parallel with the ridge.
The bushman followed the hairy manbeast for about three quarters of
a kilometre, before he noticed that the shelf was becoming narrower,
and it also became apparent that, where the shelf went around a sharp
bend at the foot of a high, steep cliff, he would be unable to turn
his horse around and which also prevented him from seeing what lay beyond.
Then when he was about 40 m from the bend, the weird creature broke
into a shuffling, shambling run, vanished around the bend for a short
time, then reappeared. Seeing that the man had stopped following it,
the 'manimal' began beckoning to him even more enthusiastically than
The man debated a while what he should do, at the same time keeping
a wary eye on the creature and listening for any sounds that might suggest
the presence of other similar animals nearby.
From where he was he could
still back his horse around and make a quick getaway, whereas up ahead
this was impossible.
He remained there for about ten minutes, pondering what he should do.
His curiosity told him to continue, and he might have, had his three
cattle dogs been with him, for he would have left his horse and gone
on foot; but his only defense if attacked was his heavy stockwhip (with
which he felt he could hand out some punishment to any assailant). Even
so, what if there was a whole mob of these creatures waiting for him
around the bend.
Common sense won out and he turned his horse around and rode off slowly,
looking behind him at the same time, to see what the 'manimal' would
do next. When it realised he was leaving, the creature began following
at a shambling, shuffling pace, at the same time beckoning him frantically
to come back, and emitting a series of cries and grunts, as if pleading
"Come back, Come back, I wont hurt you..."
The creature followed him for about half a kilometre beyond where the
bushman had first encountered it. His last sight of the 'manimal' was
of it gazing after him, with a sad, disappointed look on its face. The
bushman never saw the creature again, even though he often returned
to the scene alone, or with other men he sometimes took along. His tale
of the 'Wild Man of Mt Royal' often met with ridicule.
However, local Aborigines used to warn the first European settlers of
the district, to beware of hairy, human-like creatures of upwards 2.6
m height, who often emerged from a certain rocky gorge in search of
meat-animal or human..
Mulgrave River 1920's
During the 1920's an Aboriginal
boy 'Kevin' was kidnapped as a baby by a group of Birranbindins on the
upper Mulgrave River who raised him as if he were one their own. In
his first 15 years no white man saw them, although they watched police
and blacktrackers and others who entered their domain from the cover
of the surrounding jungle. One day the boy stumbled
upon an Aboriginal farmhand fencing in a remote area who spoke to him
in Yidigii, and convinced him to leave the bush for civilisation, after
which he was able to relate his story, and the daily life of the little
For example, he related a
distinctive cultural feature of these forest dwellers; the art of roasting
the poisonous alkaloids from many of the seeds and nuts of the rainforest,
then crushing them up and sifting the powdered remains so they can be
eaten. Large piles of nutshells
betray Birranbindin pygmy camp sites in the Qld jungles, and stone piles,
believed to be their graves, which occur in many locations of these
'Kevin' easily identified
many of these sites for researchers over the years, and revealed much
of the migratory patterns of the Birranbindin. He showed how they hunted
birds at night along the Mulgrave River, and how they plucked every
tiny feather from their kills, which they made into balls for easier
transport. Kevin revealed that most of their feeding and hunting habits
were nocturnal, although they used digging sticks in their search for
vegetable foods by day.
We now turn to the area covering
the Australian Capital territory [ACT] and Southern Highlands, inland
from the south coast, bounded to the south by the Australian Alps and
to the north by the Burragorang Valley and southern Sydney region.
It is a vast 'hairy man'
habitat, especially the Brindabella Range bordering the western side
of the ACT, beyond which lies the northern end of the Kosciusko National
Park, Tumbarumba, Batlow, Tumut, Adelong and Gundegai, all rich in old
prospector's tales of 'hairy men' seen in the mountains.
Even in the
mid-1920's, my father, Mr WF [Bill] Gilroy, as a young gold miner, heard
stories among the old prospectors at Adelong, of groups of 'hairy people'
- males, females and their young - seen roaming through the mountains.
of Carpentaria 1920's
ft tall kalkadoon People
During the 1920's a tribe
of up to 7ft tall [about 2.1m] Kalkadoon people was discovered living
on the Gulf of Carpenteria coast of Arnhem Land. These overly tall Aborigines
fished with nets and used water craft. They caught sea turtles and stingrays
and hunted for game in the coastal scrub. Unfortunately for them, contact
with Europeans soon brought attempts to 'civilise' them, and also diseases
from which they eventually died out. These Kalkadoons resemble modern-day
Aborigines but for their height.
Occasional sighting claims
of giant-size Aborigines of 2.6m height have persisted for generations
of white settlement in many parts of Australia's far north. If the Kalkadoons
still survive today, there cannot be many left. This is partly due,
claim the modern Aborigines, to the many wars that their forefathers
fought with these people in ages past, for the domination of the land.
They say that, in the long-ago Dreamtime, the Kalkadoons were far more
numerous; their territory extending roughly from around Broome and the
desert basin in Western Australia into the Northern Territory's 'Red
Centre', across into northern Qld. As I have said, other giant-size
Aboriginal races were believed to wander other widely-scattered parts
of Australia. I have heard Aboriginal tales of a larger-than-normal
size Aboriginal race having roamed central western NSW, with others
having inhabited Dreamtime Victoria and South Australia.
With at least
two exceptions to be discussed presently, all appear to have resembled
the modern Aboriginal people but for height and muscular build. The
origins of these oversized Australoids remains a mystery, but as with
their other, non-Aboriginal giant tool-making hominid and Yowie-type
neighbours, it would appear that more than one race of giant Aboriginal
people once shared this land.