From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
of the southern Highlands district still talk of incidents stretching
back 100 years along the Deua River, west of Moruya, around Araluen
between Braidwood and the south coast and Numeralla.
The Yowies here
were said to occasionally wander from out of the rugged mountainous
forest country onto remote farms, to kill straying stock, carrying off
the butchered remains to caves back in the mountains leaving behind
them the crude stone knives with which they had carved up the animals.
They do not
appear to have been the 'monkey'-type Yowies of elsewhere, and as late
as the 1940's were still being reported seen quite frequently, until
the spread of civilisation drove them deeper into the mountain ranges.
Back in the 1940's Jimmy
Cook, a part Aboriginal, was employed on a farm in the Orbost district
of north-eastern Victoria. One day he set out to walk into town. An
hour or two later he returned to the farm in an exhausted state, trembling
and for some time unconsolable.
After he had sufficiently
recovered, he told his employers that, on his way along a bush road
he had spotted a 'hairy man' watching him from nearby bushes. The man-sized
creature began to follow him and Jimmy 'took to his heels' screaming
He made for the nearby Snowy
River, and upon reaching the bank, clambered over rocks, wading into
the water to the opposite bank. The hairy creature, having reached the
water's edge, stood watching him escape.
Tales of Yowies
seen in Megalong Valley were still commonplace during the 1940's, when
Mrs Iris Baker [now of Springwood, and mentioned earlier in this chapter]
had her own 'close encounter' with one of these 'manimals'.
creature of great Height
Mrs Irene Daniel informed
me in 1982 that, when she was a young girl in the early 1940's, she
lived with her family at Crowdy, situated 50 miles south of Port Macquarie.
"I used to walk in to
the school with other children of a morning along a bush track. Sandy
hills lay on one side, on a freshwater lagoon which lay between the
ocean and swamps and bushland." "On one occasion the
children found big footprints in the sand leading down toward the lagoon."
"I also recall about
this time, three men were out shooting one day when they spotted a creature
in the swamp thereabouts. The creature was of great height, about 12
ft [3.6 m]. The men at first thought it was a man walking in the swamp,
but once they realised it was no normal human they ran off in fear of
Roy went out looking for sheep on his horse. This was during the early
1940's. He rode off into the dense mountain country. He later returned
in haste, galloping up to the house." "'Did you
hear the news. A couple of kids are lost up in the mountains. I found
bare footprints out in the scrub - might be their's,' he said. We wanted
to make our own search for the children, but as it was getting dark
the search had to wait till morning."
light we rode up into the scrub to the site of the footprints. Roy had
apparently not had a close enough look at the tracks the previous day,
for when we saw them we realised they appeared more ape-like than human." "We boiled
the billy and while discussing the tracks and the likely whereabouts
of the missing children [who turned up later elsewhere], we began to
feel that we were being watched. We were glad to get out of the area.
legged brown man-like Creature
In the area
known as "Giants Dance", which lies on the Wild Cattle Creek,
itself about 6 km from Watsons Creek, there is an unpopulated area of
gum forest some 50,000 or so square acres in extent. There was a tin
mine here in the 1940's.
Near the mine
and above the creek was a cabin constructed of tin sheeting, and it
was here that kangaroo shooter, Mr Keith Blackman used to stay when
shooting in the area.
One day as he
walked down to the creek, rifle in hand, he saw ahead of him, and across
the creek, a "two legged, brown haired, 2.6m tall, manlike creature,"
as he described it later.
strode into the water in his direction, at which Keith fired a shot
at the monster hominid, then turned and bounded for the cabin, barring
The hairy man-ape
did not pursue him and had disappeared by the time Keith nervously looked
outside. However, the next morning when he emerged, he was shocked to
find huge footprints in the soft dirt all around the area. He lost no
time leaving the place after that!"
"In the early years
of the 20th century, prior to World Was One, settlers of the Cloncurry
and Mount Isa districts were warned by Aborigines that "giant blackfellas"
were still living in the arid country of the nearby Selwyn Range. 'Kalkadoon
Man come get you' was a common warning.
I know of a cave painting
in the Cloncurry district that old Aborigines say depicts this giant." "In the late 1940's
I met a drover, Jim Spriggs, at a pub in Darwin. In the course of a
discussion on our travels I happened to mention the old stories of giant
Aborigines in northern Qld." "Oh, the Abo's talk
about them up in Arnhem Land, and I saw one myself a while back,"
"I pressed him further
and he told me that, one day in 1940 he was mustering a large mob of
cattle in the Roper River area near Urapunga. With him were three Aboriginal
stockmen." As they sat on their mounts,
about 200 yards away a very tall dark figure emerged from the nearby
scrub. At this the Aborigines cried 'Kalkadoon Man boss, Kalkadoon Man',
and galloped off in fright.
Jim then realised that the
figure in the distance was no ordinary man and at least 8 ft in height.
He was holding a spear which he then hurled into a nearby calf. As the
cattle took fright and scattered, the big native dashed to the calf,
and removing the spear, picked up the dead animal and strode off back
into the scrub.
All this time Jim just sat
on his horse dumbfounded. "I was unarmed but for
my stockwhip, and if necessary could have dealt out some punishment
to the big bloke if he tried to attack me." Jim then road off to search
for his frightened Aborigines. "I found them soon after,
and with difficulty got them to help me round up the scattered stock.
They were certainly glad to get out of the place," he said.
"Having learnt the Aboriginal
name for these giants I was pleased some years later to be invited by
a couple of tribal elders, while in the Victoria River district near
Wave Hill, to inspect a number of very large human footprints fossilised
in solid rock, made they said, by a 'Kalkadoon Man' in the Dreamtime."
"These giant Aboriginal
beings will always remain very real to them." The scepticism of many people
regarding such claims is understandable, but to the Aborigines these
beings are very real. They are real also to experienced
old bushmen who have had their own encounters with the Kalkadoon people,
and do not take kindly to anyone who doubts their honesty.
Like the Jim Jim pygmy folk,
the dreaded Pankalankas and gorilla-like Jimbras, the Kalkadoons are
no myth and some still survive "out there, somewhere"!