From the Dreamtime the Yowie In Myth And Reality
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.
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.
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.
sightings claims also convinced me that, perhaps some of these mysterious
'manimals' still survived in remote regions of our vast mountain ranges.
soon led me to undertake my first field investigations.
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.
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
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.
Back in 1958 Tom Ward, a
timber cutter, was working on hot day in forest country near Bendemeer. Sitting down on the ground
for a rest he soon dozed off. Some time later he awoke to a bad smell,
as if a rotting carcase was nearby, only to find that the smell was
coming from a 3m tall hairy male creature, whose face looked more ape
than human and who was at this moment standing nearby among the trees
watching the terrified Tom.
"He had a large muscular
chest, a big arm and leg muscles, enormous feet, and his big powerful
hands reached down towards his knees, as he stood in a stooped posture." "His face had a flattish
nose and eyes set deep inside very thick and protruding eyebrow ridges,
and his forehead sloped back. Long, thick brown hair covered his head,
hanging over his big shoulders, and his head seemed to sink into the
shoulders which gave him the stooped appearance.
I saw there was long
hair all over his chest, back, arms and legs." "I slowly reached for
my axe lying next to me, then quickly got to my feet and began carefully
backing away. All this time the giant man-ape made no sound, just looked
at me with an inquisitive expression. Then, he just turned around and
walked away into the trees, leaving me in a state of mild shock."
"I never returned to
that place again, and was always wary of cutting timber in remote places
thereafter," Tom said to me some 20 years after his eerie encounter.
Whole families of these primitive
hominids have been claimed seen in these parts, even with recent years. The height of average Sedapas
is aid to be at least 1.5 to 1.8m for the males and 1.2 to 1.5m for
the females. In June 1958 a small female, half-human creature, was captured
by a party of natives in the Pabamulih region of Sumatra.
She appeared teenaged, had
long dark hair and stood about 1.5m in height. The natives expected
they would be rewarded for her capture. However, when the authorities
failed to pay them, they released her back into the wild.