Ape-Men in Australia
by Rex Gilroy
Copyright (c) 2001 Rex Gilroy.
This article is composed of extracts from my 2001 Yowie book:
“Giants From the Dreamtime”
-The Yowie in Myth and Reality.
Copyright (c) 2001 Rex Gilroy, Uru Publications.
[Released in March, 2001, click here for Ordering Details]
Yowies in Australia
Man-Apes of Eastern Australia
Excerpts From Chapter 16 Mysterious Australia 1995 - Rex Gilroy Parts 1-13
Click at End of each Article for Parts 2-16
Part 14-16 Is The Updated Version From the 2001 Yowie Book
" Giants From The Dreamtime - The Yowie in Myth & Reality."
Lacking physical proof, I am open-minded on the yowie enigma. It is, after all, too ancient a tradition to be light heartedly dismissed. "If the yowie exists, why no bones?" ask the sceptics. The answer is simple. Mother Nature keeps a clean house. No sooner does an animal die than its tissue is quickly eaten up in the wild by other animals and by decomposition and acidic chemicals in the forest soil. Bones become scattered, softened by moisture and cracked by heat so that, soon, nothing remains.
Everyone has seen koalas in zoos, but how many have ever found one dead in the wild? The Australian bush is so vast that it is a case of being in the right place at the right time to find a recently deceased animal or its skeleton. The rarer the species or the more secretive it is, the less chance of finding remains. So, finding physical evidence of the yowie or any other 'unknown' species is very difficult, considering the terrain in which they live. On the other hand, fossil remains of a yowie could yet turn up to settle the issue finally.
If ever there was another mountainous forest-covered region to rival the Blue Mountains for yowie reports, it has to be the equally vast Carrai Range west of Kempsey on the NSW mid-north coast. How the early pioneers were able to penetrate this 'green hell' is beyond me, yet these hardy settlers had done exactly that. As early as 1842 they had reached the Carrai Plateau to establish farms, now long-vanished with the advancing jungle.
It was not long before the settlers began finding strange footprints around the creeks where they took their cattle to drink. That same year, children of the settlers were frightened one day by what they described as a tall, hairy manlike beast who came toward them from out of nearby scrub as they sat playing in a clearing, forcing them to flee for their lives. A search party was organised soon afterwards.
Some days later, the strange beast was seen again near cattle and this time was pursued. However, it eluded its pursuers among the rocks and dense jungle. In 1848, settlers saw at least two of the mysterious hairy creatures in separate instances. On the second occasion, cattlemen pursued the beast up a mountainside where they appeared to have it trapped. Before anyone could shoot it, the mystery creature had climbed down a cliffside and disappeared once again into the forest below.
To this day, farmers around Kempsey, especially in the Carrai foothills, are frequently in the habit of carrying rifles with them whenever they check their stock. They remember only too well the incidents thereabouts over the years when yowies have strayed from their rainforest mountain habitat to enter farming properties. The story is still recalled of when, in 1965, a husband and wife left their remote farm near the Carrai foothills to drive to Kempsey for shopping. Their 15-year-old daughter was left alone to do housework in their absence.
She had tidied up about the house and was in the backyard feeding chickens when the family dog, chained up near the house, began to bark furiously, then cringe and crawl inside its kennel. Suddenly feeling that something was behind her, the girl turned, dropping the bag of chicken-feed she was holding, and screamed in terror. There, standing several feet from her and towering over her frail five-foot height was an enormous, hairy manlike beast, a good eight feet tall. It showed a ferocious look in its eyes which she later recalled were set deep inside big eyebrows. Large teeth showed from its snarling mouth.
The beast moved toward her, but the girl, although terrified, regained her senses enough to turn and rush up the back-door steps into the house, slamming and bolting the door as she did so. For some minutes, she later recalled, the beast seemed to pace around the house emitting a loud grunting noise, then all went silent. She was beside herself with terror by the time her parents returned a couple of hours later, and although she could describe exactly what she had seen to her parents and later to police, nobody in authority took any action. No search was organised to attempt to track the mysterious intruder due to the vastness of the nearby forest.
The Carrai is a mysterious, eerie, foreboding place in which few people dare to camp overnight. Weird cries from the forest depths, and the sounds of twigs snapping underfoot as mysterious upright-walking creatures move about in the forest, have all too often terrified campers who have sometimes caught a glimpse of some huge hominid form watching them from the trees, illuminated in the campfire glow.
Since 1977, my wife Heather I have mounted numerous field expeditions to the Carrai. On one expedition in June 1980, during a howling gale we followed a trail of indistinct hominid footprints, perhaps only an hour old, through rainforest soil, moss and leaf mould near Daisy Plains at the top of the range. It was impossible either to have photographed or cast these tracks, but even in these adverse weather conditions we could detect a faint pungent odour about them. Once again the 'hairy man' had eluded us, for the lashing of the dense foliage and icy wind forced us to abandon our search. [Expedition Section Click Here]
Further down the coast from Kempsey lies Taree, and inland, the wild mountainous country of the Barrington and Woko National Parks. In April 1993 a farmer found a number of giant-sized, man/ape-like footprints on his Manning River-bank property at Wingham, inland from Taree. Measuring 40 cm long by 17 cm wide, they were spaced about 1.5 metres apart. The man-beast who made them would easily have stood 2.6 m tall.
In February 1992 at Coopemook to the north of Taree, campers reported seeing a 1.6-metre-tall hairy female creature; while earlier, in May 1990, bushwalkers claimed to have seen a two-metre-tall, hairy male yowie in dense scrub outside nearby Lansdowne. I am interested in the Wingham footprints for they match others found in March 1990 in the Numinbah Valley, inland from the Queensland Gold Coast and close to the New South Wales border. These in turn match others found in the Kanangra Boyd National Park and also others found some years ago in the Cooma district of the Snowy Mountains.
The Taree area has been the scene of yowie sightings and footprint discoveries since pioneering days last century. For example, in 1842, a Wingham area settler was rounding up cows on his farm one day when a "naked, nine-foot-tall, manlike hairy beast approached him from out of bushland. In 1850, a family was said to have been surprised by a seven-foot-tall female creature with long pendulous breasts and a "monkey-like face" as they travelled along a bush track in a cart near Harrington.
Similar stories were rife hereabouts during the First World War period and into the 1920s, just as they were around Kempsey and other coastal towns further north, and they continue today. Since European settlers first entered the rugged Numinbah Valley and also the nearby Tweed Valley and NSW side of the wild Border Ranges just to the south, there have been tales of the fearsome "Monster Men of the Lamington Plateau"-huge, hairy ape-like, manlike beasts upwards of 2.6 to 3 metres in height. The females were described as having long, pendulous breasts and being less hairy than the males.
It was the Aborigines who first cautioned the early settlers of these valleys, out of which rise the imposing Lamington cliffs with their jungle-covered tops. The deep, rugged rainforested wilds below still challenge any would-be explorers.
Click here for Part 11 of Man-Apes of Eastern Australia
Excerpts From Chapter 16 Mysterious Australia 1995 - Rex Gilroy Parts 1-13