YOWIE SEARCH IN THE WINGHAM. NSW DISTRICT
by Rex Gilroy
Copyright © Rex Gilroy 2009
On Monday 10th August 2009 Heather and I drove to Wingham, which lies west of Taree, in the mid-north coastal
Here we stayed with Faye Burke, who with her cousin, Alana Garnett, had recently been in the news with their
startling ‘close encounter’ with a [male] Yowie one night as they drove past him on the scrub-lined roadside on Mt
We had come to visit the site with Faye and Alana, who had also found a large footprint in sand nearby.
The hominid they saw was, they said, 8ft [2.44m] in height, standing erect with its back to them on the roadside
at the base of a 25ft [7.62m] embankment. Alana was on the passenger side as Faye drove up the hill. It was a half
moonlit night, the date being Friday 31st July.
Faye told us that their encounter occurred as they approached Connelly’s Creek Gap “just on the other side of Mt
“We were about 200 metres from the top of the hill when I saw ahead in the headlights this big hairy ‘animal’ thing on the side of
It was about 8ft tall and 4ft [1.22m] wide across the shoulders”.
Alana said that they both yelled out “holy hell” along with a list of other [unmentionable] words. “We panicked”, she said.
Faye added that “I couldn’t turn the car around because I had the trailer* and the road was too narrow. I was s**t scared and
thought I better not mess with this thing in case it lifts the trailer up and tips us over the bank edge”. [*the trailer was empty at that
time prior to being loaded up with pumpkins from Faye’s brother’s home].
Keeping her foot on the accelerator and speeding past the hominid [at this point Alana says she was within 3ft
of the manbeast], Faye said to Alana, “Did you see that?” “Do you mean that thing that looked like a Bigfoot?” Alana replied. Faye said, “No, it wasn’t a Bigfoot, it was a Yowie” at
which Alana screamed back “Same thing!”
They described the hominid to us as having dark brown hair which was all matted. “The breeze from the passing car made the hair around its neck flick up as we drove past”, said Alana.
Faye and Alana returned the next day to look for any signs of the Yowie.
A couple of hundred feet down the
road from where they had passed the hominid, in sand on a roadside semi-clearing surrounded by scrub, and beneath
the base of a steep hillside property, they found an indistinct large footprint showing the instep and five toes.
On Tuesday, after spending the previous night discussing Faye and Alana’s encounter, we headed off for Mt George.
Since their ‘close encounter of the hairy kind’, some yokel had nailed a crude tin cut-out of a Yowie to a tree
trunk opposite where they had seen the being.
Later, further along the road, we came across cloth road signs declaring “Yowie Country”. Such antics only help to bring discredit on the whole Australian relict hominid subject. Happily
these bits of nonsense all mysteriously disappeared!
Our investigation of the site commenced with photographing the exact spot of the encounter from every angle.
It appeared to me that the hominid had emerged from a deep forested gully on the opposite side, then crossed the road
to probably climb the hill, only to find the embankment at this spot impossible to negotiate.
At this point Faye and
Alana’s vehicle would have been heard approaching and the manbeast, perhaps hoping to merge into the roadside
darkness, had stood with his back to the approaching vehicle, but was of course seen.
Once the vehicle had passed him, the hominid may have returned to the opposite side of the road and returned
to the forested gully. If this was so, I wondered if perhaps a second, unseen hominid had been involved. The footprint
may hold the answers to the mystery. It pointed in the direction of the opposite side of the road and the wooded gully
I made a plaster cast of the footprint but at the same time realised that it was part of a ‘trackway’ of other
indistinct impressions in grass coming down from a small embankment above which was a property fence line behind
which rose the hill.
We followed the trial until it led onto the opposite side of the fence.
Here I left Faye and Alana to climb the
hill, still following the large indistinct feet impressions in the grass. I also detected a faint musty smell in the area about
the impressions as if the hominid had left behind a strong body odour which was by now almost faded away.
I reached the summit, to see the tracks led off along the hilltop over a saddle to another rise of forest cover in
This had obviously been the place from where the hominid had first emerged, to walk downhill to the
roadside, before crossing over into the gully, this having happened on the same night that Faye and Alana had seen
what appeared to me to have been a second manbeast.
While the cast was drying we carried out a search of the gully opposite where Faye and Alana had seen their
Yowie. For a time we followed a forest track, then left this to explore through the dense scrub. Finding a small creek
we searched for signs of other footprints but found none.
Then as we fought our way up through some really dense shrubbery towards the road above, Faye and I came
across two recently manufactured eoliths, or ‘dawn tools’ of the kind manufactured by Homo erectus. However, these
crude implements were not ancient, but comparatively recent, suggesting they had been manufactured within the last
couple of years.
The footprint cast itself was revealing. Although the toes were a little indistinct it was obviously a right foot
impression, which I measured to be 40cm in length by 26cm width across the toes, 18.5cm across the mid-foot and
16cm wide across the heel. Its depth was 3.2cm at the toes, 2cm at mid-foot and 2.5cm at the heel.
It appears to closely
resemble other tracks cast by myself and Greg, during our Carrai Range [Kempsey district] further north back in
September 2008 and was by its shape made by the larger form of Homo erectus Yowie, known as ‘Rexbeast’.
While at Wingham the Taree press [Manning River Times] did a story about our search, and NBN News also
interviewed Faye and I, before Heather and I had to drive home on the Thursday.
However, the indications are that there has to be a small group of these primitive Homo erectus survivors
wandering the mountains hereabouts, perhaps even more than one group, as from other Yowie reports from the Dingo
Tops region. Therefore the Gilroys are to make an ongoing field investigation of the Wingham forests. Who knows
what we may turn up in the months and years ahead in these wilds?
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