Bigfoot (Yowie) Sightings – In Australia!

Time for another cryptid post!  As many are aware, the hybrid creature known as Bigfoot has many names in many countries and cultures; in North America, the most well-known is Sasquatch; in China, it is Yeti.  Here in Australia, we call these creatures Yowies (or less commonly, but possibly more accurately Yahoos).

First off, a newspaper account from the 1700s describing a hairy giant/monster brought back to England from Botany Bay:

An extract from Chapter 16 of Mysterious Australia, penned by Rex Gilroy:

The Yowie Story

From Eyewitness and Aboriginal Accounts

Sketch By Rex Gilroy

Australia’s Leading Authority on The Yowie

History Of The Yowies: In fact Australian settlers were seeing Yowies almost one hundred years before Europeans had ever heard of the Himalayan “Abominable Snowman”. And yet despite these facts, the Australian public, apart from experienced bushmen of the outback regions, have never heard of the Yowie. Aside from the few legends of the Yowie recorded in Aboriginal literature the Australian press had never heard of the creature.

That is until I published my first article about the Yowie enigma some years ago, thus becoming the first researcher ever to bring the existence of the Yowie to public attention throughout Australia. In quest of the Yowie I have devoted the past 36 years to recording sightings and other facts about the creatures throughout Australia.

All the Following Yowie Evidence is Gathered for Scientific Research at the:

The Australian Yowie Research Centre and Australasian Relict Hominid’s Research Center Katoomba

Established in 1965

All Images and Reports Copywritten 1965-2002 and beyond: The Author Rex Gilroy

Unless Otherwise Stated

Hairy Man-Beasts of the Australian Bush

From My First Book

Mysterious Australia 1995

Chapter 16

Hairy Man-Beasts of the Australian Bush: If it should surprise you that Sober Australians are seeing creatures that have always been believed to be confined to the vast snowy recesses and peaks of the Himalayas, then hold on to your armchair because by the time you’ve finished reading this chapter you could be convinced as I am, that manlike monsters exist right here in Australia.

You will learn the so-called “Abominable Snowman” has been seen over a wide area of Australia from the earliest times of Aboriginal and then European settlement to the present day. As I have said, Abominable Snowman are by no means confined to the Himalayas. Reported sightings of similar man-beasts have been recorded from both mainland and South-East Asia, and also over a wide area of North America.

The Creatures are Known Under a Variety of Names: Throughout the Himalayas they are known to the Sherpa people as “Yeti” {“dweller among the rocks”}. In China, the “Chi-Chi” or “Chang Mi” {wild man”}; and in Canada and the United States, “Sasquatch”, {hairy man of the forest”, better know as “Bigfoot”}. Other hairy man-apes are said to inhabit the jungles of South-East Asia and New Guinea.

Aboriginal traditions: Further south still, in south-eastern Australia, the Aborigines preserve traditions of the “Yowie” {also known as “Doolagahl”, meaning “great hairy man”}. The yowies, like their overseas cousins, are described as often enormous, hairy, manlike or ape-like creatures of tremendous weight and strength. Their physical description, as given by the Aborigines to early European settlers in the 1800’s, also matches descriptions given by modern-day eyewitnesses, and I believe this will be significant in the eventual scientific classification of these creatures.

According to Aborigines, the yowies were terrifying to look upon: fearsome and hairy, up to or over 2.6 metres in height, with strong muscular bodies, powerful arms and large hands longer than a human’s. They walked upright upon two legs with a stooped gait. Their heads were sunk into their shoulders, giving them the stooped appearance. They had a pointed sagittal crest {skull dome} and a recedding forehead with thick, protruding eyebrow-ridges and large deeply-set eyes. Males were often hairier than females, who had long pendulous breasts. The feet of the yowie were much larger than those of a normal-sized human, and possessed an opposable big toe.

These mysterious hominids roamed the remoter, forest-covered mountain regions either in small family groups or or hunting in ones and twos, their females and young secreted back in their lairs. The Aborigines both feared and respected the yowies, venerating them as sacred creatures from the Dreamtime. In fact, as already pointed out, Aboriginal folklore is still full of giant manlike beings, creatures sometimes over three metres in height. While some were giant humans who made massive stone tools and sometimes fire, others were more ape-like.

From Western Australia and the Northern Territory I have obtained traditions of a gigantic gorilla-like monster that once terrorised Aboriginal tribes of the interior. From the vast amount of evidence I have gathered, it is obvious to me that the yowie, or Doolagahl, like its central Australian gorilla-monster relatives, was no mere Aboriginal ‘bunyip’ but a flesh-and-blood creature.

What is the yowie? Before advancing to just some of the massive store of case-history evidence I have gathered in over 36 years of hunting yowies and other Australian ‘monsters’ across the continent, it is first necessary too examine the following facts.

A hypothetical reconstruction of a possible Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot skull, based upon the descriptions of the head, is revealing.

The pointed sagittal crest is a primate rather than modern human feature, while the receding forehead and thick, protruding eyebrow-ridges are features of primitive ‘ape man’ skulls of Java Man and Australopithecus who inhabited Asia half a million to two million years ago during the last ice age. In both China and Java, since the 1930’s anthropologists have been excavating massive fossil jaws and teeth of a giant, upright-walking, manlike ape called Gigantopithecus {“South China Giant”}, believed to have stood at least five metres in height. Giant-sized fossil footprints found in Asia are thought by some to be the tracks of Gigantopithecus.

In Australia, similar giant fossil tracks have been found which closely resemble the freshly made tracks of Yowie,/Yeti/Bigfoot creatures in modern times. Gigantopithecus is at present regarded by many ‘relict hominid’ researchers {such as myself} as the ancestor of the later, smaller Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot. While most ‘respectable’ scientists dismiss the surviving ‘relict hominid’ theory out of hand, there are a number of other researchers worldwide that think otherwise.

Of these, eminent American anthropologist Dr Grover T. Krantz of Washington State University is best known.

From exhaustive studies and comparisons of what he considers to be authentic Bigfoot footprint plaster-casts, Krantz has concluded that the creature may indeed be living representatives of Gigantopithecus. Despite worldwide scientific opinion that Gigantopithecus would have walked on its knuckles like a gorilla rather than on its feet. Dr Krantz makes a convincing argument based the spread of the lower jaw, that Gigantopithecus was actually an erect biped.

Using the massive fossil jaws of these monster man-apes as a guide he says;

If you change a gorilla to a vertical posture like a human, and make the neck come straight down, one thing you have to do is spread the back of the lower jaw to make room for the neck. And, as can be shown, the lower jaw of Gigantopithecus spreads much more widely than the jaw of a gorilla. Gigantopithecus was so much like the Sasquatch that I would assume Gigantopithecus is still alive today.

During the last great ice age, sea levels were much lower than they are today, and land-bridges joined Australia and the Americas to the Asian mainland. It was over these ‘bridges’ that the ancestors of the Yowie/Yeti/Bigfoot/ would have migrated. Our early European settlers took the existence of the Yowie/Doolagahl for granted, regarding them as some secretive race that inhabited the still largely unexplored interior of the continent, and the eastern Australian mountain ranges in particular. In fact, sightings of ‘hairy men’ by Europeans date back to the first years of settlement.

I find these ‘historic’ yowie reports fascinating, for they lend the mystery some degree of credibility. It is a belief in this credibility that has engaged me over the past 36 years to undertake countless field expeditions often in some of the most inhospitable mountain country, in search of evidence of these creatures ‘existence’.

Early Settler Sightings: My first meeting with the Yowie took place in 1957 when, as a 14 year old student at Liverpool Boy’s High School in Sydney’s west, I came across in the school library aboriginal myths and legends books containing numerous tales of these hairy men. I immediately became fascinated with the creatures and began collecting all the myths and legends I could about them. In 1958 when my family moved to Katoomba in the rugged Blue Mountains, not only did I soon find out that the Yowies were a part of local folklore, but that people had claimed to have seen the creatures from the early 1800’s into recent years.

There are vague reports of early settlers and soldiers having seen and shot at hairy hominid creatures in the Springwood district of the lower Blue Mountains as far back as the 1820’s. Over the years, similar tales have come from Katoomba and Blackheath as well as the nearby Megalong, Kanimbla and Hartley Valleys. Even the Sydney district in the early years of settlement was the scene of numerous ‘hairy man’ sightings. Beyond the settlement of Sydney Cove in what are now the sprawling, populated suburbs of modern Sydney, vast forests of trees and scrub existed there at the time.

South of Sydney beyond Botany Bay, the inlet now known as Yowie Bay reputedly got its name from the numerous ‘hairy man’ sightings that occured thereabouts in the early days. As early as 1795, a group of settlers on a hunting trip was said to have spotted a man-sized hairy beast dashing away from them through the scrub. Aborigines claimed that hairy men inhabit the wild gullies in the Hornsby district north of Sydney, and in about 1822, settlers are said to have made the first sightings of the man-beasts.

As the information concerning pioneer-period Yowie sightings began to mount, so did my first modern-day reports. My first press interview brought forth a farmer who claimed his father had seen a taller-than-man sized, hairy, ape-like creature near their Oberon farm west of the Blue Mountains many years before. By the 1870’s coal and shale mining had begun in the Blue Mountains and miners entered the rugged Jamieson Valley, cutting a railway line from the base of Katoomba Falls several kilometres out to Ruined Castle rock formation where a settlement was established for the mining of its extensive kerosene shale deposits.

[It did not take long for the miners to become aware of the ‘hairy man’.]

During 1875, a miner, Mr J.H. Cambell, was exploring scrubland on the western slope of the Castle, far below the tunnelling operations, when he sighted what he later described as a hairy, two metre-tall, manlike ape-like animal moving through the scrub about 100 metres ahead of him, and seemingly oblivious to his presence. Mr Cambell picked up a strong piece of tree limb for protection and stalked the hairy creature for half a kilometre before it eluded him.

Once settlers began penetrating further into Australia’s vast interior, sightings of the hairy man began to mount. Sightings in the southern alpine region of Victoria- New South Wales date from around the 1850’s, and in the northern NSW mountain ranges, such as on the Carrai range west of Kempsey {to which we shall return}, date from the 1840’s.

My files bulge with stories from every state, such as the following.

Jindabyne 1889: In 1889 a cattlemen, Mr Ben Delgate, with several other bushman, was mustering stock in the Jindabyne district of the Snowy Mountains late one afternoon in May. As they moved the mob through timber on the banks of the Snowy River, their cattle dogs began acting strangely, sniffing the air then whimpering and barking at something somewhere off in the dense forest. Then Ben and his mates were startled to see a three-metre tall, hairy man-like creature emerge from the trees, brandishing a large tree limb which it began waving threateningly at the men while emitting loud snarls.

The cattle began running in all directions, scattering in fright. One of the men raised his rifle at the man-beast and fired, hitting him in the shoulder. Screaming, the monster fled off into the timber, eluding the men who were unable to make their horses pursue the creature. The men could hear it screaming in the distance, crashing its way up through the mountainside scrub.

Tumut 1895: During 1895, two government geologists established a camp near Tumut while on survey for minerals in the Snowy Mountains. Late one night prior to sleeping, the men saw something like a dingo moving around the campfire. One of the me fired a shotgun at the ‘thing’, at which it adopted an upright stance upon two legs and scrambled in the bush. it was emitting blood-curdling screams as it faded into the distance. The men stayed up all night, piling logs on the fire with guns at the ready in fear of the creature’s return. The next morning they found tracks and traces of blood near the camp.


Victoria Early in the 1800’s: Early in the 1800’s, European settlers’ tales of ‘hairy man’ sightings covered much of of central Victoria, where the local Aborigines had another name for the fearsome creatures-“Doolagarl” {similar in pronunciation to the southern NSW tribal name “Doolagahl”}. Port Phillip District was the name by which Victoria was known prior to 1851. Early settlers once referred to the “hairy man” of the Port Philip District.

They were huge beasts, said to roam the countryside beyond old Melbourne. Both settlers and Aborigines kept clear of them. It was said about this time that people went missing along some of the old bush track. Several miners on their way to a gold claim saw a horseman ahead of them suddenly snatched from the mount by a huge, hairy man-ape’ that dashed out from out of tree cover.

Tasmanian Makoron Koro 1860’s: About this time,Tasmania was having its own problems with the hairy man, for whom the former Tasmanian Aborigines had several different names, such as “Makoron Koro” {hairy giant of the forest, also known as the Abominable Man”}. High mountain plateaus and lakes mostly dominate the interior of Tasmania, the vast forests remaining largely impenetrable. Cradle Valley is one area of early sightings still talked about by locals. It was here in the 1860’s that a group of explorers were terrified one night at their campfire by a thunderous roar that came from the depths of the forest.

Aborigines with whom they later spoke told them they heard the cries of the Makoron Koro, a giant manlike beast, capable of killing anyone who chanced to come across his path or invade his territory. A whole population of the creatures were supposed to inhabit the region. According to the tribespeople, these hominids wandered the mountains either alone or in pairs, but often in family groups. The males were very powerful, muscular and hairy, whereas the female had long, pendulous breasts. Sightings in the Cradlee Valley continue to the present day.

Western Australia 1898: Turning to Australia’s western half, there were literally dozens of names for the “hairy man” among the many Aboriginal tribes, including “Tjangara” {South Australia}, “Jinka” {Western Australia} and “Pankalanka” {Northern Territory} .

Back in 1898, a Mr Jack Petheridge was one of a party of graziers in search of good pasture lands beyond Broome in the ‘top end’ of Western Australia on the fringe of the wild north-west Kimberley region. Penetrating inland across the Fitzroy River, they entered the Oscar Range country. Jack was 25 years old at the time and a good shot with a rifle, supplying the group with kangaroo meat during the expedition. What follows is from Jack’s own diary, still preserved by decendants now living in Perth.

My companions and I had been out from Broome for two months, and as we were low on food again I went out one day to shoot more game. I approached a stand of trees and dense shrubbery. When it was but 30 yards distant, I heard rustling among the foliage. “Then to my horror, an enormous ape of the gorilla family emerged into view, full 14 feet in height. His snarling mouth, displayed large teeth and his eyes were deeply set within thick eyebrows. His forehead sloped back, and long thick reddish-brown hair trailed from his head which was sunk into the shoulders, giving him a stooped gait.

I observed his large genitals and his strong muscular body and arms which appeared much longer than a normal man’s. His hands and fingers were very large and he gripped a high-tree branch with his left hand as he stood looking menacingly at me. The man-ape began advancing towards me and it was then I fired a shot at the brute’s chest. He screamed and clutched his chest but kept coming, so I fired again-a fatal shot at his head-and bought him down only feet from me. The man-ape was covered over much of his body in thick reddish-brown hair and had very large feet with an opposable big toe.

I ran back to camp to tell my disbelieving companions but, after they saw the body, the first thought was how many of these gorillas were thereabouts. But the creatures great height and bulk, was much more than any ordinary gorilla to our knowledge and, anyway, what were such animals doing in Australia?

The men left this “gorilla” lying there and abandoned the region to head for home. Jack later returned to the area with a naturalist, but, by then, months had passed and they could not find any trace of the animal’s bones.”

There are many historical accounts preserved across Australia, all of which demonstrate that our pioneers took the existence of the “hairy man” very seriously.

Ancient Aboriginal Traditions: But what of the far older traditions of our Aboriginal people? They had of course known of the ‘hairy man’ for untold thousands of years before European arrival on this continent. Indeed, they claim the Yowie/Doolagahl, etc, like the other giant races mentioned in the previous chapter, had existed here long before the appearance of the first Aborigines. The Aborigines Australia wide venerated the yowies as very sacred creatures, usually not to be harmed. There were however, exceptions whenever the hairy men became a nuisance, as in the case of the “Turramulli”” giants of Cape York in Queeenslands far north.

Hereabouts the Yalanji and other tribes recognised two forms of hairy man-the “Turramulli” and the “Imjim”. The Imjim were a much smaller man-beast answering to the general description of the yowie, whereas the Turramulli giants appear to have been much closer to the general appearance of the Gigantopithecus. According to the Yalanji people, although the Imjim were big and strong hairy creatures, they were nowhere near the height and strength of the Turramulli giants were a good three metres in height and very ferocious.

Quinkin Mountain: Quicken Mountain situated deep in the Cape York interior was, they said, one lair of the Turramulli, Yalanji elders say that, while the Injim were from 2 to 2.3 metres tall, the Turramulli giants were a good three metres in height and very ferocious. Quinkin Mountain, situated deep in the Cape York interior, was, they said, a lair of the Turramulli monsters, and the Aboriginals kept clear of the region as much as possible.

The Turramulli giants used to emerge in groups from the mountain forage for food on the surrounding plain. They were even known to chase Aboriginal hunting parties from their ‘kills’ and feed upon them. Eventually, however, the Yalanji people banded together and determined to wipe out the Turramulli monsters. They fell upon the monsters in several battles, spearing them to death. Some were said to have survived, retreating further into the mountain country where to this day, say the Yalanji, they may still live.

There are remote areas of the Cape York region that Aborigines will not enter or remain too long for fear the Turramulli will capture and eat them!

Gurumuka: Aborigines of Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, which was formerly joined to nearby Arnhem Land during the last ice-age, preserve traditions of another Gigantopithecus-type monster similar to Turramulli. This giant was known as “Gurumuka”. The Garumukas were described as a race of up to three-metre-tall, powerfully built, hairy male and female creatures with big teeth. They were omnivorous in their eating habits, so ate flesh. They also ate Aborigines, and were most active at night-and heaven help any Aborigine caught by one of these prowling cannibal giants! Gradually, however, the Groote Eylandt Aborigines summoned up the courage to stand up to the Gurumukas, eventually killing them off.

Lo-An: Aborigines of the Kulin tribe of the Yarra Flats region of the Yarra Flats region of Victoria, feared man-ape monsters known as the “Lo-An”. They drove the Kulin Aborigines from their hunting grounds thereabouts, to live on the eels and other aquatic life of the area which the females {who were somewhat smaller than the males} cooked in earth ovens. it appears the Aborigines here, as elsewhere, often confuse the tool-making, fire making giant hominids with the more primitive yowies. According to legend, the Lo-An eventually followed migrating swans to the Western Port area, then followed the coastline until they reached Wilsons Promontory where they made their home.

The Gubri Man and the Hoori Woman: The former tribes of eastern New South Wales possessed a mass of yowie folklore far beyond the scope of this book to cover; (Which will be covered more fully in my upcoming book on the Yowies-Release Date:April 2001-to order your copie’s click Uru Publications: {Uru Publications}so I shall return to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to give just one example-that of the Frog Hollow yowie myth, better known as “the Gubri Man and the Hoori Woman”, which is described thus.

“He is a giant who has burning red eyes that peer from an oversized head, and great big thick lips surrounding an enormous mouth, and he lives with his female counterpart in a rock shelter in Frog Hollow. His female counterpart, the Hoori Woman, is equally large, an exceptionally ugly creature, and she possesses a fearful voice.”

This is how old Aborigines described the male and female yowies that, long before the coming of the white man, inhabited a large rock formation that now overlooks the old Catalina racing circuit on the western side of the Katoomba township. Both creatures were avoided but respected by the Aborigines who inhabited the area. The Gubri Man and Hoori Woman were cannibalistic, feeding upon any Aborigine unfortunate enough to be caught by them.

Both creatures were said to be covered in long hair. They could be spotted often at their rock shelter, feeding upon roots and berries or animal, and uttering strange sounds to one another. They would emit loud howling sounds at any Aborigine they saw spying on them. At the time of writing {1993}, I have been researching the yowie mystery for 36 years, and at age 49 I still have no intention of quitting the search. Heather, my wife of the past 21 years , has joined me in this quest.

Yowie Sketch Rex Gilroy

From My Personal Sighting

Father’ of yowie research: With at least 5,000 yowie reports in my files and a growing collection of footprint plaster casts of the creatures, any normal person would seem justified in saying that we have more than enough to prove the existence of Australia’s Bigfoot. But as nothing short of actual physical proof-such as fossil or recent skeletal remains or a living specimen-will ever convince the scientific community of the existance of the ‘hairy man, our search must continue.

I feel privileged to be the ‘father’ of yowie research’, but it has not been easy-a lifetime of ridicule from both ignorant laymen and scientists alike, not to mention the often comic approach of the media. Yet, despite the disbelievers, I continue to receive reports from across the country. Not a week goes by without letters and phone calls from people who genuinely believe they have seen one of these creatures, heard of other sightings or else found possible footprints of one of the hominids in some remote part of the country.

As an open-minded field naturalist and historical researcher/archaeologist with a lifetime’s interest in all ‘unexplained phenomenon’, I have always been fascinated by the ‘known’ as well as the ‘unknown’ in nature. I realise that lack of evidence does not necessarily mean lack of existence for any rarely seen or ‘unknown’ animal or hominid species.

I am often asked why I persist in my search, year after year, without finding actual physical proof of the Australian man-beasts. For me, the answer is threefold:

firstly, I seek to vindicate ancient Aboriginal traditions of the yowie;

secondly I seek to obtain the necessary physical evidence, such as skeletal remains, to put before scientists to have them accorded the same protective legislation given to any other rare life-form;

and thirdly, even if my searches fail to find this evidence, at least my wife and I are privileged to see magnificent wilderness areas largely unknown to most city-bound Australians.

The historic period ‘hairy man’ reports lend credibility to Australian relict hominid research. Why? Because, as has been shown, the public and also the press of those times took them seriously generations before the ignorant tongue-in-cheek reporting regrettably practised by today’s gentlemen and women of the press’. But, even today, reports emerge which these reporters cannot easily dismiss, and it is to these modern-day accounts we now turn.

Much of the publicity surrounding yowie sightings on modern times centered upon the eastern Australian region. But what of the mass of reports hardly ever mentioned in the press from Australia’s western half? What has been happening in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia lately?

Well, we’re certainly not left out…

23 thoughts on “Bigfoot (Yowie) Sightings – In Australia!

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