Bigfoot Encounters

The Australian Yowie, Ray Crowe,
October 28, 2006 -- IBS meeting talk

Daughter Pam and I arrived in Australia September 27th, at 7 pm in Sydney “The Big Smoke” Airport. Had to wait to meet with host Tony Healy a few days, with the suggestion that Pam and I explore Sydney, as Tony and Mike Williams were on horseback in the outback at a Yowie sighting scene.

We explored: The Botanical Garden; Art Museum (Concentrated on Aboriginal art); Natural History Museum-dinosaur exhibit & Aboriginal artifacts; A Harbor tour; Wildlife exhibit-platypus were very active; Aquarium and Zoo. Later the Maritime Museum—had some Interesting Aboriginal history; Zoo-on a steep hill; and a Dinosaur Museum in Canberra.

Met with Tony Healy (who, along with Paul Cropper), authored “Out of the Shadows,” 1994, Macmillan, Australia. Tony drove us towards the Blue Mountains, SW of Sydney, where there was an area of many Yowie reports near Hazelbrook, Wentworth Falls, and Katoomba.

The Australian Yowie appears to be very similar to our own Bigfoot/Sasquatch. It averages over seven foot tall, is usually black, occasionally reddish--even white, screams, makes unintelligible speech-like noises, and is even known to make loud bird-like noises; throws rocks, breaks branches, pulls up or twists trees, climbs trees, one “Swung himself over the cliff by a huge vine, and descended in that manner…in the gorge beneath.” The Yowie has heavy brow ridges, nose and face are flat, and he smells like garbage. Tony notes in “The Yowie” when the creature approached, “…the Yowie’s whole body seemed to go tense and the air was full of that disgusting smell like rotting meat, but worse, more primal,…” (as Dian Fossy noted with gorillas, they emit odor when scared).

As with witnesses here, the hair stands up on some people necks before they see anything: “I was working under a tractor when the hair stood up on the back of me neck. You know—the feeling like...” Tony and I discussed this phenomenon and wondered if the creature didn’t emit some low-frequency sound (like elephants do), which subconsciously scared people.

The Yowie is often described as having sharp fangs…unlike Bigfoot, or having long claws (probably long nails sharpened by use), though the yowie track photos I’ve seen illustrated don’t show any nail sign that I saw. Also, they have rounded heads, rather than pointed like the P/G’s “Patty.” They sometimes sway, waddle, walk sideways like a crab, or even are known to go on all fours. They are omnivores, eating meat: kangaroos or apples, they peel bananas, really like honey and according to some Aborigines, even devour “bad” little children. Poop is big also, a “log” was found measuring 18 inches by 8 inches around, and human looking, composed of insects and vegetable matter. They make beds of grass, leaves, saplings, often under overhanging rock or they make tunnels in a thicket. A bed was 6 inches deep, and had a 12-inch pillow. After 2-3 months, the creature would move on, perhaps to a different food source. Dr. Henner Fahrenbach identified hairs as being like that of a sasquatch.

The Yowie times of activity are similar to that of the Pacific Northwest Bigfoot also. The peak activity is from 9PM to 3AM, when they apparently snooze until past morning, not being early risers, and are active again from 10AM to 5PM, and then it’s rest time again. This is similar to the graph I plotted for our Pacific Northwest Bigfoot.

Met Mike Williams, exchanged plaster footprints…I gave him Bossberg track copies in return for Yowie track copies. Mike is investigating “Mystery Cats,” and has also given us a cat track copy. He thinks the cat might be similar to our cougar…but there is a lot of variation in the reports. One lady reports WWII GI’s releasing a breeding pair. Actual black leopards are known from Africa and Asia.


Met investigator Neil Frost and his wife, Sandy, in the Blue Mountains. Their family and 60 neighbors have had a 20 year ongoing relationship with the Yowies, as they often visited his home…on the porch, and in the yard, several times, coming from a nearby swamp.

Neil, a trained anthropologist and teaching at present, invited Pam and I to their beautiful home, just off The Great Western Highway, running down the crest of the Blue Mountains. The “Hairy Man” had been seen also by his wife, son and daughter; as they growled, roared, damaged trees, left footprints, thumped walls…and they nicknamed him “Fatfoot” (see the track). Prior to 1985, while building their house in the bush, they found 20 huge footprints across fresh turned soil…they thought at the time it was a joke by somebody with rubber feet.

The creature would tear apart tree bark of the bloodwood, apparently for grubs, and leave marks of four fangs. One wonders if this was its home territory, and lacking room to move on, it stayed. Neal tried to photograph it using infrared light, but it stayed just out of range. Possibly a good idea for people who might want privacy from the creatures looking in their windows…erect IR lights. Neil tried later to get good plaster tracks by laying down a blanket of sand, which the creature avoided. Perhaps if one were to plant a vegetable garden, and keep the soil tilled frequently. Wonder what the creature would do if you put an electric fence up?

Oct 3rd, visited Hargaves Lookout, atop steep sandstone cliffs. We were able to overlook the site where Tony and Mike had previously went in on horseback to examine a Yowie sighting area. The lady witness, Catherine Bolton, had been riding around at 11:30 AM on September 6th, with her four other companions when the four foot tall, dark brown-black creature appeared, only 60-90 feet away, spooking her horse, which, after trying to bite her, threw her against a gum tree and broke two ribs, her collar bone, and she also had many contusions. The Yowie was standing in full view in the bush between two trees, and staring at them. There was an awful odor, and her girlfriend yelled, “What the hell was that?” as she saw the yowie running; “Did you see that?” It looked more like a monkey person, long hair, square shoulders, squashed nose, canine teeth, three claws on the feet. And they kept smelling the foul thing. It had something in its left hand…possibly a dead kangaroo.

Friend Sarah said the horses were peeing everywhere, as the creature was only 5 to 30 feet away from her. “It was just glaring at me…then it ran…It was time to get outta’ there.” The half human-half animal had canines like a vampire. It was a darkish black-brown color.

At the Blue Mountains National Park we visited the Sky Lift, which took us down the steep sandstone cliffs to explore the rainforest and an abandoned coalmine. At the top were bronze statues; recalling the witch doctor that changed three maidens into stone pillars. The Dreamtime story says that the three maidens fell in love with men from a neighboring tribe, and it was forbidden for them to wed…war broke out between the tribes, and the witch doctor turned the maidens to stone to protect them. Then the witch doctor was killed…and there was no way or no one to turn them back to human again.

On Tablelands Road near Wentworth Falls (I posed holding bananas as bait for the Yowie), Justin Garlick, a teenager was terrified by three Yowies after having a spat and leaving his girlfriend at home in a huff. Totally freaked out, said he “pooped” himself, he finally drove them off using an air horn.

Also at Wentworth Falls, we visited the memorial to Charles Darwin. He only made one trip into the Blue Mountains on horseback up Jamison Creek from the Beagle in January 1836 (this is 23 years before he wrote “On the Origin of Species by Means of natural Selection.”

At Maloneys Beach on the edge of Murranirang Park we were able to see a “mob” of ‘roos…perhaps 30 of them.

There was a haunted guesthouse, the Doncaster Inn. It used to be a nunnery/seminary of the Anglican Church. At Tidbinbilla Park there were several wild emu’s. A fenced area protected nocturnal koalas from predators, but none of them were seen except a caged sleeping koala. Stopped for photos at the Tidbilla Space Center…first to receive lunar landing data in 1969.

We were unable to meet with Yowie investigators Paul Cropper or Dean Harrison, as both were working. Members will perhaps recall that in 2001 and 2002 (I think it was) Dean had sent us videotapes on the search for the Yowie in Australia…Dean indicated the creature was quite aggressive.

Tony Healy and Paul Cropper have written another book, an extensive study of “The Yowie,” due to be published in November, order from He’ll give us more ordering information later. Tony also introduced me to several other books, of which I’ll give some sample sightings from. First from his book, “The Yowie,” and second from an unpublished book of Tony’s, “Monster Safari,” 1983 (sure would like a copy to read).

Tony indicates in “The Yowie” that reports have a broad historical base. The earliest he records is from 1789, Botany Bay, New South Wales. It comes from a handbill circulated in England with a story about a nine-foot tall hairy wild man that was captured at Botany Bay, and then taken to Portsmouth, England. The report is interesting in that, even though a possible hoax, Botany Bay is only eight kilometers north of Port Hacking, that had reported in the 1850’s many sightings of the giant, hairy “yahoos.” There have even been two more credible reports in modern times from the same area. The reason Tony thinks this is a hoax is that, even if the creature died after arriving, there would still be a body left…bones and such, and others would have examined and reported on them.

From “Monster Safari,” 1983, Tony Healy, Unpublished. This report actually is from near Suva, in the Fiji Islands.

In the Sun Herald, Sydney, 20 July 1975, students, 10-14 years old, at school saw eight mysterious hairy dwarfs; Littlefoot, or junjudee, as the Aborigines call them, in reeds near school. One witness reported they were only two feet tall, black hair and white gleaming eyes. They ran away into the bush after; “it took a threatening step towards her, baring its little white teeth,” Tony quoted. They went into a pit with a narrow tunnel, “but nobody felt gung-ho enough to explore any further…dropped a banana down…a hairy hand came out of the tunnel and grabbed it.”

In 1979 Little hairy ape men were attacking teenagers at Charters Towers, in Queensland, says Tony in “The Yowie.” Nineteen year old Michael Mangan, told the police, as later in an area riddled with mine shafts a lost friend appeared, also frightened. A three foot tall black creature had smashed the window of the car.

Aboriginal lore supports the existence of tiny hairy men in various Australian localities. They have five toes, reflective red eyes, live in groups in caves or natural hollows among boulders, eat shellfish, love honey, and are even thought to have a sort of “chirping” language. They are generally thought to be mischievous but still harmless, but have “teeth like a greyhound, big fangs.” Some males are known to sport beards on a flat face, and have a foul body odor. A rabbit hunter shot a rabbit when one of the little people grabbed it and dashed away over the rocks. Aboriginal members of the Waka Waka tribe believe that the junjudee keep an eye on sick people, though they act violently to destruction in the environment…one fellow being attacked while ringbarking trees. Another tells of a little hairy man attacking his uncle while in bed…he wrestled with the powerful little creature, until eventually it fled out of a window…sounds like a fairly aggressive creature to me.

Rather reminds one of the new species of Man found on Flores Island…The three foot tall Homo florensis from Ling Bua Cave some 13,000 years ago…expect they probably somehow reached the mainland also, although Australia is 430 miles away from Flores.

Out of the Shadows-Mystery Animals of Australia.” 1994, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper. In January, 1978, Scott, from Springbrook, said a Yowie entered the open door of a house in the evening. He was alone when the creature walked up to the front door, and stood peering down the corridor. Scott threw a chair at the Yowie, which hopped or limped away. He said the animal was black, and about six feet tall. The head was egg shaped and had deep set eyes with a small screwed up nose, and smelled like a public lavatory.

Giants From the Dreamtime--The Yowie in Myth and Reality,” Rex Gilroy, 2001, Springwood Printing. In April 1972, two mates driving on the Western Midlands highway, saw a creature 7 feet tall run across the road in their headlights. It took big strides.

“Mysterious Australia,” Rex Gilroy, 1995, Nexus Publishing
Gilroy also says that in the ancient mudstone on a hillside near Cowra, central NSW, are two enormous manlike fossil footprints, one meter long and 45 centimeters wide. Local Aborigines claim it was made by a giant man over 20 feet tall, who lived in long ago dreamland. Rex also talks of an extinct giant marsupial of the Ice Ages that could have left the fossil tracks.

“Bunyips and Bigfoots—In Search of Australia’s Mystery Animals,” Malcom Smith, 1996, Millennium Books. October 1912 near Bombela, NSW, a grey haired Yowie was seen in broad daylight drinking water while on all fours. It stood up, picked up a stick and walked away. It was Over six feet tall.

“The Hairy man of South Eastern Australia,” Graham C. Joyner, 1977. Union Offset PTY LTD press. In a November 1912 issue of “The Sun” a Yahoo taller than a man was seen that climbed trees. It grabbed a female Aborigine by the throat and strangled her on the spot.

“The Adventures of Tim the Yowie Man—Cryptozoologist,” Tim Bull, 2001, Random House. At Springbrook, SE Quensland, November 17, 1977, in the Gold Coast Bulletin. Senator Bill O’Chee saw a Yowie that was 9 feet tall, covered in hair and with a flat face. It walked to one side, crab-like, and smashed sapling and trees like matchsticks.

Tim also tells of a 1994 sighting near Mount Franklin, in the Brindabella Mountains, near Canberra. At dusk, the sun had set, a massive ape-like creature was seen on a fire trail from the summit. At the ski chalet some 300 feet away. It was black, had long arms, and was moving at a slow pace.

What are the Yowie’s and where did they come from?

So far, most of the writers I’ve read appear to be of the opinion that they represent Homo erectus, originating from Indonesia, where several erectus bones were found on Java. Erectus possibly traveled to Australia early during the last Ice Age, as they had been known from Asia for 1,500,000 years. Eugene Dubois first discovered Pithecanthropus erectus in 1891 in Trinil, Java. Nearby Sangaran fossils were aged at 1,700,00 to 300,000 years in age. Modern man didn’t appear to make it across the water barrier by reed raft until 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. The modern Aborigines are perhaps a mixture of a Chinese type (more gracile) and Java type erectus (more robust); as suggested in “Man On The Rim-the Peopling of the Pacific,” by Alan Thorne and Robert Raymond, 1989, Angus Pub. There are numerous examples of Yowie’s taking human women, presumably mating with them, and leaving viable offspring, eventually resulting possibly in the modern Aborigines.

There are 40 skeletons excavated by Alan Thorne, paleoanthropologist, from the Kow Swamp, in the Murray Valley, that still retain the heavy brow ridges found in Indonesian erectus…but they are only 10-13,000 years old, so differ somewhat as they have evolved from the really ancient ones. Other anthropologists disagree with the fact that they are erectus.

It is possible that early-on, the Aborigines eradicated the bulk of the Homo erectus types, the remaining few escaping to less desirable areas and are today noted as being Yowies.

Homo erectus reached Flores island, west of Australia, some 840,000 years ago, and persisted until possibly only 300 years ago. The small size is comparable to other insular isolated fauna…there were elephants hunted on the island that were the size of cows. It will be argued that H. erectus had tools and a culture…even that the Kow swamp burials had artifacts with them…thus, these creatures could not be the Yowie.

I counter with the argument that culture can be easily lost, either by lack of interest, or loss of those knowledgeable on the production of cultural artifacts. The Tasmanians when first contacted by Europeans in the 1700’s are a good example. Since colonization during the Ice Ages, they had lost the art of boat building for fishing, how to make bone tools such as awls or needles, hafted axes, boomerangs, and spear throwing atlatl’s. But most important of all…they have lost the ability to make fire. If the flames are lost, they ate their meat raw.

From Aboriginal legend, it appears that there were wars in the past where Homo erectus covered the land, and Aborigines killed the mentally slower erectus, outsmarting them and spearing them at every opportunity.

Some notes from: “The Yowie” by Tony Healy

The Warlpiri and Pintubi of the Northern Territory are the only tribes who say the creatures use fire…and are agile enough to climb trees. Aboriginal lore sometimes hints that male yowies like to grab women for reasons other than homicide...Aldo Massola (Aboriginie) tells…The women were released after a while…Big Charlie stood his ground and prepared to fight…bleeding from a profusion of wounds …there are several accounts of Aborigines besting them in a fight and even killing them….Black Harry told of…warriors (that) killed one…dragged it down the hill by its ankles.”

And: In the Dreamtime the people of this area were driven from their lands by the mountain people, the Yowies. Two of the local people reorganized the people back together and …drove the Yowies away…Aborigines belief...the three white men…jimbras (Yowies) not only killed them—but also ate them.

It is with great appreciation that I thank Tony Healy for all of his considerations while we were in the land of OZ (Australia). He was a superb guide, well educated on the history and geography of his land and its peoples; knew all the perfect spots to take us to see Yowie report sites, wildlife—even a kookaburra bird, “mobs” of ‘roos, and wild emu’s; and, allowed Pam and I to be guests in his beautiful home with the front yard full of exotic birds at the feeders.

October 2006 Ray Crowe

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