Saturday, March 25, 2017

Odd stories of large, hairy creatures

Oh, The Australian has a column about something other than Bill Leak (martyr), Gillian Triggs (evil witch), and the Racial Discrimation Act (work of the devil).

Caroline Overington (no link, 'cos of paywall, but I got to it by Googling "A Yowie Encounter" in news)  writes of an autobiographical book to be published by a somewhat eccentric character she met at a writer's festival a few years ago, and it contains a yowie story: 
It’s hard to tell from Scoundrel Days exactly how old Brentley was when he saw his Yowie but it’s the 1980s, so he’s definitely still a boy, and he’s travelling with the cultish parents in the far north with an Aboriginal kid called Albatross, or Trossy.
Trossy’s dad goes into the bush to find a kangaroo, and Brentley and Trossy busy themselves by diving deep in a lagoon, stirring up turtles from under floating logs, trying to touch the bottom.
Then Trossy comes up, and he “thrashes about, near drowning himself”.
Brentley yells: “What?”
Trossy screams: “Yowie.”
Brentley looks up, and behind him “towers a ferociously ugly creature, covered in thick orange hair …. Clumps of mud, broken sticks and gore hang off it like dags on a sheep. It has dull grey eyes, a flat pushed-up nose, and teeth like an English bulldog’s. It snorts and then roars ... I vomit in its face from the stench and the terror and run like a sinner to heaven.”
Some time later, Trossy’s dad reappears with the kangaroo over his shoulders or by the tail. Who can even remember? Brentley tells him about the Yowie, and he comes over all thoughtful, saying the Yowie won’t normally reveal itself to white folk, but perhaps somebody important died. I’ll leave that there.
 The veracity of the author as to stories he tells is somewhat undercut, however, with Overington's very next line:
The book goes on with Brentley’s memories of being born during a cyclone, with blue tarps flapping in the ferocious wind where the hospital roof should have been. 
Sounds to me he might have more than a touch of the Shirley MacLaine's about him.

Anyhow, Googling yowies in news leads to a recent story from Toowoomba by a woman apparently (because it is second hand) claiming to have encountered one while bushwalking close to the town:
The witness was bushwalking when she noticed the frightening creature and said it was about two metres tall.
The creature was originally walking through the grass when she first saw it but then sat down in the grass and completely ignored the woman's attempts to gain its attention.
"It has a head like a gorilla and long arms. I couldn't see it from the waist down because it was walking through long grass with its arm swinging from side to side," she said.
"I was only about 20 ft away and I could see it was very muscular. It was very broad.
"I was trying to figure out what I was looking at. I thought it might have been a rock but no way, it had shoulders and a head. Nothing else is shaped like that."
Very odd comment at the end, about trying to work out if she was looking at a rock, or not.   Does she wear glasses, I wonder?  On the other hand, if the paranormal explanation of hairy men being creatures who slip over from their other dimensional version of Earth into ours occasionally, perhaps they don't see humans well when they are in our world?  

I have to say, I find this second hand story of an encounter from a few years back  (again, in South East Queensland) somewhat more convincing, or at least, confusing:
"My friend is a photographer and they were out doing night time shooting.
"It was along the Fig Tree walk, just opposite the Charlie Moreland campground.
"They were walking through the bush at night time by torch light and they were heading down towards the creek and they got a really strange strong smell and they both commented and said, 'yuk, isn't' that a horrible smell. What a disgusting smell'.
"They went a little bit further and heard a crunching noise through the bush ahead of them, and then they saw it, with two big red eyes staring back at them.
"Not too close, just a little bit away from them.
"Whatever it was, they said it was quite tall, and it kept going and then every now and then it would turn around and look back at them.
"They shone their torches on it and they couldn't really make out what it was, but all they could clearly see were these red eyes.
As I wrote here 11 years ago, I find the association of foul smells with a sighting/sound of a large creature in the Australian scrub the most fascinating thing - both because I once knew a guy who said he had the exact same experience while bush camping not too far from Brisbane, and because, unlike other countries, we simply have no wild animal known for its terrible smell.  Sure, the red eyes might be from an owl, or something else, but I just don't know how to account for the smell.

Anyway, moving onto other recent-ish newspaper reports from near my part of the world, while the main character in this story tells of a highly, highly improbable encounter...
Mr Duffy says he was camped in the bush, north-east of Gympie late one night, when "a very large male approached me".
"I got a fright and so did he," he said.
The creature seemed human but larger and spoke in a language he thinks might be Latin.
"He was quickly able to learn a few words in English and we spoke for about two hours," the Kybong resident said.
"They're very intelligent."
But he says they are in danger.
"They build meagre shelters in the forest which are often destroyed by humans," he said.
"The EPA won't respond to my calls." the same report, it starts with brief details of ex Senator Bill O'Chee claiming he and a group of students saw something odd in the Gold Coast hinterland:
Former Queensland senator Bill O'Chee was one of more than a dozen people, including fellow high school students and teachers, who claimed to have seen such a creature at a Springbrook camp site in 1977.
It was, Mr O'Chee said "an immensely powerful creature" and he later told a documentary interviewer: "Basically we saw a yowie, but we didn't know what they were at the time.
"We saw a sort of hairy, ape-like thing that probably would have stood about eight feet tall," he said.
If you want to read about other oddball, action man, yowie-evidence hunters, have a look at this report.  Yes, one guy claims to have been attacked, twice.

And then, in another bit of whiplash, I have mentioned how my family likes going to the monthly farmers market at Mulgowie - barely a town, more of a locality, really, but it does have a pub and a sports ground.   Anyway, I don't think I have mentioned before that it had its own yowie sighting in 2001, which, for some reason, got a detailed re-telling in the local press in 2013:
The elusive creature has not been officially seen since August 15, 2001, when Mrs Crouten, a cook working for a local doctor, saw the yowie-like animal at midnight on the corner of McGarrigal Rd and Mulgowie Rd.
The QT reported the incident and interviewed Senior Constable Johns, who said the lady "saw something that looked like an ape approaching the road" as she was driving along.
It was walking on all fours.
Snr Constable Johns says the lady was lucid and sane, so he accompanied her to the site to search for the beast after she reported it.
The report ties in with what Mrs Crouten told the Australian Yowie Research organisation.
The group's website records her as saying the creature was "covered in dark hair" and "looked like a large version of an orang-utan".
 Creature on all fours?  Given there are lots of cows and horses in the area, that's not a good sign.
 The local publican offers an odd explanation:
 Meanwhile, Vidler has a hunch the yowie was "a big black dog that lived in the area that had a funny arse on it".
The local community is happy to be known for the sighting:
"I believe there were two or three people that saw the yowie," he says.
"Its notoriety has died down a bit, but it still comes up.
"It was our mascot for our Mulgowie Yowies indoor cricket side and a couple of touch football teams have been the Yowies.
"My grandmother made a logo up when we were looking at having the yowie as our mascot at the cricket club. She sketched up a half human, half gorilla with a cricket bat.
Much further away, and in 2014, a man in Far North Queensland sees something on the road that does sound rather ape like:
But Wonga Beach man Brad Brown is still shaken after his encounter last week with something resembling an ape.
“I was driving home from work about 10.30pm and I was on the Rocky Point range going around a bend when suddenly something ran in front of my car,” he said.
“I didn’t know what I saw, it was big and really hairy with an oblong-shaped head.
“Its arms were hanging behind it as it ran.”
And I'll end on this story, from a character in 2010 who got scared by something large he could barely see near him in the bush, and while it's obviously inconclusive, I was sort of impressed by the self deprecation and what comes across as genuine puzzlement.   (There was no smell, though, which would have made the story perfect!)

No comments: