Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 19th, 2006
Loren wrote about the April issue of Fortean Times in a previous entry here on Cryptomundo. One of the authors of an article in the Monster Hunters section of that issue, Mike Williams, weighs in with a guest blog for Cryptomundo.
In the April 2006 issue of Fortean Times I have co-written an article with Ruby Lang about yowies in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia.
Since just prior to moving to the area myself, yowies have been something of a passion of mine – reports of man beasts roaming the Australian wilderness certainly seemed deserved of first-hand attention.
Consequently I have gone out, night after night, ‘in search of’ one of Australia’s more intriguing cryptozoological mysteries – the yowie.
A colourful part of Aboriginal legend, the yowie has something of a fearsome reputation. It is often described as being 7-8ft tall, covered in dark hair with burning red eyes – and a body odour problem that would rival a teenage boy.
The Blue Mountains holds the rather intriguing nickname of The Blue Labyrinth, and for good reason. At more than 1 million hectares, much of it relatively unexplored, the Mountains seem to hold many secrets in its maze-like confines. About 10 years ago it reluctantly yielded up one of them: the “living fossil”, the Wollemi pine, discovered deep in a gorge in Wollemi National Park, now part of the greater Blue Mountains world heritage area.
So it doesn’t seem so unlikely that there might be other yet-to-be-discovered creatures, more fleet of foot, waiting in the shadows.
It is a favourite area of "high strangeness" for Forteans, also yielding a wealth of big cat, UFO and ghostly phenomena.
Reports of yowies in the area date back to 1800s; a report from The Bathurst Times in 1891 recounts the experience of two men from the Oberon area who reported seeing a "hairy man" in the wild Kanangra country of the southern Blue Mountains, a place where the legend was already well established.
After finding "the imprint of a huge foot" they "were startled by the noise of timber breaking, and a low, growling, grating sound". There before them, on the edge of the cliff, "stood an animal of the baboon species" which, when advanced upon, "swung himself over the cliff by a huge vine, and descended in that manner until he disappeared in the gorge beneath".
Yowie footprint found in the bush compared to a size 12 boot
Two of the contemporary cases we discuss are ongoing: they involve schoolteacher Neil Frost and family, the other involves retired Navy seaman Jerry O’Connor and his wife Sue. Despite the two parties living quite close to each other, they only became acquainted through the sightings occurring around their homes, which started approximately 10 years ago.
Jerry & Sue O’Connor – Yowie Eyewitnesses
There are many theories as to what the yowie might be: relict hominid, wild nature spirit, a visitor from another dimension, an alien life form, some kind of hitherto undiscovered primate. Whatever it is, it has been regularly sighted all along the eastern seaboard of Australia for more than 100 years.
Authors Tony Healy and Paul Cropper (of Out Of The Shadows fame) have extensively documented the cases of the Frosts’, the O’Conners’ and hundreds of others in their new book The Yowie Files, due to be released later this year.
Mike Williams and Ruby Lang are actively researching yowie reports in the Blue Mountains and further afield. They can be contacted by email at email@example.com or via their website Strange Nation.