Showing posts with label yowie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yowie. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WierdAustralia: Bigfoot hunting’s not so new … Meet Australia’s 19th century Yowie Hunters

Early illustration of a man chased by a Yowie covers all that’s weird in Oz. UFOs, yowies, ghosts strange disappearances, out of place artefacts & everything paranormal in Australia. Follow on twitter @weirdaustralia

With the current atmosphere of digital trailcams, night vision goggles, thermal cameras, parabolic microphones, and high-tech recording devices, its nice to turn back the clock and see how they searched for Bigfoot (or Yowie in this case) back in the 19th century. WierdAustrailia does a terrific job taking us back to a place and time before these high tech gadgets. 

Bigfoot hunting’s not so new … Meet Australia’s 19th century Yowie Hunters
Posted on January 12, 2012 
Reputable witnesses swearing by their sightings, tantalising but ultimately inconclusive evidence, enthusiastic search teams out scouring the wilderness, outlandish claims by dubious characters of creatures captured or killed, and a scientific community stubbornly unwilling to take seriously the possibility that some hairy hominid may just be living within our midst … sounds like the search for Bigfoot in 2011, right?
Well, think again. This is Yowie hunting 19th century style.
From the time those early colonials first headed out from the relative safety of the expanding settlement by the banks of Sydney Harbour into the unknown wilds of the Australian bush, stories quickly spread of terrifying encounters with a huge hairy, and often smelly, ape-like animal.
Many of those first encounters occurred in the rugged Blue Mountains that lay to the west of what is today the ever-expanding metropolis of Sydney. Check them out in The wild hairy man of the Blue Mountains.
Claims that a Yowie was shot
One of those earliest reports, from around 1820, is of the intriguing, yet unfortunately unsubstantiated, account of a colonial soldier startled by such an ape-like creature while out hunting for food. Apparently, the creature approached the unsuspecting soldier from out of the trees and began making “threatening gestures”. Obviously in fear of his life, it is said he shot the creature dead.
No convincing photo or video, no body, no DNA. But who knows? With the remoteness and ruggedness of the area, it’s unlikely the soldier could’ve dragged such a huge body back to civilisation. He would’ve had little choice but to leave the carcass to quickly rot in the bush and return to camp with his more appetising bounty.
As more colonists moved into the mountains, more encounters were reported. The creature was now well known to those hardy residents of the mountains. They often referred to him as the wild hairy man or the Yahoo. Today, we affectionately know him as the Yowie. He was said to like chickens, and was blamed for raiding many a local’s coop.
Opportunities for moneymaking
It didn’t take long before some of the more enterprising chaps of the colony began thinking of the entrepreneurial opportunities. One such chap was Mr Cummins of the Royal Hotel in Springwood. He offered 50 pounds for the capture of a live Yahoo so that he might “fasten him up in a hen coop and exhibit him to an admiring public, or sell him as an advertisement to a hair-restorative company”.
The Australian Town and Country Journal, in August 1885 also saw the merit in Yowie hunting.
“The rising generation in and around Tarago have been almost frightened by the appearance of an orangutan, or hairy man. Some short time ago one of these certainly very peculiar animals for this country was reported as having been seen near Parker’s Gap.
“Here is a chance for curiosity hunters,” the paper stated.
Yowie Hunters go bush
It was the good townspeople of Bredbo and Jingera who soon took up the challenge.
In An Esoteric Guide to Australia’s Capital, weirdaustralia reported the case of the Jingera Yahoo, spotted by a young man looking after stock on a Bredbo station and later also observed by several other reputable locals. The Yahoo was described as “walking with an unsteady, swinging, and fast step, his arms being bent forward and nearly reaching the ground, whilst the colour was described as bay, between a red and chestnut”.
Perhaps it was that same entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by Mr Cummins of the Royal Hotel, perhaps it was for the advancement of science, or perhaps it was the fact that they did not fancy a huge, hairy apeman wandering the district terrorising farmers and their stock. Whatever the reason, the Queanbeyan Age reported: “It is the intention of Bredbo and Jingera residents to scour the bush in a strong body and capture the monster alive or dead. For this purpose they will meet at Mr. Kelly’s hotel … on Monday next to organise their forces and obtain a supply of ammunition.”
Unlike the high tech recording equipment and cable TV contracts of today’s Bigfoot Hunters, this party of 19th century Yowie Hunters would go in search of the creature with nothing more than their guns, lots and lots of ammo, a swig or three of liquor from Mr Kelly’s hotel … and quite possibly a few flaming torches and pitchforks for effect.
This early Yowie hunting party did share one similarity with their modern counterparts, however. They returned home empty-handed and extremely disappointed.
A Tom Biscardi moment?
This was not the first time that disappointment had been experienced in relation to such cryptozoological wonders. Back in October 1871, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, announced to the world, (well to the inhabitants of the Hunter Valley at least) an astonishing revelation. A mysterious creature had been captured in the Lower Hawkesbury, said to be a Bunyip or Yahoo and that “it was determined to forward the wonderful animal to Sydney, and there exhibit it to a wondering and gratified public”.
Sound familiar?
But, yes, like so many similar promising breakthroughs since, this exciting news soon proved a huge letdown for the wondering and gratification-seeking public. The article concluded with the following heartbreaking bombshell: “An inspection proved the animal to be a large wombat … peculiar to New South Wales. The brute weighs about 100 pounds, and gave his captors a tough job to secure him”.
A captured Yowie … for real this time?
And then, a few years later, in 1912, hopes were again raised with the headline: A Queer Capture. Enormous Creature Resembling A Man.
“There is considerable excitement in the Bombala district over the reported discovery of a hairy man on Creewah station,” the article announced.
The owner of the station, Mr Sydney Jephcott, came across some peculiar tracks while out mustering stock. He described them as “like a human footprint, nearly 20 inches in length and 8 inches across”. Mr Jephcott, realising he had stumbled upon some remarkable evidence, or wanting to prove he was not a stark, raving lunatic “sent to a Bombala storekeeper for a quantity of plaster of paris with which to take an impression of the tracks”.
A neighbouring landowner, Mr Summerill, then claimed to have also seen the Yowie. “In a thick bush yesterday he saw an enormous creature resembling a man, covered with long hair. The animal was carrying a big stick and with long leaps made off through the bush.”
The article ended with the startling statement that: “A report was received later to the effect that the creature was captured today.”
And of course, that’s where the story ends. At least Mr Jephcott took some plaster casts!
The scientific debate rages
Like today, the scientific establishment seemed unwilling to accept the possibility that the Yowie or similar creature may actually exist, as the following correspondence to Australian Town and Country Journal from Mr H J McCooey of Mandurama Survey Camp illustrates.
In the journal’s The Naturalist in 20 October 1883 Mr McCooey wrote:
“A telegram from your Blayney correspondent appeared in the Evening News … announcing the fact that ‘a strange animal, like an ape has again been frightening the residents on the road from Orange to Bathurst, at a place called The Rocks. Several ineffectual attempts have been made to capture it’.
“Now, it is probable that you and many of your country constituents may remember that in your issue of December 9, 1882, I gave a somewhat lengthy description of a large ape, (or Yahoo, as the animal is called by bushmen) I had seen a few days previously in a rugged mountainous locality on the coast between Ulladulla and Bateman’s Bay …
“But strange to say, Mr. Ramsay, curator of the Australian Museum, disbelieves in their presence. Not because it is not possible for apes to be in the country up to date without being captured, but because of the deficiency of food plants for them to exist upon.”
McCooey goes on to argue that these Yahoos “have been frequently seen throughout the colony and that they were known to the aborigines of this colony, and were dreaded by them, long before a museum was ever founded in Australia”.
He then makes the tantalising, but sadly unproven, claim that “one was actually captured and killed near Braidwood within the memory of persons still living”.
But again, no photo, no video, no body and no DNA.
Mr McCooey, however, remained optimistic about obtaining suitable evidence with which to convince the stubborn curator that the Yahoo did indeed exist.
“The curator of the Museum, last December, offered me a bonus of £100 if I brought him either alive or dead an indigenous ape, and I think it is highly probable, that before many months elapse, I shall be in a position to claim his bonus.”
Unfortunately, that proved wishful thinking on Mr McCooey’s part. However, that did not stop him continuing his debate with the curator. In a second letter published in the journal in November of 1883, McCooey made the following valid point:
“The position taken by the curator of the Museum in regard to the presence of indigenous apes in this colony is wholly untenable. His argument is this. That as there are no fruits or food plants in Australia there can be no indigenous apes. Now, I readily admit that this argument would be of some weight if no ape had ever been seen in the colony, or if it were satisfactorily proved that without fruits or food plants it was impossible for the Australian ape to exist, but when it is notorious that apes have been seen in all parts of the colony at different times and by different persons, and when it is not shown that fruits or food plants are absolutely necessary for their existence, the curator’s argument becomes illogical.”
Well, it seems not much has really changed over the past 150-odd years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Examiner: Motorist Catches Site of Yowie

We just have a small excerpt below from the full article at Australia's Daily Examiner. According to Yowie Researcher Paul Cropper, "In our book we recorded around 350 reports going back to the late 1700s, early 1800s, but I imagine there's a lot more than that which don't ever reach the media..."

After the excerpt you can check out Yowie and many other Bigfoot Variants at the official AKA Bigfoot World Map.


...“I reached the top of the hill and I was coming around the sweeping corner to the right when I noticed something a lot larger than a kangaroo in the middle of the road – my headlights weren't on it yet but it was a bright night and I saw what looked like a large person stooped over, with a big overcoat on,” Dean said.

“At the time I thought ‘you silly old thing, what are you doing in the middle of the road at this time of the morning', but next thing I knew my headlights started to light it up and it took one giant step off the road, it went from standing up like a person to going down on all fours and then it disappeared into the scrub in about three bounds.”

Dean, who is used to night-driving and fatigue management, slowed down and was looking into the scrub for the creature and said he saw it silhouetted against the sky.

“It had an almost sort of a square, shaggy block head sitting straight on its shoulders – I'm a pretty big guy but it made me absolutely awe-struck how huge its body was – it had its arm up against a tree and it had about a foot of hair hanging from under its biceps.”

He estimated the creature to be at least two metres tall and covered in what looked like jet-black hair...

View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map

Daily Examiner: Motorist catches sight of a yowie
Yowie on AKA World Map

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Encounters with Gigantic Orangutans

We have been negligent in our postings about primatology and feel bad. We decided to bring you the story of the Gigantic Orangutans of Borneo.

At Tetrapod Zoology (hardcore fans, like us, call it Tet Zoo for short), Darren Naish is profiled as "a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Portsmouth, UK) who mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs."

He writes great articles that sometimes border into the realm of Cryptozoology while maintaining the rigor of science. Without further ado, please read the excerpt below and follow the link to Encounters with Gigantic Orangutans.

Over the past couple of months I've been reading John MacKinnon's In Search of the Red Ape (Collins, 1974) - one of the first books anyone reads whenever they want to learn about orangutans. The book is stuffed full of anecdotes and other natural history tales about Borneo and Sumatra, and it seems that MacKinnon (who, these days, is best known for his association with the discovery of the Saola Pseudoryx nghetinensis in Vietnam (MacKinnon 2000, Van Dung et al. 1993, 1994)) encountered just about every creature you could hope to encounter in the tropical jungles of the region... yes, even the enigmatic orang-pendek (or its tracks, at least).

Anyway, one particular section of the book really stands out for me: the bit where MacKinnon catches sight of a gigantic, terrestrially walking male orangutan...

I was nearly home when I saw a terrifying spectacle. For a moment I thought it was a trick of my vision. A huge, black orang-utan was walking along the path towards me. I had never seen such a large animal even in a zoo. He must have weighed every bit of three hundred pounds. Hoping that he had not noticed me, I dived behind a large tree. I was in no state to defend myself, or run from him should he come for me, and I could recall clearly the natives' terrible stories about old, ground-living orangs. I held my breath as the monster passed within a few feet of me and let him get about forty yards ahead before I followed in pursuit. He was enormous, as black as a gorilla but with his back almost bare of hair; Ivan the Terrible was the only name I could think of. (MacKinnon 1974, p. 54)

We guarantee you will love reading the rest at Tetrapod Zoology

SRC:Tetrapod Zoology
Tet Zoo: Chimpanzees make and use spears
Tet Zoo:Bipedal Orangs
"What to Make of Yowies?" by Darren Naish at Science Blogs

Bigfoot's Walking Cousins
Lair of the Beasts: Seeking the Indian Bigfoot

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bigfoot Cousins Claimed in Many Countries

Considering Benjamin Radford is a skeptic, he even has a top ten list "Why Bigfoot is Bunk" we find it awfully nice of him to provide us with a brief description of the primary Bigfoot variants around the world. If you really want to get an idea of these variants in a visual geographic context follow the link to the AKA Bigfoot World Map.

Bigfoot Cousins Claimed in Many Countries

By Benjamin Radford, LiveScience's Bad Science Columnist
posted: 12 October 2010 10:41 am ET

A group of Chinese researchers has announced that they are mounting an expedition to seek evidence of the yeren, the Chinese version of Bigfoot. There have been other searches for the yeren in decades past, all failing to find conclusive evidence of its existence. The team, led by a man named Luo Baosheng, is hoping to raise $1.5 million to launch the search.

While Bigfoot is by far the best-known of mysterious bipedal creatures said to inhabit the world's wilds, it is far from the only one. Many countries and cultures have stories of hairy, feral man-like creatures.

Canada's Sasquatch
The Canadian Sasquatch is essentially the same creature as the American Bigfoot, though it is claimed to be primarily nocturnal and a fast runner. Some say it steals food and abducts women — and men: A logger named Albert Ostman claimed that in 1924 while camping in British Columbia he was kidnapped by a Bigfoot family and held for nearly a week. Ostman suspected that he had been captured as a potential breeding mate for the young female Sasquatch of the family, but before he could do the dirty deed he escaped when the male elder choked on Ostman's snuff tobacco. Needless to say, Ostman offered no evidence of his experience.

Nepal's Yeti
The Yeti, formerly known as the Abominable Snowman, is said to live in the forest below the Himalaya Mountains' snow line, though its tracks are occasionally found in snow. It is said to be muscular, covered with dark grayish or reddish-brown hair, and weigh between 200 and 400 pounds (90 to 180 kilograms). The Yeti is relatively short compared with Bigfoot, averaging about 6 feet (1.8 meters) in height. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to scale Everest, found no evidence of the creature. Mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who spent months in Nepal and Tibet researching the Yeti found that large native bears were mistaken for Yeti sightings and tracks. The Yeti made news in 2007 when Josh Gates, host of the TV series "Destination Truth," claimed that he found large, mysterious footprints that might be from the Yeti. Despite extensive media publicity nothing more was learned about the tracks; they are now on display at Disney World.

Australia's Yowie
Yowie, the wildman from Down Under, reportedly stands anywhere from 5 to 11 feet (1.5 to 3.4 meters) tall, and has yellow or red eyes deeply set inside a dome-shaped head. Yowies are said to have tan, black, gray, or white hair covering black skin, with arms so long they nearly reach the ground. According to George Eberhart's encyclopedia "Mysterious Creatures" (ABC-CLIO, 2002), the name Yowie comes from the Aboriginal word "yuwi," which means "dream spirit."

Indonesia's Orang Pendek
According to "The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide" (Avon Books, 1999), "The natives of Sumatra have long believed in the orang-pendek, which means 'little man.' The orang-pendek seems to have a large pot belly and may be dark gray, dark black, yellow, or tan in color." It is also said to have very long head hair, and stand anywhere from 2.5 to 5 feet (0.8 to 1.5 m) tall. One of the first alleged sightings of the orang pendek occurred in 1923, when a Dutch settler in Sumatra saw one in a tree; though he was armed he refused to shoot it, because it resembled a human.

Though most of these creatures share similar features, there is more variation within the types than between them. The other thing they all have in common is a lack of hard evidence for their existence. Perhaps the new Chinese expedition for the yeren will yield real results, but if history is any guide the search will likely be both difficult and fruitless.

Rumor or Reality: The Creatures of Cryptozoology
The Surprising Realities of Mythical Creatures
Top 10 Beasts and Dragons: How Reality Made Myth

Benjamin Radford is managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of two books about mysterious creatures: lake monsters and el chupacabra (out in March). His Web site is appropriately named Benjamin Radford.

You may also like to view all these variants on the Bigfoot Lunch Club'c AKA Bigfoot World Map.

View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

G'Day Yowie!

G'Day Yowie! Yowie is the somewhat affectionate term for an unidentified hominid reputed to lurk in the Australian wilderness. It is an Australian cryptid similar to the Himalayan Yeti and the North American Bigfoot.

We get a double dose of Yowie on the web. First, Darren Naish at's Tetrapod Zoology reviews the book "The Yowie: In Search of Austrailia's Bigfoot."

Darren Naish is a vertebrate palaeontologist with six years of phd work on theropod dinosaurs behind him, he mostly spends long hours in the library, hunched over his laptop.

Naise makes it clear how he feels about cryptozoology--kind of.

"I'm of the opinion that the Australian Yowie is one of the most problematic of mystery beasts. It is, in fact, so ridiculous and inconvenient that it's difficult to take seriously. As if sasquatch, yeti and orang pendek aren't difficult enough...I don't reject the possible existence of these creatures out of hand.

The review of the book is fascinating and thorough, it almost goes chapter by chapter.

At Craig Woolheater's Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman says there has been an uptick in reports to him regarding Yowie.

Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The Cryptomundo post also includes videos interviews with Yowie witnesses.

"What to Make of Yowies?" by Darren Naish at Science Blogs
"Awash with Yowies aplenty mate" by Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo
Update to AKA Bigfoot World Map by Epic Gilgamesh at Bigfoot Lunch Club

View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map

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