Yowie / Bigfoot
(Inverell Herald, April 18.)
Some excitement was caused here about two years ago by reports furnished by visitors to the Big River of the mysterious appearances there of an object whose precise character or description the narrators were at a loss to give. The "sensation" has again been revived. A young man named McCrea informs us that on Good Friday when fishing at the Big River, he noticed an object apparently swimming and coming towards him. He threw a stone, and the figure turned away. He then took his gun and fired at it. Upon this the mysterious stranger sprang about six feet in the air, and rapidly swimming to opposite shore, disappeared in the bush. McCrea describes it as black and hairy, and of a shape hitherto unknown to him ? Query : can there be a gorilla in these parts. We shall wait with interest a solution of the mystery by some hardy fisherman.
The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW)
Date: April 23, 1885
Page Number: 8
Reports of the Wild/Hairy Man part 12
1885 to 1889
... The conversation still kept on the topic of the expedition when amid a little banter one proposed that we arm ourselves and try and capture the "hairy man of the woods." Now, although to my dying day I can't explain the reason, yet this proposal was taken up seriously by the six young men present, and I was invited to join the hunt, which might cover about three days. Whether the second tumbler of mead was stronger than the first, or the third than the second, it matters not, but I was delighted beyond measure at the chance of distinguishing myself in the world of science, and resolved at once to take at foremost part in this great expedition...
A WILD NIGHT OF HORROR.
Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate (Warragul, Vic.)
Date: April 8, 1886
Page Number: 3
Big River is now known as the Gwydir River.
WHILST a young man named Flynn was looking after stock at the back of the Bredbo station one afternoon last week, he was surprised to observe a hairy human form, about seven feet in height, walking in the bush. The wild man walked 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. Flynn did not take a second look at the uncanny creature, but rode as fast as he could to the homestead of Mr. Crimmings, nearly two miles away, to whom he reported the strange, mysterious affair. Since then, Mr. Crimmings himself has interviewed the monster, and his account tallies exactly with that given by Mr. Flynn. But Mr. Crimmings heard the animal make a cry that sounded very like "Yahoo." We hear that Mr. Joseph Hart, of Jingera, also saw the "Yahoo" as he was returning home one afternoon. The strange being is, no doubt, the "Wild man" that has been so often talked of about Jingera for so many years past. 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 Little Plain on Monday next to organise their forces and obtain a supply of ammunition. Should they capture the wild man alive, it is to be hoped the men of Bredbo and Jingera will feed him up and keep him till the Centennial Exhibition is open.
The Jingera Yahoo.
Queanbeyan Age (NSW)
Date: August 24, 1886
Page Number: 2
Capture of the "Hairy Man."
Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW)
Date: June 5, 1888
Page Number: 2
First-class constable Burns is to be congratulated on effecting his capture on the night of Monday week of one of the most melo-dramatic of the hobgoblins that mothers of families in the bush used to find so useful in frightening their uproarious offspring into silence. The alleged "hairy man" of many a bush fable it now transpires is not such a terrible-looking monster as one would have expected to find him. For years past it is said he subsisted by watching the male bread-winners of bush cottages go to their work, and in their absence he used to appropriate such articles as he fancied in the house. Once or twice he was surprised in his operations by women and children, who invariably fled in terror at his gruesome appearance. The following particulars regarding the arrest of this rara avis were courteously supplied to us by constable Stephens, who was in Armidale at the time of his arrest, and subsequently had a good look at the prisoner. Constable Burns came across him on the Grafton and Armidale road, near Blick's River. He was mounted on a horse supposed to have been stolen ; he carried no blankets, but was provided with a three-bushel bag, containing a billy can, eatables, aud revolver gild cartridges ; and on his person, moreover, he carried two revolvers, one of which he tried to get in his hand when arrested, but was preveuted from doing so by the superior quickness of the constable. The "hairy man" is an English-speaking individual, so unspeakably dirty that it is no easy matter to determine whether he is a white man or not. A long beard and moustache, matted together, and the long, untended hair of his head flowing about to his waist, account for his nickname. He was dressed in the ragged remnants of a light tweed suit of clothes, held together from utter dismemberment by numerous stitches of twine, and the woe-begone droop of the brim of his soft felt hat, "flogging his face to death" with every breath of air, as the constable expressed it, all seem to point, to the fact that his occupation was not a profitable one. The prisoner is very reticent, and all particulars regarding him, to his very name, are shrouded in the densest mystery.
We learn from an Armidale contemporary that the police have a number of serious charges to prefer against the "hairy man"— whose real name is said to be John Byrnes—and it is even alleged that he is identical with the notorious Riley, the bush ranger, who was supposed to have been shot dead in Northern Queensland. Some six years ago Riley repeatedly stuck up the mail in the neighborhood of Warialda and Bingera, and in May of 1882 "looted" the mail car between Wandsworth and Kangaroo Camp. Mr. James Low was driving the vehicle on that occasion, and no doubt when he has interviewed the "hairy man" he will be able to throw some light on one of the supposed daring exploits of this extraordinary individual.
GOOD NEWS FROM BRAIDWOOD.
Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW)
Date: October 1, 1887
Page Number: 15
Through your medium, we send our compliments and thanks to your Braidwood correspondent for his interesting and most comforting information regarding that "fairy creature," alias " gorilla"? It is some two or three years since we last heard of that chappie in our neighborhood; and it is a great relief to us to know that at present he is so far off. On several occasions the "hairy man" was seen in these parts by various individuals, and nearly always when they were engaged (as the party near Braidwood) in boiling their billies for supper. He seems to be a nobby sort, for he evidently has a liking to associate with men of a billy-tea ! People have generally described him as a hairy creature. But no one seems to have remained long enough after the introductory ceremony to ascertain his exact height. The query is, does he belong to Mammalia, Marsupalia, Austeralia, or what? Evidently there are some queer animals in this colony ; and judging from the yarns which have appeared in your pages for the last nine months, I'm inclined to the belief that there is a large number of that species of animal whose tale comes out of its head. Three thousand years ago a celebrated warrior king said in his haste, "All men are liars." In these days it is a self-evident fact that there is quite a host of storytellers in New South Wales.
See: ANOTHER MYSTERY.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: September 16, 1872
Page Number: 5
Legend of the Hairy Man
OUR HOLIDAY RESORTS: AN ARTIST'S WANDERINGS IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS.
Illustrated Sydney News (NSW)
Date: October 3, 1889
Page Number: 16-17
Talking of Lindon, which is situated some six miles from Springwood, reminds us that it has attained of late years considerable notoriety as the reputed haunt of a ‘Great "What is It ?”' in the shape of - laugh not, gentle reader - a hairy MAN ! Germany has its legendary lore. Why should not the Blue Mountains ? Let us entitle it.
HOW WE SAW THE "HAIRY MAN."
Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW)
Date: June 2, 1885
Page Number: 5
Northern Argus (Clare, SA)
Date: February 9, 1886
Page Number: 3
A wild man was discovered by a party of hunters on December 27 in the Cascade Range of mountains, Oregon. He was entirely covered with hair, and when seen, was gnawing the flesh of a deer he had run down.
Hunting a Wild Man.
Portland, Or., Dec 30--at Lebanon, Linn county, Oregon, great excitement prevails over the discovery of a wild man in the mountains near that place, who is supposed to be the long lost John Mackentire. About four years ago John Mackentire of Lebanon, while out hunting in the mountains, mysteriously disappeared and no trace has ever been found of him since. A few days ago, two well-known reliable citizens of Lebanon, while out hunting in the mountains, discovered a man who very strongly resembles Mackentire. The man was entirely destitute of clothing and his body was covered with long hair like an animal's. When first seen the man was voraciously devouring raw flesh of a deer. The hunters approached within a few yards before being discovered, when the man fled into the mountains with the swiftness of the wind as soon as he saw the hunters. The men who saw him claim he looks very much like Mackentire and willingly made affidavits to their statements. A party is now being organized to search for and capture the wild man. Several other responsible citizens assert they have also recently seen the strange human being.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, "Daily Free Press", December 31, 1885.
A report has been received at Albury from the Victorian upper Murray that a wild man perfectly nude and covered with long hair has been seen in the ranges near Koetong. A search party including a mounted trooper is scouring that locality.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.)
Date: January 25, 1886
Page Number: 5
Considerable excitement is continued to be felt in Tallangatta, a township 25 miles from Wodonga, consequent on the reports which have been received that a wild man in a nude condition, with his body covered with long hair, has been seen on the Koetong Ranges. It is asserted by several persons that they saw the man as described sitting between two fires, and that when observed he made off into the scrub, uttering loud yells. On Tuesday, Constable Allwood spent most of the day making search throughout the ranges, but could obtain no traces of the man.
Euroa Advertiser (Vic.)
Date: February 2, 1886
Page Number: 2
THE AUSTRALIAN GORILLA.
Bowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW)
Date: 25 May, 1889
Page Number: 4
To the Editor of the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer.
Sir,—Under the caption "What can it be ?" in a recent issue of the Suburban Telegraph, I notice a paragraph copied from your journal, referring to a strange animal as having been seen lately at Meryla by a man named Mullany. This man will no doubt be looked upon by some of your readers—all-wise in their own conceit—as a liar, fool, or madman ; but in confirmation of the truth of his story, and of the fact that at least one such animal as that he describes exists in the Barrima district, I herewith unhesitatingly submit my own testimony, which, if necessary, can be substantiated by three other witnesses.
One warm day in the month of February, 1871, whilst myself and party were having lunch at the foot of a rocky, cavernous hill at Bundanoon, our attention was drawn to the unusual and decided manifestations of terror exhibited by a large dog of the bull and mastiff species, which invariably accompanied me on my bush excursions, and which was, so to speak, "as game as a bulldog ant"—about the only living thing that will encounter fire. The animal came from the direction of a large overhanging cliff, crouching up close to me, trembling, and whining in a most pitious and unaccountable manner. Thinking that a snake had bitten the dog, I, with my companions, proceeded in the direction of the cliff, taking care to well arm ourselves with the most effective weapons at hand—sticks and stones. On emerging from the scrub we found ourselves on a strip of smooth, white sand, about 20 yards wide, fronting the cavern. On this sand we found fresh tracks of such size and shape as to baffle all our zoological speculations. The tracks were clearly defined, resembling in some degree an outline of the human foot, but much larger, considerably wider in proportion, and showing seven instead of five toe-marks, the great toe, unlike that of the human foot, being on the outer side. Between the lines formed by the footprints, was a trail such as could be made by dragging a bush or broom over the sand; and as this trail was equidistant from each line of footmarks, I reasonably concluded that it was caused by the tail of the tail of the strange animal that we had tracked to its rooky lair—for the tracks led right into the cave, about the mouth of which heaps of bones of various animals lay bleaching, including those of a horse. With the object of dislodging the monstrosity, I caused a huge pile of dry bushes to be built and set fire to at the mouth of the cavern. In a state of breathless expectancy we awaited developments ; and a favouring gust of wind blew the dense mass of smoke and flames fair into the opening. A roar like an earthquake, followed by the sound of falling rocks from higher up the hill, startled us, and through the ascending clouds of smoke we saw clambering up the rugged face of the hill, with long, bushy tail erect, and dislodging the stones as it clawed its way upward, an animal such as I had never before seen, heard, read, or dreamt of in my philosophy, and which had escaped from the cave through a side opening, as I could see by the smoke which made exit from the same quarter. As near as I can describe it, the creature appeared to be fully nine feet in height; head large, and resembling that of a baboon, but with a face more human-like ; arms long, black, muscular, and devoid of hair ; body large and round, almost balloon-shaped, and striped black and yellow like that of an iguana; legs of extraordinary length, with apparently two knee-joints in each, black, leather-like, and seemingly devoid of hair. Before disappearing over the summit of the hill ; it turned around and made several hideous grimaces at us, displaying a double tier of long yellow teeth. Attached to its back immediately above the tail, there swung its baggy appendage, from which something living protruded, and which we took to be either its young or some animal captured and stored for food.
About a week later I saw the same animal (or one similar to it) on a tree near the road leading from the top of the Barrengarry Mountain to Burrawang—about a mile from the junction ; and having, no firearms, I must acknowledge my cowardice, and admit that I made myself scarce pretty quick.
Some time ago I was reading a letter written by a Mr. McEwey to one of the papers, where he refers to the existence in the Trunkey and Forbes districts of a tribe of Australian monkeys. If the creature which I saw is one of these, then Australia can safely lay claim to the possession of the most hideous race of monkeys on the face of the earth ; and it is no wonder the poor blacks have a wholesome dread of the dibbildibbil, yahoo, or bunyip.
J. G. HIGGINS.
Como, Illawarra Railway.
Mr. McEwey = Henry James McCooey