South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA)
Date: February 23, 1848
Page Number: 4
Considerable interest was lately excited in Halifax (Novia Scotia) by the arrival in that city of a wild man who had been discovered in the woods at Cape Benton, in a state of nudity. For the short time this strange individual has been in the Poor's Asylum, he has received numerous visits, and, although in a condition of complete barbarism, begins to afford encouragement that attempts to civilize him may not be altogether hopeless. He is both deaf and dumb, and his appearance is extremely haggard. He remains generally, whether awake or asleep, in a sitting position. His skin is considerably shrivelled, from constant exposure to the weather, and his whole deportment resembles more that of an inferior animal than a human being. When food is offered him he seizes, and pressing it into his mouth with both hands, devours it ravenously. He is remarkably fond of salt, which he eats in large quantaties. The first steps towards civilization have been partially susessful ; he having learned the use of a spoon.
COLONIAL EXTRACTS. NEW ZEALAND.
The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: August 12, 1848
Page Number: 3
CURIOUS STORY: A BOY FOUND IN A WOLF'S DEN.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: June 19, 1851
Page Number: 3
Extract of a letter received by Philip Sleeman, Esq., of Plymouth, from his brother, Colonel W. H. Sleeman : -
"Court of Lucknow, Hindostan, India, October 3, 1850. I must now tell you about a poor boy who was found in a wolfs den with a she wolf and three stout whelps. When dug into by some of my troops they all bolted together, and the boy ran so fast on all fours that he outstripped the whelps, and was with difficulty taken by a mounted trooper. The mother of the whelps had carried him off from his parents some years before, and brought him up as her own offspring in her den. I have more instances of the same kind, and had what they call a 'wild man of the woods' brought to me yester- day, sent by the King of Oude. He was caught twenty-five years ago in a jungle in the woods, when about eighteen years of age. He had been brought up by a wolf, but she died, and he was taken in a starving state by a hermit, who weaned him from eating raw flesh. One of the then king's soldiers got him from the hermit and presented him to the king, by whom, and his successors, he has been ever since taken care of. It was many years before he could be made to wear clothing, and even now dislikes the society of men. He speaks, but only in reply to questions, and then it is with difficulty understood."
A WILD MAN OF THE WOODS.
Empire (Sydney, NSW)
Date: September 3, 1851
Page Number: 4
The Memphis Enquirer of the 9th instant, gives the following account of a wild man recently discovered in Arkansas :
"During March last, Mr. Hamilton, of Green county, Arkansas, while out hunting with an acquaintance, observed a drove of cattle in a state of apparent alarm; evidently pursued by some dreaded enem. Halting for the purpose, they soon disco- vered as the animals fled by him, that they were followed by an animal bearing the umnistakable likeness of humanity. He was of gigantic stature, the body being covered with hair, and the head with long, locks that fairly enveloped his neck and shoulders. The "wild man," for so we must call him, after looking at them de- liberately for a short time, turned and ran away with great speed, leaping from twelve to fourteen feet at a time. His foot prints measured thirteen inches each. This singular creature has long been known, traditionally, in St. Francis, Greene, and Poinsett counties, Arkansas, sportsmen and hunters having described him so long as seventeen years since. A planter, indeed, saw him very recently, but withheld his information lest he should not be credited, until the account of Mr. Hamilton and his friend placed the existence of the animal beyond cavil. A great deal of interest is felt in the matter by the inhabitants of that region, and various conjectures have been ventured in regard to him. The most generally entertained idea appears to be that he was a survivor of the earthquake disaster which desolated that region in 1811. Thrown helpless upon the wilderness by that disaster, it is probable that he grew in his savage state, until he now bears only the outward resemblance of humanity. So well authenticated have now become the accounts of this creature, that an expedition is now organising in this city, by Col. David C. Cross and Dr. Sullivan, to scout for him. They are to be accompanied by several other gentlemen, and we await with much anxiety the result of this excursion."
Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer (Vic.)
Date: August 3, 1853
Page Number: 5
Many have been the stories of aborigines ???, or wild men of the woods, supposed to be living in a state of nature and incapable of human speech, beyond the utterance of inarticulate or uncouth sounds or cries. The fables of Romulus and Remus, the alleged founders of Rome, and the nursery story of Valentine and Orson, in each of which bears figure as the foster mothers of the alleged wild men, attest the antiquity of the belief. In more modern times, we have the story of Casper Hauser, which imposed upon the late Earl Stanhope, and found its way into the Penny Magazine, and which, though veiled in mystery by the murder of Casper by persons unknown, is now well understood to have been a contrived scheme for some deep-laid purpose. The most recent story of a wild man is one which has emanated from the United States, and is therefore to be received with a little discretion, though it has a far more credible look than a Yankee yarn about serpents, mermaids, or such like am-??ilous cattle. However, here it is. A wild man, it is said, was recently captured in a cave near Florence, Alabama. He is from twenty to twenty-five years of age. The story had been current for some time, that there was a wild man in the neighbourhood, but it did not get much credit, until a boy affirmed that he had actually seen the wild man near a certain cave. A party immediately set out to the place indicated, and on nearing the mouth of the care, discovered the ???ing form of the poor wretch under a covering of straw. He paid no attention to their summons to come forth, and one of the company, either thoughtless or brutal, tossed in a dog, which, as it made a furious assault brought the recluse to his feet. He then came out in a state of almost perfect nudity, presentng a picture of abject misery and squalid wretchedness. He appeared to be quite sane, but gave no satisfactory reason for his singular conduct, beyond a general charge that the world had treated him badly, and he had determined to come out from it. He protested that he had done no man any harm, and begged to be allowed to continue in his solitary home, but he finally consented to return to civilised life; one of the party offering to take care of him.
What are the results of Cross & Sullivan’s expedition in search of the Wild man?
Did the expedition even take place?
As it stands, documented evidence of the expedition has yet to be found…
WILD MAN OF THE WOODS.--About eight years ago, a Maori at Wairarapa, named Waiwiri, was accused of killing another native called Okabka.
To avoid death, he fled with his family to the mountains. Many circumstances have transpired to impress a belief that this family
are still in existence. A few days ago, when a body of natives, belonging to Mr. Grindell's road-gang, at Pahnratahi, were in search
of bark to cover in their dwellings, they came in contact with a tree recently cut, and from the way in which it was marked, and other
signs, they came to the conclusion that it had been done by Waiwiri, or some of his children. Under this impression, several men intend
to search for his family, who have been buried in the mountains this number of years. Mr. Grindell being desirous to have the male
portion employed on the roads, so as to let them taste a little of the progress of civilization.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: January 1, 1850
Page Number: 2
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: November 20, 1854
Page Number: 4
Mr. Wilcox, the naturalist of Hunter-street, has recently received an addition to his well-arranged and interesting establishment an Ourang Outang, or wild man of the woods. It is ??? two feet in stature ; about two years old ; with ??? and hands similar to a human being. It is quite free from vice.
[T]he White Rajah of Sarawak James Brook wrote that local people considered transformation of a human being into an
orangutan and back possible.
Giant Ourang Outangs
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW)
Date: July 4, 1840
Page Number: 3
It has been stated in a
communication received trom Mr. James Brooke, of the Royalist yacht, that two distinct species of the ourang outang had been discovered
in the interior of Borneo, where that gentleman had spent three months. The larger species of that curious animal were found to be
from six to 7 feet in height, thus far surpassing in stature the immense majority of mankind.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
Date: September 14, 1855
Page Number: 8
PROFESSOR OWEN has just made known the existence of a new species of wild man or chimpanzee, an animal larger, more ferocious, and in every respect more powerful than any previously known species. The professor's information concerning this denizen of the African forests was communicated in a lecture to the members of the Royal Institution, on the 19th of January ; his main object being to disprove the truth of that impious and very silly theory of progressive development, according to which it has been assumed that animal forms of low grade may, by progressive stages of advancement, and in the course of many years, become elevated in the scale of creation. The resemblance in aspect between man kind and monkey kind is too obvious for comment--that is to say, the outward gross resemblance--but it extends no farther. Even in the giant chimpanzee, the subject of Professor Owen's lecture, a creature far more human-looking than any of his fellows, the distinction between the brute and the man is impassable.
Having furnished our readers with an outline of the philosophy of Professor Owen's lecture, we will proceed to recapitulate a few of the leading facts connected with the natural history of orang-outangs and chimpanzees --creatures to which the vulgar appellation of wild men has been applied. Both are similar in the general features of external appearance, and indeed their anatomical characteristics are not very diverge ; they are sufficiently so, however, to warrant a natutal historical distinction.
Orang-outangs are natives of Borneo, and perhaps a few islands of the Indian Archipelago beside. Chimpanzees are, without exception, natives of Western Africa. In the latter region stories have long been widely circulated about a monkey-like creature, stronger and mere ferocious than the lion, but no specimens of the chimpanzee brought to Europe confirmed the rumour. All the creatures of this kind to be seen in our gardens are more like caricatures of stunted decriped old men than ferocious beasts--gentleness being more characteristic of their natures than ferocity ; so at length it came to be imagined that the highly-coloured tales of negroes killed, maimed, or carried away by these monkey-monsters were all a myth. At length, however, a specimen of one of these creatures has been obtained, and may be seen in the Jardin des Plantes at Paris. Professor Owen could not bring him personally before the members of the Royal Institution ; but he did the next best thing-- he brought the animal's picture. From a consideration of the size and strength of the creature's muscular fibre, the lecturer had not the least doubt that in point of strength he was equal to the lion, and in point of cunning and intelligence he may be supposed to equal at least others of the monkey tribe ; most probably, therefore, the tales so long current about his malicious daring and prowess are quite correct.
The great taxidermist Araham Dee Bartlett is shown with his first gorilla, collected by Mr. Du Challu for Professor Owen, British
National Museum, circa 1855. The wave of interest in the discovery of the lowland, and then the mountain gorilla caused this species
to be a point of reference for many “creature” reports in America during the early 20th century.
“In [Western Africa] stories have long been widely circulated about a monkey-like creature, stronger and mere ferocious
than the lion”
“tales of negroes killed, maimed, or carried away by these monkey-monsters”
Yowie / Bigfoot
THE VERITABLE BUNYIP—AT LAST.—
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.)
Date: October 25, 1849
Page Number: 2
We are informed by Mr. Edwards, the managing clerk, at the office of Messrs. Moor and Chambers, that during his late trip in the 'Thames'
steamer, in charge of an expedition to capture the runaway Hovenden, that while on shore, and making the circuit of Phillip Island,
he and his party were astonished at observing an animal sitting upon a bank in a lake. The animal is described as being from six to
seven feet long, and in general appearance half man, half baboon. Five shots were fired at the animal ; upon the first shot whistling past
him, he appeared somewhat surprised, and shook his head opparently in disapprobation of the proceeding ; at the second, he grinned
fiercely and showed an uninviting set of teeth ; at the third he backed towards the water ; the fourth was answered by a half growl,half shout, which made the "welkin ring," and the fifth, and last discharge was replied to, by a spring into the air, and a contemptuous
fling out of the hind legs, and a final disappearance, in the placid waters of the lake. A somewhat long neck, feathered like the
emu, was the peculiar characteristic of the animal.
--Melbourne Morning Herald.
["If the most gullible of men has not cruelly
been hoaxed by the mischievous Mr. Edwards, or if an animal really was seen upon Phillip Island, it would no doubt be one of the enormous
wild pigs, with which it is well known that Island is infested. There is something very rich in the conversion of a large porker into
a "veritable bunyip," in general appearance "half man, half baboon," with it "long neck, feathered like the emu," and also in the
sketch of the amusing little pas seul of the monster, at the fifth discharge ; the honor of which invention must be apportioned equally
to the excited fancy of the spectator, and the vivid imagination of the scribe.--Ed. A.]
Phillip Island History
1842 John and William McHaffie from
Scotland were granted the right to use the
Island as a sheep run. The
were responsible for clearing some of the
Island’s vegetation the introduction of fallow
deer, rabbits and kangaroos,
the purpose being
for game hunting.
Phillip Island is also famous for its seals:
welkin - the vault of heaven; the sky
make the welkin ring - to make a loud noise
pas seul - (French) a dance for one person
Hovenden's Case.--On Saturday it was generally reported in town that Mr. Hovenden, who so suddenly disappeared from Sydney, heavily
in debt, had arrived at Western Port in his vessel the Will Watch, laden with a goodly cargo, which, unfortunately for his creditors,
he had not paid for. Mr. Campbell, who recently arrived overland from Sydney in pursuit of the fugitive, on learning this, chartered
the Thames steamer, and, aided by sixteen men under the guidance of Mr. Edwards, of Messrs. Moor and Chambers' office, armed to the
teeth, started with warrant in hand to the scene of action on Saturday night at nine o'clock. The inducement held out for the capture
of the runaway, the recovery of the vessel, and the charter of the steamer, is £200 for the services of the latter under any circumstances
; £200 more if the Will Watch is secured, and an extra £100 if Hovenden himself should be captured. We know not on what legal authority
these parties are acting, but we believe they have fully made up their minds to do as we have stated, if possible, and "chance" the
rest. We would certainly act similarly under similar circumstances. ït is further stated that Hovenden was himself in Melbourne on
Saturday ; but this needs confirmation.
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW)
Date: October 31, 1849
It is not clear if Mr Edwards was described as mischievous on the strength of this report alone, or if he had an established reputation
in this department. If a straight-shooter, this is the best and last account of settlers seeing (and naturally shooting at), a bunyip
with a somewhat long feathered neck like an emu. There is a spot called Seal Rocks or The Nobbies, on the southwest tip of Phillip
Island, which may have been where the animal came from, if the feathers were misidentified. The "contemptuous fling out of the hind
legs" could well have been a last view of its rear flippers as a seal dived. Baboons have always been in short supply around Melbourne,
for comparative purposes, though the zoo there may have had one at this early date. The other possibility is that this was one of
the last of the aboriginal sorcerers, making a traditional stand in traditional banib-ba-gunawar gear, to try and scare the white
men away from his people's territory. If so, he got a hot reception, and we have to hope that the elderly gentleman was unhurt by
the fusillade of shot.
- Peter Ravenscroft Nov 11, 2009
Reports of the Wild/Hairy Man part 3
1847 to 1855
THE WILD MAN OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOODS
Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate (Vic.)
Date: August 6, 1847
Page Number: 1
I now saw to
my surprise and teriror the cause of my sudden change of position; a huge animal nearly corresponding to the ourang of the Eastern
Archipelago was leaning over me...
Settlers and Convicts
Recollections of Sixteen Years' Labour in the Australian Backwoods
By: An Emigrant Mechanic (Alexander Harris)
Page Number: 88
The—— — river, on the banks of which we now were, rises and for a long distance winds to and fro among the
mountains of the country of Durham: at length it falls into the Hunter, not a great way from the mouth of that stream. It is now well
settled; but at the time we were there spoiling it of its cedar, only here and there amidst the lonely wilderness was there to be
found a settler's farm or stockman's hut. The blacks were occasionally, but not ofen, troublesome. The stories they used to tell us
about the brush thereabouts being haunted by a great tall animal like a man with his feet turned backwards, of much greater, however,
than the human stature, and covered with hair, and perpetually making a frightful noise as he wandered about alone, made me sometimes
doubt whether they were themselves really terrified, or were merely endeavouring to scare us away; but I very strongly incline to
the latter opinion. Be it as it may, there was no such consequence.
The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.)
Date: 21 December, 1850
Page Number: 926
The Elizabethtown (Ky.) Register says that a week or two since Mr. John Harned, living on Rolling Fork about 12 miles from this place, discovered a human bone protruding out of the sand on the river bank. It proved to be a thigh bone, perhaps he largest ever seen. It measured about six times the number of cubic inches as that of a common size man. Judging from the size of the bone found, it once belonged to a human being some 12 or 13 feet high. Mr. Harned has also found a collarbone, which is about the same proportion. That it is a human bone there can be no doubt.