Treasure Troving: Be Your Own Investigator

Trove provides a wealth of information at your fingertips – particularly useful for students of mystery and folklore are the newspaper archives which currently contain digitalised versions of over 80 Australian newspapers stretching back to 1804.

If you wanted to investigate, say, historical cases of mystery in your local area simply type in something like “strange animal brisbane” then click Search Articles. The articles are arranged by relevance but can be adjusted to show earliest (or latest) articles first. In this particular instance one of the first to come up reads:

The Yengarie "Lion."

The West Australian (Perth, WA)
Date: July 23, 1946
Page Number: 8
BRISBANE, July 22.

The mystery surrounding a strange animal which has been causing havoc in the Yengarie district, and which became known as the "Yengarie lion," was cleared up when a cream carrier from Yengarie brought the skin of a strange crossbred animal into Maryborough tonight. It was 6ft. 6in. long, 3ft. 11in. high and, weighed 1701b. Farmers who inspected the skin tonight say they have never seen such a wild animal. They describe it as a cross between a dingo, a collie dog and a fox. The animal has a fox's tall 2ft. long, shaggy shoulders, bushy neck, the colour ing of a collie dog, the characteris- tics of a dingo, huge claws and heavy footpads 6in. across. Mr. Christian Pederson Moes shot the animal with an 0.303 rifle on Friday morning while he was rounding up calves on his farm. He had taken his rifle with him because he had seen tracks of the animal. When it was opened up it was found to have inside it half a poddy calf. 14 fowl's legs, portions of birds and chewed rope and leather. Mr. Moes was confronted with the animal off the Teebar-road, Yengarie, "It was 40yds. away and when I saw its light ginger colour I knew it was the alleged 'lioness' which had been hunted," he said. "I let go with my rifle. As it bounded towards me I fired another shot and got it through the brain." The presence of a strange animal in the district has aroused much interest in recent weeks and a party of armed hunters, including some Dutch servicemen, set out from Maryborough recently in an endeavour to shoot it. The proprietors of two Maryborough hotels were included in the party and each had offered £100 reward if it proved to be a lion.
The Yengarie Lion
Click on it and it goes directly to the article which is displayed as a scanned-like image of the original newspaper on the right and a text version on the left of screen. Note that sometimes the scan is of poor quality and its subsequent text version is in need of editing. Here is the corrected text version of the article:
By comparing the text to the scanned original then it is possible to edit and correct the article for the benefit of future readers. To investigate further perhaps search “lion brisbane” then clicking Decade then 1940-1949 then perhaps Year 1946. Names, places, and other details can be checked on Trove or elsewhere which fleshes out the account.

Personally, I find such historical information provides a fascinating insight into who we are and where we came from as a nation of people as well as furthering our understanding of cryptozoology and/or folklore and I hope others feel the same. If anyone has such an interest then I am available to offer assistance in navigating the Trove archives and, if the newspaper articles and other relevant information on a specific story are adequately collated, then I am more than happy to publish them on Yowieocalypse with accreditation.

Happy historical Monster Hunting!
ES(NW) 29.09.2012
Now back to the Yengarie Lion which sounds cool so let's check it out:

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: June 22, 1946
Page Number: 3
IF you go to Yengarie this week-end, take your shooting irons. A 'lion' is at large. Successor to the "Tiaro Monster" it is terrorising residents of Yengarie and Oakhurst, six miles from Maryborough.

Police investigating complaints say they have been told that one resident has actually been within 20 yards of the "lion," taken a shot at it, and missed. The same man, Mr. R. Tannock, of Yengarie, claims that the "lion"
has been in the district seven months — although so far only two calves have fallen beneath its predatory fangs. Its footprints have been measured, and many farmers are keeping their calves close to their homes at night. There is talk in the district of getting up a lion hunt, but so far there have been few volunteers.

A Maryborough police official said last night : "If it has only eaten two poddies over the last seven months the "lion" is either very tame, very small, or not very hungry. "Any self-respecting dingo would equal that tally in a week.

"There is a hotel in the district," he added.
Sometimes articles throw out new topics to research and in this case the "Tiaro Monster" - what is that? A quick search then also throws up the "Banaraga Devils" - what's that?!?
Yowieocalypse will investigate. Stay tuned...

Cairns Post (Qld.)
Date: June 24, 1946
Page Number: 5
BRISBANE, June 23.--FouR "big game hunters from Brisbane" left yesterday by car to "kill, maim, or capture the Yengarie lion" which is reported to be terrorising the district's residents.

The men are: Sgt. Rudy de Bruyn, Tim Pickup, and a man named Leo, all attached to the N.E.I. Army, and Peter Dick, of Camp Hill.

Sgt. Rudy de Bruyn said yesterday that he "cut his teeth" at big game hunting in the East Indies in his
younger days.

For the three other men the experience will be a novel one.

The men have not yet worked out an attack campaign. They plan to do this on the trip to Maryborough. They usually spend their week-end together shooting deer near Toogoolawah.

If fire power means anything, the chances of the "Yengarie lion" look slim. The men took with them one .303 rifle, a .9 Mauser, and two 30-30 rifles.

Peter Dick fears a riot might develop among the party if they shoot the lion.

"We will all want the skin for our floor," he said. "The only thing to do will be to have turn about."

"Anyway, we are all on the right side of 30 and are looking forward to the chase," he added.

Police who have investigated the complaint about the lion say they have been told that one resident has actually been within 20 yards of the "lion," taken a shot at him, and missed.


The "lion" which has been reported as terrorising residents of Yengarie and Oakhurst six miles from Maryborough, is now credited by local people with a leap of 18 Inches longer than Bernborough.

The movements of Brisbane's four big game hunters who left for Maryborough on Saturday to "kill, maim, or capture" the alleged lion are shrouded in the same veil of secrecy as their quarry. Maryborough police and district residents said to-night that they had not seen the heavily armed quartette, which includes an N.E.I. army sergeant who says he has "cut his teeth on big game hunting in the East Indies." There were rumours, however, that they had passed through Maryborough on Saturday night.
Mr. J. P. Mahoney: "... that some traveling circus left behind its sick, presumably dead, lion, which may have recovered later."

The idea that mystery animals are/could have escaped from a traveling circus or menagerie is a perennial favourite within folklore. Mahoney's take is an interesting variation.
treasure_troving001011.jpg treasure_troving001010.jpg
Bernborough (1939–1960) was an outstanding Australian-bred Thoroughbred racehorse who competed from 1941 to 1946.
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: June 24, 1946
Page Number: 3
Mr. J. P. Mahoney, of Yengari, chairman of the Maryborough Co-operative Dairy Association, said last night: "It is very hard to say whether there is anything in the story. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility, that some travelling circus left behind it a sick, presumably dead, lion, which may have recovered later.

"I live within a mile or two of where it is supposed to have been seen — but I have neither seen nor heard it.

"There are even reports that the lion" has been heard roaring, you know."

Asked whether he was following the reported practice of other farmers, who were sceptical of the report but at the same time were keeping their calves close to home at night, Mr. Mahoney said: "Definitely not."

With a tally of two poddy-calves to its credit, the "lion" is declared to have been in the district for more than seven months.

Its footprints have been measured by Mr. R. Tannock, a Yengarie timber-getter, although so far he has not released any details, and has been out of contact now for some days.

Mr. Tannock is the man who says that he was within 20 yards of the lion, took, a shot at it, and missed.
nei_army.jpg treasure_troving001004.jpg
The Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL) was the military force maintained by the Netherlands in its colony of the Netherlands East Indies (also known as the Dutch East Indies, and now modern Indonesia).

Battle of Java Sea and Sunda Strait - February 1942

The NEI Naval and Air support in the Battle for Australia

Researched and Written by Doug Hurst MBE

Is It a Snark?

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: June 25, 1946
Page Number: 2
THE Maryborough "lion" is well on the way to rivalling the Loch Ness monster. It has become the quarry of big game hunters from Brisbane. If they do not succeed in tracking it down it will have to be classed as a "snark," and a place reserved for it in a new and up-to-date edition of that nonsense book of "imaginary animals" which delighted the children of a bygone generation.
treasure_troving001005.gif treasure_troving001004.jpg
The snark is a fictional animal species created by Lewis Carroll in his nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark. His descriptions of the creature were, in his own words, unimaginable, and he wanted that to remain so.

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
Date: July 4, 1946
Page Number: 3

The hunt for the Yengarie "lion" has become intensified. Two Dutchmen, two Americans, and an Australian, all well armed, arrived in the area last Friday, and to-day it was stated that they were in close touch with Mr. R. Tannock, who first reported the presence of the "lion" to the police. The hunters are reported to have seen the tracks of the animal, and are convinced it is a puma. Some bushmen are stated to have seen the animal and others have seen its tracks. All are of the opinion that it is something unusual.

Heifers Attacked

Heifers have been attacked, and one is stated to have been badly mauled. The railway officer at Yengarie (Mr. Titmarsh) said he believed the animal was an outsize dingo. He had seen one in Mr. J. P. Mahoney's paddock last week-end "that was of sufficient size to frighten the gamest hunter." Several months ago a woman resident of the area heard an animal snarl at her in the dark. She called to other members of the household, and when they arrived it bounded off through the long grass.
Strange Animals