Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Blue Mountains Reconnaissance Trip, 27th October 1999

A day-time reconnaissance trip to the lower Blue Mountains area, to look for Yowie evidence, explore the valleys in the direct vicinity to locate where these creatures might sleep, and meet with Neil , who lives in the area.

I started the day at the end of XXXXX road, where the gate closes the road. In this area there was no fresh evidence of Yowie activity. The sand on the road was fairly moist and would have easily recorded any footprints of yowies crossing or using the road.

I proceeded east along the fire trail, before turning north down towards the creek on a narrow track. Close to the track down the hill towards the creek, damage to two trees was seen and one photographed. I kept going down to the creek, access getting very difficult approaching the creek as there were no man-made trails in the area. Jumping down a short drop onto a fern-covered valley floor, I noticed an area of crushed fern fronds, in a roughly circular pattern approx 2 m across. This area had definitely been disturbed, as there were uncrushed ferns immediately beside this spot. I also thought I heard some distant noises but it was very difficult to tell if I heard movement or the sound of the creek.

I proceeded down the creek for a short way (movement difficult due to overgrown ferns, vines and other grasses, fallen branches etc). There were a number of sandy creek banks, but these were totally undisturbed by anything i.e. no footprints! I reached an intersection with another creek, with a section of rainforest running up the valley, and proceeded upstream. Immediately beside this creek junction I found a flat area of earth where all the tree fern fronds and branches were lying on the ground. This area had definitely been flattened by something. I went further upstream and found a small cave, but it was clear from the tracks that I made getting upstream that nothing had taken my path for some time.

I concluded from this exploration that this particular part of the XXXXXX Creek Valley had not had any very recent yowie activity but the crushed down ferns was quite interesting. I returned up the hill to the fire trail. I continued for a few hundred metres east of where I had left the trail and at one point noted a waft of urine smell. I looked in the bush (reasonably clear there) for any company and saw nothing. The smell seemed to be coming from a deep gulley to the south. To investigate the smell, I went a short way off the path to the south and found a large area where many dead small trees were all pushed flat on the ground. This was quite unusual since in most of this area, the understorey is quite dense.

This road ends abruptly at a set of powerlines and locked gates. No vehicular access is possible into this area and one would have to jump the fence to enter. This area could be a haven for yowies, since there would be even less access to the area by stray bushwalkers than the previous valley explored. The area is also directly adjacent to the end of the road where countless stories of one particular yowie have come from. Since the yowie in this area is often reported as appearing around dusk, (as told by local residents – later in this report), it is quite likely that it comes from somewhere quite nearby, after sleeping during the day, and a fenced-off reserve would be the ideal location.

I walked north from the end of the road under a cleared area with powerlines overhead, until I reached a creek at the bottom of the valley. I then went bush-bashing through thick swamp-scrub, downstream. Many trails were found through the bush, fewer in the swampy / creek areas. I found a small hollow, which the creek fell into as a waterfall. At the bottom of the hollow was very long grass and this looked like it could be a good nesting area. Getting down into the hollow was quite difficult, although eventually I found a slightly worn trail that went down from a 2 metre ledge. No strong evidence of recent yowie activity was found in this spot.

I struggled for another few minutes downstream and came to a drier section above a high waterfall that prevented me from going any further. On a tree there I found very distinct tree damage, and took a photograph of it. After that, I headed back up the valley. Once reaching the powerlines, I took a short stroll up the valley close to the houses, but considering I was so close to civilisation, thought the chances of stumbling upon a sleeping yowie were slim (which may have proved to be an error – see later in the report).

I then drove around some of the other roads in the area bordering the same section of bush to gain familiarity with the region. The valley is closed on the southeastern side by the main highway.
Later in the afternoon I visited Neil and his partner. The most recent sighting of the yowie was of the eyes in the bush, approximately 2 to 3 weeks earlier, late at night. Neil had numerous stories to tell and Neil could have talked for hours longer than I stayed. At then end of our discussions and looking at a plaster cast of a footprint taken after one encounter, we went to the back of Neil’s house, which opens onto a swampy area of land thick with hakea bushes and reeds. This was the location of many sightings and pursuits of the creature by Neil and many others.

The conversation with Neil resulted in some interesting conclusions:
* The creature has been in the area for at least 10 years
* It is not particularly aggressive except when frightened at close range but has not apparently harmed anyone, but has caused many frights
* It has appeared as early as 4 pm in the swamp to the back of the house, but is usually seen or heard at night.
* Many of the residents in the same street and those across the valley have had encounters or experiences with the creature. Local aborigines are familiar with yowies in the area
* The footprint is rounded with a large sole pad and a strongly elevated arch, with a quite narrow heel. The shape and arrangement of toes suggests that the creature is more like an ape than a human.
* It moves incredibly rapidly.
* It seems very curious.
* It has taken scraps of food left out by Neil.
* Local police have been involved in stake-outs in the area for many weeks after disturbances by the creature
* Despite complicated efforts to photograph it, it still manages to evade photographers. It has been recorded with noise-activated cassette recorders. It has dismantled automatic recording and photographic contraptions set up high in trees by Neil
* Activity lately around Neil’s house has been minimal

Some comments, such as the time of day it has appeared, suggest that where it sleeps is not very far from this street. Despite its incredible running speed, it can be conjectured that it either sleeps actually within the valley bounded by XXXXX Rd and XXXXX Rd, or down the valley towards XXXXXX, within the fenced off area.

Future reconnaissance trips should be focussed on this valley, making passes up from the cleared powerline area to the houses, and perhaps downstream towards XXXXXX. Some time could also be spent on the road past the gate at the end of XXXXXX Rd.

Should the creature become very active again in this area, more night-time vigils could be set up to encourage it to visit this area. If a pattern can be established, then more chance of taking footage of it is likely. If it can be lured to take food from near Neil’s home, then a pattern there could also be set up and some means of capturing it could be devised. If it can be trained into a rough schedule of appearing in a particular place, then a tranquilizer gun could be used to sedate it for capture.

The Yowie phenomenon takes on a peculiar air after this trip. Many people have been laughed at for saying they pursue yowies. However, countless eyewitness accounts cannot be easily discarded. The Yowie undoubtedly exists, whatever it is. Neil postulates that it is probably a kind of large ape-like primate, unknown to modern science, maybe a pongid. Its evasive character prevents capture or well documented encounters (photographs, videos etc). It is expert at navigating the bush and hiding. It is incredibly strong and fast. Even armed with cameras, most close-range encounters with the creature are so terrifying that the observer apparently acts out of self-preservation before thinking to take photographs.

Proving the existence of these creatures to the community at large would require nothing short of physical proof such as a body. For this to occur, some kind of capture would be necessary.

A plaster cast of the footprint made by Neil:

Monday, October 11, 1999

Blue Mountains residents Jerry and Sue's First Encounter with the Bush Ape

Jerry and Sue are two locals living in the lower mountains. They were originally part of the BMCR group and, it has to be said are wonderful people, extremely hospitable and great hosts. We have not heard from them for some time and from communications some time ago, it seems they are keeping a low profile. They have given us permission to print their story and show these photos, for which we are very grateful.
In Jerry's words: "Around the 10th of November 1999, at approx 1100pm, my wife and my life and understanding of the place we live in, was abruptly turned upside down. I was reading a novel in bed waiting for my wife to finish painting an old bookshelf that we were restoring, when she raced into the bedroom babbling on about something growling at her from the backyard. I reluctantly put my book down and headed outside to the back verandah, thinking, "its probably just a wallaby, possum, or wombat mating", as it was springtime and we hear animal noises every night. Boy was I wrong!
Upon reaching the back door we both heard the loudest, strangest, most menacing growl or ROAR that I have ever heard (I have been on Safari in Africa and heard Lions roar, but this thing made them sound like kittens). My hair literally stood on end and a cold chill went through me. Wasting no time I pushed Sue inside and slid the sliding glass door shut (interestingly, Sue later told me that my appearance on the scene seemed to make it angrier, as before when she was on her own its growls were not as loud or vicious).
I then raced for the torch, but typically, the batteries were flat, so we both peered out, straining to see something, but it was the dark of the Moon and black as pitch. Visibility was no more than 10ft at best. We heard two more growls (which we both estimated originating from behind an apple tree which is covered in HoneySuckle bushes, approx 10 metres from the house) then silence for 2 minutes and finally crashing sounds in the bush fading away.
The animal was then quiet (but it took an hour or more for the local dogs to go quiet). What in Gods name was it?? Every excuse I could imagine went through my head, first that it was an escaped Lion from a circus, then I thought it must be a Puma that U.S. servicemen from the war had released so they didnt have to put it down due to quarantine laws (oh by the way there must have been two of them so they could breed, and this was the great, great, great grandson etc), anything but that old myth the "Yowie". But still we were very uneasy, we both knew that something exsisted in the Aussie bush that I wasnt told about in School.

The location of the incident
Almost a year went past, then I read an article in one of the two Sydney Sunday papers, it was about a guy named Dean Harrison, who had an experience with a Yowie that made what happened to us seem paltry, but what hit me the most was the description he used to describe the sound it made "like a Lion and a Bear combined".
That was it, try as I might I couldnt describe the sound of that ROAR to anyone, it was so unlike anything I'd ever heard, but that description was the closest of any of them. Suddenly the myth of the Yowie became a little bit more real to me, and I decided to submit a report to an American Bigfoot website (GCBRO). I was very surprised when Dean got back to me on the very same day that I submitted that report (after all it went to America first). He told me that a "nine footer" was sighted recently in my area. It later turned out the sighting took place around the same night as ours and may have been connected, as it was seen after crossing the road in front of a startled local motorist, charging up the slope towards my house. Dean then explained some of the endearing qualities of the Yowie and put me in touch with a local researcher Neil.
Neil commenced to blow my mind with tales of home invasions, tree bitings, car chasings, 53 witnesses in his street alone, police involvements, foot impressions, bush tracks & vegetation devastation. All this taking place in our quite little neighbourhood! That was it, the bait was swallowed and I was determined to get to the bottom of this.
After checking out the photographs of tree bites, tee pee piles and footprints on the YowieHunters Website, Sue and I set out the next day into the local bush on our side of the Highway. It didnt take us long to find something resembling the photos we saw on the website: 7ft high, with what looked like fang marks. Excited, we returned home and rang Neil, who came over and confirmed what we already suspected. He photographed the tree bites, gave us some positive feedback and more information and from that day on all three of us have found upwards of 30 Bloodwood trees in the immediate area, chewed, bitten , fanged or whatever, 90%, in the 6ft+ range in height. Also, a lot of them appear to be done by the same animal, with what appear to be upper canine marks of 82mm, and lower 55mm.

We have also strung black cotton all over suspected trails at around the 6ft mark, only to return the next day to find a lot of them broken, or completly removed. Footprints are another thing that are found quite often, only yesterday I found one measuring 18" long by 10" across the toes.

Other happenings before we were "aware"
*Getting into my car one night, I turned on the headlights. The beam reached deep into the bush and I saw two enormous yellow eyes staring back at me. I had a feeling of dread and then heard crashing noises through the bush.
*At 2am one morning, we were both woken by our cats (all 6 of them) growling and hissing at the open curtained window. Sue saw a huge black shape, with what appeared to be a face peering in at us. The next morning Ifound disturbed soil and stood in the same spot. I just reached over the sill, so whatever it was must have been at least 7ft high.
*Walking the street at night you often have that "being watched feeling", Sue has run on 2 occasions.
*Opening the front door late at night, often brings sounds like an elephant bulldozing its way through the bush, completely different to Wallabies crashing about.
*Strange shrieks or howls, which set off every dog for miles.
*Somebody or something has pulled open our powerbox on at least 5 occasions. One night I ran out with an unloaded air rifle to confront the culprit only to find no one there. I also tied shoelace around the latch, only to hear it open again and the shoelace stretched to breaking point.
*Our front door (flyscreen) has been opened and slammed at 2 or 3am, once again no one there
*I once asked our neighbours (an old guy of 70 and his wife) if they had ever heard anything strange going on. She said yes, many times, but didnt elaborate. I asked him one night why he answered the door with a 303 rifle and he told me "I'm sick of these kids banging on my house all through the night and peeping in my window". I asked "What kids?" "The oldest kid around here is 7 foot" he said, "I dont know, but one night I saw the bastard disapear into the bush dressed all in black, he looks about 8ft tall"
*Wallaby skeletons scattered through the bush often headless. Bushes flattened with plucked feathers scattered.
*Walking type trails leading into our property that we certainly dont ever use, yet they look like the M4, completely different to Wallaby tracks.
There is plenty more I could add to this, but I'd be here forever. The point is, something very strange is happening here in the Mountains and the authorities running the show aint talking." -Jerry O'Connor 2000.