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:

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