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.

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