I’m sitting parked on the grass alongside of Beechmont road near Witheren, inland from the Gold Coast, where only last month a truck driver had an unsettling encounter with something in the bush. It’s a peaceful night where the only sound I can hear is the breeze moving through the dense bush to my right and the tick tick of my cooling engine. I’ve finished my day job not long ago and curiosity got the better of me and I decided to head down here on a meandering trip home. It’s rather quiet and it’s dark, I mean really dark. We forget just how black the night can be until we find ourselves a little outside of the cities and back into the arms of nature. Even from inside a Kia Rio.
A truck driver was travelling down this route at approxamatially 10 am when on rounding a sharp bend he saw what he thought was a boulder fall from the high embankment onto the road. Slamming on his brakes hard to avoid hitting it he was shocked when what he thought was a huge boulder, stood up. The International S Line he was driving stood at 9’6 off the ground and the man claimed he had to lean forward and look up to see the creatures face which would put it at 10 ft in height if not taller. It was covered in a thick mat of hair with a dark red hue, except about the face and ears which were hairless. The face was ape like with hazel eyes and a pushed in nose, like a boxer who had taken one too many hits. The creatures expression at first was one of puzzlement, almost embarressment at being seen but the look quickly turned to one of anger. It gave the trucks fiberglass bonnet a quick defensive strike, cracking it cleanly and causing the 9 tonne truck to shudder, before moving off into the brush. The sighting took only moments but one would think one that would leave a lasting impact on the driver.
I got out of the car and shone my torch around for awhile but nothing moved in the darkness. I didn’t expect it to, but I wanted to get the feel of the place. In the moment it’s easy to let imagination take flight and contemplate what may be lurking just out of the torches reach. Once, many years ago I went on a Yowie expectdition out the back of Currumbin Valley where multiple sightings had occured plus calls and wood knocks had been recording. Many hours later we returned with nothing much to report but a few bug bites but out there however, far away from the bustle of humanity there was a sense of being watched. It was probably just my overactive imagination but I did feel like someone, or something was keeping a eye on us.
Bigfoot, Yeti, Satsquatch, Yowie. There are many names given in historical accounts over the years of a hairy, human/ape like creatures and the southeast of Queensland is rich with sightings and encounters, stretching as far back as the 1930’s.
Like its American cousin Bigfoot, or the Yeti of the Himalayas and New Zealands Hairy Moehau, the Yowie is a cryptid with a long history in Australia, dating back to the Dreamtime myths. When the First Fleet arrived in 1788 the local aboriginal tribe would warn the settlers not to go up to the mountains as there was a dangerous ape-like creature which lived in the caves up there. Stories abounded here and back in England of a tall creature, twice the size of a man who would watch the settlers and hunters as they pushed into the bush.
Most of the current sightings seem to occur in the Central regions of NSW (The Blue Mountains having many stories of a violent hue attached to them) and the Gold Coast. Springbrook and the Lamington National Forest are local hotspots.
The name Yowie is derived from Yuwi, which in the Yuwaalaraay peoples langauge means ‘Dream Spirit’. Across the nation and across all the Aboriginal tribes there are many names, Yahoo, Mummuga, Doolagal among many. A lot of the time he seems to be a cautionary tale for children, don’t venture too far or make too much noise or the hairy man will come and take you.
Like all it’s counterparts as well, no real substantial evidence has been found. No bones have been unearthed, no body has been discovered, no smoking gun photo or video has been captured. All we have is the first person statements from people, a lot of whom are above reproach and who have absolutely no discernible reason to lie or make up tales. Doctors, Police, Lawyers, even a Queensland National Party Senator. Bill O’Chee related to a Gold Coast paper how he and several friends saw a Yowie when they were out at a school camp in his youth.
There are a few foot casts, crackley recordings of voice calls, wood knocks and screams but these are unsubstantiated at best. Australia is a vast country and I have no doubt that there is the possibility that there could be a large undiscovered cryptid out there. Though, not the T-Rex like creature that is reportedly wandering the deserts inland. I want to believe that the Yowie, or Bigfoot or any of the other variations of the hairy man are real. So I will continue to go out and have a look around and see what I can find.