Our beloved North American Bigfoot has many names across the world (such as Yeti and Sasquatch) but in Australia, the secretive cryptid is known as Yowie. In the eastern part of the country, the Yowie is described in Aboriginal folklore as roughly seven to twelve feet in height with large, Bigfoot-like feet. However, suspected Yowie tracks which have been found show inconsistencies in the number and shape of the toes compared to Bigfoot tracks which are more uniform and consistent across the species. Similar to the Yeti, the creature sports a wider, flatter nose and its behaviour has been described as varying between timid and overtly aggressive; even violent.
Aside from the Aboriginal folklore stories, the ‘first’ sightings of the Yowie were recorded in 1876 (around the same time as the first wide-spread Bigfoot sightings) when an account about ‘Indigenous apes’ was featured in the Australian Town and Country Journal. The journal cited the Aboriginal belief in the existence of “hairy man” living in the woods characterized as an unearthly animal or inhuman creature.
Six years later, on December 9th, 1982, an article about Australian Apes appeared in the same paper written by HJ. McCooey. In the article, he mentions encountering a creature on the New South Wales coast, between Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla, which he described as follows:
My attention was attracted to it by the cries of a number of small birds which were pursuing and darting at it. When I first beheld the animal it was standing on its hind legs, partly upright, looking up at the birds above it in the bushes, blinking its eyes and distorting its visage and making a low chattering kind of noise. Being above the animal on a slight elevation and distant from it less than a chain, I had ample opportunity of noting its size and general appearance.
I should think that if it were standing perfectly upright it would be nearly 5ft high. It was tailless and covered with very long black hair, which was of a dirty red or snuff-colour about the throat and breast. Its eyes, which were small and restless, were partly hidden by matted hair that covered its head. The length of the fore legs or arms seemed to be strikingly out of proportion with the rest of its body, but in all other respects its build seemed to be fairly proportional. It would probably weigh about 8st. On the whole it was a most uncouth and repulsive looking creature, evidently possessed of prodigious strength, and one which I should not care to come to close quarters with. Having sufficiently satisfied my curiosity, I threw a stone at the animal, whereupon it immediately rushed off, followed by the birds, and disappeared in a ravine which was close at hand.
The largest numbers of sightings in Australia come from the New South Wales area. Approximately 40 years ago, rashes of sightings of a huge black furry creature occurred around the area of Oxley Island in 1977 and were accompanied by a series of blood curdling screams heard at night. More recently, eye witnesses have reported encountering the creature, including the well publicized sighting by Steve Piper.
In August 2000, Piper captured a video of what is thought to be a Yowie crossing through the woods in the Brindabella Mountains.
Even though Piper’s video has been considered by some to have been a hoax, there are still numerous eye witness accounts including this documented sighting in 1990 by Julie Clark in Krambach, NSW.
While New South Wales seems to be the hotspot for Yowie sightings, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been numerous accounts from other parts of the country as well. A series of sightings occurred during the late 1990s in the Acacia Hills area of the Northern Territory. A well documented encounter occurred in 1997 when mango farmer Katrina Tucker found herself within meters of the hairy cryptid.
What do you think? Could it really just be a coincidence that so many geographically isolated cultures around the world have similar stories of these cryptids dating back hundreds of years?