Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 23rd, 2006
Aussie cryptozoologist Mike Williams weighs in with a guest blog for Cryptomundo.
Mike’s article in the April issue of Fortean Times, co-authored with Ruby Lang, was profiled here on Cryptomundo in March. That article, titled Yowieland, is now available in its entirety on the Fortean Times website.
Illustration: Xavier Lemmens
After spending the past six years “in search of” various cryptozoological oddities – big cats, yowies and Tasmanian Tigers, to name just a few – we have come to some interesting conclusions about our quarries.
In a recent issue of Fortean Times we shared our thoughts about the Blue Mountains yowie in “Yowieland”, where we interviewed witnesses there about their experiences.
Before we go much further, we would like to preface our findings by saying: we wish it was a flesh-and-blood creature, we really do!
But sadly, the more we discover about this man-beast enigma, the more likely it seems that it may in fact belong to another realm entirely.
While not everyone is convinced of the creature’s “paranormality” in Australia (or indeed, elsewhere in the world), we found sufficient anomalies in the creature’s reported behaviour and descriptions to cast it firmly into the “non corporeal” basket.
Local witnesses Jerry and Sue O’Connor, who live in the heart of “yowie country”, are convinced the creature is not unlike a nature spirit of sorts.
Their introduction to the creature was sudden and scary – a bloodcurdling roar from the edge of their backyard (their property merges with the Blue Mountains wilderness). From then on, the strange hairy primate-like creatures visited the couple most nights. But that wasn’t all:
Footprints were also found on the couple’s property after some of these visitations, which Jerry photographed and cast. The couple, who regularly bushwalk, have also spotted strange footprints along the fire trails and tracks that criss-cross the area, leading down into gullies, waterfalls and caves. Despite these monster-like physical traces, they remain convinced the creature is more faerie-like than fierce physical beast.
Aboriginal lore supports the existence of smaller hairy men in Australia, the yuuri (pronounced ‘yawri’, not unlike yowie) or ‘brown jack’, which fulfill a similar role to that of European elves and leprechauns – they guard certain places, grant favours and play tricks on people. The yowie certainly seems to have more in common with these creatures than they do conventional flesh-and-blood primates or relict hominids.
Not to mention the bizarre physical abnormalities which have puzzled us no end – with all of the casts we have collected of “yowie” footprints (three, four and five-toed), we have found those variations in morphology do not occur in any other known species. How else can they be explained other than paranormal?
But, we hear you say, they’re leaving FOOTPRINTS. Only flesh-and-blood creatures could be leaving physical traces! Sure, generally that’s true, but in the world of the paranormal nothing is clear-cut.
Poltergeists have been known to leave physical traces too, and no one believes they are physical entities (despite there being a school of thought that points to an unknowing human catalyst).
What we’re trying to say here is that flesh-and-blood supporters say the animal exists because it leaves physical effects on the environment and can be perceived by humans and animals.
We are arguing that because this is the only “evidence” then the hairy men cannot actually be normal animals in any sense of the word.
The belief that they are “just really good at hiding“ is negated by the question, “like what other normal animals?”.
It’s a bit like ufologists who say ”one day we will have the crashed saucer” . Flesh-and-blood believers have to say “one day we will have a body”. And in both cases, it’s probably never going to happen!
Authors Tony Healy and Paul Cropper (of Out Of The Shadows fame) have extensively documented the case of the O’Conners and hundreds of others in their new book The Yowie Files, due to be released by Anomalist Books later this year.
One of the authors, Tony Healy, has been particularly vocal about his conclusions about the yowie in the past, which we recount in our article:
“If we reject everything about the yowie that smacks of the paranormal we’d have to sweep 20 per cent of the accumulated data under the carpet,” Healy told the Sydney 2001 Myths and Monsters cryptzoology conference. “After 25 years on the trail I really suspect that the American Indians, the Australian Aborigines and some of the whacked-out American researchers are right – that is, that we’re dealing with shape-shifting phantoms here that will probably remain beyond human comprehension.“
We think Tony’s “on the money” with his assessment (reached after more than 20 years’ researching reports of Australia’s own “Bigfoot”, who could be better situated to comment after collecting more than 300 cases?), which more or less echoes our own stance.
Where are the indisputable video sequences? The photos? The bodies? The DNA samples?
Why are these man-beasts turning up everywhere, in the most unlikely places – including, in recent years, the heart of the UK? In the millions of man-hours spent on the ground by recreational and professional hunters, why hasn’t one animal been shot?
Certainly, many authors have explored the idea that Bigfoot-type creatures are more fantastical than flesh, including Peter Gutilla’s The Bigfoot Files, Nick Redfern’s Three Men Seeking Monsters and Jack Lapseritis’ The Psychic Sasquatch.
Some might see this hypothesis as a bit of a cop-out, a convenient solution to an enduring mystery, a “catch all” answer to put an end to the spirited debate about what this creature truly may be.
So we leave off here with these words: “We wish they were flesh and blood…one day we hope someone will prove us wrong.” Until then, we’re off with the faeries…
Mike Williams and Ruby Lang are actively researching yowie reports in the Blue Mountains and further afield. They can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via their website Strange Nation.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.