New Yowie Photo: Racism & Fakery Again

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 14th, 2009

Unfortunately, the worlds of the Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie are not without an undercurrent of racist hoaxing, now and then.

There is the incredible de Loys photo and its ties to eugenics, and the “Digger Indian” episodes linked to the false Bluff Creek theorizing.

Now from Australia, comes the horrible “Blackfellas” fakery associated with a notorious piece of “photographic evidence” with origins in North America.

The label “Blackfella” (also “blackfellah,” “black fella,” or “black fellah”) is a condescending Australian racial designation for the country’s original Aborigines. (Blackfellas, Whitefellas, and the Hidden Injuries of Race by Gillian Cowlishaw, Carlton South, VIC: Blackwell Publishing Asia 2004, details the covert issues of racism now being debated in Australia. The rationalizations for the use of “blackfella” in Australia are about on the level with the arguments for calling people by the “n-word” or “colored” in America in the 1940s, and to similar fashions in South Africa’s past.)

What is being used is the old Wild Creek fake photo.

A few days ago, the following was published:

Some Doomadgee residents have dubbed it the “Water Blackfella” but we at The North West Star are not so certain.

A couple came into our offices this week claiming to have an image of a mysterious creature sighted in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

According to the legendary tale being told around kitchen tables in the region, a Doomadgee man was trying to take a photo of a large snake at Drum Yard Station, which is about 50 kilometres outside Doomadgee, when this creature emerged from a billabong.

The quick thinking man supposedly hid behind a tree and took this “photograph” before the monster slinked past him and out of sight.

The picture is currently being passed from phone to phone throughout Doomadgee as residents debate its authenticity.

Is it bunyip, a gorilla, a water blackfella or just simply (and most likely) a hoax? The picture looks pretty suss to us, but we’ll let you decide – believe it or not.

The North West Star [Mount Isa, Queensland] | 9 April 2009

The photograph being used is well-known as a fake in the field.

Ben Radford

The slide of that photo was included, for example, in Benjamin Radford’s lecture in which he debunks Bigfoot. Nothing like using an obvious fake, humm?

The image is the so-called “Wild Creek Bigfoot photo.” It is one of a series of 14 photos supposedly taken by an off-duty forest patrol officer near Mt. Ranier on July 11, 1995. They were allegedly purchased by Cliff Crook, although some have felt that Crook allegedly created them. The pics are generally thought to have been made using a small model posed in a watery setting, such as a small creek. Or merely digitally “painted” from computer software onto a real photograph background. Note the size of the blades of grass in the foreground of the photograph compared with the supposed “Bigfoot”?

Wild Creek Bigfoot

As T. Peter Park editorializes about this new report from Australia: “The name ‘Water Blackfella’ reminds me a lot of South America’s ‘Negroes of the Water.’ Those are short (3 1/2 to 4 feet tall) black bald amphibious creatures with webbed feet and hands, generally described as nocturnal and aggressive, reported from Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Paraguay. Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe classified them as “Freshwater Merbeings” in The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (Anomalist Books, 2006), pp. 82-83, citing Fabio Picasso, ‘Infrequent Types of Southern American Humanoids–Part III,’ Strange Magazine 11:19-20 (Spring-Summer 1993).”

Trouble posting today, but I got the above through, finally.

Help out chaps and mates, please…

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “New Yowie Photo: Racism & Fakery Again”

  1. davidk responds:

    *sigh* Seems everytime Australia starts to slide into recession (we’re always later than the rest of the world, even with economic woes) out comes the racists. I suppose we should be grateful they didn’t use another term like “boong” (Google it, it’s more commonly used than “black fellah” and much more horrible than the “n” word). Makes one ashamed to be an Aussy.

  2. Richard888 responds:

    Nice article. I remember the first time I saw the “Wild Creek Bigfoot photos” in a magazine about UFOs. It was 1997 and my jaw had dropped since embedded in the creature possessed subtleties that made it look too organic to be a fake. Then, some time later I read in an article on the Internet that these pictures were proven hoaxes although the article did not explain why. Is the size of the grass blades in the foreground the ONLY reason why these picture are said to be fakes or are there additional reasons?

  3. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    I had seen this photo about 1 1/2 years ago.

    I thought at first, WOW! Then when I had really done some close inspection of this photo, I realized it was a fake. But I still thought that it was a really good attempt at trying to get one over on researchers.

    But the one thing that I really wanted to know was, how did they get the face to look so life like? Not that it looks like anything that I have seen personally.

    The body on this “thing” is gigantic. It reminds me of a muscle bound body builder, on steroids, with a major hair growth problem. LOL

    Thanks again Loren

  4. DavidFullam responds:

    What is it about this photo that brings out the worst in people? I was familiar with it back when I read Fortean Times for a couple of years. Never saw a definitive answer as to whether it was real or not. So I asked around about it on a crypto bulletin board. The one response I got? “You’re gay.”

    That was news to me, as I thought I always liked girls!

  5. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Has anybody ever showed this pic to Hollywood gorilla experts Rick Baker and Bob Burns yet?

  6. crapple responds:

    if you look to the left of it, there is a leaf, which proves it false.

    that leaf would have to be about 3-4 feet long to match up with the “yowie” in the picture, and I am very sure there are no trees in australia with 4 foot long leaves similar to that.

  7. crapple responds:

    I dont like posting more than once in a row on here, but there was something I had missed:

    look at the algae- it would have to be considerably larger than any known species, each algae would have to be the size of a baseball

    there is also what appears to be a acorn to the right and behind the “yowie”, which would also have to be abnormally large to match the picture

  8. Loren Coleman responds:

    The photo that is in black and white is being used by the hoaxers in Australia, which obviously is a b&w version of the color one from the USA known as the Wild Creek photo. “Yowie” and “Australia” are not even part of the equation here, so to state that “there are no trees in Australia with 4 foot long leaves” makes no sense to even mention, does it?

  9. coelacanth1938 responds:

    I’ve talked to a few model-making friends of mine about how hard it would be for a person to make one of these things from scratch. The answer: easy.

    This thing could’ve started life as a G.I. Joe.

  10. sasquatch responds:

    I don’t see any Acorn, nor am I impressed by the size of the grass blades. I’ve been in swampy areas next to rivers and lakes with huge wild grass. I’m not sure what it’s called but it is easily a few feet long.
    I think the head on the critter looks too small and the shoulders look as if they are padded or something. But, the angle of it looking up at the photographer could have caused this to look funny.

    The light/reflections on the water look very consistent with the morning mists I’ve seen on rivers and ponds while out fishing. Especially in small inlets off of rivers where the water has gathered and gotten fairly deep.

    Furthermore, Anytime Ben Radford says something is a hoax it makes me think it might NOT be.

    His reasoning’s are usually as flimsy as the cardboard cut-out he swam around with in Lake Champlain that one time.

  11. sasquatch responds:

    Picture of giant grass by river.

  12. Alligator responds:

    The fakery of this photo has long been well established by ardent crytptozoologists so I am a little surprised at what seems to be defense of it by some. For example, look at the duckweed (Lemna minor) on the water. Considering this hominid is supposed to be 7 – 8 feet tall, that’s awfully big duckweed. Also the body proportions are out of whack and quite frankly, it just looks like a model stuck next to a creek bank. Look at the water – calm, not roiled where it is standing. It seems pretty obvious. It looks like the pictures we used to take of toy dinosaurs in a “natural” setting as kids.

  13. sasquatch responds:

    I put up a picture of grass by a river that is easily 7-8 feet tall and still there’s a problem? If you want to talk about scale, I think you need to look at the fur/hair.
    It looks in proportion to a large creature- not a little toy dinosaur model.
    Now I think the anatomy looks suspect too but, it is an odd angle. And I’ve read reports that say the creature has huge shoulders, no neck and a proportionately small looking head…So with these in mind this picture gains more respect. I still think it could be a guy in a costume tho. Maybe the same guy in Crooks film-he has the same paunchyness. I DO NOT think it’s a little model.

  14. Yowie responds:

    Coming from Australia myself

    Black fella means black man. The aboriginal people call us white fella’s and we call them black fella’s. There is NO RACISM whatsoever about this.

    Is anyone offended here when they are called white or a white man/women or a white fella? Anyone at all?

    The aboriginal people welcome us to call them black fella’s, and for heavens sakes, our prime minister and just about everyone on tv refers to them at some time or another as black fella’s.

    Its not a racial slur, its just a point of fact. If a cat is white its a white cat, if a cat is black its a black cat end of story.

    From your argument, you are saying we are racist for calling them black fella’s when every aboriginal calls us white fellas, so who are you actually calling racist?

    Political correctness has just gone absolutely crazy and when in this country we aren’t allowed to have Santa walking down the street saying Ho Ho Ho anymore because it sounds like hes calling women Hoe Hoe Hoe, you know its people like those above who look too much into things and take everything out of context.

    Thank you very much, goodbye.

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