Update: Yarram Ape or Yowie?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 13th, 2006

Do the readers of Cryptomundo remember the story about the Yarram Ape?

It was posted here on Cryptomundo on September 28, 2006 at:

Yarram Ape or Yowie? 

Aussie cryptozoologist Mike Williams sent us the original newspaper story along with a scan of the photo.

Ape Spotted in Yarram Bush

The Yarram Standard News, Wednesday, September 13, 2006, page 5

Forget the Tassie tigers, panthers and the Woodside monster, the Strzelecki ape has been spotted running about the bush just outside Yarram.

It’s big and black and walks on two legs and it’s no joke, according to Jack River resident Jeremy Gill, who saw what he thought was an ape in the bush not far from his home on Sunday, September 3.

Jeremy likes nothing better than getting in his four wheel drive and heading for the bush, a pastime he embarks on most weekends.

On this particular Sunday morning, he headed out in search of new bush tracks and creeks in the Strzelecki Ranges where he could try his luck for some fresh trout, crayfish or yabbies.

Jeremy said it was about 11.30 am, just before lunch. He couldn’t believe his eyes when along a Grand Ridge Plantations track, above the valley where the Jack River runs, about ’50 metres from his vehicle he saw what he described as the "most bizarre thing he has ever seen".

"I was driving down an old track when about 50 meters in front of me I saw this thing crossing the track at a rather fast pace. It sounds really silly but it looked kind of like a black ape. It crossed the track from left to right and was out of sight. I didn’t hear any noise," he said.

Jeremy said it did cross his mind that it could have been someone dressed up. "But I thought why would anyone want to dress up and run around in the middle of somewhere so remote," he said.

"I wasn’t nervous my first thought was to get a closer look to see what it was. I don’t really know what to think but you see something like that and you have to wonder are there more out there," he said.

Jeremy said he had his digital camera with him and managed to get some shots, but it all happened so quickly.

Yarram Ape

"I could only snap off a few quick photos. I didn’t get out of the car until it disappeared in the tree line. I then got out of the car and ran towards where I saw it disappear into the bush but it was gone. I couldn’t see it anywhere," he said.

Jeremy said he has seen and photographed many animals in the bush along with some amazing scenery on his treks but never anything like this before.

"It was all very weird and I don’t want people thinking I’m a crackpot. I went out again yesterday and had another look but didn’t see anything."

"It would be good to know if anyone else has sighted anything like this in the area," he said.

Jeremy said he hasn’t been put off going bush but he would like to think there are no panthers or anything else out there.

"I wouldn’t like to be anyone’s lunch, especially out there on my own," he said.

Well, Jeremy has now sent along the digital photos he took that day.

We received his email on Friday stating:

I have knocked back 3 interviews on TV as well as numerous others as I dont want to be in the public as a focus of rididcule but, Here’s the original photos of the yarram ape. There’s two photos as it moved across the track.

One in the middle of the track and one at the treeline when it stopped and looked up, although that one is too blurry.

Since i took the pictures a lady from madayla which is 13kms from where i saw the ape thing rang me a told me her and her husband had seen something similar.

There are two photos, one quite a bit blurrier than the other.

Yarram Ape

Click on image above for full size version

Yarram Ape

Click on image above for full size version

Well, there you go. The readers of Cryptomundo asked for them…nay, demanded them.

What do you make of them now?

About Craig Woolheater
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.

43 Responses to “Update: Yarram Ape or Yowie?”

  1. rifleman responds:

    I saved everyone some time and looked it up. A yabbie is a crayfish

  2. scousequatch responds:

    Blobhoaxer! Looks like his pants are falling down… LMPO

  3. jayman responds:

    A black schmoo. 😉

    Seriously, it seems to be something, but in an odd position… it’s hard to tell anything. Too bad the second pic is so blurred.

  4. dialthree responds:

    great shot!

  5. Bexta responds:

    theres plenty of weird things in the bush around here but thats incredibly hard to tell what it is, it could be anything

  6. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    its a yowziblob. yow-zi-blob

    as in yowie blob. it seemed we needed a new name as blbosquatch didnt fit.

  7. DWA responds:

    I will say this.

    Photo after photo after photo like these does tend to beef up one of the biggest points-against for the crypto nay-sayers: how come we can get a good photo of known species, but never one of a cryptid?

    Now of course there’s a thinking-man’s answer to this and many other crypto-questions. But I think that there needs to be more focus on getting scientists to analyze the evidence that’s already in hand, such as the Patterson film (how many experts have truly analyzed that? I bet not ten) and footprint casts that show clues that debunk the hoaxer or known-species angles.

    When all the skeptics see is bad photos, the skepticism climbs, along with the reluctance of true scientists to get sucke(re)d into this.

    How do we get Jeff Meldrum, John Bildernagel and Daris Swindler more into the forefront, and bad photos more into the background?

    Too much of this field is speculation on blobsquatches. Too little is: here’s the evidence. Here’s what an expert says about it.

    Refute THAT, science.

    That said, I’m stumped as to what this is. I mean, really stumped. Unlike a lot of North American “cryptid” shots (and most of the alleged thylacine), can’t think of any Australian species this shape could be.

  8. DWA responds:

    Oh. Another thing I’d like to know.

    I’m presuming the blurry shot is the second one, and must have been taken from a moving vehicle.

    Why didn’t he stay still and take the second shot from a stopped car?

  9. Drat responds:

    Interesting. The area between the yowziblobs “legs” or whatever looks a little different, not quite the same color as the road. This could just be an optical illusion, like it looks different just because it’s surrounded by the black of the legs or whatever. But interesting.

    Anyone know what medium sized mammals are in the area the pic was taken? Doesn’t look like a dog’s stance, but it doesn’t look like a monkey’s stance either. Also doesn’t look big.

    Could be some kinda whatzit…uh…slothy thing?

    Sadly I know nothing of the fauna in OZ.

  10. dialthree responds:

    We can all speculate as to why he did this or that. But the fact is he didn’t go out looking to take a picture of an unknown animal. He is driving down a road and managed to take at least one decent photo in a moving vehicle of a moving object.

    If this isn’t a hoax, which I don’t believe it is, it’s a pretty darn good shot.

  11. mememe responds:

    Well folks, please let me know if you think these following links to uploaded pics aid or hinder the debate?

    Pic 1

    Pic 2

    Both are derived from the above first clear photo.

  12. DWA responds:

    dialthree: well, you sorta made my point.

    If we’re speculating, we have to ask questions. Mine: the first shot was very clearly taken from a stopped vehicle. Why’s the second so blurry? Questions like this have been known to unearth additional tidbits that might be important. Including stuff to which the sighter himself might be too close to consider important.

    The first shot is the best darn good shot I’ve ever seen of something I don’t have the first idea what it is. It could be an unknown ape or a guy in big black coveralls. It certainly isn’t a known, nonhuman Australian species. I can tell you that.

    And you just stated the thinking man’s argument against the skeptic asking why’s there no clear photo? He indeed did not go out looking to take a picture of an unknown animal. If you don’t go out, equipped and physically and psychologically prepared to do exactly that, you would require better-than-lottery luck to get a halfway decent shot. Patterson was the most prepared man in history to do it; and he got a few hundred frames of something that’s still being debated. But it’s as close as we’ve come, because Patterson’s the only one who was able to do exactly what was required.

  13. raisinsofwrath responds:

    I like this one for what it is. Not the greatest but still very intriguing.

  14. jayman responds:

    DWA, there is a telling anecdote relevant to this issue in Meldrum’s book. He attended a presentation on the wolverine, one of North America’s most elusive mammals, but no cryptid. After the presentation Meldrum went up and asked the guy how he managed to get such great photos of this secretive creature. He was told, remember that shot of a snowfield with a little brown dot on it… that was my best photograph of a wolverine in the wild. The “great photos” were all of a captive animal in a pen.
    The public is so used to spectacular wildlife photos in the popular media, but largely unaware of how they are obtained.

  15. DreamKeeper responds:

    That is something, I think the first picture is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Still clueless as to what it is though.

  16. DWA responds:

    Funny you should mention that, Jayman. 🙂

    Apropos another thread on Craig’s blog (the Vancouver, WA editorial Debunking Sas For All Time!), Tom and Pat Leeson, the eminent nature photogs, weigh in. Never seen a sasquatch, never shot one, and boy they’ve shot the most elusive stuff out there so that’s pretty much your proof. Why, Wolverine and Florida Panther, they’ve bagged. Could sas be more elusive than that?

    Look at the shots of those animals on their website. Time and time and time again, the same word shows on the reference-word list: captive.

    Um-hum. YOU try to capture a sas. Methinks that would take the same kind of scientific involvement it took to make captive cougars and wolverines.

    Bet the Patterson film is a whole lot clearer than that dot on the snow.

    And bet more people see a wild sas in a year than see a wild wolverine.

    (Not to slag Tom and Pat, though. Ignorance on other matters aside, great shots on their site, especially from the Arctic Refuge.)

  17. bill green responds:

    hey craig, wow very interesting new update about these new yowie photos indeed. the animal in the photos does look like a ape or a possible yowie but more research and study needs to be done to the photos. bill

  18. Hoax Hater responds:

    I was looking at the first photo and I noticed something. It looks like there is a gray blob on it’s left shoulder. I still think the photo is legit though. One of the few good ones I’ve seen recently.

  19. dharkheart responds:

    I did an enhanced edge detection and some smoothing and the object has a great deal of white around it differing from the light levels in other areas.

    Also, just below the figure looks to have been photo shopped.

    Additionally, the width of the calves seem to great. I know long hair might cause that perception but it just looks “costumey” to me.

  20. dontgd responds:

    Regarding the white part of the photo around the thing. That’s a reflection of the inside of the vehicle. As always, I would like to see other photos taken that day. It certainly has a strange body shape, whatever it is.

  21. Bonehead_AZ responds:

    Enlarging the photograph shows that the image has been manipulated. I submitted one to the editor, hopefully they will add it to the page.

    The pixels surrounding the form appear to have been sharpened. The are quite clear while the surrounding vegetation is less distinct.

    The photographer may have been (innocently) attempting to make it appear clearer, or he could have added the black image altogether.

    Is there anyway of asking the photographer if this is an original image or if he has an original that has not been retouched?

  22. arbigfoothunter responds:

    Well, it certainly is SOMETHING, and it is BLACK, but like others have said: What is it? Did Jeremy fail to say if there was any smell in the area and also I failed to see anything about footprints found anywhere around. Someone should be able to enlarge this and/or zoom in on the subject for some kind of detail. I don’t think it is a hoax, and someone said something about a “slothlike” creature. Maybe time will tell, or…

  23. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Whatever it is all the photos seem to show the same thing.

    It looks like a very short ape-like something to me. What are the height ranges for Yowies?

    It has my interest.

  24. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Good on you Mike for chasing up the pictures, and good on the photographer for having the grace to share them.

    Looking forward to a detailed look at these; love it when the stories come from our own backyard, here down under 😀

  25. alanborky responds:

    The guy who took these pics may well be sincere but as an artist I can’t help noticing how, in spite of the general dullness of the scene’s lighting, every item depicted, no matter how distant, has a variety of different tones and shades to it, in complete contradistinction to the ‘critter’ which, if coated in dark fur, should be relatively highly reflective and therefore exhibiting a variety of tones and shades, viz the admittedly superior Patterson film.

    So, it may well be real, but what it honestly looks like to me is some bloke, costumed up, trying to behave in what he takes to be an inexplicably strange and mysterious fashion.

    The big BUM NOTE for me though comes in the photographer’s account he was supposedly driving towards this ‘thing’, (though the drips running down the ‘windscreen’ make it look more like an under-utilized and therefore hardly cleaned rear window), because in spite of this, the clearer ‘first’ picture, which had to have been taken at a greater distance, depicts the critter as being closer than it is in the ‘second’, more blurred ‘nearer’ picture.

  26. Figure_8 responds:

    Here is my question. In the photographer’s comments, he says “”I was driving down an old track when about 50 meters in front of me I saw this thing crossing the track at a rather fast pace. It sounds really silly but it looked kind of like a black ape. It crossed the track from left to right and was out of sight. I didn’t hear any noise,” he said.

    –FIRST OF ALL, if he was driving and the thing crossed the path from left to right at a “rather fast pace” then how would this allow for time to take out the digital camera (out of his pocket or case), turn it on (while making sure it is in the camera position and not play position), then take the picture (all while driving (which everyone says in the reason for the blurriness of the camera). I’m sure the first thing that goes through one’s mind (especially since it happened so quickly) would be “what the h*ll was that?!

    Obviously there is nothing in the surroundings worth keeping your digital camera turned ON and ready to shoot…everyone knows you don’t leave your camera on as the battery goes dead pretty quick.

    His 2nd quote:
    “I wasn’t nervous my first thought was to get a closer look to see what it was.”

    –My question is, if his first thought was to get closer to see what it was, then he wouldn’t have had time to pull the camera out, take a picture, all while driving (which the noise of the vehicle probably scared whatever it was making it run “at a rather fast pace”)

    This comment leads me to believe it crossed quickly and was out of sight meaning it was fast and disappeared quickly.

    “It crossed the track from left to right and was out of sight.”

    So did he get closer first? Or did he take two pictures and then get closer? Since he said he was driving and it crossed in front, then he definitely wouldn’t’ have had time to pull out a camera, much less turn it on and snap two pictures. Obviously he didn’t take the picture after he got closer because he had no time to see it first and then get closer for a better shot since it “crossed at a fast pace and was out of sight.”

  27. Figure_8 responds:

    One other note:

    There is no way the car was moving when he took the picture. So the blurry camera shot was not due to car movement.

    If you notice, none of the vegetation in front of the car changes. So the time it took for the creature to move from where it is in picture A to where it is in Picture B would have definitely been enough time for the vegetation to move in front of the vehicle had it been rolling. It is all in the exact same position as the first picture, so we can conclude that the vehicle was not moving.

  28. sasquatch responds:


  29. jasonpix6 responds:

    The photos WHERE IN FACT taken from a stopped pickup. Look at the “grass”, both pics at least 2-3 seconds apart, with the same GRASS!

    I have spent some time thinking about why someone would hoax a pic or video. And besides the pranksters looking for short lived fame, and a quick buck, I’ve often wondered if some people might hoax to depict an actual event.

    They didn’t have a camera when it really happened. so they just recreate it and pass it off as THE REAL THING.

  30. Bonehead_AZ responds:

    There’s something else that bothers me about this besides the pixelation around the animal and the grass, as well as the amount of time it would take an animal to scurry across the road and yet the photographer could snap off two photos (but not enough time to zoom in on the image).

    If you saw something really strange like this, and you had photos, wouldn’t you be asking if people knew what it was?

    If I had a resource like this website, I’d be asking if the readers had any idea what type of animal it was or I’d be searching through animal photos to say something like, “It looks like a pigmy chimp.”

    I’d be wanting answers.

    The photographer just doesn’t seem concerned enough about identifying the animal as much as he is talking about his new found celebrity and mentioning that some third-party corroborating anectdote. He says the woman saw something similar, but doesn’t include her account and her description in the hopes of getting the name of the animal.

    I’m skeptical.

  31. mememe responds:

    It is nice to see some healthy debate on these pictures and to hear peoples thought processes (something I often feel is missing in the comments to postings).

    People considering things for themselves and checking what people tell them is in my book good.

  32. DWA responds:

    Two things, Bone (to go by your full name sounds too much like an insult although I’m sure you wouldn’t mind ;-)):

    1. I think that a guy posting photos might presume that he’s tacitly asking for what they might depict;

    2. I wouldn’t expect anybody to be playing with the fine controls of a camera when he’s just trying to get an image on film before the thing disappears. (Many folks in this situation forget they have cameras. Been there.)

    Many folks think photographers — anyone with a camera, sometimes — are consummate pros when confronted with the unknown. This is how we see they’re human. (And this is why I asked why one of the photos was blurry. It indeed looks as if the car wasn’t the thing moving when the shot was taken.)

    I’d be cautious about reading too much into what was said and not said, done and not done.

    And let’s not Photoshop these to death either, folks. Sometimes a pic is just a pic!

  33. mememe responds:

    In comment 11 above I have links to enlarged portions of the first picture but sat here looking at the first picture. I keep being attracted to the plants on the left just in front of the red vehicle bodywork. The plants look disturbed or recently driven over (forward or backward? I cannot tell) but it makes me wonder.

    What does anybody else on here think, do we have any plant experts in or forensic experts or have I seen to much CSI Miami?

  34. DWA responds:

    You know what I’m thinking?

    Too much speculation from us. Too few words from the guy who shot the pix.

    Are we going to hear more from him?

  35. Bonehead_AZ responds:

    DWA — you can call me Bonehead. I agree we haven’t heard from the photographer and some more information would be helpful.

    I think these are just points to examine.

    I didn’t Photoshop the pic to death, merely enlarged it to see the individual pixels. There is clearly a box, like the marquee tool had been drawn around the animal and it sharpened, possibly even had the contrast increased. It surrounds the animal in question.

    If you look at the first photo, you can see the trees and grass behind the animal are more distinct than the flora in front of it. This is quite obvious on the enlargement.

    Again, it may have been an innocent attempt to clarify the image, which means these aren’t originals. I’d like to see those.

    Second, the animal is solid black in the pixels. This is highly unusual as even shadows will have different shades of grey and black. It is as if someone was purposely trying to hide the detail of the image — to make it a blob.

    The edges of the animal have a clear stair-step pattern to the pixels, like a very distinct shape. This wouldn’t happen with fur or a moving object that far away. You would have pixels that are black, some that are grey, some that were the color of the background. It is like someone cut out a black shape.

    I submitted an enlargement which would make this discussion more fruitful if it was posted.

  36. mememe responds:

    Like others have commented above the lack of color variation on the Dark unknown object is of interest.

    Here is a link to an upright walking Monkey. It maybe of interest to note the stance and the play of color tones from the sunlight on the fur.

  37. folcrom responds:

    This is what I see.
    1st Photo.
    It’s forward leg is its left leg.
    The other is its right leg.
    Its arms are slightly forward.
    It’s hunkered down as it’s running and knows the car is there.
    It’s making itself as small a target as possible.
    Yowies tend to shy away from humans remember. The Kuri use to spear them on site.
    2nd photo
    Very blurred, hard to tell.
    However, to me it looks as though it stood up to look at the photographer, as it approached the safety of the bush.
    The Surroundings:-
    Does this road run through pine plantations?
    Unusual place to spot a Yowie.

  38. folcrom responds:

    Just had another look at the photo.

    Difficult to say, but is this Yowie carrying a cub?

    Looks as if it’s carrying a Young one in its arms.

  39. folcrom responds:

    Height ranges for a Yowie:

    Firstly, there are at least two kinds reported and could even be more.

    The “Lesser Yowie”, called a Junjadee or Little Brown Jack, is up to 4 feet tall.

    The larger Yowie can be from 7.5 to 12 feet tall depending on the report.

  40. mbw responds:

    “The Kuri use to spear them on site.”
    And you know this because…. 🙂
    This is a fake.
    Another waste of time and space.

  41. DWA responds:

    mbw: Not a fake.

    OK. If it is a fake, it is the worst cryptid fake I have ever seen in my life.

    Which is why I don’t buy all the Photoshop analysis apparently hinting (at the very least) that this image was pasted in. WHY paste in something you cannot even get the first idea what it is? If you’re gonna fake something, I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that you would provide more of an appearance of a specific thing you would want the hoaxed public to think it is.


    It’s an enormous waste of time and space — for the faker — if it’s a fake.

  42. Bonehead_AZ responds:

    It may not be a fake, it may be the photographer was enhancing that area of the pic with the unsharp mask tool, which leaves a telltale box around the image when you examine it at the pixel level. That’s why it’s important to see the original image. He may have upped the contrast which removed any shading in the fur.

  43. folcrom responds:

    Aboriginal legends and stories.

    Some told to me by friends.

    The Yowies were a threat.

    They ate people, carried off women and children.

    So whenever a band of Kuris came across one, they speared them 1st and asked questions later.

    Over the last 200 years or so, the Yowies only natural predator (Aborigines) have been severely reduced in numbers by European settlers etc. So the Yowies are now starting to increase in numbers.

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