Yarram Ape or Yowie?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 28th, 2006

Aussie cryptozoologist Mike Williams shares the following story he ran across in his recent travels through Victoria with the readers of Cryptomundo.

Is this a photo of a Yowie, or is it some other type of Australian Mystery Ape?

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.

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.

36 Responses to “Yarram Ape or Yowie?”

  1. eireman responds:

    Ah, evidence in the form of a 237×186 image with an annoying moire pattern and a contrast range suitable only for screenprinting letters on the side of a bus. Is there possibly a larger file of this? Something with some detail? It’s tantalizing enough to make me curious but until I see more, it looks like a kid doing some lunge-stretch right before a relay race. I hope he wins a blue ribbon! Total blobsquatch.

  2. paperdragon responds:

    Gee, I hope all his other photos of ” animals in the bush along with some amazing scenery” weren’t of this quality.

  3. busterggi responds:

    Blobsaquatches have an incredible geographic range!

    Though it looks more like a quadruped or knuckwalking ape than a biped. Or maybe a yowie looking for a lost contact lens.

  4. Craig Woolheater responds:

    The moire pattern is due to the fact that this is an image that was scanned from the newspaper where the article was featured.

    Hopefully, Mike Williams will pass on additional details if he gets any.

  5. OKCurious responds:

    Hopefully, the photographer was able to secure some photos of prints that may have been left. I can’t see that the picture is going to be worth much considering the resolution issues inherent, but hopefully the community can get access to the orginal negatives or prints. Otherwise, I have to go with eireman’s blobsquatch label.

  6. joe levit responds:

    This account just doesn’t sit right with me. He says he 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”, but then was able to “snap off a few quick photos.” If the thing was moving at a rather fast pace, then in the first place how was he able to snap off a FEW quick photos, and perhaps the better question, how was he able to grab the camera, prepare it and take the photos at all while still driving?

  7. twblack responds:

    You may think I am crazy but it looks like a shot of a Kangaroo’s back side just sitting there looking the opposite way of the camera on the trail. Looking at the top of this thing it looks like 2 ears on top of a head that is facing away from the camera. The legs look bent at the knees like a roo also.

    Or yes I could be way off here but that is what it reminds me of.

  8. mystery_man responds:

    This photo isn’t incredibly helpful. I’d be more excited if I could see the real photos he took. Even my cheap old digital camera packs a better image than this one apears to have. Looking at the scan of a newspaper picture doesn’t help. I’m going to say blobsquatch until better pics spring up.

  9. jayman responds:

    Once again, the resolution is too low to tell anything meaningful, so we are left with the testimony.

    But we shouldn’t be surprised at this. The eye and brain take in so much detail by evidently focusing on the subject and screening out the “noise”. How many times have we taken outdoor snapshots of family or friends, and when we get the prints back they are the proverbial pi**ants, lost in the background? Or try taking a snapshot of the next full moon. What looks so impressive to the eye will be a mere speck in the sky.

  10. smylex responds:

    They needed better cameras.

  11. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Once again, the photo included here is a scan of a photo that was printed in the newspaper. At this time, we do not know what quality the original photographs are.

    Mike Williams had this to say regarding his attempt to contact the witness.

    Pity the guy wouldnt respond to my voice mail request for an interview.

    I asked Mike to let me know if he does make contact with the witness and if he is able to get copies of the original photos. Any additional info will be shared here on Cryptomundo.

  12. planettom responds:

    Thanks Craig. I hope we get to see the original photos. I will refrain from making a judgement until then. The scan is just to hard to make out. But interesting nonetheless. I also wonder if the witness thought to take any photos of possible tracks/footprints, however they may not have been available if the ground was not suitable for tracks.

  13. Bexta responds:

    That’s very very close to where I live… I dont doubt the validity of his story, there is a lot of strange goings on in the bush here.

    If he’s anything like my friends and I, we always have our cameras around our necks, even while driving, so I believe that part of it also.

  14. bill green responds:

    hey everyone this is a very interesting possible new photo of the yowie. more research needs to be done this yowie photo.

  15. Sky King responds:

    Why do we have to settle for a scan of a newsprint photo? What’s the problem with “Jeremy”‘s original photo?

    I smell a rat. A big, dirty, two-legged rat. Maybe two of them.

    And maybe one of you could tell the rest of us what a “yabbie” is?

    And no, I don’t think it looks like a ‘roo… but I wouldn’t rule it out.

  16. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Sky King,

    We’ll have to settle for a scan at this point because that is all that we have.

    Mike scanned the photo and emailed it, along with the text of the article to share with Cryptomundo.

    So far, his efforts to contact the witness have not been successful.

    If and when additional information is available, you will read about it here on Cryptomundo.

  17. Bob Michaels responds:

    The Aussie Version of the Roger Patterson Film (photo) as it appeared in Argosy Magazine that set off the Great Sasquatch hunt that still continues. I want some real scientific evidence, DNA, feces, a specimen.

  18. MrInspector responds:

    twblack says- “You may think I am crazy but it looks like a shot of a Kangaroo’s back side ”
    Roo was my first thought as well, or maybe a large wallabee.

  19. eireman responds:

    As an illustration in a book I wrote, I used a cheap rented monkey suit to create a “Sasquatch.” To hide the details that made it so obviously fake, I filmed the person in the suit on a camcorder, paused a frame on the view screen and photographed the view screen to include the pixelation. I then scanned the image and cropped it so the far away figure filled the frame. This created a grainy, classic blobsquatch, which has become an almost expected image by many (outside cryptozoology that is). If it had been clearly rendered, everything that told you it was a man in a monkey suit would be horribly obvious. For the same reason, I predict the original image this man shot will be harder to come by than Jimmy Hoffa because everything that tells you this is a kangaroo or whatever will come to the surface in the details.

  20. mikew responds:

    The blobsquatch photo was consistent with most other cryptid “primate” photos.

    They are either clear and fake.

    Or lousy, and possibly fake.

    Which doesn’t look good for the validity of the phenomena if most other forms of animals can be photographed clearly.

    I think people still waiting for “real” evidence are in the wrong hobby. 🙂

    It aint going to happen.

    Joe Levit was on the same track I was thinking about the time he managed to take photos didn’t quite seem right.

    Mike Williams

  21. a_welch90 responds:

    The picture’s so tiny that there’s no accurate guess as to what the blob is.

  22. Sky King responds:

    “I think people still waiting for “real” evidence are in the wrong hobby. 🙂

    It aint going to happen.”

    My sentiments exactly. The less proof we (humans, that is) have of their existence, the better off THEY are…

    So when your family and friends make sport of your passion, SMILE AND SUCK IT UP! YOU KNOW, and that’s what’s important.

  23. One Eyed Cat responds:

    I’ll have to wait for a better copy of the photo to even start having an opinion.

    I can see the kangaroo look and a knuckle walker look.

    When we start having newspapers with current magazine quality photos, maybe we can get somewhere quicker.

  24. Nerull responds:

    Looks like the south end of a north-bound kangaroo.

  25. brineblank responds:

    My issue with this pic is that he stated that it was running across the path and he was using a digital camera. The ‘body’ looks very focused as if it were posed which would contradict the use of such a camera and a moving object. Sorry but digital cameras in general are horrible at catching items in motion due to how the translate light information on to sensory cells…the low lighting conditions that appear because of the tree cover adds even more to those doubts. It looks like to me someone hunched over looking over their back shoulder…but again it looks very ‘posed’.

  26. shovethenos responds:

    “I think people still waiting for “real” evidence are in the wrong hobby.

    It aint going to happen.”


    Well it happened in Bhutan, Sumatra, and China, so apparently it has already happened and there’s a good chance it will happen again in the future.

    And then you have the non-hominids. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker seems to be happening in FL. The giant squid. Etc, etc, etc.

  27. peterbernard responds:

    The paper doesn’t seem to have a web site but their info is this:
    Yarram Standard News
    241 Commercial Road
    Yarram 3971
    Ph: 03 5182 5013
    Fax: 03 5182 5684
    Email: ads@standardnews.com.au
    Maybe they’d share the digital photo, assuming they have it in their possession.

  28. fredfacker responds:

    I carry my 6mp digital point-and-shoot camera on my truck’s console, and often snap one-handed pictures of interesting stuff like car wrecks, funny vehicles, interesting places, etc. while I drive. It’s a habit I picked up when working at the newspaper. I don’t doubt this guy’s story. I have a feeling the uncropped picture probably has a lot more scenery in it as the creature is apparently quite a ways down the road, but I would guess that the newspaper ran the crop at 100% zoom. It would be clearer though if we could see the real photo instead of the 72 dpi scan of the 85 dpi newspaper print.

    (Incidentally, if anyone cares, I’ve found Fuji digital cameras have the fastest focus and shutter response times. With some of the Kodaks and Nikons I’ve had in the past I’d be a mile down the road before the camera ever clicked the picture. Get one that has at least ISO 800 though or you just end up with blur.)

  29. mikew responds:

    “Well it happened in Bhutan, Sumatra, and China, so apparently it has already happened and there is a good chance it will happen again in the future.”

    Obviously I am talking about decent secondary evidence that would be accepted by the general scientific community!

    Not “unidentified hair/scat/footprint/dna” claims.

    With references coming from “unknown tv shows”. 🙂

  30. mikew responds:

    Can you also please post the web page or books sources that show photographic evidence of unknown primate like creatures that were taken in Bhutan, Sumatra or China.


  31. YourPTR! responds:

    Really poor pic looks nothing like a yowie at all, not that you can make much out from it but certainly doesn’t look bipedal. I’d go with the kangaroo theory. Either that or possibly even a thylacine before I’d consider it as evidence for bigfoot. 🙂

  32. scotto responds:

    Twblack made note that it resembles a kangaroo – and he may be correct. It makes you wonder how many times somebody has taken a photo of something known, just to say “Gee, it looks like a bigfoot?”

    And I agree with the comment that in just a fleeting glimpse, I find it hard to imagine someone having the camera in hand, ready to snap a pic at any given moment in time.

    Maybe we’ll get to see a good pic at full res, but I’m not holding my breath.

  33. DWA responds:

    Just this about some of the comments above posted: there’s a simple reason that other species of animals can be photographed clearly and cryptids can’t, to wit: THE PHOTOGRAPHER KNOWS THE OTHER SPECIES EXIST. And is usually getting funded, more or less fulltime, to find them.

    He/she is able to justify the time and expense spent sifting through the bush, or setting up and checking a camera trap over the course of months, by the virtual assurance of a decent photo, sooner or later. And the money to live on ’til the photo is taken.

    Nothing like this is ever done in the search for cryptids. Virtually every cryptid photo op is a totally unplanned experience, in front of a barely-prepared — if at all — photographer. The sole historical exception is, still, the Patterson film. And even that was a fleeting glimpse, only possible because the cameraman stayed prepared, the entire trip, for that opportunity, with camera at hand, ready to roll.

    The Patterson trip remains the only significant Bigfoot expedition conducted in history. Ever. What you hear about these days are the briefest of excursions, conducted by people who have day jobs and can’t devote the time that Patterson and Gimlin just happened to have to devote at the time they went to Bluff Creek. (How many of today’s “Bigfoot expeditions” even see so much as a coyote or bobcat? And we know they exist.)

    Until one devotes the time and energy to Bigfoot that is routinely devoted — by full-time biologists — to documenting known species, forget about “decent” evidence. Unless you count all those tracks and voice recordings.

    All wildlife encounters are luck. You just have to have the time and patience — and money — to get lucky.

  34. mystery_man responds:

    There are a lot of new species discovered that have perfectly clear photos and the photographer did not have the assurance that they did in fact exist. Some new species have even been accepted on these clear photos alone. And what about creatures like the Billi ape? There is a species which was not known to exist and yet there is a decent photo of one. I feel the problem of getting a good photo is not always that they feel assured that they will get a good photo or they KNOW IT EXISTS as DWA put it. A lot of bigfoot hunters KNOW IT EXISTS in their minds. Do they have decent footage? No. I do agree that the problem is lack of funding and the amount of time and rescources needed to go out and do the job right. Bigfoot hunters just aren’t getting the kind of money and support as, say, a Nat Geo team.

  35. DWA responds:

    Good comments, mystery_man.

    And obviously KNOW IT EXISTS doesn’t work by itself. You need the day job that lets you look for it, too. I was careful to add: AND has the time and the money. Which many are more than ready and willing to donate to a dedicated biologist, using proven techniques and working in a hotbed of known species such as frogs, birds, insects, bats, reptiles, leumrs, etc.

    Many of those “unknown” species — most if not all of them in fact — are “known unknowns,” in biologically superrich places like tropical forests or coral reefs where it is considered certain by almost all authorities that there is lots of stuff waiting to be discovered. Do what you do in general to find frogs birds and fish, and in one of these areas you’ll get good evidence of a new one (or more) to science. Or you’ll find a “new” place — like that two-million-hectare primary forest in New Guinea that’s just been penetrated, apparently for the first time, by humans (locals included). Or the Vu Quang in Vietnam — an “unknown place” in a very combed-over (heck, bombed-over) country! Then, yep, you’re gonna get shots of things people haven’t seen. It’s almost certain, which is why the money flows to efforts like that.

    The coelacanth? Remnant thylacines? A ten-foot-high ape in Tibet, CA, GA or TX? Not so much. People just consider it a very long shot, simply because the scientific evidence is, as far as science itself is concerned, nonexistent.

    That was my point.

  36. julie responds:

    Shy King – a yabbie is a small freshwater crayfish a few inches long.

    No idea what the mystery creature is, but it looks only about four feet tall. I’m always suspicious when the photographer isn’t ‘available’ for comment!

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