New 2006 Yowie Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 1st, 2006

Tony Healy and Paul Cropper pass along a new sighting of Yowie that took place this September 2006 (remember, their spring), which has just been written up to be shared.

Yowie

19 Sept 2006. Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains, NSW. 1:30 pm.

As 22-year-old Catherine B., her husband Brendan and friend Sarah were riding along a track at the base of an escarpment, Catherine’s horse lagged behind the others and finally came to a complete stop. Catherine, an experienced rider, simply couldn’t get it to move.

“It was sniffing the air and turning around to bite me and I knew something was wrong. At that point I smelt a real foul stench, like salty blood, and I looked – the ground dropped down to the left – and it was just standing there …10, 15 metres away, if that. [The undergrowth] was quite open at that point. It looked sort of like a monkey, but more human. I pretty much crapped my pants! It seemed like forever that I was watching him, but it was only two, three minutes, if that.”

Yowie

From her vantage point, she could see the animal from head to foot: “I could see everything. It just stood and looked at me. It was a lot smaller than a person, about four foot … solid … square shoulders … very hairy, long hair everywhere; dark brown, all tangled – like a shaggy dog that hasn’t been washed for a while – and mud all over it.

Yowie

“It had, like, a pushed-in nose. I distinctly remember two canine teeth out the front, outside the lip. I couldn’t see ears because the long hair covered them. I saw eyes, but not distinctly. The legs were long but he only had three claws on his feet. I saw arms, and I could only see three fingers [because] it had something in its hand …like a dead kangaroo, but smaller …like flesh … like it was skinned … inside out.

“I kept kicking the horse … it took the track pretty quick and began to catch the others. I held on for dear life. I kept smelling [the creature, and] felt like it was watching me.”

Yowie

Confused, incredulous and frightened by what she’d seen, Catherine didn’t say anything about it to her friends. Meanwhile, both Brendan and Sarah had been aware of the foul odour but hadn’t mentioned it. Thirty minutes later, however, they all heard rustling in the scrub behind and then beside the trail, and Sarah looked to the right and saw, about five or ten metres away, “… a monkey … an ape sort of thing … just glaring at me … real scary.”

She could see the head, shoulders and upper chest as it “just popped out from behind a bush, looked, and took off. It was about four feet tall … hairy … browny, blacky … all long, scruffy … half-human, I reckon, all hairy but human looking. I focused on the eyes and the mouth. The teeth … you could not miss them [about an inch long] over the lip [like a vampire’s]. Mouth sort of half open. I said, ‘What the F’s that?’ My adrenalin went … It was like, ‘Is this thing gonna eat me? I’d better get out of here!’ I was kicking my horse.”

As Sarah cried out, Catherine and, apparently, her horse glimpsed the creature running from behind the bush. “My horse took off, flew past the next two horses; I hit a tree with my shoulder, came off and hit the ground really bad.” The horse bolted away.

Catherine sustained deep abrasions on her right forearm and hip, a fractured right collarbone, two fractured ribs, badly bruised legs and swollen ankles. Brendan helped her onto his horse, led her back to the stables and drove her to Katoomba Hospital.

The next day, when she phoned the property owner to enquire after the horse, Catherine was told that the animal, unusually, was missing all night, and that when it eventually returned it was “all shaken up” and had to be rested. When asked about the ‘monkey-thing”, the owner said that in about 1998 or ’99 another group of experienced riders had returned to camp “all as white as ghosts” to say they’d seen and smelt a very similar animal.

Witness interview with Paul Cropper, 23 Sept 2006. Credit: Dean Harrison.

The Yowie Healy Cropper

Click on the cover above to make the Yowie larger.

The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot (cover above; sample page and illustrations below)

Yowie

Yowie

Yowie

Yowie

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.


32 Responses to “New 2006 Yowie Sighting”

  1. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    COOL

  2. Shamus responds:

    I can’t help but wonder if the yowie is the marsupial equivalent to the bigfoot/yeti like the thylacine is or was to predatory canines. Perhaps there’s a zoological niche for omnivorous bipeds that yowies are filling in Oz?

  3. folcrom responds:

    A Junjadee (Little Brown Jack).

    Four foot tall and built like a Brick Dunny.

    Smell just as bad too.

  4. YourPTR! responds:

    Wow what an amazing report! 2 or 3 minutes is a very long time to observe such a creature, plus it was witnessed by several people. The strong stench they all noticed is also very interesting. It’s always exciting to hear of Yowie reports from Australia and this sounds like one of the best recent and most credible accounts of this animal. It definitely sounds like from their description of it though that like mentioned above, this is the smaller, more human like Junjadee rather than the much larger and very similar bigfoot type animal the Yowie.

  5. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone, this is a wonderful new yowie encounter with photos of the sighting location & great sketches of the yowie that was seen. I really want to get that new book called the yowie: in search of the Australian bigfoot by paul cropper in near future.

  6. NCRYPTID responds:

    I think most of the account sounds credible, I am however wondering how one can tell (even with “open undergrowth) that this creature had only three claws on his feet, from a distance of 10-15m (33-50 ft)?

    It seems *too* detailed. I know I either couldn’t or wouldn’t have had the ability to notice such a fine detail at that distance. Especially given the fact that anything with claws standing upright, would have at least part of those claws obscured by some type of ground cover. Even on my mowed front lawn, I’m not sure I’d be able to pick out such a point.

  7. mystery_man responds:

    Interesting eyewitness report. The sketch is not very helpful, but the witness description is pretty detailed. What were the circumstances of this horseback ride? Was it a sightseeing ride? If so, wouldn’t they have been carrying a camera? I suppose even if it was a patrol of someone’s property they would have a camera. Are they the ones that took the pictures of the terrain that are presented here? It seems like a cliche to ask this, I know, but I wonder why no photo would be taken of the creature after three minutes of observation time.

  8. CRH responds:

    Hmmm…I find the witnesses reference to the canines detail fascinating. Furthermore, the size is an interesting point; some of the coastal river valley sightings in British Columbia also describe small, almost belligerent Sasquatch. This story has a certain ring to it; on the surface of it, the sighting and report are genuinely compelling. A tip of the “Marlin Perkin’s Certified 100% Debunked Yeti Scalp” to Cryptomundo!

  9. DWA responds:

    And here we have two symptoms of cryptoanalysis. (And I’ve been guilty; and I’m trying to reform.)

    1. Could she see claws? I know full well that there are circumstances under which I’d be able to at the stated distance. She was there and I wasn’t.

    2. Why didn’t they shoot a pic? I confronted a grizzly once in AK, with a camera hanging from my neck. The encounter (and oh trust me it was that) was almost a half-hour in duration. At least that’s what it felt like. I’m not sure I even remembered what cameras were. THAT’s why you don’t get photos in situations like this. “crapped my pants” = no photos. Period.

    I’d like to see us stop rehashing sightings to death, and figure that when someone’s horse suddenly went Kentucky Derby and tried to break them in two, um, maybe something happened.

    They saw what they saw, until someone can show what they saw.

  10. One Eyed Cat responds:

    NCRYPTID,

    The first witness stated the ground ‘dropped off’ at her sighting. It sounds to me like she was looking down on it, which would bring the feet into better view.

  11. Brindle responds:

    I have read the book and it is GREAT. Healy and Cropper write exceptionally well and make everything so interesting. Their good nature and sincerity come out of the page right at you.

  12. BigfootBeliever71 responds:

    The story reads true to me. This creature only being 4 foot tall doesn’t reek of embellishment to me, and if made-up, the creature would certainly tower 7 foot plus.

    Furthermore, the fact that this lady was injured when the horse bolted reinforces that whatever it was, it nerved the horses into a panic. However, I’ve had horses spooked by their own shadows, but this incident seemed much different.

    Lastly, I know it’s frustrating when people have cameras and don’t take the opportunity to snap a pic. Last year, my wife’s friend’s mother hit what she thought was a bear walking on 2 legs across Highway 19/27 in Taylor County (FL), and when this “bear” was laying in the road, she had a camcorder on the seat next to her, and didn’t even think to record the aftermath of the incident, especially when it got up and limped into the woods on 2 legs!

  13. raisinsofwrath responds:

    Those first 2 drawings were dead ringers! LOL!

    Seriously though, very interesting story. It kind of gives credence to the thought that these creatures vary in anatomy from place to place.

  14. dbard responds:

    Very cool report!
    One of the more interesting sightings I’ve read in a long time. The injuries recieved certainly add some credence to the fact that SOMETHING happened..

    Thanks Loren!

  15. jayman responds:

    A very interesting report, but I have problems with two things. One, three digits on the feet, tipped with claws, not nails. All known higher primates have five-toed feet with flat nails. As others here have noted, the distance was considerable and maybe the observation was inaccurate. The second thing was the report of projecting canines – “fangs”. If an animal is going to have long canines, there must be a gap, a diastema, in the teeth between the incisors and canines to accommodate the canine in the opposite jaw so the mouth can be closed. This is hard to do when the jaw changes shape from a “U” in quadrupeds (including apes) to more of a “V” with upright posture. If Dracula was real, he’d have to have an overbite (or retractable fangs). No known hominid has had projecting canines, and it has more to do with anatomy than that hominids have other ways of fighting.

  16. eeka responds:

    That was a good read. The Yowie book is on my X-Mas list.

    One thing that has puzzled me from reading various bigfoot reports is the smell factor. It’s usually the same foul type of smell that witnesses report, something along the lines of sewer water.

    How does this benefit the bigfoot? Other creatures in the wild don’t give off a smell that is so easily detected by humans. And we humans have a very weak sense of smell compared to wild animals. If bigfoot hunts, which I assume it does, you would think this horrible smell would work against the creature. If we can pick up the odor from 30 yards away, a deer or other prey animal would surely be able to detect bigfoot from much greater distances.

    You can walk into your local sporting goods store and find various products for hunters to use to limit our own odor. Just seems like an odd trait.

  17. NCRYPTID responds:

    While the vantage point does point to a “better view” of the feet, if “Crapped My Pants = No Photos. Period.” – I would think it incongruent that “Crapped My Pants” also equals “Recall of minute details from 50 feet”.

    I am not by any means saying I don’t believe this account, as I said initially, the bulk of it sounds very credible. What I am saying is, and this is nothing more than a personal opinion, that it seems an odd detail to pick up from that distance under any circumstances.

    This wasn’t a searcher out looking for this encounter, ready at a moments notice to log every minutia into her photographic memory should it happen. And I know if I were to have an encounter like that I’d be really, *really* nervous. Not too nervous for a general description with *some* detail, but certainly too frightened to think to look down at its feet and catalog how many claws it had at a distance of that length.

    Of course that’s if I didn’t faint dead away first.

    Again, I’m not trying to say “This is BS, it never happened” I guess I’m finding it quite incredible that she had the presence of mind to notice some of the things she did.

    But incredible things happen every day right?

  18. DARHOP responds:

    I think an automatic reaction would be to look at the feet. I know if I saw one of these creatures, I would be looking it up and down and all around. And I agree about photos. I hope I would be able to snap a shot or 2 off. But in all honesty I think my camera would be the farthest thing from my mind at the moment. And the horse biting at her. That horse knew something was there, and it didn’t like it. Anyway, man what a great sighting, except the getting hurt part.

    Thanks Loren, keep em coming!

  19. Cropper responds:

    Hi guys – this is Paul Cropper, the author of the Yowie book and the report investigator. The area is Megalong Valley in the Blue Mountains, about an hour west of Sydney.

    Its a good one – 2 witnesses with independent views of the creature, another witness who smelled the smell, plus the owner of the property confirmed to me a similar report – and smell – 10 years earlier.

    The details are interesting too. The animal was small by yowie standards, only four feet. If you are going to imagine a yowie, why make it so – tiny?

    Both witnesses were up high on horses, looking down into fairly open bushland (I went to the spot later) and the animal was quite close, so they could see a lot of detail. I must admit the claws, and the fangs, bothered me. I’m sure they saw the fangs (the drawings were done in separate rooms by the girls) but I’ll check again about the claws. I have a feeling that she is describing something else.

    There were no photos as they were both riding, using both hands (as you should) and when Catherine saw it she was busy trying to push her horse to get away!

    I’ve just posted new photos of Catherine’s injuries taken 4 days later at The Yowie File. In addition, there’s a shot I took of our trail leaders horse baulking at going down the same trail 5 days later. His horse did this 5 or 6 times, it just did NOT want to go there! Eventually the leader called off the ride saying we were out of time. I think he was kind of nervous!

    I also plan to post an audio interview of the witnesses soon.

    Stay tuned.

    Cheers Paul.

  20. dws responds:

    Junjadee?! HAHA! That’s the greatest name I’ve ever heard! Well, next to Wallalungagooda-chuck. Great stories! *wipes tears from eyes* Junjadee, oh man.

  21. cryptozoofan responds:

    first thing i wanna say is how can certain ppl say it wouldnt have clawed feet or fang teeth if thats what they saw then thats what they saw they were there and we were not,and secondly there are other animals that have a smell that we ppl can smell SKUNKS and the bigfoot doesnt use its smell to advertise when its in an area it uses it as a defense when your to close it wouldnt use it to hunt or hide.

  22. sschaper responds:

    How do these junjadee compare with orang pendek sightings? With the old tales of pygmies in northern Australia?

    I know that dogs will roll in carrion, and dogs are hunters, scavengers. Animals that are very noticable in some way or other either are poisonous, resemble something poisonous, or are dangerous, and it is to their advantage to be perceived as such. Australia once upon a time had giant monitor lizards, thylacoleo, thylacines and carnivorous kangaroos (which would be a good candidate for chupacabras in S.A.). Competition and dangerous for a small, bipedal ape. So the stench could be to the point, to warn off the competition for a carcass, without a fight.

  23. mystery_man responds:

    No photo, yes. But remember she observed it for three minutes which does not translate into “crapped my pants” to me. If you observed this thing for that long without running away, why wouldn’t you have the presence of mind to snap a pic?

  24. jayman responds:

    Hmm… Has anybody else noted the Yowie on the book cover has three-toed clawed feet and projecting canine teeth too?

  25. Cropper responds:

    Fair point Jayman, and something I’d only just discussed with Tony Healy as well. The artwork for the book had probably just been posted on the AYR web site when this report landed, so it could well have played a part. But stepping back, the 3 clawed feet claim came from only one witness, while the fangs came from both (interviewed seperately). In my interview both girls were not the most articulate of witnesses, but after spending over an hour with them and later going to the site with them I’m convinced their experience was genuine. I intend to go back and focus on the claws issue, then I’ll post again. On the “why no photo” issue, I went to the spot twice and having both still and video camera in a backpack, it was DAMN hard to get it out and use it on a moving horse! When I did I was scared I would drop it and not be able to dismount and get it. As I remember, I think the trail ride leader actually advised against cameras as it meant that you took your hands off the reins and lost control of the horse. Add to the mix the shock of seeing a short, fanged, hairy monkey and little wonder there is no photo!

    Cheers Paul.

  26. folcrom responds:

    Junjadee are actually surprisingly similar to Orang Pendek. If you ignore the finger and toe counts. Both Four feet tall. Both have faces surprisingly humanlike. Both are broad shouldered and built like a brick dunny.

    As for photos. I’ve driven past plenty of Horse Riders in the bush. Very few actually carry cameras. I’ve also been camping many time in the bush, most of the time without a camera. Not everyone carries or even bothers with a camera.

  27. Dougal Longfoot responds:

    I’m certain that the picture on the front of the book is actually recycled from a book by Percy Tresize and/or Dick Roughsey called “Turramuli the Giant Quinkin” Many if not most Public School libraries would have this book in Australia. So the witnesses may have seen this picture before their encounter.

  28. YourPTR! responds:

    Why is this being labelled a Yowie report when it clearly is not? A Yowie is more or less identical in appearance to the Pacific North West Bigfoot/Sasquatch, where as the creature in this encounter is obviously considerably different, much smaller, more human in appearance, fangs, 3 toes with claws etc. Sounds like a Junjadee and not a Yowie to me.

  29. Cropper responds:

    Now this is getting really interesting! As Jayman indicated, the story reflects two aspects of our book cover – the 3 claws on the foot, and the fangs. I’d forgotten that Catherine also said the animal was holding something like “dead flesh”, and I asked her if she mean like a dead wallaby (small kangaroo type creature) and she said yes. So that’s three similarities with our cover, not two! Hmmm. I know Catherine must have seen the cover as I’m sure it was up on the front page of the AYR site by the date of her report and she lodged her sighting via a form on the AYR site.

    Looking at the report, lets weigh up the pros and cons.

    Firstly, the pros.

    1. There were 3 witnesses, 2 who saw the thing and one who just smelled it and heard it (Catherine’s husband). I interviewed them for well over two hours together, and they appeared perfectly natural – the way they spoke to each other about the episode just seemed genuine to me. It was 4 days after the sightings and it appeared as if there were parts of each others experience that they didn’t know about as I asked them questions – again, all completely natural.

    2. Catherine’s injuries – she had definitely been thrown from her horse. She even came back a weeks later to try and ride again with me but was still in a lot of pain and couldn’t finish the ride. Why bother if its a fake (and it cost her $AUD120 to do the second ride with me and her husband).

    3. Why the small yowie? If she was copying the book cover why not go for a big one, like our cover shows. Something memorable!

    4. Both women saw the fangs, and on my video interview they way they describe this feature is very convincing.

    5. The owner stated (and confirmed to me separately) that an earlier riding group had seen and smelled a similar small-sized creature 10 years ago and come back quite shaken up. So there is a history here.

    6. The owner also confirmed that the horse that threw Catherine did not come back to the property until the next day, and it was extremely unsettled when it did. This was, to her, very unusual. Generally when riders were thrown on the trail the horses made it back on same day in quite good shape.

    7. When the girls and I did our ‘part’ ride a week later, our trail leaders horse was extremely unhappy about going down the same trail and had to be turned back onto the track several times.

    Now the cons.

    1. What are the odds of a sighting describing three rarely reported features (canines, claws, holding dead animal) that just happen to be featured on the cover of a brand new yowie book?

    2. How could Catherine see clawed feet from a reasonable distance, in the bush?

    3. The sketches don’t look at all similar.

    I believe that the girls saw something unusual that day. As to the ‘coincidence’ with our book cover – well, it makes you think, doesn’t it!

    Cheers Paul

  30. mystery_man responds:

    Cropper, interesting information! Thanks! The more I think about the feet that everybody is talking about, the more I speculate that it was more probable for her to have perhaps imagined the feet? Or in her fear maybe that image stuck in her head? Good theories on the no photo reasons. But was she moving on the horse as she watched it for three minutes? She said the horse wouldn’t move. She was in a right enough mind to give a very accurate description and if she was that scared to not take one, wouldn’t she have run away rather than observe it? Stop, sit and time 3 minutes. It is actually a pretty long amount of time. Maybe she simply did not have a camera. The point that it is hard to take photos by horseback may mean that she just wasn’t carrying one, but you know people can get off the horse and take a picture of things so maybe she did have one. Anyone ask her if she had one? I just think the “too scared to take a photo” argument goes only so far when you are dealing with this much time and this detailed a description.

  31. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Paul, originally you said the claws and fangs bothered you. You were sure they saw the fangs, but you think they were mistaken about the claws.

    Why so?

    In particular, did you find the report of 3 digits odd? And if so, then how come the book cover shows exactly that?

    Does the property owner have some connection with any of the witnesses? If not, then the history certainly is a “pro” as you say. Are you sure that owner was there 10 years ago?

    Regarding cameras and horses; I have negligible horse-riding experience, but the last trail ride I went on, I took a camera. It took me about 3 minutes to decide to hand it over to the guides to carry – far too hard to worry about the horse at the same time as worrying about dropping the camera.

    I couldn’t imagine actually using a camera when you are scared about an unknown bipedal animal and your horse is nervous and moving around. I have no problems there. (Did we even say she had a camera in the first place?)

    I also have no problems with their sketches looking nothing alike. In fact, I disagree – the sketches are almost identical: stocky build, two long arms, lots of hair, no neck, fangs.

    Regarding which details you see and remember, and which you don’t – again, who’s to say? Everyone will respond differently. Don’t get on the track of thinking about what *you* would do and then assuming a story can’t be true because the witness clearly did not act in the way you would have obviously acted.

    Ordinarily though, I would have said that ultimately all we have is someone’s story. Notwithstanding my earlier question about the owner, at the end of the day all you can say with reasonable certainty is that the primary witness was injured, in all likelihood from a fall from a horse, and several of the riders claim the incident was due to an unknown bipedal animal.

    Were there any other people on the ride who did *not* see or smell anything? If so – interview them… ask them what they saw of the witness… how did the accident happen, what did she say at the time? how did she look? like she’d seen a ghost, or not? Are any of the other riders good horsemen/women? If so, can they comment on the disposition of the horse at the time? Do they agree with the owner?

    One detail no-one’s commented on which really bothers me – who in their right mind knows what salty blood smells like? Why choose that expression?

    Another point – “it was just standing there”. Not moving. Not doing anything. Could it have been an inanimate (non-living) object?

  32. Sunny responds:

    If this was somewhere that the threesome had visited several times before, they may not have felt there was any reason to have a camera — why take pictures of someplace you’ve been many times before and expect to visit many times again?

    This report makes me wonder what (if any) tie-ins there might be along the line of the ‘hobbits’ found in th South Pacific?

    Before you post in a huff, I know that primates don’t have just three claws. I’m just pondering what the link is, if any, and NOT if these are hobbits.




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