Aboriginal Legends Frank Povah, 1990
Aboriginal Legends, By Frank Povah 1990
According to Frank Povah a lecturer and writer of mixed Aboriginal and European decent, the "Yuuri" is a little man, not much higher than 4'. Franks says, "My Grandmother wanted to take me up and show me where they were. When she first seen it she thought it was a Sheepskin Hagen on a post, but when she got close to it, she could see it was a little "Yuuri". Covered in hair with long nails and big teeth. She thought it was more frightened of them than they were of it.
Never used to interfere with anyone, just went about in it's own way. Grandma was going to take me up and show me where it lived, but I said Grandma, do you think it's right we should go and disturb them if they don't disturb us? But she said, 'I just want to show you were it lives so you can pass it on'. One of the people living up there said she sighted one.
It came to her camp for a drink of water. She was up there by herself. She had dogs that'd eat anybody who came to the place and they just run in the hut, whingin and cringin and when she looked out she could see somethin goin away. When she got up in the mornin there was little tracks just there, walkin around the camp near her water bucket. She said it must of had a drink of water and went back off to the hills."
The legend of the "little" Yowies are steep in the Aboriginal tradition, Frank Povah continues........"Yuuriwinaa in our language means 'hairy Woman', not so much hairy man, but hairy Woman. But they can change from a Man to a Woman whenever they want to. They are short, about 3', bit more, real hairy and real Stinkin. They've got teeth like a Greyhound, big fangs I have always believed that they lived in the thick scrub.
There was an old clever feller used to live on the other side of the river from where the actual community used to live. We used to go round to his place a lot and listen to his stories and talk to him. One night he sent us home early. He said. 'Look, when you hear the trees start to whisperin, it's time to go home. When you get home, go straight to bed'.
So when we gets home, Aunty said to us, "Arfter tea straight to bed'. When lying down in the bed we could hear the leaves and boughs rustlin on the tin, and Aunty says, 'There you go, see. There's some little people out there, the little Yuuriwinaa.
If you fellers were out there they might of got you tonight'. The next mornin when we got up she took us outside and in the soft sand around the house she showed us all their little tracks, four toes people. Full footprint, instep and all that, heel. Just like a Human footprint but with only four toes not five." "Me cousin was walkin home one night and on the mission there's no lights and its very dark.
This little thing, which he said was a small hairy man, jumped on his back. He tried to throw it off and he couldn't and ended up with claw marks on his back and neck. Had to go to Hospital, but he did'nt tell them what it was. They wouldn't have believed him anyway. One of the white property owners actually seen one. It jumped out infront of his car.
Near the Aboriginal Mission up there. They had the Police involved, local paper, and one of those Professors from Armidale University down there tryin to investigate it. At night they used to play football on the mission, on the oval there. One feller was on the sideline and he was counting the blokes on the field and there's one extra. When the blokes ran past, he looked at em and one of am was a little hairy man. Anyway, the hairy man grabbed the football and run off into the scrub and they never seen him or the ball again!"
Although Frank talks of the "little hairy men", there are also many stories of the larger variety. The Aboriginals from the Blue Mountains in N.S.W. who tell of the more fearsome creatures who are responsible for many deaths of their people. Legend has it that they would stand in the hollowed out trees waiting for their people to walk passed.
They talk of decapitation and bodily dismemberment. Depending on which tribe and the location they lived in Australia, the Aboriginals had various names for the Yowie such as Yuuri, Yowri, Yahoo, Yaroma, Dulugal, Noocoonah, Dooligah, Gooligah, Quinkin, Thoolagal, however on the Western side of Australia they have different sounding names as Jingera, Jimbra and Tjandara.
The Australian and New Zealand Monthly Magazine in 1842 wrote: The natives of Australia have, properly speaking, no idea of any supernatural being; they believe in the imaginary existence of a class which, in the singular number, they call Yahoo, or, when they wish to be anglifierd, Devil-Devil. This being they describe as resembling a man, of nearly the same height, but more slender, with long white straight hair hanging down from the head over the features, so as almost entirely to conceal them; the arms as extraordinarily long, furnished at the extremities with great talons, and the "feet turned backwards", so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had traveled in the opposite direction.
Altogether, they describe it as a hideous monster, of an unearthly character and ape like appearance. On the other hand, a contested point has long existed among Australian naturalists whether or not such an animal as the Yahoo existed, one party contending that it does, and that from its scarceness, slyness, and solitary habits, man has not succeeded in obtaining a specimen, and that it is most likely one of the monkey tribe.
Another good read on the subject of Aboriginal legend is from the book "Out of the shadows", by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper. This book is also available in our merchandise section of the Web Site.
Here's a small sample of what Paul and Tony have to say on the matter: "It seems that Aboriginal belief in the hairy men extends from the Cape York right down the east coast to Victoria and occurs in at least some parts of South Australia and western Australia. It seems, however, that Aboriginal belief in the hairy men extends from Cape York right down the east coast to Victoria and occurs in at least some parts of South Australia and Western Australia.
It seems the ape-man tradition was and is strongest in the mountainous, forested areas of the east coast, from southeast Queensland to nor eastern Victoria. While that notion of modern sighting reports and while it seems logical in terms of food supply and habitat it could of course merely reflect the fact that most of our own research has been conducted in that region.
Hairy man traditions collected from tribal aborigines by interested Europeans in the colonial days appeared to be fairly consistent. According to most of those early accounts, the creatures were believe to be the same height as a man or somewhat taller. In the 1840s a white settler was told by Port Phillip Aborigines that the yowie was a tall as a 'big one gum tree', and in the folk tales of the Yalanji people of Cape York, Turramulli, the giant quinkin, towered above the trees.
The yowies were also said to be more powerfully built than men; the legs and arms were long and the hands were equipped with sharp claws. The neck was said to be almost non-existent, so that as with the creature Mr. Guines shot, the head seemed to be set right onto the shoulders.
They were often said to be mountain dwelling, nocturnal man-eating and capable of climbing trees. Frightful screams and growls and an overpowering stench were sometimes mentioned.
Although they were often said to be mortally afraid of yowies, there are several accounts of Aborigines besting them in the fight or even killing them. Harry Williams, an old Ngunnawal man, told of seeing a large group of warriors kill one on a hillside below the junction of the Yass and Murrumbidgee rivers near the present site of Burrinjuck Dam, in about 1840. They dragged it down the hill by the ankles.
He described it as'... like a blackman but covered all over with grey hair. One thing the blacks occasionally said about the feet gives a bizarre twist, so to speak, to the whole picture: some Aborigines stated that the creatures' feet were turned backwards so that their tracks confused anyone attempting to follow. Readers familiar with the yeti legend will remember that sherpas often say the same thing about the abominable snowman's feet. Although much of the Aboriginal hairy man tradition recorded in the colonial days and more recently tends to support the modern image of the yowie as a hairy giant, the subject is complicated slightly by the fact that many Aboriginal people also believe in very small hair-covered, man-like creatures.
These entities, variously known as winambuu, waaki, junjadee, nambunj or 'brown jacks' appear to fill more or less the same niche in Aboriginal Australia as leprechauns, fairies and elves did in Europe: they have supernatural powers, guard certain places, punish wrong-dowers and protect the sick and lost children." - Out of the Shadows (Get the book!).
The Yalanji tribe from Cape York told of the giant Turramulli, who they said towered above the trees. They said its feet only had 3-clawed toes and had only three clawed fingers. It was said that he was awesome in size and covered in hair with no neck and resembling a Human. In 1970, Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey discovered two ancient Aboriginal paintings of the Turramulli.
Percy Trezise tells of a story of the Aborigines engaging in long wars against the primitive hominids thousands of years ago. In the Canberra Historical Journal, Graham Joyner talks of the true meaning of the names Yahoo and Dulugal: "Early references to what had commonly become known as the yahoo, but to which the name 'devil-devil' was frequently found attached, provide some particularly difficult problems.
Why, for instance, was this phenomenon widely known among the Aborigines by two names - and two very different ones - which appear to have been borrowed from the English language? What are the implications and what can be known about the entity behind these labels? To answer such questions it will perhaps be best to begin by summarizing the data on which an assessment of the meaning of the word may be based. Use of the work yahoo falls into two periods, although this distinction is more apparent than real because it depends on the availability and interpretations of sources.
In the earlier period, up to the 1850's it most usually appears in connection with accounts by travelers about Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual being both beneficent and evil, where the former is said to be either crudely understood or entirely absent while the latter (the devil) is identified with the yahoo. Into this category fall James Holman's account from 1835, a lengthy paper by an anonymous writer in 1842, Louisa Anne Meredith's reference in her notes and sketches published in 1844 and George Willmer's remark's in 1856.
How far these writers were responsible for their own observations and to what extent they relied upon each other does not greatly matter in this context. In addition there are a number of references from the same period that do not concern an evil spirit but treat the yahoo rather in terms of a kind of animal.
These consist of a qualification in the 1842 article that existence of the yahoo had long been a subject of contention among Australian naturalists, a believe note from 1843 about a monster called by the colonists 'Yaa-hoo', speculation in 1847 by an unknown writer that the bunyip (or 'Yaa-hoo') of the Aborigines at the Hunter River should be classified with the carnivorous species and a brief description in 1847 by a writer passing under the name of Alexander Harris is a man-like animal spoken about the Aborigines of the Hunter River, although here the name yahoo seems to have been added by the editor.
In the second period, that of the late nineteenth century, the name yahoo was primarily used by European settlers to describe an unknown animal, while the few contributions from Aborigines support this interpretation. For instance the 'wild man' covered in hair and with long nails, seen in the Jingera Mountains near Cooma in 1871, was associated with legends among the settlers there of a mysterious yahoo.
A writer in 1876 maintained that the yahoo of Aboriginal tradition did indeed exist and was seen by white men, though rare and seldom encountered. The field naturalist H J McCooey preferred the terms 'indigenous ape' or 'Australian ape' for what he said the Australian bushman call the yahoo. William Telfer, the shepherd of the Tamworth district, knew of an Aboriginal tradition of the yahoo as a hairy man like a monkey.
He identified it with the supposed gorilla, which he observed in 1883 and which was often seen in the mountains thereabout. John Gale used the name Yahoo as another name for the hairy man of the Brindabella ranges.
The Aborigines of Braidwood allegedly spoke of the "big fella devil" or Yahoo, which was regarded by them as an animal to be feared and avoided, while white settlers there had a belief in the Yahoo as a large man covered in hair. Turning now to the dulugal, we initially find a similar situation. Horatio halem who visited Australia with the United States Exploring Expedition between the years 1838 and 1842, recorded in 1846 that there was a lack of religious feeling among the Aborigines. He added that it was not true, as had been frequently asserted, that the natives had no idea of a supreme being.
They even had knowledge of a sort of angel. Hale admitted that these stories may have been influenced by contacts with the white settlers. More to the point, Hale also reported that the Aborigines in the Wellington district had an imaginary being resembling a black man of superhuman strength, who was not, an object of worship but who was held in superstitious dread.
He insisted that this being was entirely of Australian origin, although he cast doubt on his own assertion by adding that the Aborigines had learned from the whites to apply to him the name of devil. Different accounts of this character were given in different areas and, wrote Hale, 'at the Muruya [Moruya] River the devil is called Tulugal'.
However, as in the case of yahoo, such an account tells us little more than that the Aborigines feared something man-like called 'tulugal'. About the turn of the century, R H Mathews made some relevant entries in one of his field notes books on South Coast languages. These mention the 'thool-a-gal', a being larger and stronger than a man with claws on his fingers.
In his notebook Mathews placed these comments under the heading 'myth'. A broader definition was give by A W Howitt in 1904, although his material was actually collected before 1889. Howitt pointed out that among the Yuin tribes of the South Coast, who occupied the country between the Shoalhaven River and Cape Howe, 'tulugal' was the spirit or ghost. He then added by way of explanation:
The Tulugal, as I have said, is the ghost from tula, a hold, or a grave, and gal, the possessive postfix, of or belonging to. The word, however, means not only the human ghost, but also is applied to beings who lived in trees, rocks, or caves in the mountains, and who were credited with stealing and eating children. It was said that long ago the old men used to go into the mountains, which lie at the back of the Yuin country, where they thought tulugal might be, and after making a noise like a child crying, they would watch for a tulugal peeping out of its hold.
Having found its abode, they made a fire and bunt it. Howitt noted a belief that sometimes the tulugal or ghost tried to get back to the body and the yuin were always afraid that the dead man might come out of his grave and follow them. At this point we must make a diversion to note that, prior to and concurrent with the work of Howitt and Mathews, intermittent reports had emanated from the South Coast of a creature referred to as a gorilla.
The man-like animal seen and described in some detail at Avondale in the illawarra region by George Osborne in 1871 was believed by him to be a gorilla. An animal similar but considerably larger was seen in the Bulli Mountain. In 1882 McCooey observed what he called an 'Australian ape' or 'indigenous ape' on the coast between ulladulla and batemans bay. In the following year what was called a gorilla was again seen in the ranges near Mt Keira.
It resembled a man but was covered in long hair and had long sharp claws. Finally the surveyor Charles Harper claimed in 1912 that stories of an Australian gorilla, hairy man or some such animal had for many years past emerged from the coastal range between the head of the Clyde river and the Victorian border.
According to Harper scientists asserted that this animal was a myth and that it did not then exist and never had existed, although the old generation of Aborigines maintained the contrary in both cases. In none of these descriptions is the name dulugal mentioned.
Special credits to: Paul Cropper & Tony Healy, Graham Joyner and Frank Povah.
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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base
Aboriginal Legends Watun Goori, 2001
Aboriginal Legends - Watun GooriThe two trees are associated with the Watun Goori legend of the Dharawal people. The story was known to Aboriginal groups in south-eastern Australia and was used to teach children the law and to obey their parents (refer below for the text of this legend).
The Hairy Men
A very long time ago there lived in This Land two very different kinds of Peoples. There were the Keepers of This Land, the D'harawa'goori. And there were the Wattun Goori.
The D'harawa'goori are the People we know today as the D'harawals, the people who lived here when white man first came to This Land.
The Wattun Goori were hairy men, and, although they were all Goori, there were two different kinds.
The Dooligah were the giant hairy men, almost as big as trees, and the Kuritjah were little hairy men, about the same size as a milk carton, today.
Now, everybody lived together peacefully for a very long time. Sometimes, as they walked by, the D'harawals would wave to the Wattun `goori, and the women would chatter and exchange gifts.
And, on special occasions, they would all celebrate together with a big Bunya.Of course, at these times, the poor little Kuritjah would have to be very careful to keep out of the the way of the big dancing feet of the Dooligah.But, there came a time when a terrible drought passed over This Land. The rivers and
waterholes all dried up, many of the animals died, as did many of the plants and trees. Because there was not water in the rivers or the creeks, all the fish died.The little Kuritjah were fine, because they were so small, they could eat the nectar from the flowers. As everybody know, during drought time there are always plenty of flowers which produce nectar, but they do not produce fruit or seed. The D'harawals, instead of eating seeds and fruit, ate the roots and tubers of the plants.
But the poor Dooligahs became very, very hungry. Because they were so large, they could not find enough food to fill their bellies, and they quickly became too weak to catch any poor kangaroo that did not have the sense to hide.
Then, one day, some Dooligahs were resting on the ground near their cave when a mob of D'harawals came by. The grownups were walking along, chattering away, and busily prodding the ground looking for juicy roots. But some of the children of the clan, instead of paying attention to their parents' instructions, were straggling along behind, making lots of noise, chasing each other, or running off into
the bushes to hide from their friends.
One of the Dooligahs watched the children playing, and as he watched his stomach began to rumble, and his mouth began to water. He made a sign of silence to his companions, and soundlessly crept down to where some children were hiding from their friends. The Dooligah grabbed the children, burying their faces in his long hair so that their screams could not be heard, and ran to his cave where he promptly ate the fattest one, and imprisoned the other two so he could fatten them up for later. His companions decided that they, too, would join the feast, and followed the D'harawals until some more children straggled behind, grabbed them, and after eating one each, locked the others away in the save to fatten them up.
The D'harawals became very alarmed when they found that some of their children were missing, and although they searched high and low, they could not find them.The only clue they could find, was the hair of a Wattun'goori hanging from a tree branch.The D'harawals approached the Kuritjahs and asked them if they had seen their children. Of course, the Kuritjahs had not seen the children, but when they were shown the solitary hair, they began to suspect that it may have been their brothers, the Dooligahs who were responsible.
The little Kuritjahs went to the Dooligah camp and waited until the giant hairy men had fallen asleep. Then they crept into the cave. There they found the children and released them, escorting them back to their parents. The D'harawal clan were overjoyed at having at least some of their children back, and thanked
the little Kuritjahs, giving them gifts of many flowers and honey. Pretty soon, though, the children began to forget the lessons they had learned, and once again began to straggle behind the clan as they searched for food. Or they would run off into the bushes, hding from their parents, trying to scare them.
And the Dooligahs were waiting for them, drooling with anticipation of a nice, juicy meal. Then, as they passed by the D'harawal camp, the Kuritjahs saw the D'harawals putting on their war paint, painting their faces and their bodies, sharpening their spears and their killing sticks, and decorating their shields. The Kuritjahs knew that this could only result in war, and when there was war, many innocent people would be killed.
Now, in those days, all Kurrajong trees were hollow, and even during the most severe drought, the Kurrajong always bore plenty of seed high in its branches, and the roots always contained plenty of water. The Kuritjahs met with the Dooligahs and told them of the wonderful Kurrajong tree which
provided both food and shelter. The Dooligahs followed the little Kuritjahs to the Kurrajongs, where they greedily ate their fill, and drank the water from the roots and fell asleep deep in the hollow of the trunks.
While the Dooligahs slept the little Kuritjahs sealed up the trunks of the trees, leaving only a narrow crack for the Dooligahs to breathe. Their brothers were now safe, they could have all the food and water they would need, and war would be averted.
But the Kuritjahs were still worried. What would happen if a strong wind came and blew the trees down.
Or if lightning struck the trees and toppled them over. Or maybe, some day, some foolish man would come along and cut the tree down. The Dooligahs would then be able to escape. And they would be very, very angry. So the little Kuritjahs climbed a nearby tree, and there they sit today, sitting only the
branches, watching over the Kurrajong trees, making sure that the Dooligah trapped inside does not escape.
Now this story doesn't have an ending.......yet
The Dooligahs are waiting for an opportunity to escape. And the Kuritjahs are watching them.
But, just in case the Kuritjahs fall asleep, or some foolish man comes along and decides to cut the tree down, it is always a good idea to behave yourself in the bush, and to always do what your parents say.
Just in case.............................
Two trees situated in the Yandel'ora area of Mt. Annan Botanic Garden associated with the Watun Goori legend of the Dharawal people (refer notes / additional information). The Kurrajong is a tree over 500 years old on which can be seen the face of a captured Dooligah. The nearby Banksia is peopled with Kuritjas, represented by the Banksia cones Historical Significance:
(a) The DooligahTree is historically significant because of its age and the story surrounding it, which links it to the pre-invasion era. The physical appearance of the tree, with the Dooligah's face on it, and the fact that descendants of the Dharawal people know the legend today, demonstates the continuity of some aspects of Aboriginal customs and traditions.
(b) Both trees are significant because of their association with the philosophy, customs and way of life of Aboriginal people from the south-east of Australia. The legends surrounding the trees are associated with the law-making traditions of the Dharawal people and the trees are located within the Yandel'ora law-making area.
The trees are of social significance to the Dharawal people because of the stories associated with them, which represent a link to their ancestors. The fact that the Dooligah tree has survived for over 500 years provides an important link with the pre-invasion era.Aboriginal pre-contactRegister of Historic Places and Objects
Item Name: Brachychiton Populneum-Kurrajong & Banks
Location: Mt. Annan
Date Updated: 26/08/2001
The Dooligah Tree is outstanding because of its age and location within the traditional law-making area. It is a rare and ancient example of Aboriginal culture surviving from before the European invasion.
Wattun Goori or The Hairy Men legend as inherited by the Bodkin-Andrews family, of the D'harawal Nation
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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base
Aust and NZ Monthly Magazine Article, 1842
Superstitions of the Australian Aborigines: The Yahoo', The Australian and New Zealand Monthly Magazine, 1842, pp. 92.
The natives of Australia have, properly speaking, no idea of any supernatural being; at the same time, they believe in the imaginary existence of a class of which, in the singular number, they call Yahoo, or, when they wish to be anglified, Devil-Devil.
This being they desribe as resembling man, of nearly the same height, but more slender, with long white straight hair hanging down from the head over the features, so as almost entirely to conceal them; the arms as extrordinarily long, furnished at the extremities with great talons, and the feet turned backwards, so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had travelled in the opposite direction.
Altogether, they described it as a hidious monster, of an unearthly character and ape-like appearance. [The suggestion is made that tales of the Yahoo may have been caused by a castaway or runaway convict.]
On the other hand, a contested point has long existed among Australian naturalists whether or not it does, and that from its scarceness, slyness, and solitary habits, man has not secceeded in obtaining a specimen, and that it is likely one of the monkey tribe.
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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base
Aboriginals of Sydney Article, 1788
'The Aborigines of the Sydney District Before
1788' by Peter Turbet, Kangaroo Press, 2001, page 107
Brief accounts of other supernatural beings are provided by Threlkeld and
Mathews, but details about them are sketchy and their role in the overall
mythology is clouded.
Malevolent bush spirits
Around Newcastle, and especially on the slopes of Mount Sugarloaf, the
forest was frequented by a fearful spirit named Puttikan. He was shaped like
a tall man and had a hairy body with a large mane. His feet were reversed so
that he could not be tracked and his skin was so tough that no spear could
Whenever Puttikan met a man in the bush he lifted the potential victim's
upper lip to see if he had undergone the tooth evulsion rite. If the incisor
was missing, the man was safe; if not, Puttikan bounded after him like a
kangaroo, making a loud sound each time he hit the ground. On capture the
man was eaten. Puttikan's cry was often heard in the mountains on summer
Peter Cunningham, a Royal Navy surgeon who farmed land in the Hunter Valley,
says that this spirit was most active at night, was afraid of fire and
usually preyed upon children (who, of course, had not been initiated). Fear
of Puttikan was the reason that the Aborigines never travelled at night and
always slept close to a fire. Cunningham was told that Koen protected people
Threkeld, 1892, 'An Australian Language'
Mathews - various publications listed in Turbets bibliography
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Australian Yowie Research - Data Base
AYR Interviews Paul Cropper, 1999
AYR Interviews Friend, and Fellow Australian Researcher Paul Cropper
Date: June, 1999
[AYR} - Paul, how long have you been Researching the Yowie?
[Paul} - Since around 1977. My interest in the yowie was sparked by reading an article by Rex Gilroy, "Gorilla Giants of Katoomba" in the now defunct 'Psychic Australian' magazine. Shortly after that I remember getting a copy of Graham Joyners book "The Hairy Man of South Eastern Australia" which listed a stack of early cases. After that I was pretty much hooked.
[AYR} - What do you think a Yowie is?
[Paul} - That's a tough one. If it does exist (and I'm not 100% convinced that it does) a relic form of homo erectus is possible. The main problem with a homo erectus identification is that much of yowie data just doesn't fit.
Level of intelligence and general appearance and are the main two issues. Certainly, most yowie sightings seem to describe to some kind of erect ape, rather than an ape-like man. Of course, there are no apes in Australia, as this island continent was never connected to Asia. The yowie may also be some kind of sociological - or psychological - process that we don't understand yet. I believe that something interesting is going on - the consistency of reports from aboriginal legends through to modern day sightings is quite astonishing.
[AYR} - Why is it so hard to find decent footage of the Yowie?
[Paul} - I don't know. Its surprising that with so many people running around with video cameras these days no-one has shot an Australian 'Patterson film', but who knows, maybe one will eventually turn up. By the way, I feel that the Piper film is not a film of a yowie.
[AYR} - In your opinion, why is there so little hard evidence of the Yowie such as bones?
[Paul} - Given that most reports occur in fairly isolated and remote areas, its not unusual that remains haven't been found. I am surprised that nobody has hit one crossing a road, though, as this is a common location for encounters. Of course, if the yowie doesn't exist, then its to be expected!
[AYR} - This is normally a question many Researchers try to avoid, however we have to ask it. There's been so much talk by many Researchers on a World level about the Yowie/Bigfoot having some form of ties in the Paranormal, what's your view?
[Paul} - There are certainly 'psychic' elements to some sightings; strong feelings of terror and panic (the 'nameless dread" as Tony Healy likes to call it), dreams and nightmares before and after sightings. The aboriginals incorporated some paranormal elements into their hairy man stories. I'm an unapologetic fence-sitter on this - I recognise these elements do exist in some reports, but I feel it's a backward step to use one mystery (psychic phenomena) to try and explain another. Lets wait until more information is available.
[AYR} -Tony Healy and you completed your first book (Out of the Shadows), in 1995. Prior to 1995, what was the highlight of your Research?
[Paul} - Actually we wrote it in 1993/4, and it was published in late 1994 (just to be pedantic!). Probably the most interesting incident for me at that time was the O'Chee report (1977). Details of the O'Chee sighting can be found in 'Shadows' and Malcolm Smith's excellent 'Bunyips and Bigfoots'.
[AYR} - From 1995 (the time of Publication) to today, have you found many more reports?
[Paul} - The publication of 'Shadows' and the establishment of the AYR web site has resulted in a flood of new reports, most of them pretty impressive. I'd say that Tony and I now have several hundred cases in our files.
[AYR} - As a sneak preview of your next book (which we believe is due early next year), do you have a quick synopsis of what the public should expect?
[Paul} - Our new book will be really comprehensive and jam-packed with photos, sketches, maps and references. It will also have a chronological list of every single case we have collected.
[AYR} - What would be your all time best Yowie Report?
[Paul} - I think that the O'Chee report of 1977 is the best sighting report on record. The primary witness had a great deal to lose by coming forward (he was a serving National Party Senator at the time his story surfaced) yet he stuck to his story, and the incident involved around twenty other witnesses.
[AYR} - Although you mainly spend time collecting reports, interviewing witnesses and finding rare archives, have you had any Yowie encounters yourself or believe you have come close?
[Paul} - What a leading question, Dean! The only interesting experience was on a night stake-out in the Blue Mountains with you. We seemed to be approached and circled by 'something' walking through the scrub, but we never saw what it was. Interesting, but inconclusive.
[AYR} - What is your ultimate goal in your research?
[Paul} - I don't believe this mystery will be solved in my lifetime, but I hope to have added something to the accumulated body of research in this field.
[AYR} - Besides the Yowie, you have researched many other areas of strange phenomena. Can you tell us a little more about some of the areas that you have studied?
[Paul} - I have a side interest in the paranormal, and poltergeist cases in particular.
[AYR} - What was the weirdest experience you have had in other matters that you investigated?
[Paul} - The Humpty Doo poltergeist investigation, which is well documented on the Strange Nation site at www.strangenation.com.au.
[AYR} - You met the all time Bigfoot Legend's John Green and Rene Dahinden in your travels. Can you tell us a little about what it was like meeting these men?
[Paul} - Rene was quite a character. We shared a few Fosters beers at his trailer one afternoon in 1988. I really liked his no-bullshit attitude, and sense of humour. That same visit I met John Green, who I also found really interesting. We still keep in touch.
[AYR} - What do you think the future holds for the Yowie?
[Paul} - With the AYR site and several new books, we're probably going to see a lot more reports surface over the next year or so. I think the yowie itself will stay a mystery for a long time to come.
[AYR} - Why do you think there are is much Politics in Bigfoot Research?
[Paul} - There's politics in every field, so why should yowie/bigfoot reseach be any different? I also think that 'fringe' research tends to attract highly opinionated individuals, so perhaps in this field there's a greater tendency for people to rub each other the wrong way!
[AYR} - Do you feel the Australian Researchers seem to be "easier going" than their U.S. counter parts?
[Paul} - Only a little (grin)!
[AYR} - In your view, where do you think the major Yowie hot spots are?
[Paul} - I'd say behind the Gold Coast in Queensland and the Blue Mountains and far south coast (around Bateman's Bay) of New South Wales.
[AYR} - What has happened to the Victorian Yowie's, there seemed to be many reports in the 18th Century?
[Paul} - There seems to be a few new Victorian cases turning up, primarily through the work of the AYR.
[AYR} - Can we expect to see more or less Yowie reports coming from S.A. and W.A and why?
[Paul} - Not sure. There are only a few cases from either state. Most reports are from the more heavily forested eastern states.
[AYR} - We rarely hear any Yowie reports originate from Tasmania? Where there many in the past?
[Paul} - There are a few recent reports from Tasmania, but no old stories that I am aware of.
[AYR} - What do you think a "Bunyip" is?
[Paul} - In 'Shadows' we felt most bunyip reports were seals, with the slim possibility of an unknown river or lake dwelling creature that may well have already become extinct.
[AYR} - With all the talk of Cloning, do you think that someone will clone a Thylacine on day?
[Paul} - Possibly yes, but I hope not. I believe messing with nature on that scale is a bad idea.
[AYR} - Speaking of the Thylacine, which state has the most amount of modern day sightings?
[Paul} - Victoria, definitely.
[AYR} - Why are there so many reports of Big Cats in Australia and how did they get here?
[Paul} - That's real puzzle. Many reports pre-date WW2, so the 'American puma release' doesn't account for all the big cat stories. And the high proportion of black panther stories is also strange. But there are no aboriginal cat legends except for the Queensland Marsupial Tiger - but that's another story!
[AYR} -Thanks for the interview Paul and we appreciate your input.
[Paul} No worries. Keep up the good work. AYR rocks!
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