told the nineteenth-century
European settlers stories of large
malevolent beasts, which the settlers first
called the Yahoo. There are 2 stories to the name - the first is
that it is a corruption of youree, described as a
legitimate native term for the hairy man-monster,
and the second is that the European settlers
chose the name themselves
after the sub-numab race in Swift’s “Gulliver's
During the 1970s, the term "Yowie"
supplanted “Yahoo," for reasons that remain as mysterious as the
creature. It has been suggested the
Australian accent could easily contort the
aboriginal "youree" into "Yowie."
An aborigine folk tale explains that when their people first
migrated to Australia thousands of years ago, they encountered
on the new continent a savage race of ape-men. The aborigines'
ancestors went to war against the ape-men, and in the end the
humans triumphed, thanks to their ability to make weapons.
Is it possible this tale might
contain some truth? And
could it be that a few survivors
of these early
primates survived into recent times?
The Yowie has been reported primarily in New South Wales, the
Gold Coast of Queensland and in the wild bush country of the
In New Zealand, the North Auckland area and the West Coast
are its favorite playground.
The Yowie is similar to Bigfoot with a height of six to seven
feet tall and covered in a coat of
thick black or brown fur. They are
generally bipedal but have been seen
running on all four legs at times.
The first recorded sighting of a Yahoo by a European came in
1881, when an Australian newspaper reported that several
witnesses had seen a large baboon-like animal that stood taller
than a man.
In 1894, another individual claimed to come face to face with
a "wild man or gorilla" in New South Wales bush. A 1903
newspaper printed the testimony of a man who said he watched as
aborigines killed a Yahoo, which he said looked "like a black
man, but covered all over with gray hair."
In 1912, George Summerell was riding on horseback between
Bombala and Bemboka when he saw a strange creature on all fours
drinking from a creek. The animal rose up on its hind feet to a
height of seven feet and looked at Summerell. Then it
disregarded the horseman, finished its drink, and peacefully
walked away into nearby woods. The following day, Summerell's
friend Sydney Wheeler Jephcott rushed to the scene of the
sighting and discovered an abundance of handprints and
footprints. Jephcott described the footprints as humanlike but
huge, and having only four toes per foot. He said he made
plaster casts of the tracks and turned them in to a local
university, but there is no record of a scientific analysis
In 1971, a Royal Australian Air Force helicopter carrying a
crew of surveyors landed atop Sentinel Mountain, a remote and
inaccessible peak. Much to their surprise, the team discovered
fresh footprints in mud, much larger than human footprints, in a
place where no known biped could possibly be present. Yowie
sightings continued steadily throughout the '70s. In 1976,
backpackers in New South Wales reported seeing a five-foot
female Yowie whose fur stank to high heaven. Also in New South
Wales, Betty Gee reported seeing a giant creature covered with
black fur outside her home in 1977. Shortly thereafter, her
fence was knocked down and large footprints surrounded the
scene. A man in the Gold Coast city of Springbrook said that
a"big black hairy man-thing" appeared before him while he while
chopping wood in 1978. "It just stared at me and I stared back,"
he said. "I was so numb, I couldn't even raise the axe I had in
In 1997, a woman residing in Tanimi Desert was awakened at 3
a.m. by a horrible animal-like noise just outside her bedroom
window. When she went out to investigate, she was confronted
with an unbearable stench that sent her into the dry heaves, and
she saw a seven-foot hairy creature tear through her fence as it
made a hasty retreat. The next day, police discovered a number
of giant ootprints and a somewhat shredded irrigation pipe that
had seemingly been chewed upon.