Suburban Beast

If you’re looking for a place to try and meet a Yowie, make your way over to Ormeau on Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast. Ormeau has been the site of over a dozen reported encounters with Australia’s version of Bigfoot over the past twenty years. I need to warn you first, though, that the Ormeau Yowie has anger issues and some other rather disturbing habits.

It likes to stalk and chase people.

Ormeau isn’t a place where you would expect to encounter a monster. Around 40km south of Brisbane, it’s a middle class, modern residential suburb. A result of Brisbane’s urban sprawl, Ormeau was farmland until the early 1990s, when new housing estates began to replace the largely rural blocks. The edge of these new developments often touched the wild back country of the gold coast Hinterland. It was on these urban fringes, where backyard met the bush, that most of the sightings took place.

Ormeau, Qld. Photographer Kerry Raymond, CC 3.0 Wikipedia.

A quick Internet search can turn up many Ormeau Yowie stories. Perhaps the best known is researcher Dean Harrison’s experience in 1997. Dean’s life-changing introduction to the yowie occurred near his own property at Ormeau. He was menaced by a huge, roaring ape-like creature that seemed intent on ripping him to pieces. After attempting to sneak up on him, the seven foot tall creature chased Dean for 80 metres to the nearest road.

As he ran along a cleared strip below power lines the creature ran parallel with him, crashing through thick scrub, “ … bush that I couldn’t have even walked through at night … and it caught up with me in no time … I realised, ‘This bastards going to cut me off!’ … I thought my life was about to end… so I changed direction … luckily I was too far away for it to get hold of me.” As Dean reached the well-lit road and looked back, the creature retreated into the scrub and squatted down, still watching him.

Dean Harrison.

I know Dean well and to hear him tell his story is pretty damn convincing. What’s really interesting is that same pattern of behaviour – stalking and pursuit – has been repeated at Ormeau many times.

The Cropster has been an investigator for Dean’s AYR site since the 90s. One of the best reports we ever received came from a location less than 2.5 kilometres from Dean’s incident and involved Jason Cole, a young tree-feller. I spoke to Jason directly and his story was compelling. Having spent most of his life in America, Jason had never even heard of the yowie before his encounter.

Jason’s experience occurred one afternoon in April 2003, as he was felling trees on extremely steep land off Plateau Road. At around 3:30 pm, as he turned off the chainsaw, he noticed a strange and frightening creature glaring at him from further down the slope.

At first he could see only its hairy face as it crouched behind a bush. When it stood up, however, he was staggered to see it was “a weird-ass gorilla-man”, towering to eight or nine feet and weighing perhaps 350 to 500 pounds. It had a flat face, big eyes but no discernable neck or ears. Its arms reached to its knees and it was entirely covered in dark brown hair.

“The only place it didn’t have hair was around the eyes and nose.” Just as unnerving as its huge size was its angry expression: “It looked a bit pissed off; it had, like, a mean look on its face.”

Jason and the creature stared at each other for five or 10 seconds until it ran further downhill with a strange “crab-like running walk” and disappeared into the scrub. After a further 10 seconds a tremendous cacophony erupted, as if the huge animal “was just going nuts, like it was destroying something, like he was breaking up trees or picking up big rocks and throwing them – like how kids throw a tantrum. Then all of a sudden it got really quiet”.

The incident had already been frightening enough, but as Jason quickly collected his gear and turned to retreat uphill, things got even scarier. The creature, he realised, had somehow circled around in an apparent attempt to cut him off.

“I could hear it rustling and breaking branches and stuff. It had run – real quietly somehow – through the bush, up this 45-degree slope without me noticing. I didn’t think that thing could run so fast up such a steep embankment … and I got the weird feeling it was hunting me.”

“I went diagonally away from those bushes [where the creature appeared to be lurking] it was so steep I was holding onto bits of grass and roots to get up, and I had this weird feeling he was almost behind me. And I cut through into the clearing and ran back to my car.”

You can hear Jason tell his story to the Cropster below.

Jason’s story is one of many from Ormeau. Earlier this year, the AYR received an email from an Ormeau resident describing an incident that took place in 2004-2005. While we haven’t yet interviewed the witness, the report certainly fits the Ormeau Yowie’s consistent pattern of stalk and scare.

The witness had been been riding with friend home on bikes with a friend when they felt they were being followed by something that at first kept out of sight in the bush:

“So we take off, and after a while we stop. No sign of anything and we continue along through a section of like dead trees and a small path we have created and it was almost horror movie … the moonlight lit our path. Must have been close to full moon and out of nowhere it starts again. We go, it goes, we stop it stops etc. We get through that section and its opens up to clear area again and we run. This time I look back and as we are about to reach the next section of bush I see this huge dark creature start to sprint from the tree line”.

“Shit hit the fan, I screamed run and we took off. Threw my skateboard off my back and jumped on the bike flat tyre or not and took off at this point we were close to the football field and the lights were on so we just went as hard as could for the next couple of minutes and there was more open area, thick bush and we eventually make it back to the road and we didn’t stop till we reached the top roundabout. We didn’t really speak to much about it which was strange.”

“…I will never forget the sight of this thing and how petrified i was… it looked like it was covered in a layer of course hair that was thicker up the top. It had long hock legs like a dog that like doubled over on themselves, broad shoulders and a face almost half dog half human. I remember the pricked ears thats turned our way as i first screamed at the tree line. I’m sure this thing was playing with us or like challenging us? I’m sure it could have been in our faces before we could blink and this whole ordeal went on for a fair while.”

Strange ‘dogman’ description aside, the report follows the earlier pattern and highlights one other thing about the Ormeau Yowie; it enjoys chasing people, but it shows no interest in catching them.

We should all be grateful for that.

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