The Yowie at Bunyip

Come again?  Yes, its true. A long-time resident of Bunyip, Victoria recently contacted the AYR to report a recent Yowie sighting close to his property. A truly Fortean combination – two of Australia’s best-known animal mysteries!

The Cropster conducted a long interview with David X (not his real name) last week, and he came across as intelligent, level-headed and completely believable. Tony Healy later transcribed the interview and his detailed notes are below.

David’s sighting took place at about 7.30 am on 10 September 2018. As he walked down a grassy laneway towards his horse paddocks, his eyes were drawn to two horses that were standing very close to a fence that separates his property from a nearby creek.

The location from where witness David X observed the strange animal. Photo copyright David X.

David: “There’s a lot of trees and scrub [along the creek] with a lot of wallabies; quite often you’ll see a wallaby in amongst the horses.”

“There was something on the other side [of the fence] behind the horses – I could see its head and [right] shoulder. The horses are about 15 hands – about 1.5 metres tall – and this thing was head and shoulders above them. I was about 50 metres away and I could see it clearly from about eight inches below the shoulder up to the head and neck. I’ve never seen anything that tall and humanlike.”

“I only saw it, side-on, for maybe three seconds as it covered, probably, 10 foot – three metres – from left to right, behind the horses … and out of my field of vision because of the tree guard [wind break].

“It was definitely hairy, the same colour as a wallaby – dark brown, almost black, but it was definitely not a kangaroo – it didn’t hop or bound – just moved quite gracefully, an even pace, it wasn’t running. It was definitely a humanlike figure [but there was no suggestion of clothing]. Very, very tall. [It wasn’t] a heavy-looking animal – it was quite slender.”

David sketched where the animal had moved behind the fence. Photo copyright David X.

“The hair was not shaggy and not too short, over the whole body [but] I reckon it didn’t have hair on its ear – there was a shiny area on the side of the head that I assume was its ear – it was quite shiny and black. I couldn’t see whether it had a flat face – a flat or a pointy nose.”

“I was pushing a wheelbarrow with a hay bale inside it, so I just continued down the laneway, until I got to a gate on the right, where there’s a gap in the tree guard. I popped my head out there, hoping to see it moving further along the fence line, but no – there was nothing there: gone.”

When he looked over the fence, David realised the creature had been wading in the creek as it passed behind the horses: “It’s a slow flowing creek, with a lot of weed in it, and I could see where something had passed through the water … through the reeds and weeds, from one side to the other. [So] what I saw would have been about two feet taller than [it first appeared], in the vicinity of eight foot.”

“The creek banks are quite dry. I looked for footprints but couldn’t find anything.”

David said the reeds appeared to have been flattened where he observed the creature. Photo copyright David X.

He added one rather strange detail: “The horses weren’t startled at all: one was actually grazing [as the creature passed] and the other one was looking right at it – and they were right side-by-side [with it]. They weren’t perturbed at all.”

While the neck of the creature, as depicted in David’s sketch, appears unusually thin, we must bear in mind that his sighting lasted for only three seconds at a range of 50 metres.

David’s sketch of the creature as it stood behind his horses.

That detail, in fact, is one reason why we consider his report to be entirely credible. Surely anyone attempting to perpetrate a hoax would have fashioned his or her sketch to conform to the extremely thick-necked yowies as depicted in various articles, books and websites.

His mention of the horses’ apparent unconcern as the yowie strolled past might strike some readers as very odd. But while the AYR files are full of cases in which horses and other livestock have panicked at the merest hint of yowie activity, there are a few others in which livestock have remained strangely calm in the presence of the hairy giants.

Something else is worth noting. When I asked if he’d seen anything unusual prior to the yowie event, David said he’d once encountered a black panther.

It happened when he was about 16 years old, near his parents’ property at Garfield North. He was walking home one night through a large bushland reserve when he realised, “I was definitely being stalked. There was bright moonlight, and I saw it: it was about waist-high and really long – it would have been over two metres long – and black as pitch; black as black.”

“That cat’s been there for [a long time]. We grew up knowing there’s panthers in that area.”

Over the last 140 years or so, that region of Victoria, like many other areas of Australia, has certainly produced many reports of what appear to be super elusive, out-of-place big cats – mainly “black panthers”. The “alien big cat” phenomenon is, in fact, one of our country’s most intractable zoological mysteries – second only, in the weirdness stakes, to the yowie enigma.

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