Authors: Tony Healy & The Cropster.
Multiple witness yowie cases are always interesting. It’s easy to consider single witnesses as mistaken or confused, but add an extra witness and that possibility becomes a lot less likely.
One impressive dual witness sighting took place just outside Coffs Harbour, N.S.W. in March 2017. Coffs Harbour is a small coastal town located around 540 km north of Sydney. The primary witness – who we will call ‘Dave’ (real name on file with The Cropster and the AYR) – contacted the AYR a few days after his experience and I interviewed him and his wife shortly afterwards.
In September 2016, Dave and his wife Jenny purchased several acres just off a main road around 30km from Coffs. There was plenty of bush nearby and big trees along a creek that ran through the property. The night before the sighting they were woken by their two large, well-trained dogs barking excitedly. That seemed strange because they normally didn’t react to native animals.
On the following evening, shortly after 7 pm – just before dark – they were walking the dogs on a long strip of crown land that runs up a slope adjoining their property. Over a nearby fence, a horse was grazing in a paddock covered with long grass.
Dave takes up the story:
“We walked up beside the paddock, turned around and came back, and we were just walking and talking – and I saw this thing. It was running through the paddock, and we were trying to work out what it was.
“It was getting closer, running on a 45-degree angle past us, because it was heading for these little trees that are nearby. It was [about] 100 metres away, and all I thought was, ‘What’s this thing got around its head? It had this square sort of head, and as it got closer we saw its arms. The grass was quite high so I only noticed the top [of its body]. And as it was running past, Julia said, ‘It’s running upright – what is it?’ And I’m like: ‘Bigfoot?’ It looked like Bigfoot! [Laughs]
“It came running down the hill at 100 miles an hour; it was moving its arms – big, thick arms – big, thick shoulders – it was really thick and wide and was a light brown colour. It was hairy – like a long-haired dog that hasn’t been brushed. When it got closer I could see the hair on its arms going over its hands. I didn’t see its face, but I could see clumps of hair on it.
“I’m six feet tall. This thing was way bigger than me … but it was so thick – too thick for a human – huge. It looked like it would have been way wider than a metre: maybe a metre and a half – hard to tell. It looked square-shaped … out of proportion. It wasn’t a human… I’m pretty big, but this thing would have made me look like a Chihuahua! It would have been a few feet taller than me, but it’s hard to say as it was on an incline in long grass – I wasn’t level with it.
“It felt like we were watching it for a long while, but it was probably 20 seconds or so. It was running from my neighbour’s property. He’s got a plant nursery up there, and might have fruit trees.” [Dave suspects that the creature was taken by surprise when he and Jenny suddenly turned around and retraced their steps: had they continued on, it would have crossed the paddock and entered the trees unseen].
He insists the strange figure couldn’t possibly have been a practical joker in a gorilla suit: “No – he was going too fast … and the detail in the hair … and for someone to wear a suit and run that quick without falling over would have been impossible. It was running downhill … a man in a suit would have lost balance and rolled down the hill. It was out of proportion to a human or any animal.
“It was running like Usain Bolt – way too fast for a human. It was just going! And as soon as it hit a couple of trees it disappeared. And I’m thinking, ‘Okay – we’ll get a better look at it when it gets past the trees.’
“Jenny went inside the house. She was a bit freaked out by it … and I stayed outside and just stood looking at this tree that it ran behind. I waited there until it got too dark. [And didn’t see it again]. I think it must have been [hiding behind the tree] that’s why I stood there looking at it – I didn’t take my eyes off it – but I didn’t see anything. But they are quite big trees they have been planted in a line and [the yowie] just could have found its way back to the bush without being seen … but it sort of disappeared into thin air: as soon as it hit the trees it was gone.
“We went to bed and got woken up during the night by a noise that we thought was our alpacas fighting, but they don’t make that noise: a weird, yelling sort of noise – really loud – and right in our backyard, just where the creek is. It was nearly a full moon, but when I got up to look I couldn’t see anyone down there.
“We went back to sleep and an hour later the same thing happened: the ‘yelling’, the dogs barking, so we didn’t sleep much that night. We haven’t heard it since.
“I went over to the tree next day and stood behind it, [it was big enough to have concealed the yowie] and found a footprint in some cow crap behind the tree. It was basically human shaped. There was an impression of a toe – a big toe impression. That’s what it looked like to me. You can’t really see it in the photos.
“My girlfriend is the greatest sceptic. I love watching those documentaries [about bigfoot] and she makes me turn them off. But when it happened she said, ‘It’s running upright – what is it?’ And when she said that, I thought, ‘It’s got to be a bigfoot! But when you see these things it’s freaky … then you think, well, no one really gets close to them and no one gets hurt by them, so they can’t be that bad.” [Laughs]
Although she was previously very sceptical about things like sasquatches and yowies, Jenny’s account of the incident corroborated that of her partner:
Jenny continues the story:
“I’m the biggest sceptic – I have absolutely no time for that sort of thing – previous to this! [Laughs]
“When Dave looked at something [in the paddock] and said, ‘Oh, look at bigfoot!’ I just said, ‘Oh God’ and rolled my eyes, but then I looked at the horse in the paddock and saw that it was looking at something – and there was this thing running upright. And I turned to Dave and said, ‘Why is it running upright?’
“It was very chunky – a big barrel of a body, big arms. I couldn’t distinguish a head sitting on a neck, if you know what I mean. If you see a human at a distance, you can distinguish a head, neck and shoulders. But this thing was just like a shape.
“The arms seemed to be pumping, swinging. I could see a fur or hair covering. It looked shaggy: longer than, say, a horse’s coat– stringy, shaggy. I interpreted the colour to be caramel-blonde.”
“I thought ‘Why aren’t the horses and cows freaking out?’ If I run full pelt towards any of our animals in the paddock they generally spook. But these seemed pretty calm – they were just grazing – they looked at it, turned back, and kept grazing – it was really strange.
“I’m about five foot seven. I think it would have been at least seven foot [but] it might have been eight or nine feet – but it wasn’t the height that got me so much as that it was so thick – so wide. It was too big and moving way too quickly to be a man in a suit.
“I have no idea what it was. I’m as sceptical as they come – but I know I saw something running upright in the paddock and I have absolutely no explanation for it. I don’t like speculating, but it was not a misinterpretation – it was not a cow, it was not a horse, it was not a person!”
Two witnesses – one open to the possibility and another completely closed. Yet both see and describe the same creature.
It might be worth noting that the way the huge creature “sort of disappeared into thin air” as soon ran behind the tree is very reminiscent of the inexplicable vanishing of the small yowie in Jiggi Valley in 2003.
As sceptical readers pounce, gleefully, upon Dave’s mention of having watched many documentaries about the bigfoot/sasquatch mystery, we hasten to remind them that Jenny, who’d thought such programs utter rubbish, also clearly saw the huge, hairy biped cross their property.