Picton is a small country town about an hour’s drive south-west of Sydney. Originally a rest spot for travellers heading towards Melbourne, a highway bypass has made the village a quiet backwater, popular for its historical sites and panoramic views.
Sydney’s rapid growth has meant that Picton is now on the edge of the metropolitan area, although it’s still largely rural with a mix of dairy and other farms.
In May 2015 two locals had a startling encounter just outside the main township. The next day they dropped the following email to Dean Harrison’s AYR:
“While driving west along Picton Road, just past Maldon at 10.00 p.m. on Friday 1st May, 2015 our headlights picked up what appeared to be red eyes on the verge of the road in the distance. As we got closer a large human like, shaggy haired form was standing in the undergrowth. It turned its back to us and remained motionless as we passed. We were quite bewildered as to what we had just witnessed as it was definitely human-like, not an animal.”
I visited and interviewed both witnesses on May 3, only two days after their experience. The incident had occurred after an evening of bowling in Picton, as Greg and his mother Jill (real names on file) were driving to their home at about 10 PM.
Jill was at the wheel and, as they came around a bend well beyond the built-up area, Greg noticed a pair of red eyes just off the road ahead, on the left-hand side. They were not huge: “just normal – human sized” And they weren’t dazzlingly bright: “they were like when you get that redeye effect on a photo – like that – but they stood out from a long way off.”
The eyes were stationary at first, and “ … it wasn’t until the car’s headlights got onto it that it started to move, then, when the lights got fully on it, it turned its back and froze..”
Jill, intent on the road ahead, didn’t see the eyes, just the creature itself, as it was turning its back towards them: “…and then it just stood there, hunched and frozen, as we drove past.”
Cropster: “Could you describe it for me?”
Jill: “It reminded me of an orangutan, except that it was upright, and an orangutan is more red. This was more brown – but the hair was scraggy.”
Cropster: “Yes – I described it as chocolate brown and mum pretty much agreed. The hair was a bit wiry …”
Jill: “Yes – a bit like dreadlocks … but not matted.”
Greg: “It was standing upright, but the shoulders were pulled [hunched] forward. I’m about five foot ten, and this was easily another foot or so on me. It was well built, you know – like it had a healthy diet. The width of it really startled me, and I saw the long, shaggy hair – but in a human shape”
Jill: “It was just stocky, all proportionate – not obese – a good physique. It didn’t look threatening.”
Greg: “I wasn’t scared – just amazed …”
Cropster: “Could it have been a hoax – a guy in a suit?”
Jill: “No – not where it was, with nothing around to suggest that, and it was too big. And if someone was going to go to all that trouble, wouldn’t they jump out at you and go ‘Boo’ or something? Not just freeze there like that.”
Greg: “And if it was a suit, a person inside would have to have been twice my width and a foot and a half taller.”
Jill: “We see plenty of ‘roos and rock wallabies and deer. It was nothing like that.”
Greg: “After we’d driven past, mum said, ‘Did you see that?’ And it took me a couple of goes: “I think … I think … I think we’ve just seen a yowie!”
An interesting and impressive case. My full interview with Jill and Greg is below.