Mount George NSW July 2009


See Update Below: On April 23, 2006, at least 6 people (two couples and two male bush-walkers) heard strange “bellowing” sounds and saw what they described to Parks officials as a “big ape” at Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge in the Tarra-Bulga National Park.  The case may also may involve a photograph.

I first heard of the case in late 2006, and for a long while had difficulty locating the original media report and any of the witnesses. Finally, with the help of Craig Campbell of Victorian Parks (big thanks Craig), I was able to get a copy of the tape and contact the primary witness, Mike Skelton (who is featured in the news clip above).

I interviewed Mike in early 2007.  He was a really impressive witness. There’s no question he saw something unusual that day. Here’s my first excerpt from the full interview - please note this a 9Mb audio file.

Read the full interview transcript here.

After further investigation - and with the (welcome) assistance of Craig - I was able to obtain copies of reports (shown below) lodged with Victorian Parks that day. Interestingly, along with Mike’s report, there is another note made the same day by Parks personnel detailing another sighting by a woman of something “large and ape-like” at the same spot (Corrigans Suspension Bridge).

As the interview reveals, Mike had a camera when he saw the creature but, assuming it was some kind of hoax or joke, didn’t take a shot. The photo above was taken by his wife a few minutes after his encounter. Mike tells me that he later spoke to the family standing behind him, and they stated they had also heard the strange bellowing sounds. They had no idea what it was.

                       Weird Coincidence

Tony Healy commented to me on this strange coincidence. UK magazine Fortean Times for April 2006 featured an article on various mystery monsters, including the yowie. The cover featured - wait for it - a swing bridge, with 2 guys with backpacks situated above a Chewbacca-like creature with large fangs!  Its roughly the same encounter, in the same month as the Tarra-Bulga report. When did this edition hit the Australian market? Not sure, but probably before the 23rd.

On the evening of 31 July 2009, two Wingham (NSW) women sighted an eight foot tall hairy creature standing motionless beside Nowendoc Road, about 6 kilometres outside the township of Mount George. On 30/31 August I visited Wingham, interviewed both women and found their stories impressive.

Original NBN (Newcastle) TV News Report on the sighting (5 August) is here:

The local newspaper, The Manning River Times, ran an item on August 7:

Yowie sighting near Mount George


7/08/2009 9:24:00 AM

LAST Friday night, Faye Burke and her cousin Alana Garnett left their homes in Wingham with a trailer attached to the car.

They were driving towards Cundle Flat to load the trailer with fresh pumpkins from Faye's brother's home.

"It was half moonlight, the stars were out and it was a beautiful night," Faye said.

But oddly enough there was not a car on the Nowendoc Road. "I have been driving that road all my life and that's unusual," she said. Driving steadily the pair were approaching Connelly's Creek Gap "just on the other side of Mt George".

"We were about 200 metres from the top of the hill when I clearly remember looking down at the car clock and it was exactly 7.30pm," Faye said.

"I looked back up at the road and I saw ahead in the headlights this big hairy animal thing on the side of the winding road.

"It was about eight foot tall and four foot wide."

Alana said they yelled out "holy hell" along with a list of other unmentionable words. "We panicked," they said.

"I couldn't turn the car around because I had the trailer and the road was too narrow," Faye said.

"I was s**t-scared and thought I better not mess with this thing in case it lifts the trailer up and tips us over the bank edge."

Keeping her foot on the accelerator and speeding past the thing, Faye said she turned to Alana and said: "Did you see that? She said in a scared voice: 'Do you mean that thing that looked like a Big Foot?' I said: No it was a Yowie."

And Alana screamed back: "Same thing!".

"After we reached the top of the hill I wanted to turn around and get a photo with my mobile phone," Faye said.

But Alana was too scared to go back. She said if the passenger window had been wound down she could have reached out and touched it. Faye and Alana said the hairy thing stood perfectly still "like it was at attention".

"Its back was facing us and it was looking into the embankment next to the road and it had dark chocolate brown hair which was all matted," Alana said.

"The breeze of the car made the hair around its neck flick up as we drove past."

Neither Alana or Faye believe it was a person dressed up or a ghost. "It was real," they said.

"And I am absolutely convinced it was a yowie."

Faye just wishes she had gone back and taken a photo.

"I knew people wouldn't believe us and I didn't phone the police because I thought they would think we were loopy."

Faye said: "I am not a drinker and I hadn't been drinking but I did have a beer when I got to my brother's house that night.

"When we arrived at my brother's house we almost fell out of the car," she said. "He told us we both had white faces and we were both trying to tell our story at the same time."

They returned to the exact location the next morning to attempt to find hair samples and footprints and take photos.

"We didn't find any hair but we found an indentation in the ground resembling a giant footprint and a big spot of urine."

She said the urine had stripped part of the bark near a tree and looked like oily spots - "and it stunk".

"I will never forget what we saw," Faye said.

And it is an image neither can take out of their mind.

"I can't sleep at night because I can't stop thinking about it," Faye said.

And Alana said she still sees it when she closes her eyes and tries to go to sleep.

Miraculously when Faye was printing out her photos of the footprint at Big W in Taree, with her daughter, a woman next to her heard her conversation and said she saw a Yowie in Grafton.

"The goose bumps came all over me, up from my heel right up to my head, and I thought thank God for the confirmation that there are other people who have seen one too," Faye said

"I will never stop looking for it." But Alana believes "it is something they will never see again".

Faye’s Sketch

Alana’s Sketch

The Witnesses at the Sighting Location