2006 - BOOK REVIEW - The Yowie
The Yowie – In Search Of Australia’s Bigfoot
by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper
At last! AYR has just received an advance copy of The Yowie – In Search Of Australia’s Bigfoot, the book that Tony Healy and Paul Cropper have been working on for the past seven years. It was worth the wait: this book is far and away the best thing ever written about the yowie mystery. It is destined to become an instant cryptozoological classic.
Healy and Cropper are two of Australia’s most experienced cryptozoologists. Over the past 30 years they have, individually or together, searched for hairy giants, lake monsters, out-of-place big cats and other semi-legendary animals in Fiji, North America, the Bahamas, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Nepal, Malaysia and in every state and territory of Australia.
They have collaborated on many projects, notably in co-authoring Out of the Shadows, Mystery Animals of Australia (Ironbark/Pan Macmillan, 1994), which contained, in addition to chapters about the Tasmanian Tiger, Alien big cats (the Emmaville Panther and company), the Queensland Marsupial Tiger Cat and the bunyip, a lengthy chapter about the elusive yowie.
In this new, 300-page book, which contains scores of photographs and eyewitness sketches, a dozen maps, an index, a comprehensive bibliography and a 282-item Catalogue of Cases, they focus entirely on the yowie phenomenon.
As visitors to the AYR website already know, Australia’s Aborigines have many ancient traditions concerning the frightening "Hairy Man" of the mountains, which different language groups know by many different names, including doolagarl, thoolagarl, jurrawarra and tjangara. This book contains a great deal of that tribal lore, including tales of sporadic warfare between the hairy giants and Aborigines, not only in centuries past, but also in surprisingly recent times.
By the mid 1800s, Australia's white pioneers had joined the Aborigines in reporting sightings of the huge, apelike creatures and their enormously long footprints. The authors devote a long, well documented chapter to those colonial era reports, pointing out the similarities they bear to Aboriginal yowie lore and to eyewitness reports of the modern era.
This book, then, chronicles the yowie sagafrom the pre-colonial era to the present day. It contains 282 carefully documented eyewitness reports – many of which involve trained observers such as rangers, naturalists, surveyors and soldiers (including members of the elite SAS). The sightings experienced by Dean Harrison and his AYR associates Ashley Mills, Steve Bott and Rob Millar are covered in detail. The authors, in fact, give a great deal of credit to AYR, and gratefully acknowledge the help that Dean, in particular, gave them in contacting eyewitnesses.
In addition to the eyewitness testimony, the authors present and analyse a great deal of other evidence, such as footprint casts, tree bites and “yowie nests” – one of which was discovered by a team of scientists led by “The Bush Tucker Man”, Major Les Hiddens. They also critically examine the many theories that have been put forward to explain – or explain away – Australia’s most baffling zoological mystery.
Although most witnesses describe hairy, ape-like creatures between five and eight feet in height, the authors have collected many reports of little hairy hominids. Aboriginal people refer to the smaller type as (among many other names) junjudees and invariably insist they not juvenile yowies, but an entirely different type of creature. This might seem rather confusing, but as Cropper and Healy unveil the massive amount of data in their yowie and junjudee files and examine various theories relating to the origin of both creatures, considerable light is shed on the matter. One particularly interesting theory that they explore is a possible relationship between junjudees and the hobbit-sized human remains of Homo floresiensis, recently discovered on the island of Flores, just north of Australia.
Yowie, yahoo, dulagarl, thoolagarl, wawee, jurrawarra, noocoonah, tjangara - Australia’s Great Hairy Man goes by many names – and is one of the world’s greatest zoological or anthropological mysteries. Like their friends here at AYR, Tony and Paul are on an exciting quest. In this book, with them at the wheel, the reader can take part in an entertaining and very enlightening expedition into darkest Yowie Land.
Details on the release date and how to secure your very own copy will be posted soon...