Mudgee, New South Wales 1998
Location: Mudgee, New South Wales
About ten years ago I was invited to take part on a recreation of an early settler type hunting trip at a secluded location near Mudgee NSW. Using nothing but correct period clothing, camping gear and muskets, the object was to ascertain the possible failure or success of early period hunters in an unfamiliar land.
The property was a few kilometres from Mudgee and very secluded. The owner of the property was very sensitive about letting strangers on the property as he claimed that there were native artefacts on the sight and he didn't want any of the drama associated with such discoveries.
Because of this shooters and outsiders were never given access to the place so natural wild life was in abundance. Also in large numbers on the site were feral goats.(we were to discount them as game as they would not have existed during the time period being researched.) There was six of us, all experienced musket shooters, some of the guys having varying degrees of military training.
The property was mountainous in some areas with thick to light foliage. In between were flat plains type areas. We parked the vehicles at a gate, geared up and prepared to leave the twentieth century behind.
Picking out the highest peak on the place as the best vantage point we began what became a two hour uphill slog. At the top of the peak was a fantastic view of the whole area in every direction. The peak was capped with a large flat rock about 20 to 25 metres across. At both sides of the clearing stood stone cairns.
Each carefully built using fist sized rocks. The member of the group who had organized the access told us that these were some of the artefacts. Don't touch them and don't tell anyone where they are. We examined them with fascination for sometime, a couple of us querying their origins. Surely native artefacts couldn't stand for such a long time in such a windswept area with so much wild life. The contact told us that these things were dotted all over the property.
After an afternoon making a lot of noise with the muskets we returned to the high vantage point and set up a small camp in a clearing just down in a sheltered spot nearby. We broke out back up rations.(hunting had been unsuccessful). After the meal was consumed it became dark and we sat around the camp fire discussing the time period in question.
We had set up our individual one man tents and lean-to's in a circle around the fire. One by one we went back to our tents.
The forest had taken on an eerie feel during the course of the evening, but we put that down to some of the stories we had been telling. The last guy to go to bed sat up and oiled the hammer action of his musket before he turned in. He said he could hear something large moving in the scrub nearby and heard the occasional snorting noise. We had heard this a couple of times during the night and had put it down to feral pigs.
He later told me that when he stood up to go to his tent the noises stopped. He felt a little uneasy and as precaution cradled his musket as he bedded down. He lay in his tent for a while listening to the sounds of the bush and the occasional snore or cough from the surrounding tents. He told me later that whenever this happened things would go quite again for a few minutes.
He also said that after what felt like two to three hours something had moved very closed to the camp.
IT was moving in like a person trying not to be heard, the occasional twig snapping under foot, slight bush rustling type noises, but every now and then he heard the occasional grunt and a loud sniffing sound. This continued for a while and he began to feel worried as the sounds began to sound as if they were coming from the edge of the tent line.
Thinking that it was someone local hoping to steal something of value he cocked the hammer of his musket. When he done this a voice in the tent next door whispered his name and asked if he was awake. He whispered in the affirmative and asked if the other following was hearing anything., he also replied in the affirmative and cocked his musket. The second fellow advised they lay still.
Both later confirmed whoever it was began to carefully move away from the camp. After moving a few metres away it stayed in the area for a while moving in circles around the camp until disappearing completely an hour before sunrise.
The next morning both asked the rest of us if we had slept ok. They both began to cautiously tell their stories. The second fellow was a Vietnam vet, he said while he felt a little uneasy when he bedded down he wasn't worried.
He awoke later in the night with an overpowering feeling that something was wrong. He listened to the sounds of what to him sounded like someone stalking the camp for about an hour and a half before he neared the first bloke cock his musket. He also said he hoped it was locals looking to scare us, but whatever it was it sounded very large and heavy. He also explained that his overwhelming feeling of dread rooted him to the spot.
Both men also mentioned a faint stench like rotten eggs. Both men had read accounts of yowies before and began to put voice to this. At this the site contact began to loudly ridicule them. We checked around the area after breakfast. The ground was hard and rocky there was no sign of tracks. All the wild life in the area was gone.( that could have been from the previous days shooting.)
The site contact became agitated and quite damming in his comments at this point. Afterwards both men were reluctant to discuss the matter.
I have spoken to both individually and together since. Neither man will mention it to anyone who wasn't there but both men agree that they were very worried by this thing and both felt it had the potential to do us great harm.
© Copyright AYR
Australian Yowie Research - Data Base