Roseberg State Forest, New South Wales 2013
Date of Sighting: 25/06/2013
Location of Sighting: Roseberg State Forest, NSW
Time of Day: 7:00pm
Details of Sighting:
On Monday 24th June 2013, I went to Roseberg State Forest (NSW) for a hunting / camping trip. I was camping by myself in a one person tent and was planning on staying there for 3 nights. The first day I was out there, nothing really happened. I set up camp and went out for a bit of a scout to try and find some game trails, then returned to camp around 4:00pm. It was raining the whole time I was there, so I was unable to start a fire. I went to bed around 6:00pm and slept the whole night.
The next morning, I checked around the camp to see if any animals (feral dogs, cats) had checked out the campsite. I saw, what appeared to be a large footprint in the sand, though I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, so I dismissed it. The footprint was a bit over 30cm in length, and about 20cm wide. There were no discernible toe prints, or anything really definitive about it. Though looking back, I guess the rain could probably have ruined it. It had a large heel print, with a clear arch in it before reaching the front of the foot. Dismissing it as my mind playing tricks, I did not get a photo.
I went out around 10:00am and went hunting. I covered most of the forest in this time. About 2:00pm, I was walking back to camp on one of the fire trails, when I got a really eerie sixth-sense feeling that I was being watched. Once again I dismissed it and kept walking. This is when the action started to happen.
As I was walking along the track, I heard some loud movement, about 70m to my left. Thinking it was game, I stopped and brought my binoculars up. I didn’t see anything and the noise stopped. I kept walking. About 25 metres later, I heard the noise again off to my left. Had a look, nothing. This happened about another 3 times all the way to camp. The noise was always parallel to me, like something was following me, but keeping its distance.
The sun came out for a bit and some of the dead wood was dried out. I started a small fire and finally had a decent feed and cuppa tea. It gets dark out there around 5:30pm, especially when there’s cloud cover. And when it gets dark, it gets pitch dark. I went to bed around 7:00pm that night.
Up until that point, I spent the evening sitting around the campfire. Every 30 minutes or so, I would hear a large crashing / banging noise about 100m away from me. Having grown up in the Blue Mountains, and being in the bush a bit, I know the sound of a tree falling, or a branch falling or trees creaking against each other. This sound, as deliberate, and it sounded like someone had a huge branch or log, and was hitting it against another tree, forcefully.
Remaining sceptical and telling myself that my mind is just playing tricks, I went to bed around 7:00pm. Before going to bed, I stoked up the fire, hoping it would burn until the morning, and I shone the torch (a very powerful Led Lenser MT7) around the campsite and didn’t see anything untoward.
I was in my sleeping bag for about a minute- 2 minutes. I was playing a game on my phone trying to kill some time when I heard these very loud, definitive thudding, kinda crashing footsteps come out of the woods up to my tent. These footsteps were big, and I mean BIG. Once it had reached my tent, it stopped. At this point, I was able to hear loud, deep breathing. As the animal was exhaling, it sounded almost like a growl of sorts. Occasionally I would also hear a grunting noise, which was deeper and louder.
I heard this animal walk down the length of the tent to where my feet were, then walk back up towards my upper torso / head area. I heard what sounded like rain on the tent, which I later found out was a bunch of dirt, which was sprinkled methodically and evenly across the top of the tent.
The next bit really scared me. The animal started pulling at the guy-ropes holding the tent down. It was always one rope, the rope near my head, on the furthest side away from the fire. It would pull the rope slowly, so the whole tent was pulling to one side, then it would let it go and watch the tent spring-back. I could also feel the guy rope vibrating afterwards. This occurred for about 5 minutes.
I was by now getting really, really scared. In my line of work, I have seen some of the worst of society, and not much scares me, but let me tell you, this was the most scared I have ever been in my life.
The fire was to the left of the tent, and the animal was to the right. The fire was putting a bit of light in the tent, so I was able to see what I was doing, including seeing the walls of the tent. I was so scared by this stage that I grabbed for my knife, which was in the tent with me, and slowly un-sheathed it. As I was pulling the knife out, bit by bit, every time it would make a bit of noise, the animal would stop and listen. Finally I got the knife out and just lay there, frozen with fear, trying to think of what I could do.
I started to think that if I don’t move, breathe or do anything, then the animal will just get bored, satisfy its curiosity and leave. By this stage, there was no way I was going to be able to sleep that night, or stay in the forest. I was going to pack up and leave the first opportunity I got.
As I was laying there, the scariest thing happened. The animal, which obviously had a hand, ran its hand down the entire length of the tent. Due to the light coming into the tent, I was able to see 4 fingers sticking into the canvas. The distance between the first finger and the fourth would’ve been about 8-10 inches.
After that, I made a rash decision. I wasn’t going to be terrorised in my tent all night. There was no way I was able to go to sleep, or stay in the forest. I had to get out and see what it was. I got out of my sleeping bag, purposefully making a bit of noise. As I unzipped the fly of the tent, I started yelling out, as loud as I could. I got out of the tent with my knife and torch and shone the torch all the way around as I was yelling. I guess this must’ve scared whatever the animal was because it was already taking off into the woods.
I did not see it, all I heard was very loud thumping footsteps running down the hill into the woods, into the pitch black darkness. I heard trees crashing and lots of noise with the footsteps, but this thing just kept on running, I would estimate about 300m away
I pulled the car around and turned on all the lights, foglights, high-beams, rear foglight, everything I could. I un-pegged the tent, and rolled up the entire thing with sleeping mat and sleeping bag still inside. Threw it all in the boot of the car and got out of there. I didn’t stop until I got back to my parents house in the Blue Mountains. When they saw me apparently I was shaking and was as white as a ghost.
I guess my yelling must’ve muffled the animals initial taking off into the woods, which is why I wasn’t able to see it. I was yelling from the moment I started unzipping the fly of the tent, which would’ve given it about a 10 second headstart on me.
I do have a few points though, which will mean that this was no ordinary animal.
Firstly, there’s the initial stalking in the afternoon, always parallel with me, plus the sixth sense feeling of being watched. No other animal other than a feral dog or human, will stalk another human. Roos, cats, goats, pigs, sheep, nearly everything you’ll find in the Australian Bush would prefer to avoid humans, they just run off.
Secondly, the branches being smashed against the trees. The noise of this was definite and purposeful. No other animal I know of will behave like this, or have the dexterity in their limbs to physically carry out the task.
Thirdly, the size and weight of this thing as it was approaching the tent. This thing was huge. Yeah, admittedly roos and wallabies do make loud thudding noises as they jump, but they don’t come and check out the campsite the way this thing did.
I swear I could feel the ground vibrating as it was walking.
Fourthly, the dirt being sprinkled on the tent, plus the tugging on the guy ropes. I don’t need to point out that this is not normal behaviour, but what I will make note of, is that, similar to the tree bashing, no other animal other than a human has the dexterity to do this.
Finally, and this is largely why I do not believe this was another human. No animal I know, of that size, has the ability to run, fast, through the middle of the woods, in pitch black darkness. I mean there were rock ledges, fallen trees, stumps, lots of hazards, and this thing just went straight through the woods, at speed. Humans do not have the eyesight to do this. Even if your eyes became accustomed to the darkness, the light of the fire would’ve made them un-accustomed again.
So, after getting home, I decided to do some digging. I found another YouTube video which has almost exactly the same breathing in it that I heard. It can be found in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85ZynNUsGEQ and the audio clip starts around 12:40. This also has similar footsteps, though the ones I heard had more of a thud noise to them, as opposed to the ones in the clip which sounds more like breaking sticks. This can be attributed to having more sand, charcoal and grass around my camp I believe
So like I said, while I never saw what it was, it was definitely something which was curious of my presence, and it was big and fast. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I had stayed out there, to be honest, I’m glad I didn’t find out.
Feel free to contact me via e-mail if you have any information you can give me, or have any further questions.
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