Location: North Aramara, Queensland
Event: Yowie Sighting
Title: "The Yowie Hunters"
Authors note: The newspaper of the 11th March 2000 was headed: "The Yowie Hunters". "To some it's just a huge, hairy joke, but 12 deadly serious men plan to search for that ape-like and always elusive creature, the yowie".
It's vivid in my memory to this day although the incident occurred some 50 years ago. My memory has been jolted due to the reports recently in Australian newspapers and in particular an article in our local paper the Northern Territory News Saturday the 11th March 2000.
I was about ten years of age. My dad owned a pineapple farm in the hill country and scrubby ranges at North Aramara which was a small settlement some forty miles in the hinterland of Maryborough in Southern Queensland.
On the weekends, I would peddle my bicycle about six miles and stay for the weekends with folks by the name of the Johnson's. Charlie Johnson worked at the local sawmill, Mrs Violet Johnson was the local Post Mistress and Telephone Exchange Operator and the Johnson's also owned property and ran a herd of dairy cows.
Plenty of hands were there to milk the cows as Charlie and Violet had produced a small "tribe" of Kids, and the ritual seven days a week night and morning was to hand milk the herd, and then crank up the old "pom pom" diesel engine to drive the cream separator to fill the cans with cream for the carrier to take to the butter factory.
I joined in all the activity and one of our tasks was to go out into the paddock and fetch the herd for milking. There was a large portion of the property we called "the flat" which was open grassland but the further end of the property went up onto the ranges which were covered with eucalypt forest and in some sections thick lantana scrub.
We three boys Errol, Bevan and myself followed the cow trail up the ridge of the range to where we could hear several of the cowbells jingling in the far distance. Accompanying us were the Johnson's three dogs, one of which carried the reputation of a fearless fighter who would "have a go at anything".
Much of the herd had decided to really go bush this day and they were way at the back of the property on the highest portion of the range where it bordered onto thick scrub.
We had sighted some of the milkers, -they were really quiet most of the time and we normally could go to sleep leaning against their warm flanks while milking them- when one of the bell carriers gave a startled jump and proceeded to run towards us.
The occasional jangle of the cowbells turned into a cacophony of sound much like the mad ringer of "Notre Dame" as our "docile bovines" from their leading noses to the tip of their straight out tails tore past us gathering their kind until some forty odd beasts were in stampede down the range.
"Pup", the leading dog, the fearless "mongrel", scared of nothing, gave a yelp spun around and scooted after the cattle followed by his two canine companions. They all had one thing in common, their spinal hair had been instantly ridge backed and unlike the cows, their tails were between their legs.
We boys were somewhat perplexed, as we could see nothing to warrant this bizarre behaviour. Of course I now realize that the cattle and the dogs were able to detect something unusual before we human beings were able to.
Then we saw it. I can only describe it as a wooden wine barrel size object covered in jet black hair with indistinguishable facial features. It was moving over the ground very quickly towards us with a peculiar upright lumbering gait and we could hear it uttering guttural grunting sounds.
I'm not sure who was first to reach the gates of the paddock some two miles below. It may have been the milking herd or the dog's, but one thing I am sure of we three boys would not have been far behind, we broke the four minute mile. Charlie Johnson "tore strips" of us boy's as he and others in the family observed the "lickety split" flight of the milking herd, dog's and boys and naturally drew the conclusion that we were to blame for running the cattle.
"How the hell are we ever going to get any milk from these cows tonight", Charlie exclaimed -we all knew that running a heard of milkers made them withhold their milk. No one to my knowledge had encountered or heard much of the YOWIE at that time and how could you explain to others that we were all chased of the mountain by an apparently large black ball of hair that was grunting at us.
The YOWIE is real, I've seen it.
© Copyright Michael John Meech March 2000
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