Charters Towers, Queensland 1932
Location: Charters Towers, Queensland
Event: Yowie Sighting (referred to as Bunyips)
Date of report: Wednesday the 29th, 1992
Source: Article named “Beyond Belief”, by Tony Lambert
Witness: Bert Bagnall. (Who calls Yowie’s “Bunyips?”)
A North Queensland Prospector who’s had no less than six run-ins with the legendary Bunyip believes the creature may be old fossickers gone bush.
“I think this one’s a hermit who has given up mining as the gold run out and he has a fortune stashed away,” says the 83-year-old Bert Bagnall, who is now living in Townsville. “He keeps showing up every so often when he needs water and supplies such as wild fruit.”
In this instance Bert is referring to a confrontation at Charters Towers near an early gold mining site on Towers hill. But he believes many Bunyips could be old men who have deliberately bowed out of the rat race.
“I think that in all the places I’ve seen Bunyips they could well have been old miners who were not interested in being a part of normal life,” he says. Bert saw his first Bunyip in 1932.
He’d just shot a big saltwater Crocodile in a lagoon on Scartwater Station when he looked up and saw the creature on the opposite bank. “It was about 175cm tall, with lots of hair on it,” Bert recalls. “But it took off at great speed into the bush and I never even had time to fire at it.”
In the years since Bert’s seen Bunyips in Paluma (where, in the past decade, two people have mysteriously disappeared without a trace in the dense rain forests), near the Flinders river, at Charters Towers and at Ravenswood historical Cemetery, about 120km from Townsville.
Common to all the areas was an abundance of Kangaroo’s and Wallabies, which Bert believes the Bunyips eat, and gold mines.
Gold is the common thread to Bert’s sightings and adds weight to his old miner theory. It also helps to explain why Bert – a gold prospector himself – has seen so many Bunyips whereas other bushmen see none.
Bert has discovered a few promising nuggets at a spot between Townsville and Charters Towers and will shortly be returning there, with a friend to search for more gold.
He also fully expects to find more Bunyips but says he’s going there un-armed. “I just think the Bunyips just want to be left alone in peace and bloody Humans keep annoying them.”
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