Gatton, Queensland 1998
Location: Gatton, Queensland
Event: Yowie Sighting
Source: Research interview by Malcolm Smith.
Gatton is a medium size country town 53 miles west of Brisbane, at 27 degrees 32 S, 152 degrees 14 E. It is the center of a thriving Agricultural area and, indeed, possesses an Agricultural College. Nearby lies an extensive State Forest, consisting of dense strands of Eucalyptus. It is not a place where you would expect anything unusual to take place.
On Monday 9th of February 1998 I received a phone call from a man who asked if I knew anything about Yowies. I said yes. As I explained in issue 17 of the Bigfoot Track Record, the Yowie is the Australian version of the North American Bigfoot, from which it varies by only slight racial differences.
My caller had originally contacted Dr. Ralph Molnar of the Queensland Museum, who had passed him on to me. At first he refused to give his last name until I gained his confidence. He insisted that if I were to ever mention it, he would deny everything. However, a short while before, two of his friends had seen a Yowie on the outskirts of Gatton, and were so terrified they didn’t speak about it for days. Furthermore, their position in the community is such that they are particularly vulnerable to public ridicule. It was a condition of our interview that the names of everybody involved, be kept completely confidential. I therefore feel constrained not to mention their names.
On Saturday 21 February I traveled to Gatton, and interviewed the two witnesses. They were:
The Father, aged 54, Pensioner.
The son, aged 21, employed in computer graphics.
The wife and mother, was in the back seat, and saw only a “shadow”.
I asked the son to leave before interviewing his father. When that interview was over, I interviewed the son. Afterwards, they took me to the site of the incident.
The fathers testimony:
He said the event took place on Monday night two weeks before. That would make it the 9th of February. However, as his friend had phoned me on that date, I feel it was more likely to have need the 2nd of February.
The sighting took place at 11.30pm. They driving home from Toowoomba in a Toyota, he in the drivers seat, his son next to him, and his wife in the back. He had turned left into a road which had farmland with a wire fence on the left, and suburbia on the right. His lights were on high beam. Suddenly, he saw an animal on the left of the road, on the road side of the fence. It ran across the road from left to right, about 20 yards away, right in his headlights, and passed behind a blue van on the other side of the road.
At first he said nothing, because he thought his eyes had deceived him. Then his wife cried out, “you’re going to hit someone!” and the son said, “What is that?”
What he saw was a Hominid shape about 2 ½ metres tall. When I stretched my arms above my head (8ft 2in), he said that was about right.
It ran across the road very quickly and very lightly – more so than a human being. The foot appeared to be different to a man’s – not the ball, but the heal. However, he couldn’t say exactly how. The animal was seen only from the side, and he couldn’t see its face. It was about as slim as me (I am 6ft tall and weigh 179lb), and was covered with a light brown hair, like a Monkeys hair. When I asked how long the hair was, he held his hands about 8” apart. The hair on its head was not long. It moved its arms as it ran. He assumed it was a male because he saw no breasts.
The sons testimony:
The event took place about 11.30pm about 2 weeks before. He thought it was a Thursday, but his mother corrected him and said Monday. He confirmed the location. There was a moon, but not very bright, and there were no street lights in the area. The car’s headlights were on high beam.
He first saw it on the left hand side, on the road side of the fence. It was “traveling” at the time, but in the shadows, and he could not work out what it was. That farm often has cows present, but it was neither a cow nor a Kangaroo.
When the car was about 15-20 yards away, it broke and ran across the road into the beam of the headlights. It ran like a man, but much faster, leaning slightly forward, with its arms moving slightly, but not pumping like a mans would. The house where it ran to had pine trees, and a white van parked there as well. (His mother than corrected him: the van is always there, and it is a very pale blue, almost white.)
The animal was very tall – easily 6ft, maybe 7 or 8ft. It was covered with brown fur, not very thick, and fairly short. He recognized it as fur because it had the same effect in the headlights as a Kangaroos has. The head hair was not long like a woman’s, but there was a lot of hair around the head. He didn’t see any neck. The body was slim, but because it was taller than me, it may have been more heavily built. He could not tell the sex. The arms appeared longer than normal, but that may have been because the body was stooped. The legs looked long, but that may have been because it was running on its toes.
The site was actually only a couple of hundred only a couple of hundred yards around the corner from their own home (one of the reasons they were so scared). It is actually on the outskirts of town, the road separating suburbia from the farmland. The road is bituminized, and a normal width suburban street. It is obvious that the sighting would have only lasted s few seconds, but the son says it is burnt into his brain.
The road actually faces downhill. You look over a field of vegetables, and a creek leading to Gatton State Forest, which covers the whole of the horizon, and is obviously dense and extensive. On the left hand side is a barbed wire fence about 3 feet high, or even less, almost obscured by tall grass on the road margin (but not much behind the fence, where it presumably subject to grazing). The raod slopes down very sharply to a creek. There are only a few trees on the farm, but the creek is completely obscured by a thick belt of trees.
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