Ormeau, Queensland 2003
Location: Ormeau, Queensland
Event: AYR Yowie Payback
Date: Oct, 2003
Source: SASR Personnel.
AYR requested help from friends in the SAS after too many bad reports of the Ormeau Yowie. We simply wanted to try and scare it, however after this report, it was stilling coming back.
10th October 2003 - Area of Operations (AO) Ormeau Area, approx 750m off
Weather Conditions - 5/8ths cloud cover, strong to very strong southerly
Area - Steeply sloping bushland developing into semi-dense bush with some
selectively cleared areas, closest dwelling approx 1.5km.
After drop off by my second, (name witheld - dubbed N) conducted a good
recce of the area. After speaking to Jason I was sure this was the area
which he described as there was evidence of tree felling and clearing still
apparent. N had a good 3km to run back after securing vehicle. We both then
hid our gear etc. and conducted an extensive 2hr recce down and about in a
quartering search encompassing 150 degrees. No evidence of any recent human
activity although bush was extremely quiet except for the wind (which may
have been a factor). No evidence of anything other than a few roo and fox
tracks barely discernible.
1750 - Arrived back at gear and set up sniping/listening position in dense
lantana 15m down slope slightly right. From outside assessed camouflage and
found it to be good with just cams on, with Ghillie suit (yowie suit lol)
excellent. GenIII headmount monocular nvg, 10x Unertl high lightsource scope
gave good-very good view of target area after dark. Weapon was zeroed and
grouped at 200m one day prior, shooting less than minute of arc at 200.
Loaded with match class 7.62x51mm boatail Nato rounds. Personal weapons
carried in quick draw thigh holsters (Sig Sauer P226 .45 standard issue,
1830 - N left for scout down road in shorts and tshirt in case he ran into
anybody and to also give me a chance to settle in and listen/look etc.
1850 - N arrives back, nothing to report, as previously decided he dresses
just in cams and proceeds to set up a small camp with fire (enclosed due to
wind) and began to cook a few snags and mushrooms. Communications was via
UHF taccoms throat mics and earpiece (standard issue).
1930 - Nothing to report (NTR)
2030 - NTR - Wind dropped off to negligible
2130 - Sweep with nvg's picked up movement at my 10, N reported that he
could hear twigs breaking etc. Closer look with scope at 4x revealed a fox,
probably coming in due to smell of cooking meat.
2230 - NTR
0113 11th Oct - Heavy movement heard through undergrowth at exactly my 12 by
both N and I. Becoming very overcast and nv less effective. Sounded close
and very heavy, no other sounds, surrounding area very quiet, no bird or
other noise. N went to ground directly below my position in good cover.
Waited, nothing further. Believe that whatever it was, was quite close to
edge of bush and may have either seen or smelt N's campsite and either
watched or quietly went away.
Nothing to report until 0423 - N asleep in position below me, loud crash
like large sapling falling and loud thump followed by extremely loud
scream/growl. May have been target or may have been koalas. N awake and at
ready position, nothing seen in direction through n/v no further sounds,
decided to stay locked and cocked regardless.
0600 - N proceeded on 360 degree patrol sweep around AO, found largish dead
tree freshly broken on ground in approximate area of sound last night, no
footprints but some scuffing around base and fresh tears in wood about 7ft
up length. Pulled out of position and had breakfast, couple of hours sleep
1123 - Bush surrounding AO suddenly very still, acknowledged by N and
myself, kept still (not in position). 5 mins, nothing heard or seen, noises
returned (may have been fox again).
1300 - Having seen no-one we decided to set up a defensive perimeter with 4
rattle traps, 3 illumination flares and 3 tripped flashbangs at varying
distances across open face of area and one each over crest of hill behind as
we felt exposed from behind throughout night before. Completed perimeter at
1500, returned to site for drink etc.
1700 - Final patrol sweep, assessed trips as functioning, returned and got
into position. N took two IR fireflies to set off if need be. These are like
a flashing high powered strobe but emit in Infrared spectrum and can only be
seen by those with IR or NV gear.
1830 - NTR
1930 - Light rain began to fall, no wind, no problem.
2030 - NTR
2100 - Rain stopped, N started fire and began to cook snags, bacon and
mushrooms for his feast tonight. (bastard, I'm starving).
2122 - Silence suddenly, heavy movement to our 10 oclock moving through 11.
N reports that he can see a large shape at his 12, my 2. Swept area with n/v
and scope at 5x, id'd shape and confirmed contact with N.
Contact Report Follows -
At approx 2125 a large (over 7ft) tall figure was identified at a distance
of approx 45m standing left side on to my position facing N's position more
or less straight on to him. I went to instant (safety off, round loaded,
target identified). N remained still although he later said that he lost
sight of target and also went to instant. I tracked figure moving through nv
and scope across front of position, looked like it deliberately missed the
rattle traps. Kept N updated on position of target as he began a tactical
withdrawal to my position. Unfortunately we were upwind of target giving a
good indication of our positions although we had both not showered for 4
days and the ghillie suit is covered in hessian/cow shit/dirt/leaves i.e.
At no time did I or we believe that what we saw was a human.
After approx 30mins of walking back and forth across the SW arc of site,
target seemed to withdraw.
2213 - No_2 flashbang was tripped closely followed by No_1. Trips were 10m
apart. Came alert and went to instant. N in position with nv sight, my nv
blacked by flash and eyes taking a long time to come back. N reports heavy
movement at 12 o'clock, No_3 flashbang tripped, large bang, loud screaming
grunting noise heard thrashing etc. nv came back online, eyes adjusted, N
tracked target and gave me the dope, id'd target at approx 50m, large (male)
hominid proceeding quickly across our front, at instant, decided to take
shot as target entered my line of sight.
Target switched direction, N tracking via nv, took hurried shot now to scare it off. 1st shot close by
left shoulder, remaining five shots put down in area last seen at tree,
later all confirmed hits, no exit marks, safe shoot. Went tactical, dumped
long arm, switched to personal weapons and began to track target via noise.
Still loud crashing, grunting and occasional scream approx 100m ahead
Moving at fast patrol pace, stopped at edge of medium sized
clearing, target now stopped, no noise, swept area for a good 3mins, no
sighting. N threw three flashbangs across our front and one to our rear.
Noise began again, more aggressive this time, smaller trees at our 9 oclock
shaking. N put 11 shots into a stump at 20m range, crashing began again.
Pursuit had been ongoing now for approx 2hrs in a NW/NNW direction. We were
slowly falling behind to a distance of about 200m. Came to large clearing,
cleared and target id'd via sound at our 11 o'clock. Both N and I tossed last
2 flashbangs in area of target, loud enraged screaming retreated, N and
myself emptied magazines into a tree rapidly and began a backtrack to our
site. Nothing more heard or seen. Gathered up spent shells, pulled out.
0120 approx - Pulled in laying up position and packed up, dismantled trips.
We were worried that police may have been alerted by noise we made etc.
Sanitised area as best we could and left paralleling Barrenjoey to vehicle
0155 - Successfully egressed area.
END OF REPORT.
Checks were done by both of us the following day and last weekend
(18th-19th) we staged the same trap although it was pissing down rain.
Nothing seen, a large sweep out to our last contact point (verified by
bullet holes in tree) gave absolutely no indication of activity. Many prints
were seen left by foxes, roos, birds, cats etc. nothing even vaguely human.
I believe we did what we set out to do, a clean operation with no reason to
tap anything. I am of the opinion that the target was scared away, and
although territorial, has now been scared off for good. I will continue to
check area. Some photos were taken through the kitesite but are almost
black, standby (when I get them from N) for recce photos during the day of
Dean - Can you confirm no shots hit the target? T - Confirmed, no hits, no blood
trail, all rounds accounted for.
Dean - What are your thoughts on the behaviour of the creature? Aggressor or
T - At first, curious but then, I and N believe that he had decided
that there was only one person alone and became threatening and vocal.
Dean - Do you feel this character would have been a threat if you were sighted by
the creature alone and an-armed during the night? (Curious or bad
T - No doubt about it, yes. I was pretty shaken the whole time
as was N, we just relied on our professionalism and experience to carry on.
Believe me a couple of times we just wanted to lay down suppressing fire and
haul ass out of there. I am still wishing that I had taken the M40 with me
on the pursuit, as if I had I most probably would have dropped the creature.
Dean - At any stage did he attempt an advance on you?
T - Not as such, but he did
try to flank us and did slow down and speed up with occasional stops to
stand his ground as it were.
Dean - Can you describe his vocal capacity (what did it most liken)
T - Deep, rumbling screech with a high pitch at the end. Hard to say, most like a
very big enraged pig or like a deeper chimpanzee noise that you hear on
Dean - Are you making an official report within your agency?
T - No.
Dean - T, it sounds like this one WAS a real danger. You agreed that its a
threat, but I wonder just how much of a threat? If, again, you were alone at
night and un-armed and you were deeply obligated well into the forest at
night - what, in your opinion would be the outcome for you? If its not a
good prognosis, then would you agree that others may not have been so
fortunate in the past?
T - Hard for me to say exactly, although as stated previously it scared 2
SASR snipers who have both been in the Gulf, Somalia, Timor and Afghanistan
enough to want to retreat. I think that if you were alone and unarmed well
deep into the bush and this thing decided it didn't like you, well, that's
all she wrote. I certainly believe that people may have been taken or
attacked by it as it was certainly aggressive enough. Imagine anything else
having two armed blokes in pursuit, with loud bangs and gunfire. Anything
or anybody else would have been long gone, but this thing seemed like we had
to really force it every step. I don't like to think if it had actually
been able to flank us or if we were unarmed. I reckon the flashbangs were
the big factor in scaring it off. So in short after that ramble, yes I
think it is possible that had any people met this creature alone, in it's
territory they would be very lucky to get out unscathed if at all. As I
stated, it was probably one of the scariest few hours I have experienced.
By the way I neglected to mention that at only one time did we detect any
sulphorous like smell and that was during the initial contact when it set
off the trips. The smell seemed to linger in the area when we went through
there after it.
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