Location: Tully, Queensland
Event: Yowie Sighting During Army / Military Training Op’s.
Date: 1982 - 1985
We loaded all the gear on to our backs and began the two-day descent into the valley of the Russell River. One thing I should quickly tell you about here is the tracks and trails of the Aboriginal people through the scrub country were made great use of by Palmerston when he roamed about the place, and we did the exact same thing as those tracks were at times very clear and obvious.
In fact I often wish I had taken some photographs of some of those track systems as they were quite startling even a hundred years or so after they were last used.
The root system of the various rainforest giant trees on either side of the track showed the signs of constant wear by hundreds of years of padding bare feet stepping on them. For instance as the roots slowly tried to grow their way across the track, over many many years, the height of the root was much greater either side of the foot track because the treading feet over time, walking and treading on the roots every single day for generation after generation, had restricted the normal growth and size of the root where it crossed the track.
Sometimes you could see the corridor of these tracks stretching for a good 50m at a time. It looked just as the forest had decided to grow around the sides and over the top of a large invisible tube threading itself across the ground. Quite strange really.
The first night in the scrub saw us camped about a kilometre and a half from our destination. Up in that country it takes a good hour to move 1km through the scrub so it’s fairly slow going. It was the next morning that we came across something that no one in the entire party could explain.
It was something that none of us had ever encountered before and left us quite baffled. Having moved out of our overnight harbour area and travelled barely a couple of hundred yards, the forward scout came across this very strange construction on the ground. Someone or something constructed a rectangular sleeping mat on the ground made from fronds.
It was perhaps a little over a metre long and a metre wide. This mat had been slept on that very night and the vegetation that made up the mat was extremely fresh. And guess what sort of fronds they were? Yep, Calamus sp.
We all stood around examining this strange discovery and tossed the various options of what it was and what made it in the air. None of us could come up with any sort of logical answer. We examined the fronds to see if they had been cut with some sort of sharp object but that was not the case. They had been chewed off from the main vine, not cut.
One of the party, Dr John Campbell our expedition archaeologist, said that “If I were anywhere but here in Australia, I would have to say that was a primate nest”. Now there is some food for thought, and here is a bit more to digest. A few years later, some of our Special Air Service (SAS) people were doing some of their sneaky Pete stuff up in the rainforest at the Tully Battle School and the year was 1985.
Remember that our SAS people are trained as accurate and reliable observers among other things. It simply would not be worth their careers to concoct a story, and yet the statement you have here is beyond the bounds of present accepted knowledge.
Take a Look at this: Statement by Cpl J Webster Trg Sqn. SASR on the sighting of the unknown creature (Melon Bay). On the 23rd July while working in the Downey Creek area of the Palmerston National Park, I observed a creature, not animal or man. A number of us had arrived about an hour earlier by Land Rover, 10 in all. We had camped 15-20 metres off the track among trees, in the bush. I had gone back to the vehicle to gather some stores. Upon arriving there, I saw the creature about 50 metres away, on the side of the track. It was rubbing itself against a tree, as it saw me it stood up on it’s two legs, stared at me for a few seconds then walked off into the scrub – 29 Jul 85 J Webster.
It was indeed a brave move by Corporal Webster to put pen to paper and make this statement. He was also motivated enough to provide us with a sketch of the creature he sighted, which is also included here.
It all starts to add up somewhat, especially with the recent findings in the Indonesian archipelago to out north.
This country of ours is still a large unknown land mass and we have a long way to go before we fully understand it. Perhaps we never will.
Rather than dismissing some of these aspects which have been raised here, just because they don’t fit comfortably within our thinking process, we should perhaps be a bit lateral and more flexible.
Perhaps we don’t need to go searching way up in Indonesia for further evidence on this issue, as it may very well be found right here walking around our own back yard.
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