Mansfield, Victoria 1988
Location: Sawpit Gully (Mansfield). Bridge Creek (Mansfield). Victoria
Event: Yowie Sighting
Date: November and October 1988
Terrain: Stringy bark forest backing onto rugged country side
Witness: Pam Bryant
There are 2 parts to this report. Part 1 is a separate event which occurred at Bridge Creek a month before Pam’s sighting. The second part tells of her sighting of the creature while out on a horse riding trip with a group of beginner students, on an overgrown forestry trail at Sawpit Gully, not far from Bridge Creek.
1) Bridge Creek:
A friend of mine who owned the isolated property found several huge foot prints measuring 14 inches long, on a dirt road close to his property. It had been raining and the ground was very soft and muddy. The prints could be seen across the dirt road and leading into the bush where they disappeared.
They had 4 toe impressions and were so big we wondered amongst ourselves if this could be a hoax of sorts, but after having a think about it, the prints were in such a place that no one would be able to spot them unless they took a good look.
If someone were trying to pull off a hoax, this would not be the prime place to try and pull off such a trick. We came back after a few days to look at them again, and by now they had hardened nicely in the mud and still we were not convinced that we had anything significant. We even showed a few people and made a few jokes and ummmed and ahhhhed and finally decided they were not what we thought they were and just dismissed them.
2) Sawpit Gully:
I was taking a group of beginner riders out one afternoon. I worked at the lodge as a riding instructor and I was taking the group of children, who were on School Camp, for a scenic ride on a trail had not been graded in at least 10 years, so it was a little rough and overgrown.
At a walking pace, the kids and I were riding along together in a single file fashion and being trail boss, I was at the front of the group and ahead a little. The road in question is approximately half a kilometre from the lodge.
Being a reasonably cool day, it was close to snake season so I was keeping a close eye on the overgrowth for them. I had this feeling as though something was there, a very distinct feeling of not being alone and as I turned around I saw something about 25 metres down the hill side to my right.
I had to look twice, I couldn’t believe it. There was this head and shoulders sticking up through the bushes and I thought at first it was a gorilla, which I knew was ridiculous, but nothing would surprise me. I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “What’s a gorilla doing out here?”
As soon as he realised I was looking at him, he bobbed down into the bushes and just sat staring at me. I had serious thoughts of taking off flat chat out of there, but the bush was so thick you wouldn’t do it and also keeping in mind that I was trail boss and where ever I chose to go, the other horses carrying the children would follow. After a few seconds it disappeared without a trace.
If I hadn’t turned at that very second I wouldn’t have seen the creature, as he was a full 180 degrees to my right side. It was through pure coincidence I even saw it and while riding a horse, you can watch his ears move in the direction of any sound that may be of a threatening nature, so even the horse was oblivious that day.
The children were none the wiser as they were about 30 metres or so behind me and it would have been sheer luck for one of them to have spotted the creature from where they were. Now my first assumption was that a gorilla had escaped from the zoo, as you are taught in life that there is no such thing as monsters lurking the bushes and at a quick glance a gorilla is what I thought I was seeing until I looked a little closer at it.
There was no muzzle present as a gorilla would have and it had a rather flat nose with the flared nostrils and very deep eye sockets and brow area. The neck was short and not like that of a normal person.
I stand 5ft 9” and I would estimate the animal to have been as tall as myself or maybe a touch shorter. It appeared to me as just a head and top of shoulders like a statue sticking out from the scrub. It had long black hair (like a goat’s but very flat looking) all over, with an exception to its facial area around the eyes and nose. The eye sockets were a tanned colour.
After I got home, I rang the university and made a few enquiries for my own curiosity. I was talking to an old work colleague from there and I asked if I were to see a primate in the bush, would it bound off in a hurry to get away, or would it have the intelligence to hide so it couldn’t be seen? He told me that a primate would respond by hiding and I then told him that I thought I had just seen a gorilla.
Being a primate expert, he wasn’t overly surprised at my claim and we chatted for a little over it, then left it at that. I was reminded of the creature 10 years after my sighting, when I saw a sketch on TV of the Chinese Wildman (the one a witness had sketched), and it was a real dead ringer for the creature that I’d seen all those years before. It looked very human like in appearance, but for the hair all over.
It’s funny, because to this day I am always wondering, “Was I imagining things? Did I really see something significant?” Then the images start rolling again and I’m reassured that YES I did see something weird that day and the fact that we saw the footprints the month beforehand just backs up my case.
The Australian outback is so big that there are many hiding places for all wild fauna to stay undetected and live freely.
It is only when we catch them out unaware while they are busy doing something, that we even know they are there at times.
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