Yowie encounter: ‘Eyes were huge and glowing’
AN INTREPID Gold Coast yowie hunter is adamant he has captured new images of the legendary Bigfoot-type beast - the subject of thousands of reported sightings over the years.
Australian Yowie Research founder Dean Harrison has been working to prove the existence of the elusive "big hairy man in the forest" for about 30 years.
Southeast Queensland and northern NSW residents have been speaking up about purported sightings for decades, sure the yowie is more than a myth or part of folklore.
Gold Coast Yowie Sightings Map
Yowie documentation across the country dates back more than 200 years and Springbrook has been a hotspot for alleged sightings.
However, sceptics point to a scarcity of conclusive scientific evidence and lack of clear imagery in an age where cameras are common and almost everybody carries a smartphone.
Mr Harrison said he ventured out just north of Brisbane to D'Aguilar National Park on January 25, after a reported sighting last year.
He said it was about 11pm when he heard something "bipedal" approaching.
"I picked up the camera, didn't turn it to thermal straight away because of false alarms. I've focused in, it's standing next to the tree and it's looking straight at me," he said.
"I don't know how on earth this thing could have seen me in the darkness. It was probably about 60-80m away.
"He saw me, he was staring straight at me and his eyes were huge and glowing.
"He's looking and as I go to hit record he steps to the side to his left. He's gone behind this tree, I couldn't see him and then he's looked out, just like a human would. He's looking straight at me again, he's pulled his head back and came out and looked at me again.
"I've taken a snapshot of that and then he's gone back behind the tree and made a runner."
Mr Harrison said he was confident the creature was no ordinary Aussie animal.
"I saw the yowie standing beside the tree prior to it hiding and looking around the tree - there is no question about what I witnessed," he said.
Mr Harrison also provided thermal images taken at Springbrook on November 6, 2020.
"This was a return visit after I was growled at by what we believe was a yowie standing on a ridge above me," he said.
"We split into two teams. Gary Lynn was using our new thermal camera while being stealth in the forest near the scene of the prior growls, and observed two creatures walking down the hillside among trees ahead of him and managed to get this footage."
In recent days, phenomena website The Fortean shared a story about a historic sighting at Nunderi near Murwillumbah on the popular Murwillumbah Matters Facebook page.
A woman said she "once saw something big and ape-like cross Numinbah Road at night in my headlights".
"I closed all windows because of a weird smell and I locked my car doors," she wrote.
Mr Harrison said the first reports of yowie sightings on the Coast began in the 1970s.
"Tugun and Currumbin lead the way, followed by Burleigh and Palm Beach - all during the construction and introduction of new estates in the areas," he said.
In mid-2019, a Currumbin Valley family told the Bulletin they were living in terror after months of being stalked by what they believed was a yowie.
In 1977, former Senator Bill O'Chee told the Bulletin he saw a hairy creature stretching 3m tall while camping at Springbrook with 20 students from The Southport School.
Last year, a man said he had kept secret for 40 years the day he saw a yowie in Palm Beach.
In another story, Coast man Peter Yaun told the Bulletin yowie sightings in rural NSW about 20 years ago could be attributed to his old drinking buddy, who dressed up in hessian sacks.
Mr Harrison said a man wearing sacks was a far cry from descriptions "of an 8ft heavily muscled primate looking Neanderthal with large piercing eyes and four inch hair covering the entire body except the face".
Asked what his response was to the sceptics, Mr Harrison said he was not out to convince anyone and was merely pointing out "the facts".
Originally published as Yowie encounter: 'Eyes were huge and glowing'