Terrifying yowie had 'massive sex organs'
BY DAY he's a mild-mannered man working for the family business, by night he's a yowie hunter.
Whether you believe in the so-called mythical beasts, Gold Coast resident Dean Harrison has been hunting the mysterious yowies for 20 years and when he tells of nearly being killed by one, it's hard not to believe him.
He said yowies had been relatively quiet for the past few years - until recently.
"There's always been rumours and reports," Mr Harrison said.
"The Northern Rivers is a hotbed for yowie sightings - it always has been and always will be."
"There have been many encounters in Woodburn, Casino and Woodenbong - that's the jewel in the crown."
On those who are sceptical of the beasts he says: "You can live your whole life out there in the Australian bush and never be seen."
"There are plenty out there."
"When you think you're going to die at the hands of one of these things, believe me, you want more information about it."
Mr Harrison's first encounter with a yowie was back in 1995, at Mount Tamborine in a rainforest swamp behind his house at the time.
He said he came home at around 11pm when he heard something "making an unholy, vocal noise" of grunts and snorts.
He said the beast was "on two feet, clearly very heavy" and was ripping up the foliage.
In 1997 he established Australian Yowie Research and has had many encounters with the creatures of the night ever since.
He has collated an impressive database of written and audio witness accounts, news articles, images and physical evidence including footprints.
"It's a total life changing experience," he said of having a real-life encounter.
"Truck drivers, farmers, the military, and police - some of these people were in tears when they told me of their encounters."
Mr Harrison said yowies weren't built like us, and "can run through bush we couldn't walk through at daytime."
He said in his lifetime he "only ever met one good one" who he described as "a lot of fun", but as for the rest, not so friendly.
Call it what you will: Bigfoot, sasquatch, hairy men, a yeti or a yowie, but people all over Australia and the world have claimed they've spotted these big hairy creatures.
Yowie sightings on the Northern Rivers have been reported since the 1800s, but the last one on The Northern Star's record was in 2012.
Mr Harrison said the latest report he received was last year from a man who was driving along Cenentary Road off the Pacific Highway near Grafton.
"A man was coming up over the hill and here is a large one standing next to the road next to the trees," he said.
"Most of our witnesses are extremely sceptical until (that) one day (they see one)."
Hunting the yowies
Mr Harrison said his website was dedicated to providing information to the general public.
"Every witness is totally confidential," he said.
"Normally we'll have a call from someone who has seen something life changing on their property."
"If it's something serious enough we'll get a team together. We have high-tech equipment such as FLIR, which is a military-grade thermal imaging device, and we have night vision, listening devices and we have cameras."
"There's been occasions where people cannot get a decent night's sleep as they've been harassed by these creatures on their property, on sometimes a nightly basis. So we'll go out there and set up...we provide people with a decent night's sleep.
"Other times we'll survey the area and look for evidence such as footprints, twisted branches, tipi structures which they make out of branches and rock stacks. These are some of the tell-tale signs.
"It's hit and miss but the more you're out there the better chance you have of seeing them."
"They'll often pretend to be a tree or part of a tree such as hugging a tree."
Mr Harrison describes the yowies he had seen as "extremely robust, very muscular, with wide shoulders, no apparent neck, long arms that go down below the knees."
"They generally walk or run with a loping manner, have deep set eyes which is very primeval."
He said their eyes can glow in the dark and "more often than not people report the creatures eyes to be red."
"Where you find one there's always another. They operate in family units," Mr Harrison said.
"One of the contributing factors of not finding a body that's died of natural causes is due to the close proximity they keep to one another."
He said he believed there was a couple of different species in existence.
"They'll communicate with each other using wood taps, generally in threes."
"They use it as a warning there's a human in the area or it could be 'I'm here, where are you'. Or a combination of both."
He described the sounds as a loud whacking sound.
They're still out there
"With the introduction of dash cams on cars there's bound to be more sightings. Something is going to come up," Mr Harrison said.
"There are so many roadside sightings all over the country."
He said sightings all over the place were frequent in the 70s, and some of the current locations on his map are Lawrence, Tucabia and Jackadgery.
A close call
Mr Harrison's second encounter with a yowie was a "terrifying" experience he will never forget.
"One that chased me had a vocal capacity you wouldn't believe and would never be able to reciprocate," Mr Harrison said.
Dean Harrison's Australian Yowie Research aka Yowie Hunters website lists several reports of sightings in the Northern Rivers.
Woodenbong, 1977, anonymous
A woman reported seeing the creature in her yard sitting on its haunches with her dog "completely crushed up against its chest" and looking as if it was "trying to crush the life out of her".
It was making loud, deep growling noises, but dropped the dog before taking a few steps backwards.
Again, the creature had a small head and no neck with an ape-like face and a wide chest, powerful chest and long arms. The witness reported an "offensive odour".
She also noticed the creature had "massive sex organs" - listen to it in the video at the start and about eight minutes in.
The dog later died of internal injuries.
Bexhill, April 27, 2013, anonymous
On a moonlit night in 2013 a Lismore resident turning on to Bangalow Road spied a large creature jumping a barbed wire paddock fence before briefly pausing at the edge of the road.
The Northern Star reported from the witness that the 'creature' moved across the two lanes of bitumen, raising his arm to apparently shield its eyes from the bright high beam glare of the approaching car.
The witness said they spotted a large black object with a solid build, lanky legs and long lanky arms with no clothes.
It was reported the creature ran with a fast, stooped gait. It had high shoulders and almost no neck and a small head.
Main Arm, footprint find, 2003, anonymous
A woman described seeing a large "ape" slightly stooped but at least six feet tall with long brown shaggy hair.
Lismore, 2001, anonymous
Two women said they saw an ape-like creature covered in dark hair.
Alstonville, McGuire's Creek, 1997, anonymous
A couple were fishing at the creek when they heard " a crashing sound of something large breaking twigs and heading through the weed thicket".
"The noise stopped about 10-20 feet away from the creek edge. It was hidden in the lantana thicket but I could see brown fur with a definite reddish tinge, and what I believe to be the chest area. I could not make out the face, but the eyes were like looking into mirrors. I would say the creature was about 6.5-7 feet tall.
The anonymous recount describes the figure as "broad, tall" and with "shaggy hair similar to a goats".
Tabulam, 1997, anonymous
A local Aboriginal reported to Dean Harrison his Aunty and Uncle had found something floating in the river which was very tiny and had stumpy shoulders with a solid body.
The article reports they handed it over to police and it had a "horrific" face which was inhuman.
Bonalbo, 1995, anonymous
An anonomous person recalls sitting on a tree stump when they heard a large clapping sound - coming from a "massive big figure" with thick legs, short neck and long arms coming towards him and his brother "faster than any human".
"He was about 8ft tall and very well built with long streaming hair."
"We knew straight away we just saw a hairyman."
Woodenbong 1998, anonymous
The report retells the account of a person driving south along Mt Lindesay Hwy when a creature stopped and "looked over its shoulder".
"It looked like a chimpanzee...and was hunched over a bit".
Evans Head, 1983, anonymous
A man reported he heard "deep growling" which gave him shivers on a hot day.
"I could smell this rotten dead sort of stink it was really rank and thick".
Dunoon, 1981, anonymous
Three young boys encountered a hairy man-like creature in a bush. They said their dog had "gone beserk" at the "wild pig" which walked on it's hind legs.
One of the boys said the creature had straight legs which were brown and human-like.
Woodenbong 1980s, anonymous
A woman - 'Mrs C' - reported seeing two yowies outside her house in early hours of the morning.
She said the hair on its arms was longer than the hair on its body.
Bexhill, 1973, anonymous
A group of friends camping at Bexhill reported a big creature, who's shoulders "were just big enough to fit through a door frame" and a foot "too tall to fit under...seven or eight feet tall."
They also described long arms, no neck and thick matted hair.
Bangalow, 1969, Errol Morris
Two friends were walked along the Pacific Highway after midnight when they encountered something strange.
"The creature appeared to stand over six feet tall while slightly stooped at the shoulders. The arms seemed a bit too long for a man...we weren't able to discern a neck. It appeared to have a slightly protruding forehead....with a rather large mouth."
"It was very solidly build with very well developed upper thighs and feet. It took two steps to our three. When we realised that it could not possibly be a four-legged animal, we froze. We were so frightened. We stood frozen with fear.
The thing appeared in full view about 20 feet ahead of us and slowly turned its head and stared at us.
"As we stood there experience a fear I have never known, my friend and I screamed at this thing that moved briskly across the road.
"This is not a joke."
Mr Morris also reported detecting a "foul smell" before hearing anything which they assumed was road kill. He said the smell became stronger as they walked until they spotted the 'thing' when the odour became "incredibly strong and pungent".
Lismore, 1935, anonymous
A man who said he saw a yowie on his property which was the most frightening thing he had ever seen.
He said the creature, who had no neck seemed to be dragging its feet.
Visit www.yowiehunter.com.au for more.