Every country has its legends about Sea Serpents and Lake Monsters, the most famous of course would be “Nessie” of Loch Ness in Scotland. But is may come as a surprise that Australia has had quite a few sightings and accounts of mystery Aquatic creatures.

The first account is from Hook Island in Queensland, most people interested in Cryptozoology are familiar with the famous Hook Island Sea Monster photo (see article here) this account however goes back further almost 20 years earlier.

In 1936 Mr. Jack Frisch, well known fisherman and owner of the launch “Lomii”, caught a sea serpent on a set line in deep water off a coral shelf whilst fishing with his grandson Ted. No stranger to the sea or its creatures Jack had spent many years as a fisherman.

The following story appeared in the Bowen Independent, Mon 18 May 1936:

About eight, feet long, it was an ugly-looking customer, and looked like artist’s conception of a sea serpent, with its head clear of water and its body arched in two places in approved fashion. Young Ted must have thought, he was living a dream and that one of the serpents which used to haunt the sands of Margate and Brighton in the old English comic papers, was returning to haunt him.

However, he decided that it was too big a job for him to handle and yelled for Pop to give a hand, the latter going into the fray with a “silencer,” which put the slimy one to sleep for 30 hours. It. was kept, alive with the objective of bringing it to town, but on the run to Armit, Island was drowned in, the heavy seas, when being towed behind (the safest place for the unknown), and between Hayman and Armit. broke adrift.

The dinghy was quickly - launched, but the monster sank, to the great disappointment of the crew, who were keen to land the proof of their story. Describing the catch, Mr. Frisch said the head was after the type of the popular conception of a serpent, between that of a snake and an eel. It was about fifteen inches from the tip of the snout to the back of the head with a bull like neck, thick and round behind the head, the neck here being l about ten to twelve inches through, the knob of the head being very little smaller. The neck tapered to a body about nine inches in diameter, and. further tapered to a flat eel-like tail. On it’s back from the nock for the length of the body there arose at will a fine web about three inches high. A peculiar feature of this web was that it, was transparent and had no apparent supports in the nature of ribs, and was distended when the monster was angry (which it could be imagined, was fairly continuous).

The head was an arresting feature, being a knobby affair, with the eyes set well back in a beak snout, the latter protruding six or seven inches, with a lower jaw a little flatter than the upper part which was a trifle rounded. The mouth opened on the groper or cod principle and revealed a yawning black cavity, and contained teeth up to an inch long thin like those of a comb, and set irregularly all over the month, varying in thickness and length. The colour inside the mouth was black, and the body was beautifully marked with fine spots. It would be interesting to bring this before the notice of Museum authorities.

Some time ago, it may be remembered, a party of youths saw what they claimed to be a sea serpent off Thomas’ Island, but their story, was given little credence. However, reports at different times from several parts of the world prove the existence of such a species, and the Great Barrier Reef might just us well be a breeding place—who knows?

 

The next account is from the Clyde River at Batemans Bay from The Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative, Monday 20th of July 1931:

Two fishermen, G. Patrech and Bill Lawler, declare that they saw a sea-serpent at the mouth of the Clyde River, Batemans Bay on Friday. The creature broke the surface eight feet from their boat, and, diving, appeared three times more before finally disappearing. The men describe It as being 12 feet long, and two feet and a half in diameter, with a flat head with white Jowls. The body was brown.

 

Launceston Examiner Wednesday 12th August 1891, the following description came from the quartermaster of a ship that arrived in Tasmania from New Zealand:

Nelson, a quarter-master, had been at the wheel and was standing on the main deck about 6'30 when his attention was attracted by observing an extraordinary looking object rising out of the sea on the leeward bow about a mile distant. The monster, which resembled for all the world a huge eel, came straight out of the water to a height of about 30ft, and then receded. A moment afterwards it rose again, end again glided beck. Two or three times more It came up, and a height of about 30ft of its body was visible. The fish, which must have been 60ft in length, had a good-sized head, and it showed two fins, something like wings, each about 10ft long. Its back was black, the colour of the body being pure white, and each time it disappeared a distinct splash was noticeable. Each time it rose it was nearer to the ship, and when it reappeared finally, Nelson says, it must have been only 100yds or thereabouts from the vessel, He has been at sea for 25 years, and assures us that in all his experience he never saw such a singular looking object. It was broad day-light when he saw it, and he is positive that it was not a whale.

 

Sea Serpent at Southampton - Burra Record, Wednesday 7th June 1933.

It was learned on the arrival of the T.s.s. “Largs Bay” at Southampton, that great excitement had been occasioned when a sea serpent was sighted of Aden. According to the eye witnesses the monster was about 20ft long and was twice seen to jump-partly out of the water about a cables length from the ship. The creature looked like an elongated fish with a wide bulging head and a long spike or tongue projecting from the snout.

 

Sea Serpent at Narrabeen -The Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser Thursday 20th November 1930.

What is claimed to be a sea serpent was seen off the beach at Narrabeen early on Tuesday morning. It was about 70 feet long with a tail resembling a large eel, which churned up the water in the vicinity. The' monster was observed by Mr. and Mrs Parrington, who at 'first took it to be the mast of a ship, but observation with field glasses quickly dispelled that idea.

Sea Serpent near Noumea - Manilla Express Thursday 1st Nov 1923

Officers of the French mail steamer “Pacifique”, which arrived in Sydney last week, reported that the sea serpent had been seen again in the waters near Noumea. They declared it was about 125 feet long, and was sighted by M. Martin, wireless operator on -the steamer, near the Loyalty Islands in June.

In September two, native women at Noumea were crossing a, bay in a small boat when the serpent rose about 80 yards away from them. It made a whistling noise and threw up into the- air jets of water and black vapor. Its head stood 30ft. out of the water, and had the same shape as that of a sea horse, with long hair on the mane. The women immediately turned their craft homewards, again.

On September 30, the monster was seen two miles from Noumea, its body rearing from the water like a mast.

 

The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser, Sat 10th March 1934.

A correspondent at Ulladulla writes to the 'Milton Times'-— We know all about sea serpents, but?

 

Last Wednesday morning the Tetley brothers were going down the school road to the sawmill, when something in the harbor attracted their attention— some object standing up out of the water, just off the end of the wharf. At first it appeared to be a limb of a trees but while they watched it raised itself until at least six feet of it appeared, and at the distance it looked like a big dog's head, and the head was waving about after the manner of a snake. They hurried to get a closer view, but the Monster didn't wait, and before they got close enough it disappeared under the water. But they both swear to it being an animal, a fish, or at least something alive, and now all1 the fishermen's launches are armed with harpoons, hoping for a strange catch.

 

Sources: www.trove.nla.gov.au 

Thylacoleo by RomanYevseyev

The Beast of Buderim has been reported on the Queensland Sunshine Coast since 1871. The indigenous word for the animal is the “yarri” and has been reported well before European colonisation. It has been described as a dog sized carnivorous mammal with stripes on its hind quarters, long tail, sharp front teeth and a nasty attitude.

Alternatively, others have described as looking like a fox with mange or a combination of a kangaroo and a dog. Silver in colour with very short, mangy fur and distinct black stripes

Some Cryptozoologists suggest the beast is a relict population of Thylacoleo, a marsupial tiger (see Queensland Tiger article) that existed in Australia in the Pleistocene period, it became extinct approximately 30, 000 years ago. It is more than possible that early Indigenous Australians encountered the Thylacoleo tens of thousands of years ago.

Others point to the Beast of Buderim to be the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) possibly even a mainland subspecies. An animal resembling the Thylacine has been reported by long term residents of the Buderim area for decades. Most sightings have occurred in the EJ Foote Memorial Sanctuary, Buderim Forest Park, along the banks of Martins Creek. Others are sceptical as the Thylacine was restricted to the island state of Tasmania in modern times. The Tasmanian Tiger was officially declared extinct in 1986.

Beast of Buderim sightings were numerous in the 1990’s, most witnesses described the Thylacine type of creature opposed to the description of the Marsupial Tiger.

A Buderim dentist, Dr Lance Mesh saw the creature on the fringe of a rainforest near his home, he described it as:

Goldy, brindly in colour, had a doggish shape and a prominent bump on its head above its eyes. Its most striking feature, however, were the black stripes across its back - I could not take my eyes off them. My headlights froze him, he arched his back and crouched before running back off into the rainforest. I couldn’t believe it. For a moment, I thought someone had painted a strange looking dog with stripes.

In July 1993, Leonie Dennis was driving with her husband along the Coolum-Yandina Road when a mysterious creature ran across the road in front of them and disappeared into the ditch.

It had dark stripes on its rump and was brindle coloured. I turned to my husband and immediately said, “That’s a bloody Tasmanian Tiger.” As soon as I got home, I drew a picture of the animal.


Artists impression of the Beast of Buderim by Leonie Dennis

In more recent years the Beast of Buderim has raised its ugly head again. Sue Smith was standing in her kitchen when she looked out the window and spotted something stripy. Sue witnessed the elusive creature at 8.30am, on a Wednesday morning at her Diddillibah property. Her account and photograph appeared in the Sunshine Coast Daily in May 2014:


Buderim Beast photo taken by Sue Smith

"I was in the kitchen when we first saw it. Then we went onto the veranda and could see it from there," she said. "Initially, he was quite close to the road under some trees, then went back under the fence.
"It was amazing."

 

She had claimed to have seen the creature weeks earlier, but in hindsight believed it to be a fox.

 

Is the Beast of Buderim a Marsupial Tiger, Thylacine or just a mangy Fox?

Whatever you believe it to be? Sightings continue…

 

 Sources:

Sunday Mail - Brisbane
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/
https://en.wikipedia.org
http://karlshuker.blogspot.com.au/



 

The Gunni fact or fake?

 

The Gunni - Photo by: Ken Irwin

The Gunni (pronounced Goon-eye) is a supposed cryptozoological animal believed by some to exist in Victoria, Australia. It is described as having deer like antlers on top of a wombat body, striped markings sometimes occur on its back, hindquarters and tail.

 In October 2003 the tourist town of Marysville 100 kilometres of North East of Melbourne, was buzzing with sightings and eyewitness accounts of the Gunni -where an apparent stuffed specimen of the creature was on display at the Marysville Visitors Centre. A full description of the animal was included and historical accounts one which read;

The Gunni has long been thought to be a myth, and early sightings by goldminers who first penetrated the central highlands in the 1860s were put down to "fertile imagination" or rough liquor.

A modern account said;

Marysville electrician Frank Murphy believes he saw a Gunni in 1999 from about 200 metres on a property adjacent to thick bush, thinking at first it was a wombat - and then he saw the tail.

"I got the fright of my life," he said. "I thought it might have been somebody's dog lost, and then it turned around and had antlers on top of its head.

"It stayed still for 30 to 40 seconds and then it went into the bush." Mr Murphy said he thought sightings of the Gunni might turn into a legend a little like Scotland's Loch Ness monster - "a Celtic-type thing, lots of whisky involved".

Although he hadn't been drinking before he saw the Gunni, he said, "after I saw it, I went home and had quite a few."

The centre started receiving numerous emails from interstate visitors who believe they had witnessed the creature in Victoria. One even claiming they had droppings from the animal.

The Gunni on display at the visitor’s centre was reportedly found in 1967 by timber workers near Cambarville, 16 kilometres from Marysville. The creature is regarded by some as simply a myth or an extinct Australian animal. The Gunni on display even had a scientific name attributed to it (Turpis maialis cimex). The Gunni specimen was destroyed in 2009 by bushfires when the centre was burnt down.

 

Is the Gunni real?

 

No, unfortunately the Gunni was in fact a clever taxidermy project by a local ranger Miles Stewart – Howie. Apparently Mr Howie liked to have a joke and the Gunni creature was simply a fun private project. 

Sources:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/10/04/1064988455505.html

 

Krambach is a small village on the mid-coast of New South Wales, Australia, approximately 3.5 hours’ drive from Sydney.  The township backs onto a forest covered mountain range where numerous Yowie sightings have occurred over the years.

In 1976 long term resident Alwin Richards witnessed a creature he described as a dark blacky-brown with woolly shaggy hair. He said the smell of the creature was like many other Yowie witnesses report; as being a burnt electrical kind of smell, which he described as “unnatural”.

In the summer of 1990 Julie Clark, who was only a teenager at the time, was confronted by a large hairy human like creature whilst out riding. Her horse was the first to notice that something was wrong, she saw a creature looking at her from the bush which rose-up and started to chase her, she claimed the creature was taller than her horse at full height. She described it as being similar to a gorilla, but was more like a man covered in fur, she turned her horse and bolted back home in fear.

Children have claimed to have rocks thrown at them when swimming in the creek below the town. They say it makes a sound like a dog being run over and somebody drowning.

Paul Carney witnessed a similar creature in the mountain above the creek, when rocks came hurtling past him, he said: “I looked around and saw this creature, ducking behind a tree, I just took off, I was spooked!” The creek below the town is a very eerie place.

 Apparently, the Yowie at Krambach builds rock formations called “cairns” the stones are really, heavy and too big for a child to move. According to “Jodi” the creature throws rocks at the local children but has never hit anyone. “He doesn’t want to hurt us” she says.


Sources: 
The Extraordinary, Television Show: 1993
http://www.yowiehunters.com.au/index.php/media-clips/1768-1990-krambach-yowie-aricle

Do Black Panthers prowl the Hunter Valley?

 

Sightings of mysterious large black panthers have been reported in many areas of Australia including;

The Blue Mountains
Lithgow
Gippsland
Grampian region
Buderim
The Hawkesbury
Sydney’s North West

Yet it may come as a surprise to some that many sightings of large phantom black cats have been witnessed in the Hunter Valley Region.

In December of 2015 a former Nelson Bay resident Andrew Lewer in the early morning whilst out 4-wheel driving in the Medowie State Forest caught a very good look at a large feline type creature in his vehicles spotlights on Ringwood Road.

Mr Lewer said “It walked out of the bush and got stunned by my lights for two to three seconds”. “When I came to a stop, 100 metres or so from it, it ran into the bush.” It had big green eyes, was between 2.5 and three feet tall, and weighed 50 or 60 kilos no problem at all.”

“What I saw was built differently to a [domestic] cat,” he said. “It was built thick all ‘round in its legs and body.”

The report of the large feline attracted the attention of Anna Bay conservation biologist Terry Domico who encouraged people to contact him with any more sightings or evidence.

 

In June 2012 a Mr Briggs of Lake Munmorah whose home backs onto a state recreation area found paw prints in sand in his backyard that he believed belonged to large feline possibly a panther.

"I thought straight away it was a panther because a few big cats have been sighted around here," Mr Briggs said. "The paw prints were as big as my hand and I have a bigger than normal hand size."

Mr Briggs said he showed pictures he took of the paw print to National Parks and Wildlife Service officials and they were "astounded".

Mr Briggs said there were other signs of a big cat in the area.

"Not so long ago a workman found a half-eaten wallaby in bush between Wyee and Morisset," he said.

He believed a big cat was near his yard around Christmas.

"My son's dog, a Staffy, sensed something and he came to the door looking absolutely petrified," he said.

"Staffies aren't frightened of anything, but we couldn't calm it down."

 

22 Jan 2016 Jack Tessier, 16, of Cardiff, took a plaster cast of a large paw print found in mud while four-wheel driving recently off Old Maitland Road in Wyee.

“I was shocked to come across it,” Jack said. Jack’s research led him to believe that “Lake Macquarie is a big hotspot for big cats”. “I strongly believe the area has all a panther needs to survive,” he said.

Other area’s in the Hunter Region Black Panther have been reported to Unexplained Australia are;

Gloucester Tops
Broke
Rathluba Ridge
Buchanan
Clarence Town

In May 2001, a freedom-of-information request revealed the state government had been keeping a secret file on panther sightings.


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Sources:

http://www.portstephensexaminer.com.au/story/3664505/update-big-cat-sighting-near-medowie/
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/3680345/mysterious-lake-panther-on-prowl/
http://www.theherald.com.au/story/116668/big-cat-sightings-thought-to-be-panther/