The U.S. has its Bigfoot hotspots -- Okanogan County, Washington, Whitehall, New York – so it’s no surprise that Australia has some hotspots for its own hairy cryptid, the Yowie. One that popped up in the news this week is the tiny town of Jimna, population 91 … plus some Yowies.
“We initially thought it was a boar or a really big animal until we got closer and saw it run off in a very apelike way. I’ve never really had a paranormal or strange experience like that before. I hardly slept that night and the feeling was overwhelming that I had seen something that I never believed in previously.”
Seamus FitzGerald told told The Courier Mail that he, Stirling Slocock-Bennett and another man were driving to the Jimna Base Camp on December 4 when they claimed to see a “slouched over figure” under a street light which turned towards them, showing an “apelike” face, before running off in a “very apelike way.” Jimna is in the southeastern corner of Queensland on the Jimna Range. The name Jimna is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning “place of leeches” and the Native population might say the proof is the Europeans who came and “leeched” their trees and gold. Those forests would make a prime Yowie hiding area and there are many local accounts of the beasts in Jimna and nearby old logging towns like Kilcoy and Kilcoy Shire.
“Kilcoy experienced a real or imagined population increase during the late 1970s when sightings of the Yowie (an Aboriginal dream spirit/white man's explanation of evidence for an ape-like human) were reported. A statue, based on descriptions from claimed observations, is in Yowie Park in Hope Street, Kilcoy. For unbelievers, there is also an indoor sports complex in Yowie Park.”
Slocock-Bennett says the three plantation workers talked to locals about their sighting and were told that “the yowies are pushed out in storms.” The go-to guy for Yowies in Australia is Dean Harrison, head of the Australian Yowie Research organization, who in May 2021 captured thermal images of what he claimed were two 9-foot Yowies in Queensland’s Springbrook National Park, a few hours drive south of Jimna. The Sun reports that Harrison has seen Yowie with “orangey-brown hair” that is “typically around two to four inches in length.” The three recent witnesses didn’t say what color the hair was on the creature they saw. The Sun also mentions a recent alleged Dog Man sighting by a kayaker who took a blurred photo but provided scant details of the encounter.
The Jimna Yowie witnesses had no other details and no photos or videos of the creature they saw, so we have to go on their word and the fact that they were in a prime Yowie hotspot area. The fact that they went back out later to look for what they saw is a point in their favor, but it’s far from proof. For now, we’ll have to hope that the Yowie returns to admire its statue in Kilcoy during daylight hours and some tourists have fully-charged cellphones.