He’s horrendously hirsute, horribly hunched, long of lumbar and large of limb.
But who would have thought that the hoax-ridden history of the big-footed Yowie would stem back to Maitland.
According to cryptozoologist and self-described “father of Yowie research” Rex Gilroy, the Yowie has been sighted in both Maitland and Singleton since the 1830s with evidence of the creature sharing a striking resemblance to the American Bigfoot.
Now a documentary team from America’s Animal Planet has spoken to him about the Yowie and its links to Bigfoot.
“The evidence I have includes footprint casts and sightings dating back to the 1830s in the Maitland/Singleton districts. Footprint casts from the Maitland and Barrington Tops wilderness compare strikingly with American Bigfoot examples,” Mr Gilroy said.
The Katoomba man has shared his information with a film crew from America’s Animal Planet to be part of a documentary on the Yowie and its relationship to the North American Bigfoot.
He is now about to launch a major search for evidence of the Australian Australopithicine-type “hairy people” in the Maitland to Barrington Tops areas.
“We are looking forward to our latest search for the Maitland Bigfoot,” Mr Gilroy said.
Mr Gilroy and his wife Heather formed the Australian Yowie Research Centre in July 1976 in a bid to gather all manner of evidence on the Yowie or hairy people of Aboriginal folklore.
They now possess evidence of several thousand reported encounters dating back from the first years of European settlement of Sydney cove to the present.
Mr Gilroy began his quest for evidence in 1957 at age 14.
He now has more than 200 casts of relic hominids, which he says display geographical and regional physical variations to those of other mystery hominids of Southeast Asia, China, Russia and North America.
“These and other features of the beings suggest they are all related to offshoots of Homo erectus, who lived a million years ago and is our direct ancestor. In other words we are related to the Yowie,” he said.
Mr Gilroy said he has evidence of two forms of the Yowie – one being of average modern height and the other being three to 3.66 metres tall.
There is also a third race involved in the mystery whose features are more ape-like than the other beings.
“This third race is herbivorous/insectivorous in eating habits, whereas the others are omnivorous-feeding stone tool makers,” Mr Gilroy said.
“We possess Homo erectus fossil skull evidence from Australia demonstrating these beings were living here in Pleistocene (Ice Age) times. We also possess a fossil skull found at Katoomba that is at least two million years old. Its robust Australopithecine features are unmistakable.”
Mr Gilroy said evidence suggests that Australopithecines left Africa about three million years ago to migrate into Asia then to Australia.