Next month the Hunter will briefly become home for those who devote their lives to hunting the unknown when Greta hosts the inaugural Australian Cryptozoology Conference on August 27.
Cryptozoology is the stratum of natural studies with one foot in evidence, the other in mystery. It’s the study of creatures that are, officially, undiscovered. The most famous case studies include the elusive bigfoot, the Australian yowie, the famous Loch Ness monster and the bloodsucking chupacabra.
Newcastle teenager, Jack Tessier, founded the Australian Cryptozoology Research Organisation (ACRO) in 2015. He decided to launch the first conference to bring together some of the biggest names in the field and he’s already secured the backing of two prominent researchers – Rex Gilroy and Gary Opit.
“Rex has been at it searching for answers to the question of the Yowie and other Australian Mystery Animals for nearly up to 60 years and is an author of multiple books,” Jack said.
“Gary is a wildlife expert and radio show host on ABC North Coast and is also an author.”
Jack first became interested in the field after researching the Blue Mountains Panther – a rumoured big cat that made national headlines in 2013.
“I think the thought of something else undiscovered out there, that there is more to learn about what is really out there, makes a lot of people interested,” he said.
Jack said the Hunter is a perfect place for cryptozoologists to come together – after all, there are sightings in our own backyards.
“There are big cat sightings in Southwest Lake Macquire and in the Watagans. There are yowie sightings as well,” he said.
In January this year Jack said he took a plaster cast of a possible panther footprint in Wyee. The ACRO conference will be held on August 27 from 10am at the Greta Arts and Sports Community Hall. Entry will be $10 per person. More information can be found on ACRO’s Facebook.