An underground community of dedicated researchers that probes the shadowy frontier of science have hailed their first Hunter meet-up a success.
Over the weekend a small group of cryptozoologists came together in Greta to discuss the progress of their research, close encounters with unknown creatures and the thrill of the hunt.
For the vast majority of people, yowies, bigfoot, chupacabra and the Loch Ness monster are fanciful folklore.
But for cryptozoologists there are countless giant, plaster-cast footprints that prove the unseen creatures roam the Hunter’s wilds.
For organiser Jack Tessier, it was a thrill to be in the same room two of the most prominent Australian cryptozoologists – Rex Gilroy and Gary Opit.
“It felt good I got to meet a lot of interesting people and a lot of them had encounters too,” he said.
“Gary Opit spoke on ‘Citizen Science and Cryptozoology’ then Rex Gilroy spoke about ‘Mysterious Australia-Update on Yowie and Mystery Animals’. I found them both informative and interesting”
The Newcastle teenager has long been interested in cryptozoology and, last year, started the Australian Cryptozoology Research Organisation (ACRO).
ACRO has grown as a Facebook page used to document and share Jack’s searches and discoveries around the Hunter – from panther tracks to yowie sightings.
But he decided to bring the often geographically separated crypto-community together earlier this year.
And his dedication was met in kind – guest speakers and visitors traveled from far and wide to meet like-minded searchers.
“We haven't had anything like this for quite some time,” Jack said.
“And people in this field want to learn more.”
“A lot of people in this country have had sightings of strange animals or love the unknown.
“It went well, everyone enjoyed the day and told me they learned a lot.”
Already looking ahead, Jack said he was keen to run the event again next year to give cryptozoologists another chance to catch up in person.
For more information on the Hunter’s myserious creatures visit facebook.com/acrocryptoresearch/