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Yowie: Bridging the Believer-Skeptic Divide


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#1    Night Walker

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 05:55 AM

Yesterday I attended a seminar on the Yowie by the Australian Yowie Project’s Ray Doherty and wildlife expert and environmental consultant Gary Opit. I’ve previously butted heads with both Doherty and Opit via email but this was the first time we’ve been introduced face-to-face.

A few technical difficulties aside, the seminar went reasonably well. It was recorded on digital camera and if it gets uploaded to YouTube I will post the link. I am also in the process of transcribing the audio which I will also make available.

Much of the presentation was based on Ray’s findings at an alleged remote and inaccessible Yowie habituation site north of Brisbane – one in which I have previously managed to locate and inspect on multiple occasions.

Doherty: “Yes, I agree there are a lot of people out there who take photos of shadows, burnt tree stumps, and noises, misidentification of noises with other animals who come out and claim that that is a Yowie, claim that it’s a creature when in fact it is not and is easily explainable. We’re not talking about chasing myths, superstition, or innuendo – we’re talking about chasing facts.”

Promising but then the evidence presented consisted of photos of shadows and burnt tree stumps which were identified as Yowies, a cast of a large and somewhat unconvincing-looking footprint, while the audio did not work.

Posted Image

Much of the information presented is available on Doherty’s blog and Facebook page.

Things got a little prickly in question-time at the end of the session when an audience member objected to my questions, said that there is no hoaxing (just media beat-ups), and accused me of being sent to the seminar by the scientific community to ridicule the subject. On the up-side, Doherty agreed to accompany me to the site so that will at least provide further opportunity for face-to-face exchange…
________________________

In this thread I am hoping to document my progress (or lack thereof) in bridging the believer-skeptic divide within the Yowie-research community. I am open to criticisms and advice about how to proceed and will appreciate any input. I know that I am as forthright in my opinions as any on the other side of the divide (which is undoubtedly part of the problem) but the Yowie does not belong to anyone – it is my hobby too and I want to understand what is going on as much as anyone…

Posted Image Yes! Canada's most fearsome predator. The Kodiak Marmoset – it's the world's largest smallest primate. "My God! He's killing us..."

The Yowie-ocalypse is upon us...

#2    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 07:37 AM

View PostNight Walker, on 31 August 2014 - 05:55 AM, said:

Things got a little prickly in question-time at the end of the session when an audience member objected to my questions, said that there is no hoaxing (just media beat-ups), and accused me of being sent to the seminar by the scientific community to ridicule the subject.
wait ... people do that in real life?
I thought it was an Internet phenomenon.

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#3    Earl.Of.Trumps

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 12:00 AM

This is good stuff, Night Walker.

America is home to 300 million, so we think our stuff is the ka-zam! the truth is, Yowie is alleged to be the biggest of the big feets!

Please keep us posted.

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#4    Hammerclaw

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 12:46 AM

Well, "Bang goes another kanga on the bonnette on the van!"  What do aboriginal Australians have say on the topic, Night Walker?

Edited by John Wesley Boyd, 01 September 2014 - 12:46 AM.


#5    psyche101

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:15 AM

View PostEarl.Of.Trumps, on 01 September 2014 - 12:00 AM, said:

This is good stuff, Night Walker.

America is home to 300 million, so we think our stuff is the ka-zam! the truth is, Yowie is alleged to be the biggest of the big feets!

Please keep us posted.

The traditional legends more often refer to very small hairy creatures in the top end, Ebu Gogo is one in particular that is referenced more often than others from just above Australia. Considering the Hobbit was found just north of Australia that might have something to it, also, when British Settlers came here, there are reports of pygmy tribes being totally exterminated, and again, considering the plight of the Tasmanian Indigenous, that too seems rather plausible.

What is not plausible is a giant hairy man living in what can become one of the hottest places on earth. I bet you have never been here once in your life, yet you regularly produce the argument of "were you there"? Even though you never have been at one location you expect others to be in, this time, I got you. I am here and I know Queensland reasonably well, I have seen a fair bit of this great land. It's hot Earl. Too hot for a giant hairy man to be roaming the outback, or right under our noses. I actually built my house in what Yowie enthusiasts call a Yowie Hotspot. Horse Hockey. Been there since 2006, and trekked a fair bit of the local area. Nothing remotely indicates any type of such activity. I tracked down the Ormeau Yowie, and found it to be some rather disgusting homeless people who were taking advantage of picnickers. The Molendinar Yowie is almost in the heart of suburbia, that's got to be a joke. Meganthropus died out because he was too large and could not cope with a hot climate, as such, the same applies to the so called Yowie. It just could not exist in this climate as per the descriptions. It's for grown ups who have trouble letting go of Santa as Neo said in another thread. This is just pandering to fantasy. I cannot see anyone actually applying science to these tall tales and still holding the opinion that this claim is anything more than a direct rip of of Pattersons creature made famous by the name Bigfoot. That is where genuine inquiry ends as opposed to chasing phantom tracks in the bush.

The only story that may well hold truth is that of the original pygmies. Maybe an indigenous pygmy, we will never know because few records of them remain. But even they have more supporting information than the Yowie, which is not even a traditional term, but coined in the 70's by Rex Gilroy.

Further reading:

LINK - The extinction of the Australian pygmies

LINK - Wikipedia

LINK - Hobbits? We've got a cave full

LINK - In search of the indigenous little people of northern Australia

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#6    psyche101

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:19 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 01 September 2014 - 12:46 AM, said:

Well, "Bang goes another kanga on the bonnette on the van!"  What do aboriginal Australians have say on the topic, Night Walker?

Sorry to jump in here, I am not NW. However, I can tell you that not even the term "Yowie" is indigenous. That was made up by a white man named Rex Gilroy who reports on paranormal everything's in Australia, in the early 70's for the newspapers and it stuck. The same man also claimed ancient people, UFO's giant lizards, Aussie Nessies, you name it, if it exists, he will "find" you an Australian version. More of a plagiarist than anything else.

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#7    psyche101

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:36 AM

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 31 August 2014 - 07:37 AM, said:

wait ... people do that in real life?
I thought it was an Internet phenomenon.


I thought it was rather interesting that they thought he was sent "from the scientific community"

Seems to be a mob they do not want to tangle with. No prize for guessing as to why though.

These people really think they are so important that the scientific community would be sending out spies to discredit them? Paranoid much?

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#8    Hammerclaw

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:39 AM

View Postpsyche101, on 02 September 2014 - 03:19 AM, said:

Sorry to jump in here, I am not NW. However, I can tell you that not even the term "Yowie" is indigenous. That was made up by a white man named Rex Gilroy who reports on paranormal everything's in Australia, in the early 70's for the newspapers and it stuck. The same man also claimed ancient people, UFO's giant lizards, Aussie Nessies, you name it, if it exists, he will "find" you an Australian version. More of a plagiarist than anything else.
So, no indigenous legends of gigantic hairy whatsits roaming around in the mystical dreamtime. You'd think they'd come up with something more plausable, like a carniverous kangaroo that really did exist and still has plenty of prey to live on.


#9    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 03:42 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 02 September 2014 - 03:39 AM, said:

So, no indigenous legends of gigantic hairy whatsits roaming around in the mystical dreamtime. You'd think they'd come up with something more plausable, like a carniverous kangaroo that really did exist and still has plenty of prey to live on.
Actually, there are a fair few hairy Dreamlike beasties, but clearly "scary buggers who lure you out of the safety of their tribe by imitating humans" (Quinkins) doesn't appeal to the "Yowie botherers".

Edited by Sir Wearer of Hats, 02 September 2014 - 03:43 AM.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

You may think you're cool, but you'll never be as cool as Peter Capaldi with an electric guitar, on a tank, playing the Doctor Who theme.

#10    psyche101

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:42 AM

View PostJohn Wesley Boyd, on 02 September 2014 - 03:39 AM, said:

So, no indigenous legends of gigantic hairy whatsits roaming around in the mystical dreamtime. You'd think they'd come up with something more plausable, like a carniverous kangaroo that really did exist and still has plenty of prey to live on.

Ohh, they have plenty of those, Giant Wombats and the like, and there is a few large hairy men legends in some tribes, not a one called Yowie though, they have Indigenous names like "Noocoonah", "Doolagahl", "Gooligah", "Thoolagal" or "Yaroma". Most have differences between the tribes as well with regards to appearance and behaviour. Largely, these terror stories from Indigenous legend seem to be aimed at keeping children behaved and away from water bodies where they could drown, or dangerous places. And much of dreamtime is exactly that - from a dream world that intersects ours as all time is as one.

It's the pygmies that seem to have actually existed.

Edited by psyche101, 02 September 2014 - 04:43 AM.

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#11    psyche101

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:46 AM

View PostSir Wearer of Hats, on 02 September 2014 - 03:42 AM, said:

Actually, there are a fair few hairy Dreamlike beasties, but clearly "scary buggers who lure you out of the safety of their tribe by imitating humans" (Quinkins) doesn't appeal to the "Yowie botherers".

And indeed many, many, many more beasties of all shapes sizes descriptions and levels of scariness. Of course the Giant Snake probably being the most prominent overall.  

Alway been partial to a Bunyip myself :D I hope kids are still reading The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek!

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#12    DieChecker

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 06:31 AM

View Postpsyche101, on 02 September 2014 - 03:15 AM, said:

The traditional legends more often refer to very small hairy creatures in the top end, Ebu Gogo is one in particular that is referenced more often than others from just above Australia. Considering the Hobbit was found just north of Australia that might have something to it, also, when British Settlers came here, there are reports of pygmy tribes being totally exterminated, and again, considering the plight of the Tasmanian Indigenous, that too seems rather plausible.

I've read about the Australian pygmys and they seem to me to have been most likely real. There are lots of pictures and written accounts of meeting and trading with them. Didn't they basically die out because they left the forests to come live at a Christian Mission? Town life apparently did not agree with them. Maybe it was disease. But they didn't last long after that.

I found this pic too. (Put into Spoiler mode for PG-13 reasons.... Native nakedness...)
Spoiler


Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#13    DieChecker

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 06:35 AM

I think what Night Walker is doing is cool, but is there a real point to it? Is Mr Doherty going to change his mind, or stop selling his snake oil, based on NWs working with him?

Is Mr Doherty going to allow dissenting views to be published, or spoken, at his conferences perhaps?

Wish you luck NW.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#14    psyche101

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:23 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 02 September 2014 - 06:31 AM, said:

I've read about the Australian pygmys and they seem to me to have been most likely real. There are lots of pictures and written accounts of meeting and trading with them. Didn't they basically die out because they left the forests to come live at a Christian Mission? Town life apparently did not agree with them. Maybe it was disease. But they didn't last long after that.


It sounds a bit convenient. That every single Pygmy would die and still have such few records of them. I honestly doubt that every single one would opt to go to a mission. Sadly, we have a very dubious past that is rather quiet on grander scales. We have the dark track record of Early settlers wiping out the Tasmanian Indigenous entirely, and between 1824 and 1908 White settlers and Native Mounted Police in Queensland, according to Raymond Evans, killed more than 10,000 Indigenous, who were regarded as vermin and sometimes even hunted for sport. The List of Indigenous Massacresis long and embarrassing. I could see another genocide being covered up before considering every single pygmy went to a mission and simply died leaving no photo's records or anything.

View PostDieChecker, on 02 September 2014 - 06:31 AM, said:


I found this pic too. (Put into Spoiler mode for PG-13 reasons.... Native nakedness...)
Spoiler


Sweet :D :D

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Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#15    psyche101

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 03:45 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 02 September 2014 - 06:35 AM, said:

I think what Night Walker is doing is cool, but is there a real point to it? Is Mr Doherty going to change his mind, or stop selling his snake oil, based on NWs working with him?

Is Mr Doherty going to allow dissenting views to be published, or spoken, at his conferences perhaps?

Wish you luck NW.

If he thinks he has "hard facts" it sounds like his mind is well and truly made up already. I have to say it was an impressive effort from Nightwalker to get this far.

Still chuckling at the "sent from the scientific community to discredit" bit. What phobia fears science? Fringe.

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who




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