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19th century Yowie encounter revealed


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I can't think of any known Australian animal that fits the description of the 5 foot hairy beast .

There are 2 Aboriginal beliefs I know of that fit the description .

The Yowie

and the Bunyip .

The Yowie is similar to the Big Foot and the Bunyip live in water .

Henry James McCooey straddled the emerging divide between bush-naturalists and academia. Self-taught and sometimes considered to be somewhat eccentric, McCooey assisted in demonstrating that echidnas were egg-laying mammals, discovered a several species of lizard - Lygosoma maccooeyi named after himself, and contributed many specimens to the Australian Museum yet is only remembered today for his supposed Yowie sighting...

Earliest mention of McCooey in the newspaper archives is 17 Aug, 1877 - as a horse-dealer who went bankrupt. A year later (24 Aug, 1878) McCooey is charged and acquitted of obtaining goods under false pretenses.

McCooey contributed two letters to the editor of the Australian Town and Country Journal between 1878 and 1880 before dropping his "Australian Ape" bombshell to the same newspaper in a series of three letters (9 Dec, 1882; 20 October, 1883; and November 3, 1883). From January, 1884, until his death McCooey was a regular contributor newspapers commenting on a wide variety of local fauna yet never mentions the "Australian Ape" again aside from this cryptic comment on 25 Oct, 1884:

The Australian blackfellow is unquestionably a shrewd and keen observer, but he is not noted for truthful observation.

...

About two years ago I held several long conversations with an intelligent blackfellow at Bateman's Bay on certain points of natural history on which at the time I was extremely anxious to obtain information. The names of many birds and mammals, with the interpretation he supplied me, I took down in shorthand, but in no instance have I used this information for the reasons above stated.

Was McCooey's "Australian Ape" claim the result of deception?

Despite his popularity as a naturalist, McCooey failed to achieve any official positions. McCooey was jailed in 1894 for attempted suicide. The following year McCooey made headlines by naming a new species of lizard after the Premier of New South Wales. In 1896 McCooey was charged, convicted, and jailed for 6 months as part of a conspiracy to defraud - a subsequent petition signed by Narrabri residents failed to secure a pardon.

In 1901, McCooey again attempted suicide from within the Jubilee Sanitarium. McCooey finally succeeded at suicide in 1904.

More information on H.J. McCooey here...

Henry James McCooey (1896):

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http://home.yowieoca.../HJ_McCooey_13/

How awfully cruel , imprisoning someone for attempted suicide !
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I can't think of any known Australian animal that fits the description of the 5 foot hairy beast .

There are 2 Aboriginal beliefs I know of that fit the description .

The Yowie

and the Bunyip .

The Yowie is similar to the Big Foot and the Bunyip live in water .

How awfully cruel , imprisoning someone for attempted suicide !

Yeah, mental illness wasn't a thing they could do much about, and depression or Melancholy, as it was once called was completely misunderstood.

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I can't think of any known Australian animal that fits the description of the 5 foot hairy beast .

A regular person fits the description: McCooey sought out an "intelligent blackfellow at Bateman's Bay" in regards to the "ape". Aboriginal shaman/sorcerers are known as "Clever men", have an assortment of ritualistic costumes, and are skilled at illusion...

Professor Henry Reynolds (lecturer in Aboriginal history and Australian history at the University of Tasmania): Aborigines of course resisted Europeans violently by killing Europeans and by attacking their property, and often by stealing their possessions and animals, but by and large the Europeans made it very clear that any such attack would be met by massive retaliation. As a result of the disparity in power many Aboriginal communities came to realise that it was a losing game and try and overtly resist and attack the European. It was probably a much more safer way to conduct secret ceremonies against them. And many many Europeans who died by accident, in falling from horses, or dying in mining accidents, or dying in fires, or people who had the misfortune to lose their properties, it was very possible for many Aboriginal people felt that this had been bought about by their own magic men. http://www.latrobe.e...olds/transcript

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