‘I sh*t myself’: bizarre Queensland yowie sighting
A FORMER Gold Coast man has lifted the lid on a 40-year encounter he had with a yowie in the then outskirts of Palm Beach.
He says the beast was deep red, had a flat-top head, little hair on its face and red eyes.
Kieron Darcy says he had a close encounter with a "massive, hairy" animal while on a bike ride with a friend as a child in 1978.
He says it happened in a heavily wooded area just off the Manus Ave, Palm Beach around the time Pacific Highway construction was taking place.
"I moved around a lot because Dad was in the airport fire brigade," Mr Darcy said. "We had been living at the back of Palm Beach and just down the road was all pine forest where we liked to ride out bikes.
"We used to jump all over the scrap while they were building. There was a new flattened area.
"I remember it was after school and we were just two minutes into it when we were hit with an absolutely foul smell.
"It was like death. It was so bad you could feel it go into your lungs like a hot mist."
Mr Darcy said he and his friend, aged eight or nine, believed the smell may have belonged to a dead dog or 'roo in the area.
"Then we look up and see a tree, it would have been a 40ft pine tree, moving back and forward. It was too rough for the wind.
"I then focused on what was moving the tree … it made me absolutely sh*t myself."
Mr Darcy said he saw a large, hairy animal standing on two legs shaking the tree.
"The sun was starting to go down, so it was a silhouette but the hair looked to be a deep, deep red, auburn colour.
"There wasn't much hair on his face and he had a really flat top head that just ended at his eyebrows. His eyes were red."
Mr Darcy, who now lives in Redcliffe, said the animal let off what he believed to be a roar and the boys took off in panic.
"I looked across to my mate who was one of the tough kids in school. When I saw his face I knew we had to get out of there. We got back home in about 10 seconds I reckon, we were so scared."
Despite telling his mother and some school friends about what they saw Mr Darcy said he had trouble getting anyone but his mate to believe him.
"I told a few people and talked about it with mates for a few months, but you more or less put it behind you, you don't want people to think you are a nut job."
It wasn't until a recent visit to the area with his fiancee from the Netherlands that Mr Darcy decided to share his story.
"I was telling her about yowies and she said they couldn't be real. Then I told her about what I saw. I ended up finding Australian Yowie Research and got in contact to tell them my story."
Gold Coast yowie hunter Dean Harrison, who runs Australian Yowie Research (AYR), said the case had some similarities to other sightings recorded at the time.
Mr Harrison has been collecting accounts around Australia that date back to the early 1900s and has released an online interactive data base so other perspective cryptozoologists can do their own sleuthing.
"We have a few similar accounts from the 1970s in the Palm Beach area when all the development was happening in the area," Mr Harrison said.
"So it could be the same animal. There are also sightings recorded around the Numinbah Valley of an animal scavenging at the tip who has auburn hair, like this case.
"The locals refer to him as 'Big Red'."
The Gold Coast, normally a hive of activity for mysterious yowie sightings, hasn't recorded a new event in the past year.
Mr Harrison believes the drop in sightings is due to bushfires and low human activity in the area thanks to park closures and COVID-19 restrictions.
"I don't have anything from the Gold Coast which is really odd, normally it is really busy.
"All the park around Springbrook and Numinbah have all been closed off for months and months of course, that makes a big difference.
"Maybe we will see it pick up soon once people get back out and about."
Originally published as 'I sh*t myself': bizarre Palm Beach yowie sighting