The Yowie

Analis

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#91
oldrover said:
Analis are you sure about this;

had their feet turned backwards...
I do remember that I read that the yowie was sometimes described like that, but I couldn't tell you precisely where in my vast personal library. I remember that a paranormalist wrote that the yowie had always been considered as a spirit by Aboriginals and had taken the shape of a man-ape only when white men came. I tried to retrace it, to no avail. It was not Karl Shuker in his worldwide paranormal encyclopedia The unexplained as I suspected first. But he relates some aboriginal traditions, notably (p196) that the Wiradjuri of New South Wales believed in the yuuris, small (1 meter tall) hairy men and women. A description similar to others from around the world, in Indonesia, some depictions of the goblins in England and farfadets in France, etc...
My feeling is that as every people in the world, Aboriginals believed in a wide range of spirits and faerie beings, some of them cryptozoologists are trying to turn into evidence of a knowledge of a large bipedal primate like the yeti in Tintin in Tibet. But as in North America, the natives simply didn't know of anything like a paranthropus or a giganthopitecus.
 

oldrover

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#92
Thanks for that Analis, it's murder trying to retrace things.

My feeling is that as every people in the world, Aboriginals believed in a wide range of spirits and faerie beings, some of them cryptozoologists are trying to turn into evidence of a knowledge of a large bipedal primate* like the yeti in Tintin in Tibet. But as in North America, the natives simply didn't know of anything like a paranthropus or a giganthopitecus.
My thoughts too.

Given that we do have this recurring feet backwards theme from around the world, what can we make of it?

*As an aside is this the theme of a Tintin story?, unlike the other famous French comic creation Asterix, I never read any of them.
 

GNC

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#93
oldrover said:
As an aside is this the theme of a Tintin story?, unlike the other famous French comic creation Asterix, I never read any of them.
Tintin in Tibet is a masterpiece, one of the finest comic books ever written. Just the cover alone is brilliant. Anyway, it has the Yeti as a character, a sort of apelike wildman of recent legend, but I won't say more in case you decide to get a copy.
 

oldrover

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#94
Hugely unlikely, I've been trying to buy an umbrella for the last five years and still, despite advice on this very message board, haven't quite managed it.
 

GNC

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#95
oldrover said:
Hugely unlikely, I've been trying to buy an umbrella for the last five years and still, despite advice on this very message board, haven't quite managed it.
OK, then, the plot goes that Tintin gets a psychic brainwave that his old friend Chang is in danger in Tibet, so he, Captain Haddock and Snowy (the dog) travel to where the plane crashed in the Himalayas and tracks Chang down. Turns out he's been "kidnapped" by the Yeti, who is actually not as scary as they first think, and is actually quite nice.

But a lot of the modern ideas of what the creature would really be like are fed into the story - or perhaps vice versa?
 

amyasleigh

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#97
Following on in similar vein -- there comes to mind the film "One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing", early in which, Derek Nimmo is making his way clandestinely out of China, with a hugely-valuable secret formula. On part of that journey, he's shown getting a lift from a yeti (literally -- creature carrying puny human in its arms, through thick snow). Yeti drops Derek off on the Tibetan side of the China / Tibet border (the film is set in the 1920s) -- our hero responds, in characteristic Nimmo style: "Thanks very much, old chap. By the way, I don't think you're the least bit abominable."
 

amyasleigh

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#98
amyasleigh said:
... an 18th-century pioneer -- who was at any rate able to write, hence his written account -- telling of his having shot and possibly killed, somewhere in the eastern half of what is now the USA, a large hairy bipedal creature which he referred to as a "yeawho", or spelling approximating thereto.
“Yahoo” (or approx. to that word) in North America – have had a result of sorts. A kind and erudite “BigfootForums” contact has provided on my request – NOT actually the thing that I mentioned to him, thinking that I recollected it (am now doubting my memory somewhat, on this), viz. Daniel Boone or some other literate frontiersman shooting a MHB-type creature which he called a “Yeawho” or something like, and writing of it – but still, interesting: an extract from a 1793 newspaper (“Gulliver’s Travels” was published 1726, btw.)

From the newspaper “American Apollo” of August 9th 1793:

“NEW RACE OF MEN

Charleston, South Carolina

A gentleman on the fourth fork of Saluda river...sends...the following description of an extraordinary animal which has been lately discovered on the Bald Mountain, and on other mountains in the Western territory:-

This animal is between 12 and 15 feet high, and in shape resembling a human being, except the head, which is in equal proportion to its body, and draws in somewhat like a tarapin [sic]; its feet is like those of a negro, about 2 ft. long, and hairy, which is of a dark dun colour; its eyes are exceedingly large, and open and shut up and down its face; the hair of its head is about six inches long, stands straight like a negro’s; its nose is like that of the human species, only large, and inclined to what is called Roman.

These animals are bold, and have lately attempted to kill several persons – in which attempts some of them have been shot. Their principal resort is on the Bald Mountain, where they lie in wait for travellers – but some have been seen in this part of the country. The inhabitants of this place call it Yahoo: the Indians, however, give it the name of Chickly-Cudly.”
 

oldrover

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#99
Hence the term "yahoo" has come to mean "a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person".
Can't help feeling I should have spotted this earlier.

am now doubting my memory somewhat, on this
Well you shouldn't you were right on the money, by pure luck I've come across it.

American frontiersman Daniel Boone, who often used terms from Gulliver's Travels, claimed that he killed a hairy giant that he called a Yahoo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo_(Gulliver's_Travels)#cite_note-1

Anyone whose interested there's plenty of discussion around the source for the wiki article, not going to clog things up with urls again, which can be found by typing in 'Did fiction give birth to Bigfoot? by Hugh H. Trotti'.

As regards it's possible place in Bigfoot lore, and I have to say until anyone can point to an authentic Aboriginal source in the Yowie scene as well, who knows? Personally though I find it very significant, to me it shows a strong Western cultural influence right back into the 18th C.
 

amyasleigh

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oldrover -- have duly followed up your “Trotti” lead. My essential “take”: if I get things right, in the journal “Skeptical Inquirer” in 1994, Trotti speculates that the genesis of “Bigfoot” may come from “Gulliver’s Travels” [Book 4, involving the horrid sub-human Yahoos] – Daniel Boone known to have been a fan of “Gulliver”, and taken the book on his journeys – he’s known to have expanded on the book in various ways, possibly including his having told a (“tall”?) tale about his killing in the Kentucky wilderness, a 10-feet-tall hairy giant which he called a “Yahoo”.

In “Skeptical Inquirer” three years later, David M. Zueffle writes that in his opinion, “Trotti’s hypothesis... is insufficient to account for the multitude of ape-man legends (including Bigfoot) in their entirety. The various legends concerning Bigfoot-like creatures come from around the world... it appears that some of the legends originated in widely dispersed indigenous cultures, and many of their myths apparently predate Swift’s Yahoos”.

In a general context of “who knows?” – I’m much inclined to go with Zueffle. Can see “Boone via Swift” starting the spread of a term to identify MHBs – maybe even fostering rather “instant” myth / legend about same, over a considerable area (as with the newspaper account which I cited, about MHBs called “Yahoos” in South Carolina in the 1790s – perhaps spread from Boone’s Kentucky / Tennessee theatre of operations a few decades earlier); but I see a combination of more distant parts of the world / different cultures / earlier times, producing MHB reports / accounts, which have to be independent / unaffected re any of the above.
 

oldrover

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I haven't had a chance to follow the links myself yet.

I think the Swift/Boone thing is interesting and suggestive, but of course not a total explanation.

The various legends concerning Bigfoot-like creatures come from around the world... it appears that some of the legends originated in widely dispersed indigenous cultures, and many of their myths apparently predate Swift’s Yahoos”.
It may be that's where Swift got the idea.
 

amyasleigh

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oldrover -- mmm... initial thought is, I'll admit, along "gnats and camels" line -- but will pause for thought; will carry on "as previously planned", meanwhile.
 

amyasleigh

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To engage briefly-ish, on two issues fairly-lately come up on this thread...

The “feet-backwards” thing (mentioned in several posts of Jan. 12th): this certainly seems to be a theme which crops up as regards MHB lore in multiple parts of the globe. Quite recently, came upon an “in-passing” mention of same, somewhere on the Net (can’t, now, find same afresh, drat it): the “feet-backwards” matter in a possibly functional role, as opposed to “just weirdness”. Issue of MHBs’ well-known amazing alertness / elusiveness vis-à-vis hom.sap.sap. – notion was advanced, that inhabitants of the Himalayas recount that the near-impossibility of catching a yeti, is contributed-to by the factor of the creature’s “having its feet on backwards” – so that when retreating from people, it’s able still to be looking at them and aware of what they’re doing... (have noted that Heuvelmans in “On The Track Of...”, makes a couple of mentions of assertions from locals, that the yeti’s feet are on backwards).

Sender of the 18th-century newspaper item which I recently cited re Yahoos, added to it another – in altogether a different ballpark, but... I have posted this item in full, on the board’s “General Forteana” sub-forum, heading “Andros Island (Bahamas) Weirdness” – basically for its oddity-value. Replicating here, a small excerpt from the thereabove-cited 1956 newspaper article, about abovementioned island:

“the Yahoos, strange, half-human, half-animal creatures with magic powers to work ill or harm... Yahoos are tall creatures with red-rimmed eyes and three fingers and they have their feet on backwards. They dwell in the bush. If you are going through the bush and suddenly confront a yahoo, the safest thing to do is to hold up your hand in a form of the Boy Scout salute – with three fingers upright and the thumb holding the little finger down. Presumably the yahoo, seeing your three fingers, will figure you are a member of his lodge, and go on about his business.”

Will just say : I do not think that the above is worthwhile evidence that such creatures, or anything like, might be to be found existing in a purely-flesh-and-blood breeding population, on Andros Island today.
 

amyasleigh

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amyasleigh said:
oldrover -- mmm... initial thought is, I'll admit, along "gnats and camels" line -- but will pause for thought; will carry on "as previously planned", meanwhile.
Sorry if post as above, seemed a bit snappish – was just having re the discussion, something of an “ever-decreasing circles” moment.

On reflection – yes, word-of-mouth (and later, written) stuff about MHB, has been around among humans, pretty well ever since there have been humans. I’d figure that Swift could have been inspired re his Yahoos, by material which he in Britain in the early 18th century could likely have heard of: (cue list – additional suggestions, welcomed).

British woodwoses; quite likely, Northern European trolls; satyrs, fauns, and similar, from “around-Mediterranean” classical antiquity; “beast-men” in the Far East (not, I think, Himalayas and China) fragmentarily told of, by classical authors, and later by Marco Polo; some vague hints (if I have things rightly) about great apes in Africa; likewise, vague hints from South America – in part, Patagonian giant sloth rumours: 300 years ago, “close enough for government work”, especially if you’re basically a fiction writer, not a scientist.

I’d figure that anything in North America / Russia-cum-Central Asia / Himalayan region / China / Australia (this last, basically undiscovered in his time) would have been outside his scope.

One can speculate and wonder: postulating that basically, in flesh-and-blood terms, MHB do not exist – or have not existed for many centuries back – it might perhaps be, that by the chance concatenation of Swift writing “Gulliver” in the early 18th century, and – for his misanthropic agenda – drawing on “beast-men” lore which he knew, for his horrible Yahoos; and Dan Boone becoming a “Gulliver” fan (and not averse to colourful storytelling, getting into the realms of what Gulliver’s noble equine race, masters of the Yahoos, called “the thing which is not” [the concept of lying, was alien to them]) – tales came to proliferate, mid-18th-century onward, in the south-eastern parts of North America (maybe extending yet further, say to the Bahamas), about MHB, which tended to be called “Yahoos” (or similar) – that whole thing in that corner of the globe, being all about tall tales and nonsense (and various people, for various reasons, claiming that they had seen / encountered Yahoos, whereas in sober fact, they were lying / deluded / mistaken).

Continuing with the assumption that MHB don’t exist: Swift could thus be justly accused of having (though inadvertently) helped to prolong for a couple-or-three centuries, naïve folks’ belief in the existence of MHB, in a fairly restricted part of the globe (including American MHB erroneous-believers taking the myth further west with them). However: as cited above, parts of the world whose reputed MHB Swift couldn’t have known anything about – thus, traditions of same, independent of, and unrelated to, him – which, if one is a staunch debunker, one must attack on terms nothing to do with our friend the Dean ( fl. 1667 – 1745).
 

oldrover

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Sorry if post as above, seemed a bit snappish – was just having re the discussion, something of an “ever-decreasing circles” moment.
Not at all, I understood what you meant and am very familiar with the sensation myself.

I agree that there's a hell of a lot of Man Beast lore which is totally unconnected to Swift, as you say, from all around the world.

To take Swift's impact on the MB question how important is it? I don't think that much of the modern bigfoot scene is influenced by him. I think it's a much more modern collaboration, I use that word instead of creation because I don't think it was entirely either orchestrated or deliberate, but I think it's impossible to deny that he had an influence in an earlier tradition that's very akin to it. Then again I think it's very likely that his influence can be clearly seen in the 1956 article on Andros Island.

What I think needs to be established is whether the term Yahoo appears anywhere in Aboriginal tradition.
 

oldrover

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Here we are from Wiki, I know not the best source but frankly where the hell do you start?

The origin of the term "yowie" in the context of unidentified hominids is unclear. Some nineteenth century writers suggested that it simply arose through the aforementioned Aboriginal legends. Robert Holden recounts several stories that support this from the nineteenth century, including this European account from 1842;
“ The natives of Australia...believe in...[the]Yahoo...This being they describe as resembling a man...of nearly the same height,...with long white hair hanging down from the head over the features...the arms as extraordinarily long, furnished at the extremities with great talons, and the feet turned backwards, so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had travelled in the opposite direction. Altogether, they describe it as a hideous monster of an unearthy character and ape-like appearance.[3] ”
Another story, collected from an Aboriginal source, seems to confirm the creature as a part of the Dreamtime.
“ Old Bungaree a Gunedah aboriginal ...said at one time there were tribes of them [yahoos] and they were the original inhabitants of the country-he said they were the old race of blacks... [The yahoos] and the blacks used to fight and the blacks always beat them but the yahoo always made away...being...faster runners.[4] ”
On the other hand, Jonathan Swift's yahoos from Gulliver's Travels, and European traditions of hairy wild men, are also cited as a possible source.[5]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yowie

So that hasn't helped. At first glance though you could be forgiven for thinking that Swift has at least had an influence.
 

amyasleigh

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o/r: Thanks for yowie lore via Wiki. As you say, one has got to start somewhere; "go-to" stuff re this matter, is not very obviously to hand for the interested non-specialist.

There are of course, various yowie-specific societies and websites, Australia-based, who no doubt have things to say on the Aboriginal-lore topic. An outfit called AYR (?Australian Yowie Researchers?) comes to mind. I did a quick flip through this thread -- didn't yield much in the way of potential links, except for various mentions of one "Tim the Yowie Man", who seems -- well, a bit odd.

With such "enthusiast" sites, there's always the thing of passionate "believers" so wanting that which they hold to, to be true; that their proffered information can be suspect -- considerable temptation for them to cherry-pick data, and even outright to falsify stuff, to support what they desire to believe.
 

Zilch5

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Now Lake George is creepy enough without seeing something like this... :shock:
 

stu neville

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:lol: from the report:

The Queensland Times said:
"I don't know when it started, but the legend of the yowie was talked about when I was a kid."

Meanwhile, Vidler has a hunch the yowie was "a big black dog that lived in the area that had a funny arse on it".
That could only ever come from one country...

Interesting artist's impression, too, given it was described as being quite like an Orang Utan.
 

Old_Shoe

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If I came across a dead thing like that and I suspected it MIGHT be a yowie or bigfoot, I'd probably lay it out for a better look. And I wouldn't take just 5 pictures of it. And I wouldn't release just 1 of the 5 pictures showing an unidentifiable pile of hair. I'll raise the BS flag on that one. ;)
 

Anome

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Can't say either way on the foliage. Depends on where it was found.

The fur looks to me like either a sloth or a Wookiee costume. Or maybe a silky terrier, although it does look a bit big.
 

oldrover

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Perhaps what we're seeing is the aftermath of a collision between two silky terriers.
 
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