Some things just can’t be ex­plained. Delve in to the su­per­nat­u­ral and dis­cover the most eerie places in Oz

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - All the case files are edited ex­tracts from Tim the Yowie Man’s fourth book, Haunted and Mys­te­ri­ous Aus­tralia.


IN THE coun­try town of Gat­ton, some 100km or so to the west of Bris­bane, is a lonely windswept ceme­tery.

This is the sort of ceme­tery where many of the names and other de­scrip­tions scribed into the grave­stones have worn away from ne­glect and ero­sion, and where many a ghost is said to whis­per se­crets of the past.

But there is one ghostly res­i­dent of this ceme­tery whose iden­tity has re­mained a mys­tery for more than 70 years. Two years fol­low­ing the death of lo­cal girl Joyce El­iz­a­beth An­drews (aged 17), on 26 April 1945, her par­ents erected a head­stone on her grave in the Gat­ton ceme­tery.

The head­stone also com­mem­o­rates Joyce’s brother Sergeant Ce­cil An­drews of the RAAF, who was killed when his air­craft crashed at sea in 1942.

Soon af­ter the head­stone was erected, Joyce’s mother, Mary El­iz­a­beth An­drews, wan­dered down to the ceme­tery with her trusty box brownie cam­era and snapped a photograph of the grave and the new head­stone to send to rel­a­tives.

A few days later, when the roll of film was com­plete, Mary took the neg­a­tives into her lo­cal Gat­ton chemist to be de­vel­oped.

When she picked up the pho­to­graphs Mary was shaken to find that the photograph of the head­stone had a ghostly ad­di­tion – the ob­vi­ous translu­cent im­age of a tod­dler sit­ting on the side of the grave.

A teenager at the time, Mary’s other son, 87-year-old Lester, re­calls the as­ton­ish­ing mo­ment his mother dis­cov­ered the ghostly im­age of the child: ‘She was shocked; just couldn’t un­der­stand why there was a ghost of a child on her son’s grave.’

Lester says that his mother swore she hadn’t taken any pic­tures of chil­dren on that roll (so it couldn’t have been an ac­ci­den­tal dou­ble ex­po­sure) and that she didn’t recog­nise the child, nor did any­one else for that mat­ter.

A pos­si­ble non-para­nor­mal ex­pla­na­tion is that the chemist tam­pered with the photo as a prac­ti­cal joke. Although this is pos­si­ble, it is most un­likely.

Adding fuel to the spec­u­la­tion as to the true ori­gins of the photograph, the neg­a­tive has van­ished.

In fact, Lester can’t re­call ever set­ting eyes upon the neg­a­tive.

The crum­bling re­mains of two other graves within a few me­tres of Joyce El­iz­a­beth’s fi­nal rest­ing place might shed some light on the iden­tity of the ghostly in­fant. The tomb­stones re­mem­ber two young girls, one the ten­der age of two and the other an equally tragic three years old.

Per­haps the ghostly in­fant tod­dled over from one of these ad­ja­cent graves?


UP THE range from Rock­hamp­ton lies a peace­ful coun­try town, the sort of place where the heads of hard­ened lo­cals turn in sur­prise when a tourist treads the lonely main street.

Mount Mor­gan is a min­ing town with a re­mark­able his­tory and although about 3000 peo­ple now call it home, in its hey­day in the late 1800s, more than 15,000 peo­ple lived here.

How­ever, if the num­ber of re­ported ghostly en­coun­ters is any in­di­ca­tion to go on, then a sub­stan­tial num­ber of the nine­teenth-cen­tury pop­u­la­tion still live on … in spirit form at least.

Although the valu­able gold and cop­per mines closed in 1981, to­day the streets and me­dian strips are lined with relics from a by­gone era when Mount Mor­gan stood proudly as one of the min­ing cap­i­tals of the world.

Re­minders of the golden min­ing era are ev­ery­where here.

The open cut mine, at over 2.5 kilo­me­tres long and 300 me­tres deep, is one of the big­gest ar­ti­fi­cial holes on earth and takes pride of place in the cen­tre of town, which is ringed by ubiq­ui­tous wooden cot­tages.

There are hun­dreds of these white cot­tages, some have been ren­o­vated, some are in orig­i­nal con­di­tion and oth­ers lie in derelict wait­ing for a de­vel­oper to move in.

One ama­teur lo­cal his­to­rian with a pen­chant for things that go bump in the night is Narelle Hous­man, who says that many of these cot­tages are plagued by fre­quent pol­ter­geist ac­tiv­ity.

By far the most com­mon para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity in Mount Mor­gan’s ag­ing cot­tages are ex­tra­or­di­nary ghostly gath­er­ings – ghost par­ties at­tended by dozens of shad­owy fig­ures and pesky poltergeists.

In 2003, the au­thor met Mount Mor­gan lo­cal, the late Jean Hawke, who re­vealed that some of the ghosts in her town are, well, al­most friendly com­pany.

“I just wish ev­ery­one could see them as of­ten as I do,” said the charis­matic lo­cal who moved to the his­toric min­ing town back in 1952.

One of the most reg­u­lar ap­pari­tions that Jean en­coun­tered was the ghostly vi­sion of a man that stands on the ve­randa of what used to be the lo­cal theatre.

That theatre is now the Mount Mor­gan His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum.

“He al­ways dresses like a farmer and back in the 1950s would of­ten wave to my friends and me on our way to see a show at the theatre,” re­called Jean.

“If he waved, it meant that the show was usu­ally good and if he didn’t, then the show wasn’t worth watch­ing.”


ONE foggy morn­ing in Jan­uary 1966, Ge­orge Ped­ley, a ba­nana farmer from Eu­ramo near Tully in far north Queens­land, was driv­ing his trac­tor past Horse­shoe La­goon, when he heard “a loud ear-pierc­ing hiss­ing above the noise of his trac­tor”.

Ge­orge thought he had a punc­ture, but just as he be­gan to step down to check his tyres he saw ‘a fly­ing saucer rise at great speed from near the la­goon.’

“My body was frigid with fright,” the rat­tled farmer told re­porters soon af­ter the event.

Af­ter the UFO van­ished in a puff of blue vapour, Ge­orge cau­tiously went to in­ves­ti­gate. What he found would not only change the laid-back farmer’s life for­ever, but would go down in his­tory as the start of one of the world’s most baf­fling world­wide con­tem­po­rary phe­nom­ena.

Un­like most UFO re­ports, where there is lit­tle if any tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence, this UFO left a 9.1-me­tre cir­cu­lar, nest­like mark in the la­goon’s float­ing reeds.

Fur­ther­more, the float­ing reeds, sucked out by the roots from the la­goon bot­tom were fused to­gether – pre­sum­ably by the heat – and con­tin­ued to “swirl for some time in a clock­wise di­rec­tion”.

At the time the RAAF sug­gested the ‘saucer nest’ could have been cre­ated by a rare whirl­wind, but weather re­ports failed to back up this the­ory.

Al­most in­stantly, Tully made world head­lines and the ‘saucer nest’ soon be­came known as the world’s first mod­ern-day crop cir­cle.

Re­ports in fol­low­ing decades came from as far afield as the USA, Ja­pan and Hun­gary, and most com­monly in south­ern Eng­land where sev­eral hun­dred ma­te­ri­alise each year.

In 1991, the world of ce­re­al­ogy (study of crop cir­cles) was turned on its head when Doug Bower and Dave Chor­ley, two el­derly artists, came for­ward with proof that they had faked hun­dreds of the for­ma­tions since the early 1980s.

One of the more spec­tac­u­lar post-1991 crop cir­cles also oc­curred in Queens­land, on the Sun­shine Coast.

On the morn­ing of Septem­ber 11, 1973, cane farm­ers dis­cov­ered vast tracts of their fields had been sculpted into strange for­ma­tions in­clud­ing a coil­ing maze and pyra­mids.

Chris­tine Walden of Woom­bye, who lived on a farm that had its crop dec­i­mated by the puz­zling pat­terns re­calls, “It was ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble. The for­ma­tions were all over our prop­erty. I’m not sure if they were of alien ori­gin or not, but our cat­tle dog broke out in a bizarre skin rash.”


◗ The ghostly im­age of a child on the grave of Joyce El­iz­a­beth An­drews at a Gat­ton Ceme­tery.


◗ Cane fields on the Sun­shine Coast mys­te­ri­ously flat­tened overnight on Septem­ber 11, 1973.


◗ The late Jean Hawke pho­tographed in 2002 out­side the build­ing where she saw vi­sions of a man on the ve­randa for more than 50 years.

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