On the prowl for the mystical
Some things just can’t be explained, says the Yowie Man
TIM the Yowie Man, as he likes to be known, lived a fairly ordinary existence until a camping trip near the Snowy Mountains. What he saw one night in the bush set him on a paranormal path that he follows to this day.
“I had an interest in strange happenings since I was a kid,” Tim said.
“But it peaked in 1994 when I went camping in some mountains near Canberra and I saw a creature, which at the time I had no idea what it was and it completely freaked me out, but when I came back and told people about it they said to me, ‘You’ve seen the yowie’.”
Back then, Tim had no idea the yowie was the Aussie version of America’s bigfoot.
The mythical creature features in many Aboriginal legends and is described as hairy and ape-like but stands upright at more than two metres tall.
The camping experience set Tim on a five-year project that involved interviewing others who had encountered similar creatures in Australia and across the world.
“In all that time I didn’t get any evidence, I had no more encounters,” he said.
“I had a great time but never got to the bottom of the yowie mystery and still haven’t.
“What it did, though, was open up my eyes to the fact that not only Australia but the world has so many mysterious stories.”
Now aged 44, the supernatural sleuth has expanded his area of expertise from yowies to anything that goes bump in the night (or any other time).
He still travels the world following tip-offs from fans of his books, in pursuit of ghostly or strange occurrences.
Tim said his creepiest Australian experience occurred off the West Australian coast when he dived on the shipwreck Alkimos.
The rumour surrounding the wreck is that bad luck will befall anyone who dares touch it or dive on it.
“I thought (the curse) was probably just coincidence,” Tim said.
“So I tested the curse. It was a calm day and as soon as I touched the wreck and said words to the effect of ‘If there’s a curse, come and show me’, the day changed.
“A freak wave washed me up against the wreck and I cut my hand. I felt really uneasy.
“And for the next three weeks I was subjected to the worst luck possible.”
The “worst luck” included being head-butted unconscious by a camel, snapping the keys in a hire car in a remote part of WA, and his girlfriend unexpectedly going overseas for three years.
At the time, Tim funded his adventures by writing about his encounters in overseas magazines.
In that three-week period, many of the magazines went bust. “I went all the way back to Perth, went out and touched the wreck again, and said my apologies ... and from that moment on I had good luck,” Tim said.
Black Mountain near Cairns is Tim’s second creepiest place in Australia.
But do not mistake the paranormal expert for a true believer. Tim started off a sceptic and remains sceptical.
He described himself as a supernatural evidence gatherer, but said he had an open mind following more than two decades of experiences across the world.
“I want to explain it using science and whatever is available but some things, it appears, can’t be explained and are beyond the realms of our understanding,” Tim said.
“I love that because so much of the world today, we think we can just google it or there’s an app for it – the whole world is explained.
“A bit of a mystery out there makes the world a more interesting place.”
◗ Tim the Yowie Man has been investigating things that go bump in the night (or any other time) since his encounter with a yowie in 1994.
Tim’s fourth book, Haunted and Mysterious Australia, RRP $35, is available now through New Holland Publishers Australia.