On the prowl for the mys­ti­cal

Some things just can’t be ex­plained, says the Yowie Man

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - BY Letea Ca­van­der

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.”

PHOTO: RICHARD BRIGGS

◗ 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.

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