4 x 4 Australia
‘DOING A PERISH’
EVERY year there are horror tales of people ‘doing a perish’ in the outback due to vehicle breakdowns, and others who get lost and are never seen again. There are tales and legends out there of alien abduction, murder, robbery and more, and some have enough evidence to be true.
I know a bloke who lives alone in the bush in the ruins of an old pub. He ‘sees’ things that roam the skies and, while he has not been ‘probed’ yet, he fears it will happen soon. However, when people vanish in the wilderness it is because nature is a good cleaner.
Decades ago, I was involved in a search for a bloke who walked in to the bush near Kajabbi, north of Mount Isa. He was full of good spirits – some say it was Bundy rum. We searched for long days before I was drawn by circling whistling kites, hawks and cawing crows. There were only a few bones and a skull, 200m away from the bones. The birds, dingoes and pigs had done a good job, and had it been a day later the telltale birds would not have been there as the bones would have been picked clean.
On a separate occasion, a couple of station hands on a large Georgina River property, south of Camooweal, headed out to do a bore check early in the day. The vehicle broke down 15km from the homestead. With no water or radio, they walked home in the 45°C heat and never made it, the unforgiving outback adding to its tally. The lesson here is to carry water and communication tools, and to stay with the vehicle as it’s much easier to find than a person.
The same happened to German tourists west of Alice Springs some years back. Had they stayed with their vehicle, they would have survived the wilds. More recently, a family of Aborigines did that and were alive and well when found days after they were reported missing.
So, always let someone know your intentions and expected return when heading bush.