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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

50 Years of Sasquatch Experiences in Clackamas County, Oregon

As most people are aware, Bigfoot or Sasquatch is a notorious cryptid that has been reported to roam throughout all of North America–one state, however, that seems to have an abundance of sightings is Oregon. While it’s impossible to cover all of these sightings in one article, these are some of the highlights we found during our research.

Timeline of Sightings

1971

June – Motorists see Sasquatch at Nighttime Near Boring

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY near the town of Boring, a witness was driving in the wood when a large bipedal creature ran up onto the road from the right.

First-Hand Experience

After seeing the car, the creature ran away from the car on the road approximately thirty to forty feet before it ran up the small embankment to the left and out of eyesight. The driver and their companion jumped out of their car to investigate, but couldn’t see anything else—they estimated that it was at least six feet, covered in hair, and they also reported that the creature ran as if flat-footed. It reportedly paused to look at their car when it first came up onto the road, before it turned and ran—it was dark, so they only witnessed what could be seen with the headlights of the car.


1974

June – Sighting From a Hunting Platform Behind Skyline Mobile Park

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY two brothers witnessed a cinnamon-colored creature walk by them while sitting on a hunting platform in the woods behind Skyline Mobile Park off of Sandy Heights Road.

First-Hand Experience

Behind the Skyline Mobile Park are woods, with a small stream at the bottom of the hill called Tickle Creek—an area that these two witnesses used to frequent, but noticed after having been absent from the area directly before the sighting, that the area had grown immensely. Just six feet up on a platform in the crook of a tree, the two brothers, both in their teens at the time, were using their BB gun to shoot a stump down the hill from where they were sitting in their tree. Just as one of the brothers was about to shoot the BB gun, something passed right in front of the tall stump, but everything except the creatures head was obscured by the surrounding trees and brush. The witness got a good look at the head though, as it had short cinnamon-brown fur covering the head, and a flat nose.

The view of the creature was quick, as it disappeared into the brush without making a sound due to the bed of fir needles that covered the ground. While there were two boys there, only one of them actually witnessed the creature, the other only having seen the disturbed brush that the creature had disappeared into. Once they were sure the creature had gone they decided to investigate what they believed they had seen and estimated that the creature must have been approximately 7 1/2 feet tall. The witnesses went to an adult and related their story, but weren’t taken seriously. Later that same day, during the evening, they looked up to where the tree platform was and they saw a silhouette of a bipedal creature—they were unable to make out any facial features.


September 1 – Foul Odor and Unusual Sounds Near the Northfork Bridge on the Collawash River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY while camping, a witness reported a foul odor and unusual sounds at 2:30 am, then found tracks the next morning.

First-Hand Experience

A short distance off of a sandy shore, a family was camping in a small bushy clearing. Right before the encounter, the family’s dogs woke suddenly and frantically began to bark for several minutes—after a short while their barks stifled into whines and then whimpers. Eventually the dogs were so frightened that they lay there silent and trembling—this of course awoke the witness who reached for the gun he had resting under his pillow. He began to hear something wading through the water, which he noticed smelled utterly foul—this witness reported it smelled as if it were urine-soaked fur. The witness pretended to sleep, hoping that it would pass by without attacking and said that the encounter lasted approximately four minutes. He also reported that it brushed against his head which greatly frightened him. The next morning, he investigated the shoreline in which he found very large foot prints in the dryer sand, as well as all around their campsite.


1978

August – Nighttime Sighting by Motorist Between Barton and Carver

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a motorist driving between Barton and Carver encountered at nighttime.

First-Hand Experience

A motorist and their roommate were driving along Highway 224 between Carver and Barton around 10 pm when they saw a pair of eyes reflecting the car’s headlights on the side of the road nearest to the river. The two frequently traveled up to Estacada at night in order to visit a friend who was working at the Safari Club. As they got closer to where the owner of the reflective eyes, they began to see the creature they were attached to standing near a maple tree. The creature enormous, dark brown and hairy—and simply stared at them as they drove past. After driving another mile, the driver finally asked their roommate if they had seen the creature on the side of the highway, which they had.


1984

August – Molalla River Sighting by Tree-line

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY past Molalla in Dickey Prairie, there is a small store that sits alongside the river–just three miles further is a bridge that crosses the river where some girls viewed an unidentified bipedal creature that happened to be retreating back into the tree-line.

First-Hand Experience

In 1984, a fifteen-year-old who lived just outside the town of Molalla in Dickey Prairie where her home sat just on the river. One evening before dusk, she and her friend were hanging out near the bottom of the bridge where they swam regularly during the warm summer nights. Something–perhaps a sound or just a feeling–made the two girls look across the river where they saw a flash of a man-like creature running between the trees. She described it as being dark brown or black and covered in hair, she also estimated that it had to have been at least 7 1/2 feet tall.

Having been a resident tomboy, this young girl had roamed all over the woods, the abandoned logging roads, and knew the forest well. She reported having never been more scared than that evening, where she and her friend promptly ran all the way back to her home. It wasn’t until they reached the safety of the house did they even try to talk about what they had both seen, but when they tried to tell her parents they weren’t taken seriously. They noticed that the creature had wanted to get away from them as much as they wanted to get away from it.


1987

June 20 – Couple Hears Strange Vocalizations on Troon Drive

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a couple hears what sounds like a woman screaming.

First-Hand Experience

During a construction development of homes, a couple had just moved into the first completed house—after two weeks of living in their new home, they left their windows open overnight and began to hear strange sounds. They couldn’t identify them at first because it was a low rumbling sound, which eventually got louder and louder—very soon they believed it to be a woman screaming or yelling. At first they believed that it may have been a woman or teenage girl being attacked by a potential rapist and the wife was told to call the police. The husband threw on clothes and ran down into the newly paved cul-de-sac and as soon as he got outside he realized there were no cars or teenagers that he could see, but the vocalizations got much clearer. After about five minutes the screams stopped and the police arrived, they checked it out but found nothing.


1991

July – Sounds Heard at Skookum Lake

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a group of friends went camping near Skookum lake when they had a strange encounter and heard unusual sounds.

First-Hand Experience

Four friends went camping near Skookum Lake, one of whom had a father who worked for the Forest Service and set up their camp as soon as they arrived near the lake. They decided to go on a long hike up Thunder Mountain and upon returning, the sun had already begun to set. The four friends were exhausted after such a long hike and all decided to go to sleep right away. Sometime during the night, one of the campers woke up to strange sounds—not the type of forest sounds that they were used to hearing. They heard rocks being thrown down from the ridge above them, and heard them banging off the other rocks on the way down.

During the hike earlier in the day, they had noticed a large pile of boulders near the top of the ridge where the rocks were tumbling down and speculated that it sounded as if there was someone hunting for something. The witness sat up in their tent and realized that they weren’t dreaming and then they tried to wake up their friends, but no one else would wake up. The noises of the rocks falling stopped and the camper fell back only to be woken up to the sound of foot steps outside of their camp. The camper didn’t believe it was a bear, because they heard that the foot steps were too spaced out to be a four-legged animal. None of the other campers friends heard anything that night.


1993

June – A Family is Approached Near Cabin in the Forest

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a family was approached near their forest cabin outside of Rhododendron.

First-Hand Experience

A woman’s fiancé had a cabin on Mt. Hood near Rhododendron and while visiting their cabin, she had their Rottweiler tied to a tree. While she was outside doing some work, the Rottweiler started growling towards the forest, which is when she looked up and saw a big and hairy creature stepping between the trees. She didn’t register what was happening at first, so she yelled at the thing to leave the property, or else she would let the Rottweiler loose.

When the hairy creature continued to step behind and between trees, she called out her kids and told them to keep an eye on whatever it was while she got her work done. All the while, the creature continued to move closer and closer, before her fiancé pulled up to the cabin and the creature disappeared. This was when she realized that what she had seen was not actually an intruder or a bear.


1995

May – Campers Hear Vocalizations Near Timberline Lodge

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a group was camping within walking distance of Timberline Lodge near Mt. Hood when they heard strange unidentifiable sounds.

First-Hand Experience

Three friends were invited to go camping, just below Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, by mutual friends who worked at the ski resort. They had gotten there on a Friday afternoon, but on the following evening while sitting around a campfire they began to hear strange sounds coming from the woods directly below them. One of the campers, who was less knowledgeable than some of the others asked if any of them knew what had made the sounds, but after listening for several minutes, none of them could identify what could have been making the noise. They all agreed it sounded like a scream or a yell that could not have been coming from a human due to the volume of the sound. The sounds lasted for approximately a half-hour, but they could also hear the sounds of something large walking through the brush where the vocalizations were coming from. They jokingly discussed the possibility of it being a Bigfoot, but after returning home from camping, they heard audio from a Discovery Channel program where they were researching the legend of Bigfoot and the sounds presented as evidence in the show were identical to the ones that they had all heard while camping.


July – Camp Counselor Has Daylight Sighting Near Molalla River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a camp counselor was doing trail work near the Molalla River when they sighted a Bigfoot during the daytime.

First-Hand Experience

A sixteen-year-old was volunteering as a day camp counselor when they took a friend for a walk on the trails within the camps—they were cleaning the trails and brought their lunches to eat while on a break. A half-mile away from the main camp, on the outskirts, the two friends were near a swampy area when they stopped to eat lunch, one of them realized they had left something back at camp and left while the other ate their lunch.

Expecting only to be alone for around ten minutes, the volunteer counselor heard something in the woods to their left and stood up to get a better look at what it could be. What they saw was a massive hairy man-like creature that was standing next to a large cedar tree approximately fifty feet away. They estimated that it was about eight feet tall, very wide, and bulky. They perceived the creature as having long thick fur that was approximately six inches long and medium brown in color. The creature looked at them for a few seconds of solid eye contact before it immediately ran away. The witness knew it was not their friend pranking them, due to the fact that they ran into their friend on their way back to the camp after their disturbing encounter.


November – A Dusk Encounter in the Woods Off of Hunter Road

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a bow-hunter reported having an encounter around dusk in the woods off Hunter Road.

First-Hand Experience

A witness was bow-hunting between two deer trails, facing west into the wind at around dusk—he noticed that the night was eerily quiet considering it was usually a hot-zone for deer activity. By the time it became too dark for the bow-hunter to see through his aiming sights, he heard footsteps crunching along the forest floor behind him—at first he believed it to be a buck and that it seemed to be following his scent to where he was hidden in some blackberry bushes. That’s when the witness realized that the creature was actually what looked like a Bigfoot standing approximately 75 feet behind him; the Bigfoot looked to be approximately 7 1/2 feet tall and around 600 lb. Eventually after staring at each other for what seemed like forever, before the Bigfoot turned around and walked in the direction that it had come from. When the hunter went to look for tracks the next day, there were no tracks due to the thick layer of leaves on the ground.

Dark Creepy Forest
Photography by Harrison Broadbent

2000

June – Strange Sounds Heard on a Property Outside of Molalla

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a sixteen-year-old experienced something strange while walking home.

First-Hand Experience

A teenager who had lived in a wooded area all of their life, had been accustomed to walking alone in the woods in the dark without worrying about their safety or being anxious about creatures being in the forest with them. This particular night, they had been using the computer at their grandmother’s home before they walked to their own home which was less than a football field away. For some reason that night they had a a strange feeling that they weren’t alone in the forest and adrenaline rushed through them as they walked home, terrified. Thirty feet to their right they heard a loud thumping and crashing sound. They broke out into a run and believed they could hear bipedal movement quickly following after—the teen got to their house and threw the door closed behind them and locked the door.


July 22 – Vocalizations in the Morning Near Sandy

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a visitor to the area heard unusual vocalizations in the early morning near Sandy.

First-Hand Experience

While looking out of a second-story window of the Sandy Inn Hotel, a witness in a room on the north side of the building was looking upon the woods and the Columbia River in the distance. During his three day stay, on the night of the 21st, this particular witness couldn’t sleep. The rest of his family was sound asleep; it was a humid night a few hours after a thunderstorm and was awake around 3 am on the 22nd when he heard the strange sounds. The witness was attempting to cool off and had their head out of the second-story window, enjoying the breeze while looking off into the woods. Otherwise a silent night, they suddenly heard a sound that they could not quite describe—it was too long for it to be the sound of tires screeching, but then thought it might be a man screaming or wailing—but it was definitely a high pitched and inhuman sound. Admittedly the witness emphasized that they had never heard a Bigfoot sound previously, but from later research, they believed them to be a match to what was heard.


2001

March 18 – Tracks in Table Rock Creek

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY within the wilderness of Table Rock, once again near Molalla and Dickey Prairie, nearest to the town of Glen Avon. Two Hikers came across tracks during their hike near the Table Rock Wilderness.

First-Hand Experience

While hiking near Table Rock Wilderness, near the end of the winter season in March, two brothers came across footprints in the snow. They were surprised to find that their size 12 and 13 boots were dwarfed by these veru large, bare, human-like footprints. The men took pictures using a digital camera, where they used a dollar bill as a size reference of not just the track, but also the length of the stride, the latter of which they measured to be approximately four feet.


November 29 – Sighting in Neighborhood Near Mt. Hood

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY an Oregon resident near Mount Hood caught a glimpse of a Bigfoot in his neighborhood.

First-Hand Experience

This sighting was approximately forty feet from a small outhouse building in an area near Rhododendron off Highway 26. The witness who submitted this report said that they saw the creature from a distance of about 130 feet, from a window in their home. Although this sighting was at night, a car’s headlights backlit the creature as it ran from the left side of the road to the right side from this witness’s perspective. The here unidentified occupants of the car also sighted this creature, all witnesses stated that it was around seven-feet-tall hairy bipedal creature, running quickly. The neighborhood dogs were apparently all barking excitedly, which is what initially caused the witness to look through his window. A limited search for footprints with a flashlight were unsuccessful, despite a moist evening with light precipitation. Upon going out to investigate what he had seen, the witness also reported noticing a bad odor where the sighted creature had been.


2003

November – Bigfoot Experience in Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY on the property that bordered the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness—a witness that was living off of Elk Park Road in Welches believes they experienced a Bigfoot attempting to come into their residence, as well as having witnessed several vocalizations.

First-Hand Experiences

A forty-year-old had an experience with what they believed was a run-in with Bigfoot. This person was living in an apartment just above a garage that overlooked the Salmon River. That particular night at 6 pm, there was a loud bang on their (thankfully) locked front door, which prompted them to call 911 and report being alone and scared after something hand banged on their door. After calling 911, they heard grunting on their deck, and looked out to see if they could see anything. When the witness came face-to-face with a set of eyes from what would have had to be a huge creature. They made eye-contact and just watched each other for a moment—it was described as having been furry.


2004

June 19-22 – Off of Highway 211 Northeast of Colton

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY just off of Highway 211 Northeast of the Colton area, around midnight, the witness heard strange vocalizations and discovered footprints.

First-Hand Experience

While visiting a friend in the Colton area at the base of Goat Mountain in a reportedly known Bigfoot area; a witness reported that around midnight, they began to hear strange noises in the tree-line which was approximately 100 yards from the friend’s house. These noises also seemed to be coming from three different locations, as if communicating back and forth, but it was clear that these calls were coming from something very large. After listening for around thirty minutes, when the witness finally had everyone else at the house come outside to bear witness to what the original person had been hearing. Not a single one of them could identify what the noise was and all agreed that the noises were strange.

They decided to shine a light at which point the noises ceased until the flashlight was shut off—they couldn’t identify anything due to heavy brush. The calls back and forth lasted until about a half an hour before dawn. The witness was an experienced outdoorsman, as was the owner of the property and neither could identify anything other than a Bigfoot that the creature could have been. That morning after day broke, they went and were able to discover two possible tracks that were also unidentifiable after comparing them to other animal tracks from the same area. They also noticed that the grass was pushed down in what looked to be heavy three to four foot strides. The property owner has heard the same noises ever since that night, as well as thrashing sounds from within the brush. There is a speculated link between the sudden frequency of the sounds and logging that may have pushed them out of their habitat.


September 26 – Tree-shaking Display near Molalla River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY campers were greeted by an unexpected tree-shaking display near Molalla River.

First-Hand Experience

Thirteen miles south of the Glen Avon Bridge on the Molalla River, two friends and their two large dogs took a trip to check up on a campsite that they were planning on using during the summer. They had only walked approximately twenty-five feet from the gravel road and a huge sound of bushes and trees crackling and breaking came from their left. One of the witnesses saw the disturbance out of the corner of their eye and looked over where they saw brush moving violently ten feet off of the path. No creature was visible, but it was clear there was something large moving the trees—they could all feel the vibration of footsteps under their own feet and the distinct sounds of heavy thumping strides. They felt as if they had been startled by something that was enormous, close, and very fast.

If you happen to live in Clackamas County and you have encountered a Bigfoot or Sasquatch, let us know below!

Categories
Horror Books Horror Mystery and Lore

Alaska’s Bigfoot: The Tornit

History and Mythology of the Tornit

Tornit, Alaska's Bigfoot, caught and caged
Photography by Elmira Gokoryan

Back in the old times, when Baffin Island was still known as Nunatsiarmiut (new-naht-saw-me-oot) and before European influence, the Inuit people lived near the coast of Kangiqtualuk. They were master kayak-builders and survived by means of subsistence—they were excellent hunters, regularly bringing in seals and whales to feed the people in their villages. They were not the only people living on the island though, they lived under the shadow of fear with a tribe of much bigger and aggressive people. Their way of living was different than their Inuit counterparts, as they could not build kayaks, tan hides, or preserve food in the traditional ways of the north.

These people are known as the Tornit (tore-knit) and possessed not only a larger stature but extraordinary strength; they would build houses out of stones and boulders that were much too large for any Inuit person to lift. These creatures, although human-like, are not human at all, with long arms and legs, they present more like a large ape or Neanderthal. Although they are bipedal in nature they would still be mistaken for a bear at a distance, due to their hairy appearance. Despite their largely physical advantages over a regular man, the Tornit have exceedingly poor eyesight which hinders their ability to hunt. They often smell like ghastly rotting flesh at worst and at best as if they have been freshly sprayed by a skunk—this concept also connects them largely to the creature of the southern United States known as the Skunk Ape.

So What’s the Story?

Crouching ape; Alaska's bigfoot, the Tornit
Photography by Kelly Sikkema

There is an abundance of lore available on these creatures through the published anthropological surveys of the Northern territories from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Franz Boas wrote down the oral traditions of the Inuit people from Baffin Island to Hudson Bay and captured many stories of the unscrupulous nature of the Tornit. There were some inconsistencies, with some villages recalling oral traditions that painted the Tornit to be a friendlier beast and even other recollections that the Tornit were actually hunted as a food source.

Their tense relationship with most of the Inuit tribes may have had less to do with the race of people as a whole and more so with the idea that neither the Inuit nor the Tornit seemed to be too fond of each other in general. The overwhelming consensus with all of the information available in books and online suggest they are a morally repugnant, dim-witted, unpleasant, and vicious creature. All of the lore taken into consideration, the reputation that the Tornit have, smacks more of a feudal war than that of a monster that hunts its prey from the shadows, but the isolated incidents of Tornit invading Inuit villages while the men were away simply to kill all of the women and children, in my opinion, makes them creatures to be feared.

Read the first installation of our original story, which features a rendition of the Tornit folktale, or check out other fascinating Alaskan cryptids!

Bigfoot

Date of Discovery

If we listen to the theory of Bigfoot being part of the genus of gigantopithecus, or giant ape, then they are believed to have been in existence when homo erectus first came into being. This means that they have existed for roughly two million years. However, there have been modern reports that date back as far back as 1818, when the Exeter Watchman reported having seen an “animal resembling the Wild Man of the Woods,” near Ellisburgh, New York.

Name

Bigfoot is possibly the most common name given to the gigantopithecus of North America–a genus of giant ape, that is said to have gone extinct around one hundred thousand years ago. Bigfoot also goes by the identifying name of Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, Skookum, Fouke Monster, Momo, Mogollon Monster, Yowie, Ban-Manush, Tornit, Honey Island Swamp Monster, Wild Man, Wauk-wauk, Saskehavis, and Grassman in the United States as well as other parts of the world. The name of this widely distributed creature varies based on the cultural influence of the region it was discovered to inhabit.

Physical Description

Bigfoot’s general appearance is more primitive than that of Neanderthal Man, standing between six to nine feet, and weighing between four hundred and one thousand pounds. They have a ruddy dark complexion, generally are known to have black eyes, with dark fur covering all of its bodies except its hands, the soles of its feet, as well as its upper facial region.

Origin

The villagers of the Caucasus Mountains have legends of this apeman going back for centuries, as do the Tibetans living on the slopes of Mount Everest. These are the first human accounts of Bigfoot being a creature that had been undocumented, but if sticking with the theory that Bigfoot is in fact a gigantopithecus then they have been around since man’s ancient ancestors first stood upright. From the Native American myths and legends, we have gotten a rich body of tales about hairy, manlike beasts that roam the forests; depending on the tribe, they have often been considered cousins of creatures such as the Wendigo, Tornit, Strendu, Chenoo, Oh-Mah, Skookum, the full list is exhaustive. Bigfoot may well be the most widely known and farthest-reaching cryptid across the world.

Mythology and Lore

Possibly the earliest and most notable report of Bigfoot was made by Theodore Roosevelt in his 1893 memoir, The Wilderness Hunter–his account came secondhand by a hunter and trapper by the name of Bauman. Bauman was trapping with a friend in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho and Montana when they noticed that there was something raiding their camp every time they went to check their traps. One evening after the two men fell asleep, Bauman awoke to a large, dark shape standing outside of his lean-to, without hesitation Bauman fired his gun at the shape. Over the next few days, the men often felt as if they were being watched from afar, that they were being followed as they went about their business, with something hiding behind the thick brush and trees. Eventually, the two men became so unnerved that they made the decision to leave the mountains entirely. In order to leave as quickly as possible, Bauman went to collect their traps while his friend packed up their camp. Upon returning to their camp, Bauman found that his friend’s body had been horribly mutilated and he fled as quickly as possible.

These creatures are apparently recorded to have had aggressive behavior well into the early twentieth century. Fred Beck reported that he and three other miners had been attacked by “mountain devils” whilst working their claim near Mount Saint Helens. They had continuously heard whoops, hollers, and screams from these unseen creatures for several days until one day Beck saw the unidentifiable creature staring at him from across a small canyon and immediately began firing his weapon.

The creature I judged to have been about seven feet tall with blackish-brownish hair. It disappeared from our view for a short time, but then we saw it, running fast and upright, about two hundred yards down the little canyon. I shot three times before it disappeared from view.

Fred Beck

As a result of Beck’s aggression towards the creatures, the miners reported that their cabin was attacked and at least three large, hairy creatures circled the cabin, pounded on the walls, tossed rocks, and jumped on the roof. Beck even recalled that at one point a hairy arm reached through a notch in the wall and attempted to grab one of the men’s axes–throughout the entire assault on their cabin the men alternated between being frozen in fear and firing their guns at the walls and roof.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Surprisingly, Bigfoot is a fairly popular topic when it comes to media references. When it comes to fiction and supposedly non-fiction material, there is a wealth of information both for entertainment and research purposes.

Patterson – Gimlin Bigfoot Footage

Books & Literature

Movies

Television Series



Is there anything we missed about Bigfoot? Let us know in the comments section below!

Tornit

Date of Discovery

While the actual date of discovery is unknown, due to the historically oral tradition that it originated from. It is said that these creatures have existed in story-form since before the Bering Land Bridge, which dates back at least 20,000 years.

Name

The Tornit is likened to the Bigfoot or Sasquatch of the contiguous United States, as well as parts of Canada. It is the Alaskan counterpart, known well in the Inuit culture, that goes by the names of Tornit, Alaska Bushman, or simply Bushman.

Physical Description

More suited for an arctic climate, it resembles the Bigfoot quite a bit in its visage, like giants who are ape-like in demeanor with longer arms and a body covered in a thick dark brown hair, or fur. It stands an intimidating seven feet tall and possessed a strength that was infamous amongst the Inuit people.

Origin

The Tornit stems from the Inuit culture, an indigenous culture of the arctic circle, but since there is no written history of this culture before the late 1800s, only the cultural anthropological studies done on the Inuit tribes during that time can be relied upon for information on their origin. We see that most of the accounts of these stories coming from Newfoundland and Labrador, which reference the modern-day Baffin Bay in Greenland.

Mythology and Lore

They were feared as brutish thieves and killers, although there is some folklore where they were painted as being shy, making themselves scarce, and doing their utmost to avoid encounters with the Inuit people. In the most popular versions of the oral tales, storytellers would talk of these hairy giants that would stalk their villages until nighttime, to steal their food and kayaks—the most important things that these communities possessed. They also spoke of how these creatures would murder villagers who may have gotten in their way.

There are stories that depict the Tornit species as being these murderous villains that they were known widely to be, but there were also stories that spoke the opposite of their character. Alternate versions of the tale suggest that the Tornit would get away with their thievery, but would be tracked back to their own villages where all of the Tornit present, male, female, and any children would be slaughtered by the individual native who had the most stolen from him.

Never to be confused with being an overly intelligent species of humanoid, the overall idea of them can be considered oafish in nature, but not necessarily murderous so much as protective, defensive, or vengeful creatures—possessing only the baser instincts of survival. In certain regions where the Inuit tribes thrived, there were still less popular stories where Tornit and native women intermarried and lived peacefully with those who came and went within their territory.

Modern Pop-Culture References

While not necessarily modern in nature, these books convey the stories of the Inuit people that these creatures originated from.

Yowie

Date of Discovery

First reported in Sydney by a man in 1790, before being identified as the Yowie, Modern Geography: A Description of the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Colonies: With the Oceans, Seas, and Isles: In All Parts of the World was published by John Pinkerton in 1804. The Yowie was really only entered into the written record by name in 1875, as used among the Kámilarói people, by Reverend William Ridley in his book, “Kámilarói and Other Australian Languages.” It is clear, however, that like many other oral cultures and traditions, this cryptid was a part of the culture long before it was used withing Ridley’s texts.

Name

The name Yowie, or Yō-wī as the Kámilarói people, is said to translate into, “a spirit that roams over the earth at night,” but it’s unclear when and where this term began to be used to describe unidentified Australian hominids. This creature is also known as the hairy man and Yahoos.

Yowie walking through a mountainous landscape
Artwork by Lizard King

Physical Description

Within Pinkerton’s book, there is a side-comment about a population of Aborigines that shared Sydney Harbor with another “tribe,” but the people of this tribe were not Aborigines themselves–they were described as creatures with flat-noses and wide nostrils, they also had thick eyebrows and sunken eyes. It also said that their mouths were of “prodigious width,” with a prominent jawline and thick lips. The Aborigines of the area considered them as a separate people entirely–here they were called Yahoos or Yowies, which translated to “hairy people.”

Eye-witnesses to the Yowie have created sketches of what they believe they encountered and all of which depicted a strong, large, and hairy, eight-foot-tall man, who has a fairly flat face, large eyes and nostrils, as well as a reddish-brown coat of fur. These creatures possess an aggressive nature when they feel threatened, or when their territory is being encroached upon.

Photographic evidence of their footprints shows that they often have six toes and are near twice the size of an adult male human’s foot in length and width.

The Yowie is essentially the Australian version of the American Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch, or Tornit.

There is actually a second physical account of the Yowie in Australia, which leads many hunters to believe there are actually two separate species of Yowie. The first, which was described above refers to the Gigantopithecus which is between six and ten feet tall, often weighing up to one thousand pounds. The second, smaller species of Yowie is said to be between four and five feet tall, but many people believe that this could be an ancient species of hominid that has somehow avoided extinction.

Origin

The Yowie has roots in Aboriginal oral history and is the folkloric creature of the Outback; the Kuku Yalanji Tribe of the far north Queensland is said to have coexisted with the Yowie for centuries. This is reminiscent of the Inuit tribe and the Tornit of Baffin Bay, Canada, who also have a long oral history of attacks by the Yowie of legend.

Yowie Statue in Yowie Park, Kilcoy, Queensland
Photography by Somersetpedia.paul

Mythology and Lore

Dean Harrison, a famous Yowie hunter believes that over the years there have been thousands of sightings of the Yowie. In particular, the Blue Mountains in New South Wales seems to be a hot zone for Yowie sightings, along with the Sunshine and Gold coasts of Queensland, and most recently the Mandurah area in Western Australia. They tend to prefer thick bush and are excellent at camouflaging themselves, inhabiting the area of the eastern seaboard along the Great Dividing Range.

These creatures can be incredibly far roaming but are said to have a territory that they operate in family units. So why isn’t there any physical evidence of these creatures? It is believed that due to the tendencies of Yowie to live within family units, that they operate as a community, and take care of their dead; this would leave no physical evidence of them to be blatantly evident.

https://youtu.be/BwVo7zb9r2c

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Movies

Podcast Episodes



Is there anything we missed about the Yowie? Let us know in the comments section below!