Friday, November 30, 2018

Lanyon Homestead's Aboriginal Scar Trees

A trip today with Vlad to inspect the Indigenous Scar Trees at Lanyon Homestead. Lanyon is an 1830's convict established Property originally owned by the early settler James Wright.

There are quite a few documented stories about Wright's interaction with the original People. These old, old trees are a tangible reminder of their heritage.

I took some video...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review of an old post called the lost tribe

Recently an old blog post started showing up in the statistics.. At the time it was titled the same as the Australian National Library's Trove article it displayed..

"Canberra Blacks the Lost Tribe.

 There were two schools of thought in the 1920s as to the habitation and numbers of Indigenous People living in the (now) Canberra region at the time of European settlement/invasion. This article along with it's display of era racism nonetheless gives us some tantalising clues as to historical accuracy.

 The main early settler characters quoted are a relative of James Wright first settler of Lanyon Homestead in the 1830's and, after bankrupting, establishing Cuppacumbalong at present day Tharwa once "beyond the limits of habitation andA Mr Bluett who lived at Brindabella Valley and was somewhat the local historian.

 My thoughts on a video...


This is the old post in question..

 And if you are interested in the original argument it can be found here..

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Yowie Town Hall at Nana Glen NSW 2018

It's just gone past midnight and I had travelled 850km to attend a gathering of Yowie Researchers and interested people for the unveiling of a bust by artist Buck Buckingham of an alleged yowie that was photographed by Ray Doherty of the Australian Yowie Project.

There were three very interesting speakers dealing with varying aspects of yowie research in Australia followed by the final speaker, Ray, who detailed the story of how the photograph came to be.

Effectively the photograph was taken in Queensland and showed a blurry head sitting in a tree in a remote area. The photograph sat for a few years until some new software came onto the market that could refocus images.

From the clearer image Buck was asked to sketch the photograph and eventually create a lifelike bust from the drawing. I think the result is remarkable.

If you are interested in the details please go to the Project's website at..

I took a little video on the day and was allowed to film the bust and the artists sketch of the photograph as long as due credit is supplied.. Credit: Australian Yowie Project and artist Buck Buckingham.

Time for some sleep. It's a long way back to Canberra in the morning.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Relocating the Westridge Aboriginal scar trees

Another trip this morning to try and relocate several Aboriginal Scarred Trees on Stirling Ridge in Yarralumla. Apart from last week where I found one tree I haven't been there since 2012 so armed with my short memory and Vlad Mastara we started searching.

We managed to locate/relocate 3 trees distinctive because of their obvious age and after a fair bit of circling around possible trees are pretty confident that the trees pictured below are authentic.

The trees and their scars are very old. The deadwood 'face' of the scars are showing the destructive signs of weathering with one find now totally eaten through by termites. The others remain.

From memory there are more up there.. another day.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Aboriginal Killing of a 'hairy man' at the Yass and Murrumbidgee Rivers

The depicted image is of a 1790 woodcut from Sydney Cove.

There are a lot of reports with Australian Gorillas, yahoos, hairy men and yowies located on the National Library's Trove search engine and I have mentioned a few of them from the local area on this blog over the last 8 years. Of all the local reports one stood out more than all the others. It was a small addendum to a longer clipping quoting an early Canberra Settler by the name of George Graham Webb who relates his encounter along with his brother whilst mustering cattle at Uriarra..

Almost as an afterthought he relates the reminiscence of another early settler, Henry Williams, who tells the story of the killing of a grey ‘hairy man’ near the junction of the Yass and Murrumbidgee Rivers..

This image in so little words has stuck with me since I read it. Was, what we might call today a, yowie killed by a group of Aboriginals near the time of European settlement? "It was like a black man, but covered in grey hair."

I think that is somewhat odd..

Strange sounds at Devil's Gap

 I recently wrote a short article for an Australian online newsletter called the Yowie Times about some recordings I captured in 2013 whilst trying to record Lyrebird song in june 2013. This is what I wrote with the video links embedded.. 

"In 2013 I spent some time trying to capture the sound of a Lyrebird mating display at a geological gap in the mountains that leads from the Gibraltar State forest to the expanses of Tidbinbilla, a place known as Devil's Gap. 

I had wondered why the original 1880s settlers named the passageway that and it piqued my interest as to what other recordings I may capture in my efforts. Not only did I collect a superb lyrebird recording, which was consequently aired on ABC666 radio in Canberra, I also captured what appeared to be a series of bipedal running back and forth past the recorder, or at least that is how I hear the recordings.. you may be different. 

This was the video I luckily made of the recordings 5 years ago when I got them as I have lost nearly all my recordings with the passage of time..

The area is now gated from public vehicles and its a bit of an uphill slog from there to reach the gap proper. There are only two approaches to the elevated area, one via Tidbinbilla and the other via Corin Road near Woods Reserve, with towering mountains on either side covered in dense old growth bushland. 

I suspect the quality of the habitat for the legendary yowie has improved greatly these past years with the limiting of public access. I have since been back, camping two nights, a fortnight apart, at the small campground located near the gated entrance road. 

Both nights saw a great display of nocturnal dwellers but none of the type that may have made those noises. Really I need to get up to the Gap area to be properly situated to collect any decent recordings. 

In fact the editor of the Yowie Times has offered to drive down from Sydney for the day and make sure I don't have a coronary on the journey. 

I have even signed up for a conference next weekend near Coffs Harbour where an alleged yowie photograph will be released to the public. Stay tuned.. 

And if your interested in the lyrebird recording that was played on ABC radio here is 13 minutes of a Canberra Lyrebird."


If you are interested in subscribing to the Yowie Times you can drop Dan an email at au[email protected]

History lost through lack of funding

  The following ABC article laments the possible loss of many historical audio visual records that are waiting for digitising into modern fo...