Episode 76: Yowie

We love a Bigfoot story, but we’re going across the world for this one! The Australian Yowie has a lot of great stories; from backwards feet, ancient wars, and just wanting a beer from your garage, we bring you through the ins-and-outs of one of Australia’s most popular cryptids. Also featuring some Star Wars fact-checking, Victorian naturalist slamming, and our newest friend, Tim the Yowie Man.


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Amanda: Welcome to Spirits Podcast, a boozy tour through mythology, legends and folklore. Every week, we pour a drink and learn about a new story from around the world. I'm Amanda.

Julia: I'm Julia.

Amanda: This is episode 76, Yowie.

Julia: Yowie. Oh God.

Amanda: It's as bad as it sounds.

Julia: It's pretty funny. It's a really funny episode if I do say so myself.

Amanda: I think so too. We occasionally have episodes where we're like, "Yeah, that was really deep." Then other ones, we just wipe away our mascara tears of laughter, yes.

Julia: That's one of the latter ones, I think, in this situation.

Amanda: Do you know who never cry off their mascara?

Julia: Would that be our legend level patrons?

Amanda: Our legend level patrons. Thank you to Mercedes, Ashley E., Buggy, Rachel, Sandra, Ashley Marie, Leanne, Ashley C., and Cassie.

Julia: Y'all are great. You can go hiking through the Outback and not have an ounce of sweat on you.

Amanda: As can our supporting producer level patrons, Neil, Philip, Julie, Christina, Josh, Eeyore, Jessica, Maria, Cammie, Ryan, Phil Fresh, and Debra.

Julia: Yay. Y'all are great, and we hope that the Yowie doesn't come and eat you. I can't remember if they eat people now. You're probably fine.

Amanda: We're on a couple week delay between recording and doing intros for our own sanity, and so it's good for me because I listened to the episode and read the transcripts, and I'm like, "Oh, yo, cool. This is funny. I wonder who recorded that. Oh wait, it was me in the past." Welcome also and importantly to our newest patrons, Meg, Lorelei, Katy, PJ (hey PJ!), and Stephanie, as well as Ashley and Mercedes, who upgraded their pledges. We can only make the show with your support, and we super, super appreciate it, including the fact that our patron support goes toward doing transcripts for each episode, you know.

Julia: Yeah, if you are like, "Oh I love that Spirits joke, but I don't remember exactly how that went," you can go and read it in our transcript now.

Amanda: Yeah, or like, "I wonder who this cool deity is and how you spell their name," it's on spiritspodcast.com with the episode. Just click episodes, click listen, and then you can listen to the embedded player and/or read along in the transcript.

Julia: Yeah, so moving forward, all of our new episodes will have transcripts, and we are slowly making our way through the backlog as time and resources allow. We plan to get all of them transcribed at some point.

Amanda: Yeah, we're really excited to be doing this, and it's only with the support of listeners like you that we can actually do it. What were we drinking this week, Jules?

Julia: I thought since we're out in the Outback, metaphorically of course, we're not actually there.

Amanda: No, but they do have very good strawberry margaritas at the Outback.

Julia: They do have really ...

Amanda: They do.

Julia: Can we go to Outback now?

Amanda: Yes, Julia, we can go to the Outback.

Julia: All right, we're going to go to the Outback, but I meant the actual Outback.

Amanda: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Julia: Since we're going to be traipsing through the hot, hot desert, I figured a nice lager would be nice and refreshing.

Amanda: Even the word lager is like, ah.

Julia: It's like cracking open a cold one, ah.

Amanda: For about a year-and-a-half, the billboard outside my subway station had a Corona ad. It was like, "Don't you wish you were here instead?"

Julia: Yes.

Amanda: And like a picture of a beach. I was like, "Fuck you. It's January, yes, I do."

Julia: Yes, I do. Goddammit Corona! We didn't drink Coronas though.

Amanda: No.

Julia: You can find the link to the drink that we drank in the show notes, if you get those as a patron.

Amanda: Yeah Patreon. Before we get into the episode, we also wanted to give a shout out to our podson, Mike Schubert, of the Potterless Podcast, who just passed one million downloads.

Julia: Not that he needs our shout outs since he just passed one million downloads.

Amanda: Yeah, no, clearly he is a rising star. I know a lot of Potterless listeners have since come to Spirits, so welcome.

Julia: Hey, what's up?

Amanda: Hopefully a lot of Spirits listeners who like Harry Potter or people reading things or us talking have also checked out potterlesspodcast.com.

Julia: Or a bunch of people who have already been guests on Spirits podcast have also been a guest on Potterless because we have a very tight circle of wonderful, wonderful people.

Amanda: I know. Our little Multitude fam. We like to guest star when we can.

Julia: Like God, Mischa's episodes on both our show and on Potterless are both amazing!

Amanda: I know. Mischa is like our pod godparent.

Julia: Yes, while David Rheinstrom is our father.

Amanda: Podfather.

Julia: Our actual podfather.

Amanda: Yeah, it's true. When I met David Rheinstrom, he hosts this amazing show called Radio Drama Revival where he interviews people that make audio dramas and then also airs episodes of their show, so you can try it out and listen to it. I was on along with Eric Silver of Join the Party, and it was very, very fun.

Julia: Not to brag or anything.

Amanda: I was very honored. I was like, "Really David? Like me, are you sure?" He, I thought, was like 65 years old.

Julia: Yeah, we met him at PodCon, and he's like, "Oh hey, I'm David." I'm like, "What?"

Amanda: You're a child.

Julia: You're our age. What's happening?

Amanda: It was awesome. Podcast friends are the best.

Julia: Podcast friends are the best.

Amanda: As a reminder, you can see our faces at Podcast Movement in July.

Julia: Oh yeah.

Amanda: We'll be letting you know as soon as we know what the actual date is of our session, but we will be letting you guys know if you're in the Philadelphia area, you can come by and say hi to us at the con, or we'll try to carve out a little bit of time outside the convention center and see any listeners that may be in the area.

Julia: Probably at a bar.

Amanda: Probably at a bar.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amanda: Word. Haunted bars in Philadelphia, hit us up.

Julia: Yes, please give us haunted bar recommendations for Philadelphia. I'm going to spend an extra day probably from Podcast Movement, so I would like those recommendations please.

Amanda: What up. Now, without further ado, enjoy Spirits podcast episode 76, Yowie.

[Theme music]

Julia: Our first ever guest episode, all of those years ago, so, so very long ago ...

Amanda: So long.

Julia: ... was my now fiance, Jake.

Amanda: Yay.

Julia: It was episode eight, and he sat us down to talk about something that he's really, really passionate about ...

Amanda: It's true.

Julia: ... besides me.

Amanda: Bigfoot.

Julia: It's Bigfoot. Not just Bigfoot though, a bunch of different iterations of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Yeti, Menk. He went on and on. For the most part, these stories were coming out of either North America or like Eurasia area. How would you react, Amanda, how would you react if I told you that Australia has its own pretty buck wild version of Bigfoot?

Amanda: I would say a story is universal. I love human beings. I want to know everything there is to know about this.

Julia: I know. It's great. It's called the Yowie. It's amazing, and I'm ready to dig into it if you are.

Amanda: Yaoi like the Japanese manga that I love to read so much?

Julia: Well differently, but I guess pronounced the same technically.

Amanda: Whether it's gay love stories or cryptids from all around the world, you know it's up my alley.

Julia: I do. I do know it's up your alley.

Amanda: Tell me all about it.

Julia: All right. The Yowie story is a story that is told all over the continent of Australia, although it is probably most prominent in the Eastern Australian States.

Amanda: Okay.

Julia: It goes by a bunch of different names, and I'm going to list them all now because I'm nothing if not a masochist while trying to pronounce words.

Amanda: I wish you luck.

Julia: Thank you. In part of Queensland, it is known of the quinkin or the joogabinna. In parts of New South Wales, it goes by jurrawarra, myngawin, puttikan, doolaga, gulaga, and thoolaga. Now the name Yowie is kind of obscure in origin, and like we talked about in our Rainbow Serpent episode, a lot of that has to do with the fact that Western understanding, especially after the colonial takeover of Australia, just didn't properly document Aboriginal stories and legends.

Amanda: Yeah, almost like they didn't value it at all and actively tried to destroy them.

Julia: Yeah, and because Aboriginal legend is perpetuated mainly through oral tradition that they weren't really written down until the early 1800s, late 1700s. Even when they were, it's like shitty dudes who want to be naturalists but aren't naturalists trying to figure stuff out.

Amanda: Yeah, and like state perpetuated violence against Aboriginal people continues to this day, so it's no wonder that unfortunately, a lot of the understanding that the Western cultural canon or even written down in English canon has might not be as nuanced as it could.

Julia: Right. For instance, I do have a terrible account from 1842 written by a man named Robert Holden.

Amanda: Uh-oh. Robert Holden, you don't know how little I care about your understanding of Aboriginal stories.

Julia: Yeah, pretty much, but here we go. I quote after our terrible friend Robert Holden, "The natives of Australia believe in the Yahoo," yes, like the answering service.

Amanda: Uh-oh.

Julia: This being they describe as resembling a man of nearly the same height with long, white hair hanging down from the head over features, arms as extraordinarily long, furnished with the extremities of great talons and the feet turned backward, so that, on flying from man, the imprint of the foot appears as if the being had traveled in the opposite direction. Altogether, they describe it as a hideous monster of an unearthly character and ape-like appearance."

Amanda: I don't like that whatsoever. I don't like those backward feet. Get em right away from me.

Julia: Oh Amanda, this is going to be a fun episode for you.

Amanda: Julia, why? Why with the body horror?

Julia: Cause I love you, and this is very entertaining to me.

Amanda: You know Jules, whenever you introduce to me another horrifically mashed up creature, I think to myself, "I at least get to make a speech at your wedding."

Julia: You do.

Amanda: I do. I'm anointing myself.

Julia: No, no, no, that wasn't a question mark. That was a excited, "you do get to do that."

Amanda: I do, and I think sometimes about what anecdotes I'm going to choose to share with your closest family and friends. I'm going to be responsible about it, but it's a little bit of power that I have with this situation, and I'm excited for it.

Julia: Just remember, I get to do it at yours.

Amanda: That's true.

Julia: Diving back into it, I should say we already talked about this a little bit, but doing research for this episode reminded me yet again how gross colonialism is.

Amanda: Colonialism, the grossest.

Julia: Not that we really need to be reminded, but there are a lot of shitty primary sources from white folks out there regarding the Yowie and not as many Aboriginal ones as I would like, but we are going to really dig in deep with both of those accounts and compare and contrast them because we can see how bad the white folks got it wrong.

Amanda: Yeah, I bet that white people get things wrong a lot, and I also really appreciate when you present us with sources from people who own this legend ...

Julia: Right.

Amanda: ... and whose culture it's significant in. That's always way more fun, way more interesting, and maybe we'll have to work a little bit harder to understand the context. That's the least that people descended from an oppressive people can try to do.

Julia: Yeah, I agree completely. In fact, actually, a lot of the written sources about the Yowie only started appearing around the 1870s from white publications. The first publication was an account of indigenous apes, which is already just a really unfortunate title. It appeared in a publication of Australian Town and Country Journal, which is the whitest thing I've ever said ever.

Amanda: Wow. Did they feature, I don't know, lawn games?

Julia: Probably. Like the little sandwiches you can serve to your family and friends.

Amanda: Tea sandwiches, linen. Oh boy.

Julia: This publication referred to the Yowie as "some unearthly animal or inhuman creature, namely the Yahoo Devil-Devil, or the hairy man of the woods."

Amanda: I wonder how much of this were Aboriginal people being like, "Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, it's name is the hairy man of the woods" and just trolling.

Julia: Or just terrible translation by white people.

Amanda: Or just complete uncaring, right, and not needing to make the extra effort to really try to understand and responsibly and richly translate a thing that is easy to assume is really reductive.

Julia: Yeah. A man a few years later named Henry James McCooey, who was an amateur naturalist, claimed that he had seen a Yowie on the south coast of New South Wales, saying, and I quote, "A few days ago I saw one of those strange creatures. I should think that if it was standing perfectly upright, it would be nearly five feet high. It was tailless and covered with long black hair, which was of a dirty red or snuff-colour," snuff being like tobacco, "at the throat or breast. It's eyes, which were small and restless, were partly hidden behind matted hair that covered its head. I threw a stone at the animal, whereupon it immediately rushed off."

Amanda: What do you think was going to happen, Robert?

Julia: Exactly.

Amanda: God.

Julia: Every time someone's like a would-be naturalist, I'm like so they threw a rock at something. That doesn't mean shit.

Amanda: Yeah, or like their parents were rich enough that they didn't have to, I don't know, go learn and do anything, and so they just walked around being like, "Ah nature, man's domain."

Julia: "Oh it's beautiful. I'm going to draw a bird, but I'm terrible at drawing."

Amanda: Yeah, or just like start naming things that people had already named. God.

Julia: Like a true white dude, McCooey offered to capture the Yowie for the Australian Museum for 40 pounds.

Amanda: Whatever.

Julia: He never did collect that cash as McCooey never procured actual proof that the creature actually existed.

Amanda: To throw the guy a bone though, Australia's full of crazy animals.

Julia: That's true.

Amanda: The idea that there would be animal that is bigger or differently shaped to the ones you grew up imagining, I don't know. I'm sure the first person not from Australia to see a kangaroo was like, "What the fuck?"

Julia: "The fuck is this thing?"

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: Yeah, I agree. Australia's got some buck wild animals.

Amanda: I know, but how much would you love it--I think I've said this before--but to be able to travel back in time to 1860s England and be in the meeting of the Royal Society or something like that, that are people meeting to discuss science and natural learnings, and just sit there and like laugh and listen to it.

Julia: You're like, "You fucking idiots."

Amanda: Obviously, you would get killed and/or thrown out of the place. I don't know, in my brain, it would be very fun.

Julia: You point at things, be like, "It's a fucking kangaroo! It's a tortoise! What the fuck?!"

Amanda: Yeah, or like put two fossils next to each other, like "Did you know that the fin of a whale and the hand of a monkey are the same? Just we're spread out by this one, an ocean."

Julia: Amazing. Another outbreak of reported Yowie sightings occurred in 1912 and then again in 1956 with the publication of Donald Friend's Hillendiana, which he describes the Yowie as a species of Bunyip, which is another Australian ...

Amanda: Right.

Julia: ... cryptid, which we've talked about, I think, a little bit.

Amanda: I think you may have mentioned it in a lightning round.

Julia: Yeah. It's in Harry Potter.

Amanda: Oh, maybe that's why I know it.

Julia: Yeah, that might be it.

Amanda: Huh.

Julia: Now, as I mentioned before, interpretation of Aboriginal stories is not very accurate when it's told by white people, especially when it's coming from the 18th and 19th centuries. From Aboriginal sources, it seems like the creature is actually part of the Dreamtime, and they existed as a tribe that did battle with the Aboriginal people. While the Aboriginal tribes were always able to beat them, the Yowie were always able to escape because they're agile and quick on their feet.

Amanda: Wow, that is much more interesting.

Julia: It is.

Amanda: Unsurprisingly.

Julia: Yeah, unsurprisingly. It's not just like weird man-beast thing.

Amanda: Right. It's like has society and hierarchy or organization and motivations that are much more interesting than like, "Oh, a creature." That's why, I think to me, horror films never had much standing until I met you, and we were able to dive into why the genre was actually really good because, I don't know, "creature is here, destroys stuff," to me, is not a very compelling plot line.

Julia: Also, if you think about the history of humanity, at some point, Homo sapiens and our ancestors were existing at the same time, like ...

Amanda: Right.

Julia: ... species wise, so it makes total sense that we would have stories, especially in an oral tradition where it's being told over centuries and millennia. Of course, we're going to have stories about us fighting off these creatures that aren't quite like us but are similar to us.

Amanda: Yeah, like all of human society is turning to people that are like you in order to protect yourselves from people who are not. That was true on a evolutionary level where when the species were differentiating, you banded together, and the strong got stronger, and the protected got more protected. It's a tale as old as time.

Julia: Yeah, for real. I loved making the connection between this is clearly a historical thing, and the stories that they've been telling are actual fucking stories. Surprise.

Amanda: And it's actual fucking history.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: That understanding is probably so much accurate and nuanced and longstanding than people who think that anything worth telling has been written down, and oh, by the way, we only invented how to write stuff down on paper the way that we do it today like 500 years ago.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: That's not that long ago.

Julia: No.

Amanda: There are so much better ways to tell stories, to tell narratives, to ensconce yourself in the long stream or circle or serpent of history, and the one that you grew up thinking is the best might not be.

Julia: No. I think that is part of the reason we do this show is the exposure to other traditions that hey, in the thick of it, might make more sense than your own that you grew up with and are familiar with.

Amanda: Or at the very least, you can understand to be nuanced, interesting, worthy of consideration. That's why I loved doing the angels episode a few weeks ago because that, to us, is completely normal to the way that we grew up. It's exciting to turn our interested and compassionate and curious lens on all these other cultures onto our own and be like, "Oh, actually, everybody is just doing their best with the thing that they grew up in and wants to learn more about the world." That can include looking at how many, many, many eyes on many, many, many angels is just as wild as some of the things that we hear from other places.

Julia: For some reason, I had a moment where I was like, "It's like Clarice Starling telling Hannibal Lecter to turn his insight on himself and give feedback."

Amanda: Everything comes back to Hannibal with you, Jules.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: I love it.

Julia: I love it too.

Amanda: I know.

Julia: I started re-watching the Hannibal TV show lately.

Amanda: Ooh, man.

Julia: It's very good.

Amanda: That Hannibal-Will shipping hit me so hard.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: In fact, a lot of the friends that I've made in New York City who aren't from podcasting are from Hannibal fandom.

Julia: That's completely accurate for you.

Amanda: It's been very exciting. Shout out to a friend of the show, Andrea, who was that good, good fandom connect for me.

Julia: Now I'm thinking about how I definitely want some Hannibal recipes from the Hannibal cookbook at my wedding.

Amanda: Do you want to borrow it?

Julia: I own it now.

Amanda: Yes, good.

Julia: I bought myself a copy.

Amanda: Oh, that'd be so beautiful and macabre and very you.

Julia: Talking about the actual Aboriginal sources for the Yowie ...

Amanda: Woo.

Julia: ... yeah, woo, there also seems to be a connection between the Yowie and a creature known as the Yara-ma-yha-who. This creature, according to stories, is more of a cross between an amphibian and an ape. It's said to remember a frogman with red fur. It has a very large head and a very large mouth with no teeth, but it has suckers on the ends of its hands and feet, kind of like a gecko.

Amanda: Very useful, also makes my eyes widen.

Julia: Yeah. Oh buddy.

Amanda: Oh no!

Julia: It gets so much worse.

Amanda: Julia is giving me my least favorite look, which is just complete amused, warmhearted ...

Julia: Delight.

Amanda: ... scorn and delight. Like, "Just wait."

Julia: Scornful delight is the exact ...

Amanda: "Just wait."

Julia: Okay. They're said to live in fig trees, which like nice aesthetic. Same.

Amanda: Yeah, beautiful. I just today texted my partner like, "I want a fig tree. Give me one."

Julia: You can grow those indoors you know.

Amanda: They're just expensive.

Julia: Yeah, I'll buy you one for your birthday next year.

Amanda: Aw, thanks.

Julia: They're said that they don't hunt for food, but rather they wait in the branches of their tree, waiting for travelers to stop and rest beneath them.

Amanda: Classic. Also much like the drop bear.

Julia: Yes, the inspiration for the drop bear, I imagine.

Amanda: White people retelling an Aboriginal story in a less interesting way.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Shocker.

Julia: We just love cute things that will eat you, I guess. This is way more interesting though, in my opinion.

Amanda: Okay. The Yara-ma-yha-who is in the tree, waiting, preying, poised, and someone comes beneath the tree. What happens then?

Julia: When the person begins to rest underneath their tree, the creature drops down and uses its suckers to drain the victim of their blood.

Amanda: Ooh, how do they make the hole?

Julia: With their weird suction cup things, they're basically like little teeth.

Amanda: Oh. Fascinating.

Julia: Yeah, it's great. Once the person is completely drained, they then swallow the person whole. That's not where it ends though.

Amanda: It's like eating a soup dumpling.

Julia: Well, it gets even more like eating a soup dumpling. Let me get there.

Amanda: Oh, do tell.

Julia: So they then drink some water and take a nap.

Amanda: Oh my God, so much same. So much same.

Julia: Oh shit, it's very good. When it wakes up from its nap feeling groggy and slightly disorientated like you always do ...

Amanda: Same, same.

Julia: ... after a nap ...

Amanda: Yeah, naps are the worst.

Julia: ... so it then regurgitates its victim, leaving them alive but get this, shorter than before and with their skin a slightly redder color than it was before.

Amanda: Wow.

Julia: This process can be repeated several times, and if the process is repeated several times, the victim can in fact turn into a Yara-ma-yha-who.

Amanda: That is such a more interesting creation narrative than the normal vampire one.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: Why would putting one drop of your blood in a person's mouth and then burying them for a minute like make a vampire? I don't know ...

Julia: It doesn't make sense.

Amanda: ... it doesn't make much sense to me, but this makes so much sense. It's like a repeated digestion process or like a curing, like curing leather or like making meat dry out in the sun. Oh, I love it so much.

Julia: This is delicious and horrifying metaphors. I love it.

Amanda: I love it. I love how just creatures from different creature parts skeeves me out so much, but this, I'm just like fascinating, efficient, I love it.

Julia: Wonderful.

Amanda: Love it. Great.

Julia: The nice part is the creature's only active during the day and only targets living prey. The suggestion that the Aboriginals have is to play dead until sunset in order to avoid being attacked.

Amanda: Also just very good advice for traveling somewhere that's hot: sleep during the day, travel at night.

Julia: Yeah, pretty much. I like the image of opossuming under a fig tree, be like "Well, this is the only tree around."

Amanda: Hope sunset comes soon. Don't worry, I'm not breathing.

Julia: It's probably fine. Don't worry about it. It also seems like too little too late advice, like are you just supposed to pretend to die under every fig tree?

Amanda: I'm picturing like a traveler playing hopscotch between trees, and they like hop to a tree, they play dead. Hop to tree, play dead.

Julia: Nothing happened, go.

Amanda: Yeah, so cute.

Julia: Basically all of the familiar brands of Bigfoot relatives, the Yowie has had plenty of eyewitness accounts, mysterious footprints, disputed evidence, all in the present day.

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: I'm going to give you some of my favorite highlights of sightings in recent years because there's been a couple of them, like a decent chunk of them, and I had to pare down. In 2010, a man spotted a creature that he thought was a Yowie in his garage.

Amanda: Oh.

Julia: According to him, the creature was definitely a juvenile, covered in hair, had long arms, and was defo trying to communicate with him.

Amanda: Uh-oh.

Julia: Let's walk this one through really quick.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: You walk into your garage. You went to go get paint or something. What does one get from the garage?

Amanda: Soda from the garage fridge.

Julia: Okay, cool. You walk into your garage to go get your garage soda. Your garage soda, that's fine.

Amanda: My dad kept beer in the garage when we were kids because we couldn't be trusted.

Julia: There's just like a five-foot-tall, hairy creature.

Amanda: And your first thought is, "That's a kid."

Julia: "That's a kid. That's got to be a juvenile." What is this creature trying to do? The creature makes a noise at you. "He's trying to communicate with me." How did it get in there? Wouldn't that be your chief concern, be like "There's a person in here. How did they get in here?"

Amanda: I would probably yell.

Julia: It's not a person.

Amanda: Then yell, "I'm sorry," and then for an implement ...

Julia: Why?

Amanda: ... to defend myself.

Julia: Why are you sorry?

Amanda: Because I surprised them.

Julia: Okay.

Amanda: That's how deep my self-awkwardness goes.

Julia: Dang, girl. All right, okay.

Amanda: I don't know, I surprised them. Maybe they were just foraging for food.

Julia: Maybe you throw your garage beer at it.

Amanda: I don't know, it needed to borrow a leaf blower.

Julia: Maybe you pull the McCooey, and you throw the garage beer at them so that they flee. That's pretty great.

Amanda: Oh, I want to get kinda smashed and watch those movies again.

Julia: Oh man.

Amanda: I don't know, I think I would very curious and also kind of afraid. If there's like a car between me and them and there's no imminent attack, I'd be like, "Hi, how can I help you?"

Julia: It's trying to communicate with me.

Amanda: Ah, what arrogance.

Julia: Oh my God.

Amanda: Oh boy.

Julia: Okay, moving onto our next one. Several folks in New South Wales area have said that they've taken photos or else filmed the Yowie since the late 90s.

Amanda: I'm sure they have. I'm sure there's also no link between the proliferation of consumer electronics and sightings of Bigfoot at all.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), probably.

Amanda: No.

Julia: Not at all.

Amanda: Why would there be?

Julia: I actually have a theory, so I think this might have been driven by the fact that in the 1970s, the Queanbeyan Festival Board and the 2CA offered a $200,000 reward for anyone who could capture and present a Yowie. Unsurprisingly, Amanda, the prize is yet to be claimed. Isn't that weird?

Amanda: It's not like they had anything better to do in the 1970s, I guess.

Julia: No, that's just what they were doing back then. I think that's around the time that we've got that first infamous photo of Bigfoot.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: It might've been the late 60s, but like still, that was a thing going on.

Amanda: Yeah, and it feels like that was primetime for a rebirth of the pulp, pop culture of the 50s to come back again and be in a new form and sci-fi starting to become a thing.

Julia: It's like, "Fuck aliens. We got big, hairy dudes instead."

Amanda: Yeah, it's almost like we were the villains all along.

Julia: What? The Springbrook area of Queensland has had more Yowie reports than anywhere in Australia. Guys, what's happening? Are you okay? Even a former senator from the area, named Bill O'Chee, claimed to have seen a Yowie when he was a schoolboy.

Amanda: Huh.

Julia: He compared it to looking like Chewbacca.

Amanda: Fair. Also, maybe that's related to the first Star Wars movie coming out, the 1970s.

Julia: '75, it's '75. That's my guess.

Amanda: Is that your final offer?

Julia: I'm going to go '76.

Amanda: '77.

Julia: Aw fuck, I was in between all of them. Fuck me.

Amanda: This has been fact checking with Spirits Podcast.

Julia: Fact checking with Spirits Podcast. There are two very well-known Yowie hunters.

Amanda: Oh boy.

Julia: The first one is Rex Gilroy ...

Amanda: Oh boy.

Julia: ... who is a self-employed cryptozoologist. You don't say.

Amanda: Oh, oh, oh boy.

Julia: He has claimed to have collected over 3,000 pieces of evidence or reports on the Yowie and claims that they are a relict population of extinct ape or a yet undiscovered Homo species, probably related to our North American version, the Bigfoot.

Amanda: I know that's the genus in which we are classified ...

Julia: Yes.

Amanda: ... but I just want a gay species. I just want it to be all gay.

Julia: Okay.

Amanda: Please.

Julia: That's fair. That works.

Amanda: Anyway, I want to meet Rex. I want to go tour his house.

Julia: Rex seems great. He also claims that there are actually four different species of Yowie, and they are all subspecies of Homo erectus.

Amanda: Huh.

Julia: Which is nice. I'm just thinking of instead of a species, so I'm thinking breed, so there's breeds of Yowie, just like the Dalmatian Yowie and the Doberman Yowie.

Amanda: The Teacup Yowie.

Julia: The Teacup Yowie.

Amanda: You know, for your desktop cryptid needs.

Julia: Oh, it's so cute though. I'd adopt one in a heartbeat.

Amanda: Oh no, Julia's crying.

Julia: Like a little Corgi Yowie. Think of a Corgi Yowie though.

Amanda: It'll be very cute.

Julia: Someone draw me a Corgi Yowie please.

Amanda: Please, may we have ...

Julia: Corgi Yowie.

Amanda: ... Corgi Yowie Bigfeet. I want them. They can even have backward feet. I think I would find them cute still.

Julia: Oh man, that's so cute.

Amanda: #corgiyowie.

Julia: Corgi Yowie.

Amanda: Corgi Yowie.

Julia: Corgi Yowie.

Amanda: Y'all came through with your heck puppers.

Julia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Amanda: Come through again.

Julia: If you want to do a Corgi Yowie, please do.

Amanda: We want to see it. Also, if you have a Corgi, I want to see pictures of them immediately.

Julia: We're going to finish off with probably one of my favorite parts of this episode.

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: I did cry a little reading this. The section I wrote starts, "And then there's Tim the Yowie Man."

Amanda: Oh boy.

Julia: He claims to have first seen the Yowie in the Brindabella Ranges in 1994. I will be honest, when I was reading that for the first time, I thought he saw it in the equivalent of whatever the Australian Boy Scouts were ...

Amanda: Aw.

Julia: ... like he was a ranger of some sort, and ...

Amanda: Cute.

Julia: ... he was just out there like Indiana Jones, and he's like, "a Yowie!"

Amanda: He got his cryptid badge.

Julia: Oh my God, the cryptid badge. We'd have all the cryptid badges.

Amanda: We would.

Julia: We would.

Amanda: We would be issuing new cryptid badges on the regular.

Julia: Tim the Yowie Man is surprisingly well respected in the field for a man named Tim the Yowie Man. Oh man, Tim the Yowie Man. I love him so much.

Amanda: Julia, what if your future kids don't like cryptids?

Julia: Then they're not my children. Oh boy, don't do that to me.

Amanda: Okay.

Julia: Tim the Yowie Man, he has a regular column in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. He also has several published works and acts as a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers and has hosted a national travel radio show.

Amanda: You know what, Tim? Work it. Respect.

Julia: He is working it.

Amanda: Respect.

Julia: He also got into a feud with Cadbury. They went to court against him.

Amanda: Why?

Julia: Because Cadbury has a brand of chocolate in Australia called the Yowie ...

Amanda: Ooh.

Julia: ... because it's like little Yowie-shaped chocolate.

Amanda: Oh adorable.

Julia: Someone please send us those, please, if you live in Australia. I want them.

Amanda: Please, P.O. Box 58, Merrick, New York, 11566.

Julia: Please do that, thanks.

Amanda: Please do it.

Julia: That would be amazing. That's the first time we've plugged the P.O. Box on the show.

Amanda: Oh, it's a P.O. Box.

Julia: Oh yeah, hey.

Amanda: Send it to my name, Amanda McLoughlin. The spelling is in the description of this podcast, and it's P.O. Box 58, Merrick, New York, 11566.

Julia: It's pretty easy to find stuff, and we like gifts, I guess, yeah.

Amanda: We like gifts.

Julia: He got into a fight with Cadbury because his name was too close to the Yowie chocolate, and he won.

Amanda: Tim, respect.

Julia: He's like, "You can't take my name. You can't take away my identity, Cadbury. I love your eggs, but I don't like your politics."

Amanda: "It's just a product to you, but it's my life."

Julia: Yeah. It is his life. He's wonderful.

Amanda: Oh, I love it.

Julia: I want to interview Tim the Yowie Man.

Amanda: Me too! Send to us to Australia. We can do a whole tour.

Julia: Someone get us in contact with Tim the Yowie man.

Amanda: Yeah.

Julia: Thank you, bye. We're asking a lot of our listeners ...

Amanda: I know.

Julia: ... but just piled it on at the end for you guys.

Amanda: You know, if you made it this far, I think you're here for us. If you have a connect, let us know.

Julia: So that is all I have on the Yowie at the moment.

Amanda: Aw, I loved it.

Julia: He's very sweet and very cute, and I do very much love the Yowie.

Amanda: I love the fact that they're small also.

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: I think you also often hear, "They're seven, eight, nine-feet-tall."

Julia: Yeah.

Amanda: It's just, "No, they're like five feet."

Julia: Five feet.

Amanda: Five feet.

Julia: That's pretty cute.

Amanda: Pretty small.

Julia: That's my size.

Amanda: Adorable, yeah.

Julia: I have a tiny, tiny Yowie.

Amanda: Small but fierce.

Julia: Small but fierce Yowie. Well I don't know if they're fierce. Well, according to Aboriginal stories, they are fierce.

Amanda: Yeah, but dude, there's nothing I love more than that tying of modern-day cryptid discussions to actual, probable evolutionary ties. That is the cool thing I ever heard.

Julia: I really like the idea of just as much as this story has definitely been co-opted from Aboriginal people, it is still in the conversation, and it's the reason that I was able to find this story and actually find the very interesting Aboriginal stories is because there's people out there perpetuating these sightings and the mythos of the cryptid that is the Yowie, and therefore, the story of the Aboriginal people that is actually accurate to what's going on.

Amanda: Yeah, it's an example of internet paranoia and pop culture, if you will actually, accidentally making a thing that ought to be preserved, but there's no capitalistic reason for people to do it, actually bringing it back into our consciousness, which is really dope.

Julia: Yeah, and I'm really glad that we got to touch on some more Aboriginal myths because it's something that I was really interested in. There's not as many resources as I would hope that there are, but when I do really dig into that, they also have a really interesting story for us.

Amanda: Yeah, and this is our final but I think most urgent plug, which is if you are Aboriginal, if you know somebody who is, if you know a historian or a writer or a storyteller that we should talk to, we would love to interview them. So please, indigenous people of any region, but especially I think indigenous Australians, let us know. We want to get in touch, and we want to talk about stuff.

Julia: Yeah, we would really, really, really love that.

Amanda: Yeah, we are lifelong learners, and when we can learn from someone who is directly from the culture that we're interested in, that is the best thing of all.

Julia: Yeah, absolutely. Oh man, I love learning from people.

Amanda: Right on. Well, next time you turn on your garage lights and you see ...

Julia: Get your garage beer.

Amanda: ... definitely a juvenile cryptid ...

Julia: And he's definitely trying to communicate with you.

Amanda: ... definitely trying to communicate, just remember ...

Julia: To stay creepy.

Amanda: ... and stay cool.

[Theme music]

Julia: Spirits was created by Amanda McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, and Eric Schneider with music by Kevin MacLeod and visual design by Allyson Wakeman.

Amanda: Keep up with all things creepy and cool by following us on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram @spiritspodcast. We also have all our episodes, collaborations and guest appearances, plus merch on our website, spiritspodcast.com.

Julia: Come on over to our Patreon page, patreon.com/spiritspodcast for all kinds of behind the scenes stuff. Throw us a little as one dollar and get access to audio extras, recipe cards, director's commentaries, and patron only livestreams.

Amanda: Hey, if you like the show, please share us with your friends. That is the best way to help us keep on growing.

Julia: Thank you so much for listening. Till next time.