|Analysis ('Dean Vs Yowie' Enounter - 2009)|
|Footprint Analysis of the 'Yowie Attack' Cast|
|Private Viewing of the Cast|
|The Impression of the Toes|
|Excerpts from Dean Harrison Interview|
by Ed Skoda
At 3.50am on the 4th of January, 2009, Dean Harrison made a post on his Australian Yowie Research (AYR) Forum claiming that he had been attacked and thrown 12 feet through the air during an expedition in Queensland. At that stage, the details were sketchy - there was no mention of the alleged assailant except for the title "Dean Vs Yowie" and "Yowie 1 - Dean Nil" which gave Harrison's post a tongue-in-cheek quality.
Nine days later a report of the incident was posted which only served to raise more questions than it answered. Details of the events remained vague which, perhaps, was not surprising considering that it was a dark night, the alleged assault happened unexpectedly and was over quickly, nobody (including Harrison) saw anything other than eye shine, and the participants had been drinking alcohol.
Was Harrison indeed attacked by a yowie or was it a case of misidentification? If yowies do exist their numbers would be quite small whereas there are millions of feral and native animals that are active at night and some, like feral pigs, are notoriously temperamental. Or was something else - like a joke or a hoax - going on? Despite the vagueness of the reported incident Harrison remained adamant - he was attacked and thrown by a yowie. Perhaps of all people, Harrison should know - he is considered one of Australia's leading yowie researchers and claims to have many yowie encounters.
Gradually, however, the storyline of the alleged incident began to change. On Harrison's AYR Forum all references to being "attacked and thrown" were removed and replaced with "knocked back", the eye-shine which "glowed like flash lights in the dark" simply became "dull", and the alleged assailant which originally was completely unsighted in the dark grew to 7ft in an online interview. Furthermore, claims that Harrison and his crew pursued the source of the eye-shine were unsupported and completely denied by the other participants.
Pictures of Harrison's alleged injuries (above) - clearly not taken at the site of the alleged "yowie attack" - were later posted on the AYR forum and in greater detail on the Cryptomundo website. The bruising appears reasonably fresh and is in contrast to the AYR report which describes them as "yellowing" - the yellowing of bruises indicates the final stage of healing typically after a minimum of 7 days after the cause of injury. This, combined with the fact there was no tissue damage whatsoever at the alleged point of impact (between the chest and right shoulder), suggest the likelihood that the alleged injuries were sustained from an earlier unrelated incident and photographed a week or so prior to the alleged "yowie attack".
In any case, the resultant injuries from allegedly being struck by a 7ft yowie at full sprint (and attacked and thrown 12feet or knocked back a similar distance and then attacked depending on which version you read) are largely superficial and did not require even basic first aid. Compare that with the injuries sustained recently by a man attacked by a 5-5.5ft kangaroo (below):
Further problems with the validity of Harrison's claims arise when considering the recent history of alleged yowie sightings in the area - most accounts are short, vague on detail, and involve anonymous witnesses which are impossible to verify. In the remaining accounts, however, two names do keep cropping up claiming multiple yowie sightings - Dean Harrison and Brett Green.
In Healy & Cropper's (2006) "The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot" - in which Dean Harrison and his AYR are the single largest contributor of alleged yowie accounts - Brett Green is generously described by the authors as being a "Gympie historian". Perhaps, a more accurate description would be "pseudo-historian and documented hoaxer".
Dr. Elaine Brown, Local History Officer for the Gympie Regional Libraries, has exposed a number of Green's fabrications including the bogus John Green pioneer diaries (a less-than-skilful mix of local indigenous history and Green's rollicking fiction), a fake photograph of the summit of the infamous "Gympie Pyramid" (a now-demolished man-made hill that has been the subject of outlandish speculation even though successfully debunked on several occasions), and several modern-yet-supposedly-ancient sculptures allegedly found at the site of the "pyramid".
Is it any surprise that Harrison and Green have a long association together, have teamed up on several "yowie expeditions", and that both "researchers" have claimed multiple yowie sightings - somehow always conveniently while without a camera - in the area? It has also been claimed that the footprint cast (discussed below) presented as supporting evidence for Harrison's claim matches others previously "found" by Harrison and Green. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, seems highly likely considering it is the footprint cast itself which gives Harrison's "yowie attack" away as a fabrication.