‘More investigation’ needed to confirm Coast yowie sightings
SCEPTICS and a local MP say evidence and further investigation are needed to get to the bottom of claims made by a family terrified of what they think is a yowie.
The Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday reported that a family in the Currumbin Valley claimed to have been stalked by a large hairy creature since November.
They say they are so frightened they plan to move.
The claims were first reported to local researcher and cryptozoologist Dean Harrison, who wants to search the area and set up cameras.
Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey, who lived in the Currumbin Valley for more than 32 years, said the yowie had a long history in the region.
She said "mischief'' caused at the family's home "warrants further investigation".
"The yowie and stories of sightings are certainly very much part of the Gold Coast mythology in the area," Ms Stuckey said.
"Reports of sightings are out there.
"I think the science has to be proven they don't exist, but no one should feel frightened in their own home like that woman is.
"I think it warrants further investigation, someone is being mischievous - if not, we might have something historical out there."
Ms Stuckey, who has long served the electorate, said reports of "sightings'' were more common over a decade ago.
She had never spotted one herself.
"It was in the papers quite a bit then, but it was further out, more around Numinbah," Ms Stuckey said.
"We will have to wait and see, but it would be a pretty cruel prank to pull on someone.
"If it is real, with today's technology surely we would have been able to track it."
Gold Coast Skeptics president Dr Paulina Stehlik said strong evidence was needed before any claims would be accepted by the wider public.
While Dr Stehlik specialised in the medical field, she said a "sceptics' way of thinking'' could be applied.
"As far as I understand, there is no good zoological evidence to suggest a large bipedal mammal, similar to that described in mythology of bigfoot in North America, lives in Australia," she said.
"The burden of proof we would be looking for would be a common species, fossils or faeces where you can verify what the animal is.
"You would expect such a large animal to have some more sightings, or anticipate some sort of fossils would be found.
"Given all of this put together, it is highly unlikely a large bipedal animal is part of the animal population.
"We would assume such a large animal would have been found by now."
Dr Stehlik said footprints similar to that found by bushwalkers at Mt French in the Scenic Rim this month could be faked.
"While I am not suggesting the one reported on was fake, there have been plenty of cases in the past where a footprint has been falsified,'' she said.
"My response to the situation in Currumbin Valley would be if you think someone or something is engendering you, let the local authorities know."