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'Hairy man' encountered by Arthur Marrin 123 years ago still unidentified

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By Demons Driven
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« on: August 13, 2016, 02:33:57 pm »

'Hairy man' encountered by Arthur Marrin 123 years ago still unidentified
666 ABC Canberra
By Penny Travers

Updated August 05, 2016 15:02:39




Arthur Marrin and family
Photo: Arthur Marrin, with his wife Catherine and daughters May and Irene circa 1895. (Supplied: Lawrie St Hill)
Map: Braidwood 2622

The story of Arthur Marrin and his encounter with a "hairy man" in 1893 is part of the folklore of the New South Wales Southern Highlands.

Marrin, a cordial maker, was travelling on horse-drawn cart to Captain's Flat from Braidwood with a load of drinks when something frightened his dog.

When he went to investigate, a hairy creature standing six feet tall on its hind legs jumped out towards him.

Marrin's back was to a precipitous drop so he picked up a stone and hit it on the head, before finishing it off with the butt of his whip.

He left the creature by the side of the road and continued into Captain's Flat where he went to the police station, concerned he might have killed a man.

The next day a policeman accompanied him back to the site and assured Marrin the creature was not a man.
Wife not impressed

Marrin transported the body back to Braidwood where he displayed it out the front of the cordial factory.

But his wife was unimpressed and insisted the creature be disposed of, so Marrin buried it in a shallow grave behind the factory that evening.

Before it was buried it was observed by a reporter for The Braidwood Dispatch, who described the creature in a newspaper article published October 25, 1893:

    "It was four feet long, 11 inches across the forehead and had a face very much like a polar bear.

    "It weighed over seven stone (44kg). Its forearms were very strong with great paws that would be capable of giving a terrible grip.

    "It was a tan colour like a possum with strong hair on its skin."

The newspaper published a second article three days later further describing the creature and hypothesising its identity.
Could it have been a yahoo, yowie or giant wombat?
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By Demons Driven
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2016, 02:35:26 pm »

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By Demons Driven
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 02:36:43 pm »

Despite being seen by a policeman and a reporter, the question remained — what was the creature?
The Braidwood Dispatch art
Photo: Other regional newspapers ran the original Braidwood Dispatch article at the time. (Trove:
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article98534361)

Over the years ideas have been floated that it might have been a yahoo, a yowie, an Australian mountain gorilla or even a giant wombat.

Australian National University archaeologists have been trying to answer the question by conducting digs around the site of the former cordial factory.

Marrin's grandson Lawrie St Hill has also been trying to identify the creature featured in the story handed down through his family.

"The actual fact of the animal has never been disputed; there was an animal, it was brought in by Marrin and it was seen by the reporter and the policeman," he said.

"What has been disputed is what the animal actually was."

Mr St Hill said over the years there had been all sorts of "wild and woolly" theories put forward.

"The idea of the yowie wasn't really floated until some time in the '70s when the press got onto this," he said.

"As I understand it, the yowie was a very large creature like a human — the two are quite unconnected."

Mr St Hill said he believed the animal was some kind of yet-to-be-identified giant marsupial, similar to the tree kangaroo but without a tail.
Lawrie St Hill believes the animal was a marsupial possibly similar to a modern tree kangaroo.



Photo: Lawrie St Hill believes the animal was a marsupial possibly similar to a modern tree kangaroo. (ABC News: Robert Herrick)

Historian Graham Joyner has spent years writing and researching the yahoo, and considered the creature to be a now extinct marsupial.

"During the 19th century, reports emerged from south-eastern Australia of some unidentified animal variously called the yahoo, Australian ape or Australian gorilla," Mr Joyner wrote.

"One of the best-known accounts involves the creature killed by Arthur Marrin near the NSW town of Braidwood in 1893.

"Despite an outward identification with the gorilla or the orang-utan, reports of the creature can best be put down to the survival into recent times of the last remnants of some recently extinct marsupial."

The terms yowie and yahoo are often interchanged but Mr Joyner and Mr St Hill consider them to be quite different creatures.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2016, 02:40:04 pm »

Corpse moved 'in a most mysterious manner'

To complicate the identification process further, The Braidwood Dispatch reported two weeks after its burial that the creature's corpse had been moved "in a most mysterious manner".

But Mr St Hill said he suspected the newspaper published the report in a bid to end the story and that the remains of the creature had not been dug up.



Lawrie St Hill
Photo: Lawrie St Hill remain hopeful some archaeological evidence of the creature will be found. (Supplied: Lawrie St Hill)

"There was a great fuss made about the first report," he said.

"The newspaper got quite concerned about its reputation, though it never changed its story.

"It seems to have dropped the story like the proverbial hot potato and never spoke of it again, even when reporting as fact the sighting of an apparently similar animal less than a year later."

Nowadays if someone encountered an unusual beast, they would pull out their smartphone and take a snap.

But back in Marrin's time, photography was a new medium.

For now, Mr St Hill still holds out hope that physical evidence of the creature will be found.

"It's a long shot because most of the area has been cultivated, so it's probably broken up," he said.

"But I'm also of the view that it's just as likely that a true fossil will be found [elsewhere]."

Topics: history, human-interest, braidwood-2622, nsw, canberra-2600, act

First posted August 05, 2016 15:00:29

More stories from New South Wales
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By Demons Driven
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2016, 02:42:01 pm »

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-05/the-story-of-arthur-marrin-and-the-hairy-man/7693462
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By Demons Driven
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 02:45:59 pm »



Does an unknown species lurk in the wilds of New South Wales ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Anne Dirkse
Arthur Marrin came across a strange creature while traveling in New South Wales over a century ago.
The peculiar encounter took place while Marrin, a cordial maker, had been transporting a load of drinks by horse-drawn cart from Braidwood to Captain's Flat in the Southern Highlands.

He was first alerted to the presence of something unusual when his dog wouldn't stop baking.

After venturing off the road to investigate, Marrin came face to face with a large, powerful creature which lunged at him from the undergrowth.

As he tried to back away he realized that he was standing on the edge of a steep drop. Fearing for his life, he grabbed a nearby rock off the ground and hit his assailant over the head with it.

The blow proved devastating and with a follow-up strike from his whip, the beast lay dead.

Intrigued by the peculiar nature of the creature, Marrin later transported its remains back to Braidwood where he put them up on display, much to the interest of a local newspaper.

"It was four feet long, 11 inches across the forehead and had a face very much like a polar bear," a reporter for The Braidwood Dispatch wrote in an article published back in 1893.

"It weighed over seven stone (44kg). Its forearms were very strong with great paws that would be capable of giving a terrible grip. It was a tan colour like a possum with strong hair on its skin."

To this day however the identity of the creature continues to remain a complete mystery.
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