Lithe People of Australia. Etymology: Australian word. Variant names: Bitarr (Kumbainggar/Australian), Brown Jack, Burgingin (Alawa/Aus-tralian, in Northern Territory), Dinderi (in Queensland), Junjuddi, Net-net (in Victoria),

Nimbunj, Nyol (in eastern Victoria), Waaki, Winambuu (Wiradhuri/Australian), Yuuri (in New South Wales).

Physical description: Height, 3—4 feet. Upright. Brown or red skin. Apelike limbs. Covered with dark brown or black hair.

Behavior: Runs on two legs. Incredibly strong. Calls are a series of three barks, "Arroo-ARROO-arroo," interspersed with a gurgling "gu-gu-gu-gu." Also said to cackle like a chicken. Guards certain locations. Has supernatural powers. Protects lost children.

Tracks: Variable. Three-toed or five-toed. In some cases, similar to a five-year-old child's; in others, each toe is about the size of a human big toe.

Distribution: Great Dividing Range of New South Wales and Queensland; eastern Victoria; Northern Territory north of the Roper River; the Western Australia coast between Shark Bay and Broome.

Significant sightings: Nathan Moilan's father had seen Junjadees in the woods several times while logging in the Great Dividing Range west of Tully, Queensland. One night, he and his brother were sleeping in a bush hut in the Kir-rama Range when a little, hairy man entered and attacked them. They wrestled with it until it broke free and escaped by jumping out the window.

In 1956, a group of Aboriginal and Malay workmen were sitting by a campfire at Shark Bay, Western Australia, when a dark-skinned, little man about 4 feet tall approached them asking for food supplies. The Malay pearl fishermen refused to spend the night alone along the coast where these creatures live.

In September 1968, George Gray was sleep ing in a bush hut near the sawmill settlement of Kookaburra in New South Wales when he woke up to find a little man trying to drag him to the door. It was 4 feet tall and covered with bristly, gray hair. They wrestled for several minutes, but the creature had loose skin and Gray couldn't get a firm grip on it.

Early in the morning of June 1, 1996, Gary Opit heard about ninety loud, barklike calls in the Koonyum Range of northeastern New South Wales.

Possible explanations:

(1) A mutant strain of stunted Aborigines, perhaps outcasts.

(2) A surviving group of pre-Aboriginal peoples.

(3) A dwarf variety or juvenile Yowie .

(4) A supernatural entity.

Sources: Douglas Lockwood, I, the Aboriginal (Adelaide, South Australia: Rigby, 1962); Frank Povah, You Kids Count Your Shadows: Hairymen and Other Aboriginal Folklore in New South Wales (Wollar, N.S.W., Australia: Frank Povah, 1990); Karl Shuker, "Death Birds and Dragonets: In Search of Forgotten Monsters," Fate 46 (November 1993): 66-74; Brisbane (Queensl.) Courier Mail, January 24, 1994; Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia (Chippendale, N.S.W., Australia: Ironbark, 1994), pp. 117-118; Malcolm Smith, Bunyips and Bigfoots: In Search of Australia's Mystery Animals (Alexandria, N.S.W., Australia: Millennium Books, 1996), pp. 164-166; Gary Opit, "Understanding the Yowie Phenomena," May 1999, at http://www.yowiehunters.com/ science/reports/understanding.htm.

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