Australia has long been known for its bizarre fauna, both known and unknown, but there are few beasts to rival the bipedal, elephantine creatures that have managed to terrify local motorists, fishermen and farmers… creatures that some say are not of this Earth.
Narrabeen Lake is the largest of three rainforest shrouded estuaries located within a 9-mile stretch of coast along Sydney’s northern beach, which is situated in the state of New South Wales. This relatively small body of water is the alleged home of a gigantic CRESSIE-like eel and — even more intriguingly — at least one utterly bizarre, UNCLASSIFIED, semi-AQUATIC ENIGMA.
The first known sighting of the “Elephant Humanoid” occurred at 1:15 pm. on April 3rd, 1968.
One Mabel Walsh was driving along the Wakehurst Parkway alongside Narrabeen Lake with her nephew John. The pair was cruising at approximately 45-miles per hour en route to Newport, when they both spied a peculiar being standing in shallow water of the lake. Walsh described the eccentric entity:
“It was a bit over 4-feet tall, with dark grey, tough leathery skin, like an elephant’s. It had small front legs and walked on its hind legs, which were thick and round like an elephant’s… I didn’t notice a tail or ears, but it had small eyes and smaller front legs or arms. Its head reminded me of an ant eater’s. Its trunk was rigid, squared off at the end and stuck down and out at an angle.”
Evidently this HYBRID BEAST was not to keen on being spied as, according to Walsh, it wasted no time in propelling its’ rotund legs forward and exiting the shallows for more a more concealed location:
“It came out of the water, stood up on its legs and headed off into the brush in a fast, shambling, sideways run… it ambled out of the lake and ran into the scrub. It had a strange shuffling walk, but was quite fast. It shocked me. It was a peculiar looking thing. I’ve never seen anything like it. We saw it only for a few seconds.”
Unfortunately — due to the fact that John was heading for the airport — Walsh and her nephew did not have the time to more thoroughly investigate the locale:
“I stopped the car, but had to wait for traffic to pass before I could back up but the thing had gone. We were in a hurry… I had to get John to the airport… I didn’t have time to call anyone and check on it.”
As brief as the aforementioned account may have been, it made a tremendous mark on Walsh who — according to a snippet published in the April 6, 1968, edition of the Daily Telegraph — was planning on keeping watch by the lakeside in order to catch a second glimpse of the strange, pachyderm-like beast.
As intriguing as this interlude was it would not be the final reported encounter with this creature. The next incident that some have associated with this creature — or creatures as the case may be — occurred sometime in April of 1971, and would involve two new eyewitnesses.
The witnesses in question were a pair of anglers who were engaged in some night fishing from a boat on Narrabeen Lake. The men would later claim that they had caught a glimpse of “something” in the flickering light of their kerosene lamp.
When they raised the lamp for a better look, the two fishermen claimed that they saw a grey pigmented brute that had a “trunk like an elephant.”
They also confirmed that creature employed a unique bipedal locomotion as it sloshed through the water.
Later that same evening, an anonymous woman allegedly claimed that she was awoken by a “terrible gurgling noise,” but as she saw no anomalous animals it is difficult to ascertain whether or not the same odd, elephantine humanoid was responsible for that particular incident.
Not long after the nights incidents, reporter Frank O’Neill wrote a tongue ‘n cheek account of the fishermen’s tale as it was told to him by a cadre of neighborhood children.
After a seemingly obligatory comparison to the infamous LOCH NESS MONSTER, O’Neill explained how he kids were attempting to warn him about the potential dangers of the Narrabeen monster.
During the late 1970s, UFO researcher, Bill Chalker, investigated this phenomenon. While his on site examinations would ultimately prove fruitless, he did propose a potentially intriguing association between these Humanoid Elephant s and ancient Hindu texts. In his own words:
“… I spent a number of evenings loitering around the Narrabeen Lakes environs checking out the areas involved in these stories. Unfortunately no ‘elephant’ humanoids were seen and I was not able to determine any substance to a prosaic ‘elephant’ connection. It is interesting that humanoid elephant-headed beings are a major feature of Indian religios mythology — namely ganesha.”
Though I think Chalker would be the first to concede that these quasi-elephantine varmints are likely not incarnations of the Hindu deity, he did make a tentative connection between the creatures and a close encounter of the 3rd kind that occurred in Australia over 40 years previous to the Wash sighting.
Farmer Cecil McGann related an extraordinary tale to Chalker in a 19 page letter, which he sent to him in 1985. In the letter, McGann told a plethora of strange tales involving UFOs and brutally butchered livestock, but one event in particular piqued Chalker’s interest.
The account involved a group of truly curious creatures that McGann spied on his family farm in northern New South Wales when he was 10 years-old, back in 1927.
In a scenario that is difficult not to compare to the Point Pleasant MOTHMAN encounters, the McGann family and their neighbors had for weeks been tormented by strange, zig-zagging lights in the sky, giant birds, mysterious nighttime visitors, precisely exsanguinated cows and pigs and a paddock full of spooked farm animals.
One night after watching an odd, illuminated object perform aerial feats that would be difficult today and impossible in the 1920s, the family settled down for bed dismissing the UFO as a “dancing star.” The following morning cattle seemed agitated and refused to return to their grazing field, but within
A few days the cattle were down the hill in their grazing field until, at about 2 pm., McGann insists the herd stampeded back up the rise, eyes bulging with terror. The cows refused to return to their paddock and eventually were allowed to bed down in a small enclosure near the farmhouse.
The cows remained in the enclosure for days and it was soon noticed that one of the herd had gone missing. McGann was sent down to the field to see if he could wrangle the missing bovine.
There was no way he could realize that he was about to lay eyes on something that would haunt him for the rest of his days. In McGann’s own words:
“… I walked out onto the ridge in our day paddock to see if she (the cow) had ventured out there during the day and a strange scene confronted me as I looked down the ridge as there were two objects, one down on a small flat at the bottom or a ridge and one amid bushes halfway down the ridge and they were moving about and looked like small elephants.”
In retrospect, McGann speculated that what he perceived to be elephantine features might have been space suits — a concept that would have been virtually incomprehensible in 1927 — used to protect what he believed may well have been visitors from OUT OF THIS WORLD.
The very morning family discovered three large pigs dead behind an 8-foot high fence. The carcasses had marks on their necks, but – much like in cases involving the nefarious CHUPACABRAS – there was no evidence of spilt blood at the scene.
Chalker was swift to point out that just because similarly described creatures were reported in the same locale — granted 40 some odd years apart — that one should not rush to assume that the Humanoid Elephants seen in 1968 or 1971 represent an alien species, rather that they might be unknown indigenous fauna that McGann accidentally associate with the epidemic of alleged alien activity that seemed to be haunt his family. According to Chalker:
“It would probably be erroneous to speculate that the unknown creature reported above was related in someway to UFOs. There is no direct connection evident, and because the creature or one like it was seen again in the area, it would probably be more correct to suggest that the creature was an unknown species perhaps local to that area.”
Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that nearly two week following the Walsh encounter, on April 16th, 1968, there was a “rash of UFO sightings over Sydney.” These sluggish, star-like objects were spotted from several suburbs between 6 and 6.35 pm.
Following this mass sighting, several citizens of Sydney claimed that a dull orange object suddenly appeared in the skies above their fair city on April 20th. As this UFO descend its hue transformed from the aforementioned flat orange into an iridescent blue.
It seems likely that the UFO encounters of both 1927 and 1968 are unrelated to the elephant-like beasties roaming around South Whales, but then again… weirder things have proven to be true.
Either way, imagining a race of humanoid space elephants visiting makes me smile and think of Jabba the Hutt’s ill fated keyboard player. One can’t help but to wonder whether or not the events in South Wales during the late 60s and early 70s might not have served as inspiration for the design of good ol’ Max Rebo.
In an intriguing ancillary note there are some intriguing illustrations of Humanoid Elephants from Zakarīyā’ ibn Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī‘s “Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing,” which was originally published in 1283, and reprinted in the 17th Century in what is believed to be Mughal India. The illustrations show all manner of bizarre beasts, but one of the most interesting is the so-called “Elephant Headed Demon,” which is described as a Jinn.
© Copyright Rob Morphy 2002 — 2011