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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Searching For 'The Hawkesbury River Monster'

hornsby - Imagine a monster living on the borders of the upper north shore. An aquatic beast which lurks in the depths of the Hawkesbury River (New South Wales, Australia). A creature related to the Loch Ness monster.

For cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy, the fledgling legend of the Hawkesbury River Monster is real and he’s determined to prove it.

Since 1965, he and his wife Heather have been gathering information on a creature he believed still lives in our major waterway, or once did.

After years of ``patience, field trips and stake-outs’’ along the shores of the river, Mr Gilroy, who is also known for his research on the Blue Mountains Panther, hopes to finally obtain photographic evidence.

``Sooner or later, I’m hoping to get the shot of shots,’’ Mr Gilroy told the Advocate.

The Gilroys say they have compiled hundreds of sightings reports.

``They tend to be seen around (Mooney Mooney and Long Island),’’ Mr Gilroy said.

``There are stories of houseboats being lifted up at one end when something underneath tried to surface over at Jerusalem Bay.

``A lot of the inlets here have stories.’’

The most recent sighting was by fishermen near Wisemen’s Ferry, in March.

``(One of them) momentarily saw a serpentine head and about 2m of long neck rise above the water before submerging,’’ Mr Gilroy said.

He also referred to a sighting by Rosemary Turner in 1975, who reported a monster swimming upstream from a lookout at Muogamarra Nature Reserve.

Robert Jones, a palaeontologist from the Australian Museum, said that as far as science is concerned, the existence of the Hawkesbury River Monster has never been proven.

``It’s impossible for them to live in the Hawkesbury River; they just don’t exist,’’ he said.

But according to Mr Gilroy, the monster is part of Aboriginal folklore, with stories of women and children being attacked by the ``moolyewonk’’ or ``mirreeular’’ both indigenous names. They also feature in ancient rock art on the banks of the river.

``There’s got to be something to it,’’ Mr Gilroy said.

Descriptions of the Hawkesbury River Monster liken it to the prehistoric plesiosaur, an aquatic dinosaur 70 million years extinct.

The Loch Ness monster is also said to be related to the same extinct creature. How the Nessie myth is similar to our own, HERE

Mr Jones said plesiosaurs did exist in Australia, but ther was no evidence of them inhabiting the Hawkesbury River.

However both Mr Gilroy and Mr Jones describe the aquatic dinosaur as grey and mottled in colour, with a large bulky body, two sets of paddle-like flippers, a long neck and serpent-like head and thick, eel-like tail.

Sighting reports describe it as about 24m long. Mr Jones said the plesiosaur grew up to 10m long.

Mr Gilroy said he and his field assistant Greg Foster may have sighted the creature last August, from a high bank near Wiseman’s Ferry.

They described seeing a dark, bulky shape with a long neck about a metre from the surface.

Its movements caused surface disturbance which appeared to suggest a marine creature with two sets of flippers and a tail, Mr Gilroy said.

``It was encouraging,’’ he said.

``I’m hopeful that I’m going to get some sort of evidence that satisfies me ... and when I’ve got that, I will be pleased to put it on the desk of some scientist and say `well there you are!’’
Originally posted 8/9/2009

Hunting For Sydney's Underwater Monster - From the depths of time it comes from the ocean, gliding up our waterways to lay its eggs then slipping silently away again - this is Sydney's own "Nessie".

Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy said he recently saw the 12m giant surface in the Hawkesbury River. Through binoculars Mr Gilroy saw a dark shadow ``with a longish neck'' near Wiseman's Ferry.

The revelation comes just days after Google Earth images showed what appeared to be Scotland's Loch Ness Monster.

Mr Gilroy, who has been searching for Sydney's beast since 1965, said he believed it was a plesiosaur from the Jurassic period.

Mr Gilroy, known for his research on the western Sydney panther, said neither the NSW nor Scottish Nessies were alone.

"We'd have to have a breeding population of no less than 300 to 600," he said.

"We're dealing with ocean creatures coming into the river to breed. There are areas of ocean ... anything could live down there and you wouldn't know it.''

After hearing of the Hawkesbury Monster in 1965 he found accounts dating back to pre-colonial times, with stories told of children being attacked by the "moolyewonk".

When fishing boats were found overturned and the occupants missing in the 1980s, the Hawkesbury Monster was the prime suspect.

"We have rock art depicting them. It seems the Aboriginal people knew of these creatures," Mr Gilroy said.

Searching For 'The Hawkesbury River Monster'