Tuesday, May 15, 2012

STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN IN NAMADGI


Update: 18/5/12

I like the solitude of Namadgi. I have always felt safe apart from a few encounters with pigs and wild dogs but that has been a rarity over a very long time. Something happened recently to make me re-evaluate that solitude when I'm wandering in the bush. I have a video from a recent trail camera setting later in this post that was quite disturbing…

It’s only in the past few months that I have started putting out a trail-camera to capture a little wildlife.  I am actually endeavouring to capture quolls and also have an interest in the feral population as they are its greatest threat… Historically they were very common but despised by the settlers and ferals seem to have nearly finished the job. Anyway I digress…

I occasionally capture an unidentifiable animal. This does not indicate a new species although recent discoveries show we don’t know everything about what's in Namadgi. Strange stuff seems to happen out there. Occasionally a strange photo emerges that only provides a portion of the animal. The first strange photo came in the shape of a blond hairy thing that I estimate to be only 12” high…


And enlarged...


What is it? I don’t know. I went through everything from fox, dog, and cat to billy goats beard… I can't think of anything with that length hair or colour. I determined it was a feral of some sort caught at an unusual angle.

Next photograph is I presume of a marsupial but I can detect neither head nor tail…


And enlarged...


Anyway… I have found things like this quite fascinating… until recently when I captured one clip that blew me out.

All I can do here is provide you with the information that was presented to me which is a 15 second video clip taken by an infra red motion activated camera. I had arrived at the location, it was late and getting cold. I had a walk down a rarely used access track to a random position in the bush to position a camera on a well used animal trail. 

It was a quick visit, alone, and it took me less than 2 minutes to position the camera, arm it and walk away.
Eight days later I returned to collect the SD card and went home. All up the camera had collected 20 photographs and a corresponding amount of 15 second videos… 

Damn... I had set the camera too high up the tree and was only collecting the odd wallabies head and the back of what I suspect was a feral dog. A missed opportunity to add a dog to a collection of fox, hare and pig photos I currently have.


The corresponding videos weren’t much chop either and I went through them one more time before deleting the SD card. When I reviewed the first video it was of course the one of me leaving having turned on the unit… the first 15 second video activated as I walked away.

It is probably worth noting that at 1 meter a second I could have been as far as 15 metres away from the camera by the time the clip finished. Roll camera...


Its only lucky I watched 10 seconds past the sight of me hanging around setting the camera. I usually delete them when I identify them.


It’s nice to have friends with the technical know-how to rip a raw file video down to its bare pixels and the best guess is this is a human being wearing what appears to be a stocking on his beanie covered head. It is also possible that he wore glasses…

I think the disturbing thing was the closeness of this individual to me without my knowledge. The ground covering is so noisy with bark, twigs and leaf litter that he would have had to be a ninja to come up to me so I can only assume he had gone to ground there before I arrived. Also when I reviewed this 8 day old video it dawned on me I was a long way from any assistance.

Now I’m assuming this individual who, for whatever reason, was sitting in the middle of nowhere wearing a stocking over his head at 4.30 in the afternoon had no malicious intent obviously as I’m here to tell the tale but he was pretty brazen poking his head out when I was only 10 seconds away.

I’m also assuming the AFP didn’t have any black ops training exercises going on because I wouldn’t have been able to gain access to the area surely, so I am only left with sinister ideas as with my children’s input of dope growers… surely minus 5 degree nights rule that out?.  Mass murderer disposing of his bodies was another… Canberra's Belangalo?… and surprisingly bow hunters which eventually made a little sense.

This led me to the idea that maybe there were poachers (hunters), probably going for pigs, laying wait on game trails in Namadgi. I had seen no other vehicles but then I presume that a hunter would park a long way away and walk. 

It’s the only logical explanation I can think of… he didn’t jump out and say boo… or hit me from behind… he just watched me set a camera. What is really weird is that when I returned for the SD card the unit was still there… I'm surprised at this if he saw the camera and was trying to be covert.

I probably wouldn’t mention it, as it was now nearly 2 weeks ago, but on the off chance you are reading this Mr. Balaclava man...  If you weren’t up to no good why didn’t you just say hello? Email me and let me know what you were doing. By the way TAMS puts out dozens and dozens of cameras mate…

So that’s it… I thought it strange enough to mention. Be safe out there.

Update: 18/5/12 ACT Gov Media Release 'Illegal hunters in Namadgi targeted...


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15 comments:

  1. An interesting analysis Dave, after the initial shock of your discovery! Let us know if anything comes to light.

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    1. I'm probably wrong Jude. I suppose with a population of 350K you have to run into a strange one now and then. If anything comes to light I'll let you know.

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  2. Strange things go on out there Dave. See the latest entry in my blog.

    http://backcountryrambler.blogspot.com/2012/05/surprise-and-puzzle.html

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    1. Proves we are never alone really Bob. I would have liked to have caught a full body shot too. I would never have worked out what your circles were mate.

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    2. I wouldn't have either Dave, if the camera hadn't caught the guy in the act. I was trying to match the sign to an animal of the 4 legged kind. Never suspected a man to be around there.

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  3. Take a look at your size on camera, & the position of you waist line. This head appears at the height of just under your shoulders, & it is small in comparrison with you.
    Keith.
    http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Your right Keith... The head seems quite small in comparison to mine I thought too. Maybe this is just a teenager/child? Very strange mate.

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  4. Hey Dave,

    I have heard and seen some interesting things up at booroomba rocks, there has been: a couple of mates that swore they saw a bloke with a dingo, honey colored - looks like the dog you have in your shot, he was wearing a balaclava, and was at the lower rocks when they were up at the lookout from the top. He ducked out of sight, they returned to camp and mentioned what they had seen. we looked down there the next day, there were dog tracks, but no clue if they were dingo, but the people prints were human footprints, not boots.

    The next night something thundered through our campsite and leapt over the fire, then over the edge of the rocks. we didn't hear it land, but next day we cut our trip short and moved down to the gudgenby campsite instead.

    it wasn't a roo or wallaby, and we don't know where it went, of course nobody thought to grab a camera as it was just a split second thing.

    Some nights on the rocks you can hear strange calls, not natives or ferals, but something else. we thought it might have been a lyrebird, but the sounds give me the willies thinking about it. They weren't from birds, and there was a call and an answering call.

    the only other thing I could think of for your strange images is that it could be someone growing something they don't want found. there are many urban myths that claim there are whole acres of farms hidden under the trees.

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    1. Thanks Peter. Another balaclava man. Really I suppose it isn't against the law unless your going into a service station or bank. Amazing place at night mate. I have some really weird night recordings from Namadgi. Captured on a very still night. Only way I can think to describe it is it sounds like river stones being smacked together. Repeated patterns not Rocks falling. PM me and I'll send you the link if you like.

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  5. Hi Dave,

    I found your site via the post about this on RiotACT. I think it's really weird - and disturbing, especially after reading the post above from PeterH. I'm wondering if it could be someone who is not very well living rough out there, or even someone who doesn't want to be found. The 'hairy' photo makes me think of a lyrebird.

    I also wanted to say how much I like your site. From what I've seen the combination of fascinating information on some of my favourite topics to read about and the wildlife footage is going to give me hours of entertainment - keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks mjcoll! The Riotact was a different experience... I sort of regret mentioning it to them but I thought it might be relevant to the pig hunters post. Anyway live & learn :) Yes its a possibility I've heard of people living rough in the bush in other states so why not the ACT and a few people have told me strange stories from Booroomba in particular. Lyrebird yes too. Absolutely could be. I hadn't thought of that.
      Thanks again.

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  6. Hi Dave, I just found your blog and I'm going to subscribe, I think your writing is very interesting! I was just having a look at this balaclava man footage - I wonder did you have a backpack with you, sitting left of the shot that you hitched on just after leaving the camera setup? It was my thought that the head was part of a pack or bag (like a foam mattress roll or something - protruding just slightly from the pack) that leans into shot as someone is hitching it on their back. If not - then I'm all out of explanations - and yes it's worrying that someone could have been so close!!!!

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    1. Hi Michael & Mel. Thank you. No. Definitely no backpack or anything else. Just me leaving and then the 'thing' leaning in. I was well away when it happened. I'm pretty sure it was a pig hunter up there. Cheers Dave

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  7. My mother made me watch this. She said - you reckon you never get nightmares? Yeah? well watch this!

    Thanks Mum.

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