Saturday, 24 September 2022

Nimbinjee Close Encounter

In a recent interview with my colleague, Gary Opit - renowned Australian naturalist, biologist and botanist and host (for the last 2 decades) of a live-to-air wildlife identification segment for ABC North Coast NSW radio station on 94.5 FM - I was astonished to hear him talk of a strange encounter his daughter and her partner had with a strange ape-like creature, at his home, on 20th December, 2020,.

Gary, who has been researching these unknown primates for many years believes that he and his family may have had several encounters with them.

Sighting, Christmas, 2020

"Our daughter and her partner when staying with us over Christmas saw a Nimbinjee or little hairy man jump up onto our roof at 2am and from their description was exactly like a gibbon in all respects. Of course there are no gibbons here and there have never been nocturnal and terrestrial gibbons known. They said that there were two of them calling quietly to one another. We have an audio recording of the calls and a coloured illustration of what they saw.”

Eyewitness sketch of  the1 metre high bipedal primate witnessed by Mateo Camelo on the roof of Gary Opit’s property, in Nimbin, New South Wales.

Gary’s own encounters with the Nimbinjee:

“I encountered what may have been this smaller species in bushland behind a house that we were renting on the slopes of the Koonyum Range at an elevation of 200 metres (656 feet) at Main Arm in north-eastern NSW. Twice at dusk I heard within 100 m of the house a loud and powerful call "ruuff" of an animal that I could not identify. Then at 3-30 a.m. on 1 June 1996 just before retiring for the night, after working on a report, I had another encounter. I did not observe the animal but was fortunate enough to hear what I believe was its territorial call.”

“I had walked outside for a view of the stars and walked as far from the house as the chicken enclosure. There was a full moon illuminating a clear night with no air movement so that sounds, like the crowing of a rooster, were heard for some kilometres. Approximately 50 metres away near a dry creek bed, in eucalypt forest, a series of some 90-loud bark-like calls rent the air. The calls were usually in a series of three, the first was a start up call, which was not as loud as the middle call which was climactic, and which was followed by softer call “arroo-ARROO-arroo.””

“In the same locality, I have had an animal approach to within a few metres of me through dense vegetation cracking two sticks together over several minutes, even as my dog barked at it and then it silently disappeared. Something has barked an alarm call “reff-reff, reff-reff”. Could these be evidence of a Hobbit living in my locality? “

“On Saturday 9th August 2008 Ray Westrap & I found small child-sized footprints that led from a wallaby track on our property onto the Jones Road track where it had walked through shallow water in the large depression & I photographed them. On the same track adjacent to our home I found a small stick structure or tepee right in the middle of a track. Beside the stick tepee were little footprints in the mud of a wheel rut to the east of the tepee. Three lumps of mud had been scooped out of the rut and thrown onto the ground. Two of these lay directly adjacent the mud-filled rut on the western side & another had been thrown a metre away on the eastern side. “

“Small child-like footprints for 3 metres were visible along the rut and on the two lumps of mud that had been scooped out & thrown down. This showed lots of activity of little feet walking back & forth along the rut pushing mud onto previous footprints. “

Stick Structure, stripped bark and footprints/fingerprints found by Gary Opit in 2008

This, as yet unclassified animal, known locally as ‘Nimbinjee’ and in other parts of NSW as ‘Junjadee’ is described as being 3 – 4 feet in height with brown skin and is covered with dark brown or red hair. It is bipedal, standing upright and makes strange barks that sound like “arroo, ARROO, arroo”, interspersed with a gurgling, “gu-gu-gu-gu.” The creature also, very oddly, is reported to cackle like a chicken and has been encountered throughout the Great Dividing Range of New South Wales and Queensland, Eastern Victoria; North of the Roper River, and around the Western Australia coast, between Shark Bay and Broome.

There have been many reports of small bipedal primates from various parts of Australia. Aboriginal people have many stories of the little hairy man; and how they will on occasion interact with people, brazenly tapping one on the shoulder or grasping one’s hand, or even wresting with you before running away.

The discovery of the metre-high skeletons of the Hobbit (Homo Floresiensis) in a cave on Flores, a large island north of Australia in the eastern Indonesian archipelago, estimated to have weighed about 25 kg when alive, forces us to consider that perhaps these reports of little hairy men observed in our forests by many people over many decades might even represent a population of Hobbit, (Homo Floresiensis) surviving, undetected, in Australia!

Written by Andy McGrath (Based heavily on source material and interviews provided by Gary Opit. – used with permission).

Gary can be found here:

Hear more about the Nimbinjee and other Littefoot in my new audiobook:

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