While delivering his goods to the Southern Tablelands township of Captain’s Flat, Braidwood cordial maker Arthur Marrin’s dog suddenly ran out from the bushes and off down the road in a terrible fright. Something had really spooked Marrin’s canine companion.
Arthur Marrin soon discovered the object of his dog’s intense fear when a large, hairy creature, standing upright on its hind legs, jumped from the lower bank up onto the road in front of Marrin’s cordial-laden cart.
Another typical encounter with the hairy man?
Not quite, for according to local newspaper, the Braidwood Despatch, the unarmed Arthur Marrin got the better of this strange beast with a stone and the butt of his whip …. and had the body to prove it.
On 20 November 1893, the original article written by the Braidwood Despatch appeared in the Maffra Spectator.
“Mr Arthur Marrin, a cordial manufacturer, met with a rather awkward reception as he was going to Captain’s Flat on Friday last with a load of cordials. On getting upon the turn off road from the Cooma road, within two or three miles of the Flat township, he, says the “Braidwood Despatch,” noticed his dog running out of the bush at full tear and clear off down the road in a terrible scare.
“He got down to see what had frightened him, when a formidable animal, with which he was entirely unacquainted, jumped up the lower bank on to the road. It frightened him quite as much as the dog, as it was standing up on its hind legs with its fore feet stretched out like the arms of man,” the newspaper reported.
He finished it with the butt of his whip
“This road being a cutting on the hill side, was narrow, and the animal was making for him, either to follow the dog or spring on himself. Being unarmed, having only the whip in his hand, which would have made very little impression upon such an antagonist, he dropped the whip and picked up a stone which lay close to him, and threw it at the beast, striking it on the temple and bringing it to the ground. He then ran up and finished it with the butt of the whip.
“On his return to Braidwood he put its body in the cart and brought it home with him.”
Inspecting the body of the hairy man
“We [Braidwood Despatch] paid a visit to Mr Marrin’s factory on Saturday and inspected it. It was 4ft long, 11 inches across the forehead and had a face like a polar bear. It weighed over 7 stone. It was a tan color like an opossum with strong hair on its skin. When Mr Marrin encountered it, it stood between 6ft and 7ft high.
“Some people think it is identical with a beast which has frightened several teamsters on the Cooma road at various times, so much so that that they have left their horses and run away. Such an animal is reported as visiting selectors’ places at Molongo and Sassafras ranges. It has gone by the name of the hairy man.”
So, could Arthur Marrin have actually killed a “hairy man” and carted him off to his cordial factory to put on display for the curious townspeople of Braidwood?
Dead Yowie or wombat carcass?
On 31 October, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser also published the original Braidwood Despatch article but also further reported that:
“Other persons maintain it is merely a wombat and perfectly harmless. Met under such circumstances as those under those which Mr. Marrin met it most persons, however, would be inclined to give it a wide berth if possible but as Mr. Marrin could not get away he had to face it. The beast was a female.”
Could the dead “hairy man” have been nothing more than a large wombat?
It is interesting that while Arthur Marrin claimed that the creature stood 6ft to 7ft tall when it jumped out onto the road in front of him on its hind legs, the Braidwood Despatch reporter described the body as being 4ft long and weighing 7 stone (around 44.5 kilograms).
But then again, surely the reporter would have recognised the carcass as that of a wombat.
Earlier claim of a Yowie captured & killed in Braidwood
Eleven years earlier, on 9 December 1882, naturalist Mr H. J McCooey wrote in The Naturalist column of Australian Town and Country Journal that a Yahoo (hairy man) “was actually captured and killed near Braidwood within the memory of persons still living”.
So, had Arthur Marrin heard the stories of a hairy man “captured and killed” in Braidwood many years earlier? Was it all a hoax on his part, or have two hairy men met a bloody end at the hands of humans near the small town of Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales?
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