What was the Hartwood Monster?

August 22 2017

Throughout time we’ve heard of various monsters and mysterious creatures yet most are sure that all are fictional creatures for example Dr Frankenstein’s Monster, The Loch Ness Monster, the Bunyip, Bigfoot, The Tasmanian Tiger post 1930’s, Fairies and more.

The Hartwood Monster aka the Murray River Monster was a creature spotted in the 1930’s and was described to be six to seven feet long with two flippers, fur covered skin like a possum and eyes like apricots and when it surfaced it blew water out like a Whale.

A few years later the people of Loxton reported a monster but it was apparently an Alligator and later believed it was a Crocodile.

Records available show nothing further happened until 1949 when a creature was found at Hartwood Billabong in Wakool Creek.

In August 1949, two men saw a creature in the water and said it had an estimated 18 inch long neck, was 3ft tall, was fast and it was almost black.

Newspapers were very eager to report that the two witnesses were sober perhaps to justify why this story had taken up inches of column space when monsters are not considered real.

The news was considered so interesting that it was reported as far north as Rockhampton and as far west as Perth.

It was also reported that what was spotted may of been a species of Musk Duck or it was a Seal.

The next month, a man named Bill Stewart from the Globe Hotel accompanied by three other men from the Globe shot a creature 15 times with his shotgun after a chase that lasted half a mile.

The creature was described as ‘a long black object with a squat hooded head’ and when it saw the men approaching attempted escape in a series of dives, reappearing every 80 yards.

A dog was sent in to retrieve the creature but ran off and reportedly wouldn’t go near a body of water again.

The body of the creature was never recovered, if it was a variant of the Musk Duck the unfortunate creature was a thousand kilometres south from its natural habitat, if it was a Seal it is an odd place to find one and if it was an unknown creature, we’ll never know.

Then again, maybe they didn’t get the Hartwood Monster and it is still out there or it didn’t even exist at all making it the stuff of legends.

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