A young O'Chee was with a group of 20 fellow TSS students returning from a two-day camp near Springbrook when they saw what they described as a 3m tall hair-covered creature.
To this day, Mr O'Chee is certain what he saw was the mythical yowie.
He told The Gold Coast Bulletin on November 17, 1977 that the animal approached the boys' camp on several occasions, at one stage coming within 10m of their cabins.
"About 20 of us saw it," he said then.
"It was about 3m tall, covered in hair, had a flat face and walked to the side in a crab-like style.
"It smashed small saplings and trees like matchsticks as it careered through the bush, we spotted it several times and once watched it through binoculars. It definitely was there.
"We first saw it just before we returned back to
Contacted this week, Mr O'Chee was happy to confirm the story and said his memory of what he saw was as clear to him today as it was 27 years ago.
"I still remember it, I can still see the damn thing," he said.
"The majority of my school chums still remember it, it was such an amazing experience.
"It was a big thing, about 8ft tall through the binoculars, it moved in a crab-like fashion.
"We saw where it had been lying on the grbutt and the impression it left was about 8ft long.
"That night it just ripped up whole shrubs between the creek and where our camp was, right out of the ground, - roots and all. A bloke can't do that, it was quite incredible."
Mr O'Chee said his experience had left him with the certainty that yowies do exist.
"I do believe it. Nothing that has happened since has made me believe otherwise, all I can say is that it did exist when I saw it," he said.
"Stranger things have happened. In the last couple of years they have discovered animals in the South-East Asian jungle that are new that survived the Vietnam War. And
"I know the school (TSS) never went back there (Springbrook).
"Some of us got into trouble for mentioning it but I'm not sorry because it's true.
"I hope it's still out there and if they are we would be wise to just leave them well alone."
Mr O'Chee's sighting is the most famous of reported incidents involving yowies, but there have been thousands of cases around the country of alleged contact with the famed mythical beast.
And yowie hunters say the Gold Coast is is a hot spot.
Tim the Yowie Man said the legend was alive and well in the Gold Coast Hinterland. He said the Gold Coast was 'the Bermuda Triangle of
Over the past decades, there have been numerous reports of the hairy creature around Springbrook, but the late 1970s were the most prolific period for sightings.
Within a period of five months from October 1977, at least five separate yowie sightings were reported either in, or on the edges of,
In January 1978, a
"It was horrible. A great big hairy beast about 9ft tall, with no neck, and giving off a terrible smell," said the woman. She was with her boyfriend checking out the view from the Best of All Lookout when she saw the creature crashing through the undergrowth.
"If I had been in
"But really it was none of those things. It seemed to lumber along crabwise and made funny grunting noises. It was hard to see its face but it was certainly flat.
"There didn't seem to be any prominent nose but its eyes had a wicked gleam."
In August 1978, a shy schoolboy reported a strange encounter with a hideous 8ft monster that looked like a baby King Kong.
A then 13-year-old Shaun Cooper said he was terror stricken after sighting 'a dark hairy thing' using its long arms to strip the bark off a tree in bushland near his home at
"It was about 2.30pm on a Sunday," he said.
"I had gone for a ride on my bike when I saw it up the hill a bit. It looked real to me and it was clawing the tree.
"Bark was falling down around its body. Then suddenly it turned and looked at me, putting its arms by its side.
"It looked at me from about 50 yards away for no more than three seconds. I turned and just went for my life."
Shaun and his mates later led a hunt for the creature and said they found footprints that closely resembled giant footprints more than 1ft long.
Photographed at the time by The Bulletin, they did resemble large footprints with three or more claw-shaped toes on each foot. The reporter also noted a tree that had bark torn from it as if it had been clawed by an animal.
Other reported sightings from that time included a man who said he saw a yowie peering in at the front door of a Springbrook house in January 1978.
In February that year, a National Parks and Wildlife worker reported seeing a Yowie near the Antarctic Beeches at Springbrook. He said another Springbrook resident had also seen a female yowie with pendulous mammaries.
These were followed by another spate of sightings in the 1990s.
In March 1990,
He sent plaster castings to yowie hunter Rex Gilroy, who then mounted an expedition to check on these and other reported sightings and footprint finds in the Lamington Plateau, Woodenbong and Kyogle areas.Australia's answer to Tibet's abominable snowman or yeti and North America's bigfoot, the yowie is the subject of myth and legend.
Despite thousands of reported sightings from around the country, the fact that no one has ever snared even a hair from a yowie's head has never dulled the thrill of the chase for yowie hunters.
And Tim the Yowie man, who has been hunting yowies for the past decade, said the huge number of sightings over the years had led him to believe that the yowie, like the truth, was out there.
"Thousands of people have reported seeing these creatures, right back to the Aborigines, and there is no doubt that they have seen what they believe is a yowie," he said.
"That many sightings can't all be hoaxes and they go back well before gorilla suits existed."
Tim said the yowies described in each of the sightings contained plenty of similarities.
The creature often reeks, it lopes sideways like a crab, it grows to 9ft tall, it makes strange grunting noises and when provoked or alarmed gives a high-pitched shriek.
"Most of the sightings are fairly similar although the height can change," he said.
Tim said the Springbrook yowies were renowned for one very prominent feature - they stink.
"There is a report of a ranger there in the early 90s at the Best of All Lookout who vomited at the terrible smell soon after seeing what he claimed was a yowie," he said.
"They have been reported to smell like rotten eggs, probably because they live in the rainforest where they are constantly damp."
But Tim himself was mystified that the number of reported sightings have dwindled to virtually nothing in the past few years.
"The biggest thing to happen in yowie sightings was back in 2000 when a businessman in Canberra managed to get video footage of a black hairy ape-like creature about 50km west of Canberra," he said.
"I went to the location and we were unable to rule it out as a hoax. It is the best evidence we have seen in years.
"But yes, I have started to wonder myself what has happened to the yowies. What happened to all the sightings?
"They seem to have vanished into thin air."
Tim said he believes prolonged drought and development, esp-ecially in areas like the Gold Coast, may have wiped out many yowies or driven them deeper into less developed areas like the mountains in the
"But where they have gone is a mystery, just like the yowies themselves are."
And one person who has finally 'fessed up to a fake sighting, 25 years after the event, is Sean Pask. He told The Bulletin in January 1979 that he and three mates saw a yowie in swampy bushland at Hollywell.
"We've seen a horrible hairy thing down in the bush at Hollywell and it grunted and it smelled like yuk," the boys told a Bulletin reporter over the phone.
"And no one believes us and we're sick of people laughing at us and this morning we saw it again - well not exactly saw it, but we did hear it. Honest."
Sean, then 11, his brother Paul, 12, and mates Tyson Franklin, 12, and Peter Loh, 12 lured a Bulletin reporter out into the 'bush' to tell the story of their amazing sighting of the Hollywell Horror, and get their picture in the paper.
But Sean, now 36 and a construction worker living in
"I'm the only one who will admit it, the others won't talk," he said.
"It was just four boys mucking around in the bush.
"In those days it was forest all around, we thought we heard something, scared ourselves stupid and the story just grew from there.
"We thought we'd have a bit of a lark and we rang the paper.
"It didn't take much to get our imaginations going in those days. It was a good story at the time."
Australian Yowie Hunter Attacked - June 2009
More graphic photos Cryptomundo.com It never rains but it pours - in this case, improbable events.
Hot on the heels of last week's wild weather in southeast Queensland comes a hunter of mythological beasts - Tim the Yowie Man.
Tim - who uses no surname and can be almost as elusive as his quarry - says there is a direct correlation between significant rain events and sightings of the yowie.
"The soaked soil and muddy bogs created by the heavy rain are more conducive to animals, including yowies, leaving their footprints,'' Tim said.
He said last week's rain could make "a large hairy bipedal hominoid creature'' uncomfortable and force it from deep jungle canyons into the open.
So Tim has rushed from that other capital of strange mysteries -
So far he's seen nothing - but that hasn't put him off.
"I'm quietly confident of finding some sort of evidence such as hair or footprints of the mystery beast,'' he said.
"If I'm really lucky I may even get to see one.''
Dean Harrison of Australian Yowie Research says he has just returned from Springbrook, bearing photographs of footprints he believes are of a female yowie and her young trailing along behind.
"They seem to be quite passive around that area compared to other areas that we've been to,'' Mr Harrison said.
He said tales of yowies near Springbrook date back to before European settlement.
Mr Harrison said on his latest expedition he was rugby-tackled by a yowie at 3am near Gympie.
"This one knocked me flying backwards. I landed in a rock pool,'' he said.
Australian Yowie Research Eyewitness Testimonies
The Australian Yowie Research is the FIRST Website on the Internet dedicated to the Research of the Yowie and are also the LARGEST and most well known Research Organization in the World on all subjects Yowie related. Many years of hard work and Research has contributed to the massive 'Hit' rate and Success of the A.Y.R. We have been seen repetitively in all facets of the Media on Yowie related issues throughout
The A.Y.R. are also known as "The YowieHunters" in the Media, but we prefer to be known as "Yowie Research" due to the fact that we wish no harm to The Creature and do not wish to instill a predictable interpretation of the word "Hunter". The A.Y.R. are linked to all Major Researchers in this field around the Globe, keeping up to date with the latest findings concerning all the new Bigfoot and Yowie evidence as it happens. A.Y.R. own some of the latest and most modern surveillance equipment in Australia, which is used in our everlasting quest for the truth and long term goal of the eventual filming of this Creature to prove to the unknowledgeable skeptic that the Yowie does in fact exist. There are NO definites about what the Yowie actually is, other than a 'Hairy Man/Ape' that resides in the deep of our and the World's forests.
Hypothesis is abundant in this field of Research, as too is conjecture and debate regarding what the Yowie is. It could perhaps be the last surviving Gigantopithecus or maybe a Species of Austrlopithecine - may also be neither. Whatever the Yowie may be, there is far too much evidence to support that the Yowie DOES exist, rather than it does not. Many of the World's academics are now coming forward after being shown various evidence and claiming that there is certainly something out there that is not formally recognized by Science.
The Witness reports cannot be ignored. Just how many credible witnesses viewing this Animal at close range will it take for people to understand that the Yowie is far more than imagination? The reader must also keep in mind that many of these witnesses were not alone at the time of their sightings. There has been up to 20 Witnesses during the same encounter! Some of our best witnesses of the Yowie WERE IN FACT Skeptics prior to their encounter! There have been thousands of Yowie reports in this Country since Colonialism during the 1700's, all describing the exact same Creature. These encounters are not only visual, but also audible. Again the reports over the years tell of deep guttural growling and grunting far beyond the vocal capacity of a human. Reports from the late 1700's are the same description as the current reports today.
How could this be? Considering that 300 years ago E-mail, Fax and Phone were not available for these witnesses to collaborate, to create an elaborate fictitious story? People on both sides of the Country were encountering the same Beast at the same time, much the same as today. The 'fear of ridicule' factor is slowly diminishing and more people are now coming forward, where in the past they were reluctant. The A.Y.R. have been instrumental in this major shift in the communities thinking and the acceptance of the possibility that there IS something lurking deep in our forest regions.
Yowie sightings are rare, depending on where people live, however we do have properties where people live side by side with these Beasts and sightings are such a regular occurrence that they are simply accepted as 'Neighbour's in some respects. Footprints of the Creature are cast and the A.Y.R. have been involved in sending one of these casts off to Dr. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University for formal examination, in which he considered the cast to be authentic and concluded that the print matched the Sasquatch. The A.Y.R. holds a vast amount of files on the Yowie from the 1700's to this current day. This Website is constantly changing, upgrading and uploading - so stay tuned for further updates. We would like to thank the many contributors to the A.Y.R. Website and the encouragement and support of our fellow Researchers. - Dean Harrison
NOTE: Dean Harrison is the lead researcher at