Monday, 12 April 2010

The Burrunjor; a living dinosaur?

It is tall, resembles a meat eating dinosaur, inhabits specific territories in north Australia, occasionally leaving to pick off people and their livestock, three toed, scaley and often described as "Tyrannosaurus rex like" by eyewhitnesses, these stories have been told for thousands of years by the local Aborigines and therefore were described or imagined way before dinosaurs were discovered by the western world, as a result no influence has come from us in its appearence, its cave paintings adorn the surfaces of rocks around Australia, all showing a creature almost identical to a meat eating dinosaur, coming in different names depending where in Australia you are; Kooleen, or more commonly, Burrunjor. Could this creature be the last surviving Theropod dinosaur?

The Burrunjor is a little known dinosaur like cryptid. When the Bigfoot and Yeti take up the limelight more believable and intriguing creatures are overlooked. I find the Burrunjor and its tales the most convincing, even more so than those of the the Loch Ness Monster.

One area this monster is claimed to inhabit is Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. With an area of about 97,000 km² and a population of 16,230 it isn't exactly dense; especially when considering London, with an area of 1,706.8 km2 and a population of about 14 million. With lots of forest scrub and bush to conceal it as well as cattle and crocodiles to feed on the Burrunjor could definitely exist in a sparse and low population. The scary thing is this critter also occupies northern Queensland. In both places there is an area of land where the Burrunjor is said to roam and where no animals or Aborigines will willingly go, these lands, like their illusive owners are called Burrunjor. Now Aborigines, you could say are acting on superstitious beliefs, but animals reacting with fear in these places is most unusual.

Perhaps the most chilling story of the beast is that re told by Rex and Heather Gilroy, a pair of open minded investigators that have done a lot of research into the Burrunjor;

"In 1978, a Northern Territory bushman and explorer, Bryan Clark, related a story of his own that had taken place some years before. While mustering cattle in the Urupunji area, he became lost in the remote wilderness of that part of Arnhem Land. It took him three days to find his way out of that region and back to the homestead from which he had originally set out.

He didn't know it at the time, but his footprints had been picked up and followed by two Aboriginal trackers and a mounted policeman. On the first night of their search they camped on the outskirts of the Burrunjor scrub, even though the two trackers protested strongly in doing so. The policeman hobbled his horse, cooked their meal and then climbed into his swag and went to sleep.


Later that night the two Aborigines, shouting unintelligibly and grasping for their packs and saddles, suddenly woke him up. The policeman realised at this moment the ground appeared to be shaking. Hurriedly getting to his feet, he, too, gathered up his belongings. Shortly afterwards the three galloped away.


The policeman told Bryan Clark later at the Urapunji homestead that he also heard a sound, somewhat like a loud puffing or grunting noise, certainly loud enough to be coming from a large animal. When asked if he intended to include this in his report, the policeman replied that he would not because he feared that no one would believe him.


The policeman warned Bryan Clark never to return to that area, because if he got lost there again he would be "on his own": the police would not come looking for him."


Many more descriptive reports have been given. Often described as being about 20 feet in height/length, this monster is well known amongst cattle ranchers of the Gulf coast. In 1980 something big was stealing cattle; big enough to pick them up and carry them off. At first the stock men suspected crocodiles, but. Charles Waterman, a cattleman, described a "fearsome", mottled 20 foot tall beast carrying a cow in its jaws that bounded out of sight as he hid behind a bush. By this time they were fed up with this pest stealing their stock, assembling a team of 20 men and some dogs, the ranchers set off into the bush. When they reached a river the dogs started to behave strangely and ran off. Nearby was a set of reptilian trackways. The horses would go no further so the stock men headed back home.


Even more dramatic proof of what a Burrunjor can do was seen near the Mc Arthur river in Northern Territory in 1957 as 50 cattle began to panic. The ranchers were perplexed, especially when one of their team ran screaming into a nearby river for relative safety. Just like the Urupunji incident a loud grunting and snorting noise was heard. Witnesses viewed the silhouette of a tall monster fleeing into a nearby scrub land and daybreak revealed several mutilated cattle, some half eaten.

The anatomy and behaviour of the Burrunjor based on eyewitness reports along with references to sightings describing the feature in question as follows:

Above; Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy with the plaster cast of one of the huge three-toed footprints, of a mysterious bipedal reptillian giant creature, found outside Narooma in June 1984.

The Burrunjor is a bipedal reptile with tree toes as in Theropod dinosaurs;
1950, Burketown region, two legged reptile tracks sighted by ranchers.
1961, Lagoon Creek, Johnny Mathews, sees 25 foot tall bipedal reptilian monster.
1960, three toed tracks found near Alice Springs and Mount Isa.
1980, Kamuna district, Max Field finds a trackway of 50 footprints. The inner toe (37 cm) is longer than the outer ones (10 cm) as in dinosaurs.
1979, north of Burketown, Aborigional fishermen spot three toed footprints.
1922, north of Cloncurry, stock men sight a "big lizard monster" that was bipedal and moved its tail from side to side when walking. Theropods possess a muscle that runs from their femur to the base of the tail, as in crocodiles their tail would move side to side when walking.
1982, east Arnhem Land, human sized bipedal reptile sighted.*
1961, north of Mount Isa, kangaroo hunters spot a bipedal reptile 8 meters tall during a dust storm.**
1950, Jack Peckham a buffalo shooter spots some 38 cm footprints of a three toed bipedal animal in Arnhem Land.


The Burrunjor is a biological entity rather than a supernatural occurrence as shown by possible accounts of breeding behaviour;
1985; near the Roper River Mission, Askey family spots a pair of bipedal reptilian creatures 20 feet tall moving together. As the Burrunjor is often seen on its own this unique pairing may be a mated couple. ***
1982, * This east Arnhem Land individual may represent a juvenile animal as most sightings describe the Burrunjor as 20 or so feet in height.*

The Burrunjor produces a grunting huff and puff sound, is mottled with dark colouration and roams specific territories;
1978, Bryan Clark gets lost in scrub land in Urupuji area (for full account of this encounter look towards top of article), policeman searching for him hears loud puffing or grunting noise.
1982, interview with bushman Allan Richie who roams remote far northern areas of Australia, he found "Aborigines terrified of these animals.........There is one region..... beyond which no horse will go willingly-nor will most Aborigines." (territorial?) " Horrific sounds are heard....and the crashing of foliage in the jungle as the monsters move about."
1970, near Floraville, Jack and Jane Mulholland spot a "20 foot tall Tyrannosaurus rex like monster with a mottled skin coloration".
1977, Normanton district, Aboriginal couple run into a grey skinned Burrunjor that resembled a Tyrannosaurus, feeding on a bullock.
1982, * creature sighted in east Arnhem Land was said to be blackish brown coloured.
1961,** dust storm sighting said to be a dark object, possibly indicative of dark colouration.
1985, *** Askey family sighting, Greg Askey described the creatures; "The monsters were a grayish brown colour and dinosaur like in appearance. We didn't wait around."

Other factors such as its unusual effect on animals are consistent through out reports. The reasons I am most convinced by the existence of the Burrunjor are;

A; Even though this is a little known monster the reports show consistency unlike those of the Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster.

B; Out of all the places in the world for dinosaurs to have survived Australia is the most likely. Polar dinosaurs would be used to surviving the long periods of cold and darkness caused by the meteorite impact that possibly finished off the dinosaurs (during the Cretaceous period Australia was close to the south pole and joined to Antarctica).

C; Australia is a big poorly populated place that an intelligent large animal could remain relatively undetected in.

D; Arnhem land and the rest of Australia has an enormous crocodile population perfectly adequate to feed a sparse community of elephant sized predators.

E; There are not too many convenient cameras to take photos of the beast or buckets of plaster to take footprint casts, lying around the Australian outback. Or lost bodies of shot specimens that were either too big to take back, or disappeared when the hunter comes back in the morning to get it.


F; Aborigines describing beasts resembling carnivorous dinosaurs for thousands of years before they were even discovered, in a country where the most complete dinosaur skeletons found are at best highly fragmentary.


Evidence aside the Burrunjor could be a Neovenatorid as these were the most common Cretaceous predators in Australia, if not, it was definitely some other sort of meat eating dinosaur. Recently remains of a Tyrannosaur have been found in Australia. The fact that reports (1980 Charles Waterford sighting) show the creature carrying prey in its jaws rather than in its arms does point towards the Tyrannosaurs who had enormous heads and necks, whereas Neovenatorids had slender lower jaws and a weak bite, incapable of lifting something as large as a cow!

Above; three extinct animals other than dinosaurs that could be the the Burrunjor, in descending order; the omnivorous kangaroo Propleopus, the 3 meter tall bird Dromornis and the sloth like marsupial Palorchestes.

One suggestion not yet made by Rex Gilroy is that the Burrunjor could be a surviving ice age mammal rather than a dinosaur. Australia has had its fair share of large bipedal animals in the last 65 million years. These include both giant herbivorous and omnivorous kangaroos, huge herbivorous birds weighing up to half a ton and strange sloth like marsupials that reared up to reach into trees. All of these animals were about 10 feet tall. Not as tall as the Burrunjor, but size is often exaggerated by eyewitnesses and is an easy mistake to make in such an arid and vast land as Australia.

Even more intriguing is the presence of several other types of mythical Aborigional creatures that resemble dinosaurs including the Kooleen, a more human like creature described by Aborigines as a man with a tail and scales that inhabits Victoria, walking through forests and eating "both trees and people" as it goes, suggesting that this animal is omnivorous. It too has been seen in the Gulf coast scrubland, the same area where the Burrunjor is sighted. The encounter occured in 1993 when a gemestone hunter was approached by a 4 foot tall greenish grey coloured creature that was bipedal, thin and short tailed. As it got closer, too close for comfort, he beat it with a pick axe handle and ran for his car. Other dinosaur like features include a lizard like head, three toed feet and front claws. The similarities in location and colouration between this critter and the Burrunjor suggest this may be a juvenile of the latter rather than a true Kooleen. Rex Gilroy suggests that the Kooleen is merely a Burrunjor "under a different name", I agree.

Above; a long lecked Sauropod dinosaur like this may be the ancestor of the more recent cryptid; the Kulta.

There is also the Kulta. Aborigines of central Australia say it is a giant rain forest dwelling serpent, with a small head, thin long neck, big fat body supported by 4 legs and a long thin tail sticking out behind it. This description deeply resembles a Sauropod dinosaur, these long necked herbivores one roamed Australia during the age of dinosaurs and we have fossils to prove it. Like the Burrunjor it may have been a late survivor, but it clearly was not as sucsessful as the Burrunjor. The myth states that as its swamp forests dried up the Kulta died out. This account certainly correlates with Australia's recent climatic changes. It has become progressively hotter and drier over the last 100,000 years. This climate change has caused the extinction of many known prehistoric forest animals in Australia such as the giant Mekosuchine crocodiles and 10 foot tall flightless Dromornithid birds, both dying out about 50,000 years ago. In true consistency with the Aborigines account there are no modern tales I am aware of that describe a recent encounter with the Kulta.


Untill more evidence is found for Australias Jurassic Park I will remain skeptical, may open minded people like Rex and Heather Gilroy continue to research and test these strange occurences. Maybe someday we will not need to clone dinosaurs from fossilized DNA, because we will have living specimens hiding in our own backyards without us knowing it. Even if the Burrunjor and its contemporaries are not real the dinosaurs never did go extinct, they just changed. Today birds are the direct descendants of mesozoic dinosaurs and there is mounting evidence to suggest that some well known dinosaurs like Velociraptor actually evolved from flying ancestors and are in effect giant toothy flesh eating flightless birds.


All info in this article sourced from either Rex and Heather Gilroys Mysterious Australia website or their Nexus magazine article EVIDENCE FOR DINOSAURS IN AUSTRALIA that got me so interested in this little known creature.

7 comments:

  1. Dear Sir
    Actually this is not a comment. But I like to get your help in the identification some tracks including a three toed track about three half inches across and a distance of about six inches between adjacent tracks. And some more tracks are there which are all new. Kindly give me the contact email. My e mail: mohnarooprajkumar@gmail.com
    With regards.

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  2. there are many creatures that are around now that were around at the time of the dinosaurs. i hate how people can be so ignorant to the possibility that such creatures could still be living today.

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  3. Dear Sir:
    I think that this website is very interesting, factual, and informative.
    I have heard of rumors of this living carnosaurian dinosaur. It does not surprise me one bit. I have had my own encounter with a living polar dinosaur, once, in Alaska, USA, in September of 1999. My sister was with me at the same time as a witness. People who claim extinction of all the dinosaurs on Earth, have a serious problem of unbelief in their hearts, and have swallowed the extinction lie; hook, line, and sinker.
    This is because they have never had an encounter, themselves. I use to believe the same extinction lie, too....once. Until, I had the above rude awaking. Now, I fight to tell everyone the truth, that we all have been lied to, by science!
    Since that first encounter, I have traveled internationally, and have done much field research. As a result, I have learned the ways, lifestyles, and habits of living carnosaurian dinosaurs.
    Currently, my own true encounter is posted on the World Wildlife Fund.org, Panda Pages, under Dinosaurs Live! If anyone wants to read this true story, be my guest. It is informative. And, you can see an actual picture of a living dinosaur there, called an, "Hawaiian Water dragon".
    Today, I am working towards starting of a nonprofit for the conservation of living fossil species of the world. Your living dinosaur in Australia would fall under this organization's conservation effects for its preservation and protection for scientific research.
    I have other projects that I plan to start for the promotion of the truth. That truth is, dinosaurs really do live, and that our science has been high jacked by people, who do not want the truth to come out, or who just don't believe in truth at all.
    Keep up the good work, and keep telling the truth about this living dinosaur in Australia. We need more real scientists like you in the world, more people who tell the truth, because that is what we are suppose to do as scientists. That is, to bring the truth of science into the world for the enjoyment, education, and information, of others in the world, and that especially of our own children. Have a good day.
    Anne MJ
    Paleostitiszoologist
    [The Science Of Ancient Surviving Animals].

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  4. Hi..Rex also just released Burrunjor the book..

    NO-one had heard of this creature or knows anything about it until Rex wrote about it and I put it on his web sites back in 1998..Rex was the one who found the stories..was the one who found the Aboriginal art and many stories on his expeditions..and also wrote of it in the 70's..although he had talked of it in the 60's..

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  5. I will soon be adding one page from each a chapter from the Burrunjor Book..Its a great read..Rex also has a book on Kulta coming out next year..Another creature that Rex has written about over the past 50 years...

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  6. I believe that the burrunjor may be a surviving polar allosaur these could easily have followed migratory herds of herbivores such as Muttaburrasaurus across from Antarctica to Australia as these continents were connected as Pangea then later as Gwandana, and the polar allosaurus is known to have existed in Australia within the last 180 million years

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  7. I think it may be based off a Australovenator, but all other suggestions could be possible.

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