TONY Duffy's claim to have met yowies puts him in surprisingly good company.
Former Queensland senator Bill O'Chee was one of more than a dozen people, including fellow high school students and teachers, who claimed to have seen such a creature at a Springbrook camp site in 1977.
It was, Mr O'Chee said "an immensely powerful creature" and he later told a documentary interviewer: "Basically we saw a yowie, but we didn't know what they were at the time.
"We saw a sort of hairy, ape-like thing that probably would have stood about eight feet tall," he said.
Mr Duffy says he was camped in the bush, north-east of Gympie late one night, when "a very large male approached me".
"I got a fright and so did he," he said.
The creature seemed human but larger and spoke in a language he thinks might be Latin.
"He was quickly able to learn a few words in English and we spoke for about two hours," the Kybong resident said.
"They're very intelligent."
But he says they are in danger.
"They build meagre shelters in the forest which are often destroyed by humans," he said.
"The EPA won't respond to my calls."
The next night, Mr Duffy's campsite visitor returned, this time "with his wife and daughter".
"My whole mission is to protect them and to convince people to leave them alone and not hurt them.
"In the last 12 months I have had close contact with yowies on at least seven occasions.
"These creatures must be protected and respected.
"Yowies are clearly 'the missing link' that scientists have looked for decades. I believe they are the greatest discovery in the history of natural science.
"They are very peaceful creatures and love their partners and their children dearly."
Wolvi and Tin Can Bay also claim Yowies
THE Gympie region's most recent documented Yowie sighting is from an anonymous Wolvi resident.
He is described as a male, 40, who lived on a small rural block who reports being woken at 2.30am on September 19, 2012, by his dogs "going ballistic".
Letting his dogs out, he was confronted by "a man-like figure," heavy set and smelling "like rotten eggs." The creature reportedly ran away and the Yowie Research website reports the witness wanted to remain anonymous.
Less shy though was a woman identified as "Mrs Roy Locke" who said she and her husband saw "a four-foot hairy animal standing by the road near Kilkivan, 20km out of Murgon, just before dusk".
"It had broad shoulders and it was looking at us when we drove past.
"We didn't go back for another look and we wouldn't have told anyone about it if other recent sightings weren't reported."
She said a then councillor, a Mr Roberts, said footprints had been found in the past of the creature and there would be several corridors of bushland where a Yowie could survive."
"I'm a scientist," said the anonymous reporter of a Yowie sighting during a military training operation in 2003 at Tin Can Bay's Camp Kerr. He reported "some sort of encounter" in the dark.
The simulated enemy they thought they were stalking in the bush turned out to be elsewhere.
Rex Carney I heard that the Yowie lives under the Gympie pyramid.
Sandy Thiedeman I believe that might be my ex husband....
Tim Williams I didn't think I was that scary
Geraldene Walsh Neville William Hinchliffe has had a few good sightings out Sexton way
Chaz Gartrell Yes, also the tooth fairy, santa, easter bunny and god......lol
Peter Manoffleshandblood Just because you can't/haven't seen her, doesn't mean you should deny Ana
Sneak E Damo Well you never know what will make an appearance on dole day:)
Aaren Gardner No he was caught and put on display once. Upset quiet I few people that showed up for the viewing on the 1st of April
Caitlin Hinchliffe Neville William Hinchliffe better get Dean Harrison onto it!!
Kade Kent Tom Rea and I have seen one out in the bush near the Gympie pyramid, I kid you not.
Monique Parkinson Ahahahahaha Hannah Bunt
Kelly Wilde Nope but did anyone else see a 6 foot roo in their backyard the other morning near Gympie high?!
Melanie Einalem Yep I did he came straight through my yard