On this day …….. 4th of January 1947
Bill Beatty, wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1947, described the experience of two shearers camped by the notorious Wilga waterhole in central-western Queensland some time during the 1890s.
“Suddenly there came a soft, distant walling that grew rapidly nearer and louder the cries appeared to be in different keys devilish, unearthly shrieking, such as no human voices ever uttered”. “We thought our eardrums would burst, but we were too terrified to move. Then, to our fervent relief, the shrieking diminished in volume until it was merely a weird wailing. Moments later, it ceased utterly, and once more the bush was deathly silent.” After the screams had subsided, we quickly packed our camp, gathered the horses and we rode off into the night. ”When we told our story at the shearing shed it was received with derision by most, but others mentioned that the Wilga waterhole was a notorious spot, and that the Aborigines always avoided it. Some of the old shearing hands said that horses were scared of it and drovers admitted that they never could get cattle to rest there. There were instances where cattle driven from distant parts had arrived there almost exhausted but had stampeded at sundown,”.