the dry season dark
in a small observation post at RAAF Scherger, an ADG patrol encountered
a creature they couldnt explain. Private John Wellfare reports.
did the ADGs of No. 4 Rifle Flight see in the night at RAAF
illustration by PTE John Wellfare
paw print discovered by the patrol.
by LAC Mathew Cash
DARK night in remote far north Queensland can play tricks on a
persons eyes. But can it play tricks on the eyes of four
trained Air Force members and a tracking dog?
A patrol of airfield defence guards had a spine-tingling brush
with some of far north Queenslands more exotic wildlife
when deployed to RAAF Scherger for Exercises Northern Awakening
Stationed at a small observation post near the bases sand
quarry, the ADGs, from No. 2 Airfield Defence Squadrons
No. 4 Rifle Flight, encountered a large and unidentifiable creature
on two separate occasions, both at night.
Leading Aircraftmen Mathew Cash, Cy Holland and Chris Hey had
been sent out to intercept a Mauveland special forces team that
had launched a raid on the base and was withdrawing along a creek
line near their position.
The three ADGs, accompanied by a dog and its handler, moved from
the creek line to the other side of the quarry, planning to intercept
the enemy group as they entered the clearing.
Leading Aircraftman Cash explained what happened next.
We came across the quarry and pulled up, looked around and
this creature was sniffing on the ground, following exactly where
wed come through, he said.
It pulled up on a mound [about 50m away] and just sat there.
We had our night weapon sight and our [night vision] on,
watching it, and [the creature] was just sitting there sniffing
and watching us.
He said the creature stood about waist high on all fours, had
a small head, was spotted and moved like a cat.
Leading Aircraftman Holland couldnt reach a logical verdict
on what type of animal it was.
The two front legs were bigger than the two back legs, [with]
big shoulder blades, he said. I would have said it
was a hyena, but obviously we dont have hyenas here.
Even the trained tracking and attack dog seemed put off by the
sight of the unusual creature; it quietly crept to the back of
the group and stayed out of sight.
When asked about the creature, RAAF Schergers chief caretaker
Flight Sergeant Brian Hughes believed he knew the answer.
Thats the speckled boar, he said. Theres
a boar thats white and black and sort of grey colours in
the quarry area.
Unless its a dingo some of the dingos get a
really weird colour to them.
But Leading Aircraftman Hey disagrees.
No way, he said. It wasnt a pig and it
was no dog. Even the dog handler said it wasnt a dog; it
didnt move like
It was weird looking it was something that wed
all never seen before.
After the first sighting, which, coincidentally, occurred on the
night of a full moon, some of the patrol members scanned the quarry
for signs of the animal and found a large and unusual footprint.
Two nights later, the next time the Air Force dog was with the
patrol, the creature appeared again at about 5am
and lingered within 10m of the observation post. Again, the ADGs
could not identify it.
Force newspaper is offering a prize for the best explanation of
the No. 4 Rifle Flight members sighting. Entries should
include a photograph or sketch of an animal that meets the description
and a reason why the creature would be in the area.