Make Money Finding a Monster
Tourism is just one reason why monsters are promoted in the media. Peter Huth, the mayor of Gayndah in southeast Queensland, hopes that a meter-tall whatsit called the Jongari, also known as the hairman or the Binjour Bear, will make his Australian town popular the way that Nessie has done for Loch Ness in Scotland. A few recent sightings in his locale have augmented a long-time mystery linked to Aboriginal folklore.
According to Huth, the Aborigines of the area believe in the Jongari's existence.
In late December 1999, Allan Bucholz, a 67-year-old citrus farmer, observed a bipedal bear-like creature with "a long, pointy nose...." He was among the earlier people to speak up about this animal's recent doings.
Another sighting occurred in January 2000, and was made by Shirley Humphreys, Bucholz's sister. According to her, it resembled a man, but had a bear's shape. Rather than hopping or walking, it ambled.
Rewards have been offered. The first person who photographs the bearlike being will get $1000, while a successful capturer of a living Jongari in the Gayndah area will receive $10,000.
Half of the town councilors are non-believers in the entity, but Huth finds the people who reported sightings to be credible.
The bear motif in the descriptions adds to the witnesses' aura of credibility. It is just possible that the Jongari is the descendant of an escaped circus bear.
Sources: Courier Mail (Brisbane), 2/4/00; Australian Associated Press, 2/8/00; Daily Telegraph (Australia), 2/9/00; SECT-News, 2/13/00