Min min lights.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 20:54
ThreadID: 22621 Views:3297 Replies:7 FollowUps:13
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I was surprised in a recent post to find that some people hadn't heard of the Min Min Lights. This story is aimed at getting people to do a "Google".

The Min Min
I hadn't been from Longreach to Boulia before. I'd come from Charleville that day, and seeing as it was only another 300K to go I decided to push on carefully through the dark, narrow bush track that wound through some hills and then across the long plains. One landcruiser driver passed me as I was sneaking uphill. He obviously knew the track as his speed was considerably more than mine. As in about 100k more. This startled a family of bush pigs who decided that the other side of the track was home. Remembering the hari kari roo , I managed to miss them all.
There was a bush pub about half way along the track. As I approached it I noticed a herd of grazing cattle both sides of the track so I slowed from 80 to 50k/h. What I didn't see was a couple of roos who were also grazing . As they put their heads up and bounded away I noticed that they seemed taller than my Landcruiser. I was obviously in need of a stop and revive so I pulled up at the little pub.
The pub itself was a collection of buildings with some travellers sitting on the verandah drinking wine (!) and a couple of station types at the bar. The barmaid was a tall backpacking girl who came straight across and asked what I wanted to drink. Somehow I don't think that the answer "You wouldn't have coffee would you ?" was what she wanted to hear, but I scored a one anyway. I guess I must of been there about half an hour during which I decided that there was a bit too much life in that place for this sorry soul. Off I trotted to try for a quiet spot in Boulia.
The track itself was a lonely place in the dark. Flat but lots of trees and what might have been in the wet, swampy ground. I started to think of the stories of the min min lights. According to the story many travellers have not only seen them but actually been chased by them. I did read somewhere that they were caused by some sort of spontaneous combustion involving marshy gases. Of course the white fella explanation and the aboriginal ones were as usual, quite different. The aboriginal one involved spirits that chased you.
As I was musing about the min min there was a single light in my rear vision mirror. I estimated it to be about 2k behind me and thought "gee its a small moon tonight". It was too bright for a car or bike and stayed about 2k behind me for the next 5 minutes or so. I slowed down and the light appeared to do the same. I went faster and so did the light. Now the min min story seemed a bit more immediate. I didn't believe it for a minute...or did I ?
I estimated I was about half an hour from Boulia. As I drove I had one eye on the track and one eye on the rear vision mirror.
Finally my min min light decided enough was enough. It started getting closer and closer behind me.
The min min turned into a huge road train with one surviving headlight. He'd been waiting for a long straight stretch so that he could pass me.
It's the only road train I've ever been happy to see. I pulled right off to the side of the track and let him go past . Bloody min min !
You know, in Boulia they have a min min visitors centre.
I reckon that road train must do that trip fairly often.


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Reply By: Member - Tony B (QLD) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:05

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:05
Great story We are going that way mid june We'll keep an eye out for one eyed road trains.........
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:11

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:11
Tony, there's some fascinating stuff on the web about the Lights. And documentation goes back a long way by very reliable sources (police etc). If you can find the time, a trip to the ruins of the pub in the poem (post 22583) is interesting.
This story is of course a bit tongue in cheek.
I have an open mind on the whole deal, but a station owner I know out Longreach way tells me they have seen them on numerous occasions. On one occasion there were 50 sober witnesses.
Pity I wasn't one of them
Or perhaps that roadtrain gets around ..........:))
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:59

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:59
"I have an open mind on the whole deal, but a station owner I know out Longreach way tells me they have seen them on numerous occasions. On one occasion there were 50 sober witnesses.

Pity I wasn't one of them"

What, a witness, or sober??? LOLOLOL
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:03

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:03
Witness.
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Reply By: govo - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:41

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:41
I sure hope BROS does not read this cause l'll cop it at work if he does...l was born and bred in Longreach and went to school there,l also did some pig and roo shooting with mates after the school years and on a number of occasions we witnessed min mins out and around Longreach,Winton and Opaltown.l can tell you that the first couple of times it happened it scared the hell out of us..it gives you a real wierd feeling,but we would laugh and act tough and sometimes put a shot towards it...funny thing was that when you did this it would dissapear and then suddenly appear on the opposite side behind you..like it was playing games with you.l have read about the many explainations for this phenomem(spelling)and never knew what to believe..but l do know one thing for sure..I HAVE SEEN AND I AM A BELIEVER.
AnswerID: 109523

Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:48

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:48
Hi Govo, your story seems to be fairly consistant with what I've read and heard. Any pattern to their appearance ? Weather? Time of year ? Terrain ?
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Follow Up By: Toy_Hilux - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:42

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:42
My family have lived out that way for the past 5 generations. My grandfather and father said that you were lucky to see the lights a few times in a life time sometimes more. I have only seen it twice in the last 38 years and it still raises the hackles on the back of my neck when I think about it. The last time that I saw it, it followed me for about 1/4 of hour then decided it would pass me. Seamed to go through the car then stayed in front of me for a couple of ks then just dissappeared. That happened on the Old Cork road from where I was working. Needless to say that it can and will appear at any time and I still think that no-one knows the true origins of the Min Min.
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Follow Up By: Member - Meggs - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 00:55

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 00:55
Bros and I are going out that way in a couple of weeks maybe you should talk him to bring his whistle from work to scare them away.
I was listening to a radio program a couple of years ago and one of the suggestions by a wildlife expert is that it could possible be a barn owl trying to attract prey. This expert said that owls have been shown to have this ability in other parts of the world however the problem for me is why is it only around Boulia if it is an owl.
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Follow Up By: Bros - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 16:34

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 16:34
govo old son,
Methinks that you have/had been imbibing just a fraction too much in the amber (or somesuch other colour) fluid. When i go out that way in mid May i will be able to disprove all this PHENOMENON or otherwise talk.
That is if i can get up the courage to get out of the tent.
Cheers,
Bros.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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Reply By: govo - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:33

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:33
mainly in the winter months we saw them and in the early hours of the morning...we would not see any for months at a time and then they would appear 2 or 3 nights in a row.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:57

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:57
Thanks for that...interesting. Also interesting is the fact that despite thousands of tourists during those months, the lights don't seem to appear around the main roads/tracks but rather in more remote areas. There are a few explanations of course, I'd be interested in any thoughts.
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:44

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 22:44
loosie, seemed obvious they hadn't heard of the Yowie too and the Yowie Research site.

Seems like I should go through Boulia at night later in the year watching out for road trains too. LOL
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Toy_Hilux - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 12:08

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 12:08
Thought everyone knew the Yowie. Mention the Bunyip and people look at you stupid.
Darryl
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 12:49

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 12:49
My grandfather was from Wilcannia and told the most amazing stories about the bunyip. I can still hear him today, ". . . body like a dog but with the face of a baby . . . " he'd say. "In part of the Darling River is a section that's so deep that all the scientists in the world can't work out how deep - and that's where the bunyip lives." And he'd sweat blue bloody murder that it was true. Wonderful memories.
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Follow Up By: Toy_Hilux - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 13:37

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 13:37
Hi Wombat,

Used to love hearing all the tales from Grandad and such. Never knew what it looked like though as the tale always said that if any-one ever saw it they wouldn't live to tell the tale. (Even reminising about the campfire stories still makes the hairs on the back stand on end). I have seen people, that when the Bunyip is mentioned, they go extremely pale and run away and dont see them again. Life is funny like that but more and more of our past is being lost to the ever changing attitude of modern life. Try explaining that to our children of today.
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Reply By: old-plodder - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 07:57

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 07:57
Gee, the Middleton pub must have had a busy night. Last time I was there (few years ago) we could only get 4 people comfortably around the bar, 6 at a squeeze, maybe that is why they were using the verandah. And they could only run the genny for the microwave for 30 minutes before it conked out. Great little pub though, and the beer was cold.
I think I went for the ginger beer rather than the coffee since we were pushing onto Boulia too.
The weekend before they had closed the road for the night for the annual social and dance, everyone had to stop. The (only) building across the road being the local hall.
AnswerID: 109568

Follow Up By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 08:33

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 08:33
In the 30 mts I was there, it was sex, sin, vice, corruption and politics. All a bit difficult after just driving from Charleville so I chickened out and left :)
Returned a couple of years later when the road had been tarred the entire way, and had lunch there. Had my wife with me that time, and they made us very welcome. Food was great and the barmaid was a local lass who regailed us with the history of the area.
As we were eating a family dashed in, took a quick peek and dashed out. I wonder how much they got out of their visit ?
I've been in some outback pubs in my time, and I'm not really a drinker. But the Middleton rates up there with William Creek in my book.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stillthinkinaboutit - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 10:01

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 10:01
Four of us stayed the night at the Middleton Pub last June. Almost got into a fight with one of the local station owners that was so inebriated he couldn't even sit on his stool. I think we met all the locals, about 11 of them, and a couple of road workers from Barcaldine. We had a pretty good night after we had met everybody and the drinks and talk flowed freely for the rest of the night. Had an excellent dinner and breakfast.

The rooms were extremely basic, the typical shearers sheds you find on most large stations. But thats part of the atmoshere, the beds are soft and warm, thats what counts.

The photo in my rig pic was taken from the outside of the Middleton Pub, near the accomodation sheds.

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Reply By: Footloose - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:19

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 15:19
Based on responses :))

If yer on yer own around Boulia
You're better to sleep in
If yer on yer own near Boulia
You can get chased by the elusive Min Min

You may laugh and call me foolish
And you'd never be the first
Not all the believing witnesses
Are drunk from relieving their thirst

Its jolly cold round Boulia
Around about the winter time
But if you get from your swag before daylight
You'll find that it might be the time

You can yell or run or shoot it
Perhaps it has come from a zoo
It can go around or straight through ya
Don't laugh this could happen to you

If yer on yer own around Boulia
The morning is not a good lark
To think of the things that can scare ya
Or things that go bump in the dark.

AnswerID: 109622

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 17:36

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 17:36
Read this:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s818193.htm

Interesting theory.
AnswerID: 109651

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