The Prophecy

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I see things you cannot…I see the future and know the past. This place where I live has a history of prophecy going back before the Sphinx, before the oldest place known to Man.  This place goes back to the Dreaming, the beginning.

Be careful what you ask

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ISLAND HEAD: the beginning.

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Something out of nothing

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Sunset last night from the Story Hill

I started with a blank sheet of virtual paper, now I have a few words in your head… a story starts; ‘Something out of nothing.’  I’m going to show you something remarkable, over the next few months I’m going to build something from nothing.

The Plan. Build a structure to meet all my energy needs into the future for 4 people.  It must be totally self sufficient: food, water, lighting, heating, cooking, cooling, power making- energy storing, waist management.  The total off-grid system for 4 people.

Everything starts with a dream, I’m going to show you how to turn a dream into reality. I’m going to inspire you… slowly, slowly at first, then gradually we’ll pick up steam.

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This morning from the Story Hill…

 

Sunday 14th August…  What I need now is some wood… and ‘wallah’ a tree fall’s down in the last big wind.

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Now I have to cut it up into manageable pieces and drag in to where I need it.

 

 

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The one job where you start at the top, digging a hole

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Thats what I see; fog in the Mary Vally, Bandicoot digging – Wampoo calling…

 

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The soul of a place

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The fire’s going, TV’s on… it’s warm and snug on the Story Hill: Winter in Queensland.

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Why do I think this place is special, why do I think this place was special to the Aboriginals… and why do I think – know, this place was and is, a Story Hill… the equivalent to the holy of holy places.
First and most obviously it is the only spot, the only hill, the only fixed place that you can see the Sun climb and descend Eerwah… and in the middle of this up and down process is summer solstice. The Sun moves into Eerwah on the 22nd November, every day appearing to climb the mountain until solstice on the 21/22nd December with the Sun resting on the right hand chock at the top; this is as far West as the Sun goes. 31 days to climb to solstice and 31 days to descend; the Sun has 62 days in Eerwah… more than any other place as seen from the Story Hill. There are ridges and flats where you can observe the same thing, but no fixed spot like the Story Hill.

 

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The Story Hill is a natural place to spy out the land. From the Story Hill you can predict the weather, see birds and animals migrating; you can see at least 50 miles in all directions, unlike most of this country of rainforests and valleys.

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The piles of quartz rocks scattered around the top of the hill. Quartz was a magical rock to the aboriginals. Roth, (the first Queensland government protectorate of Aboriginal’s in the late 1800’s) noted in his book; that aboriginal’s all over Queensland revere’d quartz. The Elders or Story Tellers would polish a pice of quartz, and it was this pice of quartz (not bone as some of the early settlers thought) that the Story Teller would point at some unfortunate person. The pointing of the quartz (bone) would kill people within weeks.
I believe the piles of quartz rock scattered around the top of the hill would be the remains of a sacred ‘Bora Ring’. (In the 1970’s Tommy Tomlin came to see us when we were living in the ‘old house’… the house his father had built in the 1920’s.) His Father was a returned solder from WW1 and took up the Story Hill block as a ‘Solder Settler Block’ in 1925/7. Tommy was only to happy to share all the history he knew about the 250 acre block of land. The name of the Story Hill had been forgotten in the 50 odd years since the last Story Teller… Tommy just called it; ‘Blackfella Hill’. He told us about the piles of quartz on top of  Blackfellow Hill, his father had believed a bullock wagon from the Gympie gold rush, full of gold bearing quartz had broken down on top of the hill; the driver unloading the quartz to save his team and waggon. Tommy’s father had crushed some of the quarts rocks, but found no gold. What I believe is more likely is, the rocks were moved by a bullock team, when Red Cedar was first harvested in this district in the 1860’s. A bullock team hauling timber would sooner or later climb one of the 3 ridges leading to the Story Hill, once at the top the driver would have no option but to move some of the rocks in the Bora Ring to get the team across… breaking the magic of Millennium.

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The Story Hill is the watershed for the twin Blackfellow, the North and South Blackfellow creeks. The Vally between these 2 creeks I believe would have been the last camp of the clan that owned the Story Hill, the ‘Cak-cool-la-wahe-le’ or ‘Kaggoollawhalie’ a Cubi Cubi or Kubie speaking people. Their Story Teller would have stayed up on the Story Hill, seeking guidance from Eerwah; only Story Tellers or Elders could go to a Story Place. The people would have camped at the bottom of the Story Hill in the valley between the 2 creeks, hoping for a miracle. And all the while more white people would have come into the district, looking for land, timber and gold. The white people would have noted the camp of Black People between the 2 creeks… so they called the creeks; the North Blackfellow and the South Blackfellow … the same names they have today.

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The things that have happened to me since living on the Story Hill. I’v changed, my thinking has changed… I see things you cannot.

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A decade ago, one of my neighbours stopped me one morning down at my gate. He asked me had I heard about ‘Power-link’ (the state owned company charged with connecting towns with power stations) running high voltage power lines between huge steel pylons through his property and alongside mine then into the next Vally to the South. We had a cup of coffee at his place, and he showed me the plans for the preposed root. It was like a slap in the face, he told me he was getting a Barrister to fight it. I told him, he’d be waisting his money, if the Government wanted to do something, their wasn’t much we could do about it. When I got home, somebody else rang me about the power lines and pylons cutting their property in half, I told them the same thing; Landholders had no chance against the Government. I couldn’t see what we could do, we would just have to except it… like it or not.
A few months later, one of my neighbours came up and seen me, he’s an electrician and knew exactly where the pylons were going. He wanted to take me for a drive and show me what was going to happen. I told him the same thing I’d told everyone; ‘Ya cant fight the Government.’ Even so he took me for a drive and showed me where the pylons were going. I was horrified. Sitting in his car he asked me to do something to stop it, he wanted my help and could I stop it from happening.
Something happened to me then, like an ancient voice in my mind, a power from the land… something stirred, some connection was made.

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A few days later I was going over everything in my mind, when I looked up at Eerwah. I’d never seen it so clear… it loomed from the land with a presence that was undeniable. I remember I was transfixed, I couldn’t believe something so big had been their for so long without me ever seeing it as I was seeing it then; it was a total revelation… an epiphany. I was seeing something that had been staring me in the face for years. In that moment I knew the power lines and pylons were not going to happen, I knew it with an absolute certainty. I was going to stop it from happening; me, I was the Story Teller, I had the power to do this.
The next day I started writing letters; I started with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. I knew he had been brought-up within sight of Eerwah. Next was the Premier of Queensland, then the head honcho of Power-link, the Minister in charge of Power-link down to the local State member of parliament and the local council… even aboriginal sport stars. The papers, radio and TV; anybody and everybody, but mostly the boss of Power-link. What I was pointing out was; the Story Hill and Eerwah were linked, that it was an ancient Aboriginal site of significance. That I would and could organise protests to stop the deliberate trashing of an Aboriginal site of significance. I also pointed out that the more Power-link pushed, the more powerful I would become.

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At the same time the residents who were going to be effected by the preposed power lines through their properties started to organise them selves into a lobby group called P.A.G.E.? They held meetings (I went to most of them) and raised money(I donated over 50 bucks) to employ experts to write letters. Power-link spent millions of dollars buying properties, and all the time I told Power-link it wasn’t going to happen. I said it wouldn’t be hippies chaining themselves to trees, but landholders, farmers and rich retires.
And then without warning, Power-link put a notice in the local paper saying they weren’t going ahead with the project, no reason was given, that was the end of it. P.A.G.E. took the credit for stoping the project, I never said anything… only a few people knew of the effort I put into stopping the trashing of an aboriginal site. I never wanted accolades, I am what I am, the Story Teller, the Oracle of Eerwah.com
I tell the stories, its up to you to make of them what you will.

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At the start of the Power-link debacle I woke up one Winter morning to a blood-red sunrise with the full moon setting in the rising Sun; this is impossible but I was watching it happen. After a few heart beats I realised what was happening; 3 sides of my bedroom is all glass, somehow the setting moon in the Mary Vally to the West was transferred around the glass windows to the East where the Sun was rising out of Timbeawah. I have never seen this happen again and blood-red dawns are a rarity. That day, 2 full-blood aboriginals came to the Story Hill out of the blue, one had to leave because of the ‘spirits’ … the one that stayed is a life-long friend.
I think about how things happen like that. Some people would say it’s more than a coincidence… what do you think?
Some of the thing’s that have happened to me on the Story Hill, I won’t talk about; I find them to weird, to confronting … to unreal. I have written them down but I wont publish them while I’m alive.
The thing is, how many years have Aboriginals lived on the Sunshine Coast, how many years have they danced on the Story Hill? Most likely way before the Sphinx and the pyramids, way, way before Stonehenge, the Bible and J.C… right back to the ‘Dreaming’… but how long ago was that?

 

I like science, I like facts that can be proven. Religion, folk-law and fairy tails don’t do much for me. They are all about ‘faith,’ believing in something with no proof. Its like the ‘monetary system’ as long as most of us ‘believe’ we can get our money out of the banks, it works. But if half of us stopped believing our money is safe, and we started withdrawing it (a run on the Banks) the system would collapse … we’d have chaos


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Even the most hard-headed Scientist and ignorant Fundamentalist reach a point in their thinking, where there is no explanation, nothing fits. Its like; what was before the Big Bang or who made God… there is no answer. Equally, some of the things that have happened to me on the Story Hill, have no rational explanation; they just happen. I look at it as some kind of Quantum thing, a part of a thought beyond the sub-atomic left over from thousands of years ago. Is it possible that millions of sub-atomic particles smaller than a Quark can somehow fuse into a thought, a vision of some kind… even an action?

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I am the ‘Story Teller’ the Oracle of Eerwah… I see things you cannot

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If you dance in the same spot for 30 thousands years, is it posable to leave a memory of that dance… People have been dancing on the Story Hill  since people first came to this place. 30 to 40 thousand years at the least, some people say more.

That would make the Story Hill one of the oldest known places of knowledge on the planet .

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Between Tuchekoi and Eerwah

at the watershed of the twin blackfella

is an island in the sky.

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Eerwah: Summer solstice; as far as the Sun travels to the right… seen from the Story Hill.

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Eerwah: Full Moon rising, winter solstice. Seen from the Story Hill.

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The Sun climbing or descending; the right hand side of Eerwah is never touched by the Sun… as seen from the Story Hill.

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I have things to tell you, they come to me from this place… maybe a memory left by repetitious rituals, stories and dance.  Something so old and constant it’s become ingrained in the land like a faint echo from the past.  Things happen in this place that defy explanation.  If your interested, I’ll tell you about these strange happenings.

Whoever occupies the Story Hill can see the future; the exact day of summer and winter solstice. Imagine 20 thousand years ago watching the Sun climb Eerwah through November and December, the westward march cumulating in summer solstice where the Sun rests against the western or right hand chock… before marching back towards the east the next day.

The Story Teller would tell the people of the impending phenomenon.  Elders would be invited to the Story Hill to witness the prediction. Having seen the foretelling, the aura of the Story Hill would grow along with the influence of the Story Teller. Nothing has changed, except I’m the first white fella Story Tell’a…

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White Feather BlackFeather

 

This is a true story, a story from the Story Hill…
How many coincidences can you have before its more than a coincidence, and if it’s not a coincidence what is it? The dictionary say’s a coincidence is a ‘remarkable concurrence of events’. But how many remarkable concurrences of events can you have before you start to think, something strange is going on… as if an invisible hand is arranging things, so you have to take notice.

August 2008. I went to Aurukun on Cape York peninsula to learn and observe; one of my sons, Finnius, was teaching up there. For somebody who has never been to an aboriginal community it can be quite confronting; rubbish everywhere, packs of mangy dogs roaming the streets, children with bright plastic toys playing on the road. Some of the houses and gardens are quite neglected and rundown, others neat and tidy. Bougainvillaea and dust, crows cawing, hawks hovering, the police station, co-op and church; contrasts everywhere… black and white. Everything is different; different language, different thinking, different country.
The Wik people have lived on and owned this country from way before JC, way before the pyramids were built. They’ve lived on this land for so long that they see themselves as part of it. Most of the people I meet are full-blood aboriginal, they see things differently to me; they’re between worlds, between cultures. They talk slowly, struggling with English; I listen carefully, embarrassed I can only speak one language. They are polite and well mannered in the bush ways, and try not to look you in the eye out of respect.

Finnius had been living there for a couple of years, he likes the people, respects them; he understands the problems of a people between worlds and cultures. He shrugs his shoulders when I say, ‘something should be done’.
‘Education and time, Dad,’ is all he says.
Finnius arranges for me to meet some of the ‘old boys’ the elders, artists and spear makers. The Wik people are wood carvers and weavers, hunters and dancers, woomera and fine spear makers. I meet some men one morning in the shed beneath the arts centre, one of the old boys tells me to come to his house; he has some ‘real’ spears he would like to show me. I understand what he’s saying; come to my house, is code for; ‘I will sell you something cheeper, without going through the ‘Arts Centre.’ No flies on these blokes, I think to myself as I follow him to his house just down the road. The yard is freshly raked, his grandchildren watching us from the veranda, speaking excitably in Wik-Mungkan as we go under the house.
The old man reaches up to a bunch of spears resting on the joists under the floor, he pulled them out carefully and gave me one to look at; it’s about 7 foot long, slender and straight with emu flight feathers about a foot from the end that notches into the woomera, 2 bands of wood about 5 inches long encircle the shafts, one a foot and a half from the tip, the other holding the flight feathers, a third smaller band reinforces the woomera notch. I’m amazed at the craftsmanship, the simplicity and lightness. What really catches my eye, is the killing end of the spear; it’s beautiful and deadly, as sharp as a needle with a long trailing barb, the whole thing bound and glued on with some kind of resin. I touch the point with my finger and ask the old man what its made of.
He smiles and says, ‘Sting-ray tip; sting-ray, you know?’
I nod my head. ‘Yes, I know sting-ray.’
‘That the tip of the tail’ he said slowly, ‘she kill you, that tail. I use this spear to hunt wallaby, this a good spear.’ He shows me the spears he is holding, some are longer, some shorter, some heavier… they are all beautifully made with flight feathers and attention to detail, all of them have the same sting-ray tips.
I would like to buy them all, but I have a long journey back to the Sunshine Coast, and I haven’t much cash. I hold out the 7 foot spear and say, ‘how much?’ He gives me a price, it’s not cheap. I take another spear out of his hand and a woomera he had shown me, resting the tips of the 2 spears on my shoe. I say, ‘How much for the 3?’
He is looking at the tips resting on my boot, and clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth, shaking his head he looks up at me. ‘Bugger the tip and the spear no good’ he says looking at me like I’m an idiot. ‘You have to look after the point, no good if the tip bugged. You have to keep it safe.’
I felt like a fool with a loaded gun; in a flash I knew exactly what he was saying. The hunter only gets the one chance with a sting-ray tip, only a fool would bugger the tip before it’s been thrown. We agreed on a price for 2 spears and a woomera, I though 25 bucks an hour was about right; he said 2 days work… so I gave him the money for 16 hours work. He reckoned in the old days a hunter would have to make 10 to 15 spears a week, depending how good a shot he was; we laughed at that and shook hands.
He wrapped the points up very carefully and got some plastic conduit, cutting it to length. With the spears inside I went back to Finnius’s house. Over the next few days I fished and spoke to lots of Finn’s, Wik mate’s, I really like the people. I even found time to read the diary of the first missionary to the Wik people, the Scotsman Mackenzie from the 1890’s to his death; he’s still revered up there. I got some lovely wood carving of crocodile and barramundi and another spear from Mornington Island.
I spoke to some of the old men about the place I lived in the hinterland at the back of the Sunny, about some of the strange things that had happened to me while I’d been living there; I described the hill in detail and the fact that at summer solstice the Sun rose out of a prominent mountain and every few years the full moon rose out of the same place on winter solstice. I asked them if they thought the ‘old people’ that had lived there, would have known about these things.
They all smiled a knowing smile; one of them said, ‘the old people never miss anything about the country, they see it all. You talking about a special place, a story place, you living on a ‘Story Hill’ matey; a place of stories, a place of power. Only the Elders go to them places.’ They all nodded agreement as they looked at the ground.
We talked about other things, about their grandfathers, the animals and things that were their ‘totem’s’, the spirits and the missionaries. The last thing I said to them was, ‘we might look different, but inside we are all the same’. That brought nods of approval.
That afternoon I went to the Frenchman’s house who runs the arts centre, he wanted to quiz me about what I’d been talking about to the ‘old men’, and maybe had I been buying artefacts without going through the ‘arts centre’. I told him about my place down at the Sunny and how the old blokes think it’s a Story Hill. I also told him about the fact that Power-link was going to put huge pylons between the Story Hill and Eerwah, the mountain that the Sun and full Moon rises out of at summer and winter solstice… and what I now knew, I believed I could get it stopped. He laughed at that and said, ‘Aboriginal mythes cant stop government projects’.
I said he might be right, but I was going to try.
For some reason I started to think about ‘black feathers’, maybe it was the talk about totems, I somehow got it into my head that the totem for my Story Hill was black feathers, and the only black feathers that I knew of were black-cockatoo or crows.
I was leaving Aurukun the next morning, changing flights at Cairns for the jet to Brisbane, then the bus to the Etamoga pub where somebody would pick me up. That night I asked one of Finn’s, Wik mate’s; if they could get me a feather head-dress to take back to Cooroy. That would be very hard to do, I was told, as only the dancers had them, and they were very special.
I nodded my understanding, keeping my disappointment hidden.
The next morning the flight to Cairns was delayed twice, quite a few people had come to see me off. I was very touched by their generosity and friendship, men, women and children standing around in the hot Sun. And when the flight was finally ready to leave, somebody run up and gave me a shoe-box with a white feather head-dress inside; it was from somebody’s cousin ( I cant say names, it would be disrespectful) who had committed suicide a month before; the family had wanted to give it to me. I left Aurukun with a lump in my throat.
The flight to Cairns with the shoe-box on my lap was strange indeed, my head was filled with day-dreams about black feathers, not white ones like the ones on my lap. By the time we arrived in cairns, I had well and truly missed my flight to Brisbane. Nobody was interested in paying for a hotel-room, all I could get was another seat to Brisbane the next day; all I had on me was about 10 bucks, I don’t like plastic it costs to much. I did get a phone call out of the airline, so I rang my wife and she got me a ‘wotif’ room at one of the big hotels on the esplanade.
After a restless night on the top-floor in an air-con room, I was ready to leave. I rang reception and ordered a cab to the airport. With my sausage-bag over my shoulder, all my spears in the conduit and a shoe-box in the other hand I got into the lift, happy to be on my way. The lift went down one floor and stopped, the door’s opened and a 30ish, fit and well dressed bloke got in with a wheelie-port. We smiled, he looked at the tall white conduit tube I was holding and raised his eyebrows. I shook it and said, ‘spears, I never travel anywhere without me spears’.
He smiled at that. ’You been up the Cape?’
‘Aurukun,’ I said. ‘I missed me flight yesterday, so I had to overnight here’.
‘Do you want a lift out to the airport’ he said. ‘I have a hire car.’
‘Thanks, but I’ve ordered a taxi. We made small talk as the lift stopped at every floor. In the lobby we said goodbye and went our separate ways. I found my taxi outside, but it was to small to take my spears, and the cabbie thought it to dangerous to have them sticking out the window; just then the bloke in the lift drove up in his hire car, a station wagon.
‘You OK’ he said.
‘Well, no’ I said. ‘I can’t fit me spears into the cab’.
‘I’ll give you a lift’ he said getting out and opening the back. ‘Plenty of room.’
Driving out to the airport, he asked me where I was going. ‘Brisbane’ I said, ‘and then the Sunshine Coast.’
He looked across at me and said, ‘me to. Where on the Sunny?’
‘Cooroy’
He gave me a funny look and said, ‘I’m going to Cooroy, I live at Black Mt.’
‘Wot a coincidence’ I said, ‘I can see Black Mt from my place.’
‘I have a car at the airport’ he said, ‘I’ll give you a lift back to Cooroy, if you like.’
‘Thanks’ I said, ‘but I have one of my Son’s meeting me.’
‘No worries’ he said. He told me he had a couple of children, and that his family had moved up from Tewantin to Black Mt in the last few months. He worked for a dairy company and did a lot of traveling. He dropped me off outside the terminal, while he took the car back to the hire company across the road. We shook hands and parted ways.
Inside the terminal there was a long queue at the check-in, so I got inline and started the long shuffle to the counter. After ten minutes I got to the counter, putting my bag and long plastic tube on the scales, the young man at the counter picked up the white tube and shook it. ‘What you got in here Mate?’
I answered truthfully; ‘spears’.
‘Spears’ he said sceptically, ‘what sort of spears and how manny?’
‘3 aboriginal hunting spears’ I said, knowing this bloke was going to give me a hard time.
‘Well you can’t take them on the flight’.
‘Why not’ I said, ‘they’ll be locked in the hold, they’re not dangerous and well wrapped.’
‘Don’t matter’ he said digging his heel’s in. ‘Ya cant take them on the flight’. People were mumbling behind me, and I could feel the pressure building. The phone rang on the counter, the young man picking it up; he listened for a minute and looked past me at the line of people waiting and said something into the mouthpiece. Putting the phone down, he picked up a notice that said; This checkin closed, and rushed off. Everybody behind me moved to the next counter down the hall, by the time I got my bag and spears back and then moved through the maze of roped off sections, I was at the back of the queue with at least 20 people ahead. I was so far back, I was standing close to the entrance doors when the bloke that had given me the lift came in with a well dressed, office looking lady.
He saw me standing there and gave me a wave, turning to the woman he said quietly, but not quietly enough because I heard what he said. ‘Strange coincidence’ he said nodding at me. ‘I met that chap in the hotel lift this morning, he lives across the valley from me, at Cooroy’.
The lady said something back, but I never heard what it was; I presumed she worked for the same ‘dairy company’ as him… I knew there were plenty of dairy cattle up on the Tablelands.
More people were queuing up behind me when one of the uniformed ground crew opened a roped off section, creating another line to the check-in; she smiled and waved me through. I was now at the front of the queue, with a smiling young lady waiting for my bags and ticket. She didn’t even ask what was in the plastic tube, she just checked my bags and spears in and gave me a boarding pass
All I was holding now, was the shoe box with the feather headdress inside. I looked around the departure hall, and seen the bloke that had given me the lift disappear through a plain door upstairs. I was starting to think he was following me, but knew that was ridiculous… or was it I thought as I caught a glimpse of his face in a window as he scanned the people below.
Waiting for my flight to be called, I reasoned it was more likely he was in a VIP lounge, and being a frequent flyer didn’t have to queue at baggage checkin’s … but I couldn’t help thinking about the coincidences of meeting somebody in a lift who lives across the valley from me, same flight and all the stuff at the check-in.
The flight was called and I joined the line of people boarding at the back of the aircraft. Walking across the tarmac I seen ‘old mate’ boarding at the front of the jet… we must have reached the steps at the same time; another coincidence I though as I took my window seat right at the back.
Holding the shoe box on my lap I tried to sleep, but sleep wouldn’t come; only strange daydreams about white feathers and black feathers… I knew in the old days the clan of my, ‘Story Hill’ had black feathers, not white; how I knew this, I didn’t know; but I knew it so strongly I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All I could think about was, how was I going to get some black feathers without killing a black cockatoo or crow.
Arriving at Brisbane, we taxed to the terminal; the boarding ramp attached to the front of the jet, the stewardess asking everybody at the back of the aeroplane to remain seated, as we would be disembarking by the front door. After a few minutes the stewardess came on the speaker again, apologising for the delay; they were having trouble with the forward ramp and we would now be departing from the rear door. That put me as the first person to get off the aircraft; I had to smile to myself as I walked across the tarmac into the terminal, the rest of the passengers strung out behind me. The place seemed deserted as I followed the signs to the baggage pick up, I figured that’s where everyone would catch me up. With my shoe box in hand I came to the pick-up, with not a single bag in sight. Stopping at the empty carousel I was surprised to see my white plastic spear-tube propped against a column. Picking it up I turned to the baggage carousel, even more surprised to see a single bag coming towards me, my bag. Taking it off the moving belt I walked out of the baggage hall, just as the other passengers were coming in. As I was about to go outside, a middle aged bloke stepped out and said, ‘Mr Buckley, Mr HT Buckley?’
‘Yes’ I said, even more surprised.
‘Your son Tasman rang and gave us a description of you. I’m from Sunair busses’ he said. ‘I’ve been holding the bus for you.’
‘Thanks very much’ I said, following him out of the terminal to the waiting mini-bus. Their was only one other passenger, so I put my bag and spears on an empty seat and sat down; the driver closed the door and off we went. Being a Sunday the traffic was light going north, the South bound lanes chockablock. Speeding north, I thought about the unbelievable time it had taken me to transit the airport, something that normally takes hours had been accomplished in minutes; I couldn’t help looking at the shoe box on my lap and then at the spears in the plastic tube propped on the opposite seat.
Arriving at the ‘Etamoga pub’ in record time, I got off the bus just as my youngest son drove up. Was it just more coincidences I thought, as I put my bag and spears in the back.
The drive home was uneventful, Tasman and I talking about things we’ed been doing over the last few weeks. I told him about the white feather head-dress in the shoe box and how it had been a Wik dancer’s, who’ed committed suicide, and how his family had given it to me. Tasman shook his head and said, ‘That’s a pretty big deal, Dad.’
‘Yes, I know’ was all I could say.
Driving up the steep driveway to my house, I felt that rush of excitement you get when returning to a familiar and loved place; no place like home, I thought as I got out of the car with my shoe box and spears, Tasman following with my bag.
Home sweet home with kisses and hugs all round. I unpacked the presents I’d got in the kitchen/dinning room, everyone talking at once, then carefully unwrapped the spears; telling everybody to be very careful of the sting-ray points. When my wife and children had tested them for balance and had a good look, I laid them on the red-cedar table with the points sticking over the edge by 6 or 8 inches, so the barbs wouldn’t get damaged on the flat hard surface. Then I showed them the white feather-headdress and told them the story about how I’d been given it, as well as some beautifully woven baskets. My wife put the feather head-dress into one of the woven containers for safe keeping. After 10 minutes or so everybody went back into the living room to finish watching the footy game, while I sat down at the computer desk just across from the cedar table with the spears sticking over the edge, to write up my travels while everything was fresh in my mind.
Out of the blue, a king parrot flew in through the open door, flying in a circle over the cedar table. I turned and watched… (it was the first ‘king’ie’ to ever fly into the house in over 25 years, and it’s never happened again) it circled several times above the white feather headdress and spears, and then incredibly it flew at the spears, impaling both wings on the sting-ray tips. I could hardly believe what I was seeing; the king’es wings were outstretched like it was on a crucifix, both wings pierced by the sting-ray points… it just hung there for a second or 2, completely motionless. Then it let out an ear-piercing scream and struggled violently, breaking first one point and then the other. Falling to the floor with the tips still in its wings, it sort of flopped around before getting airborne and flying straight into my face, all the time screaming like a banshee. All I could do was put my hands up to protect my eyes, and then try and catch it as gently as I could. I had it in my hands for the briefest of moments, before it escaped and sort of flew out the door, screaming all the way.
I was still sitting down, stunned; flecks of blood over my face and a hand full of black feathers… the screams still reverberating in my mind.
My wife rushed into the room and asked, ‘Whats all the noise about?’
I showed her the black feathers in my hand and tried to explain what had just happened, but it didn’t seem to make much sense. She raised her eyebrows and gave me a funny look and then went back to watching football.
I got the camera and took some shots and then tried to find the king parrot outside, I never did find it, it’d just vanished.
I had a shower and shampoo, screams echoing in my head; if it wasn’t for the black feathers in the woven basket, I might have dismissed it as a crazy daydream; but it all happened, it’s all true.
Next day I went into Cooroy to get the papers; driving down the main street was the bloke in the Hotel lift, the chap who gave me the ride out to the airport in Cairns. He tooted his horn and waved… I smiled and waved back; I’ve never seen him since.
I’ve often wondered about all the coincidences of that trip, I’ve still got the white feathers and the black ones. Thinking about it now, I know it’ll be the story that’ll be most enduring. After all this place where I live is a Story Hill, it always has been, it always will be; nothing can change that.

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A hand full of King parrot tail-feathers

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White Feather Black Feather & broken sting-ray spear tips.

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First thing; looking west from the Story Hill, Top Forestry poking through the fog in the Mary Vally.

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Sun coming up, fog clearing; Mary Vally looking west from the Story Hill… the same view the Story Teller would have seen 10 thousand years ago.

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Looking SE to Eerwah, from the Story Hill. Some of the names have changed, but the topography is still the same… it’s true, most of the trees have gone and theres more people; but basically it’s the same as it was thousands of years ago.  You have to look at the country through different eyes… you have to listen to what cannot be heard; words, the stories.

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Tuesday morning 19th July 2016.  After the lovely rain (1 and a half inches over the last week) I thought I’d take some snaps and share them with you. They are all taken from the top of the Story Hill.

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Black Cockatoo’s in the Banksia … they are a strange bird, so big and noisy. They hang out in the Slash Pines down by the gate eating the seeds. Their flight is slow and silent… like huge shadows they move from tree to tree calling to each other.  The biggest flock I’ve ever seen is 27, they circled the Story Hill calling out.  I came out of the house to watch, they watched me with beady eyes, circling, circling… all the time calling out in their raucous voice.  After 5 minutes or so they left, the silence was defending. That day I had a new neighbour move into the house down the hill… he to is a story teller; a radio Jock on the ABC.

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King parrot hiding behind a leaf… they think if they can’t see you, you can’t see them. I have 2 pairs of them all year round; they know who I am.

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Looking SE towards Eerwah.  The ‘Old People’ must have revered Eerwah, how could they not have!  What gets to me is, for how long… how many years have the Old People been watching Eerwah from the Story Hill?

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Looking west over the Mary Vally. This morning the valleys were full of fog… the Story Hill like an island in the sky.

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That’s me and Digger dog in the garden a couple of months ago.

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Rain to the West, from the Story Hill.

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Rain clearing

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Red sky to the North-West, from the Story Hill.

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 3rd August 2016

Why do I think this place is special, why do I think this place was special to the Aboriginals… and why do I think – know, this place was and is, a Story Hill… the equivalent to the holy of holy places.
First and most obviously it is the only spot, the only hill, the only fixed place that you can see the Sun climb and descend Eerwah… and in the middle of this up and down process is summer solstice. The Sun moves into Eerwah on the 22nd November, every day appearing to climb the mountain until solstice on the 21/22nd December with the Sun resting on the right hand chock at the top; this is as far West as the Sun goes. 31 days to climb to solstice and 31 days to descend; the Sun has 62 days in Eerwah… more than any other place as seen from the Story Hill. There are ridges and flats where you can observe the same thing, but no fixed spot like the Story Hill.

AA sun track over Earwah

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The Story Hill is a natural place to spy out the land. From the Story Hill you can predict the weather, see birds and animals migrating; you can see at least 50 miles in all directions, unlike most of this country of rainforests and valleys.

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The piles of quartz rocks scattered around the top of the hill. Quartz was a magical rock to the aboriginals. W.E.Roth, (the first Queensland government protectorate of Aboriginal’s in the late 1800’s) noted in his book; that aboriginal’s all over Queensland revere’d quartz. The Elders or Story Tellers would polish a pice of quartz, and it was this pice of quartz (not bone as some of the early settlers thought) that the Story Teller would point at some unfortunate person. The pointing of the quartz (bone) would kill people within weeks.
I believe the piles of quartz rock scattered around the top of the hill would be the remains of a sacred ‘Bora Ring’. (In the 1970’s Tommy Tomlin came to see us when we were living in the ‘old house’… the house his father had built in the 1920’s.) His Father was a returned solder from WW1 and took up the Story Hill block as a ‘Solder Settler Block’ in 1925/7. Tommy was only to happy to share all the history he knew about the 250 acre block of land. The name of the Story Hill had been forgotten in the 50 odd years since the last Story Teller… Tommy just called it; ‘The Blackfella Hill’. He told us about the piles of quartz on top of the Blackfellow Hill, his father had believed a bullock wagon from the Gympie gold rush, full of gold bearing quartz had broken down on top of the hill; the driver unloading the quartz to save his team and waggon. Tommy’s father had crushed some of the quarts rocks, but found no gold. What I believe is more likely is, the rocks were moved by a bullock team, when Red Cedar was first harvested in this district in the 1860’s. A bullock team hauling timber would sooner or later climb one of the 3 ridges leading to the Story Hill, once at the top the driver would have no option but to move some of the rocks in the Bora Ring to get the team across… breaking the magic of Millennium.

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The Story Hill is the watershed for the twin Blackfellow, the North and South Blackfellow creeks. The Vally between these 2 creeks I believe would have been the last camp of the clan that owned the Story Hill, the ‘Cak-cool-la-wahe-le’ or ‘Kaggoollawhalie’ a Cubi Cubi or Kubie speaking people. Their Story Teller would have stayed up on the Story Hill, seeking guidance from Eerwah; only Story Tellers or Elders could go to a Story Place. The people would have camped at the bottom of the Story Hill in the valley between the 2 creeks, hoping for a miracle. And all the while more white people would have come into the district, looking for land, timber and gold. The white people would have noted the camp of Black people between the 2 creeks… so they called the creeks; the North Blackfellow and the South Blackfellow … the same names they have today.

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The things that have happened to me since living on the Story Hill. I have changed, my thinking has changed… I see things you cannot.
A decade ago, one of my neighbours stopped me one morning down at my gate. He asked me had I heard about ‘Power-link’ (the state owned company charged with connecting towns with power stations) running high voltage power lines between huge steel pylons through his property and alongside mine then into the next Vally to the South. We had a cup of coffee at his place, and he showed me the plans for the preposed root. It was like a slap in the face, he told me he was getting a Barrister to fight it. I told him, he’d be waisting his money, if the Government wanted to do something, their wasn’t much we could do about it. When I got home, somebody else rang me about the power lines and pylons cutting their property in half, I told them the same thing; Landholders had no chance against the Government. I couldn’t see what we could do, we would just have to copit… like it or not.
A few months later, one of my neighbours came up and seen me, he’s an electrician and knew exactly where the pylons were going. He wanted to take me for a drive and show me what was going to happen. I told him the same thing I’d told everyone; ‘Ya cant fight the Government.’ Even so he took me for a drive and showed me where the pylons were going. I was horrified. Sitting in his car he asked me to do something to stop it, he wanted my help and could I stop it from happening.
Something happened to me then, like an ancient voice in my mind, a power from the land… something stirred, some connection was made.

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A few days later I was going over everything in my mind, when I looked up at Eerwah. I’d never seen it so clear… it loomed from the land with a presence that was undeniable. I remember I was transfixed, I couldn’t believe something so big had been their for so long without me ever seeing it as I was seeing it then; it was a total revelation… an epiphany. I was seeing something that had been staring me in the face for years. In that moment I knew the power lines and pylons were not going to happen, I knew it with an absolute certainty. I was going to stop it from happening; me, I was the Story Teller, I had the power to do this.
The next day I started writing letters; I started with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. I knew he had been brought-up within sight of Eerwah. Next was the Premier of Queensland, then the head honcho of Power-link, the Minister in charge of Power-link down to the local State member of parliament and the local council… even aboriginal sport stars. The papers, radio and TV; anybody and everybody, but mostly the boss of Power-link. What I was pointing out was; the Story Hill and Eerwah were linked, that it was an ancient Aboriginal site of significance. That I would and could organise protests to stop the deliberate trashing of an Aboriginal site of significance. I also pointed out that the more Power-link pushed, the more powerful I would become.

At the same time the residents who were going to be effected by the preposed power lines through their properties started to organise them selves into a lobby group called P.A.G.E. ? They held meetings (I went to most of them) and raised money(I donated over 50 bucks) to employ experts to write letters. Power-link spent millions of dollars buying properties, and all the time I told Power-link it wasn’t going to happen. I said it wouldn’t be hippies chaining themselves to trees, but landholders, farmers and rich retires.
And then without warning, Power-link put a notice in the local paper saying they weren’t going ahead with the project, no reason was given, that was the end of it. P.A.G.E. took the credit for stoping the project, I never said anything… only a few people knew of the effort I put into stopping the trashing of an aboriginal site. I never wanted accolades, I am what I am, the Story Teller… the Oracle of Eerwah.com
I tell the stories, its up to you to make of them what you will.

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At the start of the Power-link debacle I woke up one Winter morning to a blood-red sunrise with the full moon setting in the rising Sun; this is impossible but I was watching it happen. After a few heart beats I realised what was happening; 3 sides of my bedroom is all glass, somehow the setting moon in the Mary Vally to the West was transferred around the glass windows to the East where the Sun was rising out of Timbeawah. I have never seen this happen again and blood-red dawns are a rarity. That day, 2 full-blood aboriginals came to the Story Hill out of the blue, one had to leave because of the ‘spirits’ … the one that stayed is a life-long friend.
I think about how things happen like that. Some people would say it’s more than a coincidence… what do you think?

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Some of the thing’s that have happened to me on the Story Hill, I won’t talk about; I find them to weird, to confronting … to unreal. I have written them down but I wont publish them while I’m alive.

The thing is, how many years have Aboriginals lived on the Sunshine Coast, how many years have they danced on the Story Hill? Most likely way before the Sphinx and the pyramids, way, way before Stonehenge, the Bible and J.C… right back to the ‘Dreaming’… but how long ago was that?

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I like science, I like facts that can be proven. Religion, folk-law and fairy tails don’t do much for me. They are all about ‘faith,’ believing in something with no proof. Its like the ‘monetary system’ as long as most of us ‘believe’ we can get our money out of the banks, it works. But if half of us stopped believing our money is safe, and we started withdrawing it (a run on the Banks) the system would collapse … we would have chaos.

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Even the most hard-headed scientist and ignorant fundamentalist reach a point in their thinking, where there is no explanation, nothing fits. Its like; what was before the Big Bang or who made God… there is no answer. Equally, some of the things that have happened to me on the Story Hill, have no rational explanation; they just happen. I look at it as some kind of Quantum thing, a part of a thought beyond the sub-atomic left over from thousands of years ago. Is it possible that millions of sub-atomic particles smaller than a Quark can somehow fuse into a thought, a vision of some kind… even an action?

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