Visit any Australian trucker’s forum and search for “Pilliga”, or “Piliga”. You’ll soon be rewarded with stories of “min-min” lights (an old aboriginal legend), vicious unseen creatures, ruined vehicles and sightings of the Pilliga Princess.
A common sight reported by truck drivers is that of small lights travelling at high speed through the trees, keeping pace with the trucks. Sometimes at ground level, others rising high above the trees. Others talk of localised wind storms, like mini hurricanes that shake and rock trucks and other vehicles, while coloured lights dance and sparkle in the air.
Image of a ruined vehicle in the Pilliga. Note the signage on the
door: Coonabarabran Contracting. Image ©local-legends.net
One story I heard many years ago was that of a truck driver who stopped for a couple of hours sleep on the roadside, right in the middle of the Pilliga. During the night, he was woken by a terrific banging and screeching of twisted metal. His truck was rocking violently and terrified, he cowered in the cabin without a wink of sleep until dawn. When he finally emerged in daylight, he was struck with the sight of the trailer tarpaulin shredded and strewn for a hundred metres up the road. The metal ribs of the trailer cage were twisted and bent beyond repair.
From hankstruckpictures.com (trucker’s forum)
“On a 120 km stretch of the Newell Hwy between Coonabarabran and Narrabri is the Pilliga State Forest… It’s a beautiful drive during the day but at night, some of the toughest men fear to travel along this stretch of highway unless they know they wouldn’t have to stop, even down to hearing about drivers blowing out a tyre and driving it flat until they reach the other side.”
On a late night-early morning Australian radio programme called ‘Overnights‘ (2am – 6am), they held a few special nights dedicated to stories from the Pilliga region. Listeners could call the station and tell their Pilliga stories on the air. On that night, the radio station had two of their people in the Pilliga Scrub reporting live by satellite phone. At one point, the connection dropped and the signal wasn’t restored for some time. When it finally returned, the reporters were OK and the cut signal was unexplained.
During the programme, one caller who identified himself as “Bongo” told a harrowing story of the night he endured in the Pilliga way back in 1978. The ordeal he endured that night affected him in such a terrible way that, to this day, he remains in psychiatric care.
The recording of Bongo’s call is freely available from the radio station’s website, so I’ve put it on the Flash timeline with a play button.
You absolutely must NOT listen to this unless it’s late and night and you have turned off your lights. Good luck!
Here is the map of Bongo’s journey that night. Running low on fuel, I imagine he intended to fuel up in Boggabri, or one of the other small villages outside Narrabri.
I have one other particularly intriguing story about min-min lights in the Pilliga that I’d like to post in the Stories section eventually.