Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), Thursday 13 June 1940, page 46

CUNNING Australia's
E. K.

OF

THE

PHANTOM
Of

Costly Beast

Prey

in the far west of Queensland, and everyone among of settlers across the borders of South Australia and New South Wales as well, he was known as 'The Phantom' a nick name that had been bestowed on him because of his mysterious and ghostly activities.
scores

To

one of the destructive and most his known.' He made wild night, first one dark appearance he mysterious manner, when, in some entered 10,000-acre a sheep paddock with was that high, securely fenced dingo-proof wire netting. of the bodies Early next morning 27 sheep that had been killed, disem found bowelled by the dingo, were about the paddock. scattered Only touched one been of the bodies had its removed for food; the killer had liver, this invariably being the only part of sheep that the dingoes eat.

He

was

a

giant dingo,

Reward
was then that the creature As the weeks Phantom.' 'The by, his ghostly visitations grew destructive. more Nightly he took a toll, until, by the end of four heavier had of his kill weeks, the. number reached the staggering total of 376. £450, at over estimated The value was and of the slaughtered animals ''The had used only 87 .for food, Phantom' nothing their livers, and devouring

most

cunning dogs ever

It named went

was

else.

same That inspection was day an the made of the fence surrounding Not the slightest signs of paddock. could be found. a break Again that night the killer mys but teriously entered the field and chered another 17 sheep, removing the livers from vic two of his helpless tims. no following day, although be seen, of dingo feet could inside or outside the paddock, scat more than 100 steel traps were the fence, in the hope tered around would that 'the phantom'' step into

The marks either

increased the In despair, the owner done to at This was reward to £100. in the tract the best dingo hunters Several of these experts country. of them took up the chase, but most they could also gave up the 30b when find no animal, beyond the daily evi before Never of his savagery. dence to be so elu had a dingo been known a Phantom' sive. presented 'The baffling problem, and the mystery kil notorious ler throughout became the north-east Western Queensland, the northAustralia, and of South South Wales. west of New

one. it was Next however, morning, near that no found dingo had been another twelve the traps, although dis dead in the paddock sheep were embowelled. The prowling killer in had some again mysterious manner entered the seemingly impregnable paddock without leaving a trace. of the In desperation, the owner of £25 for the sheep offered a reward killer. Expert head of the unknown from dingo trappers and hunters came near far to try for the reward, and but most of them gave up in disgust, when, after a thorough search, they trace of a dingo any could find no the inside or where, either outside wire netting fence.

'king' Finally, the acknowledged a hunters— all Australian dingo heard named man George McCarthy to destroy the of the killer and swore in for his work Well-known dingo. kil of notable accounting for scores once failed lers, McCarthv has never it became When to get his beast. 'on the job' there that he was known in interest was everywhere intense was the the 'case' But his hunt. encoun had difficult McCarthy most in he, too, was After a week tered. could find no trace of the He despair.
of

j

j,

killer.

the deepened, As many mystery superstitious people began to have strange notions about the killer, say 'not natu ing- that was the animal
ral.'

Reward

Of

£100

would not hunter the famous than was more defeat. He to solve the mystery, determined ever and, as a last resource, decided to ex inch of the wire amine every square tha huge paddock, to netting around if, see Phan by any chance, 'The tom' had left a trace on the wire. two For weeks he searched dili gently, until at last he came upon his first clue. was The irrigated a paddock by drain, three feet deep, narrow, open which carried a But admit

National Library of Australia

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92392090

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narrow, open which carried a continuous stream of water from an artesian bore some ten miles Where drain en the away. tered the paddock the fence was built low in the water, the bottom strand than of the wire netting being more twelve inches under the surface. Although he did not expect to find it, on anything McCarthy removed this wire the on from water, and it closely he three found examining minute strands of something that ap peared to be dog's hair. Assuming that these strands may come 'The the have from Phantom,' searched hunter than the 'soft and muddy ground in the vacinity, but he could find no trace of the dingo's hundreds of for yards on spoor either side of the fence.
If was those puzzled. the from of hair had come killer, he there should argued, then traces of the beast been have other on The the dingo ground nearby. in the water-filled could not live But drain. nowhere could the hunter of on find any evidence the killer dry land. decided Finally, he to investigate afield. After farther riding along than two miles, the drain for more he solved the mystery. 'The Some cunning idea cf how Phantom' be gained from was may realising the fact that, apparently his tracks, the of exposing danger used the dingo had the water-filled drain for entering and leaying the and paddock, swimming wading over two miles before putting his feet on dry land! left and Where the killer entered found the spoor the water. McCarthy been searching for for which he had weeks. the trail for seve He followed ral miles through dense bush until he reached Phantom's'1 'lair a 'The small cave, the notorious des where as shot he at perado was emerged to on dusk embark another sheep killing expedition.

a

cated her lair, which small pups. a dozen

contained

half

killers were The other two also lair her was shot when females. One but the was discovered, de other fied capture for four months, during, which she destroyed sheep valued at This more than £300. dingo was after a found living on station the been had enclosed with property The animal dingo-proof wire netting. of eight sheep a killed an average destroyed. night before she was Nine

Days

Without

Water

McCarthy

strands

Hundreds of traps were set on the station, but the killed avoided them all, and it was as a last resource, de cided to net in all the waterholes on the property, to cut the dingo off from water. Butr after going nine days without wrater, the killer was saved by a storm, which provided plenty to drink. had same storm, which previously saved her life, proved the killer's un out the doing, for the rain blotted weeks a be scent from trap set some into it. fore, and the dingo walked AH' told, the four dingoes, for which rewards totalling £275 were paid, were held responsible for the destruction at more than £1,500. of sheep valued to convince It is difficult anyone who has not had an intimate experi ence of dingoes, how uncannily the animals evade after they danger, have become wise to the ways of man. the creatures Ordinarily, possess more other ani sagacity than most mals, but after they have learned the of the hunters, they become ways almost human in their actions. A ceaseless war has been carried on Aus against the dingo throughout tralia for the better part of a hun Yet there were dred years. in cases early days where the dingoes were to breed ^ on cattle sta encouraged tions! It was .claimed that they kept down kangaroos and wallabies, which ate the grass wanted for the cattle. Before long, the dingoes however, turned their attention to the cattle much easier prey, and finally, in some the settlers were cases, compelled to abandon their holdings because of the
killers.

Three-ledded In

Female
remard

of £100 the destruction of ''The totalling other rewards £175 have been paid for three other killers destroyed within recent times in the far west of Queensland, where menace. serious very a dingoes are One of these three killers also car ried a reward of £100, and the others £40 and £35 respectively.

addition to the

paid for Phantom,'

The

most

destructive

of these

was

a

three-legged female, the fourth being She created havoc such a stump. the sheep that a price of £100 among was after put on her head a few weeks It was she made her appearance. im her, possible to trap and she was finally destroyed when hunter a lo

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