THYLACINE - The Case in Defence

Chapter 11

BETTY AND SID’S STORY

When Betty came to Tasmania for a holiday in 1983, she fell in love with it and stayed. Then, when she fell in love with a mainland ‘bushie’, she enticed him to Tasmania, too.

Sid had already decided that building houses in Sydney was not the life for him. So, when Betty suggested a move to Tasmania and a house in the bush near Lilydale, she didn’t have to do a whole lot of persuading. Sid already knew he wanted clean air to breathe, a little house in an unspoilt part of the world, and a lifetime with Betty.

So, without a single twist of his arm, Sid quit his job, packed up his gear, and drove south to Betty.

Moving to a new area means getting to know your digs, and that’s exactly what Betty and Sid were doing when they found themselves on the same shortcut Grace had taken on her way to the beach - just one year before.

Betty and Sid knew nothing of Grace - nor were they thinking ‘Thylacine’ - as they turned Ferny Hill Road…

UNTIL...

Betty and Sid’s Words

Sid: "I have lived in the bush or near to it all my life except for a short time in Sydney. I know bush animals well."

"Betty and I saw this strange animal about the 30th January last year (1989)."

"We were driving home to Lilydale from Bridport on the Ferny Hill Road."

"It was about dusk - you know, about that time just before you turn your lights on. Things were getting dark but the sky was sort of bright. The road was clear and there was no dust. I remember that well."

"I came up and around a bend and turned down a small hill. The road was bad so I slowed down to about 45."

"The sides of the road were grassy - about two feet high. Coming around the corner, we caught sight of the rear half of an animal. I could gauge from the rear half that it was long for its height."

"We noticed - we talked about this later - that the animal had a curve of its spine that was unusual. I know bush animals and this was no dog or anything I had ever seen."

Betty: "Yes, that’s right. What I thought it was at first was a goat, but as soon as I thought it was a goat I knew it wasn’t. It was real different."

Sid: "The curve of the spine was humped over to the back and centre, a funny sort of curve. Then it moved slowly in a lope or sort of rolling walk and disappeared."

"The animal seemed serene, and when we were driving home and talking about it we said that if they - the Thylacine - were serene like we saw, no wonder they got killed."

Betty and Sid weren’t lying!

READ ON FOR MORE...

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