Located in Queensland, Australia, 26 kilometers to the south of Cooktown lies they mysterious Black Trevethan Range, the Black Mountain. Consisting of granite jumbles of black rocks this mountain is inhabited by frogs, wallabies, gigantic pythons and a strange beast that goes by the name of the Queensland Tiger. Many walk into this collection of large black rocks, but very few ever walk out.
The mountain is certainly significant for the Aborigines. Kalkajaka is what they call it, the name meaning the place of the spear or more loosely translated as mountains of death. The Aboriginal stories of how it evolved certainly add to mystery of this incredible mountain range. The Aboriginal belief is that the mountain originated in the dreamtime with a man, being similar to a medicine man and also a chameleon, who had the taste for human flesh. He killed and ate a young chief and so was banished and fled to the mountains, occasionally surfacing to eat a human or two from his own tribe. On his last venture out of the mountains he turned into a goanna to escape his angry fellow tribe members and had the misfortune of being struck by lightening. Being no ordinary goanna he exploded and left large piles of charred rock everywhere.
One man, however, did go in and come out. Being an experienced bushman he entered the caves armed with a loaded revolver and an electric torch.
His chilling story follows. I stepped into the opening, like other Black Mountain caves it dipped steeply downwards, narrowing as it went. Suddenly I found myself facing a solid wall of rock, but the the right there was a passageway just large enough for me to enter in a stooping position. I moved along it carefully for several yards. The floor was fairly level, the walls of very smooth granite. The passage twisted and turned this way and tat, always sloping deeper into the earth. Presently I began to feel uneasy. A huge bat beat it's wings against me as it passed, however I forced myself on, to push further. Soon my nostrils were filled with a sickly musty stench.
Then my torch went out.
I was in total darkness. From somewhere, that seemed the bowels of the earth I could hear a faint moaning which was then followed by the flapping of wings of thousands of bats. I began to panic as I groped and floundered back the way I thought I had come. My arms and legs were bleeding from bumps with unseen rocks. My outstretched hands clawed at space, I expected solid walls and floors, but could not find it. At one stage where I had wandered into a side passage, I came to the brink of what was undoubtedly a precipice-judging by the echoes.
The air was foul and I felt increasing dizziness. Terrifying thoughts were racing through my mind about giant rock-pythons I have seen around this mountain. As I crawled along, getting weaker and loosing hope of ever coming out alive, I saw a tiny streak of light. It gave me super strength to worm my way towards a small cave mouth half a mile from the one I had entered. Reaching the open air I gulped in lung fulls of it and fell down exhausted. I later found that I had been underground for five hours, most of the time on my hands and knees. A Kings ransom would not induce me to enter those caves again.
Another strange thing about the black mountains is that a creature is said to be lurking within. Described as being cat-like it has been spotted clambering over the boulders on quite a few occasions. Now dubbed the Queensland Tiger this beast is attributed to the cattle mauling and disappearances within the vicinity.
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