Nullarbor Nymph

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The Nullarbor Nymph, referring to supposed sightings of a half naked woman living amongst kangaroos on the Nullarbor Plain, was a hoax perpetrated in Australia between 1971 and 1972.

Events[edit]

The first report on 26 December 1971 was by professional kangaroo shooters from Eucla in Western Australia, near the border with South Australia. They claimed to have seen a blond, white woman amongst some kangaroos, and backed their story with grainy amateur film showing a woman wearing kangaroo skins and holding a kangaroo by the tail. After further sightings were claimed, the story was reported around the world, and journalists descended upon the town of Eucla which had a population of 8 people at the time.[1]

Unveiling of the hoax[edit]

The incident was eventually revealed as a hoax, initiated as a publicity stunt. The girl on film turned out to be a 17-year-old model named Janice Beeby. She did appear in a photograph taken later, as an evidence of the Nullarbor Nymph, but the woman in the original photograph used by the media to perpetuate the hoax was Geneice Brooker,[2] the partner of Laurie Scott; he was one of the kangaroo shooter hoaxers. Scott admitted to the Sunday Mail in 1972 that the hoax was created by a passing publicist who happened to be in the Eucla Hotel and had contacts within the media.

Influence[edit]

In 1992 artist Dora Dallwitz started her research on the Nullarbor Nymph Hoax which culminated in a dissertation on the subject and several exhibitions. Nullarbor Nymph sculptures were shown in 1994 at an exhibition held for students graduating from their Masters Degree in Sculpture, and in 2000 and 2004 at Topfloor Gallery in Adelaide. Her main sculpture - 'After the Nullarbor Nymph,' which was cast into bronze, was exhibited in front of the SA Museum for three months, was selected in the 2004 Sculpture By the Sea exhibition in Sydney, and is now on display in front of the Flinder's Medical Centre in Adelaide.

In 1994 an installation at the Australian National Gallery referred to the myth [3] The issue gets raised as an urban myth periodically.[4]

In 2012 a low-budget movie titled The Nullarbor Nymph was produced out of Ceduna, South Australia and written and directed by Mathew J. Wilkinson. The mockumentary depicts the Nymph as tormenting men who travel across the Nullarbor. The film premiered in Ceduna on March 3rd 2012 and then across Australia in following months. The film received much hype thanks to radio announcer Merrick Watts of Triple M's Merrick and The Highway Patrol show which aired across Australia. A Sydney premiere was held on May 22nd and the film received positive reviews given its $25 000 budget. [2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Nymph of Nullarbor.(The World; AUSTRALIA)", Time (Time, Inc) 99 (4), 1972-01-24: 38, ISSN 0040-781X 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Thomas, Daniel (1994), "Nullarbor nymph miss or myth?. -Exploration of Miss or Myth, Antony Hamilton's installation in the Virtual Reality exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia-", National Gallery News (Nov/ Dec 1994): 28–31, retrieved 8 June 2012 
  4. ^ "Did a mysterious beauty run wild with the kangaroos? Urban Myths.(Features)", Sunday Times (London, England) (NI Syndication Limited), 2009-02-15: 7, ISSN 0956-1382 

External links[edit]