Mystery behind a 'giant man' that was found in the Australian outback

Mystery surrounds a ‘giant man’ that was found in the Australian outback – and it can be seen from SPACE

  • The giant Marree Man artwork etched into the SA outback remains a mystery 
  • Giant figure can only be fully seen from the air, which it first was 20 years ago
  • No one knows who created it but some say Americans others a local artist 
  • Dick Smith is offering a $5000 reward to anyone who can solve the riddle 

With his nether region stretching for more than 400 metres, there is no doubting the Marree Man’s manhood.

However, in proof that size does indeed matter, anyone who can explain how the 4.2km tall figure, also known as Stuart’s Giant, came to be sketched into the red dust of central Australia stands to pocket the hefty amount of $5,000.

That’s the sum put up by business entrepreneur Dick Smith in 2018 to find out who is behind the artwork that appears to show an Indigenous hunter throwing a boomerang or spear in remote South Australia, about 700km north of Adelaide.

No one knows how the 4.2km figure Marree Man was etched into the remote outback of central Australia or who did it

The artwork’s outline measures 28km in length with a furrow that is roughly 45 metres wide and 35cm deep into the desert.

It can even be seen from space, with NASA’s Landsat 8 releasing images of the figure in 2020. 

From a ground level it is too large to be comprehended and was only identified as a single sketch by a man named Trec Smith, who was flying a small airplane overhead in 1998. 

‘It was huge and sculpted really deeply,’ Mr Smith said in the short 2016 film ‘The Mystery of the Marree Man’.

‘It was really noticeable, so I thought at the time everyone must have known about up there – that is was so obvious.

‘When we got back into Marree, of course, that wasn’t the case. No one knew anything about it.’

Businessman Dick Smith describes the Marree Man as a ‘class whodunnit’ and offers $5000 to any one able to solve the mystery

 A few days later, anonymous faxes were sent to Marree businesses and SA media outlets.

‘On a plateau 36 miles north-west of Marree, there is a giant drawing of an Aboriginal more than two miles long,” the first fax said.

The faxes had American spelling and references, such as measuring the distance in miles. 

A few days later, authorities discovered an American flag near the Marree Man and a note that mentioned infamous US cult the Branch Davidians.

A later fax promised there was a dedicatory plaque that been buried close to Marree Man’s nose.

Following the fax’s directions, authorities dug up the plaque along with an American flag and what seemed to be Olympic rings. 

Deceased Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg is suspected to have been behind the creation of the Marree Man

Even more bizarrely, later faxes promised there were clue buried near giant figures etched into the English countryside and these clues were subsequently found.

Two local artists have been suspected of being behind the Marree Man.

Robin Cooke, who created Marree’s Mutonia Sculpture Park, denies it was him.

A more likely suspect might be deceased Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg, who reportedly made a deathbed confession the Marree Man was his handiwork.

There remain other mysteries about how the gigantic figure was made, at a time when GPS technology was in its infancy and how its creation, which would have needed heavy earth-moving equipment, was kept a secret.

The figure is certainly part of the scenery now, in a very literal way.

Locals approved it being retraced by earth movers in 2016 when the outlines were fading. 

Still no one has stepped forward to claim Dick Smith’s bounty.

‘This is the classic whodunnit of all time,’ Mr Smith said in 2016.

‘Because for 18 years people around the world have been trying to find out who did Marree Man and nobody knows.’ 

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