Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hallowe'en Countdown 19: Belanglo State Forest

Image Source: News.com.au.

Covering 3,800 hectares in the state of New South Wales, the woods of Belanglo State Forest have become world famous for the worst of reasons: serial murders.  This tree plantation stands just off the highway between Sydney and Canberra, and became site of seven gruesome backpacker murders in the early 1990s. The victims were three young Germans, two Britons and two Australians of Caroline Clarke, Joanne Walters, Simone Schmidl, Anja Habschied, Gabor Neugebauer, James Gibson and Deborah Everist, for whose murders Ivan Milat was ultimately convicted.

The backpacker murder victims; the missing persons poster images are here. Image Source: Reuters via Daily Mail.

Milat is serving seven consecutive life sentences, and his time in prison has been anything but uneventful. A year into his bid, he made an unsuccessful escape attempt with convicted drug dealer and former Sydney councillor George Savvas. Savvas was found the next day hanged in his cell, and Milat was transferred to Goulburn Supermax prison. In 2009, he cut off his little finger with a plastic knife. He's also swallowed razor blades and other sharp objects. In 2011, he went on a hunger strike to get a Sony Playstation.

Belanglo State Forest in 2007. Image Source: Adventure Rider.

Then in 2010, the remains of David Auchterlonie were found in the forest.  The teenager had been killed with an axe. This murder involved one of Milat's relatives, and the crime was confessed to by Chase Nathaniel Day. But other remains have been found in this grim location as well, for crimes as yet unsolved (see a report here with an interactive map of the forest and the list of missing people, here). Australian profiles of victims and missing people, including those linked to the forest, are here.

Belanglo State Forest in 2007. Image Source: Adventure Rider.

The forest is still popular with hikers and dirt bike riders.  The backpacker murders, along with the unrelated Peter Falconio case, inspired the harrowing horror film, Wolf Creek (2005). See a clip from the film below the jump.  Also below the jump, Paranormal Investigators did a 2007 show called Haunted Woodlands which investigated ghostly activity in the forest.  Their investigation didn't turn up anything tangible, other than the feeling that this forest is not the place to spend the night.

Caption for the above video: The Belanglo State Forest was one of the creepiest locations I’ve ever filmed at. Not often does it get to a point where everyone says: enough is enough … let’s get the hell out of here! No one has ever understood what actually happened out there. Something was intimidating us. The worst part was not being able to see what it was. This episode (2007) was literally thrown together with no budget at all. Most of the production gear was old school so I had to make do with what we had at the time. Regardless, I feel that the occurrences that transpired that night counter weighs the improvised production quality.

Wolf Creek (2005), part 4. Darclight/Dimension films. Video Source: Youtube.

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  1. Very sad story, but well presented and inquired by the author of this blog. Just a butcher, this Ivan Milat, to make his victims experience their last moments in a paralyzed state and use them for target-practice.

  2. Thanks for the comment and G+ reference, Dirk. Yes, this is a horrible story. It made me think of backpacking in general, how easy it is to get off the beaten track, and how benign circumstances can suddenly become dangerous or deadly.

  3. gabor neugebauer was stabbed 16 times there was blood everywhere on the tree and on the ground.