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Mystery surrounds a ‘giant man’ found in the Australian outback – and it can be seen from SPACE
- Giant Marree Man artwork etched in SA outback remains a mystery
- Giant figure can only be seen completely from the air and was first spotted 20 years ago
- No one knows who made it; some say Americans but others say a local artist
- Dick Smith is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can solve the riddle
With its underworld stretching for more than 400 meters, there is no doubt about the Marree Man’s masculinity.
As proof that size does matter, anyone who can explain how the 2.6-mile figure, also known as Stuart’s Giant, was sketched in the red dust of central Australia can pocket the hefty $5,000.
That’s the sum that entrepreneur Dick Smith set up in 2018 to find out who’s behind the artwork that appears to depict an Indigenous hunter throwing a boomerang or spear in remote South Australia, about 700km north of Adelaide.
No one knows how the 2.6-mile Marree Man was etched in the remote outback of central Australia or who did it
The perimeter of the artwork is 28 km long with a groove about 45 meters wide and 35 cm deep in the desert.
It can even be seen from space, with NASA’s Landsat 8 releasing images of the figure in 2020.
From the ground it is too big to comprehend and was only identified as a single sketch by a man named Trec Smith, who flew a small plane above him in 1998.
“It was huge and very deeply sculpted,” said Mr. Smith in the 2016 short film, “The Mystery of the Marree Man.”
“It was really noticeable, so I thought at the time everyone up there must have known – that was so obvious.
‘Obviously that wasn’t the case when we got back to Marree. Nobody knew about it.’
Businessman Dick Smith describes the Marree Man as a ‘class whodunnit’ and offers $5,000 to anyone who can solve the mystery
A few days later, anonymous faxes were sent to Marree companies and SA media outlets.
“On a plateau 58 kilometers northwest of Marree is a huge drawing of an Aboriginal over two miles long,” the first fax read.
The faxes had American spelling and references, such as measuring distance in miles.
A few days later, authorities discovered an American flag near the Marree Man and a note calling the infamous American cult the Branch Davidians.
A later fax promised that a dedication plaque had been buried close to Marree Man’s nose.
Authorities followed the fax’s directions and dug up the plaque, along with an American flag and what appeared to be Olympic rings.
Late Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg is suspected of being behind the creation of the Marree Man
Even more bizarrely, later faxes promised that clues had been buried near giant figures etched in the English countryside and these clues were subsequently found.
Two local artists are suspected of being behind the Marree Man.
Robin Cooke, who created Marree’s Mutonia Sculpture Park, denies it was him.
A more likely suspect could be the late Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg, who reportedly confessed on his deathbed that the Marree Man was his handiwork.
Other mysteries remain about how the giant figure was created, at a time when GPS technology was in its infancy and how its creation, which would have required heavy earth-moving equipment, was kept a secret.
The figure is now definitely part of the landscape, in a very literal way.
Locals approved of it being tracked down by earth-moving equipment in 2016 when its contours faded.
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 all over the world have been trying to figure out who did Marree Man and nobody knows.”