OMG Moehau Man, New Zealand’s Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy!?

Moehau Man, New Zealand’s Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy!? Sightings of the ape-like being were sometimes attributed to an escape gorilla around the mid 20th century. If a gorilla, why are they witnessed around various wild parts of New Zealand’s north and south Island? Maori folklore speaks of these Bigfoot-like giants in mountains and wild areas! Read modern accounts here not found in news reports!

West Auckland
Moehau Man, New Zealand’s Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy!? Are sightings of Moehau Man, really just an escaped gorilla? Or a real Bigfoot?!

Moehau Man, New Zealand’s Bigfoot: Fact or Fantasy!? Having grown up here in New Zealand, I never heard of the story of the Moehau Man. Though ask locals from the Coromandel region I am sure you will get a chuckle, maybe a blank stare or even an under-the-breath whispered report. It wasn’t until strange phenomena started taking place in a wild bush area, hard to get in and isolated from the general public that I started researching. There is even a children’s TV show called “ The Moe Show” that is centred around the legend.

The Moe Show, a kids program … “In the Coromandel, on top of Mt. Moehau,
lives a furry monster by the name of Moe!”

There have been a number of sightings reported to the media particularly during the mid 20th century onward. Today there are almost none reported! But that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no sightings just most are not willing to bare the jeering scorn from the public. New Zealand is high up on the list for workplace bullying. There is also a small town mentality here and anyone standing out with a bizarre tale could find themselves the target of gossip.

my own family threatened to disown me, if I continued my pursuit of this man beast!

Treading where fool’s dare, I continued my research into the mystery!

One of my own family even threatened to disown me, if I continued my pursuit of this man beast, and had to defend my interest via the courtroom! By some too that report having seen ghosts and UFO’s! One’s own tribe would banish my own existence for wanting answers.  

But how did such a scorn-worthy topic become a soul stirring battle for the truth? As the saying goes: “where there is smoke, there must be fire.” The smoke of the fire was fanned from oral traditions of Maori history as some of their elders warned of these manimal, giant man-like beings who bore a close association with the American Sasquatch. They gave them names such as: Moehau, Matau, Tuuhourangi, Maero etc. There are hundreds into thousands of various names for these man-like giants around the world. I was only too shocked to learn of by accident while exploring wild, historical, gold areas, of something bizarre taking place. To be honest I had been pretty spooked at the start and wondered if I would become a missing 411! After years of researching and exploring, sometimes at night, mostly alone I was never captured or eaten to my relief. My story here!

One shock to this study was anomalous ufo craft in some of these areas (caught on camera) & the voices in remote areas (some calling my name!). In recent months I have upgrading my audio recording gear. I have a paranormal investigator background and use that to study various phenomena. See my youtube channel for media evidence of what is transpiring!

Listening for anomalous audio among the foothills surrounding Mount Moehau ©Marc Coppell
Is there a Bigfoot UFO connection!? This is a video still of hyper-sonic ufo by Mt. Moehau
Holding a recent pro mic set-up for recording nature (shielded against RF and EMF noise). This set-up can pick up sounds 10 times the distance of a regular mic.

The Maori settled in New Zealand around 1100 AD. They reported encountering these fearsome behemoths in the wild, mountainous, bush regions. They warned early prospectors in the Coromandel gold fields not too explore the bush at night. They reported some of their people had been taken. They mention these beings had sharp talons and ‘ate’ people if someone strayed into the wrong area. My eyebrows arose when I read of familiar sign posts of encounters attributed to Bigfoot in the Americas (which Maori were unaware before the Europeans). Especially stone throwing and screams.

Aerial photo of the Mount Moehau Range ©Marc Coppell

Moehau Man named after Mt. Moehau where it is said they inhabit. The tallest mountain in the region reaching a gusty 892m above sea level. Sacred to the Marutūahu peoples. Some of their revered dead were buried at the summit, including Tamatekapua, chief of the Te Arawa canoe. A place that is ‘tapu’ or sacred, off-limits to outsiders.  Also a place of the Patupaiarehe or fair-skinned fairy people which Archaeologist, Gary Cook, has written of.

It is suggested by some that reports of these gorilla like beings were sightings of an escaped gorilla. In 1924, a mascot gorilla escaped from a ship moored off Waiaro. But that doesn’t account for earlier reports and even accounts of finding giant footprints. Rex Gilroy, Australian Cryptozoologist in the 1990’s reported finding giant fossilized footprints at the Karangahake Gorge in the Coromandel Peninsular. Gorilla’s only live to around thirty-five to forty years old, so any sightings late in the 20th century would negate that and then there are sightings in other parts of the country.

Waiaro, where a mascot gorilla supposedly escaped a ship in 1924, to account for some sightings in the area? ©Marc Coppell

Some of the following encounters I have received personally, some can be found online and some can’t be found elsewhere though I have only posted a few of these. A couple I have had video interviews with (most wont speak openly). I have gotten well over two dozen modern reports of sightings! The reports keep coming! I have omitted some old reports in favour of new sightings.

Australian cryptozoologist/author, Rex Gilroy holds some casts ©Rex Gilroy

In 1903 Large footprints are discovered by gold miners in the Karangahake Gorge district.

1952 © The Taranaki Daily News, Tuesday, 5 February 1952
Press Assoc. Auckland, NZ

“Strange Hairy Creature Reported on the East Coast Believed by some to be a gorilla”

A newspaper rendition of the mysterious Moehau, New Zealand’s Bigfoot

Persistent reports from Coromandel Peninsula say that a strange hairy creature thought by some to be a gorilla lurks at the back of the Waiaro, in the wild bush country of the Moehau Range. When Dr. Roy Norman of Waikawau, and Mr. Douglas Taiwahana of North Auckland, were pig hunting in the area, they said they caught a fleeting glimpse of a hairy man or possible a gorilla running along a bush track. Mr. F. W. Wenzlick of Amadeo Bay, said tonight that about 30 years ago a ship was lying off Waiaro Bay which had a young gorilla as mascot. The animal left the ship and got ashore. Since then there have been repeated rumors of strange occurrences in the hills. Stories deal with night intrusions into camps, dogs bristling and snarling because of a strange presence and mysterious foot-falls in the bush. A hunter, Mr. H. Beazley has found a cave with evidence of a man or beast living under primitive conditions which contained bones of animals presumably eaten raw and collections of shells. It was possible but highly improbably that the “strange hairy being” believe to be lurking in the Moehau Ranges was a gorilla or in fact any species of the ape family, the director, R. W. Roach of the Auckland zoo said tonight. If the strange creature did exist it was more probably a member of the baboon family. He would regard the story as more feasible if someone had discovered footmarks or nest in the tree-tops very much larger than that made by any known bird. Mr. Roach completely discounted any suggestions that the cave that had been discovered by Beazley was likely to have been the home of the creature. All members of the monkey families lived in nests built in the tree tops although they spent most of their time on the ground, he said.

Mount Moehau in the distance, mountain of the fairies and giants ©Marc Coppell

In 1970 campers in the Milford Sound (on the South Island) claim to have fled their camp after being threatened by a big, hairy man-like creature.


In 1971 a ranger in the Nelson Lakes National Park  finds a trail of giant man-like footprints in the snow which lead into a forest.

In 1972, in the Coromandel Range, pig hunters spot a 2 metre hair-covered creature in far-off scrub. Who then uncover large footprints at the location.

In 1976, three men climbed Mount Moehau and camped over night near the summit. Around 2am they were awoken to a strange ‘howl’ that cause them to flee the mountain. One mentioned being a skeptic and said they could not identify what creature made the sound. They are troubled by the encounter to this day.

In 2001,  An intermediate student saw something large and ape-like “…it was during intermediate school that we went on a camp in the Coromandel, I remember it was a four hour hike up to the d.o.c. (Department of Conservation) cabins we were staying in. It was night time and we were doing the rope trail through the bush, we had made it about half way around the rope trail when I saw a large lumbering figure moving along the ridge line, the camp lights were over the hill behind this creature. As it walked along the ridge line it stopped and turned to face me… at the time i assumed it was a teacher dressed up waiting to jump out and scare us.

We made our way along the rope trail and i was anticipating the teacher jumping out but we got to the end of the trail and no fright…

This thing had the same walk as the Patterson footage almost as if it had basket balls under its arms.

It seemed to be inquisitive and remained silent.

At that time i had never heard about the Moehau Man but later on in life when I heard about the moehau man and it being in or around the Coromandel area things seemed to make sense. What did i see?

I can only say i saw a large bi-pedal creature larger than a grown adult in the bush where the Moehau Man is reported to be.

I understand people struggle to believe my story, i have nothing to gain from it only ridicule but i believe i saw something that night.

If it was truly a savage being it could have easily hurt or killed us but it was just quietly watching and observing us.”

In 2018, an experienced hunter and a friend were camping an hour into remote bush in Russell State Forest when something bi-pedal approached their tent in the night, while they were resting and screamed out similar to a human. The hunter told me “This thing that screamed at us sounded out of this world. Even to this day we both wonder what it was. I’ve spent a lot of time in the bush but this things got me scratching my head a bit.”

Waitarere mountain range, West Auckland (A location of several reports, not listed) ©Marc Coppell

In 2021, at Takaka, The Grove as it’s called; A husband and wife were hiking: “Went in for a walk and about quarter of the way up the track I really felt like somebody was watching me and I could hear these noises in the bush really weird noises and there was a real creepy feeling like I was seriously being watched it happened the whole time I was in there, and some parts of it really cold and there was one part where it was really hot in there was heaps and heaps of flies anyway I was thinking about the mohau man it just came to my mind when I heard this noise that sounded like a blooming gorilla it’s hard to explain what the noise was but I thought it was really strange and I just noticed it, it felt like somebody was following me around and you could hear branches breaking in things and then when I got back out to my camper van.

I didn’t want to say anything to my husband cos I thought he would think I was being silly and he went for a walk in there and I heard this massive branch breaking right near the camper huge it sound like a tree being broken actually and he was taking quite a while in there and when he came out he said to me it felt like something was in there watching me all through the place it was really spooky and I was really surprised to hear that from him so we had a conversation about it and I told him about the Moehau Man and how they could be Sasquatch in New Zealand and you know that I read a little bit about it but not too much but it made sense to me because years ago I was in the bush where I went to a clearing we’re all these branches and snapped in half and I didn’t put anything into it at that time…

I asked my husband what the noise was that he heard and he said to me he’s never heard anything like them; they weren’t human noises and they were all different sorts of noise is he could hear it right throughout the track like he was being followed as well”

In 2021, Coromandel (exact location not given)
“I’m still trying to make sense of what happened this morning, so bare with me as I will probably sound completely bonkers here. This morning I was deep in the bush in the Coromandel, middle of fucking nowhere, at least 2.5 hours into my trek.

The only people I saw were contractors cutting the bush back on the sides of the gravel road leading into this particular track.

No other cars parked in the dead end at the start of the track.

I have a habit of hunting rivers for crystals, stones and spending time next to the river deep in the bush away from everything and anything.

This particular walk I ventured about 10 meters off the track to explore the river. I was crouched down, completely silent sifting through stones.  Facing the river with my back to the track, which ran parallel with the river,  I felt the presence of someone, turning around I saw a black figure walking in the direction of the start of the track (keep in mind I’m 2.5 hours up the track) – I found this odd as there were no other vehicles at the start of the track, so where did this person come from as I know that four hours into this hike the track ends and there’s no other connecting tracks or loop? As they walked away I noticed them brush past a large fern branch, which swung rapidly as they went past it, similar to that old “hold the branch and let it go to hit ya mate in the face” trick.

I stood there for a good thirty seconds almost frozen and consumed with a charge of unknown energy. I thought fuck this I’m heading back to the track and getting away from whatever it was. I kept my eyes on the fern for some reason. When I got back to the track, the fern was at least 13ft above the track and I couldn’t reach and grab it (I’m 6″4 with a arm reach upwards of at least 9ft) which tells me that black figure, I saw walk past and body brushing past the fern, was over 12ft tall.

My instant reaction was to head the opposite direction to the “being”, which was deeper into the bush, but after five steps everything was telling me to get the fuck out of the bush. My guides, my soul, my higher self, my guardians, my intuition, my inner, and everything and anything was screaming at me to get the fuck out of there asap, I went into survival mode and conveniently had just found a quartz crystal in the shape of a perfect dagger.

It was a very adrenaline filled dash for the next two hours out of there, and I felt like something was tracking and watching me until the last 15 minutes near the end. At times I thought I wasn’t going to be leaving that bush alive (or at all) or I’d be having the scrap of my life with a 15ft Maero (Moehau).

The track was mud, complete mud and chaos after the recent storms, so I would of seen any other hikers boot prints leaving the track, there were none. What there were though were giant “Pig Type prints” (which I have photos of), minus the two rear prongs of a boar print; but these prints were larger than my hand and went for about 20 metres and dissapeared.

Still trying to make logic of it, I thought if I go fast enough I’ll catch up to the person and it will all make sense, almost running for two hours I saw nobody.

Driving back down the gravel road leaving, I asked the contractors who were sorting the road sides trees; if they had seen anyone drive or walk out… I was the only person who had passed them all day. The track and road are the only way in and out, by foot or vehicle.

I got home and done some research and found articles regarding Moehau Man or did I see a Maero? Part of me feels it was a multi-dimensional “something” due to the way I felt after sighting it and the way it tracked me without noise.

It’s been six hours later and I still feel “shock” and can vividly see the moment. I feel blessed to of witnessed this entity, obviously by accident, but I also feel extremely lucky to be able

I won’t be exposing the exact location because humans being humans will more than likely want to hunt, track, trace and do what humans do to anything of the unknown and hurt it for their own gain.

At first I thought of it as a person, but the more I thought about it, it was tall, dark, and has a huge “hunch” or curved top of their back, but moved smoothly. I saw it for all of three seconds max through the break in the trees between the river and the track. I can’t 100% confirm head shape or look. But I can 100% confirm it was impossible to be a human due to it size and no sign of anyone else entering or leaving the track I was on.”


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