Mystery behind a ‘giant man’ found in the Australian outback – and viewable from SPACE
- Etched into the outback of South Africa, the huge Marree Man artwork remains a mystery
- The giant figure can only be seen in full from the air, which it was for the first time 20 years ago
- Nobody knows who created it, but some say American, others a local artist
- Dick Smith is offering a $5000 reward to anyone who can solve the puzzle
With its lower region stretching for more than 400 meters, there is no doubt about the Marree Man’s manliness.
As proof that size really does matter, anyone who can explain how the 4.2 km tall figure, also known as Stuart’s Giant, was carved in the red dust of central Australia can rake in the princely sum of $5,000.
That’s the sum entrepreneur Dick Smith raised in 2018 to find out who was behind the artwork, which appears to depict an Indigenous hunter throwing a boomerang, or spear, in remote South Australia, some 700km north of Adelaide.
No one knows how the 4.2km long Marree Man figure was etched into the remote outback of central Australia, or who did it
The figure, which has an outline 28 km long and whose engravings reach into the desert about 45 meters wide and 35 cm deep, was named after the nearest small settlement of Marree.
The scale of Marree Man is such that it was only recognized as a single sketch by a man named Trec Smith flying a small plane overhead in 1998.
“It was huge and really deep sculpted,” Mr. Smith said in the 2016 short The Mystery of the Marree Man.
“It was really noticeable, so I thought at the time everyone up there must have known – it was so obvious.
“When we came back to Marree, of course that wasn’t the case. Nobody knew about it.’
Businessman Dick Smith describes the Marree Man as a “class crime thriller” and is offering $5,000 to anyone able to solve the mystery
A few days later, anonymous faxes were sent to Marree shops and SA media.
“On a plateau 36 miles northwest of Marree there is a huge drawing of an Aborigine, more than two miles long,” the first fax said.
The faxes contained American spelling and references, such as distances in miles.
A few days later, authorities discovered an American flag near the Marree Man and a note mentioning the infamous US cult of the Branch Davidians.
A later fax promised that there was a dedication plaque buried near Marree Man’s nose.
Following the fax’s instructions, authorities dug up the plaque along with an American flag and what appeared to be Olympic rings.
The late Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg is said to have been behind the creation of the Marree Man
Even more bizarre was that later faxes promised that clues were buried near giant figures etched into the English countryside, and these clues were later 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 the late Alice Springs artist Bardius Goldberg, who has reportedly confessed on his deathbed that the Marree Man was his work.
Other mysteries remain about how the gigantic figure was made at a time when GPS technology was in its infancy and how its creation, which would have required heavy earthmoving machinery, was kept secret.
The character is now literally part of the scenery.
Locals agreed it was being traced back by earth movers in 2016 when the outline faded.
Still no one has come forward to claim Dick Smith’s bounty.
“This is the classic crime thriller of all time,” Mr Smith said in 2016.
“Because people around the world have been trying to find out who made Marree Man for 18 years and no one knows.”