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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mount Oxley, New South Wales

There are several shallow craters on top of Mt Oxley and no one knows how they got there. They were there when Captain James Stuart first climbed the mountain in 1828 and the mystery still hasn't been solved.

He and another explorer Sturt reported hearing what sounded like a gun discharging or explosions coming from the mountain.

Dr J. Burton Clellend wrote a paper about it, here is an extract.

There was an interesting report from a Mr D.G. Stead. He wrote "In regard to mysterious rumblings or explosive sounds - when I was on the dry Bogan during August of last year, I stayed for two nights on Mr Barton's station at Mooculta. While there, and while discussing various natural phenomena with Mr Reginald Kirkwood, Mr Barton's manager, the former told me that, not infrequently, at the end of the very hot days just around and a little after sundown were to be heard coming from the direction of Mt Oxley (which I could see from there, and which is a distant about fourteen or fifteen miles) rumbling explosive sounds, sometimes loud, sometimes muffled, according to the state of the atmosphere and the direction of the wind. I suggest that it would probably be caused by bursting rock which had become intensely heated during the day, and was undergoing a rapid cooling process. He agreed that this was extremely probable, but could not say from actual observation. He also told me that the summit of Mt Oxley had numerous peculiar crater-shaped conical depressions: these were only about the summit. This was most interesting to me and I specially noted it in my book at the time. Upon making a close enquiry later, I found similar sounds had been heard coming from Mount Gundabooka, which I have also seen, and which is about forty miles SSW from Oxley. Now both of these short ranges stand up like islands in a veritable 'ocean' of plain country, the radiation from which must be enormous.

There are many other theories but no one knows for sure. Mount Oxley is on private property 50 klm from Bourke and a gate key is available from the the Visitor's Information Centre.