Dick Smith offering $5000 for anyone who can identify Marree Man creator

By @chelean on
Marree Man from the air, circa 1998
Marree Man from the air, circa 1998 Peter Campbell, Wikimedia Commons

Dick Smith wants information leading to the creator of the Marree Man, a modern geoglyph of what appears to depict an indigenous Australian hunter brandishing a weapon. The Australian entrepreneur is offering $5000 reward to anyone who can provide information to help identity the person behind the desert artwork.

It was 20 years ago on June 26, 1998, when a charter pilot flying between Marree and Coober Pedy in South Australia discovered the over three-kilometre geoglyph in the remote part of the desert. The Marree Man appears to be a human figure holding either a stick or a boomerang. There had been speculations but no definite answer as to who created it.

Smith said he has spent two years investigating the mystery, but so far, he has nothing. He has a few theories, though, and none of them are of the alien variety.

“There’s been so many different claims and the only one I don’t believe in is that it was done from outer space,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide on Monday. He said he believed that whoever made it must have used satellite technology to create an accurate figure.

“I can’t see how it was done by one person. You’d have to have three or four to do it, and it would take weeks to put in,” he said. Adding that the Marree Man was “very professionally done.” And since he believed it was a team effort, he was amazed that the mystery remained intact for 20 years.

Eager to crack the mystery behind the creator of the Marree Man, Smith said he would reward $5000 to anyone who could provide information leading to the mystery creator or creators’ identity. He was even willing to keep the identity of the creator’s a secret.

“If somebody rang me up and said, ‘Dick, I want the $5000 but on the understanding you won’t tell nayone,’ and then gave me the evidence…” Smith said. “I’ll give them the $5000 and then keep it secret.”

He continued, “But then I’m going to tell everyone, ‘I know who did it, but unfortunately they don’t want to be known so you’re going to have to do your own work to work it out.”

Upon the Marree Man’s discovery, there had been anonymous “press releases” sent to media and local businesses. In the press releases, the Marree Man was called Stuart’s Giant, in reference to explorer John McDoull Stuart. They claimed it seemed to be “the world’s largest work of art.”

The press releases also prompted speculations that it was created by Americans because they used American spelling and phrases, such as using miles instead of kilometres and calling Aborigines as “from the local Indigenous Territories.” According to reports, a plaque featuring an American flag was also found near the site.