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Bul Bul (Tracker)

Tracker Bul Bul also referred to as Buln Buln in some references was regarded as one of the Territories greatest trackers. According to Sidney Downers book Patrol Indefinite Bul Bul had down two years in prison for a tribal murder and upon his release was appointed a tracker.


He “subsequently built himself a reputation that struck fear into native malefactors all over the Territory.”


Bul Buls most famous escapade started in July 1931 when an acclaimed Aboriginal warrior, Nemarluk and others killed three Japanese shark fishermen aboard the vessel Ouida near Port Keats. Whilst others in his group were captured Nemarluk evaded arrest until 4 May 1933 when he was apprehended at Legune Station by Bul Bul and another tracker who lay in wait for him whilst a patrol flushed him out.


Six months later Nemarluk made good his escape from Darwin Prison on 23 September 1933. Tracker Smiler and another tracker tracked him to Charles Point where Nemarluk threw a spear at Smiler and knocked the second tracker unconscious. Smiler fired at Nemarluk and despite being hit once he again made good his escape.


Bul Bul was back on Nemarluks tracks near Legune Station several months later after information was received that he had returned to that area. Bul Bul hid out in the bush awaiting Nemarluk who he believed would seek out some tabaccoo at Legune Station. Nemarluk did return and one night whilst camping away from the main group, a naked and greased up Bul Bul crept into the thicket that Nemarluk was sleeping in and captured him.


Follow up

Source images - see p 59 Fuller's manuscript http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/081754 ADELAIDE RIVER, NT. 1944-10-23. BUL-BUL, A FAMOUS TRACKER AND HEAD POLICE BOY AT THE NATIVE SETTLEMENT CONTROLLED BY THE ARMY. HE WAS A LEADING CHARACTER IN ION EIDRESS'S BOOK "MAN TRACKS".

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