For as long as anyone can recall, club members have been fascinated with the legend of Mernagh, Emer, or whatever you choose to call The Pres. Sightings of a somewhat tall, frisbee wielding bipedal primate often accompanied by canine footprints have been reported from as far afield as the South Coast of New South Wales. Although no definitive proof exists, the (often questionable) reports continue to add up.

In one recent account, a Balance trail running expedition to the Manly dam perimeter claimed to encounter and film Mernagh while they were training for an upcoming Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko race. Trail veteran Jocie Evison described the mysterious encounter at length, “We were coming to the end of our run and making our way back to the dam for a cool down. Suddenly, we had this eerie feeling that we were not alone out there. As we stopped to regather ourselves we heard a rustling noise in the surrounding bushes and noticed the outline of a figure escaping back to the tree line. I had the presence of mind to grab my phone from my running belt and film the creature in full flight, that’s when I noticed it bore a striking resemblance to Mernagh.” Evison added, “Look, I understand it sounds crazy and there are all sorts of unknown phenomena that can cause a person to see an object where there is none, such as Jesus on a piece of toast – it happens all the time.”

While the conviction in Evison’s account is hard to dispute, club forensic video investigator Chris Hughes is not so sure about the authenticity of her claims. After conducting a detailed investigation of the footage Hughes had this to say, “For my part this has to be one of the more interesting Mernagh eye witness accounts I have been involved with. Sure, the footage is compelling and even the movement patterns of Mernagh appear authentic upon first assessment. However, it’s when we zoom in at very high resolution it becomes evident that this is indeed some type of elaborate hoax – I can clearly see a zipper holding together what appears to be a very clever costume. In my expert opinion, it would be very rare to encounter a Mernagh in these parts.”

Despite the questionable legitimacy of this particular encounter, the whereabouts of Mernagh remain an intriguing mystery and add to a concerning list of bizarre disappearances which have rocked the club in recent times.