Unsolved Wonnangatta couple vanish in a bunch of too many odd disappearances - Enter 'The Button Man'

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SmAshmoto

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I imagine a lot of people wouldn't go camping in that region without a gun, is there any suggestion this couple had one?
Not necessarily Shelly, I've been camping up there for 2 years now and never carried a firearm. There are a lot up there though, plenty of hunters around as well as the local farmers. I will always have some form of weapon with me while camping, usually a knife, as I use it a lot while camping anyway. It's also there for protection if need be, but hope to God I'd never have to use it. There is no information that Russell or Carol had a gun, but it would be very likely Russell would have had a knife of some variety on him.


Do we know what were they using as a power source to charge the battery?
Given the setup Russell had, I'd dare say he had a second battery with an inverter attached. An inverter allows you to run 240v (household power plug) items off of a 12v system. Most people who use drones, cameras, gopros etc in the touring/4wding circles use them.


While never a pillar of truth or integrity, ACA ran a story on this saga last night. Interesting to see Bruce McCormack on there recounting the photographer incident. Bruce is the president of the Mountain Cattleman's Association and is a very respected figure in the Victorian High Country so for him to be recounting the story tells me it's legitimate.

The new potential sightings mentioned are definitely within a drivable and realistic distance from where they went missing too. In the attached image, the orange circle is roughly where they went missing, the blue circles around Eaglevale and Black Snake Creek are where they were allegedly sighted.
 

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Kurve

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Not necessarily Shelly, I've been camping up there for 2 years now and never carried a firearm. There are a lot up there though, plenty of hunters around as well as the local farmers. I will always have some form of weapon with me while camping, usually a knife, as I use it a lot while camping anyway. It's also there for protection if need be, but hope to God I'd never have to use it. There is no information that Russell or Carol had a gun, but it would be very likely Russell would have had a knife of some variety on him.
Yeah I wouldn't go camping through there without a swiss army and bowie knife and a hatchet probably. And sleep with it under my pillow, in my night vision goggles.

Put some trip wires in around your tent when next you go Smash. Just in case. :eek:
 

Wombot

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If the couple wished to elope, they chose the least inconspicuous way to do it. They would have known they’d become a headline to simply disappear, fire or not. So to elope and become national news whilst doing it? They would have to be incredibly stupid. Surely a phone call to the wife telling her that he’s found someone else would have been much easier.

I doubt the sightings are genuine, but it’s possible. There are unintelligent people around. But foul play is most likely, then the possibility of death by misadventure. There is also the possibility that the male is the offender but how did he get out of there if his vehicle remained? Foul play by a third party is still the most likely scenario in my opinion.
 

flashmanvc

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The guys at work shared their Button Man stories this week, it's certainly been the topic de jour.

The first encounter (I wasn't there) was when my colleagues saw his camp and went over to say hi. He saw them coming, jumped out of his hammock and ducked into his tent. Taking the hint my mates returned to their site. A few hours later, well into the night, he came out of the darkness to sit around the fire with the boys. General chat was had: he did comment, though, on a feral dog lair that was nearby and that deer shooters make too much noise to notice this kind of stuff.

The strange thing (well, kind of odd) was that my mate swears he had a short beard when he was in his hammock but was clean shaven when he rolled up at the fire later on.

We had two of our guys service the rain gauge at high ridge two weeks ago and can confirm he wasn't there...

... OR WAS HE!!!!!!

Screen grab of high ridge location and a shot from the top of the walking track nearby.
Screenshot_20191223_190815_com.google.android.apps.maps.jpeg
IMG_20191224_072648.jpeg
 

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PenfoldsFan

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Do we know what were they using as a power source to charge the battery?
Pictures i've seen show a 12v car/deep cycle type battery within the burnt out area which had been extensively melted, it didn't look to have been contained in an Arkpak or Engel type battery case and appeared to have at least 1 wire coming from one of the terminals.
 

SmAshmoto

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Another interesting thing about this case is that it seems to have flourishes of updates and information, then goes totally silent for a few days. Seems strange for an active missing persons case to me
 

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zedx

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If the couple wished to elope, they chose the least inconspicuous way to do it. They would have known they’d become a headline to simply disappear, fire or not. So to elope and become national news whilst doing it? They would have to be incredibly stupid. Surely a phone call to the wife telling her that he’s found someone else would have been much easier.

I doubt the sightings are genuine, but it’s possible. There are unintelligent people around. But foul play is most likely, then the possibility of death by misadventure. There is also the possibility that the male is the offender but how did he get out of there if his vehicle remained? Foul play by a third party is still the most likely scenario in my opinion.
Totally agree with you that they would not have eloped in this way, why would they? it doesn't make any sense. People have no need to elope and leave everything behind in this day and age. The sightings are more than likely just wishful thinking. IMO there is a third party involved, likely scenario is some one tried to steal his drone and things went terribly wrong.
 

SmAshmoto

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Spoke with my dad about this and he came up with a different spin on things.

Russell and Carol have headed off for a hike and taken the drone, both have gotten lost or been injured and during their absence someone has stolen items from their campground and torched it to hide evidence.

Just another take on it...
 

Mr Blicavs

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Just an older couple whove run off together IMHO.... long time friends who spent a lot of time together. Its not uncommon
 

FrankGrimes

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Just an older couple whove run off together IMHO.... long time friends who spent a lot of time together. Its not uncommon
Ran off with no cash? Haven’t access accounts, no large withdrawals in weeks/days leading up to it..
running off isn’t really plausible, most likely lost drone went looking got lost etc....
fire just adds a strange twist.
 

zedx

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I've read a few comments where people have said it's an old wives tale.
Would not be in the least bit be surprised if he is a wives tale, or partly wives tale! Or even just some of the crazy stories about him are wives tales!
So many, dont know what to believe some times
 

BILC

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Spoke to my old man on the weekend about this who works for DELWP in the high country. He told me he has seen The Button Man a few times but has never had any issues with him. He told me stories of a really strange guy that lives in Abbeyard near Mt Buffalo that he often drives past that has had a lot of run ins with people. This guy got a girlfriend a few years ago who eventually moved in with him up in his hut, she stayed there for a while but was actually found dead in the bush by some hunters last year, the old man tells me police are 100% sure this guy up there killed her but they can't pin it on him.



Dad told me a couple of stories about him including having to tell him to remove wires he had strung up across the river to try and stop canoes and kayaks and telling him off for trying to bleed deer that he has killed in the river. One that crept me out the most was that a colleague of his was camped in a hut up there a few weeks ago while baiting feral dogs which this guy has a problem with. Around 3am a truck pulls up out the front of his hut and just starts revving it's engine, so this guy walks out and taps on the window, he rolls it down and says "lovely evening isn't it" and drives off. The police later charged him with breaching covid restrictions for this funnily enough.

Anyway, the old man says Wonnangatta is part of what he considers his 'turf' and thinks that this guy is much more likely to have something to do with it than the button man.
 

SmAshmoto

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Spoke to my old man on the weekend about this who works for DELWP in the high country. He told me he has seen The Button Man a few times but has never had any issues with him. He told me stories of a really strange guy that lives in Abbeyard near Mt Buffalo that he often drives past that has had a lot of run ins with people. This guy got a girlfriend a few years ago who eventually moved in with him up in his hut, she stayed there for a while but was actually found dead in the bush by some hunters last year, the old man tells me police are 100% sure this guy up there killed her but they can't pin it on him.



Dad told me a couple of stories about him including having to tell him to remove wires he had strung up across the river to try and stop canoes and kayaks and telling him off for trying to bleed deer that he has killed in the river. One that crept me out the most was that a colleague of his was camped in a hut up there a few weeks ago while baiting feral dogs which this guy has a problem with. Around 3am a truck pulls up out the front of his hut and just starts revving it's engine, so this guy walks out and taps on the window, he rolls it down and says "lovely evening isn't it" and drives off. The police later charged him with breaching covid restrictions for this funnily enough.

Anyway, the old man says Wonnangatta is part of what he considers his 'turf' and thinks that this guy is much more likely to have something to do with it than the button man.

I've heard about this guy. There's actually two up around Mt Buffalo - the one you mentioned and another guy who's a full blown tin foil hat wearing, government wants to control my brain type.

Not sure if it's already been shared or not, but found a thread from a skiing/Alpine forum talking about this disappearance, and it features a rather terrifying story of one Snowshoe hikers run in with a hermit up near Bluff Hut. Good read!

 

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