The growing legend of The Button Man “Buttons”

Context of Buttons’

In Victoria, as a result of a recent missing person case, it has come to the publics attention of a bushman in the area of this missing person case and other older missing person cases. Buttons’ is said to be lithe and moves much quicker than other 70 years olds. He hunts using a spear, lives and hikes in the bush while using his downtime to create buttons out of deer antlers – this has given him the nickname. He visits with campers and has asked them to see his axe collection or just sits uninvited silently—the button man shops in Mansfield, a small town in the high country.

Since the media has highlighted Buttons’ his legend is quickly growing.

Haunted Hills does not discuss recent crimes.

At the time of writing, Buttons is not a known criminal.  A person of interest does not necessarily mean he is a suspect either. But someone who may have valuable information to drive an investigation further.

All we know at the moment he is a character who has an intriguing hobby, unusual living situation, which make him seem like a curiosity also. Let’s not get swept up in the modern-day creation of a freak show. His hobby is valid. Hunting is an accepted hobby; using the whole animal is a responsible and respectful way to honour the animal by some hunters standards. While there are many beliefs about hunting it is not illegal, especially in the areas he is hunting as there are reports of plague proportion deer populations.

Why is it that this story has captured so many imaginations? Partly this is propelled by tenuous links to some disappearances. At this stage, it is just as likely he has nothing to do with those. People love connecting coincidences.

Innocent until proven guilty.

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A word of caution

There is a legend of the “Missing White Woman” from 1841. Haunted Hills is planning on delving deeper into this case when we research the area around the 90 Mile Beach. Investigations started after the Britannia wrecked on the beach. Colonisers believed Aboriginal people kidnapped a white woman from the ship.

There never was any evidence of this. However, it had devastating consequences, including an actual, evidenced kidnapping of a young Aboriginal man tortured for information on this woman, nobody was sure was missing.

The first Australian bush people

The original bushmen of the Australian bush were the First Nation’s people. While their ways seem foreign to the Western eye, it was a community and thriving lifestyle taking what they needed as they cared for the land.

However, since colonisation, the bushmen, or bushrangers have built legends on their evil, thievery and sometimes murderous ways. At the same time, the original caretakers of the bush were villainised, dehumanised and killed for the crime of being different.

I have a bit of reservation about glorifying the bushrangers, especially when Aboriginal people were treated so poorly for existing. Besides the modern-day bushrangers would be those home invaders who are causing quite some trauma and terror in the suburbs. We don’t glorify them. Plus, it is also not acceptable to attempt to harm police or threaten to harm them. Nor is it fair to harm people who are different.


However, this post will discuss the legends which amplifying Buttons legend.

The bushranger, though in the minds of many is the legend the creation of the myth of the button man would harken back t.

Haunted Hills has covered some stories of bushrangers, but as with my statement above, it is not in a glorifying sense. Many bushrangers killed, injured people and stole property.

6b Rosedale Bushranger

7b The Gentlemanly Bushranger

But you can listen to those on our Patreon.com/hauntedhills

Haunted Hills legend

Part of the Haunted Hills legend says the reason mysterious things occurred in the hills was due to criminals working on creeping out and keeping good folk out. You can hear more about that legend:

Bigfoot and Yowies are another bush legend

While The Button Man is a man, other myths of the bush which capture minds and keep people going out and investigating. These creatures have many theories about them. Which Haunted Hills has written about in details. The leading assumption is that these are large hairy creatures maybe even an early humanoid who did not evolve and are now living in obscurity in the bush trying to stay away from people.

There are counterarguments to this, especially in countries which cleared large swathes of land which has destroyed habitats leading to the extinction of animals.

A different theory is that bigfoot, yowies are a spiritual creature.


Big Cats

We have covered this in more detail and throughout some of our episodes, Haunted Hills and Traralgon History.

There is also another article we have written.

In short, sightings have occurred all over Gippsland of big cats.

Mountain legends

1928 ‘FROM OUR SHELVES’, Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), 19 January, p. 31. , viewed 30 May 2020

Legends of mountains or people or creatures of the hills in media

1942 ‘NEW FILMS’, The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), 1 August, p. 3. , viewed 30 May 2020

The X-files had many episodes which elevate or created mountain legends:

Darkness Falls – investigating the disappearance of a logging team in the mountains harvesting ancient trees. The mysterious element was a green glowing bug.

Alien abductions regularly occurred in mountainous areas.

In Field Trip, Mulder and Scully while investigating a missing person in a hilly area are rendered unconscious while having a hallucination while their bodies are left at the mercy of the legendary creature.

If you’re interested in other legends

Green Man
Cursed graves from around the world

Historic crimes

Wonnangatta murder mystery


If you want to comment on crime

I’m looking for responses to historical cases from the Yallourn township.


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