At 2,834 kilometers long, with a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour and very rare road stops between towns, the Stuart Highway makes for one of the riskiest Australian highways to drive. Nonetheless, it isn’t just road accidents that afflict these outback roads.
Between 2004 and 2007, a series of still-unsolved disappearances afflicted the Tennant Creek area of Northern Territory; each one just as unexplainable as the next.
Brett Was Ready
The 10th of April 2006 began just like any day. 26-year-old Brett McGillivray got ready for his nursing placement at the Bethesda Hospital in Claremont, let his parents know he “may be a little late home”, and left in his normal vehicle – a white Toyota Camry.
Little did Brett’s family know, they would never see their son again.
When Brett’s mum Rosa reached home from work, she had a message waiting on her answering machine. It was Brett’s university. He hadn’t turned up to his nursing placement that morning. He’d also left his medication in the fridge – something he would never leave without.
His parents paused the night out, calling around and expecting he’d turn up at a mate’s place. When he still hadn’t come home the following day, the McGillivray’s reported him missing.
His investigation, nonetheless, took a weird turn. Brett had turned his phone off the time he’d left the home and driven straight to the bank, withdrawing cash before heading out of town.
CCTV footage was recovered, recognizing him at an ATM in Ceduna, a whopping 20 hours (1,920 kilometers) away. On the 14th of April – 4 days after he’d left – he was glimpsed acting confused and sleeping ‘off-road’ on Luritja Road in Northern Territory.
Brett Stopped At Petrol Pump
On the 15th of April, he had stopped by an Alice Springs petrol station to refuel his car.
On the 22nd of April, a trucker noticed a white Toyota Camry parked at a rest stop in Attack Creek, Northern Territory. When he saw it still sitting in the exact spot on the 26th of April, he reported it to the police. The vehicle was substantiated to belong to Brett McGillivray and contained Brett’s wallet and cell phone, with his keys still in the ignition.
A land and air search for Brett was started and appeals to both Western Australia and Northern Territory were launched. Both failed to discover any clue of missing Brett McGillivray.
Had Brett’s love of travel sent him on this weird adventure? Has he encountered a breakdown? Had he run away to begin a new life? Or was there something more sinister behind Brett’s tale?