Photo. In 1980, two-month-old Azaria Chamberlain was snatched by a wild dingo. In their own words, her family finally shares their tradegic story.
Image copyright from the miniserie Trial in the Outback” including a photo from Travel Explorations. © Travel Explorations.
Observing the continuously shifting colours of Ayers Rock, Uluru, in Australia, on a far distance, at sunset and sunrise, is real rewarding.
Ayers Rock, Uluru, a natual and world famous landmark in Australia. Take a walk on the wild side here, immerse yourself in indigenous culture, admire the stunning desert scenery, climb to the top, get a fantastic view, explore rock carvings, sleep under the vast, starry sky, and perhaps ride a camel through the desert. Probabaly the most fascinating about Ulru is the shift of colurs: and bear in mind that the colours on the rock are never more vibrant than at sunset. The reason it that Ulru is made of sandstone infused with minerals like feldspar (Arkosic sandstone). These reflect the red light of sunrise and sunset, making it appear to glow.
Formerly known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is made of sandstone about half a billion years old. It stands 348 metres high and has a circumference of 9.4 km. Ulru lies at Australia's heart and has fascinated people. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area, known as the Aṉangu. The area around the formation is home to an abundance of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the things that make Uluru even cooler is the way in which it's actually something of a land iceberg, with a gigantic 2.5 km of its mass stretching underground – that's about seven times its height above ground!
This was some of my activities when visited the site in July 1987. Today it gives me time to read my diary and think back how it was. To put it in real perspective this site was a scene for a incident that collared the nation for decades: a crime mystery. The case of Azaria Chamberlain became one of the most famous and controversial criminal cases in Australian history. The year before I arrived here, a new evidence came to light, including the discovery of Azaria's matinee jacket near a dingo den.
There are myths and magic embodied in Uluru, and mysteries written across its face, but one thing exceed everything. Yesterday (27th October 2023) I watched the last episode of the miniserie "Trial in the Outback”. As I rember from my stay in Australia, and of course, especially in the site of Ayers Rock there was much talk og media coverage about a lost baby girl here.
The stories in brief goes like this: Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (11 June 1980 – 17 August 1980) was a nine-week-old Australian baby girl who was killed by a dingo on the night of the 17th August 1980 during a family camping trip to Uluru in the Northern Territory. Her body was never found. Her parents, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, reported that she had been taken from their tent by a dingo. However, Lindy was tried for murder and spent more than three years in prison. Michael was also put in jail for some time.
The miniserie as I watched is The Lindy Chamberlain Story explores the case that has figured in Australia's collective consciousness since 1980 when a dingo took Chamberlain's defenseless baby in a random horrific attack. But it quickly turned into more than that, resulting in the trial of the century and Australia's most notorious miscarriage of justice. Through interviews with Chamberlain, her children, and eyewitnesses today, archival footage and broadcasts, and – for the first time – access to Chamberlain's personal archive of family stills, movies, audio recordings, and letters, the series is a compelling universal story that still resonates today.
The death of Azaria Chamberlain has been the subject of several books, films and television shows, and other publications and accounts. The John Bryson book Evil Angels was published in 1985, and subsequently adapted by Australian film director Fred Schepisi into a 1988 feature film of the same name (released as A Cry in the Dark outside of Australia and New Zealand), starring Meryl Streep as Lindy Chamberlain and Sam Neill as Michael. The film gave Streep her eighth Academy Award nomination and her first AFI Award. In 2002, Lindy, an opera by Moya Henderson, was produced by Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House. The story was dramatised as a television miniseries, Through My Eyes (2004), with Miranda Otto and Craig McLachlan as the Chamberlains. This miniseries was based on Lindy's book of the same name.
The Chamberlain case had a significant impact on public perception of dingo behavior and the Australian legal system. It also inspired books, films, and documentaries, most notably the 1988 film "A Cry in the Dark," starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.
The miniserie shades a light over not just a criminal case, but also the whole nation, people and legal system. This tragic Azaria Chamberlain case brought hysteria and shame to the Australian nation. People behaved extremely badly. The justice system and police were both corrupt and incompetent. And even more: as I could see from miniserie, the Australian government, especially the Northern Territory government, did a very poor performance.
The Azaria Chamberlain case turned out be a hysteria among people. The media coverage was a scandal with so much false information. Naturally it had a big influence on people`s perception, and to put it stronger: the media misused its power and strengthened peoples` prejudices. Overall, the media's role in the case shaped public perceptions, influenced legal proceedings, and contributed to the controversy and drama surrounding a high-profile criminal case. In this case, the media also played a centrale role in the Chamberlains' initial conviction and later acquittal.
Based on my readings of articles, books and watching of series on Netflix, HBO and other streaming services, I think peoples` behaviour are similar all over the world. I am sorry to say: it`s in the human nature. But one thing gave hope for the future: the few people who supported the Chamberlain family. They did a huge sacrifice, but didn`t steer away from telling the truth. Especially the mother, Linda Chamberlain, impressed me. Her strong personality and positive thinking is something we all should bring with us to cope with difficulties in life. Even there were so much negative behavior that may lead to a loss of faith in humanity, it's important to remember that in this case there were also countless examples of human goodness and kindness.
It was real shocking for me to hear Linda and family shares their story from start to end. I think the case split the nation. It was a totally hystery. The case was marked by intense media coverage and public opinion divided between those who believed the Chamberlains' story and those who did not. Even today many Australians deny the facts, and they even won`t watch the miniserie documentary. The truth can be hard sometimes. But justice will happen!
Stein Morten Lund, 28th October 2023
Please note that tourists are no longer permitted to climb Uluru due to its cultural significance.
The legend is Uluru rose from the site of a battle between two tribes over a tantalising lizard woman in response to the earth's grief over the bloodshed. Towering over the Australian outback, Uluru remains a source of reverence and awe from the indigenous Aborigines and Australians alike.
Is Uluru the biggest rock on Earth? Contrary to popular opinion, it is Mount Augustus which is the largest rock in the world. Mount Augustus is located 1,000 kiolometres north of Perth. Its rise 717m above the flat plains which surround it. Mount Augustus covers an area of 4,795 hectares, making it one-and-a-half times larger than Uluru (3,330 hectares).