Monday, November 14, 2011

Sahar Didmus Passed Away Today.

Sahar was a great friend of mine, and accompanied me on 5 of my 6 expeditions to Sumatra. In 2oo1, he was with me when we found the hairs and cast ,which were subsequently analysed as being from an `unkown primate`, and of course was there in 2009,when we obtained the hairs which generated a similar result.i last saw him just two months ago,when he and his brother John found what we think is a handprint of the Orang-Pendek, as well as new hair samples, which are currently undergoing testing.
Sahar has featured in several documentaries, firstly with me, in the National Geographic `Is It Real`,series, then also with MonsterQuest, and most recently as part of a documentary we filmed in September, with the B.B.C. He also featured in Beast Hunter and the Destination Truth episodes.
I first met Sahar in 2001, when he was part of Debbie Martyr's Tiger protection team.On that occasion ,I was enormously impressed by his tracking skills-he was I think, the best in the world for years(and I have plenty of experience with international trackers).He had a great affinity with nature, and was keen to protect the forests he so loved.Since then Sahar has always led the Sumatran contingent of my expeditions, and I found him to be a highly organised and jovial guy.
I was privileged to be with him in 2009 when he saw the Orang-Pendek, a moment which he described as `one of the greatest of his life`, and gave him a hug as he sobbed with the emotion of it.
I have watched his sons grow up, and am in shock todayat his sudden passing away.My thoughts are for his wife Lucy, and his lovely boys who I know will make him proud....

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The hair samples have now been sent to the following experts: Bryan Sykes (Oxford);Todd Disotell (New York) ; Lars Thomas and Tom Gilbert (Copenhagen). In addition Jeff Meldrum has a photo of the possible handprint, and Andy will be working on making copies of the casts soon.

I have just written a foreward for Richard Freeman's forthcoming book on Sumatra,and the Orang-Pendek. There are now just a couple of loose ends to tie up , like writing up my own notes, and then I can put Sumatra to rest.All I can do now is wait for the results to come in of the evidence we found, whatever they may be.
Time to think soon about something else to do ,I think....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An excellent expedition!

Well , I have just got back from Sumatra, and am totally knackered, but here are the headlines:
Everything has to be scientifically verified, but we have found a possible handprint, two footcasts, hair, and have literally thousands of images on the camera traps, which will take weeks to work through.
Most importantly, the excellent team I worked with are all safe and well.I am delighted with the results!
I am off for a bath now.Hold the rice!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I am off to Sumatra!

That's it ! All packed and ready to go.I just had time for a really fab night out in London before I left.
I will update the blog when I get back and let you all know what I and the rest of the team find.

Let's hope the time is now.....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sumatra Lecture.

On Saturday, I a gave a talk at the CFZ's annual gathering in Devon. I enjoyed the weekend, and got some really positive responses and appreciation of my work from those who attended.On a personal level, I always find this really encouraging. Not everyone can go on expeditions, of course, and its great to know that other people do get satisfaction form what I am doing, and it really does give me insporation for the future.

Now, its only a few weeks to go until Sumatra, so its time to check, and double check all my kit.......

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First, two bits of personal news.On Friday ,I was a guest on the Fate Radio network-Parasight Radio, hosted by Justin Cancilleire.(U.S.) I had a good time doing the show, and as my interview lasted for an hour, there was some great opportunities to get into the subject.So, thanks to Justin!

I have also recently written an article for John Carlson's Paranomalist blog on whether the Orang-Pendek is the same creature as Flores man.John told me that the article had made Coast to Coast , in the U.S, and got nearly 8,ooo hits in the first week it had been published.Again ,this is really good to hear!

On the expedition front, we will now begin ordering our supplies soon, to minimise the delay in getting into the Jungle when we arrive.Time to dust out my kit and get walking with the backpack.Only a couple of months to go now....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow Us Live!

We are now down to the final few details of the planning of the CFZ Sumatra expedition.
Transport is organised , and the guides and field teams have been finalised.
All that remains is the ordering of the rations, and getting on with the job!
A special thanks to Glen Vaudrey for his hard work on the camera trap appeal.We will of course do our best to get that elusive photo!
For those of you on Face book with me a have some great news.We are hoping to be able to bring you updates of our adventures as they happen-jungle permitting!If you go to my status page, and click on Extreme-Expeditions, you will find the details.Andy,who created the site, is still working on it,but it looks excellent, and there will be plenty more to come.
I mentioned in my last blog how much I was looking forward to being in London.I had a fabulous time, as I always do.
I hope to be there again very soon...