Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Christmas Lull.

The time between Christmas and New Year in the U.K. is a kind of wierd twilight time, where nothing much seems to happen. I have been at work, but judging by my empty train carriage, very few other people are. In fact ,most people in the U.K. seem to spend this time watching rubbish t.v. or films they have seen before , whilst arguing with overstaying relatives ,or bored kids.
There is also one other important tradition that must be mentioned. That is, the deriding and taking back of rubbish gifts. Maybe its my imagination , but do half the dogs in Manchester smell of cheap aftershave at the moment? What real purpose has Talc to mankind? Do the buyers of talc look at their relatives and think `she /he is a bit tubby , they might get chapped bits, better buy them some talc to sort it out?`
If in doubt ,go for a gift voucher I say. Here is an example why:
Yesterday, one of my friends phoned me to say that his wife was not talking to him because she had `0verreacted` to her Christmas gift.
"What did you buy her ?" I asked.
"A towel, you know, that one you and Damian suggested I get her when we were in the pub last week". H e said.

"Not the one that says `Arse ` on one side and `Face` on the other?" I said.
" Yeah. That one. I though she would find it funny .But she didn`t. Where are we going on New Years Eve , Adam?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas in the Congo.

As well as stuffing our faces, Christmas is traditionally a time we think of others.I want to take this opportunity to tell you about Dr.Joe Harvey.
I first met Dr.Harvey in Impfondo ( Congo) whilst I was travelling to the Likoula swampland to look for the Mokele-Membe, the Congo dinosaur. He and the other American missionaries there were kind enough to put me and my team up while we waited for onwards transport. It was an incredibly dangerous place, right on the edge of a war zone. At night, the bright yellow glow of artillery flares lit up the sky.During the day, I saw combatants exchanging fire across the Umbangi river, only a few hundred yards from where we were staying.
Yet this did not deter Dr.Harvey.Whether you share his beliefs or not, I have no doubt in my mind that he was doing real good for the community.There were originally two foreign Doctors;but one had died of cerebral malaria. Undaunted, Dr.Harvey carried on.
Returning from the swamps a month or so later, I helped out at the hospital. At one stage a woman came in with a dreadful abcess in her stomach.I and another man comforted her, while Joe performed surgery. The other man helping out had been badly disfigured by Leprosy-giving the appearance that his face had collapsed on one side.As I looked outside at the ever expanding queue weaving its way around the little hospital, I realised that this man was all these people had.
That night I went to a bar on the other side of town.It has to be the roughest joint this side of Moss Icely !(Star Wars). As the evening wore on `soldiers`, turned up with their weapons, and after a few drinks ,began shooting them in the air!The following night ,I spent with Dr Harvey, his family and the other family there. We sang Xmas carols around a little silver tree they had brought from home.
As we sang `Silent Night` I could hear the Kalashnikov fire getting nearer, and nearer. Everytime I hear that Carol now, I always think of that moment,captured in my mind forever, of decent caring people stuggling against violence, horror and disease. Stood around a little tree singing songs while guns blazed around them ,risking their lives for others. Doing good.....
Have a fantastic Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Many People Spoil The Broth.

On wednesday night, I watched a programme presented by Sir David Attenborough(B.B.C.), which focused on the worlds booming poulation, ,and the huge enviromental impact it causes. I have to say that I agree with the premise of the film-there are simply too many people in the world, and there is going to be billions more before any predicted downturn. What to do about it?I do understand it is a sensitive subject, which encompasses emotional, theological and natural desires. However, it seems that a global effort to voluntarily control childbirth needs to happen.
I have been fortunate enough to have travelled the the world looking for unusual creatures and adventure.Some of these animals are very rare, some I have concludedare either extinct, or past the point of any viable sustainability( Mongolian Almas).
Turning to the Orang-Pendek, Debbie Martyr, Jeremey Holden and Sahar on my last expedition in September, have all described the intensity of emotion they felt on seeing it, seeing an ape that walked like a man, which caused such very tough people to burst into tears.
Yet there are serious pressures here.Let me give you an example. A farmer I know has 3 children.Each one will want land.His family and other Sumatrans are living longer than ever before. Where wil they get there land from, and where will their children get there`s from?
Only one place, otherwise they starve-and who is going to let their children starve?All they need to do you see, is cut down just a little bit more jungle, then just a little bit more jungle. Oh ,of course you have to shoot all the birds as well, because they will steal your seeds, and if any larger animals come to forage- well dinner is served..........
This is just an example of what is happening in one tiny corner of our world. It is a real example, I saw this happen just as I described it, over the last 1o years.
Whether you are with me on the existence of Yetis or not, I can gurantee that we will all be weeping for lost species within our lifetimes........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Danger in the Himalayas.

On Friday, I recieved my copy of Monsterquests ` The Abominable Snowman` show, which I featured in. I really enjoyed it, it was tightly paced and well edited. Looking at myself being interviewed on the mountain, it reminded me of how dangerous it really was . On one particularly perilous traverse, the old adage `one slip and you are dead`, really did hold true- there was nothing but ice ,between you and certain death, thousands of feet below.
During the film ,the guides and I investigate some trails to discover whether they are Yeti prints or not.Whilst we made our roped ascent,I learnt that 3 people had died on the mountain relativley recently, near to the spot where we stood.Two from altitude sickness, and one from an avalanche. Indeed , at the spot where we were filming, there was an avalanche the very next day!!
Luckily, on our exhausted return to base camp, Mr.Yagihara, the lead mountaineering expert, passed round a fish sauasage, (fresh) from Japan, for us all to tuck into..................

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

King of the Kubu.

The Kubu, or to use their correct name, the Suku Anak Dalam, are tribal hunter gatherers who live in Northeren Sumatra.
Before I left for the island, I had worked with my friends and contacts to arrange a meeting with the King of their Tribes.I was eager to learn more about their traditions and customs,especially in relation to the Orang-Pendek. Dally and Sahar had spent a lot of time negotiating a meeting, and as a result, we were lucky enough to be granted an audience with the King, during our stay in the town of Bangko.
Many of the tribe still wear traditional loincloths whilst in the jungle, but for this meeting the King strode confidently towards me in Western Dress- a casual shirt ,trousers and pink flip flops......
On greeting me , he gave me a kiss, and not sure of the protocol, I kissed him back. It didn`t seem to cause any offence , because he smiled back at me!
The King was a remarkable man, and I found the stories he recounted of his customs and traditions ,fascinating.
Turning to the Orang-Pendek, he described how he and his son-in law had disturbed one while they were out hunting in the jungle. It had chased them and in their terror, the two of them had hidden from it under some rattan.The creature had scoured the area for a while, before reluctantly giving up its quarry.
At the end of the imterview,I asked the King to wish me luck on the quest ."No, I will not do that" He said, looking worried ,"I really don`t want you to find it, look what happened to me!"
I really enjoyed my conversation with the King. His stories about his culture and about the Orang -pendek, were hugely engaging.
On the way to Volcano bound Kerinci, I reflected on our meeting.Whatever the outcome of the next few weeks I thought, how many people can say they have been kissed by a King?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nasty Things To Eat.

Whilst watching "I`m a Celebrity get me out of here!" last night,( great show), I thought of a few of the more unpleasant things I have had to eat. In Mongolia ,for example, I was treated to what Andy termed `lucky dip soup`. Basically, this was an offal stew and you never knew what you were going to get, eyeballs bollocks, the lot.
In Sumatra, Sahar(my chief guide), once treated me to a bowl of spicy chicken heads.
Whilst over in the Congo, I have eaten all manner of strange things, caterpillars ,bat wing etc.
Perhaps the worst was the monkey. One particular monkey.
My team were in the middle of the Likoula swamps and we were starving.Whilst I would not let the Bantu tribesman on my team hunt any rare species , I understood that I had to allow them to hunt common species for survival, as they had always done.
Roland, my best hunter and I, were inching forward,when he suddenly spotted a black and white Colobus monkey in the tree above us. It had seen us too, but regrettably for both me and it, was busily masturbating!
I gave the order to shoot it. However, the unfortunate beast had clearly past the point of no return ,for its imminent death merely prompted it to go faster, in a dogged attempt to `finish`!
It died with a smile on its face. I did without the garnish.I don`t care what these celebrity chefs say, sometimes seasoning can be unneccessary....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DNA update.

As I have been asked , I thought I would post a quick update on how the scientific analysis of the specimens collected in Sumatra is going. The bad news is that Todd has now made three attempts at trying to extract DNA from the Rattan that we found at the location where the Orang-Pendek was sighted, which he seemed to be eating when we disturbed him. So far he has had no luck. However ,we still have the hairs to test. These were found at a different location to the sighting, but were close by one of the creatures tracks that I found. While I can`t say for definate they are Orang-Pendek hairs, I do think they are worth serious analysis. The hairs won`t be tested thoroughly for a few weeks yet, as Todd is waiting for a new reagent from a supplier.
Last night, I was reminded that not all of life`s dramas happen in the jungle. I went to look after my daughter Ella, who is five. I was just finishing making myself a curry when she began screaming .I rushed into the room where she had been sat whatching the T.V. "What`s the matter?` I said " My tummy ,my tummy I can`t bend " She cried-tears streaming down her face. "Where does it hurt?` I said , increasingly alarmed by now `All , all, over ,she sobbed`.
By now I was really worried and started putting on her shoes. The screaming went on for a further ten minutes, and nothing I could do would placate her.`We are going to have to go to hopital,sweetie ,` I said. `We need a Doctor to check you out`
At that point, she let out the most thunderous ,ear tearing,wind rushing, FART you have ever heard...........!!
`I feel better now ,Daddy ` said Ella and smiled. Turns out she had had too much ice cream at her Granny`s house and got colic.(wind!).
Exhausted from the drama, I put her to bed and went back to my Curry. The burmese cat , Kwai, had decided that he preffered my curry to his catmeat, and finished the lot off.
I think I am due some good news...........
I could do with some good news...................

Monday, November 9, 2009

Down South.

The weekend certainly lived up to expectations!
It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and Dave and I took the opportunity to walk across some of the most beautiful parts of the Chilterns. As well as the lovely little villages and rambling countryside , there is also some amazing wildlife.Most striking to me, are the abundance of Red Kites. A bird of Prey,Kites are predominantley chestnut brown , with white patches under their wings. They became very rare in the U.K. ,indeed you were lucky if you got a sighting of them unless you were in mid -Wales. However, a reintroduction programme has been very successful in the Chilterns, and a regular feature of the sky above Lane End, where Dave lives, is the sight of these majestic birds swirling and hovering, before swooping down effortlessley to catch their unlucky next meal.
In the evening, we went out in Marlow ,as promised. We were joined by Dave`s girlfriend Tasha and her friends Lousie and Michelle, as well of course, as Keith. After the pub ,we went back to Dave`s, put some music on ,and continued the party. Dave brought out a wierd concoction of drinks, including some Brandy from the Balkans named `Dick`. It was a heavy night.
The next morning I came down to see Michelle leaving the Toilet. She looked green.

`Are you alright ,Michelle ,`I asked. `No` said Michelle.`I have just been sick`. I must have had too much Dick..........

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fireworks Night.

For those of you that don`t know, its a tradition in the U.K. that on November 5th we set off fireworks .It all goes back to when Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up Parliament , during the reign of James the first.
Anyway, November is not normally the best of months weatherwise.Last night however ,the sky was lit up and rockets exploded merrily above my house. One bizarre thing though- a few streets down this guy was using a chainsaw.He had some sort of firework party going on ,and as he and his buddies set off the fireworks, he timed the whirring of the chainsaw to coincide with the bangs! What was that all about ? Were Leatherface and his cronies having some sort of reunion?..............
This weekend I am off to see Dave Archer and his girlfriend down in Marlow .Marlow is a lovely little town ,perched on the edge of the Costwalds. Keiith Townley is also coming with me. As we are all veterans of Sumatra , we will no doubt be talking about recent events. Plus, last time we were there we had a really wild time, so bring on Saturday night!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Its my Birthday!

It was my Birthday on Friday, so I decided to go round some of the pubs in Wilmslow, a town near where I live. It was unseasnobly warm, and we spent most of the night outside, chatting.

Later on, I found a great place for live entertainment/music .I had an excellent night.Thanks to all those who joined me.

On Sunday I got back to my tracking (not hunting). This time in the Peak District National Park.
The Deer were easy to find, and the sight of them running amidst the golds greens and Autumn browns was exhilirating...
On Sunday, a film I featured in for the History Channel MonsterQuest Series- the Abominable Snowman was aired as a two part special. The reaction from friends and colleagues who saw the film was very positive- I am really glad they liked it . I haven`t seen it yet- as I live in the U.K. I have to wait until my DVD comes through the post.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Film.

Well I feel a whole lot better now . I am able to resume my normal Friday night down the pub with my mates!

I spoke to Will Yates early last week , a senior producer on the `Monsterquest` series. He confirmed to me that the `Abominable Snowman` film will be shown on Sunday October 25th at 9 p.m. in the U.S. I really hope this will be a great episode -some of the footage we shot was awesome! It was also pretty dangerous in places. For example, ther was one particular traverse that really should have come with the `one slip and you are dead ` warning!
Climbing at altitude ,we also had to dodge avalanches. During a moving interview with expert Japanese climber Mr.Kyagi, and Chief Sherpa M.B. it transpired that some 3 people had died of either altitude sickness or in avalanches very close to where we were standing!
That said ,the area is very beautiful, and beyond the line of human settlement wildlife abounds.As I flew across the Himalayas by helicopter, following our dramatic rescue, I was sorry to go........................

Monday, October 12, 2009

I am out of hospital!

Many thanks to all those who sent me messages of support .It has been a grim week with dysentry, but I am better now and ready to move on. I am already beginning to consider possibilities for my next adventure.......

I will answer just a few points on Sumatra that are still outstanding:

Yes we did use trailcams, and they are the best way of capturing a photo of the OP. To set some up and have them monitored over a conisderable period of time would of course be the optimum situation. However, out of both necessity and respect this would entail liaising with the Indonesian govt and require serious funding. I hope it happens, and I know it is being worked on.( Not by me-it would require at least a year there I think to give it a good chance -I`m movin on!).

I know there are many legendary descriptions of the OP , and sometimes mythology surrounds these creatures. All of the eyewitnesses I have spoken to describe a bipedal, dark coloured ape. It is a very real ,unique and fascinating creature, but it is still an ape.

In terms of my relationship with the guides.Well , I have know them for years, I have watched their children grow up, and I correspond with them regularly. I have also spent 5 years cross examining people for a living.Day in and day out I asessed whether people were lying to me or not. Dave Archer also saw the OP at the same time.
Only a fool will say he cannot be fooled, but were I to suggest a fabrication, I think those individuals involved would be justifiably insulted....
One more day on the antibiotics now, and then I can finally have a beer !!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

A few questions.

I am in a bit of a rush today. Quite literally , as I seem to have a bit of a dodgy gut.......
Ah well, it will pass!And Pass!

Last night , I went on the Parafactor Radio show to talk about the expedition .As always with those guys the show was a blast ,and I had a lot of fun. It did lead me to think though, I should answer a few of the points raised by people in Cryptomundo and elsewhere. So here are a few that really struck me:

1/ Firstly, I am not a member of the CFZ. That said, I have always supported their aims, and the other three members of the expedition team are members. I led the expedition, and invited those people on the team bacause I though they had unique skills to offer, not because of any organisation they belonged to. Dave is a great Tracker, Chris a level headed explorer with considerable technical expertise, and Richard because of his considerable Zooalogical expertise. We payed for the expedition as private individuals, we were not funded by any organisation including the CFZ, and any equipment we brought was our own. I am not under contract with any film company, and the press releases issued by the CFZ have nothing to do with me. I do not see them before they go out.

2/ In terms of planning, I have been to Sumatra some 5 times. The area I picked to go this time was very carefully chosen by me, as I have found foodprints ,and or hair samples before. The analysis is done by independant scientists , not cryptozoologists. For example, the hairs were previously studied by Dr.Hans Brunner, famous for his scrutiny in the Lindy Chamberlain murder trial. The prints have been analysed by Dr.Jeff Meldrum(U.S.A) and by David Chivers from the university of Cambridge. They independantley came to the decision that they were from an unkown primate. Professor Todd Disotell will be carrying out the analysis this time.

3/ Equipment is always an emotive subject. There is always something better you could bring, but as I have said ,we brought the best we had with the money we had. That included night vison equipment, infa red cameras ,and camera traps. Do not forget , you have to haul all this gear through the jungle, and weight is a serious issue. If I get better equipment I will use it-witness the films I have made for the History Channel. My only regret in terms of equipment is that the plaster of Paris the guides had purchased for casting , had degraded and we could not use it. That said , I have got a print there before, which has been shown on Cryptomundo, and we found several trails, these were photographed to scale. These things happen in the field .

4/ Matt Billie asked a very good question as to whether it could have been a Lars Gibbon. I am used to seeing Gibbons in the jungle , adn Sahar is a really experienced guide .I am certain he would not mistake an Orang-Pendek for a Gibbon, and his astonished reaction compounds that view. The physical descriptions by both eyewitnesses do not match Gibbon.

5/ Normally my expeditions do not last more than a month or less, because I have to work full time. In my dream scenario I make films, and do this full time. Unfortunately I am not yet living the dream, so back to the day job.

I will be sending off the samples on Saturday. I will update this blog again later next week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Earthquake in Sumatra.

Last night, after a returned home I saw some shocking news.The city we had left only a few days ago, in Sumatra, Pedang had been devastated by an earthquake. Having visitied the area some 5 times, Iwas able to recognise familiar streets strewn with rubble. All I can say is my thoughts are with those who are struggling out there in this crisis. If you want to do something to help, then donate to a voluntary organisation like the Red Cross or Medicene Sans Frontier, they both do excellent work.
In 2007 I was in the midst of an earthquake whilst I was in the jungle in Sumatra.The easiest way to describe what happened is that the ground felt like it had turned to liquid , you were unable to stand up, and that the animals were terrified. I also heard on the news this morning that siesmologists predict a further bigger quake along that fault line in the next 2 to 5 years.

The area where the Orang-Pendek is,is also wedged between volcanoes- when I was there Sahar showed me stills of Kerinci spewing lava only 5 months before. A very rare creature in a very volatile environment.
The good news is that the team in Indonesia have made contact with me this morning ,so it appears they are safe. My thoughts are with the families of those who have suffered loss......

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Testing The Evidence.

I had a look at Cryptomundo last night, and the evidence we found, or certainly the nature of it, seem to be causing a lively debate! Soon I will write up a more detialed account of the expedition and publish it on the blog. What I will do today is stick to the facts on what we actually got , and what I intend to do next in terms of analyising that evidence.

1/ We have got both Rattan that the animal was probably chewing, and hair .

The Rattan + 1 hair was found at the location where Dave Archer and Sahar Didmus saw the Orang-Pendek. This was in a place I specifically choseto go, after finding tracks there on previous occcasions , including the cast of the footprint I found in 2001.

2/ We also have numerous hairs found on a tree . This ran parallell to another Orang-Pendek track I found on the other side of the Lake.

3/ We found two seperate Orang-Pendek trails which I photographed. These were identified by the Forest Rangers as originating from the OP. In terms of size and other specifics etc, they match the print I found in 2001.

4/We have two eyewitnesses, and I also have a sworn affadavit from forest ranger Sahar Didmus as to what he saw. We do not have a photo.

What next? The hair and Rattan will now be subject to scientific analysis by Professor Todd Disotell, from New York University. Whilst I cannot be sure they are from the OP, I can be confident they were gathered in the best possible manner they could be in the field, using sterilised tweezers, with no cross human contamination. They are now stored in ethanol. I will of course, make that information public.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I am Back !

I am back in the U.K. A few scars, but nothing that won`t heal. I have so much to tell you!
However, possibly the greatest highlight is that two team members, Dave Archer, and Sahar Didmus saw the Orang-Pendek. I took the team to an area where I have found prints before. As we were approaching that location, I heard the movement of a large animal, and ordered the team to stop. As Dave and Sahar peeled off to move slightly ahead, both of them caught sight of the OP. Dave reported that it had attempted to hide, pinning its face against a tree. Subsequently, it then moved with a bipedal motion , on two legs, through the jungle. Dave reported that the creature most closely resembled a chimpanzee .Of course though, there are no chimpanzees in Indonesia, and none that walk on two legs!!
We found several trails, including some with great footprints.Probably most importanly of all , we also found chewed rattan and hair samples in tow locations where we found the trails. This could well be of enormous significance, as if they are from the animal, we will be able to identify its DNA.....

I will of course post furhter updates on the Blog .

To come: How I ended up being kissed by a King, and the perils of dealing with Tigers at night...!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yeti Just sighted!

Just sighted!

I have just been sent a report that an Orang-Pendek has been sighted right in the area where we are going to be looking-it was spotted by villagers eating some fruit on the edge of farmland!

Its getting exciting! Right , I really do have to go now...................

I am off to Sumatra!

Well, after months of planning ,I am finally on my way in a few hours.

I have got alll my kit camrea traps , G.P.S. etc - including as much Beef Jerkey as my kit will carry........

I am looking forward to the jungle , but not the food- I have spent several months eating fish head curry three times a day in previous expeditions! Where is the rest of the damn fish?

Still I will no doubt be offered some spicy chicken heads to wash it down with . Great people , beautiful country, but I reckon I could make a million by building a fat camp here...........

I will update you ,if I can when I can .

Monday, September 7, 2009

I want to see it. I want to see it so badly, I dream about it.

I will now have been to Indonesia five times looking for evidence of the Orang –Pendek, the Sumatran Yeti. Importantly, I have found real scientific evidence of its existence . For example , the hair I found in 2001 was identified as being from an unknown primate, by the gentleman who analysed the hair in the famous Dingo baby case; while a primatologist at Cambridge reached the same conclusion over the prints.(see my book Extreme expeditions : Travel Adventures Stalking The World’s Mystery Animals –for more details). Any evidence I do /will find will always be open to independent scientific scrutiny. Otherwise it counts for nothing.

I have spent thousands of pounds of my own money looking for the Orang- Pendek . I have interviewed reams of witnesses, and travelled hundreds of miles through jungle. I have been been sucked by too many leeches to count, and on one memorable occasion realised I had bacillary dysentery, whilst I was on top of a mountain….


The Lake where we are going on the second part of the expedition, Tujuh is an exceptionally beautiful place. A volcano crater which is shrouded by Primal Jungle. As you approach the camp by canoe, Gibbons warn others of your approach. Beyond that , bears. golden cats and Tigers really do roam only a few yards into that forest. In the diversity of its life, there is nowhere like it on earth.

I know the Orang-Pendek exists. I have travelled with several others in search of it, and I can say that the team we have- Dally and Sahar (Indonesia) and myself Chris Richard and Dave are a strong dedicated team. For the first half of the expedition, we will be staying with the Kubu, and I hope to learn about their oral traditions and legends , as well as utilising their services in the quest………

The Palm Oil plantations are upon us . The work we are doing is for good, so wish us luck!

Let me see it………..

Adam Davies.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just testing

This is only a test.