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......