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.