Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Well, I am frozen. I have just spent the last five hours climbing an ice and snow face in minus 7 temperatures.I am off for a very hot bath now, before heading off to the pub. I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone who reads this a very Happy Christmas!
On the CFZ website today, you can see a photo of a potentially new sub-species of Red Panda.The animal was shot by a local surgeon at Balpakram National Park in Meghalaya. Just after Jon had spotted the horns ,which may result in a new species of deer, this gentleman said to me `do you want to come to my house and see the red panda I shot?" Of course we did! I think Dave was the first to notice that the bands around its tail are much lighter than most red pandas that we have seen.Lars will of course do the tests, so as ever we will have to wait and see.
Until then, I hope Santa brings us all what we wish for.........

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Expedition news and film footage.

Well, the analysis of the India expedition field research has begun,and here's hoping for some great results. There seems to be a very good chance for example, that John McGowan will have discovered a new species of deer.Unlike John, I am no expert on deer species ,but I could easily see that the antlers we took D.N.A from at Mr. Llewellyn Marak's house, were significantly larger than a Munjac.This would of course , be a find of huge significance ,and I really hope it bears fruit. Of course ,there are other samples of hair and bone which we gathered,including hair that just could be from the Mande-Burung,but I think the horns are our best bet.
That takes nothing away from the existence of the Mande-Burung .I firmly believe in its existence, and in my last post I speculated as to what it was.If you would like to see some of the footage I shot on the expedition,please take a look at John Carlson's Paranomalist blog.It gives you a litle taster of what it was like on expedition.
I am pleased to say that I am doing an interview with Tim Binnall on Tuesday night.I will let you know when its available for upload. I always have a good time doing Tim's show!
In my dayjob, it was Office Party week, and I have to say I really enjoyed mine.What a merry go round.....Last night I went out with my old friend Andy Sanderson, and had a talk about a few of our past adventures.Where shall I go next?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mande-Burung.A relic Gigantopithicus?

I have started looking through my notes now, and the detailed interviews we conducted with eyewinesses to the creature ,and I thought I would share a few facts with you from them.Firstly, it appears to be ominvirous, and seems to make the most of its environments food sources..I was told it has been sighted in pineapple plantations.One of the eyewitneses described how he had seen a mother and baby eating bamboo .Secondly it displays agression,for example, another witness told how he had been chased out of a bamboo plantation.Could this have been a mock charge, in a similar fashion to the Gorilla?
Before I entered the jungle, I was also told by one of the forest guides that it ate freshwater crabs and I subsequently found what appeared to be MB prints, turned over rocks, and crab shells in a small stream. All described the creature as being huge,at least 9 feet tall, it seems, and covered in black hair. The consistency of the descriptions from the witnesses, especially under the scrutiny I gave them, was very encouraging.
I have shown some of my photos to some of my friends now.I expected them to remark on the beauty of the environment, or the snapshots of tribal life ,such as the 100 drums Wangala festival,which I attended. But no. Almost without fail, most have taken the mick out of my jungle trousers.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I was not in Manchester then, and cammo pants and braces really are a good look out there.LOL
I think I know what I 'll be getting for Christmas............

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mande-Burung video footage.

Well, I have been having all sorts of fun with my HD camera jamming on me over the last few days,but I am finally making progress ,and I hope to release some of the footage I shot whilst in India ,very shortly. On every sequence we all seem to look a bit knackered,but then we were , and I wasn't worrying about wether the camera got my best side and all!
It reminded me of when I made my first film for National Geographic in Mongolia.Bilgee , who is my friend and an excellent translator, also accompanied me, as we looked for evidence of the Almas, in the remote western mountains near the border with Kazakhstan. He is a very hard man, and is missing a few teeth through various scrapes he has go into over the years. One morning, before we started filming, I noticed him staring into the wing miror of the jeep, looking troubled "What's up mate,?" I asked " Oh, nothing really" sighed Bilgee"but I think I need make-up before I go on set".... Imagine my response.
Right off to Antony's to sort out that camera. I had no major injuries while I was in India, but I will be hobbling to his house as I have just dropped somebody's Christmas present of a bottle of Chablis on my foot!
FIFA eh... no more words needed!