Concern grows for 'missing' explorer on mission to find Papua New Guinea tribe
Home âº News âº UKConcern grows for âmissingâ explorer on mission to find Papua New Guinea tribe
Benedict Allen, who has recorded series for the BBC, failed to arrive back in Port Moresby for a flight out of Papau New Guinea.
Explorer Benedict Allen has gone missing after attempting to find an indigenous tribe in Papua New Guinea, it is reported.
The 57-year-old, who has previously recorded series for the BBC and written books on exploration, was on a journey to rediscover the Yaifo tribe.
In a post on his website before setting off titled âI may be some timeâ, Mr Allen said he was looking to meet with the tribe 30 years after discovering them for the first time.
He said: âNo outsider has made the journey to visit them since the rather perilous journey I made as a young man three decades ago.
âThis would make them the remotest people in Papua New Guinea, and one of the last people on the entire planet who are out-of-contact with our interconnected world.â
A helicopter dropped Mr Allen off at Bisorio without a satellite phone, GPS or companion and he was due back in the countryâs capital Port Moresby on Sunday to travel to Hong Kong.
His agent Joanna Sarsby told the Daily Mail his wife Lenka was âvery worriedâ.
She added: âHe is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at s urviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up. He may not be a young man any more but he is very fit.
âHe was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe â" possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened.
âI just imagine he might have been taken ill or is lying injured somewhere, perhaps with a broken leg, and maybe being helped by locals. He never takes a phone with him â" he believes in living like the locals. For him not to come back is really odd.â
Mr Allenâs friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, who travelled to Papua New Guinea with him twice last year, said: âI would say the chances are that Benedict is going to be fine, I hope those arenât famous last words.
âBenedict always expected something like this. I had supper with him just before he left and he said âlook, Iâm quite certain Iâll probably be out of contact for quite some time a nd people shouldnât worry about itâ.â
The explorerâs sister, Katie Pestille, expressed concern for his safety.
She told BBC Radio Fourâs Today programme: âHe knows all about that survival stuff. Itâs just what worries me is there are bad people in these jungles.
âYou would think that they were totally empty but there are people in there. I mean, I know more about the Amazon, but there are loggers and drug dealers and all sorts of bad people.â
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