British Explorer Missing in Papua New Guinea Jungle


British explorer Benedict Allen has been reported missing in Papua New Guinea after failing to arrive for a scheduled flight from Port Moresby to Hong Kong on the 12th of November.

According to his website, Allen is the only person to have crossed the Amazon Basin at its widest point, but perhaps the explorer and writer is best known for producing six TV series for the BBC, as well a publishing a number of books, including the Faber Book of Exploration in 2002.

Allen headed in to the Papua New Guinea jungle three weeks ago in an effort to locate one the worlds last remaining tribes to have no contact with the outside world. Allen had, by chance, happened upon the Yaifo some 30 years previously when he had been greeted with what he described as a “terrifying show of strength, an energetic dance featuring their bows and arrows”.

The Yaifo inhabit the remote Central Range of Papua New Guinea and Allen had set out from Bisorio, an abandoned mission station, on foot. He hoped to make a documentary and create a “brief record of their lives” before returning to give a speech at the Royal Geographical Society in Hong Kong on the 12th.

Travelling solo, without a satellite phone or GPS, there is understandable worry for his well-being. His agent, Joanna Sarsby, spoke with the Daily Mail and has speculated that he could potentially be ill or injured, explaining that “for him to not come back is really odd”. She adds that “he is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up”.


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Allen was well known for preaching total immersion as a means to understanding indigenous people Source:Benedict Allen

The explorer had previously encountered the tribe some 30 years ago Source:Benedict Allen

About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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