Monday, 19 November 2007

DAY FIVE: Bone flutes and broken thumbs

After nearly 48 hours of silence, Richard telephoned us at about 5.45 GMT, and – in order to conserve their dwindling resources of credit – we telephoned them back. They are having a particularly rough time with the heat; and Richard has once again suffered from heatstroke today. Lisa fell off a mountain and broke her thumb yesterday, and the other expedition members are also finding the terrain particularly gruelling.

“The heat is dreadful, I’ve never known heat like this”, says Richard, who went on to say that they had seriously under-estimated the heat, the dryness, and the lack of shade. “It’s relentlessly dry and hot with hardly any shade”, he said, and his voice sounded fatigued and drawn.

However, they have had a very interesting couple of days. Yesterday they visited a cave system in some remote mountains. The connection of the telephone was particularly bad today and so, although he repeated it three times, we were unable to ascertain the name of the location, but, so it transpires, these cave systems were only discovered for the first time a few years ago. They contain a very ancient – and probably pre-Columbian – burial ground and they found graves of adults and children, including one where the child and adult had been buried in such a way that the adult appears to have been some kind of tribal shaman.

For those of you not aware of the term, the pre-Columbian era encompasses all periods of history and pre-history of the New World prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

We are not in a position to give any more information about these burial grounds at this time. However, Richard tells us that the CFZ expedition were the first Europeans ever to visit these caves, and they have taken a lot of photographs and video film, which we will be broadcasting on CFZ upon their return. Expedition archaeologist Lisa Dowley – despite her broken thumb – took some samples, which will be examined by a British University upon their return to the UK. Once again, the quality of transmission was so poor that we cannot give any more details about what these samples are.

History does not relate whether Lisa had her accident before or after visiting these caves, and it has to be said – with tongue somewhat in cheek – that the Tintin adventure Seven Crysal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun, written by Georges Remi (aka Hergé) in the 1940s, comes to mind. For those of you not aware of this classic graphic novel, I suggest that you check out this link to Wikipedia.

The main reason they visited these cave systems was that it has historically been known as a haunt of the didi. It was last seen ten years ago by a man who was so frightened that he ran away down the mountain. He described it as being a huge, hairy man. In the previous blog post we reported how another didi witness had described the creature he had seen as being like a European but covered in hair. When this was posted on one of the other internet blogs dealing with cryptozoology, someone made a comment that it could not possibly have been a European.

Well duh!

I think the important thing here is that, on the whole at least, people from Western Europe are far taller than people from South America. The description of the did as being ‘like a European’ is – in my opinion at least – merely a cute way of saying that the figure was tall and burly.

They also received some other strange stories of apparently hominoid creatures. They have received reports of a very small human-shaped animal; only two and a half feet tall, and with a bright red face, that was seen near these caves. The local people who told them of this believe that the red colouration had been painted on. They also heard of similar creatures seen nearby at a place called Trebang’s Rock. Trebang are allegedly humanoid creatures, short in stature, which are – according to Richard – “supposed to touch children and transmit deadly diseases to them”. He went on to say that when the children die, the Trebang is supposed to take their bones and make them into flutes.

South America has a long and fascinating history of small, often malevolent, dwarves. I would refer you to a book called The Humanoids by Charles Bowen (Spearman 1969) which, despite an appalling cover – which would lead many researchers to think that this is a tedious piece of sensationalist drivel – contains a wealth of fascinating, and unique information. I have been studying the mysterious dwarves of Central and South America for a long time, and although I believe that the paranormal attributes, which have often been given them by local folk, should be taken cum grano salis, I think that there may well be some serious cryptozoological evidence buried beneath a miasma of superstitious nonsense. Whether these ‘little people’ are human or animal, remains to be seen, although accounts like the one that the expedition team received today, suggest that they may well be very primitive human beings.

The team have travelled six miles today, so far under excruciatingly bad conditions. They are on their way towards some swamps where they will film anacondas and caymans. This is one of the few remaining strongholds for the increasingly endangered black cayman (Melanosuchus niger) and it will be a privilege for them to see this wonderful species in the wild. However, whilst in these swamps they will also be photographing and filming green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) in order to study the population pressure and feeding strategies of this species in this part of Guyana. The giant specimens have been reported at a place called Corona Falls, which is some seventy miles away from their present location. After a few days in these swamps, the team will be returning to Letham Station, and they hope to negotiate the hire of a helicopter to take them to the Falls. They hope that this will be within what remains of the expedition budget, although the paperwork is likely to be complicated because the company who owns the helicopter is based in Brazil.

All in all, an exciting, and eminently satisfactory two days for the team that Nick Redfern has dubbed ‘the Guyana Five’. More news when we get it.


Lesley said...

I am glad they phoned home and all is well except a broken thumb.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

Sorry to hear Lisa's poorly too. Hope her thumb gets better soon.

I've read The Seven Crystal Balls many times (as I have all the other Tintin books). I wouldn't be at all surprised that there were be a lost world out there. We have this delusion that by the 21st Century every part of the Earth has been explored by Western man which is totally untrue. I saw some pictures the other day of some Amazon Indians who'd just been contacted by the outside world for the first time.