Benedict Allen: Missing British adventurer spotted near New Guinea airstrip

'Don't try to rescue me,' Mr Allen had written on his Twitter page

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 16 November 2017 10:06
Explorer Benedict Allen found "safe and well" in Papua New Guinea

A British explorer who sparked fears for his safety after going missing in Papua New Guinea has been found “safe and well”.

Benedict Allen had said he was going to meet with a mysterious tribe in the country. He was dropped into the jungle from a helicopter three weeks ago, hadn't been heard from since, and missed the flights that were scheduled to bring him back.

Further worries came from a cryptic post on his Twitter account. "Marching off to Heathrow," it read. "I may be some time (don't try to rescue me, please - where I'm going in PNG you won't ever find me you know...)"

But his friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, said that he had been found safe and well near a New Guinea airstrip and that he had requested a plane to bring him home.

The discovery came around a day after his family launched search and rescue teams in an attempt to find him, amid fears for his safety.

The author and TV presenter, who has made six TV series for the BBC, has no mobile phone or GPS device with him and was expected to begin his journey home at the weekend.

In a blog post on his website, Mr Allen wrote in September: "The Yaifo are one of the last people on the entire planet who are out of contact with our interconnected world.

"In October I'm hiring a helicopter to drop me off at the abandoned mission station, Bisorio - a forlorn place.

"Last time the Yaifo greeted me with a terrifying show of strength, an energetic dance featuring their bows and arrows.

"On this occasion who knows if the Yaifo will do the same, or run off, or be wearing jeans and T-shirts traded eons ago from the old mission station.

"Nor do I have an obvious means of returning to the outside world, which is somewhat worrying, especially at my advanced age.

"Either I must paddle down river for a week or so - or enlist the help of the Yaifo, as I did last time.

"So, if this website or my Twitter account falls more than usually silent - I'm due back mid-Nov - it's because I am still out there somewhere.

"So, don't bother to call or text. Just like the good old days, I won't be taking a sat phone, GPS or companion. Or anything else much. Because this is how I do my journeys of exploration. I grow older but no wiser, it seems."

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