BRIT EXPLORER LOST IN THE JUNGLE
A BRITISH explorer has vanished after setting out to reach a lost tribe of headhunters in Papua New Guinea.
Fears are growing for Benedict Allen, who was dropped by helicopter into remote jungle three weeks ago and no-one has heard from him since.
The dad-of-three was hoping to find the Yaifo people – thought to be the last tribe on earth to have no contact with outsiders – to film them for a BBC documentary.
His wife Lenka said he was due to have started his journey home by Sunday and a frantic search has been launched.
The 57-year-old has no phone or GPS device.
His agent Joanna Sarsby told the Daily Mail: “His wife Lenka has not heard from him
“She is very worried. He would never miss something like the Hong Kong talk unless something had happened.
“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. He may not be a young man any more but he is very fit.
“He was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe – possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened.
“I 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 – he believes in living like the locals. For him not to come back is really odd.”
Mr Allen is an experienced explorer whose achievements include the first documented journey the length of the Namib Desert.
He also survived a trek across the Brazilian rainforest in 1982 by eating his own dog.
The explorer appeared in a documentary filmed in Papua New Guinea earlier this year.
The island, just north of Australia, is almost entirely made up of thick jungle.
Mr Allen met the Yaifo people there as a young explorer 30 years ago.
In his last blog post he wrote: “The Yaifo are one of the last people on the entire planet who are out of contact with our interconnected world.
“I’m hiring a helicopter to drop me off at the abandoned mission station, Bisorio – a forlorn place.