One of the things I like best about exploring impenetrable jungle looking for long-lost tribes is that I don’t do it. At all. Unless it’s in a game. Then it happens. But otherwise, I just don’t do it.
But if I did do it I’m ninety-nine percent sure that I would take some form of GPS or communication device with me when I did it. Because this is the 21st Century and there is no excuse not to, really. Regardless of whether you want to do it old school or not, if explorers of old could have done it they totally would have. They weren’t idiots. Probably. It’s hard to know for sure because a lot of them were cooked in large pots and eaten.
But not so the explorer Benedict Allen. He buggered off into the jungles of Papua New Guinea to meet up with a tribe he last saw 30 years ago and didn’t show up for his rendezvous a couple of days ago. So his kids get worried, his wife gets worried and people have to go into the jungle and look for him.
Although if you read his Twitter feed, you’d wonder why you’d be bothering risking your neck to find him when he’s more-or-less smugly put a message on that says he knows where he’s going and no-one would be able to find him anyway. Meanwhile his wife is wondering if he’s fallen, been bitten by a venomous thing or generally eaten (with or without the big cooking pot). I mean, I don’t want to use the phrase selfish bastard…
And then it turns out that this isn’t the first time he’s gone missing on one of his expeditions. He once went missing for three months and then just strolled out of the jungle wondering what all the fuss was about. One of his friends say that this expedition he’s gone on now – where he went missing but has probably turned up now and is wanting to be rescued – had no plan, no evacuation plan and he didn’t tell anyone where he was going.
But that’s actually a typical man approach to the whole thing isn’t it. Don’t ask anyone for help. Don’t use a map if you can help it. Just go for it and it’ll be alright. And he will, of course, get his fifteen minutes of fame jabbering on about his incredible adventures in getting lost at the National Geographic Society and, probably, on countless TV shows. I bet Loose Women are already chomping at the bit to have him on.
The thing is, you can’t help but think that he should be made to cover all the costs incurred in rescuing him from the jungle. I mean, he’s been seen at an air strip and is asking to be rescued so getting a team to him is probably going to be costly. If he’d filed some sort of plan, people could have been in place and contingencies made, rather than having to scramble everything at short notice to get a guy who – probably – can’t even be guaranteed to stay where he’s been seen without wandering off for a bit and getting lost again.