On 31st of October the CFZ 2010 expedition leaves England. They will be exploring the Garo Hills in Northern India in search of the mande-burung or Indian yeti. The five-man team consists of team leader Adam Davies, Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer, field naturalist Jonathan McGowan, and cryptozoologist Richard Freeman.

Friday, 29 October 2010


A touching farewell on Barnstaple Station as Richard leaves Devon for the India expedition

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Hi Jon,

Here are my thoughts on the India expedition:

In January 2009 I was in Nepal leading a team searching for evidence of the `Abominable Snowman` for a documentary on the History Channel. One of the team members was Ian Redmond O.B.E, the U.N. Ambassador for Gorillas. He informed me that he had received some potentially quite credible stories coming out of the Meghalya area of India, about a large Yeti-like creature living in the jungles there. He advised me to check them out. I had heard of the supposed existence of the creature before, but the more I delved into the accounts, the more fascinated I became. Not only do accounts go back centuries, but a large body of very recent sightings had been gathered by a very credible researcher and his team - Dipu Marak. So, in synopsis, I made contact with Dipu, and began to put together a team with my old CFZ buddies Dave, Richard and Chris. We are also to be joined this time by a first class field researcher in Jonathan McGowan. Our objective has to be to bring back scientific evidence of the creature, which can be independantly verified. On a personal note, I would really love to see it, but I realise that's a big ask.

The area where we will be searching is very remote jungle and hard to traverse, so I will be asking a lot from the team. That said, I am sure we will have a great time in the process. This expedition has great potential. So, off we go, and everything crossed!!!

P.S. The young lady who interviewed Richard was charming. Great idea.


Saturday, 16 October 2010


Last year I went with Adam, Richard and Dave to one of the wettest places in the world, Sumatra, and spent a couple of weeks climbing over mountains, trekking through jungle and living on spicy food in order to find orang pendek, an unknown bipedal ape. This year, I feel, is like a re-run of last year, only more so in every way. The mountains are even more striking: the West Garo Hills seem from the map to be outliers of the Himalayas, and the views across the valley of the Brahmaputra to the peaks themselves should be extraordinary. The rainfall will be even higher: Assam, which is nearby, is the wettest place in the world. As for the food, I intend to take plenty of porridge and beef jerky in the confident expectation of WMD levels of chilli in the local menu. This year there are going to be five of us instead of four, with Jon McGowan joining the team. We are also looking for a more impressive beast; orang pendek was a diminutive three or four feet tall, while the Mande Burung is an unmissable eight or nine feet. At least it won’t run away in fear if we happen to spot it. This time we can describe ourselves as monster-hunters without any trace of hyperbole.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The yeti is one of the most iconic cryptids. It is the most famous man-beast but the one least understood by the public. I recently compiled a list of all known yeti sightings for the History Channel. It is very short in comparison to the sasquatch. Ergo a chance to learn more about this creature will be very welcome.

India is a country I have wanted to visit for a long time. The Garo Hills are one of the least populated and most poorly explored areas of the sub-continent. Its proximity to Buhtan and Nepal is intresting as the 'Indian Yeti' or Mande Burung is probobly one in the same as the creatures seen in these countries.

I'm hoping to gather as much information and eyewitness accounts as I can. A sighting would be incredible, but unlikely. Hopefully we may find some traces containing genetic material such as hair or dung. I also hope to forge links with researchers and field guides in India as we have done in Sumatra, Mongolia, Russia and Guyana.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


We asked Jonathan McGowan why he was so keen to go to India on the forthcoming expedition.

Apart from a life-long ambition to visit that particular part of the world, I have always had the ambition to hunt for evidence of the large human like apes of the wilderness areas, whether they are Hominids, or Gigantopithecus or something else, and if they exist, that would not only be fantastic it would mean that the animal is possibly the most adaptable animal on earth being able survive from our possible ancestry to the present day. If any of us conjures up scientific evidence then that would be a prelude to maybe science's most challenging project.
My hope is that in one way or another the team will find evidence enough to put the CFZ on the map of utter scientific respect.

Monday, 11 October 2010


On 31st of October the CFZ 2010 expedition leaves England. They will be exploring the Garo Hills in Northern India in search of the mande-burung or Indian yeti. The five-man team consists of team leader Adam Davies, Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer, field naturalist Jonathan McGowan, and cryptozoologist Richard Freeman.

The creatures are described as being up to ten feet tall, with predominantly black hair. Most importantly, they are said to walk upright like a man. Walking apes have been reported in the area for many years. These descriptions sound almost identical to those reported in neighbouring Bhutan and Tibet. Witnesses report that the mande-burung, which translates as forest man, is most often seen in the area in November.

The Garo Hills are a heavily forested and poorly explored area in Meghalaya state in the cool northern highlands of India. The area is internationally renowned for its wildlife, which includes tigers, bears, elephants and Indian rhino and clouded leopards.

The Indian team will be led by Dipu Marek, a local expert who has been on the trail of the Indian yeti for a number of years and has found both its nests and 19-inch-long `footprints` on previous occasions. The expedition team has also arranged to interview eyewitnesses who have seen the Mande-Burung.

Camera traps will be set up in sighting areas in the hope of catching one of the creatures on film.

The Mande-Burung may be a surviving form of a giant ape known from its fossilised teeth and jaw bones, called Gigantopithecus blacki, which lived in the Pleistocene epoch around three hundred thousand years ago. This creature is of course extinct. However, much contemporary fauna such as the giant panda, the Asian tapir and the Asian elephant that lived alongside the monster ape, still survive today. It is thought by many that Gigantopithecus also survives in the impenetrable jungles and mountains of Asia. Its closest known relatives are the Orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo.

Last year the team, who investigate mystery animals all over the world, travelled to Sumatra in search of a small, bipedal ape known as the orang pendek. Dave Archer and local guide Sahar Didmus saw the creature and the group brought back hair that was later analysed by Dr Lars Thomas at the University of Copenhagen. The DNA proved to be similar to an orangutan's, an animal not found in that part of Sumatra.