Yesterday this letter arrived from Richard, and I think you will agree with me that it is astounding news:
We are just back from the jungle and have amazing news but don't release it till tomorrow when we will be out of Indonesia.
Dave Archer and Sahar the guide saw orang-pendek!
It was squatting in a tree around 100 feet from them. It was the size of an adult chimp and dark brown in colour. They could not see the face, hands or feet. Its head was shaped more like a gorilla's than a chimp's and it lacked the long mane of hair some witnesses describe. A darker strip was visible on the back. It had broad shoulders and the upper half of the body, including the head, was 40 inches (we measured afterwards). The coat was thick like a mountain gorilla's. We have hair samples and rattan that the orang-pendek was chewing on. Sahar saw it jump down and walk away on two legs. Dave missed a photo opportunity when he tried to get a better vantage point.
We found and photographed very clear footprints in a different area but could not cast them as we couldn't get hold of any plaster of Paris. We collected many hairs from this area.
Dampness screwed the moving camera's battery. It was virtually dead within 48 hours of us reaching Gunung Tuju. We took lots of photos. Dave's moving camera was drained by humidity too. We have some film but not a vast amount. We filmed a big cat sequence.
Loads of adventures happened including almost sinking in flooded canoes, thinking we had OP cornered up a tree and clothes being soaked in raw sewage!
The rattan will probably have OP DNA on it like a mouth swab. These are the best results from any expedition ever.
I followed Richard's instructions to the letter and didn't release it until today now the team are - hopefully - out of Indonesia. There could be a number of reasons for Richard's request, not the least being due to the instability of the region the possibility of the four brave CFZ boys finding themselves getting into trouble as a result of the news having been leaked. So we stayed schtum.
However, the news was leaked out last night. I don't know who did it or why, and I don't particularly care: this is about the advancement of science, not scoring cheap points over other people by getting the news out first. A considerable number of our readers and members emailed, telephoned and IM'd me last night to tell me that the news had been proliferated across the Internet, and to ask why there was no mention of the CFZ in any of the reports. Are there some people, they asked, who prefer not to give the CFZ any publicity at all if they can possibly help it? And would these people be happier if we just gave up and went away?
All I can say, my dears, is that you might well think that, but I could not possibly comment