Dear all at CFZ,
I was recently reading a book about a doomed British army 1994 expedition to be the first to drop down from the summit of Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, and descend Low’s Gully, an incredibly deep and hard to access gorge. I was excited to read some sections that are exciting from a cryptozoological perspective.
This first extract was written by Sergeant Bob Mann, who was high up the mountain, above the gorge, but well below the summit of Kinabalu:
‘The others went off to their tents, fifty yards up the hill, and I put some wood on the fire before settling down to sleep. I lay in my sleeping bag, looking at the splendor of the enormous cliffs in the moonlight, and drifted off to sleep, only to be woken some time later by the sound of a boulder being moved close by. At first I thought it was Kevin getting his own back for the episode with the tea, and told whoever it was to stop pissing about playing games and get back to bed, but there was no reply. I looked at my watch; it was twenty past two. I figured that it must have been someone having a pee, so I put some more wood on the fire and snuggled down into my sleeping back again. There was a loud ‘crack’ as if something heavy had stood on a piece of wood; I got out my head torch and had a good look around. Nothing. I put some more wood on the fire and settled down again, this time pulling my bivvy bag over my head. No sooner had I made myself snug than a scratching started on the outside of my bivvy. Whatever it was sounded really big and I was completely freaked. I lay there, paralyzed by fear for at least ten minutes, listening to the scratching getting louder, before plucking up the courage to take my knife from my belt. I shot out from my sleeping bag like a rat from a drainpipe, knife in hand, shouting at the top of my voice: ‘Come on you ^&*&(!
My neck crawled as I saw a large ape-like shape disappear into the tall shrubs on my left. I’ve never been so scared in my life; I knelt there for 10 minutes, knife in hand, too petrified to move. I must have looked really stupid. Some Commando, getting spooked by an animal. My mind raced, recalling stories of Yetis and such like – did they live in Borneo?’
On the same day, Lance Corporal Rich Mayfield (who was the advance party), had abseiled by himself down a section of the gorge wall to a substantial forested ledge halfway down. He reported:
‘…I reached it and lowered myself through the initial greenery, only to be faced with thick branches barring my way, necessitating a bit of aggression to punch a hole big enough to get down.
Standing on what passed for the jungle floor I peered into the emerald depths, trying to pick out a viable route, until a loud commotion broke out in the undergrowth nearby; it was probably some fascinating example of the Kinabalu fauna, but ay aspirations I might have had to being David Attenborough deserted me as visions of tigers and water buffaloes sprang to mind and sent me prussiking back up the ropes to the open hillside. There aren’t any tigers in Sabah of course, and as far as I knew, water buffaloes weren’t particularly well versed in the art of abseiling, but whatever it was had sounded large and powerful enough to put me off the idea of solo exploration for the day.’
I have checked the mega fauna of Borneo at that altitude (approx 10,750 feet) and cannot find an explanation for this, as water buffaloes do not live at that altitude.
Could this be another variety of Orang Pedek living in the remote national park?
The book is by: Rich Mayfield and Bob Mann. It is entitled: Kinabalu escape - The Soldiers' Story. It is published by Constable, ISBN: 0 09 476970 2
Sam White, Enfield, London