Missing Explorer's Ordeal: Fever, Harsh Criticism

Benedict Allen is no longer missing in Papua New Guinea
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2017 7:00 AM CST
Missing Explorer Became Disoriented With Fever
This is a March 24, 2004, file photo of British explorer Benedict Allen.   (Andy Butterton/PA via AP)

Explorer Benedict Allen is no longer missing in Papua New Guinea, having been flown to the country's capital via helicopter Friday. As for what mucked with Allen's itinerary, the BBC reports he missed his flight after becoming "disorientated with fever." His agent describes it as suspected malaria. The Daily Mail quotes him as saying "things were not looking good. I had this terrible dilemma: do I stay out here in a remote village and believe that, somehow, a miracle would happen and a plane would come—or do I try to control my destiny somehow and head out to find help when I'm weak?" He was ultimately spotted at a remote airstrip.

But the ordeal is not entirely over: The Guardian reports Allen is now receiving no shortage of criticism over his decision to make the trek to hopefully reconnect with the Yaifo tribe without any type of tracking device, leading others to suspect it was all a stunt ("utterly not true," says his agent). Still others are bothered at the press coverage, with the paper quoting one such criticism, from an ethnomusicologist who spent a decade in Papua New Guinea: "Why should we care about a lost, unprepared, silly, white privileged male middle-aged fool? All of the stories have been solely focused on his 'safety,' when PNG faces some real challenges that are genuinely worthy of reporting." (Allen once ate his dog to survive.)

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