Missing British explorer Benedict Allen ‘found alive’ in Papua New Guinea

A British explorer who went missing in Papua New Guinea has been sighted safe and well, but friends are unhappy.

In his last tweet from 11 October, Mr Allen wrote: “Marching off to Heathrow. I may be some time.”

Benedict Allen, 57, had no mobile phone or GPS device with him, when he was dropped off by helicopter in the remote jungle three weeks ago.

‘When is Daddy coming home?’ Frantic wife of missing explorer reveals the heartbreaking toll on their three children

Czech-born wife of missing explorer Benedict Allen, Lenka, with their children, Natalya (10), Freddie (seven) and Beatrice (two)
Czech-born wife of missing explorer Benedict Allen, Lenka, with their children, Natalya (10), Freddie (seven) and Beatrice (two)




The couple recently moved from their home in Richmond, south-west London, to spend a year living in Prague, where she was up all night anxiously awaiting news of her husband from the other side of the world.

But his friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, told BBC Breakfast on Thursday.

Mr Allen’s agent said the tribe he was searching for were a ‘scary’ remote and reclusive group, and possibly headhunters.

“The good news is he’s been sighted alive and well near a remote airstrip in Papua New Guinea, having tracked huge distances,” he said.

“He’s requested rescue and efforts are under way to try and get him out. It’s only a reported sighting but it’s the second sighting and it’s a tribal commission that’s been looking for him and they’ve reported him in.

“So unless they’ve got it horribly wrong – and I’m not aware of any other lost British explorers in that part of Papua New Guinea – Benedict Allen is safe and well.”

He added: “He left with no plan, he had no evacuation plan, he didn’t give anybody any idea of where he was going.

“It’s hardly surprising that he’s missed his flight and he’s caused a lot of people to be very worried about him. People who care about him. But he’s an extremely tough, resilient and curious traveller.

“He likes to immerse himself among people. I’m not sure that he’s that good at logistics because he’s really caused a lot of people a lot of worry – including myself because I’m his friend and I knew this was going to be quite a tricky trip.

“And I wish he had taken some little safety net. I know he didn’t want to take a satellite phone with him or a GPS or anything else. He didn’t want any kind of modern intrusion.

“I’m sure he’s come back with an incredible story to tell which will be fascinating and he’ll regale audiences at the National Geographic Society and elsewhere, but we could have done without this worry on his behalf.”

Mr Allen, from London, has previously crossed the Amazon Basin on foot and in a dug out canoe, and participated in a six-week male initiation ceremony in which crocodile marks were carved onto his body.
Mr Allen, from London, has previously crossed the Amazon Basin on foot and in a dug out canoe, and participated in a six-week male initiation ceremony in which crocodile marks were carved onto his body.

He has filmed a number of his adventures for BBC documentaries and written books on exploration.

The Foreign Office said its staff were assisting family members and were in contact with local authorities.

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