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Missing explorer and UEA alumni Benedict Allen was due in King's Lynn

PUBLISHED: 10:23 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:27 15 November 2017

Benedict Allen, who was due to speak about his experiences in King's Lynn before he went missing. Picture: Andy Butterton/PA Wire

Benedict Allen, who was due to speak about his experiences in King's Lynn before he went missing. Picture: Andy Butterton/PA Wire

An explorer who has gone missing after attempting to find a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea was due to talk about his experiences in King's Lynn.

Adventurer and University of East Anglia (UEA) alumni Benedict Allen, 57, who has made series for the BBC and written books on exploration, was trying to rediscover the Yaifo tribe.

He was due to return to the capital, Port Moresby, on Sunday, before returning to Britain.

Next Tuesday, Mr Allen was due to speak about his trip at a Royal Geographical Society event at the Guildhall of St George, in King’s Lynn. He was due to appear with BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner at the event, which is part of Lynn Festival’s year-round series.

Mr Gardner, who travelled to Papua New Guinea twice with Mr Allen last year, said: “I would say the chances are that Benedict is going to be fine, I hope those aren’t famous last words.

“Benedict always expected something like this. I had supper with him just before he left and he said ‘look, I’m quite certain I’ll probably be out of contact for quite some time and people shouldn’t worry about it’.”

In a post on his website before setting off, Mr Allen said: “No outsider has made the journey to visit them since the rather perilous journey I made as a young man three decades ago.

“This would make them the remotest people in Papua New Guinea, and one of the last people on the entire planet who are out-of-contact with our interconnected world.”

A helicopter dropped Mr Allen off without a satellite phone, GPS or companion. His agent Joanna Sarsby said: “He is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up.

“He was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe - possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened.”

Mr Allen studied environmental sciences at UEA wand went on expeditions to a volcano in Costa Rica, a remote forest in Brunei and a glacier in Iceland.

On UEA’s alumni webpage, he said: “At school I knew I wanted, one day, to go out and explore the world - but at the same time communicate it. UEA was my first choice of university, because it was modern and in touch.

“I chose to read environmental sciences because I hoped it would give me an informal base from which to launch out and achieve all I’d dreamt of. This it did.”

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