Solomon Island legends

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Coast
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Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Coast » Fri May 19, 2017 6:55 pm

G'day guys,

I've got some friends who have Solomon Island connections and have been to a few of the remote villages on other islands (not Guadalcanal). These villages don't have electricity, phones, internet etc - pretty remote. Locals there talk of both little people and giants who live/lived in the mountains and forests in the area. They speak as a matter of fact, not as if they are legend. Some of the locals say they have seen the little people and it's just a given in the village that they exist. I don't have any specific descriptions but if you search Solomon Island Giants there is a little bit of information on the internet.

The locals also talk about lights which fly up and over the ocean which are seen often.

This is an interesting interview with a local village chief - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVy7vdekVLc (7:19 about giants)

I wonder if there is a Solomon Island / Australia connection.

There is certainly a lot of wilderness in the Solomon Islands, what do you guys think?

- Coast

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Wolf
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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Wolf » Sat May 20, 2017 8:31 pm

Certainly plausible.
The Hawaiians believe in a 'little people' too, the Menehune (MenAyHooNay)
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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Yowie bait » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:49 am

Anyone interested in this should check out Deans account of Ayrs field trip to the Solomons. Sounds like fun...not!
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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Dean Harrison » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:17 am

This is the first part of a journal I wrote back in 2003 regarding our trip to the Solomons. I never actually managed to complete it.

I've never been so banged up in my life.


DMH



Solomon Islands Expedition


September 1st 2003

A man who named himself “Marius” contacted the AYR several years ago requesting $250,000 funding to hire a Helicopter for an expedition to the Solomon’s in search of the alleged “Giants”. His claims of Government conspiracies, paranoia and cover-ups was …. Intriguing.

He declared his use of an alias was not only because he was being followed, but also his phone was tapped and he had evidence that he needed to defend. After several lengthy phone various email conversations and reading his “Giants of the Solomon Islands” website, we declined the proposition.

18 months later, and during the beginning of the rebel uprising in the Solomon’s, he contacted us once again.

It turns out he had worked in several roles while living in the Islands and claimed he had the ear of the ‘President’ and presented us with an official invitation from some Government Department. He said he had many native friends in the Solomon’s and could arrange guides for us, providing he could join in on the trip. Until then, he had always stated that he could never return due to threats to his life.

He had a range of contradictory stories including deaths, abductions, mining conspiracies and hidden Diamonds. To prove his allegations, upon a meeting, he handed Mike what he claimed was a giant un-cut Diamond in which he could keep.

Later that week, Mike handed it to a major Gold Coast Jeweller that confirmed it was nothing more exciting than a piece of glass….. This was just one in a multitude of incorrect claims supplied by him. Alarm bells were ringing…..

During a previous meeting, Marius (Jeff), had passed on Mike’s phone number to a native named Peter in the Solomon’s. Until Mike received a reverse charge call from Peter in Honiara, we had all but given away the notion of a full scale Expedition to the region, however unlike Marius, Peter was very convincing.

Over a period of two months, Mike spoke to Peter several times per week arranging guides and planning for the trip, which included a meeting with a tribal Chief named Eddie. Eddie was said to hold some power in the villages we needed to pass through in search of the Giants and seemed to be an important pawn for us if this journey was pay off. Former friends of the AYR, Rob and John, were also keen to join in on the expedition and it wasn’t long until we had geared up for the trip. My only reservation was Marius. He was not to come. Peter also showed certain reservations about Marius, however didn’t care to elaborate.

Sitting in front of me on the plane was head of the Federal Police, Mick Kelty, who seemed to be a very confident and charismatic man. The tension in the Islands due to the Rebels was tight. Australia had obligated troops and Federal Police to the region to quell riotous behaviour and stabilise the area which had been left totally lawless and corrupt for quite some time. At this point, Australia News Television was flooded with stories pertaining to the troubles of the Solomon’s and travel warnings were abundant, however here we were walking right into the middle. None of us really knew what to expect.

The moment we walked down the stairs of the aircraft while disembarking, our skin instantly became wet due to the intense humidity of the tropical climate. One of the major rules in this climate was not to cut yourself, as wounds never dry out and often fester with infections due to the constant moistness of the skin. Unfortunately not everything goes to plan.

The first visual aspect that struck us was the fact that the Honiara Airport had become an Australian Military base with armed Soldiers on all sides. During the Cab ride back to Honiara, the poverty of the Islanders was more than apparent. There were no road rules, parts of the actual road itself were simply ‘missing’, their vehicles - if in Australia - would be immediately impounded, garbage as far as the eye could see and people littered the sides of roads living in total unhygienic squaller. Mothers were carrying both young and newborn babies adorned in rags, fighting an unbearable heat in bare feet with no clean drinking water.

Honiara was hot, dirty and dusty, accompanied by the feel of a decrepit 1970’s American Ghetto with gangs of males congregating in the streets with menacing looks in their eyes.

We arrived at the King Solomon Motel where we would stay until the final arrangements and meetings had taken place for the Expedition. Ron and John booked into a room on the bottom floor over looking the pool. Mike booked the “Penthouse suit” (!) for us on the very top floor. It sounded good in theory, however when we found the luggage elevator was out of service due to it crashing through the foyer only a week prior, the thought of hauling all our heavy equipment up an eternity of long and steep stair cases that never seemed to end in 40 degree heat to the top of the ‘hill’ that it was built on, took most of the novelty away.

It looked like Rob and John were the smart ones. The moment we collapsed through the door of our room, we realised we needed drinks and had to embark on an epic journey all the way back down to the foyer and back up again. With the sweat pouring of us and our legs tight and pumped, it felt as though we had already walked several arduous miles through the jungle.

The King Solomon was also the main base of the AFP (Australian Federal Police) and APS (Australian Protective Services).

Unlike the hard working Military personnel, who were forced to wear full combat fatigues while re-constructing the bomb ravaged buildings and services (and living in make-shift tents in the middle of dirty dust bowls) during the extreme heat of the day, the Federal Police had a contrasting lifestyle drinking Beer by the pool as if they were on holiday and having a lovely time of it all, fully funded by the Australian Tax payer. The only time we saw them in town was when they were in novelty shops purchasing gifts for people back home.

Regardless of surroundings, my thoughts were still with the nights meeting of the great “Chief Eddie” which had me conjuring thoughts of a Regal and Grand individual sporting elaborate headwear and standing at least 6ft tall.

After a rest from our up hill climbs, we all set off “Down Town”. Honiara was a poverty stricken Ghetto consisting of run down shops and a main road full of rubbish and large potholes. The looks we received from the local males were somewhat of resentment and calculated thoughts. Thoughts of suspicion about exactly who we were, was not only apparent with the locals, but at times, also the AFP. Who were we? Which organisation did we belong to? What were we doing there? Nobody dared to ask….. The natives, Military and AFP all considered us to be on some form of under cover mission, after all who in their right minds would travel to Honiara during this conflict, danger and harsh conditions unless they were sent by the Government.

The local males found their power within the safety of numbers, however were all very timid when by themselves. I remember giving a group of menacing youths a simple smile in return. The faces of the entire group suddenly turned from scours to happy smiles of appreciation.

Their mouths and what little teeth they had were blood red from the beetle-nut drug they all use openly. Blood red splatters are found all over the roads and pavements from when they spit the potion. They mix it with lime to quell some of the bitterness, which is the cause of the horrific tooth decay. Most of the males have no front teeth at all from a lifetime of Beetle-nut use and abuse. It produces a ‘stoned’ effect, similar to Marijuana and is a way of life in the Solomon’s.

The local market is bustling with locals who sell produce and trinkets to make ends meet. Not long before we arrived the market was a scene of bloodshed after several gang members opened up with fully automatic weapons amongst the crowd. War Lords ruled the streets and the Asian Mafia corruptly governed everything else. Drug use and prostitution still festered in the seedy back streets of Honiara which included girls as young as 8 years old who continually sell themselves just to put food on the table.

The lucky ones spend up to 8 hours per working at grass cutters for the Council on the sides of roads in the extreme heat slashing weeds and tall grass with long knives for the mega sum of A$5 per week.

Later that afternoon we met with both Peter and “Chief Eddie” in the foyer of the King Solomon. Both jet-black natives who spoke pigeon English, it was hard at first to understand each and every word in sentences. Peter was far more educated than the Chief and often found himself translating when Eddie couldn’t find the correct words. The great Chief stood 4ft tall sporting a pair of old ripped shorts, second hand blue tee shirt and bare feet. He had never been in such an establishment as the 2 Star King Solomon and appeared to be quite uncomfortable in these unfamiliar surroundings.

Their stories were fascinating while they spoke with conviction about the Giants of the forest they, and many other natives had encountered. According to the two, the Giants still remain in the centre of the Island that is very remote, hostile and hard to navigate. The quoted time scale by foot according to “Chief Eddie” (who wore a remarkable resemblance to an older and skinnier Eddie Murphy), was a day and a half walk each way. Considering he wore a watch, we unfortunately we took it as Gospel that he could comprehend the concept of ‘time’. It wasn’t until later that it was more than clear that not only he couldn’t actually tell the time, but had absolutely no grasp of time or distance. The $5 digital watch was somewhat of a status symbol for a person of his ‘alleged’ Stature.

During the conversation we made mention of security risks and concerns regarding the Rebels, of which in return we were guaranteed would be no issue. The Major War Lord, Harold Kiki was in confinement on an Australian Navel Vessel moored off the Coast of Honiara and many of his followers if not already detained, were either on the run or driven underground.

Mike decided to take our new friends to the only public Restaurant in town, which was Chinese. The heat was till heavy and we looked forward to sitting in air-conditioned comfort. Neither Chief Eddie nor Peter had ever dinned out before, therefore this was an occasion of great excitement for them. Upon arrival disappointment awaited with the News that the Air-Conditioning had collapsed and we were forced to wipe away the sweat as we ate. Two battle wounded and badly scarred dogs sat outside, which were the result of illegal Dog fighting most likely organised by the Asian owners of the establishment.

Mike organised a Banquette for our guests who both looked nervous, yet curious about the event. Chief Eddie intensely studied the food and with a little encouragement, finally tried some of the dishes. It didn’t suit his tastes, so he stayed with the simply foods such as Chicken and boiled rice. Peter was a little more adventurous and seemed keen to sample anything on the table.

During dinner, plans were set for the morning. We were to be picked up at 7am by a flat bed truck and to be taken to the first village to recruit some helpers and guides.

Walking back to the Hotel, I remember how friendly the young girls were. The 10 – 16 year olds giggled, smiled and waved as we walked past. It wasn’t until later that I was informed that they were in fact Prostitutes.

Later that night after Peter and the Chief had left, discussions about the morning’s plans continued as we sat in the Bar of the King Solomon foyer observing the AFP and other patrons. Every so often an AFP member would come down to the foyer and have an introduction with a chaperoned young girl. They would wander back up the stairs to one of the rooms which didn’t seem too out of place other than the age of the girl.

While ordering a round of drinks, the Barman inquired if I would like a girl and if so – how young? I told him that I wasn’t interested, however he persisted and informed me that the age wasn’t an issue, but the young ones cost a little more. Further to that he added that the APS had a room up stairs for such an occasion. It seemed apparent to him that I was either AFP or APS. Our esteemed Federal authorities were having sex with under age girls? Surely not? Don’t they themselves put people in jail for such an offence or does that rule only apply in OUR Country? After sitting for a while longer observing and commenting on further meetings, we retired back to our rooms for a good night sleep.


7am: We spent an hour sorting through our equipment and loading our Backpacks. The surplus was put into storage and left at the Motel. Although only 7am, it was already hot and steamy. The truck arrived with various natives we hadn’t met before, who helped us load out gear. In light of possible dangers involving Rebels, we were suspicious of all around us and treated them all with a degree of caution, as kidnap and ransoms were not uncommon in these parts and although the expedition was yet to begin, we were already well out numbered.

The truck set off on the long, hot and bumpy ride heading towards the starting point of the hike. Only an hour in and we were already becoming sunburnt. The truck was also considered as a local bus and we found ourselves stopping periodically to pick up hitchhikers. Within a short time the tray-back had become quite full and our gear was often shifted around to make room for more people each time the truck came to a halt. The road was laden with large holes and at certain points, bomb craters and total washouts. We had to prepare for each bump, as they sometimes caused a jarring effect if not ready for it.

Besides Peter and Chief Eddie, we didn’t know anyone else on the truck. Everyone stared at us curiously. They studied our clothes, faces and gear. Every so often some native speech would break out in an un comprehendible dialect. This made us feel uneasy at times, as we didn’t know what they were discussing, however it was more than clear that we were the subject line.

Nearly two hours had passed travelling down this hellish road and our legs began to cramp and butts became numb. We had to stand up or move around the best we could to keep the blood flowing.

There was a lot to see on the journey including the devastation caused by a major Typhoon years before that had destroyed roads, power, bridges and only rail network on the Island. The fascinating aspect to all this was that everything was simply left as though the storm hit only yesterday. The Government had no funds to repair any of the damage, therefore the clock turned back 50 years once the storm hit and people who were already living in squaller, were forced into even worse conditions. It was an amazing sight. At least Honiara had an old generator that struggled away to preserve the basic necessities, but outside the town they live in grass huts with no clean drinking water or power. Their means of transportation was their feet and it was nothing for them to walk for an entire day to get from A to B and they live off the land to survive. It was truly primitive.

Finally the truck pulled off the main road into a field and along a dirt track towards the mountains. We stopped at a small remote village with several grass huts, roaming chickens, pigs and dogs. A grass Chapel had been constructed over looking a large stream. Children’s laughter could be heard in the distance as they played in the water somewhere further into the forest.
Standing out in the tropical landscape of banana plantations and rolling fields was a grand mountain that appeared to be larger then anything we in Australia are accustom to. Somewhere beyond this steeply peaked mountain was our target.

It was a relief to finally get off the truck and stretch the legs. I began to unload my gear, however my excitement soon turned to frustration when we were told that this stop was merely to find more helpers. Two more natives boarded the truck who seemed to be very secretive as they whispered quietly to each other about we strange white people and what this was all about. They carried little sacks of Beetle-nut and lime, and one of the boys looked extremely stoned and unstable. The other boy had somewhat of a more regal demeanour about him. A good looking and strapping young lad, until he opened his mouth to display the blood red stains of the Beetle-nut and two missing front teeth. His name was ………

We continued back along the bumpy main road in the searing heat until we turned off once again. We travelled along another thin dirt road through a pine plantation into a tropical rainforest that was adorned with several primitive villages. The natives walked to the track waving and smiling as we drove through the forest tailed by excited children running behind.

We finally came to a halt at a river and unloaded the equipment. We had quite an entourage. Mike had employed the helpers as porters to carry our backpacks and equipment, however at the time I didn’t consider we had enough people and decided to carry my own luggage. Unfortunately I had the heaviest backpack that weighed over 35kg, but this wasn’t a concern for me at this stage, as I was more than happy just to get off the truck. We all geared up for the beginning of our adventure and helped each other secure packs and other equipment into position. I had my Blunstone hiking boots on, with a back up pair of runners strapped to the side of my pack and another set of surfing boots for stream beds if required, but our main aim was to keep our feet dry.

We set off with Chief Eddie leading the way, followed by Mike who we aptly named “Barwana” because not only was he leading the Natives, but he also he funded a lot of the mission and was dressed in a safari suit and carrying a staff. We arrived at the first river crossing which at the time seemed to be quite a novelty. My biggest dilemma was which shoes I should use for such an occasion? Keeping in mind that we didn’t want wet socks, just as the natives, I decided bare feet was the best idea because I could dry my feet on the other side, then put my hiking boots back on the remainder of the expedition.

The stream level was just above the knees and very fast flowing. Due to the fast flowing current, it was hard to see the bottom, which was laden with large and small slippery rocks. My backpack was heavy and contained thousands of dollars of equipment. In my left hand was Mikes $3,000 video camera and in my right, my boots. Due to the weight, any shift in my backpack was like the swaying of a fully laden truck and very hard to correct. One wrong step and it would take me over within seconds.

Rob and myself walked across together with bare feet, then on the other side, dried our feet and put our boots back on. As we walked over a small hill on the sandy track, we were faced with another stream a little deeper than the last. Off came the boots again.

Mike and John kept their boots on, while the natives didn’t have any to worry about. My concern was still about wet feet while hiking in this climate. The last thing anyone wanted to do was to get injured, even if it was a simple blister, as any wound was sure to fester and become badly infected.

We crossed this stream, put our boots back on and re-joined the others. As we came around a bend in the track, there was yet another stream to navigate.

I asked Eddie how many more streams there were to cross and he replied with “One”. I inquired how long it was going to take to get to our destination and with a glance of his digital watch and replied “One hour” and pointed to a nearby mountain.

We were all relieved to hear this was to be such a short trip because the heat and humidity was harsh, even for we Queenslanders who are used to hot weather. We hiked over the mountain pointed out by Little Chief Eddie, and several more beyond that, then further several Kilometres and various rivers before we reached another deep crossing and rested. I had changed into my sneakers by this time because I was tired of taking off my boots each time we were faced with a river and now all four of us kept our shoes during crossings.

We continued on during the heat of the day hiking up high peaks, down steep descents and crossed another dozen river crossings, each worse than the last. Our clothes we dripping wet from sweat as the terrain became more and more hostile. Rob and John were starting to have a hard time of it and were starting to take several breaks, while Mike and myself kept pushing forward until the group had split into two.

I had 1.5 litres of water in my hydration pack and was determined to ration it out, as not break into the box of bottled water being carried by one of the porters with Rob and John. As a result, I was beginning to become a little dehydrated. We gave up asking Chief Eddie how far or how long, as his replies were a predictable “One” to every question asked. He had no concept of time or distance and couldn’t count; therefore asking a simple question such as “How many more crossings” was impossible for him to answer.

6 hours had passed and we found ourselves at the deepest crossing of the journey. Everyone else slowly and carefully made their way through the fast running waist high water feeling each rock with their feet on every step, while I adjusted my pack higher in an attempt to get as little of my gear wet as possible. I began my way. Three quarters of the way across I became concerned about my pack and tried to compensate for it. As I got closer to the other side, my foot slipped on a rock and the 35kg pack moved with the direction of the current and I didn’t stand a chance. As I came down I threw Mike’s camera in the air with my left hand as my left knee crashed and slid on the jagged rocks of the stream floor and caught the camera with my right hand. The Porters were immediately in the water to pull me out. The camera was saved, but my knee was gushing blood and badly injured. I limped to shore.

The looks of concern by all were obvious. I hid the pain the best I could and attempted to brush off the concern with “Don’t worry, it’s only a scratch”. If our skin was wet enough from the humidity, each river crossing made it worse. I knew the wound was going to have a hard time drying out to heal. It could only get worse. We sat on some rocks in a dried out section of riverbed and padded the blood off the best we could, but the heavy swelling had already began.

I had done more damage than I thought, but was determined not to let this slow down the trip or to be a burden on the others, so I insisted I was fine. Fine enough to continue with my 35kg backpack despite many offers from others to take the weight. We marched on.

The swelling of the knee slowly grew worse with each Kilometre we walked. The weight of the pack was impacting the knee on each step and there was little I could do other than watch the knee grow and keep absorbing the ever-increasing pain.

Mike and Myself had managed hike ahead of Rob and John by a good half hour. This wasn’t a wise move, as they had the water and my hydration pack was near on empty in the soaring heat. The pain was incredibly intense, but I couldn’t let it show otherwise the rest of the crew may have called the expedition off and I wouldn’t allow myself to be responsible for that after so many weeks of planning.

As we climbed and descended more hostile terrain over the next hour, it became clear that the left knee damage was only a part of the problem. Because I had been compensating the left knee, the right one was also swelling up like a balloon as a result. The pain from both knees was tearing through me like a hot knife. Each step felt like a spear being driven into my legs and to make things worse, I now couldn’t flex or bend my knees at all and had to walk semi straight legged with no idea how far we yet had to go, but I still refused to release my pack. With only two porters by our sides now, Mike and myself persisted on with my pain constantly increasing and the dehydration setting in fast.

From this point onwards, it was all uphill. The day was growing long and it wasn’t long before dusk, yet we still didn’t know where we were or where the rest of our party was. One of the Porters then disappeared ahead to try and find our destination.

My mouth had now turned dry and infection had well set in to the wounds. A pasty yellow septic vile was seeping down my leg into my boot. It was now a case of one foot in front of the other and keep moving. I knew that if I stopped, the pain and stiffness of the swelling and infections would set in even further, therefore I couldn’t afford the risk of taking a break at any stage.

Feeling weak and almost staggering at a snails pace due to a lack of water and overwhelming pain, we noticed that our last porter had also disappeared. One of the main rules the natives drummed into us was under no circumstances walk these tracks alone. It was an extremely hostile place where people are frequently murdered or never found again due to ill means. Being the only white men in this particular area certainly added to the risk.

A noise came from the bush behind us. Appearing on the track from the forest was a native wearing nothing more than a loincloth and carrying a machete and spears. This man had bad intentions that you could read in his eyes. He advanced towards us in a menacing fashion. There was nothing I could do about it as fatigue, intense pain and dehydration now ruled my life. The most I was capable of was getting one foot in front of other and even that menial task was a monumental effort. As he closed in gripping the machete in his right hand, yelling and screaming came from up the track. Our porter was running at full speed down the hill waving his arms about furiously at this native. It appeared that he might just have saved our lives. He rushed to the man and frantically explained in their language who we were and which village gave us permission to cross this boarder. This was a close call, but at the time I was in such a bad state that I simply didn’t care. We pressed on.

It wasn’t long before the other porter re-appeared with good news. He found the village we were to stay at prior to tomorrows journey. “Tomorrows Journey?” “Village?” I thought to myself. It seemed that good old Chief Eddie was again well off the mark. We had crossed 22 rivers and had hiked the entire day, yet apparently we had over “80” river crossings and another “3” days until we arrived at our final destination! At this stage of the trip, basically everything that Eddie had said in the past two days was wrong. By this time I didn’t want to know Chief Eddie and I knew it would be hard just to be civil. He clearly had absolutely NO idea of anything in which he spoke of.

It was lucky the second porter arrived with the news, as I was surely about to collapse, but was still adamantly declaring to all that “I’m fine!”

Once in the village on top of this huge mountain range curious natives surrounded us, most had never seen a white man in their entire lives. There was only one white man ever to venture this far. He was a missionary in the 50’s. Children giggled, pointed and laughed and they hid behind grass huts excited about their strange looking visitors.

This was the first time in hours I had had been able to remove my pack. It was a liberating feeling! Here I sat straight legged for the next 30 mins waiting for the rest of the crew. Just the thought of fresh drinking water coming my way was enough to raise a content and rye smile. I gazed around the village from where I sat soaking in all the sights including grass huts and plantations. It was like a little hidden city right in the centre of the Island and it didn’t get any more primitive than this, as clothes didn’t seem to be an issue. It seemed like we were sitting on top of the World. The views were spectacular.

As the word spread of the two white men, villagers came from all over for a closer observation. It wasn’t long before a small crowd of people stood at a distance viewing, whispering and speculating the reasons for our mysterious appearance. Then the village missionary suddenly arrived on a more formal basis.

We were not only interviewed, but almost interrogated. He was an educated man and the only person in the village who wore Western clothing. It was clear that he enjoyed being the only educated man there, and our presence seemed to be a threat. Embellishing in the fact that he worked as the advisor for the Village Chief gave him extreme power, as the Chief was but a simple man with little education.

One of the main concerns to the native Solomon Islanders was the constant paranoia of Western Mining Companies raping their land for minerals, oil and Diamonds, which would desecrate their land and threaten their way of life and this man had the villagers blinded in a cloudy mist of religious thunder and lightning that provided him supreme power. He was all smoke and mirrors.

His concerns now consisted of a couple of educated white men in “his” village? How long did we plan to stay? What threat do we pose? Are they more educated than I?

During his interrogation, he asked the purpose of our visit. “The Giants” we responded. “Giants? The last Giants died ten years ago. There are no more Giants now”. The look in his eyes told a different story. He may have been able to bluff his way over the simple villagers, however it was more than apparent that this so called Holy man was nothing more than a power hungry cloak and dagger stand over from the medieval times. “There are no Giants, you must leave now”.

From here he hurried to the hut of the Village Chief and informed him that we were from the Government and we were to go immediately.

In the mean time Rob and John had finally trudged into the village red faced and out of breath with the rest of out party, just as we did over half an hour ago. It was good to see our friends again! John was not one to argue with and I’m sure just the sight of the man would have made many of the villagers take a few steps back. By Johns side was Rob, and together would cause some hell if anything untoward went down. Our guides Peter and the Great Chief Eddie followed – with our water!

Watching closely from a distance behind our party was the notorious man that had intensions of murdering us, still clutching those spears and machete.

Our Grand and illustrious Chief Eddie was called to a hut by the Village Chief and a furore of native tongue rang out. It seemed that Chief Eddie didn’t have the respect that we counted on. Mike joined in on the meeting an upon his return he informed us that good old Chief Eddie Murphy failed to inform out hosts of our arrival prior to the trip which was yet another major blunder on his behalf.

After negotiations, it was finally agreed that we could spend the night and rest before heading back. This village was the gateway to our objective. Without prior permission to head through which was “supposed” to have been arranged prior to the trip; we could have been speared to death.

This was a major insult to Chief Eddie, who later that night we learned was not the true Chief (Surprise, surprise). It was in fact his brother that held the power of the lower regions and full-scale war was now being threatened towards this village. Although little Eddie didn’t hold the esteemed power that we first thought, he could still wage war on this tribe. The fact that they deigned us access through their village was a swipe in the face with a white cotton glove. Words were now being spoken to destroy this village and all that lived in it. This was now a major incident.

Our crew loaded all our packs and equipment into the hut and while John and Rob the security situation, my attention was solidly focus at my legs. After a long period without moving them, they had both somewhat congealed. Any attempted flex the knee caused excruciating pain and the tendons felt like thick leather straps that tugged on the kneecaps causing severe cramps. Both hamstrings at the time felt like they had snapped

My only concern was how my injuries were going to effect or hamper our objective. Mike had stated that he was holding meetings later that night with the Village Chief and felt there was still a chance of a breakthrough. The thought of staggering back down the steep mountains was bad enough, but another two days forward followed by 4 days back was worse, however the only thing I could do was maintain that I was Ok and ready to continue. No matter what show I managed to muster, the injuries were plain to see. It didn’t make a difference which way I looked, someone was bound to catch a grimace each time I attempted to move. But… “I was fine..”

It was now dinnertime and all I wanted to do was lay down in the hut. There were now so many native ‘sight seers’ that they were all around, including within our hut. Rockson had just foiled Johns Boots being stolen by a native teenager, so this was the time I thought best to lye in the hut to keep a watch on our gear. Getting up the two stairs was a challenge considering I couldn’t bend my knees and the steps seemed miles apart.

Rob, John and Mike mingled with the natives, made cups of coffee and soaked in the sights from this glorious mountain peak. As the light drew dim, our crew ate within the hut. For me, it felt good to have all of us there at the one time. Rob, John and Mike had brought dehydrated foods that required hot water to re-hydrate them. I had brought predominately canned foods which in this case was more than convenient considering I couldn’t move about to boil water.

Uncertain of the stability within the camp, one could not help but think of spears being driven through the flimsy walls of our grass hut as we slept if the meeting of Mike, Grand Chief Watch wearing non-time telling Eddie, the well dressed black missionary and Village Chief didn’t do well. This was just one of the many ideo-consistories that crept into ones mind while being surrounded by potentially hostile natives and unfamiliar surroundings.

Mike had made it certain amongst the tribal elders that he was in charge of this Expedition and did his very best to patch any wounds that may have occurred as a result of our arrival. Loud and aggressive tribal tongue was exchanged during the meeting while the translators did their best to keep Mike informed about the situation.

Meanwhile back at the Bamboo hut, my knees had swelled with fluid and the surrounding skin was stretched beyond comprehension. The slightest movement was nothing less than excruciating, so I lay on my back with straight legs absorbing the giggling sounds of the curious natives. At times we would turn on our high powered LED head lamps that lit up the dark inside surroundings of the hut, which promptly resulted in envious “Oooooo’s and Aaarrhhh’s” from our new friends.

Security was an issue, as if anything was in hands reach without supervision – equipment would quickly vanish. After finishing 2 tins of Sardines and one can of Spaghetti, I was concerned as to where to put the cans. There was no rubbish collection on Thursday mornings and for that matter, no bins, however I had a sneaking suspicion that these items would be put to good use, that lulled my guilt of being portrayed as a poor or messy houseguest.

The night grew long and my thoughts were towards Michael and pondering about how matters were panning out. My largest concern, of course, was my knees and how far my mind could control my knees if there was to be another gruelling days hike through fast running rivers, hostile terrain and navigating high inclines and declines while in the mountains. The biggest question to myself concerning what long-term damage I would do to myself in the name of ‘keeping up appearances’, so to speak.

Due to being somewhat incapacitated it felt good to have Rob and John with me, as the constant attention from the locals was rather annoying. Later in the night, Michael had become tired of the fruitless squabbling that was happening among the hierarchy and returned to the hut with bad News. It seemed there were issues that could not be remedied tonight, however the proceedings continued without our ambassador.

It was time to sleep, or at the very best, try to sleep.

I don’t think anyone got much sleep this night, as one eye was always open. Occasionally during the night there were noises and footsteps behind the hut, but dawn came fast and it was a new day.

Tired and sorer than ever I woke to the smell of Coffee. Rob, John and Michael had set up a make-shift camping stove to boil water. With tight swollen knees I tried several ways to roll over and eventually climb my way to my feet. I made it to the hut door and slowly climbed down the two large steps onto the ground. To my left was the aroma of Coffee! A God send….

When the guys had finished making theirs, I heated up my water. The metal cup had become very hot while on the flames of the firelighters and I took my Singlet off to remove it. Unfortunately my Singlet had touched a fire starter and caught alight. The humour in the situation was well timed. As we drank our Coffee’s we gazed around the amazing mountain peak landscape while sharing a lot of laughs pertaining to our situation.

Mike had one further meeting and the situation was clear. Due to “Grand Chief Watch wearing non-time telling no concept of distance and letting them know we were coming ‘Eddie”, we were to be turned back or be speared.

There was no choice but to head back. The Expedition was over…..

After re-packing our gear and loading up, the stubborn me was still refusing help and offers of taking my pack. The single thought in my mind was to keep moving, not let my knees to congeal, not to be a burden and not to be the one to slow the team down – “I was fine”. So I moved ….. and moved fast.

My plan was to walk on my “stilts” as quick as I could. Pain-wise today was far worse, and I knew that if I stopped I was in deep trouble because of the escalating congealing. Therefore I had to keep ahead of the group.

I hobbled past the lead guide focussed on only one thought – one foot on front of the other and do it fast. I knew time was my adversary and I had to make up time initially because I knew I was going to lose it in the long run. If I could get up ahead and keep at a fast yet painful pace, I wouldn’t slow the others down. The other advantage was that I could let out with a vocal burst of pain and nobody would hear, which was such a relief, as I certainly did it when alone.

The weight of the pack punched compounded each step of the failing Knees with a sharp jab. I was making good pace when I heard footsteps running behind me. It was an out of breath Rockson with a message; “Have to wait – danger”. After that he headed back to the team. The only danger in my mind was falling off a steep incline/decline – I continued on, but faster.

Feeling more than happy with myself because of my pace, I came to the serious series of declines. There was no choice in the matter; I had to bend my knees. A daunting thought ….. At this stage I rejoiced in the fact that there was nobody within “yelling distance”, because yell is what I did. To bend knee was like amputating a leg. At this point I put a stick in my mouth and bit. To bend a knee in this state was ludicrous, to bend it under such weight was almost an impossibility, yet it had to be done, something to deal with. It was now a personal challenge. Mind over matter.
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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Dean Harrison » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:23 am

This is a picture of a Woman we interviewed who claimed to have been abducted by a hairyman and taken to a cave. To her left is her husband.

According to their story, it was a mob of their villagers that came to her rescue after tracking them to the cave.


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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Coast » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:16 am

Thanks for the expedition notes, quite a story. Have you considered another attempt?

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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Dean Harrison » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:25 am

I had spoken to a number of locals who worked in town and they were terrified of walking back to their villages at night. Many of them hid in the bush in fear of the hairy giants (as they put it).

There was no doubt they all knew of them and were extremely fearful.

What was written in my notes was only the first half of the story. I haven't read it since writing it. Not sure if I mentioned it turned out to be some of the Rebels we were travelling with and they were wanting to go back in numbers to massacre the village in the middle of the island.

We have no plans to head back. Once was enough.



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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Searcher » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:32 pm

That was a truly amazing read!

Dean, I really felt your pain with those damaged knees. Hope they cleared up quickly once you got back to civilisation. I agree fully with your description of Honiara. Stopped off briefly on a cruise quite a few year back and it was like taking a stroll around the local tip. Quite disgusting. Could not wait to get back to the ship.

Do you believe these 'giants' are related to the Yowie/Bigfoot enigma or are they something else again?

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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Pepper » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:06 am

Thanks for that read bruz. That was good. Any chance you happened to jot down the other half of the story. ?

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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Simon M » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:08 am

I had knee surgery earlier this year, and I can't even imagine the pain of walking on an injured knee like that, especially under those conditions and carrying that kind of weight.

It sounds like you were in more danger from the locals than you were from the potential 'Giants'.

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Re: Solomon Island legends

Unread post by Shazzoir » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:12 am

As a story teller myself, Dean, I was glued to the screen, reading about this unfortunate adventure from so long ago, and I imagine little has changed over the years, with regards to the state of the Solomons. I feel for you so badly, knowing that you had a serious injury that would only worsen with use, but being aware that you were left with no alternative but to press on regardless, for your own survival. The frustration of being close, but not close enough to where you wanted to be to have a chance of seeing the giants must have been right up there, and knowing that the situation was so grim you'd possibly never have another bite of the cherry, even worse. So much sacrifice of self, health and funds for seemingly nothing, but the fact everything conspired against you and your team would indicate that luck is always going to part of any sighting, and you all gave it your best shot. Thank you for sharing the story with us, I would have been scared out of my mind at the prospect of such an injury, the quarrels between tribesmen that could have ended in a bloody war, and the conditions you had to deal with from start to finish.

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